Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Skype landline calls: €2 p.m.

Skype has lauched a premium service across Europe that combines the Internet telephony firm’s most popular features with calls to domestic landlines and Skype Certified hardware, for a flat fee of €2 a month.

The Skype Pro’s subscription package includes zero cents per minute calling to domestic landlines in UK previously €0.017 per minute.

Users also get: free Skype Voicemail (normally €15 per year) and a €30 discount on SkypeIn numbers, and various discounted offers on hardware.

The service is available in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Portugal, Spain or the UK, with Skype promising to release it to other countries worldwide later in 2007.

The standard Skype services, video calls, instant messages, transferring files, conference calls for up to 10 participants or joining in Skypecasts (live moderated conversations with up to 100 people) remain free to all Skype users across the world.

Skype users can also make free calls from one Skype account to another.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Blog Marketing Tips

Here is a “short” list of tips for marketing and optimizing a blog:

Decide on a stand alone domain name or directory of existing site Sub domain is also an option Avoid hosted services that do not allow you to use your own domain name!

Obtain and install customizable blog software - WordPress and Moveable Type are my favorites.

Customize blog look and feel templates - aka design.

Research keywords and develop a glossary - Keyword Discovery, WordTracker, SitePoint, SEOBook Keyword Research.

Optimize the blog:
- Template optimization - RSS subscription options, social bookmark links, HTML code, Unique title tags, URLs, Sitemap
- Add helper plugins specific to WordPress or MT
- Create keyword rich categories (reference your keyword glossary)

Enable automatic trackback and ping functionality.

Create Feedburner Pro account and enable feed tracking.

Setup Google acount for Sitemap, validate and prep for future submission.

Identify authoritative blogs, web sites and hubs for outbound resource links and blogroll.

Format archived posts, related posts.

Enable statistics for tracking - Performancing, Google Analytics, ClickTracks.

Submit RSS feed and Blog URL to prominent RSS and Blog directories / search engines.

Engage in an ongoing link building campaign.

If podcast or video content are available, submit to Podcast and Vlog directories.

Submit blog url to paid directories with categories for blogs - Yahoo, BOTW, bCentral, WOW, JoeAnt.

Optimize and distribute a press release announcing blog.

Request feedback or reviews of your blog in relevant forums, discussion threads. If you have a resourceful post that will help others, point to it.

Research and comment on relevant industry related blogs and blogs with significant centers of influence.

Post regularly. If it’s a news oriented blog, 3-5 times per day. If it’s an authoritative blog, 3-5 times per week, but each post must be unique and high value.

Monitor inbound links, traffic, comments and mentions of your blog - Google Alerts, Technorati, Blogpulse, Yahoo News, Ask Blogs and Feeds.

Always respond to comments on your blog and when you detect a mention of your blog on another blog, thank that blogger in the comments of the post.

Make contact with related bloggers on AND offline if possible.

When making blog posts always cite the source with a link and don’t be afraid to mention popular bloggers by name. Use keywords in the blog post title, in the body of the post and use anchor text when you link to previous posts you’ve made.

Use social networking services, forums and discussion threads to connect with other bloggers. If they like your stuff, they will link to you.

Remember when web sites were a new concept and the sage advice to print your web address everywhere you print your phone number? The same advice applies for your blog.

by Lee Odden

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Yahoo rolls out mobile ads

Yahoo! has launched a mobile display advertising platform in 19 countries across Europe, Asia andthe Americas.

The ads will run near the top of the Yahoo! Mobile Web home page, letting consumers clickthrough to directly call the advertiser or to learn more information about the advertiser's offer.

The service has already attracted a number of global advertisers including Hilton's Embassy Suites, Infiniti, Intel, Nissan, Pepsi, Procter & Gamble Asia Pacific and Singapore Airlines.

Yahoo!'s Mobile Web service ( is available on most mobile phones across a number of major mobile operators around the world.

Microsoft &Vodafone in IM pact

Vodafone and Microsoft are working together to deliver an enhanced co-branded Instant Messaging (IM) service that can be accessed from both the PC and mobile phone.

The new IM service will be launched in select European markets later this year, available on a range of Vodafone handsets, including those on the Windows Mobile platform.

Mobile Comparison Site

"PriceRunner launches comparison site on mobile."

PriceRunner has struck an exclusive partnership with mobile software provider Picsel to launch a mobile version of the price comparison website.

The company, owned by ValueClick Europe will launch the new service in the early second quarter of 2007.

