SES San Jose: Igniting Viral

At SES San Jose, two themes emerged from a panel of experts discussing how small and medium-sized businesses can make the most of their viral marketing campaigns: understanding one’s audience and good old fashioned perseverance.

(Coverage of the SES San Jose conference will continue through its end.  Keep an eye on WebProNews for more notes and video from the event this week.)

SES: Don’t Disregard Vertical Search
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Not too long ago, Google talked about having indexed one trillion unique URLs, and competing within that pile is a tall order.  Vertical search engines deserve a special mention, then, and an SES session called "Getting Vertical Search Right" gave them just that.

SES: Measuring Success in a 2.0 World
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In the SES session "Measuring Success in a 2.0 World", Matt Bailey, president, SiteLogic said, "The only way to get beyond 1.0 analytics is questions. Something no analytics software will do for you."

Facebook Introduces Demographic Restrictions
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There’s talk of lowering the drinking age, with at least a few colleges’ presidents backing the idea.  This change would lead to an absolute marketing blowout.  In the meantime, though, Facebook’s found its own workaround solution by introducing a system of demographic restrictions.

You’re Getting Spam Because Others Are Buying
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For many of us that spend a good portion of our day-to-day lives online, the idea that people actually buy products from spam messages they receive in their inboxes seems laughable. However, new research from security company Marshal suggests quite the contrary.

The Results

Government Puts Hospital Death Rates Online
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For the first time the federal government has released an online searchable database of hospital death rates at more than 4,300 hospitals across the U.S.

Death rates for patients with pneumonia, heart attacks and heart failure are now posted on Medicare’s Web site, Hospital Compare.

Photosynth Release Makes A Big Impression

Back in 2006 at the Web 2.0 Summit, Microsoft showed off it’s cool new Photosynth program. They didn’t release it to the public, but they let attendees get a lick of what was in store, and left many of those who experienced it with a good taste in their mouths. Yesterday, they released it to the public as a service.

Olympic Audiences Still Prefer Yahoo Over NBC
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We’ve seen several upsets thanks to the Summer Games, and they haven’t all involved athletes.  NBC, for example, seems to have lost to Yahoo in the competition for online audiences.

Chinese Watch Olympics Online At Work
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Large numbers of Chinese are going online to watch the Olympics while at work as employers prevent them from watching the events on television.

In a survey by marketing company Carat China, half of respondent said they watch the Olympics online while at work. Online live streaming or replays of the Games increased on weekdays when fans were not able to watch television due to work.

SES San Jose Gets Fresh With Marketers

SES San Jose has come ’round the calendar again and while the event is now a routine part of the search marketer’s year, there are newer focuses in 2008 keeping conversations fresh and progressive. Where previous years had centered on linking, keyword strategies, viral marketing, tagging, and other standard fare, this year adds a surprising shift in flavor toward video SEO, search marketing economics, and even some peripheral subjects.

Yahoo Takes A Shot At iPhone Search Solutions
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Any iPhone users who felt ignored by Yahoo now have little reason left to complain.  Yahoo Search for iPhone has been announced, and it incorporates roughly everything in the company’s repertoire.

Microsoft Looks to Seinfeld for Advertising Edge
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Microsoft has been looking for a new angle for its advertising campaigns, and may have found a good one. The company has reached a $10 million deal with comedian Jerry Seinfeld to appear in its next slew of commercials.

Xbox And Rock The Vote Partner To Reach Young Voters
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Microsoft and Rock the Vote have partnered to allow Xbox 360 owners to register to vote, take part in presidential polls and express their opinions to the presidential candidates via Xbox Live starting on August 25, the first day of the Democratic convention.

Disney the Latest Looking to Score with Social Media
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Disney launched a new social network today as an extension of its site Family.com. The social part encourages moms and dads to "share the pride of being a parent".

Focusing on Parents

Will Hulu Dethrone YouTube as Top Online Video Dog?
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Hulu, the online video site that came out of nowhere no more than 5 months ago, may be poised to dominate the online video sector altogether. YouTube has been the reigning king of this area of the web for years, but it may be getting ready to see the first legitimate threat to that reign.

Couric Pings Digg Crowd For Questions
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Sporting a Digg t-shirt from her CBS News office chair, anchor Katie Couric addressed Digg.com from YouTube. She prodded the geek-chic crowd there for questions to ask at the Democratic National Convention.

Google’s Website Optimizer Gets Some Upgrades
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You asked, they listened.  Google’s Website Optimizer team has unveiled a handful of "highly requested" things that should make the tool better in just about every way.

New Web Site Lets Voters Rate Presidential Candidates
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Personnel Decisions International (PDI), a leadership consulting firm that works with CEOs has launched a Web site that allows users to rate the presidential candidates.

The site, NextNationalCEO.com allows users to rate the presidential candidates on ten characteristics that the firm uses to evaluate CEOs. The ten traits are vision, insightful judgment, trustworthiness, gets things done, inspires others, good judge of people, influence others, courage, confidence and energy.

Report: Bill Gates Remains Tied To Search
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The latest Nielsen stats put Microsoft’s share of the search market at an unimpressive 11.9 percent.  What’s more (or to be accurate, less), its year-over-year growth is negative.  But Microsoft’s search team has an interesting ally in its corner, as it turns out Bill Gates may still be lending some sort of hand.

Firefox Tougher On Expired SSL Certificates
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Firefox 3, which set a one-day record for downloads recently, has been reconfigured in a way that’s setting off alarms for webmasters who haven’t renewed their SSL certificates. As the US Army just learned, Firefox won’t bring up sites with self-assigned and/or expired certificates.

At least, not without some extensive hoop-jumping.

If you’re a merchant you should know that an SSL certificate encrypts data transmissions between two computers. Credit card information, for example, is protected during transmission between those two computers.

Yahoo Partners With Intel On TV Widgets

Intel and Yahoo have announced plans to introduce widgets to television via set-top boxes.

The application is called the Widget Channel and will allow viewers to use rich Internet applications designed for TV while watching programs. The channel will be powered by the Yahoo Widget Engine.

Hospitals Should Consider Online Reputation Management

You’ve no doubt heard stories before about people getting fired from their jobs for their online behavior.

SES San Jose – Getting Started With SEO

Shawn MooreThis sponsored session was an entry level overview of what websites should be doing on their website to get visibility and rankings in search engines.

SES San Jose – Understanding Web Analytics

What is it about web analytics that that intrigues and yet scares companies at the same time? Everyone want to understand analytics, yet once one starts digging in, it can get complicated. In Identify, Analyze, Act: SEM by the Numbers, they gave tips on what you should be looking at and what you should be paying attention to.