Sunday, August 29, 2010

Paul Allen Sues Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Others Over Patents

An article on "Search Engine Land" says that Paul Allen Sues some high powered companies.

Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder and one of the richest men on earth, has filed a patent infringement suit today against several Internet titans, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The lawsuit centers on technology developed a decade ago by Interval Research Corp., a technology lab that Allen owned between 1992 and 2000. Eleven companies are named in the lawsuit: Google, Yahoo, Facebook, AOL, eBay, YouTube, NetFlix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, and Staples. The lawsuit claims four patent violations of technologies that are widely used by search engines and e-commerce sites, according to the WSJ:

The technology behind one patent allows a site to offer suggestions to consumers for items related to what they’re currently viewing, or related to online activities of others in the case of social networking sites.

A second patent, among other things, allows readers of a news story to quickly locate stories related to a particular subject. Two others enable ads, stock quotes, news updates or video images to flash on a computer screen, peripherally to a user’s main activity.

A Google spokesperson gave this statement to the WSJ:

This lawsuit against some of America’s most innovative companies reflects an unfortunate trend of people trying to compete in the courtroom instead of the marketplace.

A Facebook spokesperson told the Journal, “We believe this suit is completely without merit and we will fight it vigorously.”

The lawsuit doesn’t include a damage estimate.

There’s more discussion at Techmeme.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Here comes YouTube Mobile

It’s well known that the mobile internet is huge and growing fast; what’s surprising is exactly how fast. According to a recent report, within 5 years more users will connect to the internet via mobile devices than desktop PCs. YouTube consumption on mobile devices has also grown considerably -- playbacks were up 160% in 2009 over the previous year. And we’re excited to announce that YouTube Mobile now receives more than 100 million video playbacks a day. This is roughly the number of daily playbacks that was streaming when we joined forces with Google in 2006.

Google launched YouTube on mobile devices in 2007 with about 1,000 videos available on the mobile site ( While this suddenly opened up the possibility to access videos on the go, our site, mobile browsers and the hardware had limitations that prevented the mobile experience from keeping up with YouTube on the desktop. Today, more than ever, Google knows that you want to be able to find and access your favorite videos wherever you are. That’s why Google has been working hard to roll out an updated version of the mobile site.

Here's what's new about the new mobile site:

* It's really fast.
* The new user interface incorporates larger, more touch friendly elements, making it easier to access videos on the go.
* It incorporates the features and functionality you’ve come to expect from the .com site, like search query suggestions, the options to create playlists,the ability to designate “favorite,” “like,” or “unlike” videos directly from your device.
* As Google makes improvements to, you’ll see them quickly follow on the mobile site, unlike native apps which are not updated as frequently.

As the world continues to go mobile, Google thinks this is a great improvement for users who want a more consistent YouTube across many devices, no matter where they are. Google is launching in English only today, but will be rolling it out in other languages in the coming months. You can access the latest YouTube mobile site from your iPhone or Android browser. To learn more, visit to check out the latest improvements and take a minute to watch this demo video:


Monday, July 12, 2010

Blogger in the News - Lunch Box Mom

This article is about Sarah Vander Schaaf - one exhausted mama with a baby that didn't sleep. She started blogging on blogspot about her daughter that didn't sleep. Like many other bloggers she connected with other moms. She did Q and A with moms at the playground and wrote about topics near and dear to her heart ad a mommy. Her blog is now receiving national attention as she is now part of a milk promotion.

Here is a link! Congrats Lunch Box Mom.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Paid Search for your Personal Mom Blog

Paid Search for your Mom Blog. Why would I spend money on a personal blog?

You spend money on your mom blog for the same reason you would pay for a web design. I started with the sole purpose of becoming a high traffic Mommy Blog. The two tactics that I am using for this blog are paid search and SEO. I promise to do a post later on SEO for the mom blog. But the purpose of this post is to talk about why you should consider Paid Search as a method for gaining traffic.

