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June 14, 2008

Yahoo ad deal with Google assailed by many

Filed under: Press Releases — admin @ 7:35 am

Yahoo Inc. was in the crosshairs Friday, a day after signing a search advertising deal with Google Inc., as many investors, analysts and onetime suitor Microsoft Corp. criticized the partnership.

The agreement, hailed by Yahoo as a solution to its slumping finances, was alternately denounced as ego-driven, a threat to competition and, as one analyst put it, “one of the worst strategic maneuvers seen in the Internet industry.”

The Sunnyvale Web portal has agreed to outsource some of its search engine advertising to Google, the Mountain View Internet titan and erstwhile rival. Yahoo will continue to sell search ads, but will display Google’s ads in cases when they would generate more money - boosting Yahoo’s annual revenue by an estimated $800 million.

Many investors consider the pact a poor substitute for a sale to Microsoft, which had courted Yahoo with a $47.5 billion takeover before withdrawing the offer of $33 per share on May 3 after the two sides couldn’t agree on a price. Those shareholders now say a merger would have provided a bigger return for them, given that Yahoo’s shares closed at $23.47 on Friday, down 10 percent in the aftermath of the Google outsourcing agreement and Microsoft reiterating Thursday that it is uninterested in an acquisition.

“Some of the people involved from Yahoo should have kept their egos in check,” said a portfolio manager at an investment management firm that controls more than half a million Yahoo shares, referring to Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Jerry Yang, who he said mismanaged the merger negotiations.

The Google deal was disclosed just hours after Yang and his board rejected a proposal by Microsoft to buy Yahoo’s search business after concluding that the partnership would leave Yahoo without a key component to its future growth. The Google deal, according to a source familiar with the matter, provides more flexibility for Yahoo, as well as more revenue.

“Clearly, it is time to move on, and we believe that this agreement with Google does so by strengthening our competitiveness,” Yang said in announcing the deal.

Kevin Johnson, a Microsoft president who oversees the company’s online business, touted his company’s offer in a letter to Microsoft employees Friday. An agreement, he said, would have “provided compelling value to Yahoo and its shareholders.”

Under the offer, Microsoft would have paid $1 billion for Yahoo’s search business and entered into a long-term search advertising partnership in which they would share revenue. In addition, Microsoft would have invested $8 billion in Yahoo at $35 per share.

Johnson reiterated Microsoft’s antitrust concerns about Google, the No. 1 search engine, pairing up with Yahoo, No. 2. The Justice Department is already reviewing the deal, which won’t be implemented for at least 3 1/2 months.

“Unfortunately Yahoo has chosen a different course, and yesterday announced an agreement that would start to consolidate over 90 percent of the paid search advertising market in Google’s hands. This will make the market far less competitive,” Johnson said, predicting that the deal will face a host of legal and regulatory problems.

Several analysts were unimpressed with Yahoo’s decision to join forces with Google. In a research report, Jeetil Patel of Deutsche Bank said that Yahoo is “waving the white flag” in search advertising and, in effect, is signaling to its advertisers to simply do business with Google.

“This effectively signals the end of Yahoo’s competitive entry in the paid-search business,” Patel said.


June 11, 2008

Baiting Your Website - Good or Bad?

Filed under: Press Releases — Tags: , — admin @ 5:14 pm

The question of link baiting got a huge bump late last month when Lyndon Antcliff now notorious hoax made headlines in major news sources in both the US and the UK.

The story concerned a 13 year old boy’s shopping spree that supposedly included a rendezvous at a TX motel to play X-Box with call girls. It hit Digg and shot a ridiculous number of links to the UK financial company Antcliff was working for, as well as being picked up by Fox News.

Matt Cutts, Google’s head of the ‘spam division’ still says linkbait can be a good thing, so we can all relax and keep posting controversial stuff to lure people to our site. Just so long as we label them “Fake picture of alien” rather than “See the real alien the government doesn’t want you to know about that I found living in my garage.”

Okay, that was an extreme example. Seriously, though, there is plenty of interesting content we can tag up with a catchy phrase for a hook and use to catch us some fish… uh, customers. People still like to share, and you can get some nice natural links if you have a particularly good piece of helpful info or a cool slant on a news story that everyone else missed.

Which brings us to widgets. Who doesn’t like free stuff? If you have the tech skills, you can put together a nice little package or tool that will be attractive and give it away - along with a link to your site. Don’t be snaaky about it though, let people know that they will be downloading a link to you along with the widget - most will not have a problem if you tell them up front, but might be a little ticked to see a link they didn’t know about down the road.

A widget for a specific type of calculation is fun, as algorithms can be tiresome. Also popular are widgets that let the user customize to fit their own parameters. Don’t forget to package it attractively - no-one like s an ugly widget!

Another cool way to bait your site is to advertise free content - offer to provide original short articles or blurbs in your related fields in exchange for having your byline (and your link) posted with the article. This is great for publications that archive online, so if you are your own article writer and freelancer you might find it worth your while to hook some fish with the promise of some top shelf freebie content.

When it comes right down to it, baiting your site runs right along with all the other SEO practices, and staying out of trouble is as simple as this: keep your nose clean, look at each action from the viewpoints of Google and the consumer, and gauge how you would feel if you saw the hook, and then the actual site. Would you feel inclined to take the bait?

