Posts Tagged ‘Yahoo’
Thursday, April 10th, 2014
By Allan Maurer
UPDATED! ATLANTA – If you haven’t heard about the nasty Internet bug dubbed “Heartbleed” by now, you should immediately find out about it because you probably need to take action. So do IT administrators, likely in a time-consuming job that has to be done by hand, says , Adam Allred of the Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC) in Atlanta.
In brief, a major security flaw in the way many web sites – including Gmail, Yahoo, Tumblr, and many others means hackers potentially had or have access to users personal information – which may include credit card numbers, log-in passwords, and more.
It also means you’ll probably have to change some passwords to be safe. Experts say change Yahoo right away, as well as gmail, although both have since patched the problem.
Amazon, Evernote, Microsoft, and others were not affected. Mashable published this “Heartbleed Hit List” of which sites were affected and which passwords you may need to change.
Reports this morning (Friday, 4/11/2014) say the bug is also in Cisco and Juniper Network routers, firewalls and networking equipment used by many businesses. The necessary fixes could be long and one source says, “A trip to the trash can and Best Buy.”
Allred says the question he’s been asked most today as a computer security expert is “How important is it really? Is it really that bad?” What makes it so important?
We’ve gotten used to these security breaches cropping up almost daily, but this one really is different, Allred tells the TechJournal. Why?
“Because,” he says, “It’s logistically difficult. People have to do more work by hand to get the problem solved, patching alone is not enough.”
Also, and probably the scary part, is that the flaw in the Open SSL security allows the theft of private keys, Allred says. They can be exposed anonymously with the user none the wiser until consequences show up. They can do this via just this one ezploit, which makes it worse, he adds.
“On many servers that used Open SSL today, if you can obtain the private key, you can use it to decrypt any information every encrypted on that server.” Yikes!
Does this have to keep going on? These terrible security breaches affecting not just millions of people but in this case, almost anyone using the Internet. There is security process that would prevent this particular sort of problem.
That’s “Perfect Forward Secrecy.” It uses a temporary set of keys for each user session. A hacker might conceivably obtain one key, but it wouldn’t work on every thing ever encrypted and would only affect one person, not everyone who came along in the past.
“It’s already found in many modern browsers. Firefox, Chrome and Explorer all have the capability. It’s relatively new in encryption and requires changes on the server side. But there are already concepts and ideas that would help. We just have to turn it on everywhere.”
In general, though, coming up with a “forever solution, and whoever is able to write that solution will be a very popular and rich person.”
Forbes had this to say on Heartbleed. “Avoiding Heartbleed Hype.”
If you want to avoid hype and hear the real deal from digital thought-leaders from brands including Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Huffington Post, but also tech icons such as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, check out the Digital Summit Atlanta, May 20-21.
Friday, July 12th, 2013
Online and mobile mergers and acquisition deals increased by 7 percent in the first half of 2013, but value decreased 29 percent, from $32.54 billion in the second half of 2012 to $23.16 billion.
The median revenue moved from 2.3x to 2.1x, while the median EBITDA multiple increased from 10.0x to 16.0x, according to the Berkery Noyes mid-market investment bank, for the first half 2013 mergers and acquisitions trend report
Yahoo!, with 13 transactions, was the industry’s most active acquirer in first half 2013. Aside from its $1.10 billion acquisition of Tumblr, Yahoo! has mainly focused on small, mobile-based transactions this year.
Tumblr was Yahoo!’s largest deal in the Online & Mobile Industry since 2003, when it acquired search and internet advertising company Overture Services for $1.63 billion.
SaaS & Cloud was the most active market segment and underwent a 15 percent increase in volume, totaling 291 transactions year-to-date. M&A activity in the Communications segment improved 22 percent since second half 2012, making it the sector with the largest half-to-half year increase. One notable Communications transaction in first half 2013 was Dropbox’s acquisition of mobile email application Mailbox.
Mobile a strong driver
In addition, acquirers are looking to add mobile solutions that aggregate relevant content in relation to individual users, as news is shared in real-time.
There were several deals over the past six months that focused on news summary and content sharing, such as LinkedIn’s acquisition of Pulse for $90 million, Google’s acquisition of Wavii for $30 million, and Yahoo!’s acquisition of Summly for $30 million.
