executive decision

Apple CEO Issues Appology for iOS 6 Maps Mishaps

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 28, 2012 11:21 AM

Apple CEO Tim Cook has apologized for the iOS 6 Maps kerfuffle, following the brand's eviction of Google Maps and proprietary (but glitchy) maps function — one of the key features consumers demand from their smartphones. Google, meanwhile, just upgraded its maps app with high-resolution aerial views.

A contrite Apple posted the apology online (read the full text below) in a mea culpa that the Financial Times calls "a rare moment of contrition from the world's most valuable company," and — unexpectedly — suggested installing rivals' map apps "while we're improving Maps." Cook's personal apology for "mapgate" also raised comparisons to how Steve Jobs handled the iPhone 4 "antennagate," for which the company — but not Jobs personally — apologized.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Marissa Mayer Steers Yahoo! Through the High C's

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 27, 2012 03:02 PM

Big moves are afoot at Yahoo!, where new CEO Marissa Mayer this week outlined her strategy for a new era at the company she joined from Google in July. In an all-hands meeting Tuesday at the company’s Sunnyvale, California headquarters, Mayer outlined her vision for personalizing the Web for users, from content to email to ads, while expanding that user base, talent pool (witness her new CFO hire, "Silicon Valley legend" Ken Goldman) and advertiser partners. 

Articulating her vision of "four C's" (Culture, Company goals, Calibration and Compensation), Mayer wants Yahoo! "to become something users touch every day," according to Business Insider, and to achieve that, the company must move more quickly, with employees having more ownership over and resources for their projects which will be approved only if they have the potential to scale to 100 million users or $100 million in revenue. As AllThingsD detailed, Mayer also spoke of more "acqui-hires," buying small companies for tech talent rather than products, and emphasized mobile as an area where Yahoo! "will be strong" by 2015.

While the company remains one of the world's most popular websites with more than 700 million monthly users of its email service and readers of its news pages, stiff competition from Facebook and Google and diminished online display ad prices have led to stagnated revenue. Dominance in the billion dollar industry of contextually relevant ads is up for grabs and Yahoo! is staking its claim. To that end, Yahoo! and Media.net just announced a long-term agreement to launch Yahoo! Bing Network Contextual Ads to provide web publishers with customized ad units that display relevant text ads from across the Yahoo! Bing Network.Continue reading...

search and destroy

Bing Zings With Microsoft Push, Yahoo Ads and Amazon Kindle Love

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 10, 2012 02:14 PM

Microsoft and Yahoo have announced Yahoo Bing Network as the official name for Microsoft and Yahoo’s Search Alliance partnership, with the related move that Microsoft adCenter is being renamed Bing Ads. 

“Bing Ads is not only a new name, but an improved experience with new features to help you better manage your campaigns and complete tasks faster,” says Microsoft’s Tina Kelleher in a blog post. “Recent improvements include: a new web interface, improved ad rotation controls, and agency enablement tools that make it easier for agencies to manage multiple accounts.”

Microsoft and Yahoo claim a 30% share of the U.S. search market with a reach of 151 million users likely to spend 124% more than the average searcher and 5% more than Google searchers, thereby offering advertisers 46 million unique searchers in the U.S. who aren’t using Google, according to comScore June stats cited by WebProNews.com.

Still, it's hard taking down Google.Continue reading...

digital moves

Quora’s Growing Digital Quorum Could Rival Wikipedia

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 31, 2012 02:39 PM

A Business Insider column titled “Why Quora Is Wikipedia's Worst Nightmare” argues that the crowdsourcing startup, founded by Adam D'Angelo and other ex-Facebookers, will overtake the ten-year-old free encyclopedia. Despite some controversy, Wikipedia considered the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet, with 22 million articles.

While Quora, the San Francisco-based $400 million startup, is still “a tiny gnat compared to Wikipedia's traffic,” notes BI, it has “trajectory [that] shows an enormous amount of promise, and given Quora's buzz, shouldn't be ignored.”

In addition to a growing database, Quora is flexing the muscle of a Q & A site widely attractive to the tech industry. Microsoft’s Bing has integrated it into its social search build-out, further leveraging the use of Facebook data first integrated in 2010 and augmented by a social sidebar this year.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Neiman Target, Starbucks Refreshers, M&S and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 10, 2012 08:57 AM

In the News

Neiman Marcus and Target join brands for unusual Christmas collaboration: 50 limited-edition American designer items, plus $1M donation to the CFDA.

Starbucks rolls out low-cal Refreshers drinks.

Marks & Spencer fires clothing head following worst sales in three years.

American Airlines and U.S. Airways keep dancing around a merger.

Apple removes green electronics certification from products.

Chase launches Chase Liquid reloadable card.

Coca-Cola takes stake in Mexican juice company Jugos del Valle.

Conde Nast confirms London location of namesake fashion college.

DirecTV could drop 26 Viacom channels in dispute.

Dodge places major ad push behind new Dart.Continue reading...


The Amazing Spider-Man vs. Bing: Microsoft's Missed Chance To Be A Hero

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 9, 2012 12:22 PM

HuffPost called it "when product placement goes wrong." Bloomberg called it "a curious cameo." Slashgear said it "makes us giggle." Another declared it Spider-Man fans' biggest gripe.

But more than anything, Bing's product placement in the new #1 movie at the box office, The Amazing Spider-Man, is turning out to be an amazing missed opportunity for Microsoft to defend itself and its search engine.Continue reading...

privacy alert

Microsoft IE10 Privacy Move Does Not Track With Advertisers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 1, 2012 05:55 PM

As Microsoft released its new version of the Bing search engine today, it was another browser move that caused a flap. While potentially a win for Microsoft's brand, its consumer-first decision to embed 'Do Not Track' functionality in version 10 of its Internet Explorer browser in Windows 8 — with a default setting in the 'on' position — is "strongly" opposed by the Association of National Advertisers.Continue reading...

social media watch

Microsoft’s So.cl a Different Kind of Social Network

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 25, 2012 03:02 PM

Microsoft's So.cl is described as “an experimental research project, developed by Microsoft’s FUSE Labs, focused on exploring the possibilities of social search for the purpose of learning.” Quietly debuting this week, it was previously to students studying information and design at the University of Washington, Syracuse and New York University, and originally called Tulalip. Facebook remains a log-in choice on So.cl but Twitter does not, replaced by Windows Live.

So.cl is now open to everyone, and as stated on their site, “We hope to encourage students to reimagine how our everyday communication and learning tools can be improved, by researching, learning and sharing in their everyday lives. So.cl is not meant to replace existing full-featured search and social networking tools. It is an experimental research project using a minimal set of features which help combine search with the social network for the purpose of learning.”Continue reading...

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