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NFL Playoffs: Twitter Style

If you follow American Football, you know that it’s playoff time, starting this weekend. Since social media and football go hand in hand quite nicely, Twitter has taken it upon itself to help out fans in keeping up with their favorite teams and players that are involved in the run to the Super Bowl. 

More Valuable for Business: Twitter or Facebook?
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Which is more valuable to business – Facebook or Twitter? It’s a question that business owners struggle with every day in the quest for building a larger customer base, and retaining the customers they already have. It’s a question that won’t have the same answer for every business. It’s also a question that requires the evaluation of a great deal of variables on a per business basis. 

Misleading Groupon Ads Flagged by UK Watchdog
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Groupon has had a few ads flagged after some issues with the Advertising Standards Authority, an independent watchdog for ad standards in the UK. 

The ads in question were found to be misleading, because they failed to make clear certain terms, such as the fact that one person had to pay full price for a meal to get a second one at a discounted price, or that another deal didn’t apply to weekends. One "misleadingly exaggerated" the savings it offered, according to the ASA. 

Online Holiday Spending Hits Record $32 Billion
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Online retail spending for the 2010 holiday season reached $32.6 billion, representing  an increase of 12 percent compared to last year and an all-time record, according to the latest report from comScore.

Think Google PageRank Doesn’t Matter? Think Again.
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It looks like Google wants you to think PR doesn’t matter, but don’t let them fool you! For more than a decade now, Google has been trying to retrieve this metric from the radar of webmasters. That Google has stopped pushing regular updates to their toolbar is one more step in the strategy to convince you that PageRank doesn’t matter anymore.

Malware Threats Increased In 2010
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In 2010, cyber-criminals created and distributed one-third of all existing viruses, creating 34 percent of all malware that has ever existed, according to PandaLabs annual security report.

PandaLabs did find the speed at which the number of new threats grew has actually decreased compared to 2009. Every year since 2003, new threats grew by at least 100 percent, but in 2010, the increase was 50 percent.

Amazon Introduces Kindle App For Windows Phone 7

Amazon continues to make its Kindle app available on more and more devices, the latest is Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.

Half Price Books Begins Selling Online
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Half Price Books said today it has launched HPB.com, which features its new online web store, HPB Marketplace.

Through a partnership with Monsoon Commerce Solutions, a company that powers websites for online retailers, Half Price Books has begun selling books, music and media online.  The company says its website will give users access to more than 120 million book, movie and, music titles sold through Half Price Books and other independent sellers. Previously the company offered its inventory via third- party sellers such as Amazon and Half.com.

 

Amazon Appstore for Android Apps Should Help Android
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Amazon has launched its Appstore Developer Portal, aimed at letting Android developers submit apps for the launch of the Amazon Appstore for Android. The date of this launch is still undetermined. 

Google: We Already Have Groupon-Like Products
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Google’s Marissa Mayer recently made the switch from the company’s VP of search products to focusing on the company’s geo and local products.

A Look at Social Signals in Search
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Late last year both Google and Bing announced they are both using social signals as part of the ranking algorithm. Those of us who have been in the game a while have long suspected this, but it’s nice to see it come from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. So, as a search marketer, what signals might they be looking at and what are some ways we can leverage to our advantage?

Groupon Sues Groupon to Get Groupon Name in Australia

Last week, it was reported that Groupon was expanding into Australia, but that it would be called Stardeals there, because another deals company had been granted the Groupon name there. 

Analyst Says Amazon To Earn $100B In Revenue In 2015

Everyone awed by Facebook’s $50 billion valuation may want to break away for at least a moment to consider Amazon’s future.  An analyst with Morgan Stanley has predicted that Amazon will generate an impressive $100 billion in revenue in 2015.

To put that in perspective: Amazon reported $7.56 billion in revenue during the third quarter of 2010, $6.57 billion during the second quarter, $7.13 billion during the first quarter, and $9.52 billion during the fourth quarter of 2009 (totaling $30.78 billion), so $100 billion in a single year will represent a huge increase.

Netbooks Set To Overtake Laptops And PCs
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Purchase rates for personal computers and mobile phones (not including smartphones) will decrease by 39 percent and 56 percent this year compared with last year, respectively, according to a new survey from Accenture.

By contrast, buying rates of 3DTVs (three-dimensional TVs) are expected to rise 500 percent; tablet computers 160 percent; ebook readers 133 percent; and smartphones 26 percent.

Top Searches Will Be Influenced By Changes in Search Habits, APIs
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Tired of top ten of 2010 lists yet? Me too. We’re 4 days into 2011 now. Enough is enough. Yahoo got the memo, as now it is looking back on the past decade in search beginning with 2001, and looking at how much has changed (and how much hasn’t). 

Will You Be Paying Restaurant Checks with Google This Year?

Google may launch a mobile payments service as early as this year, according to a report from Bloomberg BusinessWeek. This would be based upon NFC (near field communication) technology, which lets mobile device exchange data at close ranges. 

Facebook Users Set Photo Record Over New Year’s

New Year’s Eve celebrations – and the hangovers that in many cases followed – did not keep people away from Facebook this weekend.  The opposite might have been the case, in fact, as a person very much in the know announced today that 750 million pictures were uploaded to Facebook during the timespan.

Facebook Loading Slow For Many Users
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Facebook appears to be having some difficulty today as numerous people have complained about loading issues in different capacities. 

Currently, we’re having trouble getting the site to load some people’s profile pictures, but based on tweets throughout the day, others are having other loading issues. 

Here are some examples we’ve run across:

How to Write When Guest Blogging
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So many people are guest blogging these days. It is almost a cliché to say that once the masses get a-hold of something, they cheapen it. Sadly, the cliché is often true. So it is with guest blogging. I regularly receive offers to guest blog from people who have no clue what they are doing …which generally is wasting my time and theirs. So, here are the Golden Rules of Guest Blogging:

Know Thy Blog

Dell Buying SecureWorks For Undisclosed Sum

Dell has announced its intention to acquire IT security firm SecureWorks, which offers managed-security services, security and risk consulting services and threat intelligence solutions. Dell says the buy would expand its IT-as-a-Service offerings and information security expertise.

Bing Announces Ties To New Toyota System

Ford’s SYNC, an advanced in-car "connectivity system" that allows users to play music, get directions, and make phone calls, has earned rave reviews for years.  Now, Toyota’s announced its own take on the concept – dubbed Entune – and it looks like Bing will play a key role.

Google Gives $4 Million Grant To Environmental Group

Environmental education group, NatureBridge, said today it has received a $4 million grant from the Google Charitable Giving Fund of Tides Foundation.

Over a three-year period, the grant will help NatureBridge serve more students and teachers with environmental education programs in more national parks and in the communities where they live.

Firefox Becomes Top Browser In Europe
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If anyone at Mozilla is keeping some sort of historical record, December 2010 is a month that’s sure to be starred.  A new report from StatCounter indicates that, in terms of market share, Firefox wound up ahead of Internet Explorer in Europe.

This was perhaps not a pretty victory, as it only occurred due to a loss on IE’s part.  IE’s market share in fact fell from 38.91 percent in November to 37.52 percent in December, according to StatCounter, while Firefox’s market share declined from 38.50 percent to 38.11 percent.

Starz Introduces

Cable network Starz said today it is launching its first social media game on Facebook, “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena,” and an iPad app for its “Spartacus” original series.

The Beta version of the game will launch on January 6 to the first 10,000 “Spartacus” fans who register on Facebook.

A full launch of the “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena” game is set for January 20, before the broadcast of the series on January 21.