“Mobile continues to be a strong driver of M&A activity in the information marketplace,” stated Mary Jo Zandy, Managing Director at Berkery Noyes. “Content delivery methods are evolving, and acquirers in general are showing more interest in semantic technologies that improve the end-user experience.”
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
Early Bird rates for the Atlanta Digital Summit, one of the largest digital marketing events in the Southeast, expire this Friday. The event, which draws 1,500 attendees tends to sell out, so it’s a good idea to register early.
You can meet execs from Twitter, Google, Mashable, Bing, reddit, YouTube, StumbleUpon, TMZ, Dell, Home Depot, HGTV, Salesforce, CNN, AOL, Forester, Urban Daddy and The Weather Channel?
They’re all represented at the upcoming Digital Summit 2013 May 14-15.
The event draws digital marketers, web strategists, senior Internet executives, thought-leaders, and entrepreneurs to Atlanta, so the networking is nonstop.
When you’re Wong, you’re right
We’ll be interviewing some of the featured speakers and panel participants as we head toward the event (TechJournal is a TechMedia division).
We spoke to Kiip CEO and founder Brian Wong, who is among the dozens of digital thought leaders participating.
Wong, the youngest person who ever received venture funding, describes how connecting mobile ads to “moments of achievement and delight” can make those ads welcome rather than an annoyance. See: Mobile ad secret sauce.
We also interviewed Joellyn “Joey” Sargent, a principal at strategic marketing and management consulting firm BrandSprout. She offers insight on the need to integrate digital and traditional marketing and online and offline efforts.
Look for many more interviews with participants at the TechJournal leading up to the event.
Register now to reserve your seat. TechMedia’s last event in Charlotte, NC, had to close registration a week ahead of the event and had a long waiting list, so do it early.
Friday, April 12th, 2013
You can see what’s hot and what’s not looking at the merger and acquisition picture in any industry, and in online and mobile, analytics, SaaS, mobile payments and food service and content firms are like spice to the big dish Internet companies these days.
Deal volume increased three percent relative to the prior quarter in online and mobile industry mergers and acquisitions in the first quarter of 2013, according to mid-market investment bank Berkery Noyes in its mergers and acquisitions trend report, but transaction value decreased 50 percent, from $15.8 billion in Q4 2012 to $7.9 billion in Q1 2013.
The SaaS/ASP segment experienced the largest quarterly rise in volume, improving 16 percent. Meanwhile, transaction volume in the E-Commerce segment increased six percent between Q4 2012 and Q1 2013.
Highest value deal
The segment’s highest value deal in Q1 2013 was Google’s announced acquisition of Channel Intelligence for $125 million.
In addition, major financial technology players completed several large Online and Mobile payments acquisitions during Q1 2013. For instance, ACI Worldwide acquired Online Resources Corporation for $203 million and FIS acquired mFoundry for $120 million.
M&A involving transactions with a large mobile component increased 33 percent over the past three months. Along these lines, there were several acquisitions in the food service information and content space.
Yahoo, OpenTable buys
This included Yahoo!’s acquisition of Alike, which enables users to make recommendations about their favorite food establishments; and OpenTable’s acquisition of Foodspotting, an application that helps users share information about particular dishes.
With four transactions, Yahoo! was the most active Online and Mobile Industry acquirer during the quarter. Several of Yahoo!’s recent acquisitions demonstrate its renewed focus on mobile under CEO Marissa Mayer .
Yahoo! has already completed three mobile transactions thus far in 2013, acquiring social news application Summly, as well as applications Alike and Jybe. In contrast, Yahoo! only made two mobile transactions last year, both of which occurred in Q4 2012.
E-marketing and Search segments
As for the E-Marketing & Search segment, M&A activity increased nine percent in Q1 2013. \
“The ability to better profile and target consumers has necessitated the development and growth of companies that can analyze shoppers’ behavior and develop appropriate offerings to the consumer,” said Evan Klein , Managing Director at Berkery Noyes.
“This shift has led to the growth of data analytics businesses and, with the need to develop deeper relationships with consumers, the growth in loyalty marketing companies.”
Just call me Larry.
Regarding the segment’s social media marketing subset, one notable acquisition in Q1 2013 was Twitter’s acquisition of BlueFin Labs.
