This week I am reminded of Voltron, narcolepsy and Burn Notice. Confused? Let me explain.

The Hootsuite acquisition of Seesmic and Nebula funding remind me of Voltron. The title of the piece about eBay acquiring Svpply makes me think of My Own Private Idaho and, thus, narcolepsy which is what seems to be happening to Blekko around search. Finally, the title of the piece about Conversocial makes me think of Sam Axe describing spies on Burn Notice.

This is … Marketing Biz.

The New Paid Discovery is Here!StumbleUpon Paid Discovery

After undergoing a complete design refresh as well as extensive beta testing by our advertisers, the next generation of Paid Discovery is ready for its official debut! All PD accounts have been updated to reflect the current look and feel; and all browsers, including Internet Explorer, are now supported by the new version.

If it’s not clear (and it isn’t) this is about a refresh to StumbleUpon’s paid discovery product. It’s essentially a UX overhaul to a marketing channel that is often under-utilized and misunderstood. Cheapest. Brand. Exposure. Ever.

eBay Buys Its Own Private Pinterest

eBay says the Svpply team will work on “merchandising, non-search discovery and browsing.” It appears that eBay wants to make finding products easier and elevate the experience of shopping on its site. With the help of Svpply’s eye for design and Hunch’s taste graph, shopping on eBay might soon feel more like stepping into a Fifth Avenue shop instead of rumaging through a cardboard box in the back of musty antiques store.

eBay continues their struggle to remain relevant after suffocating on their own Web 1.0 arrogance. Will this go any better than the revolving door that was StumbleUpon? Can acquiring one of the many visual treatment clones really make a difference? I’ll believe it when I see it.

Nebula nabs $25M from Comcast, Highland, KPCB, & others to deploy next-gen private clouds

“We’re democratizing what Google and Facebook have done with their data centers,” Kemp told me. “You can use your favorite server vendor and plug those servers into our boxes. You plug in and 15 minutes later, you have Amazon running on premise.”

Marketing will benefit from cloud computing and big-data crunching which makes this private plug-and-play offering important. Larger enterprise organizations are risk-averse, hamstringing savvy marketers. Nebula can help reduce the paranoia and ensure you’re not the last marketer to play with the new shiny toys.

It’s Time to Demonstrate Business Impact from Social MediaAdobe Social

Adobe Social is a sin­gle prod­uct to man­age social mar­ket­ing activ­i­ties end to end – from buy­ing adver­tis­ing, to pub­lish­ing to fans and fol­low­ers, dri­ving engage­ment and mea­sur­ing busi­ness out­comes. It rep­re­sents not only a sin­gle solu­tion for a business’s core social mar­ket­ing activ­i­ties, but a prod­uct that has the advan­tage of inte­gra­tion with the Adobe Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Suite to bring multi-channel mea­sure­ment and opti­miza­tion to the mix. Mar­keters can now cre­ate and demon­strate tan­gi­ble busi­ness impact from social media, all within one pow­er­ful solu­tion. Just imag­ine, all those social mar­ket­ing tools in one work­flow, all that pre­cious data at your fin­ger­tips, all with one login. Your team will thank you.

Adobe certainly has name recognition but is it in this vertical? I’ll be interested to see how the product is received and who will wind up as the leader in enterprise social management.

Rakuten LinkShare to Acquire mediaFORGE

Rakuten LinkShare is acquiring mediaFORGE to add to its portfolio of affiliate marketing, search marketing and lead generation services and solutions. The company is expanding its offerings through the mediaFORGE acquisition to help online retailers drive multi-channel, integrated campaigns.

Rakuten LinkShare is quietly putting together a pretty impressive offering for retailers. It’s all business with these guys. No glitz or hype really, just plodding along working at delivering direct response marketing solutions that work.

Deal junkies hurt stores’ profits

During the recession, retailers had more sales to lure cash-strapped Americans into stores. Now, that strategy has backfired. It has bred a group of deal junkies that won’t shop unless they see “70 percent” signs or yellow clearance stickers. They’re a thorn in the side of most retailers because the discounts it takes to get them into stores eats away at profits. In fact, retailers’ annual profit growth was cut in half between 2006 and last year, according to a survey of 122 merchants by Retail Metrics, a research firm.

