Hey CNBC, What's a Widget?

Online Video Watch has a clip of some CNBC presenters trying to figure out what a widget is. I'd make fun of them, except... have you ever tried to define 'widget'? It's not that easy a concept to summarize. (But it's definitely not, as one of the hosts suggests, a virus.)

Anyway, even if the hosts can't figure out what a widget is, their tech guys made a cracking one. If you care about the US stock market -- or about good widgets -- head over to Online Video Watch and have a look.

Search Clicks Worth Twice as Much as Contextual Clicks

Efficient Frontier is reporting its clients' average cost per click on paid search and contextual advertising across a range of categories. The category splits are interesting (note that EF's auto clients pay more for contextual clicks than for search clicks), but more interesting to me is the fact there's still a huge difference between search and contextual prices. So while we've heard reports that contextual ads are performing better now than they have in the past, keep in mind that search clicks -- to Efficient Frontier's clients, at least -- are on average still worth twice as much as clicks from contextual ads.

Interactive Marketing Maturity Research

Upcoming events for interactive marketers

[Posted by Peter Kim]

Just a short note to let you know about some of the "open enrollment" events I'll be participating in over the next quarter or so:

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Two emails, both alike in subject line

Forrester Report: Online Community Best Practices for the Interactive Marketer

[Posted by Jeremiah Owyang]

Left: One of the 5 diagrams from the report: Successful online communities experience the following stages.

This is my debut, my first report published with my name as the lead is now published.  I've been getting a few emails from clients asking me for when this report will be live, so I'm happy to report this first of two reports is now live.

I spent a few months researching and preparing for this two-piece report series. I interviewed over 17 people to find out the commonalities between successful communities.

Here's the executive summary :

Online Community Best Practices

Communities Are A Powerful Tool, As Long As You Put Members' Needs First

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Valentine's Day Fun

I've handed off leadership of our online dating research this year -- you can see David Card's analysis of the market, and our newest online dating forecasts, in Monday's press release -- but since it's Valentine's Day I couldn't help posting a link to The Onion's brutally funny take on online dating. Enjoy.

(The Onion is a pretty good example of online video advertising best practices, by the way -- a 4-second pre-roll ad, accompanied by an IAB standard companion banner, and then a 30-second post-roll ad after the content ends. While they only have one advertiser right now -- Toyota -- they do rotate through several different 30-second spots. But as with so many other sites, The Onion overwhelms its users with too much frequency, putting a pre-roll and a post-roll on every single piece of content.)

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Special Guest Blogger: Dorothee Vogel on Tchibo's Efforts to Explore New Markets Online

I want to offer congratulations to my colleague Dorothee Vogel, who a month ago gave birth to her first child, a son. Reports are that mother and child are both doing well -- and as if to prove it, Dorothee's already back tracking the online commerce space. Here's her take on how German retailer Tchibo keeps exploring new tactics in e-commerce:

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Why 2008 Won't Be The Breakthrough Year for Mobile Advertising

Apparently Nokia mobile ad bigwig Jeremy Wright cracked a joke last week about 2008 being the seventh year in a row that mobile advertising is supposed to break through. He's right: for nearly a decade, mobile has been promoted as the next big thing in advertising. And the sector looks like it's finally gaining some real momentum. We've heard news from Barcelona this week that O2 has signed a deal with 4th Screen Advertising to run mobile pre-roll ads, that Yahoo and T-Mobile are partnering for mobile search and other mobile content, and that the big UK mobile operators are teaming up to set standards for mobile ad measurement.

But unfortunately for Nokia, Yahoo, T-Mobile, O2, 4th Screen, and everyone else in the mobile ad game, 2008 is not going to be a breakthrough year in mobile advertising in Europe, and we're all going to be telling these same jokes in 2009.

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BusinessWeek Hammers MySpace on Ad Effectiveness

Catherine Holahan, a young reporter at BusinessWeek, has been venting her spleen on MySpace and other social networks over the past week. First she wrote an article called MySpace Users Build Up Ad Immunity (key quote from former MySpace advertiser: "Users [have become] more or less desensitized to the advertising") and then she contributed to Generation MySpace Is Getting Fed Up (key quote from current MySpace advertiser: "It's really hard to make money on that anemic click-through rate").

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