Consumers will be able to download the free application from or by sending a text to a shortcode, where the application will be sent back to the user; only standard data roaming charges.

Users will see a full colour mini-version of with full functionality to compare prices.

Brits lack Interest

"Brits lack interest in mobile search- survey."

Just one in five (20%) UK subscribers actually search for content on the mobile internet, despite an industry perception that 89% do, according to new research.

The survey, from Mobile Entertainment Forum and Ovum, questioned MEF members including operators, content providers and technology enablers to gauge industry views, as well as 1,000 UK consumers.

Despite subscribers not searching on the mobile internet as often as the industry expects (only 2% searching on a daily basis), those that do are downloading premium material, rather than just surfing.

Amongst consumers using mobile search once a month or more, the most commonly searched for content is ringtones (54%), closely followed by full track music downloads (47%). Of the top four types of content looked for ringtones, full track downloads, sports results and games all featured.

Ringtones, music tracks and games all command a premium and subscribers appear willing to pay for it - only 17% of respondents were put off searching by cost.

This is particularly important with industry respondents citing 'increased downloads' (50%) as the most important quantifier of successful search mechanisms followed by return visits (31%).

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Rich Schefren on: Time

These are distinctions from Rich Schefren's brilliant seminar. I hope you can use them too:

1. If you want to build your online business, concentrate on the 'What' not on the 'How'!

2. If your business depends on you and you have no plans on cahnging that ... You don't own a business (you own a job).

3. Why you need to build an Internet business: The Interrnet is still in the wild west days --- but just like every other industry and media channel sooner or later businesses will smother the self-employed.

4. All time has value - there is no such thing as 'free' time, there is only leisure time. They way you think about time and think about yourself will affect everything that happens to you the rest of your life. Do you know the value of your time and how to increase it?

5. Calculating your magic number:
- What is your goal? e.g. $ 1,000,000
- How much did you make in the last 3 months? e.g. $ 40,000
- Current Reality = $ 40,000 * 4 = $ 160,000 for this year

- Your Goal $ 1,000,000 - $ 160,000 = $ 840,000 (your magic number)
- How do you get from where you are today to your Goal?
10% of $ 840,000 = $ 84,000
- Your next step gets calculatd this way: Current income $ 160,000 + $ 84,000 = $ 244,000
That is what you should be thinking about achieving.

- Designing the steps to get there:
How much do you want to earn in the next 12 months? e.g. $ 244,000
How many days/week do you work? e.g. 6 !
How many hours a day do you work? e.g. 10 !
How many productive hrs per day to you work? (productive time is time directly related to making an income, not for example reading an e-book) e.g. 4 (to be optimistic)

Calculate 4 hrs * 6 days = 24 hrs / week; 24 * 50 weeks = 1,200 hrs p.a.
$ 244,000 / 1,200 = $ 203 / hrs
-> That's what you need to make per hour to get to your next step towards your goal.
(Your minute rate: $ 203 / 60 = ca. $ 3.40)

Ask yourself:
- "Is what I am doing worth my hourly rate?"
- "Can I pay s.o. significantly less than my hourly rate to do this for me?
-> If you think of your time as actually being worth what you just calculated, don't be too surprised if before long you are making this kind of money.

What happened to Bob (Proctor)?

Recently I attended a talk by famous Bob Proctor at the YES! Group in London. Bob gave a great talk and here are a few tidbits:

Bob Proctor made it from cleaning floors into a multi-millionaire.

How did Bob develop into such a successful human being?

Basically because he made a lot of money from one day to the other and he tried to find out what had happened to him. How he had changed, why he suddenly became so successful.

That question kept him busy over 20 - 30 years and enabled him to show others what he found out.

His most successful formula to earn real money is: To have multiple sources of income.

The most important question for anyone to answer he said is:

“What do you REALLY WANT?”

(Not what you are prepared to settle for.)

If you find that out, then make a DECISION (not a wish) to get it!

When you settle for less, than you can get, you will get less than you will settle for.

There is a difference in wishing for a thing and another being ready to receive it.

Most people are extras in their own movie. They should be the Star!

There are 3 Income Strategies:

M3. Turn your Annual income into your monthly income.
M2. Invest money to earn money.
M1. Trade your time for money (ignore this one as you can run out of time).

The Mind is the Greatest Power in all Creation.

Because we treat the symptom and not the problem, the problem reoccurs.

