My Online Blast From The Past

I’ve always had a really difficult time throwing anything away. Even as a kid I’d hold on to useless scraps of paper assuming they might be important later, even as fire starter. You never know when that homework assignment from third grade or that birthday card your grandmother will come in handy. The same logic applies to my online world, as well. I was a “late-bloomer” in regards to computers and the internet – I didn’t have an internet connection until 1998 so all those early interent memes such as the ‘Dancing Baby‘ (sort of the Chuck Norris of its day) were still new and exciting to me in ’03.

I recently upgraded my computer and decided to archive a bunch of my old files, as well as clean up my hideously long list of bookmarks, and I was quite amused by what used to dominate my time. Here’s a few selections from that list:

Homestar Runner: Oh, Strong Bad…what wacky hijinks are you involved in this week? 2003 me loved this site, and happily showed it to all my mildly disinterested friends (please note that I was in my 20s at this point).

SparkNotes: I love to read, I really do; I was just going through a rebellious stage from 2001-2005 where I was too lazy or too preoccupied to crack open a book, and yet too frugal to purchase the Cliffs Notes for said books. (just a quick note to any students out there: if a teacher or professor tells you that you’re misinterpreting the meaning of a particular chapter, “that’s what SparkNotes said it meant” is not a valid argument. Live and learn.)

Excite: I can already hear the cries of “what about Lycos, you fool?!?”, but I preferred Excite’s customized homepage for my news and information, and nobody could convince me otherwise. But it was only for their homepage, for my email heart belonged to another…

Juno: That’s where I carefully stored my 1MB of email! Send me a CD in the mail promising me an email account and “exclusive free offers” and I’m yours forever. Or until 2004. College students will do strange things for food; that’s why every event on a college campus offers free food as a selling point (and why the “Freshman 15” is now more accurately the “Freshman 25”). I used to fix the computers around my dormitory in exchange for sandwiches from the campus deli, and this site was my oracle for any solution that eluded me.

So what was on your bookmarks list of yore?

Posted By: Daniel Dore, Publisher Support Manager

Ad budgets leave primetime to go online

The Hollywood writers’ strike is not only causing an increase in reality TV programming, the strike is also causing a once loyal primetime TV audience to go online. According to surveyed research from MindShare, the writers’ strike, which is believed to continue for another three weeks or a month, has significantly impacted and changed TV viewing habits. MindShare reports that going online topped the list as the respondents’ preferred alternative to watching their favorite TV shows. NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker warns, “a strike could be a ‘watershed event’ that drives more people away from primetime.”

Online media content bears no time restraint, with streamed TV episodes and video’s available on sites such as uTube. Read Write Web’s Josh Catone further explains how, “the strike could hasten a paradigm shift in the media landscape that sees content shift from television to web distribution,” adding that, “as the writer strike drags on, and original primetime TV content dries up, advertisers may begin to jump ship for other mediums.”

It’s true, more and more viewers are turning to the web for entertainment and information, and major brands are following closely. A shift in allocating advertising dollars from TV to the web could impact TV programming content and quality long after the writers’ strike is over. Catone offers the example of Chrysler, the third-largest automaker in the US, has pulled ad money from primetime television and redirected funds towards running ads on sports and internet platforms.

Could the Web become the cable of the future? What do you think? 

-By Tessa Rudd, Account Executive – Advertising Media Division

Cure for the common couch-potato?


By: Karla Escolas

“I’m not lazy; I’m just…meh.”

Are computers slowly replacing everyday tasks with easier (read: lazier) services? Instead of heading to the grocery store on the weekends, now you can enter your grocery list online and have it delivered right to your home. I guess you could say this saves time, but the big picture just tells me, “you’re lazy and we can help you.” Companies facing competition to offer services online can either start offering the online services themselves or come up with new marketing ideas to keep people coming into their store. Blockbuster actually did both while deciding to move with the trend and offer their own mail-in DVD service to compete with the popular Netflix service, while others like Hollywood Video did not.

So what is the latest trend people are enjoying via computer? Catching up on our favorite television shows. With the increased use of computers it only makes sense. Does this get people off their couch? Yes, but then probably just re-locates where they sit to a more uncomfortable computer chair. Upgrade? And, not to mention, a smaller screen. Yikes. The days of internet video are evolving from minutes of entertainment on YouTube to hours spent watching TV shows. This is now forcing popular cable channels like HBO to start making their way into online video to keep up with the demand. I am curious as to how many people enjoy watching TV shows online and what, if any, advantages there are to doing so?