A key goal of acquiring the social television analytics company is for Twitter to gain additional advertising revenue by leveraging viewer data. TiVo and The Nielsen Company completed E-Marketing acquisitions in 2012, both of which focused on improving the ability to measure digital audiences.
A copy of the ONLINE AND MOBILE INDUSTRY M&A REPORT FOR FIRST QUARTER 2013 is available at the Berkery Noyes website.
Friday, March 29th, 2013
As Valentine’s Day approached in February, millions flocked to Flowers, Gifts and Greetings sites to search for special gifts for their loved ones. Americans were drawn to Automotive Manufacturer sites during the month as Super Bowl commercials and national auto shows piqued consumer interest in the category, according to the comScore Media Metrix service.
“Valentine’s Day had consumers searching for gift ideas at Flowers, Gifts and Greetings sites, making it one of the top-gaining categories for the month,” said Jeff Hackett, executive vice president of comScore.
“Cars were also at the forefront of Americans’ minds in February, between high-profile Super Bowl ads, auto shows around the country, and an improving economy that has many consumers back in the market for their next car purchase.”
Americans Log on to File as Tax Day Nears
As Tax Day inched closer in February, many Americans looked to the web for help in filing their annual returns. The category grew 45 percent to 36 million visitors to rank as the fastest-growing category during the month.
Movers & Shakers
With taxes on the minds of millions, IRS.gov ranked as the fastest-growing property for the second consecutive month, up 78 percent to 22.6 million visitors in February.
Gearing up for the beginning of Spring training, 8.4 million baseball fans visited MLB.com to get the latest news and information on their favorite teams. General Motors, despite having skipped a Super Bowl ad buy in 2013, generated a traffic boost of 19 percent to 7.2 million visitors on the heels of auto shows around the country.
Top 50 Properties
Google Sites ranked as the #1 property in February with 189 million visitors, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 186 million, Microsoft Sites with 164 million and Facebook with 144 million. Sites that jumped significantly in the rankings included Adobe Sites (up 7 positions to #25), Tribune Interactive (up 5 positions to #30) and The Washington Post Company (up 5 positions to #45).
Top ad networks
For Advertising Networks and Buy Side Networks, Google Ad Network ranked #1 with a 93.3-percent reach, followed by Specific Media (84.5 percent), AOL Advertising (83.7 percent), AT&T AdWorks (82.4 percent) and Genome from Yahoo! (81.1 percent).
For the full release and comScores top 50 properties list see:
Friday, March 15th, 2013
A high tech home office.
Most Americans – 65 percent -believe that telecommuters are actually productive when working from home, but not all Americans are convinced – 29% say telecommuters are mostly “goofing off” when at home.
So says new research from global market research firm, ORC International.
Sparked by Yahoo! and Best Buy’s move to halt the telecommuting option for employees with the hopes of sparking innovation, teamwork and revenues, the survey also shows that the majority of Americans are willing to give companies that stop offering the telecommuting option the benefit of the doubt.
The Yahoo and Best Buy moves to limit telecommuting have sparked several new looks at the benefits and drawbacks that we’ve reported here at the TechJournal. Since we’ve worked from a home office for most of our career, we find the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, but not all agree.
By a 51% to 41% margin, most Americans believe that if a company stops allowing their employees to telecommute, it is because there is a legitimate reason to do so and the business will run better as a result.
Business reasons aside, there are clearly perceived benefits to telecommuting among the public. Overall, more than four-in-ten (43%) say that people who telecommute have a better “work-life” balance versus only 19% who say that balance is worse for telecommuters.
Additionally, more than half (51%) of those who say they are currently full-time employed believe telecommuters have a better work-life balance.
“Employees are inter-mixing work and personal life – accelerating the end of the traditional 9 to 5 office job.
For many employees, having the option to telecommute gives more flexibility and a better work-life balance,” says Matt Roddan , head of ORC International’s US Employee Research practice.
“However, it is vitally important for managers to set protocols to ensure continuous productivity, and to establish open and regular lines of communication in order to manage a telecommuting workforce effectively.”
“Striking a work-life balance is crucial for many employees today. With technology enabling connectivity from anywhere in the world, employees now have more flexibility than ever.
Businesses need to be cautious
But businesses need to be cautious- while having a telecommuting workforce can help reduce overhead costs associated with brick and mortar operations and also help with attracting talent, it might not be right for every business,” added Jeff Resnick , Global Managing Director at ORC International.
