Amazon has added yet another new component to its growing infrastructure in the area of cloud computing. The company is best known for its presence as an online retail giant, yet it has various tools available for businesses and web developers. Amazon has taken advantage of the technological possibilities behind the structure of a Simple Storage Service (S3) and applied it to a new bulk e-mail service aimed at business owners looking to attract as many potential customers as quickly as possible. The most attention-grabbing feature about Amazon’s Simple e-Mail Service (SES) is its potential to drive down the future costs of this type of online marketing tool. This may have some different implications for the developers of business e-mail services, and some industry experts claim that Amazon’s model is a sign of changes to come in business-to-business marketing of these types of online tools.
Trend-spotting company The Future Laboratory predicts that ‘homedulgence’ – indulging ourselves at home – is the next big thing. With economic recession, we’re going to be spending less time out on the town. That needn’t just mean ‘not going out’ and it’s more than simple cocooning. Homedulgence entails making the most of the entertainment opportunities that you already have at home, as well as maximising the possibilities for making your home the focus of your leisure life. Especially with the Internet, there are a multitude of ways to ‘homedulge’ yourself and save money without dying of boredom.
Over 3 million people have been affected by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12, 2010. The earthquake struck in the most populous region of the country near Port-au-Prince. Buildings have collapsed, roads are impassable, and tens or possibly hundreds of thousands of people have been buried in the rubble. The death toll could be staggering and the lives of millions of people hang in the balance over the next days, weeks, and months. Everyone wants to help. Here’s what you can do to support the relief efforts.
Yesterday I received a brief email message from the Google Team, who sends us their 2009 holiday greetings and links to a page where they reveal that Google is intending to donate $20 million to various charitable organizations. Here is the text of the message with the original link intact.
Happy Holidays from Google
As we near the end of the year, we wanted to take a moment to thank you for the time, energy, commitment, and trust you’ve shared with us in 2009.
With sharing in mind, this year we’ve decided to do something a little different. We hope you’ll find it fits the spirit of the holiday season.
We’re looking forward to working with you to build lasting success in 2010.
Your Google Team
Meanwhile, as this is the 1000th post here at Karlonia.com, I would like to thank the folks at Google for providing us with the opportunity to gain exposure for our sites through the Internet’s leading search engine and to earn substantial income through the AdSense program. 2009 has been a banner year for Karlonia; my overall income has risen to a level of five times what it was only one year ago, and Google has been a major part of this. Although my work is not yet complete, I am well on my way to lifting myself out of poverty and helping many others to do the same by providing relevant content and connecting advertisers with potential customers who are interested in their products and services.
For the remainder of the post, I will list each of the organizations that Google has selected for donations and provide a brief summary of its main focus and mission.
Relocating back to San Francisco? No problem. Rising rents and lack of availability are relics of the past in San Francisco and renters now have the upper hand. With soaring unemployment rates and massive layoffs, people are moving out of the city in search of less expensive digs. Renters are also filing out of the city in droves towards the suburbs, leaving vacancies aplenty in the city.
When foreclosures began pushing people out of their homes, rents quickly increased. Add layoffs to the housing crisis and you get a growing number of people abandoning the high cost of the city. An increasing number of ads on Craigslist state that layoffs are the reason for moving. While the rents rapidly rose due to foreclosures and the resulting demand for rentals, the sky-high prices of the rental market have quickly shifted to a renter’s market because of the exodus from the city. Many apartments have been vacant for a number of months. Landlords are resorting to “first month rent free” offers or reducing monthly rent altogether.
Last night I received an email from the AdSense team notifying us that we now have three more categories of topical news for which we can receive relevant emails. By opting in to these additional categories, we will be able to gain access to more information about how to make money from AdSense and optimize our efforts. It is also possible to receive offers for beta testing new programs or features. Since AdSense has effectively become the default income source for many bloggers, I might as well post the information here in case some of you may have missed it.
It seems that the economic recession that began about a year ago in many parts of the world is beginning to affect the online advertising market. According to the latest statistics released by PubMatic in its third quarter report for 2008, prices for display ads have been trending downward since the beginning of this year, dropping 27% overall from last quarter. Measured on an eCPM basis, which is the price per thousand page views, the social networking category scored the lowest at 21 cents while business and finance was the highest at 86 cents. Both categories were down 22 percent from last quarter. Technology was the only category that did not decrease; its ad prices remained steady at 55 cents per thousand impressions.
