Stories by Heather Havenstein

Facebook hopes new ad scheme can engage users

Facebook has quietly launched a new type of advertisement it hopes will help in the struggle to find a way to help advertisers profit from the treasure trove of demographic and other data it has gathered from members of its social network.

EBay moves further from auction roots with changes

Ebay Wednesday announced that it is cutting the cost to list an item in its fixed price format by more than 70%, a move the online auctioneer said provides sellers its most competitive price list yet.

Google customer satisfaction scores roar back

After enduring a two-year dip in customer satisfaction scores -- and even being bested by rival Yahoo last year -- Google came roaring back in 2008 to score the highest customer satisfaction marks ever recorded in the annual University of Michigan American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) on e-business Web sites.

McCain gets boost from bumping up Web 2.0 campaigning

While Sen. John McCain's campaign has long been a less than enthusiastic supporter of Web 2.0 technologies than rival Sen. Barack Obama's, it has significantly boosted its efforts to make better use of the technology over the past few weeks.

Protesters use Web 2.0 to show dark side to Beijing Olympics

With the eyes of the world turned to Beijing, human rights protesters and even bloggers detained by the Chinese government regime have been using various Web 2.0 tools to evade the country's notorious censors and shed some shed light on the darker side of the Games.

Bet on it: Employee wagers help companies predict the future

Google for the past three years has been allowing its employees to place bets on various questions like if a new Google office will open on time or if a new product will ship on time. The company, which had logged 80,000 bets through March, is aiming to use this method of gathering opinions from employees -- a method often called crowdsourcing through the use of prediction markets technology -- to better gauge their employees' real opinions. And Google has found that its employee bets are usually right.

New Google tool aims to provide more insight into searches

Google yesterday rolled out a new tool that it said can help marketing and advertising users better analyze Internet search patterns, while also adding new tools such as a heat map for graphically displaying search volumes and other data.

Microsoft's BI general manager leaving

Bill Baker, Microsoft Distinguished Engineer and general manager of business intelligence applications for the Microsoft Office Business Platform team, is leaving the company, Microsoft announced Tuesday.

Google's ad plans for Silverlight prompt questions for MS

Google said Tuesday that its DoubleClick subsidiary will begin powering video advertising within Microsoft's Silverlight 2 rich-media player, prompting some observers to question the implications for Microsoft's own online advertising strategy.

Exxon Mobil's brand 'hijacked' by impersonator on Twitter

It seems innocuous enough at first. A user claiming to represent Exxon Mobil on micro-blogging site Twitter highlighted this post from August 2, "Did You Know? We supported local NGOS (non-governmental organizations) in Angola and Indonesia to develop their capacity to effectively partner with multi-national companies" on a Twitter page dotted with the Exxon Mobil name, logo and photos of Exxon gas stations. More than 300 people have signed up for regular updates from Exxon on Twitter since July 28, when posts purportedly from the company first appeared.

SEC lets companies use Web to disclose data to shareholders

In a nod to the increasing importance of corporate Web sites and blogs, the US Securities and Exchange Commission last week agreed to let public companies disclose material information to investors on Web sites. Under the new rule, companies would not have to provide the same information on paper in most circumstances.

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