“Business cycles often dictate different workforce strategies. Until the day that virtual meetings and employee interactions are as second nature as physical ones, there may be a need to have employees rub elbows in the real world.
Getting employees aligned to achieve corporate goals can be tricky. Sometimes the water cooler plays a pivotal role,” he added.
Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
A home office.
The tech world has been buzzing this week about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer ordering the company’s remote workers back to the office, bucking a trend toward more workplace flexibility.
While this seems to be a backward step, some studies suggest that working from home has advantages and disadvantages for the company. Workers are more productive without the distractions of an office, but less innovative.
For a major tech company like Yahoo, taking away workplace flexibility regarding remote work could affect its ability to recruit and keep talent. Three in four IT workers say it’s at least somewhat important when evaluating job offers.
Dual attitudes toward telecommuting persists among IT workers themselves, though, according to the recent study from Robert Half Technology.
In a survey of more than 3,300 IT Workers conducted by Robert Half Technology:
- 74 percent of IT workers also say they generally prefer working on-site versus remotely.
- Among respondents who preferred working on-site, the majority indicated they appreciate the camaraderie involved with working face-to-face.
- Among those who preferred remote working arrangements, the majority cited increased productivity due to fewer interruptions and the lack of a commute as the reasons for their preference.
Personally, we think blanket policies (no remote work) show a lack of sensitivity to individual needs and to what a company wants from a given employee. Certain positions (such as writer-editors) work much better without distraction.
Here’s an infographic from Robert Half detailing the findings of its Telecommuting study:
Wednesday, January 30th, 2013
Former Flickr, Yahoo, and AOL executives have landed a seed round for what it says is a new kind of mobile collaboration tool for the enterprise.
San Francisco-based Tomfoolery Inc. has raised a $1.7M round of seed funding.
Led by CEO Kakul Srivastava, former GM of Flickr & VP at Yahoo! and CPO Sol Lipman, serial entrepreneur and former VP of Mobile First at AOL, Tomfoolery is developing consumer-quality, mobile focused software for work.
The funding was led by Morado Ventures and Sam Pullara, Twitter & Yahoo veteran, now a Managing Director at Sutter Hill Ventures. Investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Jerry Yang of AME Cloud Ventures, Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of YouSendIt, David Tisch, co-founder of TechStars NYC, and other leading angel investors.
“In your personal life, social mobile applications are beautiful, their functionality is meaningful, and they let you to make real, human connections. At work, today’s enterprise software makes us feel about as close to our coworkers as strapping spreadsheets to carrier pigeons,” said Kakul Srivastava, Tomfoolery CEO.
“People at work aren’t robots – they’re consumers who expect great software. At Tomfoolery, we’re creating an entirely new kind of collaboration toolset, built from the ground up, for the modern worker.”
“The opportunity for mobile to continue to disrupt the workplace is tremendous – Tomfoolery is poised to capitalize on this trend,” said Jerry Yang, Co-Founder of Yahoo! and Tomfoolery investor.
Thursday, November 1st, 2012
Dana Todd will expand on the thoughts expressed here at the Internet Summit in Raleigh, NC, Nov. 6-8.
By Allan Maurer
Nowadays, Chief Marketing Officers “Are some of the most advanced creatures on the planet,” says Dana Todd, senior vice president of marketing and business development for Performics.
Todd, a pioneer of the search marketing industry has 17 years of experience in all forms of digital marketing and is a co-founder of the Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization.
She’ll be discussing advanced topics in search marketing at the upcoming Internet Summit in Raleigh, NC, Nov. 6-8, joining 120 other thought-leaders, technology mavens, marketing experts and up to 2,000 attendees.
Today’s problems in search marketing “Go way beyond linking strategies and SEO,” says Todd.
A more integrated view of digital marketing needed
“You have to take a more integrated view of digital. Search is still a significant portion, but tactics have to be welded together.”
At Internet Summit, she says, she’ll focus on two major themes: Providing the consumer with a richer customized experience; and helping measure the value around those experiences.
“Talk about engaging consumers and being engaging and it’s all about connecting the dots between all the elements of a campaign,” Todd says.
A richer experience in search means you’re no longer just talking about “tiny lines of text.” Both Google and Yahoo have rolled out much richer ad units, she notes. They allow consumers to view photos and videos inside of search ads.