Earlier today I received an email confirmation request from EasyBid Auctions, a relatively new UK-based online auction site that may provide an interesting alternative to larger sites like Ebay. The confirmation email caught me by surprise because I had actually registered with the site several months ago just a few days after their launch. It seems that the company switched the autoresponder system that they were using for managing the email lists, so they needed me to officially opt in again. After I did so, I received this rather long newsletter that explains some of the recent changes to the site as well as some of the program’s important features. Meanwhile, if you would like to sign up with the new EasyBid Auctions site, you can do so from here.
EasyBid Auctions News — Changes To The Site
First of all thank you for requesting our newsletter. We can now keep you up to date with everything that is going on here at EasyBid.
You may have noticed some changes happening to the site. This is all part of a site wide update we are preforming to improve our service to you and give you more features and benefits.
Part of this update is a re-arrangement of the site categories - this may affect listings you may have posted, and may result in you having to re-list some of your items. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Another section that is being improved is the referrals system. If you did not know it already EasyBid gives you a small cash bonus whenever you refer a new user to the site using your personal URL. We also pay you a small cash bonus whenever one of your referrals lists an item. These cash bonuses will now be added to an all new feature - your membership account.
Credits in your account can now be used to pay for listing enhancements or if you are a gold member transferred to your affiliate cash account. Your balance can be found in your main members area summary at the top of the page or in the section labeled ‘My Account - Manage Account’. As a member you can add to this balance at any time to use on enhancements or to pay for store subscriptions.
Members will also be able to have a small debit balance on their account, however if this balance reaches the limit and is not paid your account will be suspended and all selling privileges revoked until it is.
Another new feature is called ‘Second Chance Purchasing’. This allows you to control who you sell your items to and to end an auction early if you have the amount you require. Second chance also allows you to offer duplicates of your items to a non winning bidder if they did not win an item but in your opinion bid enough for it. It is all up to you.
Over the next 7 days we will also be improving our site community and forum section, so keep an eye out for that. We will keep you informed as the changes and improvements take place, please watch the site news section on the home page and the member’s announcement section of your back offices.
Members of the Entrecard community experienced an unexpected interruption in their card dropping routines Saturday night when an electrical fire at The Planet, a major data center in Houston, Texas that houses the site’s servers, required all power sources (including generators) to be shut down according to instructions from the Houston Fire Department. This took the Entrecard site completely offline for a few hours while crews at The Planet worked to assess and repair the damage. Shortly after midnight on Sunday morning, the Entrecard staff emailed members to let us know what was happening:
Unfortunately, there has been an electrical fire at the data center housing Entrecard’s servers. The servers have not been damaged, but the site may be down for as long as 12 hours.
Entrecard is hosted with ThePlanet, and this fire has affected over 9000 websites, as many of the world’s most popular websites are hosted with ThePlanet. They are working around the clock to get their data center back online, and we are hoping that they get it back online fast.
Thank you for your patience and understanding with this rare and frustrating problem. Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing we can do but wait for The Planet to get their datacenter back online.
Please check back with Entrecard in 12 to 24 hours.
Fortunately, the Entrecard staff was able to respond fairly quickly and managed to get a basic splash page up that informed visitors about the outage and restored the widget graphic on Entrecard-enabled blogs, which prevented us from having to worry about displaying server error messages on our sites where the widgets would normally be located. There was also a link on the splash page that directed us to The Planet’s forum, where we were able to learn more specific information about the extent and actual cause of the outage from their management:
The website development and advertising company known as Take the Internet Back has updated their site with a fresh new look and has added some useful features, such as allowing advertisers to have a better view of their statistics and allowing regular members to see how much money they have earned and the exact sources of their revenue. TIB is also running another promotional campaign where they are hoping to entice marketers to purchase some advertising in exchange for free additional ad packages at the new WorldAdGroup.com site. As usual, the actual text of the latest update is posted below:
As promised a month ago, we have finished the new TIB website! It has a whole new graphical design and lots more new features for all users - Members, Advertisers and Affiliates. Please read below for more details about what’s new on the TIB website:
- New graphical design - more compact and user-friendly
- The 3 user categories are now more in focus with the website i.e. Member, Advertiser and Affiliate. We needed to create the Advertiser category on TIB, as it was the only way to offer real-time statistics in regards to ads, banners and other advertisement methods. Joining TIB as an Advertiser is extremely simple and also totally FREE. For sending ads or to post a banner on TIB, you will need to have an Advertiser account and be logged in. Also, the new TIB has more accurate and real-time statistics for all users.