You could be the best funniest blogger in the world and if no one finds your blog then you won't get traffic. One of the problems with mom bloggers in general is that they tend to play in the same circle. Mom blogs are funny creative and most of them share a common purpose. Once you want to get a real amount of traffic, you need to get bloggers outside of the mom circle to come to your site.

This is where paid search comes into play. Suppose you are a mom blogger that discusses what it is like to live in Chicago. Consider advertising for your blog on a Chicago website. Do you always walk down to the same bookstore for their story hour events? Consider buying an ad for your mommy blog on the site? These are just a few creative ways to make some money on your blog. They are inexpensive but can yield a small local following, which can enhance the reach of your blog.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Blogtimize - Optimize the ads on your blog

Not sure how many people have already read these tips but these are right from Google and so they should help your ads perform. I understand you don't want to have your blog too cluttered so I would not necessarily take every bit of advice, but the concepts are good.

When working with a blog, you're facing some interesting ad implementation challenges: a predetermined page format, highly targeted content, and regular visitors, among other things. To make the most of your readership and content, here are a few suggestions:

Blend ads into your blog

To increase the likelihood that your readers will see and click on your ads, blend your ad units into the background of your blog. Choose a bold color for the ad title to help draw attention to your ads, then make sure that the background and borders of your ads are the same color as the background of the area where the ad is placed.


Experiment with multiple ad formats and locations

In general, wider ad formats tend to be more reader-friendly. Placing an ad unit after the first post will likely catch your readers' attention. Take a look at our sample implementations to get some ideas. Also, consider placing a Skyscraper (120x600) or vertical link unit on the right side of your blog. If you're using Blogger, you can find instructions on placing AdSense code in your blog's sidebar.

Offer readers more options with search

To make sure you're earning the most revenue possible with AdSense, go beyond just ads to use AdSense for search. You can increase your earnings, provide readers with valuable information, and take advantage of flexible formats.

Improve ad targeting

With section targeting, you can target an ad unit to a specific section of your blog, as well as block out irrelevant sections like navigational links. We recommend that only those familiar with HTML attempt to implement section targeting.

Tip for promoting your blog: If you're a Blogger user, activate this setting to notify, a blog update notification service, whenever you have updated your blog. That means your blog will be included in various "recently updated" lists on the web as well as other blog-related services


Friday, April 23, 2010

Honey, Don’t Bother Mommy. I’m Too Busy Building My Brand.

ON a brisk Saturday morning this month, a dedicated crew of about 90 women, most in their 30s or thereabouts, arrived at a waterfront hotel here, prepared for a daylong conference that offered to school them in the latest must-have skill set for the minivan crowd.

Teaching your baby to read? Please. How to hide vegetables in your children’s food? Oh, that’s so 2008.

The topics on that day’s agenda included search-engine optimization, building a “comment tribe” and how to create an effective media kit. There would be much talk of defining your “brand” and driving up page views.

You know. For your blog.

Yes, they had come to Bloggy Boot Camp, the sold-out first stop on a five-city tour. It is the brainchild of Tiffany Romero and Heather Blair, the founders of the Secret Is in the Sauce, a community of 5,000 female bloggers. Boot Camp is at once a networking and social event, bringing together virtual friends for some real-time girly bonding, and an educational seminar designed to help the participants — about 90 percent of them mothers — to take their blogs up a notch, whether in hopes of generating ad revenue and sponsorships, attracting attention to a cause or branching out into paid journalism or marketing.

“You’re here because you want to be seen as a professional,” Ms. Romero told the group. A summer-camp director from Los Angeles, she steered the proceedings with the good-natured sass of a sorority social chairwoman and the enthusiasm of a, well, summer-camp director. (She went barefoot for much of the day and said “You guys!” a lot.)

After the obligatory announcement that participants — who had paid $89 and traveled from as far as California — should “feel free to tweet” (hashtag: bloggybootcamp), the women splayed their laptops, pecked at their BlackBerrys and traded business cards. A handful drank mimosas out of brightly colored plastic sippy cups.

“Do I call you ‘Jill’ or ‘Scary Mommy?’” a participant asked Jill Smokler, a speaker whose blog, about her life as a mother of three, typically draws about 36,000 page views a month.