Cyworld Sells 300 Million Songs

Filed under: Press Releases — admin @ 10:04 am

Cyworld_logo KOREA TIMES — June 9 — Cyworld said that it has sold 300m songs after six years of service, adding 100m in only one year. Music has become an inseparable part of young Koreans’ online life, the company says. Cyworld charges 500 won ($0.5) for a song, meaning it has garnered over 100 billion won from the music business since beginning the service in July 2002. It did not confirm the exact revenue from its music business. FULL ARTICLE @ KOREA TIMES

Ad Agency Launches SN Platform

Filed under: Press Releases — admin @ 10:03 am

Veridoo_logo MIAMI HERALD — June 9 — Miami based ad firm, Factory Interactive, launched a multimedia-rich Web platform called Veridoo allows users to completely rebrand, or ”white label,” the Veridoo platform in exchange for sharing online ad revenue. But individuals are also being encouraged to create their own channels under the Veridoo brand. While MarketEdu is the only company that has adopted the Veridoo platform, other ”white label” deals are in the works. FULL ARTICLE @ MIAMI

RockYou Raises $35 Million

Filed under: Press Releases — admin @ 10:03 am

Rock_you_logo MASHABLE — June 9 –  RockYou has closed its own massive funding deal: a $35m Series C round, led by DCM. RockYou says its network now reaches 87.5m people each month, who in turn generate 2.7 billion page views. The company also points out that it’s not just a Facebook app developer. More than 10m applications have now been installed on the MySpace, hi5, and Orkut platforms. FULL ARTICLE @

June 9, 2008

myYearbook Named Third Largest Social Network in the U.S.

Filed under: Press Releases — admin @ 12:46 pm, a network founded by two high school students, is now the third largest and fastest growing social network in the U.S. The teen networks market share grew by 426 percent this past year, according to leading online competitive intelligence service Hitwise.As a social media company, we choose the best of breed applications and focus on an integrated suite of applications and a vibrant virtual economy, said Geoff Cook, CEO of Our growth this year shows that our highly focused applications such as Battles, Match and myMag resonate well with the teen market.

myYearbooks core applications are not only one of a kind, they are extremely popular with members. In fact, users spend more time on myYearbook than on sites with open platforms, such as MySpace and Facebook. According to Hitwise, the average visit length in minutes was 32:54 for myYearbook, compared with 29:54 for MySpace and 20:52 for Facebook.

A TV network does not have 10,000 channels for a reason too much noise, said Dave Cook, co-founder of We dont want to spam our members with excess channels. We believe the right number of applications to be in the 100-200 range.

By creating these core features, became the third largest and fastest growing site in the U.S. without needing to spam their users with developers requests. proves that opening a platform is not the only way to become one of the largest players in the social networking world.


Founded by brother-and-sister teen entrepreneur duo Dave and Catherine Cook, is the third largest social network in the United States, according to Hitwise, a competitive intelligence service. myYearbook has grown from a single high school to more than 5+ million U.S. unique visitors and 1+ billion page views per month. The average myYearbook member visits the site eight times per month and spends 30 minutes per visit, making myYearbook one of the most engaging social media destinations on the Internet.
Jeannine Schechter, 310-482-3461

June 7, 2008

Facebook Is Blocking Ads

Filed under: Press Releases — admin @ 9:19 am

Facebooklogofresh_dalsi_verze TECH CRUNCH — June 4 — If you try to buy an ad on Facebook, there are certain words that are taboo. Any ads that contain four-letter words are automatically blocked. So too are ads with the names of competing social networks “MySpace,” “Friendster,” “Hi5,” , or “Orkut.” (Curiously, “Bebo” and “OpenSocial” go through just fine, as does “Microsoft,” “Yahoo,” “Google,” and “AOL”). 3Jam, the startup offering an SMS service, is blocked as well. FULL ARTICLE @ TECH CRUNCH

YouTube Puts Demographic Feedback To Work

Filed under: Press Releases — admin @ 9:19 am

Youtubelogo LA TIMES — June 5 — A feature called YouTube Insight, introduced in March, gives YouTube account holders who have uploaded videos to the site a range of statistics, charts and maps about their audiences. Until recently, “it’s been hard to measure the success of online advertising campaigns,” said Adam Spielberger, EVP of a New York interactive advertising agency. Insight is part of a trend on the Web. Facebook offers account holders a weekly report that, like Insight, is free — and has a similar name, Insights. The information it provides is used by individuals and companies that have Facebook pages and want to hone their marketing. FULL ARTICLE @ LA TIMES

Should Social Networks Be Regulated?

Filed under: Press Releases — admin @ 9:18 am

Social_networking_sites_banners READ WRITE WEB — June 5 — The Executive Director of Europe’s top Internet security agency, ENISA, Andreas Pirotti, recently called for expanding EU legislation “to cover the taking of photos of people and posting them on the Internet,” noting that there’s no need to obtain consent before posting photos of others. In US the SNS regulation often focuses on the safety of children. Despite what may be good intentions, having government get involved with how SNS operate could be a very slippery slope, both in the U.S. and worldwide. Once you start demanding social networks comply with certain rules and restrictions instead of just being governed by their own TOS, you’re literally impacting an entire industry. FULL ARTICLE @ READ WRITE WEB

Twitter Is Working On Groups

Filed under: Press Releases — admin @ 9:18 am

Twitter_logo MASHABLE — June 5 — Twitter is working on adding the ability for users to separate their contacts into groups, support for sending and receiving messages by e-mail, and adding new IM and Internet channels for the service. They’re also looking to improve the way links are handled.  One of the many criticisms of Twitter is the ability to intelligently handle different media types, like links to Flickr or other image sources, and better use of inline linking.  Many of the add-ons to Twitter, like Twhirl, can do this by taking Twitter from the API and laying over their own functionality, but the Web interface has been the same spartan landscape since the service’s inception. FULL ARTICLE @ MASHABLE

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