"Like" it or not, online ads are getting personal

Is the future of online advertising one of incredibly targeted advertising based on your interests, online activities and Facebook "likes," or is it one dictated by robust privacy controls that keep those details out of the hands of marketers?
Increasingly, it seems to depend on who you ask.

In the past week, both Google and Mozilla (the organization that makes the Firefox browser) have introduced ways to opt out of so-called behavioral advertising -- industry speak for ads that target users through the use of cookies that can track your internet browsing and shopping history, among other activities.

Google's solution is an extension for its Chrome web browser that lets users proactively block certain advertisers from serving them behavioral ads.

Mozilla's approach would bundle a "do not track" feature with its browser, but require websites and ad networks to agree to recognize such requests from Firefox users. Microsoft has previously announced its own plans for letting users opt out of such ads. These efforts come at a time when the Federal Trade Commission is considering a formal Do Not Track list that would work much in the same way in the online marketing realm as the Do Not Call list works in telemarketing.

They also come at a time when the social media world is moving in the direction of highly personalized ads based on your activities, relationships and profile information.

Facebook has just rolled out a feature called Sponsored Stories that lets marketers repurpose activities such as "liking" a fan page, checking into a retail store or interacting with a branded app as advertisements that users see when they log in to the social network.

And this happens automatically -- any time you interact with a brand on Facebook, your action could be used as an ad that entices your friends to do the same. For the moment, there's also no way to opt yourself out of being featured. Facebook's not alone in this type of targeting, however. Business-focused social networking site LinkedIn has added the ability to target ads based on job titles, company name and group level, features that the company says have resulted in three to four times more clicks than standard ads during initial testing.

Meanwhile, research firm eMarketer predicts that Twitter will bring in $150 million in revenue this year, driven largely by the Promoted Tweets and Promoted Trends ads that the company introduced last year. Much like Facebook's Supported Stories, these ads showcase users talking about a given brand, with advertisers paying upwards of $100,000 per day for the privilege.

The next logical step in all of this, it would seem, is for the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to utilize this data outside the walls of their own sites and either create their own ad networks or license their data to third parties that want to enhance their personalization capabilities.

Of course, that's even further at odds with proponents of "do not track," who are already highly critical of ads that, among other things, "retarget" you based on shopping sites you have visited.

But it seems all but inevitable that personalization is here to stay and is only going to get more intimate. Sure, a small percentage of internet users may use tools that opt them out (if such options even become available in meaningful ways), but the vast majority will continue shopping, browsing and "liking" things on the Web without a second thought. Legislation could conceivably force advertisers to offer more in-your-face alerts about when you're sharing information that could be used in ads, but you can bet that user experience designers will be ready to create prompts that get users to click "continue," as has been the case with endless terms of service agreements and, in more recent times, Facebook applications.

Of course, that's only if it gets to that point -- most of the key players in this debate are all spending big in Washington to make sure any new regulations are as unrestrictive as possible.

Soon-to-be former Google CEO Eric Schmidt caught flak in December when he told CNBC that, "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." While that might be a short-sighted way of looking at the current debate on online privacy, it does represent a reality of where things are headed, especially within the advertising realm. As users, the smartest path for now may simply be to heed Schmidt's advice.

Fuente: CNN tech / Adam Ostrow

Google Changes Algorithm To Penalize Site Scrapers

Google updated its search algorithm this week to help reduce webspam in its search results.

These changes were made in response to increased criticism of Google and its search engine results. The criticism has been partly inspired by the emergence of newer forms of webspam alongside traditional webspam (pages that consist of lots of keywords and phrases without context or meaning that “cheat” their way up to higher search ranks).

The latest webspam outbreaks commonly come from content farms and sites that syndicate content. Earlier this month, Stack Overflow‘s Jeff Atwood pointed out that in the last year, some content syndicators have routinely began outranking Stack Overflow on Google. In other words, the syndicates are outranking the originals.

In Stack Overflow‘s case, the problem was bad enough that a community member built a Google Chrome extension designed to redirect to Stack Overflow from spammier syndicates.

Matt Cutts, principle engineer at Google and head of the webspam team, responded to some of the criticism in a blog post and said Google would be “evaluating multiple changes that should help drive spam levels even lower, including one change that primarily affects sites that copy others’ content and sites with low levels of original content.” On his personal blog, Cutts confirmed that those changes have indeed gone into effect.

Cutts writes that this was a “pretty targeted launch” and that the “net effect is that searchers are more likely to see the sites that wrote the original content rather than a site that scraped or copied the original site’s content.”


