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Obama signs Safe Web Act into law, extends FTC power to combat online scam artists

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/04/obama-signs-safe-web-act-online-scammer/

Obama signs Safe Web Act into law, extends FTC power to combat online scam artists

See that guy? The one in the bubble? He’s probably up to no good. Thanks to President Obama, however, he’s going to have a much harder time duping innocent young ladies like the one also shown here. Per The Hill, the POTUS has just signed into law the Safe Web Act, which extends the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to “clamp down on Internet fraud and online scammers based abroad.” In simpler terms, it enables the entity to share data about “cross-border online fraud with foreign law enforcement authorities” through September of 2020. According to an unnamed official within the FTC, the existing edition of this act has allowed it to conduct over 100 investigations into cross-border fraud and scam, but it’s unclear how much crime was stopped and how many people were needlessly annoyed. We kid, we kid.

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Via: The Next Web

Source: The Hill

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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 news No Comments

We’re Checking Our Phones All The Time

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-were-checking-our-phones-all-the-time-2012-7

This chart comes from Business Insider Intelligence, a new research and and analysis service focused on the mobile and Internet industries. Sign up for a free trial here.

Are you constantly checking your phone for new emails, even before and after work? Even from bed?

You’re not alone. According to a survey of 1,000 working Americans by Good Technology, a firm which helps companies manage mobile devices, more than 6% of people check their phones for email for the first time before 5:00 a.m. (orange chart), and nearly 19% check them for the last time after 11:00 p.m. (blue chart.)

Looks like we’re all a little bit like Business Insider editor Joe Weisenthal, who’s always trying to stay ahead of the 24-hour news cycle.

chart of the day phone use

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Friday, July 6th, 2012 news No Comments

Why $1 Billion Is A Good Price For Instagram

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-why-1-billion-is-a-good-price-for-instagram-2012-4

If you look at how much Facebook paid for Instagram on a per user basis, you can see that it got a very good deal, says Andy Baio at Wired.

Baio, who has built a few startups in his day, compiled data on big acquisitions over the last ten years to argue that Instagram is not a sign that we’re in another tech bubble. As you can see, the per user price Facebook paid is cheap compared to other big acquisitions.

chart of the day, startups cost per user, april 2012

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Thursday, April 12th, 2012 news No Comments

Here’s Facebook’s Next Big Business

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-heres-facebooks-next-big-business-2012-2


Facebook’s ad revenue may not be growing fast enough to justify a $100 billion valuation. But ads are not the company’s only source of revenue.

Payments are becoming a big deal as well.

Last summer, Facebook started charging companies like Zynga 30 percent of each transaction — like purchasing a virtual good like a cow. (That’s a big reason why Zynga accounts for 12 percent of Facebook’s revenue, alhough that figure includes advertising as well.)

So although payments started as a tiny sliver of Facebook’s overall revenue, now it’s up to about 17 percent of the total.

As companies start to sell other kinds of goods through Facebook, like concert tickets, this percentage could grow.

facebook ad revenue split 

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Friday, February 3rd, 2012 news No Comments

Here’s Facebook’s Next Big Business

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-heres-facebooks-next-big-business-2012-2


Facebook’s ad revenue may not be growing fast enough to justify a $100 billion valuation. But ads are not the company’s only source of revenue.

Payments are becoming a big deal as well.

Last summer, Facebook started charging companies like Zynga 30 percent of each transaction — like purchasing a virtual good like a cow. (That’s a big reason why Zynga accounts for 12 percent of Facebook’s revenue, alhough that figure includes advertising as well.)

So although payments started as a tiny sliver of Facebook’s overall revenue, now it’s up to about 17 percent of the total.

As companies start to sell other kinds of goods through Facebook, like concert tickets, this percentage could grow.

facebook ad revenue split 

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Friday, February 3rd, 2012 news No Comments

Um, Google’s “Search, Plus Your World” Sucks So Far

Google’s “Search, Plus Your World” launched with some fanfare and with jilted partner, Twitter, crying foul.  But the real proof is in the “pudding” and so far, from my own taste testing, the “puddin’s not all that good.” In fact, it’s downright spoiled.

In theory, returning results based on my own activities, photos, shares, etc. plus the social sharing activities of my circles of friends seems to make sense. After all, my friends should share similar interests, etc. However, in reality, this appears to be far from the truth.

Either my friends all suck at what they are sharing OR what I search for has very little to do with (or very little overlap with) what I and my friends are sharing. And I think the latter is more likely the case, because my friends are all awesome and I usually find what they share to be super informative and I always learn something new from them and the insightful curation they do.

So what is wrong with Google’s new personalized search, flavored with +1? And will it ever get better with time and more usage?

My current hypothesis is NO .. it won’t get better with time.  Here are a few reasons why I think so:

– what I search for (what I need at this moment) is not necessarily what I share (what I think my followers would be interested in)

– news items and other cool information that is shared are things I “discover” through the curation of my circles of friends and I like to browse these things to learn; this contrasts with things that I search for at any moment in time, which could include things that I need now, gifts for other people, research for clients in other industries that I am not in. What this means is that those search terms and the sites that I visit don’t necessarily have any bearing on any future searches and what I am interested in.

– finally, among all my friends, I would probably only ask 1 or 2 of them for restaurant recommendations (in New York) because they live here and are known for their expertise in food; I would ask different friends for advice on digital cameras (@designerguy), keyword research platforms (@glenngabe), ad networks (@jonathanmendez), etc. you get the idea. So canvassing my entire social graph for keyword based ways to personalize search results is actually making the results worse (see examples below).

Search ( photos )

[Redacted] – I don’t need to see my own photos from my own Picasa, which I already know is there.