This piece is aimed at offline mass merchants but could be applied to the online world with ease. The daily deals phenomenon is simply not sustainable. Not for merchants and, by extension, any company relying on that model. The quicker Groupon becomes a small business services company the better.

Conversocial Raises $1.25M and Moves to New York to Turn Bitchy Tweets into Customer Service Opportunities

Conversocial analyzes every Tweet and Facebook message sent to a company’s page and uses natural language algorithms to determine the urgency of each message. A number of other factors – whether or not the message contains profanity, whether or not the person had complained in the past, etc. – also have an effect on the order that messages are displayed in. The concept is simple (deal with the screaming, angry lunatic before the quiet, calm customer) and allows customer service reps to prioritize without conscious thought or laborious methodologies.

It can be smart to quickly address the most vocal detractors of your brand. More often than not, knowing they’ve been heard can neutralize their ire. Successfully resolving their issue can convert them into evangelizers. Yet you have to be wary not to spend too much time on the fringe. Remember, don’t feed the trolls.

More Tweets across the web

Today we’re launching a new tool that makes it easy to embed interactive timelines of Tweets on any website.

When you browse websites that have embedded a Twitter timeline, you can now interact with it in the same way you do on twitter.com. Expand Tweets to see photos, media, and more. Start a conversation from the Tweet box, follow users that you discover, and reply to, retweet, or favorite Tweets directly from the page.

Twitter continues to follow-through on wresting back the control of their own product. This new feature ensures the consistency they need to deliver advertising on a distributed network of sites. How long until publishers will be offered a cut of ad revenue off of these embedded timelines?

Hootsuite swoops in on Seesmic

The Seesmic brand will eventually fade away as Hootsuite decides which of the social media client’s features best fit Hootsuite’s goals, the company revealed today. That means Seesmic users will have to switch over to Hootsuite in order to access their Seesmic accounts.

I think this is a good exit for Seesmic. Remember, it was Hootsuite who got the coveted certified partner designation by Twitter. I expect a fair amount of consolidation in the next six months based on the Project Runway like deliberations by Twitter.

Share the Love! Create Boards on ROCKZiROCKZi

Sure, we have over thirty great boards to peruse, running the gamut from politics to entertainment, but what about those niche topics that really make your eyes perk up – your favorite band, theremin, baking – you get the picture.

Because ROCKZi is a social product and relies on viral growth, user-created boards are interactive and shareable for the ROCKZi community. As the creator of the board, you will get credited, score karma points, and have editing privileges. The board itself will be available for all to enjoy, and open for article submissions.

So there’s no announcement around Blekko’s Paid SEO tools but we get a post about new boards on ROCKZi? I guess there is no such thing as an official pivot but it certainly seems like Blekko has decided to give up on search.

There aren’t as many 900 lb gorillas in this new vertical but it’s crazy crowded with the likes of Glos.si, RebelMouse, Hypemarks, Medium, Fancy and Pinterest to name a few. RIP Slash The Web?

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Marketing Biz

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About The Author: is Owner of Blind Five Year Old, a San Francisco Internet Marketing firm specializing in search. An experienced marketing executive with a successful track record spanning 20 years, AJ combines a deep understanding of search marketing with a passion for product strategy and iterative product development, fusing design and user experience with quantitative analysis.




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  • http://twitter.com/skrenta Rich Skrenta

    blekko isn’t pivoting. We realized that we had a news engine hiding under the hood (e.g. https://blekko.com/ws/+/politics+/date ). Each newsboard is essentially a slashtag, and any interaction or curation on the newsboards feeds back into the search engine. Rockzi actually grew out of a project done by one of our engineers at an internal hackathon. We could have called it news.blekko.com, but thought that was boring, and the social features would get more traction on a uniquely branded site.

  • Alan

    Stumbleupon paid discovery is cheap? Either you are being sarcastic or I am doing something very wrong $500 for 5000 visitors who stay all of 30 seconds like all stumbleupon users. Is pretty steep. It would be cheap if it was decent (find a site and actually read the article) type traffic but it isn’t. It is the usual stumbleupon rubbish!

 

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