7 internet sins that could make you go viral with your friends

When trapped within the confines of a particularly dreary workday, a carefully chosen GIF, cat video or gallery of terrible My Little Pony tattoos can act as a ray of luminous sunshine, breaking through the dark cloud structure of your mood and touching your black heart with the playful soul of levity.

Thank the nondenominational higher power for the internet, right? Yeah, unless everyone's laughing at you.
Memes and viral videos are an increasingly integral part of our web culture -- hell, The Cheezburger Network (of LOLcats fame) just scored $30 million in funding and 4chan founder Christopher Poole (aka "moot") joined New York City seed fund Lerer Ventures as a venture adviser.

So, this week, in honor of the growing legitimacy/lunacy of this particular internet culture, we're asking you to take a closer look at the FAILs, Rage guys and videos of dudes getting hit in the junk that you so admire.
Now tell us, what's at the root of many of those stimulating shareables? Fumbles, travesties, the hot, red-faced soul of human folly. In short: Most of these people are being laughed at.

Not to suck the delicious marrow from the bones of these meaty morsels and leave you with a dry, dusty skeleton, but inherent in these memes and vids is an instructional manual on how not to act online -- if you're looking to avoid public humiliation, that is. So, next time your boss catches you surfing YouTube at work, just tell her you're trying to better yourself. We're sure she won't fire you for that. Without further ado, here are seven online sins that will make you go viral with your friends:

1). Poor spelling/grammar
Last week, a hilarious video titled "dotdotdot" featuring a gamer's enraged rant went viral -- after a voiceover actor and a designer brought the words to life, that is. Granted, the comment was likely penned by a 13-year-old, but a very important lesson can be gleaned from this vid: No one will take you seriously if you use nonwords like "beacuase."
Many a browser underlines spelling errors in bright, glaring red -- take heed, or everyone will (rightly) laugh at you.

2). Vanity
Yes, it's great to have self-esteem! We know because our school nurse had copious posters proclaiming as much.
Still, tweeting incessantly about how you're a "rock star" or posting to Facebook Photobooth picture after Photobooth picture of yourself looking seductively into the webcam will, ironically, result in your friends feeling the inverse about you. Heed the lesson we learned from many a prideful teen lifecaster: Attempt to be beautiful on the inside, or be prepared to face the trolls.

3). Irritating fanboyism
Remember that "Leave Britney Alone" kid? Yeah, that's what you look like when you get into vitriolic fights in the comments section about how your Droid Incredible is so much better than the iPhone 4.

4). Being stupid
Before being allowed to compose a status update, one should be forced to read Failbook in its entirety. Especially people who are friends with their parents on Facebook.

5). Being a sad sack
The Sad Keanu meme (pictures of Keanu Reeves holding various objects like sandwiches and cupcakes, looking sad) went so incredibly viral in part because Reeves' alleged melancholia seemed so ridiculous: Who could possibly look so unhappy while holding a cupcake?
So, before you respond to an e-mail detailing exciting weekend plans with an Eeyore-esque comment about how you have a pounding headache and you're not sure you can have fun at a concert when animal testing is still going strong, think of Keanu, and the wise words he uttered in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure": "Party on, dudes!"

6). Getting really, really ridiculously angry
It's pretty easy to use the web and various social media tools as an outlet for your overwhelming rage: "WHY IS THE SUBWAY SO CROWDED ON TUESDAY MORNINGS!!!!!!!!!! SOME CHICK'S HAIR WAS LODGED IN MY MOUTH THE WHOLE TIME! I HATE NYC!!!!!"
However, the question becomes -- in the wake of such a message -- does anyone really care about your (totally justified) ire?
Well, take a look at Rageguy -- a comic character that grew popular via 4chan -- who basically just screams "ffffuuu" when something goes awry. He may be funny on the internets, but we wouldn't want to hang with him in real life.

7). Being adorable
Wait, how did that get in there?
Awwww, we want to stare at it all day! (Claps hands!)
What were we saying again?

The Social Networking History

The Social Networking History... Visit: http://actimediadigital.com/social_media_history/

Twitter podría alcanzar en 2011 150 millones en ingresos publicitarios

El sitio de microblogs Twitter podría obtener ingresos publicitarios de 150 millones de dólares este año, tras los 45 millones que alcanzó en 2010, según un estudio publicado el lunes por la firma eMarketer.

Para el año 2012, los ingresos podrían alcanzar los 250 millones de dólares, de acuerdo con el estudio.

