Cult of the Mac website

If you're a Mac fan, you may want to head over to Cult of Mac - a blog packed with Mac and iPod news and culture. A couple of the articles which caught my eye were the one about Apple's iPod Nano Advertising campaign in Tokyo:
You can apparently pick up these iPod Nano cutouts from the wall of the Tokyo underground. Each one has an image of the iPod Nano on the front and URL details on the back. With each wave of passengers the staff have to constantly replenish the walls.

The other article which caught my attention was about a product called iBelieve. Designed by Scott Wilson it will allow you to convert your iPod Shuffle into a crucifix. It costs $13, $2 goes to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and various Children's charities.


Yahoo!’s Blog Search Directs Traffic to Marketing Tom

Yahoo_blog_news_betaJust checked my stats and found that Yahoo! news had pointed some people in to my website. It turns out that over the past few days Yahoo! has rolled out and is beta testing a new version of its Yahoo! News Search. This includes blogs, Flickr photos and My Web links. For bloggers this is certainly good news - fusing general news stories with 'grassroots' journalism. This is what Joff Redfern, director of
product at Yahoo! Search, had to say:

"The addition of grassroots news sources into Yahoo! News Search is another example of Yahoo! using world-class technology to deliver relevant content to our audiences. Yahoo! News has become the leading online news destination by continually providing the most comprehensive service to our users, and news search technology is a critical piece of our overall news offering."

Here's what Jeremy Zawodny of Yahoo! had to say:

"While it was widely anticipated that we'd be launching a dedicated blog search engine, we didn't.  Instead, we've incorporated blog results in Yahoo! News Search.


... aside from all the stuff you might read,
look at it from an insider's point of view. Tasked with figuring out how to expose the growing mass of blog content in our index, we figured there were two options.

Option one is to build Yet Another Blog Search Vertical (Technorati, Feedster, Google Blog Search, etc.) that most people would never see.

Option two is to integrate the results somewhere that millions of people could see them in context.

Which would you choose?

We decided that blogs had been captives of specialty search engines long enough."

I must say that I agree with a colleague of Danny Sullivan's over at Search Engine Watch, who says that though he can see the blog results, he believes that Yahoo! should offer users some more information on what a blog exactly is. Given the the general public's lack of knowledge about what a blog actually is, it would certainly be a welcome addition to add a link to a "what is a blog?" page.

to reach
out to new blog users with a service like this?), it would make little
to no sense

Why isn't their a link or pop-over in place to explain:
+ Whis is a blog?
+ What are blog posts?
+ What's the difference between a blog post and a news story?
+ Who writes blogs?
+ Are you interested in blogging?"

From Podcasting to Godcasting

The BBC ran an interesting story yesterday about the vicar who is starting to podcast his sermons.The Rev Leonard Payne, Vicar of St Nicholas' Church in Wrentham, Suffolk (UK), decided to post his sermons on to Apple's iTunes Store and was amazed to find that in a short period of time 2,000 people had downloaded them. The initial idea was that people who could not attend sermons, could download them from their own homes. According to diocesan communications director, Nick Clarke:

"This is another example of how the church is embracing technology to keep its message relevant for a 21st Century audience. It's about doing church differently for a diverse and obviously hungry audience."

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Yahoo! Rolls Out Its Version of Adsense

On Wednesday Yahoo! rolled out the beta version of its version of Adsense - tailored to he needs of small and medium-sized businesses. The idea, like Google Adsense, is that publishers (like will be able to access Yahoo!'s products and content through a self-serve platform and, obviously, receive commission as a result of it. It has been rumoured for some time that Yahoo! was working on a contextual ad solution to rival Googl'es Adsense programme. According to ZDNet:

"...the service is designed to let publishers access Yahoo's ad
products and content through a self-serve platform. The company said
the beta offering will be available in the U.S. only through invitation.

With this move, Yahoo is entering a territory that has been dominated by rival Google, which provides text-only ads to small content sites, including blogs."

The "invitation-only" beta is something that Gmail offered initially to test its new product - as did Typepad. Microsoft is also following suit and according to WebProNews it will be inviting 500 advertisers and marketers to participate in MSN Keywords.