“Marketers need to find resources to take advantage of those. That means you need more pictures, videos, and a better sense of the inventory going into product listings.”
Blending social into paid search
Social networking is also becoming a necessary and important part of the equation, she adds.
“You’re going to see a lot more blending of social into paid search,” she says. Those connections will drive people to the advertiser’s Twitter and Facebook networks. “So you cover a lot more of the decision journey, not just down the buy funnel.”
Then, when consumers see friends endorsing a company or product, “The social layer becomes a personalization layer.”
But just getting a lot of fans on Facebook or Twitter followers is “last year’s tactic.” Now, the emphasis should be on creating more in depth friendships.”
Don’t ignore Google Plus
Todd also warns advertisers and companies not to ignore Google Plus. “They’re integrating it in search,” she says.
“Think about how Google could potentially connect everything.”
They could do it through a single ID, the way Facebook does with its open graph that allows you to connect to many sites via its login. “Google is trying to get into that,” Todd says. “They can connect your actions with everything tied to your gmail and Google Plus accounts.”
A lot of unfinished business in local
Next year, Todd notes, combined mobile and tablet use is expected to exceed desktop computer use. What does that mean to advertisers? “About 40 percent of queries on a mobile device are tied to a local intent,” she says. “That means marketers need to pay a lot move attention not just to coverage but to accuracy in local and find ways to engage and delight users in that local experience.”
A quarter of all searches next year are likely to be locally focused. “That’s really big,” Todd says.
Google and Yahoo are both rolling out a number of local enhancements.
Coupon opportunity is significant
That means “The coupon opportunity is significant. You can drop an offer right into a cell phone search result and also click-to-call. But think about tracking that and what it means to you, because that’s the connection currency in mobile.”
She also thinks we’ll be seeing a lot more emphasis on remarketing. We’ve certainly noticed that in our own online shopping experiences already. If we look at a product on Tiger Direct (Comp USA) but don’t buy, they hit us again with email offers.
While Todd notes there is a great opportunity in remarketing, “It’s controversial for some advertisers. Some think it’s a little creepy to follow people with messages after they left your site. Other’s find it’s phenomenal.”
The numbers bear that out because doing so leads to a 20 percent recapture.
Advertisers can become even more sophisticated and aggressive about that now, she adds. “You can find people who visited a competitors site.”
Next, marketers have to consider measuring results, attributions, and reporting. See part two: It’s all about the data
Or, you can catch her presentation at the Internet Summit. We can tell you this: she has so much take-away information we could barely keep up with it all.
Thursday, September 27th, 2012
Scott Thompson, former president of PayPal, named to Kabbage board of directors.
Kabbage Inc., a provider of working capital for small businesses, has named Scott Thompson, CEO of ShopRunner and former president of PayPal, to its board.
Thompson is currently the CEO of ShopRunner, the leading shopping network that enables merchants to bring the best shopping services to consumers.
Prior to ShopRunner, he was CEO of Yahoo, where questions about his resume led to his resignation, although Thompson said it was due to a health issue.
Experience transcends resume flap
Marc Gorlin, chair of Kabbage tells the TechJournal, “He was unbelievable as president of PayPal and understands financial services and data science better than anyone we know. His experience and assistance far exceeds a trumped up resume flap by a disgruntled investor.”
Thompson served as the President of PayPal from 2008 to early 2012, prior to that he was PayPal’s Chief Technology Officer. While at PayPal he helped scale the company through its most rapid growth years growing it from $1 billion in revenues to $4.4 billion in revenues, and established PayPal as the leading global online payment service.
“Kabbage is rapidly reshaping the small business financing space in the same way that PayPal reshaped the payments space over the last decade,” said Scott Thompson.
“I enjoy working with, and believe I can have the most impact on, companies that are re-inventing the ways financial services are delivered to consumers and small businesses. And specifically, by working with organizations that are uncovering new and unique methods of leveraging data science to attack a massive market. Kabbage has both the opportunity and is on a trajectory to do exactly that.”
Won Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011
In 2011, Scott was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Northern California for his leadership in the Financial Services industry.
“We are thrilled to have the benefit of Scott’s passion, relationships, and experience on as part of our team,” said Rob Frohwein, CEO of Kabbage. “Scott led PayPal through its most formative and highest growth years and we will benefit from those learnings as we continue to accelerate our growth.”