Search  ( italian restaurants in New York  – no quotes )

 

 

Search ( spend polarization – no quotes )

spend polarization search results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 SEM, SEO, social networks No Comments

Mobile Advertising Comes Of Age

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/millennial-media-ipo-2012-1

 

millennial media ad impressionsMillennial Media, a mobile advertising network, filed for an IPO last week. We were waiting for this, as we’d predicted this would happen this year (though we didn’t think it would happen so soon).

How is Millennial Media’s business?

Pretty good, actually.

Here are the highlights:

  • The company generated $70 million in revenue in the first nine months of 2011, from just $6.2 million in 2008;
  • The company has never had a profitable quarter and is still losing money, $4 million for the first nine months of 2011.
  • It’s pretty big and growing pretty fast: it processed 40 billion ad impressions in December 2011, and impressions are growing fast (see chart); Millennial Media has 16.7% marketshare according to IDC.

The Business

millennial media revenues and lossesYou’ll almost certainly see plenty of headlines about Millennial “never turning in a profit” throughout its road show. That’s correct. It’s also irrelevant.

Millennial is growing fast and into an enormous market opportunity–mobile advertising. It should not be profitable. Gartner thinks mobile advertising will be a $20.6 billion market by 2015, which may be conservative. That’s the opportunity Millennial is going after.

What’s more, Millennial Media seems to be gaining both market and operating leverage.

millennial media advertisersMillennial Media’s gross margin, which is roughly the amount it keeps after payments to publishers, improved from 34% to 39% in the first nine months of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010. This is happening as Millennial is growing both advertisers and spending per advertisers, as you can see in the chart at right.

What’s more, Millennial’s losses are narrowing, as you can see in the chart above.

All of this suggests that Millennial is gaining both market leverage–as it gets more established it can keep more of the revenue it generates for publishers–and operating leverage–gaining operational efficiencies as it scales up.

The Market

Mobile Advertising RevenueOne thing people might be worried about is competition from Apple and Google. We’re not. Here’s why:

  • Even though Google is much bigger than Millennial (see chart at right, using data aggregated and estimated by Business Insider Intelligence), most of that is on owned-and-operated properties. Google’s AdMob network is bigger than Millennial’s but it is not dominant.
  • Apple’s online advertising format/network, iAds, has struggled in the marketplace.
  • Ad networks are not a winner take all market. On the web, there are a few giants, and many profitable smaller players. There’s no reason why it couldn’t be the same on mobile, and Millennial, as the biggest independent player, is well positioned.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Millennial Media looks like a strong business scaling up nicely in an exciting, fast-growing market. It’s kind of a boring business–an ad network, but it seems to be executing well. More importantly, don’t trust the media reports that will inevitably bang on about how Millennial has never been profitable. Yes, that’s true, but it doesn’t matter.

 

 

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Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 news No Comments

Google+ Grows Worldwide Users From 65 Million In October To 67 Million In November

Source: http://techcrunch.com/2011/12/22/googlesplus/

oasis.12.21.11

There are lots of third-party guesstimates floating around about Google+ traffic. Are users losing interest like search trends seem to show? Has the service grown to 150 million active users like this research firm thinks? I’ve gotten new numbers from comScore, which is arguably the best third-party measurement firm for web traffic in the world.

It shows that Google+ grew from 65 million unique visitors in October to nearly 67 million in November. This is purely based on traffic to the plus.google.com subdomain, comScore’s Andrew Lipsman tells me today. So it doesn’t include the many Google+ feature injections that the search company has administered to its other properties over the last months. Some people have suggested that Google+ is as barren as a desert — this is at least an oasis.

Here’s how the service stacked up against competitors last month.

The depressing significance for those people out there wishing for Google+ to either die off or kill their rivals is that neither appears to be happening. Just some slow and steady growth, which is overall good for Google considering the vast resources and focus that it’s bringing to bear on the effort. Ultimately, Google+ doesn’t have to dominate now, it just needs to keep growing and getting better over the coming years in order to be a real alternative to Facebook and everyone else.

And now, the usual data caveat: Obviously comScore, like any other third-party, doesn’t have the same access to data as Google itself, so don’t assume these numbers are 100% right. But still they’re worth paying attention to, since Google doesn’t share much about how it’s doing. The last time the company released anything, it said it had 40 million registered users during its earnings call in October. That’s not directly comparable to this, but could indicate that there’s been more significant growth over the fall. Also, for more on worldwide social networking trends, check out our coverage of comScore’s 2011 social report from yesterday.

[Oasis image via Freshpics]



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Friday, December 23rd, 2011 news No Comments

How Sony Actually Makes Money Is Very Surprising (SNE)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-sony-operating-income-september-2011-2011-11


Sony is a company famous for its consumer electronics like flat screen tvs, computers, and the PlayStation. But, incredibly, that’s not how it makes money. 

Dan Frommer of SplatF points out the company loses hundreds of millions from consumer electronics. It actually makes money from its “financial services” division, which is made up of insurance and banking services.

Below is a breakdown of the operating income for each of its divisions in the most recent quarter.

chart of the day, sai, sony earned income, november 11, 2011

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 news No Comments

The US Consumer Has Saved The Day

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-construction-of-gdp-over-time-2011-10

This is a big, beautiful chart of GDP since 2007 put together by Doug Short.

In addition to showing GDP, it also makes it very easy to see the components, and how they have broken down each quarter.

Two things stand out in the current quarter.

First is that the consumer — the blue bar — really stepped it up in a big way, fueling the lift.

The other thing that stands out is that government consumption, purple, stopped being a drag on things.

chart of the day, gdp compotents since 2007

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Friday, October 28th, 2011 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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