Related Links
Yahoo! Gets Ad Sense (Motley Fool)
Yahoo! Unveils AdSense Alternative (Clickz)

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Blog Business Summit in San Francisco




For the second year running you can get the chance to meet, listen and network with the great and the good of blogging at the Blog Business Summit. This year the event will take place at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco from the 17th-19th August. It looks like they have some excellent sessions lined up, which will cover practically  everything there is to know about corporate blogging. Here is a taster of some of the sessions on offer:


Keynote: Why Microsoft is Betting Big on Bloggers and RSS

Dean Hachamovitch

Lessons Learned and Best Practices: the GM and Intuit Experience

Debbie Weil, Paul Rosenfeld and Michael Wiley

Building Traffic: Posting isn’t Enough!

Robert Scoble, Dave Taylor


Staying On Top of the Buzz: Blog Monitoring Tools and Techniques

Pete Blackshaw, Evelyn Rodriguez, and Bob Wyman

Good Blog Design: Speed, Accessibility, Transparency, and Clarity

DL Byron

Blog Writing Style: Strategy and Tactics for Successful Posting

Molly Holzschlag, Darren Barefoot

Incorporating HTML and RSS Ads Into Your Content

Dave Taylor 

Building a Blog Network

Stowe Boyd, Paul Scrivens

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Huge Growth Projected in Podcasting

If you thought that Podcasting was a flash in the pan, you'd better think again. According to research by the Diffusion Group:

demand for time-shifted digital audio files
or "podcasts" is expected to grow from less than 15% of portable
digital music player owners in 2004 to 75% by 2010

Their report Podcasting: Fact, Fiction and Opportunity, suggests that between 2004 and 2010, suggests that the compound annual growh of podcastng between 2004 and 2010 will be 101%. The article points to the use of podcasting amongst broadcasters like ABC and NBC, who are offering downloads of recorded newscasts. If you listen to BBC Radio 4's popular news programme, Today, you will hear them mentioning that you can download podcasts of their 8.10 interview every day.

Via: Econtent Mag & Technology 360

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WOMMA – Word of Mouth Marketing Association Conference in Chicago

Womma_2WOMMA stands for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, if you're not already aware. In Chicago on July 13th, it will be holding the first-ever conference, called Measuring Word of Mouth, on measurement, metrics, and standards in word-of-mouth marketing. I must admit that I wasn't that familiar with the organisation unil I had an email from one of their people - Ben - asking if I could mention the event.

According to their website, WOMMA:

is the official trade association for the word of mouth marketing industry. WOMMA's mission is to promote and improve word of mouth marketing by:


  • Protecting consumers and the industry with strong ethical guidelines
  • Promoting WOM as an effective marketing tool
  • Setting standards to encourage its use

Judging by their line-up of speakers and subjects it does sound like it could be quite an interesting event to attend. There are speakers from the Harvard Business School, Future Now, Brand Dimensions and Nielsen/NetRatings. WOMMA claims that attendees will learn 5 things from the event:

  1. Measure and Track Word of Mouth
  2. Prove the ROI of WOM
  3. Create a WOM Media Plan
  4. Discover Why Messages Go Viral
  5. Understand Why Customers Talk

Some of the talks and presentations that caught my eye were:


Optimizing WOM: Which Words Work?

Why People Talk: Consumer Behavior and Word of Mouth

"A Case For Using The Internet To Track Offline, Organic Word Of Mouth"

"The Blog Universe: Influencers, Early Adopters and Online Tenure Rolled into One"

"Customer Evangelists are Not Loyal Customers"

If you're interested in going to the event, please send me an email and I can send you a $50 discount code.

Twingine – Comparing Yahoo! and Google Search Engines

John Battelle picks up on a post by Russell Beattie regarding Twingine, a Google/Yahoo! comparison search engine. Simply type in your search terms and Twingine will display your Google and Yahoo! results side-by-side within your browser.

It's quite interesting to see what he actually has to say about Yahoo! results:

I should be eating our own corporate dogfood more at work and doing my web searches at Yahoo! Search
instead of Google but old habits die hard. Yahoo! Search is easily as
good, but for some reason I've always got this nagging doubt in my mind
of whether I'm seeing the absolute best search results or not. So I end
up using Google a lot to ease my suspicions.

I have actually been thinking the same about the results that Yahoo! throws up. Recently, I have ended up down dead alleys with Google, whilst Yahoo! has offered me far better results. Why not try out Twingine and see what you think?

Tailored Destination Page

On carrying out a search for "Movable Type Tutorial" I got taken to this weblog by Rick Klau, which welcomed me with the following message:


Talk of tailoring web pages to mirror search engine search words!!