Thompson joins Kabbage’s existing board of directors which includes Rob Frohwein, CEO of Kabbage, Marc Gorlin, Chairman and Co-Founder of Kabbage, Bryan Stolle, General Partner Mohr Davidow Ventures, Jonathan Ebinger, Partner Blue Run Ventures, Bruce Miller, Managing Director Stephens Inc, and Don Butler, Managing Director of Thomvest Ventures.
Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
By Joe Procopio
The first week of the 2012 NFL Football Season is in the books and at 4:30 a.m. this morning, me and the crew at Automated Insights began creating and delivering individual Fantasy Football matchup recaps to Yahoo! Fantasy Football.
By 7:30 a.m. this morning, Yahoo! had published several million of these recaps across their league pages and we were seeing tweets like these:
Dear Yahoo! Fantasy Football people. You have earned some serious respect with this awesome “Recap” feature for previous week matchups
By the end of the 2012 season, it will be the largest implementation of fully personalized automated content ever produced.
Each team got a unique, professional-sounding paragraph narrative plus four sets of game notes recapping their individual matchup. The recap is highly relevant and hyper-personalized, even entertaining, highlighting not only what did happen, but how it happened, what could have happened, and even what should have happened.
The recaps were created at a rate of 500 articles per second, all machine-written, unmistakably human, and completely customized. The algorithms take into account all of the custom settings and scoring rules that the league commissioners can create.
The following is an actual (but condensed) Automated Insights generated recap using last year’s actual data from our own in-house league. The winning team in this example may have been mine. It’s hard to remember plus that’s not the point. OK, it’s mine.
Staats Battle Rallies to Beat Greased Up Deaf Guy for Fourth Consecutive Win
Staats Battle crushed Greased Up Deaf Guy, 154.44 – 117.50, for a second win in as many head-to-head matchups this season. Drew Brees was the difference, putting up 42.32 points this week, an upgrade on his 34.06 points the last time these teams met. To make matters worse, Greased Up Deaf Guy had a starter score zero points (Mario Manningham). This is the smallest margin of victory for Staats Battle in the series, as they defeated Greased Up Deaf Guy 121.18 – 69.66 back in Week 1. Finally, even with the loss, Greased Up Deaf Guy earned a spot in the playoffs.
Staats Battle Smooth Moves
- Drew Brees scored the most points of any player on Staats Battle this season.
- Benched RB Jackie Battle, who scored fewer points than any RB in the starting lineup with 2.00.
- Picked up Toby Gerhart, who beat his scoring projection by 46.6%, with 12.30 points against a projected 8.39.
Greased Up Deaf Guy Regret Tracker
- Left Jermaine Gresham on the bench, where he scored 12.80 points and surpassed his scoring projection by 179.5%, the highest percentage of any player on the team.
- With 1.00 point, the San Francisco 49ers Defense had their lowest output of the season and tallied just 8.9% of their 11.28 projected points, their lowest percentage of the year.
- Tony Gonzalez could not reach his projected point total, scoring only 72.9% of his 9.47-point projection with 6.90 points.
- Greased Up Deaf Guy would be 6-4 if they played the same schedule as Staats Battle.
- Staats Battle would have beaten eight other teams besides Greased Up Deaf Guy this week.
- If Staats Battle played Greased Up Deaf Guy every week, they would be 8-4 this season.
- Staats Battle has won four straight games, the longest current winning streak in the league.
- Greased Up Deaf Guy could not extend their six-game win streak.
- With the win, Staats Battle remains undefeated in comeback games this season, improving to 2-0.
This isn’t just a new toy for Fantasy Football nerds, it’s a huge step for automated content. Fantasy Football, at last count in 2008, included 29-million players, many who managed several teams, and those players spent an average of 5-6 hours a week and $493 a year on fantasy sports.
The only solution
This is an area where automated content is not just the best solution, it’s the only solution – a scenario that calls for millions of articles delivered immediately and frequently, something no amount of writers could ever accomplish. The audience is also very niche, but they’re passionate about the content, and in most cases that content is actionable, which makes it extremely valuable.
And that’s something that always gets misunderstood about what we’re doing at Automated Insights. Automated content isn’t designed to replace human writers (at least the good ones). Machine-driven content is best used in situations where human-driven content is impossible or the expense outweighs the benefit.