His most important tools (?):

-> Reading ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill every day …
-> And ‘As A Man Thinketh’ by James Allen

The Yes Group’s MC Martin Boothe asked Bob these questions:

Q: What is THE most important ‘thing’ to take away tonight?
A: Writing down on a card what you really want in life (even if you don’t believe in it today) and reading it loud every day, at least before bedtime for the rest of your life. The more you repeat it the more your mind will believe it.

Q: What kept Bob going for the last 40 years?
A: His love to share what he learned from life.

Three questions to ask yourself:
What am I doing?
What works?
What doesn’t?
Then stop doing No. 3!

Great lines from his talk:

- You are a spiritual being and any (self help) program without a spiritual foundation is incomplete.
- Your thoughts are your most potent weapon. All the thought and the energy is in the present.
- Think in pictures.
- When you understand you can Change. When you can change you have Hope. When you have hope you have Options.
- You are attracting what is in harmony with you. If you don’t like what you are attracting – see what you really have been asking for.
- Your results are an expression of your level of awareness. Effective education and professional coaching over a reasonable time will expand your level of awareness.

- Calm down and speed up.

- The main thing is to keep the Main Thing the main thing …

- If you can’t believe in yourself, find s.o. else who believes in you!

- Money can't talk but it can hear. Call it and it will come.

- Believe and your Belief will create the fact. William James

He ended his fabulous talk with the Poem

“ One And Only You.”
Every single blade of grass
and every flake of snow-
is just a wee bit different...
There's no two alike, you know.
From something small
like grains of sand.
To each gigantic star
all were made with THIS is mind:
To be just what they are!
How foolish then, to imitate-
How useless to pretend!
Since each of us comes from a MIND
Whose ideas never end.
There'll only be just ONE of ME
To show what I can do -
And you should likewise feel very proud
There's only ONE of YOU.
That is where it all starts
With you, a wonderful, unlimited human being

James T. Moore

------------ --------- --------- --------
Many thanks to the YES! Group London for organizing such a great evening and providing fantastic speakers on an ongoing basis.

Property search engine

"Property search engine gets funding boost."

Investment vehicle Howzat media has completed its investment in Zoomf, an early stage Web 2.0 residential property sales and letting search engine.

Still in its beta test stage of development, Zoomf plans initially to cover agents offering property in the Greater London Area before rolling out nationally with more product enhancements.

Consumers can drill down to desired property specifications, for location and price range, along with 'deeper' specifications, such as 'with garage/ off-street parking' or 'river view'.

Zoomf also offers consumers local market intelligence and information on local amenities in their area of choice, via map and listings.

These provide users with useful additional information about local schools, transport, shopping and recreational facilities, assisting them in their property search.

Source: Netimperative

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Google opens email service

"Google opens email service to all"

Google has ended the invite-only policy for Google Mail, allowing anyone in the UK to use the Web-based email service.

The service, known as Gmail outside the UK, offers nearly 3GB of online storage space and an anti-spam filter. GoogleMail also groups email exchanges together to help users keep track of ongoing conversations in one folder."

E-mail marketers tracking ROI

Email marketers still struggle to track ROI- survey

Almost half (47%) of marketers are not tracking how much revenue their email campaigns are making, according to a new survey.

The research, from email services provider Adestra and E-consultancy surveyed over 500 in-house and agency respondents across different industry sectors

The findings suggest that many companies do not know which campaigns are generating sales and which are not, or which ones have increased awareness, for non-transactional campaigns. The email marketing sector is growing fast, with 78% of companies are set to increase their email marketing spend according to DMA, November 2006.

Meanwhile, the email services market is growing at 20% per annum, according to E-consultancy’s Email marketing Platforms Buyer’s Guide. However the growth cannot continue in the longer term without the systems in place for tracking the results back to spend.

Around £178m was spent in the UK on email marketing platforms and services in 2006,according to E-consultancy, therefore a significant £84m is untracked marketing budget which may or may not be working. Which other channel would be able to get away with spending this much without knowing the impact?

Paul Crabtree, marketing director at Adestra, says: “It is critical for future growth, and makes basic business sense, to be able to measure ROI. In fact, it can severely stunt growth if you can’t measure ROI as it will make proving the business case for extra investment almost impossible.

The point is that email marketing is probably the most direct channel to be able to measure ROI – and it is a relatively simple process to enable it.”

In the survey over 80% of respondents say their email marketing could be more effective.

