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Using Facebook To Reach Readers

(This is a story I wrote for the Globe that ran in the Review section of Tuesday’s newspaper. I’m posting it here for anyone who might be interested but doesn’t read the newspaper).

Necessity is the mother of invention, the old saying goes. But boredom and the desire to experiment are powerful forces too, says Canadian author Michael Winter. That’s how he came up with the idea to “serialize” his latest novel on Facebook, the hot social-networking site.

Search? Bah, We’re Ready For Some Football

There’s a dearth of interesting bits in the world of search this week, probably since it’s between SES San Jose and the last big holiday weekend of the summer.

SES – Lee’s Final Wrap Up
I would have to say SES San Jose 2007 turned out to be a pretty good conference. With a HUGE thanks to the TopRank Blogging Team (LtoR: Dana Larson, Melinda Cayetano, Thomas McMahon and Mike Yanke), we were able to cover 26 sessions, publish nearly 500 photos and 7 video interviews.

SES – Lee’s Day 3 Wrap Up
Another great day is how I’d characterize day three of the San Jose Search Engine Strategies conference.

SES – Yahoo Book Party – Mona Elesseily
After a long day of sessions on day three of Search Engine Strategies in San Jose, some attendees mosied on over to the Yahoo Panama Book party for Mona Elesseily of Page Zero.

Google Earth Gets Book Search Layer

To research a place’s past, you could drive around looking for historical markers.  Or you could call up Google Earth; a new default layer allows users to “explore locations through the lens of the world’s books.”

Interview with Global SEO Mike Grehan

One of the most popular categories of content we publish at Online Marketing Blog is the interviews. Recently, we ran a poll asking OMB readers for suggestions on people we should interview in anticipation of SES San Jose. There were some great suggestions and I’ve just started contacting a few folks as well as their mega company PR depts for pre-approval.

Google Book Search Says Goodbye To Harry

Google Book Search has dealt with Indian manuscripts, Japanese universities, and Belgian libraries – interesting stuff, but not exactly in line with mainstream America’s tastes.  Now Google Book Search is directing a nod – more of a bow, really – to Harry Potter.

Google Finance Wants Your Opinion
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The Google Finance group plans to take an active role in answering questions on its blog, but only for a couple of days.

Google Library Project Gets Japanese Partner

For a while there, Google was gaining partners for its Books Library Project on what seemed like a daily basis.  That rush (appears to have) stopped, but now one more school has signed up: Japan’s Keio University.

Google Book Search Gets Text Layer
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Google Book Search has, up until now, provided images of text; these were fine for reading, but not so great for anything else.  So the service is taking a step forward and offering true “text layers” of many of its out-of-copyright books.

Keeping Up With The Joneses Online

The competition would love nothing more than to shove your site so far down in search engine results that a -30 penalty would be an improvement.

Google Book Search Tool May Madden Microsoft

Everyone knows that Google and Microsoft are rivals, but the first area of competition that comes to mind does not involve books.  Nonetheless, the two appear to be at it again, and it seems as if Google is readying a new tool for attack.

Google Book Search Grows Some More

It once was the case that, if Google Book Search hadn’t yet made a book available in digital form, you were out of luck – that was the end of this particular resource’s line.  But Google is now helping its users find those books out in the real world, and it’s also supplying more reviews and references (and books in French and Swiss) than ever before.

Michigan Thrilled With Google Offices

All things AdWords will go through Ann Arbor, as Google opened the doors to its Michigan location yesterday.

Content, Marketing for the Upsell
In many formats price is just used to filter out some of the noise, and an item is priced so low remind people it has some value, but allow it to spread fast.

AOL Takes Page – Literally? – From Yahoo’s Book

Remember Sesame Street and “One of These Things Is Not Like the Other”?  If you were to play that game now with the Yahoo and AOL home pages, you might see that one of these things is a lot like the other.  In fact, the AOL page, which is only in beta testing, is alleged to be something of a rip-off.

Writing For Online Readers Goes Against The Book

It pains me to suggest this, but we must ignore (one of) the teachings of Strunk and White.  We must turn our backs on a number of other writing guides.  And we must break our own habit of writing out numbers as words.

Instead, we should represent numbers with numerals – a recent eye-tracking study suggests that they’re much more likely to capture online readers’ interest.

The Incredible Shrinking Book
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Have you ever read a long document on your computer screen?  I’m talking novel-length.  It’s not nearly as comfortable as paging through a book from your couch.  But if you’re brave enough to try something even more doubtful, stories are becoming available through cell phones.

Advanced PR Tech Chicago
After getting into the Chicago Hilton, a familar place from SES conferences, I walked the 3-4 blogs to the Columbia University campus where Bulldog Reporter was holding the Advanced PR Technology event. Greg Jarboe and I switched the time of our session with Katie Paine so she could make a plane to Dubai.

The Online Auto Industry

The automotive industry is the largest US advertising category and automakers and dealers have recently focused less on advertising in traditional media and have begun to put their ad dollars into digital media.

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