In this case, it’s a huge value-add for Yahoo’s Fantasy Football offering. In other cases, it has powered our StatSheet network of team sites, allowing us to cover every major college basketball and football program and the NFL, MLB, and NBA — with all of 14 people.
And it doesn’t end there – it’s also producing thousands of individual neighborhood market reports for real estate company startup Sawbuck, as well as niche content in finance and other verticals.
So instead of reading a customized article about which running back would best fit into your specific fantasy lineup, imagine reading a customized article about which stock and how much of it would best fit your specific portfolio.
Now imagine we can do that for millions of people at once. That’s what automated content is designed to do, and that’s what we’re doing with it.
Joe Procopio (@jproco) heads up product engineering for automated content startup Automated Insights, which is also StatSheet. He also founded and runs startup network ExitEvent,. You can read him at http://joeprocopio.com.
Monday, July 23rd, 2012
Scott Thompson, briefly CEO of Yahoo and former president of PayPal has been named CEO of ShopRunner, a network of merchants that provides multi-channel shopping services to consumers.
Current CEO and co-founder Mike Golden will continue with the company as its president.
Thompson was CEO at Yahoo from January until May 2012. He resigned, citing illness as a reason, but Yahoo was investigating questions about his resume, which apparently claimed degrees in both accounting and computer science. He actually has a degree in accounting only.
During Thompson’s tenure at PayPal from 2005-2012, the service grew from 50 million to 104 million active users with 8 million merchant partners.
Golden says of Thompson, “Scott and Michael Rubin had worked together for a number of years, and Michael and I took him through the idea of ShopRunner early on. He had an immediate understanding of the potential impact of ShopRunner for consumers and retailers. During his tenure as PayPal’s President, Scott joined the ShopRunner board of directors and we got to see firsthand how much value Scott could add to our business. Michael and I both felt he would be the perfect long-term CEO.”
ShopRunner launched just 22 months ago and has built a strong network of retailers and powerful services for consumers. During this time, the company has also focused on developing an extensive product development road map.
In its next evolution, ShopRunner says it will expand its offerings, both in its breadth of participating merchants, and its benefits to members, including PayRunner, a two-click checkout experience, and ShopRunner PickupPoints – a service that gives members the option to have packages delivered to thousands of convenient retail store locations.
“Mike Golden has built a great foundation with ShopRunner and we both agreed that it is the perfect time to bring in Scott, who we have gotten to know extremely well over the past few years,” said Michael Rubin, CEO of Kynetic, a majority shareholder of ShopRunner. “Scott’s deep understanding of online businesses combined with his team building, operational capabilities, and focus on product will allow ShopRunner to realize its ultimate potential.”
Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012
For a while there, it looked as if Yahoo had made a good decision hiring former PayPal CEO Scott Thompson to helm the iconic Internet firm. But his fall due to resume padding quickly reversed the positive vibes Yahoo had earned in the media.
The visibility surrounding the forced exodus of major corporate CEOs this month proves again that a company’s top executive acts as a powerful magnet for media focus, says a new report from Prime Research.
At the same time, recent events reinforce the harsh penalty for CEOs who are unaware of, or detached from, the realities of corporate leadership as a reputation watermark in public life.
A case in point is Scott Thompson, Yahoo’s former CEO, who inherited a low reputation threshold from the media legacy of predecessor Carol Bartz.
During his first four months at Yahoo’s helm, Thompson’s leadership improved the media’s favorable reporting about the company by 15 percent from January to April, in part because of Thompson’s image, and despite visible job cuts affecting 2,000 employees.
Media savvy among top CEOs continues to be a major factor impacting the strength or weakness of a company’s reputation in today’s media environment.
CEO needs to understand news dynamics
Mark Weiner, CEO of PRIME Research, which conducts content analysis of both traditional and social media, said, “To the degree that traditional and social media both reflect current public opinion while helping to shape the future, the CEO who understands the dynamics of news, acts responsibly, communicates credibly, and builds confidence through transparency is an essential asset.
“The media’s desire for direct access to corporate leaders almost ensures that a CEO’s actions and commentary will be scrutinized and remarks broadcasted. Those CEOs who are capable, trained and poised when in the media spotlight ensure the best possible result for themselves, their companies and the shareholders they serve.”
