eMarketer Predicts Big Growth In Online Ad Spending
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The Dow didn’t get off to a great start this week; it’s been in the red for most of the day so far.  A new report predicts that the lingering effects of the recession will benefit the online advertising community, though, with U.S. marketers eventually spending $40.5 billion in 2014.

The years leading up to 2014 should be profitable ones, too.  As the graph below shows, eMarketer is of the belief that spending will be up 13.9 percent this year, and a 10.5 percent increase is supposed to occur next year.

Amazon Launches DNS Cloud Service

 Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched Amazon Route 53, a Domain Name System (DNS) in the cloud that allows businesses to direct Internet traffic to web applications.

Amazon Route 53 can be used to route end users to multiple AWS services including Amazon EC2, an Amazon Elastic Load Balancer or an Amazon S3 bucket, and to infrastructure outside of AWS.

Route 53 features a self-service design with a pay-as-you-go model where users pay only for managing domains through the service and the number of queries that the service answers.

Are You Treating Your Followers Like Human Beings?

WebProNews recently spoke with Patrick O’Keefe, the owner of the iFroggy Network, who had some interesting things to say about how fans can tarnish your brand when responding to your critics. He also shared some more general thoughts about how to treat your fans/customers in general. 

Top Branded Facebook Fan Pages

November was a turbulent month for the Top 50 branded Facebook fan pages, with lots of growth among the giants and an unusual level of movement in the bottom half of the chart.

Using their home field advantage, Facebook increased their grip on the number one spot, adding 5 million fans since October, which is more than many of these top pages have cumulatively.

Biggest Movers

November’s biggest movers were:

The Many Looks Of the MySpace Logo
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As if to offer visual proof that it’s trying hard to find it’s place in the social media universe, MySpace is using several different new logos simultaneously. Just weeks ago the "space" was deleted (see left), but yesterday at the top of an official press release, it was reinserted. And if that’s not confusing enough, MySpace created a new site to encourage user generated variations of the MySpace logos much like Google modifies its logo to celebrate special events. Here’s a visual history of MySpace logos past and present:

Android Gingerbread Makes Official Debut
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Soon enough, lots of children will set out plates of cookies for Santa, and just in time, the mobile operating system named after a cookie associated with Christmas is going to arrive.  Google introduced Android 2.3 (AKA "Gingerbread") this morning, along with the Gingerbread SDK/NDK and the new Nexus S phone.

Salvation Army Launches iPhone App

The Salvation Army has launched a new free iPhone application in an effort to improve its fundraising for its Red Kettle Campaign.

Developed by Charity Dynamics, the Online Red Kettle iPhone app allows people to do their own fundraising campaigns on behalf of the Salvation Army.


Sometimes Your Biggest Fans Can Be Damaging to Your Brand
Google eBookstore Launches

Google’s ebookstore – named Google eBookstore, as it turns out – has gone live.  Google launched the site with a certain amount of fanfare this morning, discussing the numerous ways in which it offers advantages over existing ebook-buying options.

Yahoo Launches Random Acts Of Kindness Campaign For The Holidays

Yahoo is asking its users to come together this holiday season and make a difference through simple acts of kindness.

The campaign, called “How Good Grows,” encourages people to do random acts of kindness and update their online status to get others to join in.

Google Turns Your Friends Into Sitelinks for Some Queries
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Google has added social sitelinks to some search results. This means that for some social-related queries, you may see results for your own personal social connections as sitelinks underneath the main result. 

Google Acquires DRM Expert

A company that specializes in "DRM, video optimization, digital copy protection, and conditional access" will now be the property of Google.  Late last week, Google agreed to acquire Widevine Technologies for an undisclosed amount.

Widevine is no inconsequential startup.  The organization’s been around since 1999, and as of today, its customers include AT&T, Best Buy, Blockbuster, Dish Network, LG, Motorola, NBC.com, Netflix, and Samsung (among other important corporations).

Online Holiday Spending Reaches $16 Billion
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 Online spending for the first 33 days of the November-December 2010 holiday season has reached $16.8 billion, representing a 12 percent increase over the same time period last year, according to the latest report from comScore.

AOL Reportedly Considering Break Up to Attract Yahoo Merger

AOL and Yahoo both have new focuses on churning out content. This is one reason why some industry analysts have suggested that the two companies would be a good fit for a merger. It’s made for interesting conversation, but there has never been any substantial evidence that the two companies would ever pursue such an endeavor. 

Facebook Redesigns the Profile Page
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Facebook announced a redesign of user profile pages. Some changes include a new introduction at the top of the page that tells viewers where you’re from, where you went to school, and where you work. 

Should Content Providers Stop Allowing Anonymous Comments?
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Facebook product design manager Julie Zhuo contributed an op-ed piece to the New York Times, which calls for content providers to stop allowing for anonymous comments on their content, in an effort to maintain accountability for what is said. 

This is not a new subject, nor an easy one, and despite Zhuo taking a clear stance on it, she does present both sides of the debate: accountability vs. privacy and freedom of expression.

What if Facebook Goes Search While Google Struggles to Go Social?
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Facebook and Google don’t much acknowledge that they’re direct competitors, though there’s no question that in many ways they are. Eric Schmidt recently said Bing was it’s main competitor, and Mark Zuckerberg said its new messaging system isn’t an email killer and that "Gmail is a really good product."

Mozilla Promotes Firefox 4 With Red Panda “Cub Cam”
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The Chrome and Internet Explorer teams can talk all they want about supposed advances in speed, compatibility, and/or advanced features.  Right now, Mozilla’s software has an edge, as the organization’s using two red panda cubs to promote Firefox 4.

Google Cloud Picker Feature Discovered Prematurely
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It has been revealed that Google is testing something called "Google Cloud Picker". It’s apparently not something we’re supposed to know about yet. 

According to those who spotted it, it appeared when they tried to insert files and images into Google Sites and Blogger. A screenshot is now making the rounds, showing that it is tied to Picasa, Maps, Google Docs, and YouTube. 

Facebook Said To Rent Space On Madison Avenue

Google and Facebook are often mentioned in the same breath these days, and now it seems that Facebook, like Google, may be interested in the New York real estate market.  Rumor has it Facebook’s leased some space at 335 Madison Avenue.

Google Talks Local Search Relevance Factors
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Google is placing a great deal of emphasis on local in its search results these days. In fact in many cases, it would appear to significantly reduce the importance of ranking in the regular organic results

Overstock.com Tops In Employee Satisfaction

Online retailer Overstock.com said today it has been ranked #1 for employee satisfaction in a Glassdoor.com survey commissioned by Forbes.

Jonathan-Johnson The company received high ratings for its fun, relaxed work culture. CEO and Chairman Patrick M. Byrne earned a 92% employee approval rating, the highest of any retailer on this list.

Android Comes Up On iOS In October
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A new comScore report concerning the state of the mobile market is out, and it should surprise exactly no one that Android’s market share continues to rise.  The rate of Android’s growth is sure to displease some Apple fans, however, as it looks like Android may have eclipsed iOS in terms of smartphone subscribers.

Google Looks Toward “Star Trek Future” With Phonetic Arts Acquisition
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Google has acquired Phonetic Arts, a speech synthesis company based in Cambridge, England. The company works on technology that generates natural computer speech from samples of recorded voice.