Chitika Pulse: Pre-PMA Buzz Guides Market Trends


It has long been common practice among digital photography manufacturers to announce new products in the time leading up to the PMA International Convention, held this year in Las Vegas from January 31st to February 2nd. According to digital photography review site 1001 Noisy Cameras, “it’s never too early to speculate.” 

With PMA around the corner there is good news for bloggers; current market trends reflecting popular digital camera brands are consistent across the board. This data reports digital cameras marketed towards the prosumers; priced in the $100 to $1,000 range. Amongst the current pre-PMA speculation, Chitika’s network reports Canon to be the most popular digital camera brand. Canon’s EOS 400 D, PowerShot A720IS, PowerShot S3 IS, and EOS 400 D Rebel Xti, collectively represent 55.91% of the relative top ten ranked on Chitika’s network over the past week. 

-By Tessa Rudd, Account Executive – Advertising Media Division

Post-Holiday Shopping Survey- help us help you!

Now that the holidays are long gone, and you’ve had some time to reflect on what worked and didn’t work for you during the 2007 holiday shopping season, we would love to hear from you. Here are 5 short questions that should take less than a minute of your time & your feedback will help us make 2008’s holiday shopping season more successful for you. Thank you!

Post-Holiday Shopping Survey

1. Are you aware of the post-holiday rush for purchasing electronics?
2. Did you plan any entries around it?
3. Did you experience an increase or decrease in site traffic in the four days following Christmas?
  Saw no change
4. Did you experience an increase or decrease in advertising revenue in the four days following Christmas?
  Saw no change

5. Did you draw in a significant number of new readers?
  Not sure
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Wall Street Journal Reports Chitika Makes Bloggers Money

wsj Check out the latest Chitika coverage in the Wall Street Journal. Columnist Kelly Spors explains that she has, “talked with several publishers making so much money from their blogs that they left their day jobs.” In her article, “Bloggers Get Creative to Make Dough,” Spors credits this to new tools and services bloggers can utilize to earn money from online traffic to their blogs. Read more and respond to her post with your own blogging success story!

-By Tessa Rudd, Account Executive – Advertising Media Division

Chitika Pulse – Forget Smart, It’s All About the Music

Motorola took the lead as number one brand, winning in two categories at the annual CNET sponsored Best of CES Awards. Chitika’s network reflects the same trend, according to data queried over the past week, as Motorola was the most popular cellphone/smartphone brand among Chitika’s online consumers. The Motorola Rokr E8, premiering to the public for the first time at this year’s CES, won awards for both Best of CES’s “people’s voice”, and, “best new cellphone or smartphone,” categories. Evaluating data queried from January 7th to January 14th Chitika ranked the top five most popular cellphones and smartphones based on clicks generated through Chitika’s system and then analyzed each product ranked into relative percentages.  

Apple’s iPhone 8gb came in as number 1 on Chitika’s network, representing a total 28.47% of the relative top five. However, three of the five cellphones/smartphones ranked in this study were Motorola brand, representing a total 56.04% of the relative top five; Motorola therefore dominates Chitika’s most popular cellphone/smartphone brand. The RAZR V3 came in as number two, the Motorola ROKR E1 came in at number three, and the Motorola RAZR V3i ranked as number five.  

-By Tessa Rudd, Account Executive – Advertising Media Division

Tech-lebrity Death Match; Gates vs. Jobs

Zune isn’t the only Microsoft success rivaling the recently ubiquitous popularity of Apple. Forbes‘ most famous college drop out Bill Gates found himself in an importunate situation as he headed off this year’s CES International, held in Las Vegas, January 5th-10th.

As CES’s premier keynote speaker, Gates was not only the chosen celebrity face to head-off the year’s, and world’s, premier technology conference, but also the voice and authority of microsoft’s ‘apple resistance’: Those in the Vegas crowds to media desks afar, knew Gates faced the challenge of stealing the tech-world’s stoplight back from Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs, after Job’s ground-breaking iPhone announcement at last year’s Macworld Conference & Expo. With months still to go until Apple’s ’08 Q3 general release of a new, more affordable version of iPhone to US consumer markets, headline’s continue to hone-in on last year’s iPhone release and how it, “overshadowed everything at CES [last year] and has been as big a hit as everyone thought it would be.”

Directing attention away from consumer buzz and press coverage following a CES International show is a difficult feat at best. Macworld ’07’s success in overshadowing last year’s microsoft-centric CES releases not only meant good news for the Apple brand itself, but the brand’s momentum at the start of Q1 2007 also fueled predictions for a strong year of iPhone sales ahead. Will this be the case for Apple ’08?