Crabtree explains: “Despite most marketers wanting their email campaigns to be more effective – and who doesn’t - as half can’t measure their ROI they have no basis for improving in future. The first thing they need to do is have a system for accurately tracking deliverability to the inbox, through to actual sales and therefore ROI.”

More than half of company email marketers (55%) say that their ROI from email is three times or more. Almost a third of company respondents (32%) say that their ROI is five times or more.

By way of comparison, 64% of Agency / ESP respondents say that their clients’ ROI is typically 3 times or more, and 28% say the ROI is five times or more.

Adestra has offered a top 5 tips on how to measure ROI, reproduced below:

When sending targeted, personalised campaigns to the designated database, ensure the following steps are taken to help measure ROI:

1. Ask each customer how they found out about you
2. Invest in web analytics to track all orders back to where they began their web session from
3. Use an email marketing provider that can integrate with your web site to track orders
4. Monitor other inbound channels (telephone lines) and use discount codes/ special offers/ unique phone numbers to label enquiries and orders. Database systems like Wyvern Magic make this possible without massive investment
5. Allocate and spend unrushed time analysing the performance of each campaign

Source: Netimperative

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Emap snaps up mobile social network for £8.7m

Emap snaps up mobile social network for £8.7m

Emap snaps up mobile social network for £8.7m

Emap has bought YoSpace, a UK mobile user-generated content business, as the publisher looks to expand it digital presence.

Yospace provides a mobile community based around user-generated videos. Its products include “See me TV” and “Look at me TV” services.Its customers include a number of major mobile networks in the UK. "

Google Earth for local advertisers

Google Earth offers sponsored links for local advertisers:

Google has incorporated adverts into its world imaging system Google Earth.

The search giant has deployed it Adsense contextual advertising system into Google Earth, which will let advertisers place sponsored local ads in map markers on the site.

The ads can include clickable links, contact details and logos that give the precise location of a certain business.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Top online categories

The top gaining worldwide online categories in 2006, in terms of unique visitors, according to research firm comScore:

Growth in Selected Online Categories by Unique Visitors (UVs) Dec. ’05 vs. Dec. ‘06

Total Worldwide - Home and Work Locations Overall, the top-gaining categories worldwide in 2006 included:

- Multimedia (up 37 percent),
- Community (up 33 percent),
- E-mail (up 16 percent),
- News/Information (up 15 percent) and
- Games (up 14 percent).

A major driver of growth in the multimedia category was, which grew 1,972 percent versus year ago to reach 120 million worldwide visitors in December.

In the Community category, which includes social networking sites, MySpace and Blogger were both significant growth drivers, growing 159 percent to 90 million worldwide visitors and 90 percent to 93 million worldwide visitors, respectively.

Growth in the e-mail category was driven largely by the rapid adoption of Google Gmail, which was up 71 percent to 60 million visitors year-over-year.

Growth in the News/Information category was driven largely by MSN News & Weather (up 131 percent to 25 million worldwide visitors), Yahoo! News (up 44 percent year-over-year to 104 million worldwide visitors), and New York Times Digital (up 20 percent to 68 million worldwide visitors).

Source: Netimperative

WPP invests in mobile search ads

Netimperative - WPP invests in mobile search ads

WPP has invested in mobile search and advertising firm JumpTap as the advertising giant looks to expand in the mobile arena.

JumpTap's suite of products and services, which includes its recently announced Advertising Suite and Mobile Search Index, offers advertisers multiple ways to reach their customers.

The firm currently works with eight mobile operators in the US and Europe, as well as advertising networks and vertical content providers, to roll-out these services to mobile subscribers.

News Corp invests in online video

Netimperative - News Corp invests in online video firm:

Media giant News Corp. has agreed to purchase as much as a 10% stake in an online video technology provider ROO Group.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Overture keyword tool deactivated

The day that many of us were expecting has finally come. The Overture keyword research tool has been deactivated.

So where does that leave the folks who relied on this keyword research data?

Well there are still a few free tools around you can access if you are on a very tight budget.

They are pretty limited in scope, but still of some use. For example:

Google's Keyword Tool

Trellian's Keyword Discovery Tool

Miva's Keyword Generator

7Search's Advertiser Tools


Wordtracker's Keywords Tool

Unfortunately, if you are already making a few dollars online (or plan to), I wouldn't recommend these. The data they provide is simply not good enough to base a professional online business upon.

If you haven't already, you should seriously be looking at using a more robust and accurate keyword research tool now.