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WM 'Net Briefs - June 2013

Posted on 4.30.2013

TIDY UP THE PLACE

Google has begun upgrading the Google Places Dashboard, the platform which local business owners use to build and manage their Google+ Page for Business. Aesthetically, the dashboard now looks more like the new Google+, with navigation options on the left side of the screen and separate tabs for Google+ Local page and AdWords Express. The most notable development is the promise of faster updating, as Google has said that “most” changes made to a company’s information through the new dashboard will appear across all Google products, including Google Maps, within just 48 hours.

CONSUMER CORNER: LOOK OUT FOR BOX

One of Microsoft’s plans to “bridge the gap” between its desktop-based Outlook email client and the new Outlook. com email tool has been to deepen the integration with the Box cloud service for sharing and managing files. While Box has had an Outlook add-on for a while now, which allows users to manage email attachments, it was only available for Business or Enterprise customers. Not anymore, because the plugin is getting an update and being made available for free, so that all Outlook users can share files of various sizes as Box links, rather than attaching them directly to the email. In addition, the add-on now supports more languages, including German, Spanish, French and Japanese.

GET SMART ABOUT AD REVENUE

In early April, digital advertising company OpenX announced a new service called Revenue Intelligence, which lets online publishers calculate and increase the amount of advertising revenue that each content piece is earning for them. The solution will allow publishers to go beyond just trying to increase page views and build a “holistic content strategy” that will directly contribute to them earning more revenue. To glean this information, the OpenX service doesn’t just look at a page in isolation, but it looks “beyond the first click” to determine the value of content across each user’s visit.

E-COMMERCE COMES TO THE BLOGOSPHERE

ShopLocket has combined two of the ’Net’s favorite pastimes — shopping and blogging. The e-commerce startup has integrated with WordPress and launched a plugin to enable in-blog e-commerce. While users with self-hosted versions of WordPress have previously had the ability to enable e-commerce via third-party plugins, ShopLocket is the first commerce integration for people who leverage WordPress’s hosted platform. The plugin will allow consumers to make on-site purchases, which should help sellers increase engagement and conversions.

HOT OFF THE NOOK PRESS

Barnes & Noble has taken a shot at Amazon with its newest service, Nook Press, a self-publishing platform that builds on the company’s Pubit! platform that includes new tools designed in partnership with the selfpublishing company FastPencil. The platform aims to attract more self-publishing authors and will compete against Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Authors can use Nook Press through the entire composition process, as the platform allows users to either upload manuscripts or start writing with a Web-based composer. Moreover, the platform features live chat, improved reporting, additional merchandising opportunities and more.

REAL-TIME BIDDING MAKES ITS WAY TO MOBILE

Are you interested in advertising on mobile? If so, check out the new real-time bidding (RTB) marketplace from app analytics and advertising provider Flurry. The company launched an RTB exchange for mobile apps, dubbed the Flurry Marketplace, to allow advertisers to bid on ad impressions in real time, just as many already do on the Web. Flurry is able to launch this type of service for mobile because the company has collected a large amount of data over time, as more than 300,000 applications use Flurry Analytics. The RTB Marketplace also includes prebundled app audience data to allow programmatic buyers to evaluate bid requests based on attributes like age, gender, device, geography, app category and Flurry Personas.

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