— blending the mix


My Sony laptop is on the verge of packing in, after years and years of (ab)use it is at death’s door.

The CD drive does not allow me to burn back-up discs anymore and it is pot luck as to whether or not it will work from one day to the next.

So, I am offering a unique opportunity to sponsor ME.

Apple, Microsoft, Dell, or indeed any company willing to provide me with a half-decent laptop will have their name mentioned as part of my email signature.

In ALL communications in which I participate and which requires me to use the laptop (pretty much all the time!), I will apply the following signature text for a full 12 months (and I WILL provide weekly evidence of this):

Paul Fabretti


Written on an Apple Macbook Pro by Company X.


"Written using the latest Dell Precision M90"

or whatever suits the company providing it! You get the picture!

I may even think about something that sounds good too!

I am a minimum 3-times a day, 3-blog blogger with a (growing) average 800 unique visitors per month (ok, not a lot but growing all the time!). I am an active member of linked-in, openbc, ecademy as well as the pinkomarketing wiki and google group.

I am also an eBay (UK) Gold Power seller. A link to the company providing my laptop will also be included in ALL my eBay auctions.

Some will no doubt snigger at the visitor numbers (and advertisers may balk at the numbers!) but I am an extremely active member of the communities in which I mix, and present you with an opportunity to touch business professionals deeper than any banner ad would.

If this is of interest to you and you would be able to provide me with a laptop, I look forward to hearing from you soon!

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Steve Rubel reports that [tag]Yahoo Answers[/tag] has now got more than 10 million answers posted, has been read by 4.2% of the US internet population and is ranked 3rd behind [tag]wikipedia[/tag] and [tag]dictionary.com[/tag].

He suggests that it won’t be long before they start monetizing the site with more than just  PPC and I can see an enormous opportunity for them here.

I think it is a great opportunity to create sponsored zones where answers can be responded to by an expert (from that brand?) so that the brand will always have a home on Yahoo Answers when, after a decent period of time, one would hope that Yahoo Answers would become just another brand information resource sitting alongside brand-owned information lines like customer service lines or email customer service – except this one would be generated by the users themselves.

In an ideal world, this would grow orgnaically to become a Yahoo Answers Brand X forum, presenting both [tag]Yahoo[/tag] and Brand X (and its competitors) the opportunity to target specific users.

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After noticing that Yahoo! Audio is up and running I now see that they have put MyWeb2.0 into beta too.

Tapping into the del.icio.us online bookmarking as well as tagging it also allows the full importing of existing bookmarks.

is there ANYTHING Yahoo! aren’t into at the moment? They are really leading the pack in CGC and social tools at the moment.

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[tag]Yahoo![/tag] UK officially launches its Audio search enabling you to find locations online for your favourite sounds!

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 Application-specific WiFi for free by Niall Kennedy touches on an interesting possibility of the evolution of Wi-Fi.

Rather than invest in unmetered free wi-fi for all, people like Yahoo! are exploring how pratical the restriction of free wi-fi may be to specific application users (like those connecting to say, Yahoo chat or their Yahoo profile).

With growing demand for Google style free-for-all wi-fi access, this could be a very positive step, but could equally be a very negative one.
If Yahoo! invests in wi-fi technology to create hotspots for its own users, is there not a sense of “big brother” about the whole thing? Unless you join us you won’t get free wifi access?

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Yahoo Subscriptions is ANOTHER beta for Yahoo to enter the world of RSS. They must be busy over there!
It presents readers (of sources with a paid-for subscription) with a search resource which enables them to search their subscriptions for content that would otherwise be unavailable due to the restricted-nature of the content.

i.e. if you have a subscription to 5 different news channels for example, you will be able to search for content without having to access each of the websites, log in then search.

As long as your subscriptions are logged with Yahoo Subscriptions, you should be able to search all your subs. as easy (and with as much accuracy) as the main Yahoo search. It’s an RSS-reader with login authentication already done!
For advertisers, this presents a GREAT opportunity to use RSS as a source of INCOME.

