Posts Tagged ‘internet’

Video from 1994: What is the Internet?

February 1st, 2011

I couldn’t resist posting this. In this video from January 1994, Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric discuss the Internet and ask what it is.

We’ve all been here — where we first learn about something and ask questions about how it works. But today, with the Internet being arguably the biggest invention in history, it’s funny to see how it was once viewed.

Nielsen admits to miscalculating Internet traffic by 22%

November 5th, 2010

Web traffic

One of the top Web traffic data companies in North America has admitted it has been underestimating the amount of time people in the United States spent on the Internet.

The Nielsen Co. says a technical glitch is responsible for its undercounting time spent by 22 percent. Nielsen says the problem stems from its system having difficulty recognizing long URLs.

In a statement obtained by Adage [PDF], Steve Hasker, President of Media Products for Nielsen, said:

We are writing to inform you that we are actively investigating an erroneous decline in our Internet use data. The primary cause is an increasing incidence of websites using very long URLs that are not properly recognized by our systems. When our system attempts to process session data including the very long URLs, which are more than 2,000 bytes in size each, it intermittently does not recognize the session, causing an estimated average 22% decline in time spent year-over-year, which can vary at the domain level.

The company says there are other factors that led to incorrect data to be shared, but those factors were not disclosed. Nielsen is now looking for potential errors in reports it issued in other countries, as well as reports that track online video consumption and Web search traffic.

Nielsen also said:

This investigation, covering every element of our Internet measurement methodology, including the panel, collection capabilities, and processes, and nature of the root cause indicates that we need to do a better job keeping pace with the rapid evolution of the Internet. We are putting new processes in place to add greater rigor to the continuous testing of our methodology and expanding our monitoring for anomalous events. We have also engaged the Media Rating Council (MRC) to review our findings and the additional processes.

The company says the problem will be fixed by the time its December report is published in January 2011.

- Cross-posted to Future of Media

The Next Big Thing in online advertising: Captcha?

April 16th, 2010

You’ve seen captcha on many websites, even if you don’t know what the word refers to; on sign-up forms for websites you’re often given a box of squiggly text and asked to identify the characters inside. The characters are randomly generated and use to prove you’re a person rather than a bot signing up to the site. Here is an example of what they look like.

Almost everyone who has ever signed up for something on the Internet has seen Captcha. Now, an ad agency has found an interesting business idea: monetizing captcha and allowing advertisers to buy the space.

According to, A company called AdCopy is currently testing captcha ads, meaning advertisers can buy the captcha space on a website so when someone is signing-up, they are forced to engage with a brand. AdCopy reportedly boasts a self-serve advertising platform where advertisers can create and upload ads. Rather than squiggly characters, this service allows advertisers to ask Web users to answer a question related to the ad, or  read the ad and provide information from within.‘s example:

By entering “180 savings,” the user is immediately engaging with the ad and is forced to read it. The advertiser wins because every person must engage with the ad. And the consumer is not overly hassled because it’s simple to do. And as notes, the consumer may actually benefit from being able to read clean text on ads rather than small or hard-to-read text on some captcha.

Advertisers are always looking for new ways to reach people, and this method seems to be well thought-out because it guarantees 100 percent engagement for anyone who wants to sign-up at the site.

There are some setbacks when it comes to spammers getting around captcha (check out the report for details), but overall I think it’s a great idea for advertisers and site owners looking for new monetization ideas.

Google, Intel and Sony team up in boob tube deal

March 18th, 2010

According to the New York Times, Sony has joined forces with Google and Intel to develop a platform under the Google TV name. The goal is to bring Web video into the living room with new TVs and set-top boxes.

The Web-based TV game is a competitive landscape, with big players such as Netflix, TiVo, Apple TV and a billion brand names you’ve never heard of making set-top boxes to stream content from the Web.

The Sony-Intel-Google partnership’s goal is to beef up their portfolio and extend their presence into another room of the house. Google and Intel have a lot of revenue potential if they can get market share in the TV space, and Sony could earn a competitive edge via a partnership with the big-G. Over the last number of years, the HDTV landscape has become highly competitive and Sony has seen its foothold slip, so a partnership that offers a new technology may help drive consumers to the Sony brand.

So what’s the big deal with this announcement? According to the NY Times, the three tech titans want to make it easier for TV users to use and navigate through Web-based applications such as Twitter, Picasa. Their goal is to make it as simple as changing the channel.

The TV sets will use Intel’s Atom chips and the platform will be built on Google’s Android operating system (the same one used in smartphones), and the code will be opened to developers and software engineers. The move is strategic in an effort to have third-parties assist in growing and developing the platform (the same way App developers have helped fuel the demand for Apple’s iPhone or iPod).

There are no details on release dates, but software and some products may surface as early as this summer, reports indicate. Peripheral maker Logitech is reported to make a remote with a small keyboard.

The Times report cites anonymous sources who indicate the partnership has been in the works for months. Nobody has spoken publicly yet, as details are still being negotiated.

[Via NY Times]

Report: Online ad spending will surpass print in 2010

March 8th, 2010

For the first time ever, advertisers in the U.S. are expected to spend more on digital marketing and online advertising than in print. Research from Outsell Inc. indicates online advertising will make up 33 percent of total ad spending in 2010.

According to Outsell, overall spending on advertising and marketing in the U.S. will increase this year by 1.2 percent to $368 billion. Companies are expected to spend about $119.6 billion in online and digital ads compared to $11.5 billion on print ads in newspapers and magazines, an increase of 9.6 percent.

Print will make up about 30 percent of ad budgets, while online spending will soak up about 33 percent of total budgets.

“Advertisers are directing dollars toward the channels which generate the most qualified leads and most effective branding,” Chuck Richard, Vice President and Lead Analyst at Outsell, said in a news release. “As they emerge from the recession, they need more accountability, and they’re spreading their spending over a widening set of options.”

Among the report’s findings, Outsell says B2B advertisers find cross-media marketing to be most effective and 78 percent combine three or more methods.

Furthermore, more than half (51 percent) of B2B marketers rate Facebook as extremely or somewhat effective, followed by LinkedIn (45 percent), Twitter (35 percent) and MySpace (25 percent).

And despite the growth in online ad spending, print magazine advertising is still expected to grow 1.9 percent to $9.4 billion in the U.S. this year.

Outsell released its findings as part of its report titled “Marketing and Ad Spending Study 2010: Total US and B2B Advertising.” The report looks at spending, share, and growth for five media types, including online, events, print, TV/radio and PR/other.

Research data was compiled from surveying more than 1,000 U.S. advertisers in December 2009.