The New York Times advises that ad agencies need to drop their problems with internet companies and make friends if they want to survive. We would laugh in this day and age if we read about advertisers having problems working the television broadcasters in the 1950s and we’ll probably laugh at how much hand-wringing was done in the ad industry over the internet 30 years from now.

Intuit invites only a few select hardcore users of QuickBooks into an enthusiast community, but those people wind up providing a ton of content, recommendations and tips to others, an arrangement that allows them to run a high-quality site while cutting their own tech/customer support costs. That’s contrary to the conventional “let everyone in” approach some people advocate but it’s working for them so good job.

A Microsoft advertising executive lays out the case that the growth of the online advertising industry is largely dependent on the adoption of traditional media measurements like reach and frequency and a de-emphasis of hard metrics like click-rates. It’s an intriguing argument and one that I think is going to become more widely held as time goes on.

Amazon has applied for a patent relating to its Kindle e-book reader that could hint at plans for ad-supported versions of books being made available, possibly as an add-on to someone buying the physical version. It’s unlikely they’re going to go placing ads alongside paid-for electronic versions. That being said, no actual plans have been announced and it’s all speculation at this point.

Facebook is outpacing MySpace not only in visitors but also in its attractiveness to advertisersaccording to a new eMarketer study.


Time Inc’s Maghound magazine buy/subscribe/swap site is not doing so great – at least as measured by new subscriptions racked up – after a year of operation. Those within the company say that’s somewhat because they haven’t done much promotion while they work out the issues. I’d say continue with it and see if it works out.

The Associated Press and Media Standards Trust are working develop a standard for micro-formats for newspapers that will hopefully help their news stories appear higher in search engine rankings by maximizing the effectiveness of each story’s meta-data. This is going to be interesting to watch, especially when some of the more forward-thinking blog owners see what’s being done and adopt their own version of these standards.

Social Media

A recent survey by WorkPlace Media says only 43 percent of employees are actively updating the social networks they frequent while at work and even then most only spend a half-hour or so doing so. That’s good news for employers but bad news for advertisers looking to reach those folks during the day.

Sarah Perez writes about what FriendFeed could do to be even more useful in the wake of their announcement of real-time search functionality being added.

I agree that Twitter has to do something about the spam problem if it wants to continue to be brand-friendly, but not for the reasons laid out in this MediaPost article. If brands take to Twitter to attract an audience, they’re not going to want that audience constantly bombarded with messages to follow someone for hot pix in the wake of the official dispatches from a legitimate company. Forget advertising appearing on the pages, it’s the disruption of the stream that’s going to be the biggest problem.

Facebook has launched its first official widget, the Fan Box, that allows members to take their activity streams to their own sites. It’s an interesting move since the taking of that content off-site would seem counter-intuitive but also has some benefits for both the brands that are on Facebook and the social network itself, most of which are captured by Ian Schafer.