Why not run a free subscription trial to [tag]Yahoo Subscriptions[/tag] so that when other search results show up, your trial is also shown (above) enabling like-minded indivuduals to try your title as it appears alongside your competitors titles – or simply be the first to market!
If you are in a commonly-subscribed marketplace (like finance or technology for example) – if your content is good, your offer is great and you are listed on Yahoo Subscriptions, there is no reason why this cannot become a valuable and profitable sales channel.
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Yahoo! Search is the latest new beta offering from Yahoo, offering searches for a varietyiof different media – like Google video but for audio (although there is clearly a Video tab too!).

Interestingly, you can add your own podcasts via rss by simply providing the link to your ‘cast.I like the idea that there is a specific source for audio and video (like Google video) but I am afraid that many people will become further distanced from RSS by the increased fragmentation of RSS sources.

One search for Audio, another for Video, another for blogs…another for “normal” searches…is it all getting too fragmented? Maybe we need to consider at what stage the volume users are at before we start to divide up the RSS world.

And another thing, why are Simply Red at the top of the most popular searches????

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answer small.jpg

If the way you can ask ask.com a question and find what you need appeals to you, then [tag]Yahoo Answers[/tag] takes this one step further!

Ask a question and you get a human answer! Click ALL thumbnails to enlarge.
Step 1: Ask the question and select a category (select from Internet, Sports, Politics etc.).
answer small phase 2.jpg

Step 2: Check your question and Submit

answer small phase 3.jpg

Job done!

You then receive an email confirming you have asked a question and are instructed to click on the Q&A page link to see what responses you have had.

Alternatively, you can activate email notification of responses.

The link takes you to the Q&A page of your question where the responses have been posted. Whichever of the posts answers your question, simply indicate by pressing the Best Answer button.

Your question is open for 7 days so you can wait until then to get the answer which most helps.

Points are awarded for your usefulness to the community. You start off with 100 points and gain or lose as follows:

-5 points for asking a question

+2 points for answering a question

+10 points if your answer is selected as the Best Answer

+1 for daily login

All questions are answered by the community members, earning points for simply logging-in ensuring that the community grows by incentivising participation.

as fun as this is, what purpose does it serve? What can people hope to learn from Yahho Answers that they wouldn’t already be able to get from a Yahoo or Google search?

How popular is [tag]Google Answers[/tag]? Does the fact that [tag]Yahoo[/tag] is free open it up to more answers or more abuse?

I LOVE the idea of the open community prioviding answers, almost like [tag]wikipedia[/tag] but the large youth base of Yahoo makes me think it will be open to the type of abuse that wikipedia avoids.

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So, hot on the heels of [tag]Yahoo[/tag] Mail Beta, comes [tag]Windows Live Mail[/tag] Beta Invitation:

Promising the following features (might as well copy and paste from the Yahoo email!!):

  • Previews
  • Drag & Drop organisation
  • One-click junk/spam control (i.e. an icon!)
  • Right-clicking (reply, delete and forward)
  • 2Gb of storage

Fair play, they are up with everyone else in trying to keep people using their interface rather than using 3rd party mail software, but I honestly think that with windows Live, they have got a significant advantage over Yahoo in that it will easily become part of the Windows Live interactive desktop.

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[tag]Yahoo[/tag] have launched sign-up for their next generation [tag]Yahoo Mail[/tag] service with a tantalising sign-up page with small embedded animations teasing us with the new features.

From other reports I’ve seen and heard, and looking at the tiny shots, the mail interface looks to be very much less bog-standard webmail and more Outlook (Express).

With added MS Outlook functionality (previews, right-clicking and RSS enabled), it makes me wonder whether their next move will be to enable to interface to handle the current notpad, address and other such feautres as ONE package Yahoo Mail Beta package.

In this way, they will almost be ahead of [tag]Google[/tag] with their [tag]Gmail[/tag].

There is no coincidence between the fact that Gmail now has GChat integrated because 9 out of 10 users read their webmail through something like Outlook Express or Thunderbird so who is reading the ads?! “Bundle items and they shall come” seems to be the way at Google.
Yahoo have taken the different step of trying to make their interface so attractive and great to use (don’t quote me on that until i have seen an invite to join the beta test!!!) that people will want to use it – although I find it hard to believe that habits will change so significantly.

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