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Industry Buzz & Snippets: 05/14/09

Twitter's 'fixreplies' fiasco

Ad Networks and Analytics:

  • In partnership with Advertising Age, WE tv has launched the "Simply Wedget," a desktop app tailored to advertisers. It includes a media math calculator, current WE tv news and videos, WE tv's programming schedule, a channel filter and daily news and events from AdAge.

Agencies and Marketing Execs:

  • Feed Company seeks a Manager for Social Video Marketing. The person will be responsible for executing online video seeding campaigns; the position is full-time and based in LA. Send résumés and CVs to President Josh Warner: josh [at] feedcompany [dot] com.
  • AFAR's ad sales team now includes Chris Cuomo as Miami-based Sales Manager of the Southeast, Caribbean, and Central America; and Cha Mueller as Los Angeles-based West Coast Sales Director.
  • Former Experian/LowerMyBills/ClassesUSA President Stephen Semprevivo joins Hydra's Board of Directors.
  • Digital guru Quincy Smith of CBS is exiting stage left to start his own M&A shop.
  • Independent digital advertising media agency Mediasmith adds two: Robert Cleary as Group Media Director and Melissa Yearta as Media Supervisor.
  • SEM firm Efficient Frontier hired a former Yahoo!: Justin Merickel, VP of Marketing and New Product Development.

Biz Buzz:

  • Women's network BlogHer raised $7 million in Series C funding from an existing pool of investors, including Venrock and Peacock Equity. New investor Azure Capital also contributed. The financing will be used to improve BlogHer's social networking and advertising platforms.
  • Online TV/film-hosting site Hulu is growing at the expense of cable networks — where its parents, Fox and NBC, are two major players.
  • Behavioral targeting firm eXelate joined the National Advertising Initiative to demonstrate its sympathy for publishers' rights (apropos to user data) and consumers' rights (to privacy).

Legal, Government and Regulation:

  • Under the pressure of law enforcement officials, decided to discontinue its "erotic services" ads. In its place, and "adult" section with pre-screened listings will be launched.


  • T-Mobile and NBA Digital are teaming up to create a live streaming sports app for Google's Android platform.
  • Follow next month's Cannes Lions event at the TV 5 Monde website. The latter is a major French TV network.
  • match2blue launched a mobile app for NYC night club Webster Hall. Unimaginatively dubbed "Webster Hall powered by match2blue," it incorporates real-time location and interest-based friend finding technology. It costs $1.99 on iTunes.
  • Sling Media launched a WiFi-only version of its SlingPlayer Mobile application for iPhone and iPod touch.

New and Improved:


Social Networks:

  • This week Twitter suffered serious flak after making a small change to its response policy: if you are not following someone, their responses to you no longer appear in your @[username] tab, making it difficult to begin conversations with people you haven't already acknowledged as a friend. Negative feedback was labeled in real-time as #fixreplies, as well as sent directly to twitter founders Evan Williams (@ev) and Biz Stone (@biz). The feature has been removed; as a compromise, Twitter made plans to create features that give users individual control over what they wish to see.
  • Twitter served an astounding 17 million users in April says comScore.
  • SEOmoz provides tips on harnessing Twitter for professional/personal branding.
  • Blerp promises to bring a social network element to the entire web experience.


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