Track How Effective Your Online Marketing Efforts are Offline

Tracking offline conversions has been a challenge for businesses for years. As long as the Internet has been widely used to drive business, tracking online marketing efforts to offline purchases has been no easy feat, but while there is no silver bullet approach, rest assured, there are ways to make it easier.

EU Wants Google To Revise Street View Policies
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The European Union has asked Google to revise the way it stores images for its Maps and Street View services, due to privacy concerns.

Google currently keeps all images on Street View for a year, but the EU’s Article 29 Data Protection Working Party wants that time cut in half to no longer than six months.

Facebook Gets Patent On News Feeds
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A number of social networks may be in a significant amount of trouble.  Facebook has managed to patent the idea of "dynamically providing a news feed about a user of a social network."

This is no rumor or joke; the paperwork is all in order.  Facebook filed for what the United States Patent and Trademark Office has designated patent number 7,669,123 in August of 2006, and Mark Zuckerberg’s name appears eight times on the official document.

Twellow Gets Twitter OAuth Support

Our Twellow team has been working hard on getting Twellow set up to use Twitter’s OAuth system, and that support is now available on Twellow.com.

"The Twellow OAuth upgrade is a major improvement for Twellow users," Twellow’s Lead Developer Matthew Daines says. "Not only is it much more secure, but it also increases the amount of interaction users can have with the Twitter universe from Twellow."

Cyber Attackers Pose as New York Times
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Symantec’s MessageLabs tells WebProNews there is a new targeted attack using emails pretending to be from the New York Times. MessageLabs Intelligence tracked the attack yesterday, which used emails pretending to come from the NYT’s "Times Reader" software, hitting six different domains. One domain was a public sector domain, one was a law firm, and three were to chemical companies, and one was an online gambling company in the UK.

Missing Growing Pains Actor Andrew Koenig’s Body Found
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Update: Tragically, Koenig’s body was found in Stanley Park in Vancouver. His father Walter Koenig reportedly said in a press conference, "Our son took his own life. He was obviously in a lot of pain."

More here.

Google Trounces Yahoo, Bing In Mobile Search Report

Although Google’s undoubtedly best known for dominating the traditional search market, the company’s no slouch when it comes to mobile.  New stats from Opera indicate that Google has a huge lead over its closest rival, and that its other well-funded competitor barely enters the equation.

More States Using Twitter To Communicate Travel Conditions
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A growing number of state transportation departments (DOTs) are communicating news and information to travelers using Twitter, Facebook and other social media.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ (AASHTO) survey of 32 state DOTs found 26 states or (82%) are now using Twitter to communicate with travelers when major traffic incidents or severe weather such as snow storms, hurricanes and tornadoes force roads to be closed or detours.

Texas Governor Coaxes Facebook To Open New Office

Although it isn’t quite a done deal, Texas Governor Rick Perry seems to have more or less ensured that Facebook will open a sales and operations office in Austin.  Perry’s offered the company $1.4 million as an incentive to establish the branch and create some jobs.

Census Bureau Launches Map Powered By Google
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The U.S. Census Bureau said today it has launched a new online mapping tool detailing how well communities responded to the 2000 Census in an effort to raise awareness for the upcoming 2010 Census.

Consumer Demographics and Their Wireless Devices

As smartphone usage becomes more and more mainstream, businesses have to consider how their audiences are interacting with them online. For that reason, it can help to gain insight into how users of different devices interact with those devices.

Local Business Search as Q&A

Human-driven Q&A search service ChaCha launched some new functionality this week for local businesses. Now users can access information about over 15 million businesses in the U.S., courtesy of partner Localeze.ChaCha spoke with WebProNews about why the company considers itself a legitimate contender in the ever-growing local search space.

eBay Buys World Of Good
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World of Good is likely to get a lot bigger in the near future.  The brand, which helps artists in developing countries connect with buyers, has been acquired by eBay, and expansion seems to be the first thing on both sides’ "to do" list.

How Are The Olympics And Entrepreneurs Similar?
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The winter Olympics are off to an interesting start, as always. And while I’ve only caught parts, I did manage to watch short track skating when Apolo Ohno miraculously won silver. From the qualifying heats to the final race he was pretty amazing to watch.

While his competition in those qualifying races wasn’t super stiff, you could still see the mark of experience…As well as how strong and fit he is going into this competition. In both of those early heats he calmly hung out in the back of the pack waiting for the chance to make his move.

Newspaper Websites Most Valued Local News Source
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Newspaper websites are the most valued sites for people seeking credible and trustworthy local content, according to a new survey conducted by comScore for the Newspaper Association of America (NAA).

More than half (57%) of the 3,050 respondents cited local newspaper websites as the top online source for local information. That percentage increases for upper income households (63%) and for the college educated (60%).

Six More Features Graduate From Gmail Labs
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It looks like the people in charge of Gmail Labs have decided to do a little spring (or more accurately, late winter) cleaning.  They’ve removed a full 11 experimental features from Labs, with six of the bunch becoming regular Gmail features and the other five failing to make the cut.

Google Talk Improves Voice, Video Performance
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As you might imagine, conversations tend to be more productive and enjoyable when they’re not interrupted and cut short all the time.  Google’s made a smart move, then, by upgrading Google Talk in several respects.

The upgrades actually pertain to one of Google Talk’s most advanced features: the voice and video chat plug-in.  As for what they do, users should experience fewer crashes when newer Macs are in the mix and benefit from increased webcam compatibility.

Advocacy Group Asks DOJ To Probe Google Search Results
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Consumer Watchdog today called on the Justice Department to guarantee that its ongoing antitrust probe of Google’s business practices include an investigation into if the company is manipulating its search results to favor its own products.

Centralize Files with HP MediaSmart Server
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At CES 2010, WebProNews met with Steve Murtha from Intel to discuss the HP MediaSmart Server.

With up to 17TBs of storage, this new server centralizes all files in one location.

As Steve Murtha tells WebProNews, the server is based on the Microsoft Home Server OS and is about value propositions.

Chinese Scientists Cling To Google
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China’s standing in the scientific community might be damaged if Google leaves the country, according to the results of a new survey.  This isn’t a simple matter of reputation, either; a great many Chinese scientists instead acknowledged that they regard the search engine as a useful research tool.

Academics Endorse Social Media Marketing At OMS

It’s an unfortunate fact that the speakers at some conferences can be self-serving; few people are going to go onstage and not promote their own company, never mind admit its faults.  However, when it comes to social media, it’s hard to accuse the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania of bias, and so an OMS keynote on the subject run by two Wharton representatives was rather informative.

Professional Online Video Views Climb In 2009
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Professionally produced online media and entertainment video views increased by 18 percent in 2009 to 49.1 billion, according to a new report by AccuStream Research.

Internet brands (counting online entertainment destinations owned and operated by major media companies such as Comcast, CBS, Fox Broadcasting, NBC, ABC that include Fancast.com, Hulu.com and TV.com) grabbed 52.1% of total professional video views in 2009.

Google Calls Off Android Event In Beijing
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A little over a month ago, Google delayed the launch of two Android phones in China.  Now, the company appears to have followed up that move by deciding to cancel an Android developer event in Beijing.

Why Even Local Search is Becoming More Real-Time

As the web quickly becomes more mobile and social than ever, we see apps filling voids that were mostly left empty throughout the history of search and social media. People are increasingly sharing their locations with their friends, certain apps, certain sites, and even the world.