Discussions ranged from how to let public relations firms know that you don’t work free (“Your time and your experience and your audience are worth something,” Ms. Romero said. “It’s capitalism, plain and simple.”) to the benefits of using Facebook fan pages and Twitter (“My entire life in social media changed when I got on Twitter,” she said to knowing nods).

There was a presentation on the new Federal Trade Commission guidelines requiring bloggers to disclose their connections to advertisers, and another on how to use keywords to make a post more visible in Google searches. Heed the speaker’s advice, and you, too, might get 28,549 views of your tutu-making tutorial!

Whereas so-called mommy blogs were once little more than glorified electronic scrapbooks, a place to share the latest pictures of little Aidan and Ava with Great-Aunt Sylvia in Omaha, they have more recently evolved into a cultural force to be reckoned with. Embellished with professional graphics, pithy tag lines and labels like “PR Friendly,” these blogs have become a burgeoning industry generating incomes ranging from $25 a month in what one blogger called “latte money” to, for a very elite few, six figures.

According to a 2009 study by BlogHer, iVillage and Compass Partners, 23 million women read, write or comment on blogs weekly.

“We all live online,” said one of the Boot Camp attendees, Jennifer Gerlock, who blogs at

Some women are so entrenched in the blogosphere that there’s even a blog just about ... blogging conferences. (Disclosure: My own blog, in which I write about everything from “American Idol” to my love of Alpha-Bits, was once included on a list of the Top 50 “lesser-known mom bloggers.”)

For many, the blogosphere functions as a modern-day kaffeeklatsch, a vital outlet for conversing and commiserating about day-to-day travails, especially at a time when many mothers raise their children far from family and friends, or work outside the home at 9-to-5 jobs.

Blogging has “opened up a whole new world to me,” said Stephanie Stearns Dulli of Germantown, Md., a former Los Angeles-based actress who now writes about being a stay-at-home mom — and occasionally about “General Hospital,” for which she displays a “brand ambassador” badge on her blog, “Through Twitter and blogging, I found a whole community of women going through the same thing as I am at the same time.”

The blogosphere is also increasingly the place many women look for their parenting role models. Just as television viewers have a seemingly insatiable hunger for reality shows, mothers often prefer the warts-and-all experiences of other moms online — and the ability to discuss them interactively — to the dry, inflexible pronouncements spouted by experts in books and parenting magazines.

Another attendee, Mary Fischer, began her blog, the Mommyologist (tag line: “Analyzing Motherhood with Laughter and Honesty ... and Trying Not to Lose my Mind in the Process!”), as a way to cope with her feelings of disorientation after trading in a career as a meeting planner for life as a stay-at-home mother. “I thought that something was wrong with me,” she said. “Or maybe I wasn’t a good mother. And so now I feel like with my blog maybe I can help other girls that are feeling isolated know that everybody goes through that. ”

Francesca Banducci, a writer of (tag line: “Because Perfection & Motherhood Simply Cannot Co-Exist”), has an M.B.A. in marketing, but said that she’s given up trying to have the “big blog.” Instead, Ms. Banducci, pregnant with her third child, blogs mostly for fun and friendship, treating it as a hobby like any other. “My husband calls it my expensive hobby,” she said with a laugh.

Just as companies like Tupperware saw the untapped sales potential in the old-school kaffeeklatsch, advertisers have now set their sights on mommy blogs, recognizing that anywhere women’s eyes go in huge numbers — especially anywhere they might be discussing the products they use — is prime real estate.

“The blogosphere is where authentic conversation is happening,” said Pamela Parker, a senior manager with Federated Media, which sells ad space for an A-list roster of about 150 bloggers that includes superstars like Dooce and the Pioneer Woman, who’ve parlayed their blogs into lucrative one-woman industries. (The New York Times Company is an investor in Federated Media.)

“Marketers are recognizing that they want to be there, associated with that authentic conversation,” Ms. Parker said.

