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Showing posts from June, 2007

Web 2.0: The Best Social Tagging Sites

Based on two months of testing across a half-dozen B2B websites and blogs, these Web 2.0 social bookmarking sites produced the best results, in terms of driving direct traffic and having active, engaged discussion communities.

Overall, Web 2.0 sites didn't drive a large amount of direct traffic (depending on the B2B site, Web 2.0 sites added 1% to 3% to total traffic—but had larger indirect benefits on traffic, such as through blog exposure and SEO). The percentages shown below are the proportion of total Web 2.0 social tagging-driven traffic contributed by each site (e.g. if a site got a total of 200 visits from all the sites in the study, Yahoo! MyWeb would have accounted for about five of those).

This list includes the top 10 general-interest sites as well as three special-purpose Web 2.0 social bookmarking sites.

10) Yahoo! MyWeb 2.4%
A decent tool, but nothing really sets it apart from the pack.

9) Netvouz 3.2%
A surprisingly effective tool for B2B …

The Reason As T WHy Ziff Davis Sells Off Magazines

MediaPost reported this morning that Ziff Davis has announced plans to sell off the magazine titles in its Enterprise Group to a private equity firm. The sale includes print titles eWeek, CIO and Baseline magazine, as well as web properties,,,, and

I've addressed this phenomenon previously here in bemoaning the demise of CMO magazine. Magazine brands have value. Content has value (though possibly less on the web than in print). Printing has diminishing value, particularly in the technology publication space.

MediaPost noted that Z-D has "cut costs and reformulated itself as a Web-focused publisher" over the past few years. But if the value of magazines is in their brand, and Z-D is selling off the titles, the question is—Z-D is going to be a web-focused publisher of what exactly?

Terms: print publications dying, print magazines declining, publishing, Ziff Davis, MediaPost, Enterprise Gro…

Web 2.0 Social Tagging Sites, Part 6: Tier 2 Sites

Here in the second of three posts on the effectiveness of specific Web 2.0 social bookmarking sites at driving B2B website traffic, based on my two-month test, are the mid-tier sites. These sites drove a meaningful though not large volume of traffic across the half-dozen B2B websites and blogs in the test. In ascending order, the mid-tier sites are:

7) Newsvine
Though much more heavily-used than WireFan, results were similar. Categorization of news items is helpful but overly broad.

6) Simpy
Works better with IE than Firefox.

5) MarkaBoo
Clean design, easy to use, respectable results.

4) NowPublic
News-oriented, a great place to expose user-targeted, thought-leadership PR.

Given it's incredible popularity, B2B traffic results were surprisingly second-tier (though near the top of this group).

2) RawSugar
Primarily for blog promotion, but works for B2B thought leadership content as well.

1) Reddit
The best of the second tier, though the delay it imposes between taggin…

Web 2.0 Social Tagging Sites, Part 5: Tier 3 Sites

After two months of testing across half a dozen B2B websites and blogs, here is the first of three posts on the performance of individual Web 2.0 social bookmarking sites. In my test, the sites below were the least productive at driving traffic directly—though they were nonetheless helpful for SEO efforts. It should also be noted that there were wide variations in the traffic driven per site (e.g. the Web 2.0 sites that performed well for one or two sites didn't perform uniformly well across the group), so your mileage may vary.

Still, a great place to promote press releases.

One of the original bookmarking sites; they were Web 2.0 before it was called that.

Cool, though a bit slow at times.

Slick, easy interface.

Previous articles in this series:
Web 2.0 Social Tagging Sites, Part 1: Alexa Rankings
Web 2.0 Social Tagging Sites, Part 2: The Worst
Web 2.0 Social Tagging Sites, Part 3: Special-Purpose Sites
Web 2.0 Social Tagging Sites, Part 4: B2B Traf…

More on Behavioral Targeting

Shortly after my last piece on behavioral targeting for online advertising came out, the folks at MediaPost published three more enlightening articles on the topic. First was What's Next in Ad Targeting? from Dave Morgan of behavioral targeting advertising network Tacoda. Morgan makes three key points about targeted online advertising: 1) "you have to know something about a lot of different consumers and their actions within digital media and marketing environments. You need to understand the wisdom of the crowds;" 2) "for consumers that you want to target, you have to know a certain amount about their actual actions within media and marketing environments. You need some way to connect them to the crowds if you want to predict what they are likely to do;" and 3) "you need to have an understanding of what types of commercial messaging are likely to create the desired results."

He closes by writing ""What could slow this down? Certainly issue…

What Works in B2B Technology Marketing

Marketing Sherpa has just published a free whitepaper titled Business Technology Marketing Benchmark Guide 2007-08: Practical Data for B2B Software, Hardware & Services Marketers. While experienced B2B IT marketers won't find any shocking revelations here, there are some minor surprises, and even the confirmatory data make it well worth the quick read.

Here are the key takeways from my reading of it:

Low conversion rates are (unfortunately) the norm…

“Fewer than 10% of visitors who click to your offer page for a white paper, webinar or online “education” (case studies, tech specs, etc.) actually wind up registering to use these resources. The other 90% leave without a trace.” 10% sounds optimistic.

…but there are tactics that can be employed to improve conversion:
Repeat important words throughout the copy. “Don’t assume that prospects carefully read everything on the page from start to finish…Make sure relevant keywords are present no matter where the eye flickers.” (Repeating …

WMC Interviews: Janine Popick

I recently caught up with Janine Popick, founder and CEO of VerticalResponse. Like many other hosted email services, VerticalResponse gives you easy-to-use tools for creating and executing email campaigns—pre-built HTML templates, list management and segmentation, click-through reporting, etc. Unlike many other services however, VerticalReponse prices its service on a pay-as-you-go model rather than a monthly or annual fee. This is great for organizations that send out email blasts on an irregular or ad hoc basis.

Here's our conversation.

WebMarketCentral (WMC): What did you do before VerticalResponse?

Janine Popick (JP): I've been in Direct Marketing for about 17 years in one fashion or another. In the late 90's after a merger with, and to form NBCi, I formed NBCi Direct, the direct marketing division of NBC Internet. Before that I served as VP of Direct Marketing and Ecommerce at the 12th most trafficked website and was an officer of th…

The Right Kind of Behavioral Targeting

The recent acquisitions of DoubleClick by Google and RightMedia by Yahoo are rightfully raising privacy concerns about behavioral advertising. E-Commerce Times has reported that the FTC is investigating these deals because "Privacy issues and antitrust concerns go hand-in-hand, since the mergers mean combining overlapping databases about consumers' online behavior, from search terms and e-mails to digital photo collections and advertising clicks." And EU regulators are concerned as well, particularly due to the length of time Google stores behavioral information on users.

Concern centers around cookies. While each cookie placed on your computer is fairly limited in what it can reveal about you, the entire collection reveals quite a bit. And with just a few companies now having access to the information in all of those cookies, your privacy is significantly diminished. Consumer privacy groups worry that "Google’s proposed acquisition of DoubleClick will give one compa…