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Digg's New Ad Strategy; Hyatt's Unnecessary IPO
 

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Do you Digg that ad? The social news site Digg, which Inc. profiled last year, has announced a new advertising format. Users will vote on ads that appear on the site. Advertisements that get a lot of votes will cost less, which TechCrunch says should encourage advertisers to create ads that are relevant and effective. The idea of charging people less for more effective ads seems a bit counterintuitive though, prompting Nicholas Carlson to remark that Digg's strategy feels very San Francisco. (As opposed to the "consumers-will-get-their-huge-ads-and-like-it" approach we take on this coast.)

The cool kids abandon social media. AllThingsD links to two stories that point to the same trend: social networks just aren't cool anymore. Following a "largely anecdotal" Morgan Stanley report penned by a 15-year-old, Mashable gets its hand on Nielsen data that shows that, doggone it, that 15-year-old was right: teens don't tweet (or is it twitter?). Only 16 percent of Twitter users are under 25, despite the fact that that demographic represents 25 percent of overall internet users. Meanwhile the Guardian has data from Ofcom that shows that while overall internet usage among 15-to-24-year-olds shows no signs of stopping, the number of them that have profiles on a social network dipped for the first time, down to 50 percent from 55 percent last year. In contrast, regular usage of social networking sites by 25-to-34-year-olds is up from 40 percent to 46 percent. Says the Guardian: "From uncles wearing skinny jeans to mothers investing in ra-ra skirts and fathers nodding awkwardly along to the latest grime record, the older generation has long known that the surest way to kill a youth trend is to adopt it as its own."

Family politics may be reason for Hyatt IPO. Hyatt Hotels has "a sterling balance sheet" and "no apparent business need to raise cash right now." So why does it plan to go public and subject itself to a turbulent public market? The Chicago Tribune says it appears to be all about a family rift.

Using a credit card increases the risk that your start-up will fail. Carrying a balance on the credit card (or cards) you're using to finance your start-up? GigaOm links to a new study released by the Kauffman Foundation that shows that the likelihood that a new company will survive its first three years is tied to the amount of credit card debt the company carries. For every $1,000 of this debt, the probability the company will fail grows by 2.2 percent. The news coincides with data that shows that venture capital firms are putting less money in start-ups and banks are declining small business loans, reports GigaOm. A June SBA report found small business loans between $100,000 and $1 million fell 23.3 percent from 2007 to 2008. Check out this month's Case Study about an audio technology company sent into a tailspin when its bank pulled its line of credit.

Twitter outage an extension of Russia-Georgia conflict? Worker concentration and business productivity hit all-time highs yesterday as Twitter went down for large periods of time while it fended off a denial-of-service attack. The New York Times defined a DOS attack as one "in which hackers overwhelm a website by sending it a deluge of junk requests." One analyst told the paper that the attack began when citizens of either Russia or Georgia twittered propaganda and "the other side figured this out and is attacking them." Facebook, YouTube, and LiveJournal.com were also affected, the paper said. TechCrunch reported this morning that Twitter was still experiencing some issues.

Inspiration for the day. Tim Ferriss, of 4-Hour Workweek fame, flags a story about Dean Kamen--creator of the Segway, prolific inventor, and secessionist--that appeared in Esquire last winter. The whole article is entertaining, but the retelling of the Kamen legend--how he set up a machine shop in his parents basement, and, when he ran out of room, had an architect lift the house up out of its foundation--should be enough to carry you through the rest of this Friday. Ferriss's next blog post is on "How to Read 300% Faster in 30 Minutes." Come for the inspiration, stay for the speed reading!

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Last updated: Aug 7, 2009




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