And how. According to eMarketer, advertising on blogs will top $746 million by 2012, more than twice the figure for 2007. There are perks, too. In just the last month alone, popular mommy bloggers have been sent to the Olympics, courtesy of Procter & Gamble, and to the Oscars, courtesy of Kodak; and road-tripped to Disney World in a Chevy Traverse, courtesy of G. M. Canada, to help raise awareness about Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy.

But just as some cringe at Tupperware parties and the like for allowing a commercial enterprise to masquerade as a social one, some find the vast influx of corporate sponsors, freebies and promotions into the blogosphere a bit troubling. That might be, in part, because bloggers and corporations are still forging the proper boundaries of their relationship, groping through uncharted territory.

“It’s like we’re playing seven minutes in heaven,” Ciaran Blumenfeld, the publisher of, said in a telephone interview. “The brands know they need a blogger. The bloggers know they need a brand. When everyone gets in the closet, nobody knows what to do with each other. It’s like we’re all 13 again.”

Last summer, one blogger organized a weeklong public relations blackout in which bloggers were urged to eschew contests, product reviews and giveaways and instead get “back to basics” by writing about their lives. Another blogger replied that she couldn’t do so because the blackout fell the week of her daughter’s first birthday party, which she was promoting on her blog. With sponsors and giveaways.

“I wish we could go back to where blogging was five years ago, when it was just about the writing and the connecting and none of the free stuff and the vacations and the swag bags,” said Ms. Smokler, of ScaryMommy .com. Her blog recently landed her a full-time job with the Nickelodeon social-networking site, despite her not having a résumé. “I think it dilutes the point.”

But some defend the growing alliance between bloggers and corporate America as empowering rather than exploitative, giving women a voice in shaping the brands they consume.

It’s also a way for mothers to flex their dormant professional muscles, make some money and, says Amy Lupold Bair, who runs and was a speaker at the Boot Camp, still “take their kids to the bus stop in the morning and be there when they get off in the afternoon.”

I found this article when I was reading the NY Times. Here is the full link:


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

From Google Follow Finder Using Twitter

Interesting post from Google this morning:

This morning we announced a replay feature in real-time search that helps you search the public archive of updates from Twitter. Now, we have more Twitter news from today’s Chirp Conference. We’ve just released a new experimental service in Google Labs called Google Follow Finder to help you expand your Twitter network. With Google Follow Finder, simply enter your Twitter account name and you’ll see a list of people you might be interested in following. You can also get interesting suggestions by entering other Twitter user names. Here’s what it looks like:

If you see someone you want to follow, just click “Follow on Twitter,” log in, and they’ll be added to your following list in Twitter. This integration is based on Twitter’s new @anywhere frameworks, which make it easy for any site to add Twitter functionality. We’re using the frameworks to provide dynamic information about Twitter accounts and one-click following.

The lists in Google Follow Finder are generated using public following and follower lists on Twitter. For example, if you follow CNN and the New York Times on Twitter, and most people who follow CNN and the New York Times also tend to follow TIME, we'll suggest TIME as a “Tweep you might like.” The list of “Tweeps with similar followers” is simply a list of accounts with similar follower lists to yours.

We hope you find some sweet tweeps.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Latest Freelance Project - Stylish Baby Bedding

My latest website freelance job is to SEO the pages of Stylish Baby Bedding. ( This is a page that offers baby bedding, crib sets, moses baskets, baby blankets, baby gifts and more.

Forgive my SEO with great anchor text there, but as part of the link building effort, I will be a little SEO centric in my plug for them. In any case they boutique is allowing me to share some of my experience with my blogger friends, for my effort.

Enjoy the journey.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Updated Purpose

Okay so I love having my professional blog - and I am glad I started it. But, I really never gave it the time. I love my personal blog because it is fun. I have made many new friends, and I find that they have been there through it all. I took quite a long blogging vacation and they are all still there. With that I have decided I need to update my professional marketing blog as well. I am going to make sure it still has the marketing tips but I am going to have it take a social tilt as well. Maybe some cross pollination between my fun and work. I hope you enjoy.