Prior to Thompson’s emergence at Yahoo, the company’s media coverage across 43 opinion-leading print, broadcast and digital sources skewed negatively with 40 percent of all news critical of the company.
At that time, former CEO Bartz accounted for 17 percent of the company’s coverage. Upon his arrival, Thompson quickly guided Yahoo’s image to a much more favorable view with 34 percent of all coverage positive and only 14 percent negative.
Positive momentum reversed suddenly
Since last week’s disclosure of Thompson’s resume padding and subsequent departure from Yahoo, positive momentum reversed immediately, plummeting to 48 percent negative, with 57 percent of all Yahoo corporate coverage dominated by news of Thompson’s error.
In the days following Thompson’s departure and the subsequent naming of Ross Levinsohn as interim CEO, Yahoo’s negative coverage virtually disappeared, thus achieving the desired redeeming effect for the company.
PRIME consultant Patty Lin, who conducted the analysis, adds, “While a counter balance of positive news has yet to appear, the stage is set for more affirmative reputation-building news to emerge. However, the life of a reputation crisis can be long: journalists move on to current events but add context by reiterating events that came before.
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
Yahoo's CEO for a brief period, and former head of PayPal, Scott Thompson was busted for padding his resume.
Scott Thompson, who recently resigned as Yahoo’s new CEO after he was caught padding his resume, has brought attention to the issue of faking accomplishments on a resume.
According to a new survey by FindLaw.com, a popular legal information website, 8 percent of Americans admit to embellishing or exaggerating information on their resume.
And as some recent corporate scandals have highlighted, the consequences can be severe.
More than a quarter of the people who admitted padding their resumes — 27 percent — said they subsequently lost their job when the false information was later discovered.
An additional 3 percent said they were not offered a job after their resume padding was uncovered.
Resume padding involves presenting false or misleading information about one’s education, work experience, professional credentials, job skills or other important personal data.
“With the Internet, employers now have more means to verify information on a resume,” said Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney and editor with FindLaw.com. “Even connections with other people via social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn can reveal inconsistencies with the information that you are presenting to employers.
In this age of social networking, people need to be careful not only that their information is truthful and accurate, but also that they are not saying one thing to one person or company, and something different to someone else — whether it’s an employer, prospective employer, friend, family member or acquaintance.”
“As the headlines show time after time, presenting false personal or professional information to an employer is grounds for termination,” continued Rahlfs. ”
Our survey found that when someone provides false information on a resume, more than one-third of the time — 36 percent — the deception is later discovered. And the most common result is the loss of a job.”
Free information on legal “do’s and don’ts” and what information employers are legally allowed to inquire about during background checks on prospective employees can be found at FindLaw.com’s Employment Law section at http://employment.findlaw.com/hiring-process/job-applications-interviews or www.findlaw.com.
The FindLaw survey was conducted using a demographically balanced group of 1,000 American adults and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percent.
Thursday, April 12th, 2012
Google Sites led the explicit core search market in March with 66.4 percent of search queries conducted, according to comScore’s monthly data.
U.S. Explicit Core Search
Google Sites led the U.S. explicit core search market in March with 66.4 percent market share, followed by Microsoft Sites with 15.3 percent and Yahoo! Sites with 13.7 percent. Ask Network accounted for 3.0 percent of explicit core searches, followed by AOL, Inc. with 1.6 percent.
|comScore Explicit Core Search Share Report*
March 2012 vs. February 2012
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore qSearch
|Core Search Entity
||Explicit Core Search Share (%)
|Total Explicit Core Search
*”Explicit Core Search” excludes contextually driven searches that do not reflect specific user intent to interact with the search results.
18.4 billion explicit core searches were conducted in March, with Google Sites ranking first with 12.2 billion (up 4 percent).
Microsoft Sites ranked second with 2.8 billion searches (up 5 percent), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 2.5 billion (up 4 percent), Ask Network with 555 million (up 4 percent) and AOL, Inc. with 285 million (up 7 percent).
|comScore Explicit Core Search Query Report
March 2012 vs. February 2012
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore qSearch
|Core Search Entity
||Explicit Core Search Queries (MM)
|Total Explicit Core Search
“Powered By” Reporting
In March, 68.6 percent of searches carried organic search results from Google, while 25.9 percent of searches were powered by Bing (versus 26.2 percent in February).
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