For you to better understand the upgrades and improvements, we will highlight them here for each user type:
- Real-time statistics in your Member’s Home page i.e. points from reading mails, points from TIB Specials, etc.
- Payout list to see how much money you earned
- Real-time statistics regarding ad progress i.e. ability to see how many e-mails were sent on a particular ad, how many members have read that ad, ability to change the subject and content of the ad (only if the ad has not already been sent), and more.
- Real-time statistics regarding banners i.e. expiration date, number of clickthrus, ability to change the banner at any time, etc.
- Delayed Confirmation Link for reading Members i.e. members that are reading emails from their Inbox get the Confirmation Link for the message after a period of time. This will ensure an even better response rate for Advertiser’s ads.
- Advertisers can now choose the Sending Date for their Ad, and also the period of time that passes between the emails ( Only for larger email ads). We have introduced this since we had so many requests from our Advertisers to be given the possibility to choose the Sending Date for each Ad.
Due to the latest developments, we have an important update concerning all our Members that posted links to TIB site. A newer linking system is being developed with more appealing banners and an automatic validation system. Until the new system is implemented, we have disabled the old one. We will update all members when the system is ready to be used.
And last but not least, we will launch a new promotional campaign for all TIB Members and Advertisers, which is effective immediately and will last until the 1st of May:
- Buy $100 or more and get a free Standard Marketer Package on www.WorldAdGroup.com (WAG)
- Buy $200 or more and get a free Super Marketer Package on www.WorldAdGroup.com (WAG)
- Buy $400 or more and get 2 free Super Marketer Packages on www.WorldAdGroup.com (WAG)
We only ask that you help us promote WAG just a bit. It is also a solid advertising program that pays out very generous commissions. Please be sure that you register at www.WorldAdGroup.com - and we will add the bonus packages to your account.
If you haven’t had the chance to go to TIB and see what we have done there, please do so now and let us know what you think? Better, huh? Also - please do not hesitate to report any errors that you may find there as this would help us improve TIB even more.
Thanks and together: “Let’s Take the Internet Back!”
Although I have long realized that the conditions of ignorance and stupidity have always been prevalent in human societies, today I ran across a recent tidbit of research findings that surprised even me. According to Jacob Nielsen’s latest Alertbox article at UseIt.com released last week, some 24 percent of Internet users could not even perform a simple Google search:
If you thought it’s easy to get to Google, think again. In our current round of usability research, only 76% of users who expressed a desire to run a Google search were successful. In other words, 1/4 of users who wanted to use Google couldn’t do so.
The article goes on to point out that these were actually supposed to be above average Internet users who took part in the study. Participants were equally distributed among low, middle, and high income earners, effectively overrepresenting the most financially successful computer users compared with the normal income distribution found in the general population. People who failed the Google search test either ended up on a different search engine from whatever type-in fields they could find or simply gave up the search altogether.
For Internet marketers, this is important information to take into account when putting together an advertising campaign. After all, most of us who are in the business of trying to make serious money online end up focusing most of our efforts on designing our web pages for search engine optimization. But if a significant group of people cannot even find the world’s most popular search engine, our wonderful SEO skills are not going to mean much to them.
In my opinion, the takeaway lesson here is for us to remember that offline advertising still has its advantages, even in cases where our entire income is generated from online sources. That means getting those business cards, flyers, bulletin board leaflets, and old school classified ads out there so that people will remember our website address and type it into the browser bar even if they do not go through a search engine. Of course, good old-fashioned word of mouth doesn’t hurt either. After enough people have heard about our website, even the technically challenged will wind up at right place eventually. Once they get there, we will have the opportunity to teach them about these newfangled contraptions called search engines.