Jobs not done… Adding to the Gate’s pressure is the fact that Steve Jobs lined up to speak again at this years Macworld, held January 14-18 in San Fransisco, and as IDG news reports, “rumors say Apple could reveal anything from its own ultramobile PC to an online movie rental service.” But let’s step back for a minute; as mentioned, the most pressing and obvious factor in the team “apple” vs. team “the rest of the consumer electronic industry”, (noting microsoft as the opposing industry ‘gorilla’) debate is that iPhone continues to be as big a hit as it was last year. Therefore, I argue that the tech-industry will remain at the current pro-Apple standstill: Any new, and perceivably groundbreaking announcements at next week’s Macworld will be like putting frosting on cheesecake.

How did Gates fair? Going back to my original point… Anticipation leading up to this year’s CES included ample speculation and rumors that Gates would announce various wish-list products, including a new Xbox 360 SKU that potentially contains HD-DVD playback and a 320GB hard drive. Addressing his audience at CES last Sunday, January 5th, Gates first and foremost chose to divert attention away from gaming hardware and software, an area where microsoft has been gaining increased consumer attention in the past months. He instead tried to be funny, and almost venerable to the masses, offering-up some economic rhetoric regarding a changing consumer electronics industry and the impact high definition has had on technology. He also formally announced his closing tenure as Microsoft boss, leaving more time to focus on his family, numerous charities, and clearly so he can finally beat Halo 3.

Finally, to directly address forbearing buzz that Apple out shined last year’s CES, for which Gate’s was also the top keynote speaker, Gates pulled out the big guns. He categorized Microsoft’s Zune as being, “the clear alternative to iPod”, and pointed out that Windows Mobile is outselling Blackberry and iPhone OS. Gates added more substance to his keynote by announcing a slew of new Microsoft products and partnerships. Apparently Windows Live now has 420 million users and Windows Mobile is currently the handheld platform of 20 million people. Gates described new social networking programs for Windows (that closely resembles MySpace), updates for both the Zune and Windows Mobile. Microsoft will be heading all internet video coverage for this year’s Beijing Olympics and has waged a strong partnership with Ford, launching the technology for products “Ford Sync” and “911 Assist”.

To address all the speculation surrounding famed Xbox, less than an hour into his speech Gate’s fetched Microsoft President of entertainment devices Robbie Bach. Bach laid all rumors that Xbox 360 will soon take over the world, if Arnold Schwarzenegger is unable to wipe out the resistance before Judgment Day, to rest. Bach ensured that, “Windows is far and away the largest gaming plaform in the world, and continues to grow,” and that they had passed a 10 million member milestone for Xbox Live. To further promote the Microsoft partnerships Bach announced that, “ABC and Disney will be bringing their TV shows to Xbox Live this month, [including] top rated shows like Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, and others,” adding that MGM will also eventually be supporting the gaming service.

All apples aside, Microsoft definitely appears to be heading in an expedient direction and Gates is strategically putting Microsoft’s gaming initiatives on the Bach-burner, leaving room for other, and perhaps more impacting, areas of focus for the corporation in coming years. In my opinion, all the industry’s microsoft vs. apple buzz will keep buzzing, and while it remains interesting to follow, the bottom-line is that Microsoft is starting seem like it really doesn’t care. Team Microsoft’s enthusiastic display of new products and video documentaries at this year’s CES were compelling–definitely my favorite keynote at this year’s show–although it was at times hard to see up to the stage with the bright glares coming from the audiences’ iPhones.

-By Tessa Rudd, Strategic Partnerships Coordinator – Advertising Media Division

New GPS Devices and Wireless Video Technology

I just sat in on a presentation for a new navigation device.

Similar to the portable function of the tomtom one and garmin nuvi, gps manufacturer Routon, has launched a portable (indoor and outdoor use) gps device. The Routon devices however offer added features in supporting mp3 (WMA, MP3, WAV format), movie (WMV, AVI, DAT, MPG format, games, and a FM transmitter.

With u-tube and video pod-casting emerging as a popular trend it was of no suprise to me to find many exhibitors promoting new web cam and digital video technology.

Company Lianyida displayed new wireless video camera technology with 100-500m transmission ranges: including various functions such as night vision, and transparency broadcasting function. The cameras include a 2.5″ LCD color screen image receiver that looks very similar to last years video iPod. Can you say nanny-cam? I am noticing a wide variety of iPod, iPhone, and non mac mp3 player accessories at this year’s show; including advanced sound technology usb docks, plastic cases that clip onto the devices and plug directly into a usb dock, and even solar panel backpacks to charge up any wireless device! (But not in today’s rainy Nevada weather).