"Uno de los motivos para esta fuerte previsión al alza es el futuro lanzamiento de una plataforma publicitaria autogestionada", al estilo de las que ya existen en Google y Facebook, explica eMarketer.

Twitter recibió el mes pasado unos 200 millones de dólares de financiamiento adicional por parte de fondos de inversión que deberían ayudar a gestionar su crecimiento. Según información de prensa, esta toma de participación valoriza el sitio web en 3.700 millones de dólares.


La TV quedó relegada por internet en los EEUU, Europa y China

El consumo de contenidos web desbancó a la televisión y demás medios convencionales por primera vez en dichos territorios. Visitar redes sociales, la actividad más realizada. El estudio sobre consumo digital fue realizado entre cerca de 50.000 usuarios, de 16 a 60 años de edad, en 46 países.

La televisión sigue siendo el medio preferente en Latinoamérica, Asia, Oriente Medio y África, mientras en la India sigue siendo el clásico periódico de papel el más utilizado, por delante de la televisión, la radio e internet.

Del total de consumidores entrevistados, el 61% señaló que accede a diario a internet, el 54% consume televisión todos los días, el 36% escucha la radio, y el 32% lee periódicos a diario.

Según Jordi Ferrer, responsable del estudio Digital Life presentado en Madrid, la explicación sobre la preferencia de internet en los países más desarrollados, se debe a que "el medio digital responde a más necesidades que cualquier otro medio".

El informe analiza las actividades e intereses de los consumidores en internet, y revela que se dedica mas tiempo a las redes sociales -4,6 horas a la semana- que al correo electrónico, -4,4 horas- y a las páginas web, con 3,9 horas semanales o la lectura de noticias, 2,7 horas.

Respecto a las redes sociales, el estudio muestra que la media de amigos por usuario es de 120, aunque en Latinoamérica se llega hasta los 200, siendo los brasileños los que más amigos adjuntan a su cuenta, con 231.

En el caso de productos comerciales, el estudio concluye que en las redes sociales hay un promedio de cuatro marcas incluidas como amigos, y su presencia es considerada intrusiva.

En este sentido, cuatro de cada diez internautas consulta en la red antes de comprar, pero el 74% de ellos hace sus adquisiciones por la vía tradicional.

Digital Life completa el retrato del consumidor digital con seis perfiles diferentes: el influyente, el funcional, el buscador de conocimiento, los conectados a redes, los comunicadores y los aspirantes.

Un 23% se reconoce como "influyente", aquellos que participan y actúan en redes sociales, escriben en blogs y consideran que internet es una parte integral de su vida.

Ferrer aseguró que este perfil se concentra en los países "recién llegados a internet" como India o los países de Oriente Medio y norte de África.

Dos de cada diez dicen ser "comunicadores", usuarios activos en las redes sociales; un 17% siente que pertenece al perfil de "buscador de conocimiento", aquel usa internet para informarse y un 15% es "aspirante", ya que desea tener un espacio propio en internet.

Por último, un 13% dicen ser "funcionales", aquel internauta que usa internet como herramienta útil, y un 12% se encuadran en "conectados a redes", que consideran que internet ayuda a crear y mantener relaciones.

Fuente: EFE

Facebook será ahora accesible desde los celulares básicos

La red social lanzó una aplicación para quienes no tienen un smartphone, como iPhone o Blackberry, que funcionará en más de 2.500 teléfonos de 14 países. Los usuarios de dispositivos de Nokia, Sony Ericsson o LG podrán acceder a una versión simplificada de la red social, y tendrán una descarga gratuita de datos durante los primeros 90 días.

"Queremos que la gente tenga una gran experiencia móvil, tenga el celular que tenga. Los teléfonos inteligentes ofrecen mejores características para compartir con amigos, pero no son los que usa la mayoría de la gente de todo el mundo", dijo en el blog de la compañía Mark Heynen, director de productos móviles de facebook.

La aplicación incluye una pantalla de inicio "de fácil navegación", una opción para sincronizar los contactos y otra para "desplazarse rápidamente" por las fotos y las actualizaciones de amigos.

Por ahora, está disponible en la República Dominicana, con el operador Viva, en Sri Lanka (Dialog), en Ucrania (Life), en Polonia (Play), en Singapur (StarHub), en Arabia Saudí (STC), en Hong Kong (Three), Túnez (Tunisiana) y Rumania (Vodafone).

Además, llegará "próximamente" a México (Telcel), Brasil (TIM), Canadá (Mobilicity), India (Reliance) y Bulgaria (Vivacom).