Source Tells WSJ: Google Buying YouTube
October 9, 2006

According to a source cited by the Wall Street Journal, Google plans on plunking down a cool $1.6 billion to acquire video Web site YouTube. Google and YouTube have both declined to comment on the matter. As of July, traffic to YouTube outpaced Google Video by 21.2 million. YouTube’s chief financial backer, Sequoia Capital, has invested $11.5 million in the company so far. A $1.6 billion sale would represent nearly 7,000 percent profit on that investment.

A Moment of Their Time
September 1, 2006

Shopping is no longer the sport it used to be. Today’s time-starved consumer no longer sees shopping as a leisure time activity. Buyers horde their free time even more than they hold on to their disposable income. Time has become the currency of the 21st Century. A number of studies show that consumers’ time for retail is tightening. In her study, How America Shops (2002), Wendy Liebmann of WSL Strategic Retail found that while the average shopper in 2000 frequented 2.9 outlets per week, two years later it was only 1.9 stores. Paco Underhill, founder and CEO of Envirosell, Inc., and author of Why We

Sony Announces New Pocket-Sized Communicator
August 9, 2006

Sony took their first step into handheld WiFi Wednesday with the unveiling of the mylo, a “personal communicator” that works off of 802.11b networks. The device, whose moniker abbreviates “my life online,” is specially designed for functions that take advantage of a wireless network such as instant messaging, VoIP and Internet browsing. It comes preloaded with Google Talk, Skype and Yahoo! Messenger. It also uses an embedded HTML browser (instead of WAP) to optimize Web site display. All of this comes without a monthly charge. The drawback to not being on a service is relying on available WiFi to get a

DealerData: The Numbers That Shape CE
August 1, 2006

Every year Forrester Research conducts its North American Consumer Technology Adoption Study Benchmark Survey, the 2006 version of which, it just released. This survey of 66,707 US and Canadian households looks at how consumers use technology and how that has altered over the past few years. Not surprisingly, broadband Internet and portable electronics are gaining strength and more and more consumers are looking to the Web for shopping. Some findings from the study: Forty-one percent of North American households now have broadband Internet access at home -- up from 29 percent at the end of 2004. Seventy-five percent of North American households have mobile phones, and almost

Google Checkout Launches
June 30, 2006

The highly anticipated payment service Google Checkout was launched Thursday by the eponymous search-engine giant. Initially referred to in news reports as Google Wallet or GBuy, Google Checkout processes online transactions between customers and e-tailers. Checkout also stores names, addresses and credit card information -- so that customers need not reveal this information directly to sellers -- and is responsible for keeping the data safe. The services provided by Checkout are much like those of PayPal, which is owned by eBay--one of Google’s biggest advertisers. Although the services offered are similar, the costs of PayPal and Checkout are different. PayPal’s fees run from 1.9 to

DS0506 Attitudes.David
May 1, 2006

Are You in the Book? I saw a picture the other day that made me laugh. I was looking for some information on a telecom Web site when I came across a picture of a man and a woman in an office, looking over a sheet of paper. The caption reads (with names omitted): Yellow Pages account representative reviews an ad with small-business owner. It struck me as funny. Did this woman actually take time out of her surely busy day to go down to the telecom office just to review a yellow page ad? Why didn’t they e-mail her a .pdf file, or

Seeking Best Practices
March 1, 2006

A few years ago, I asked 40 different industry suppliers to list their best dealers. I also asked them what characteristics made those dealers the best. Almost all vendors said that their top dealers were those who had developed best practices in a number of key areas. Google “best business practices” and you’ll find hundreds of pages of articles on the topic. Focusing on best practices has become the latest mantra of business gurus, but the process of defining and implementing them can be complex. They vary from business to business, and they are always rooted in a company’s core values. For instance,

Year in CE
February 1, 2006

2006 will be a great year for technology, but it won't be business as usual By The Staff It's not often that the heads of some of the major CE retailers get together in one room to have a conversation. But in a panel hosted by CEA president Gary Shapiro, the heads of Radio Shack, CompUSA, Best Buy and Circuit did just that. And while their concerns may differ quite a bit from that of a smaller dealer or retail chain, their observations could still be viewed as bellweathers of what trends coming out of CES will be important for the year 2006. Overall,

e-Tailing- Start Your Engines
December 1, 2005

Are you search engine savvy yet? Your customers are. By Audrey Gray As company lore goes, Charlottesville, Va.,-based retailer/e-tailer Crutchfield has one of the quirkiest customer service stories around. Crutchfield marketing director Michele Rick tells the tale like this: "Thirty-one years ago, Bill Crutchfield knew people could get intimidated by installing new equipment in their dashes. So he actually had a phone line put in his bedroom in case customers needed his help in the middle of the night." New gear is still a hot link to insomnia. But today, when customers are perplexed by a wireless router or surround sound

Google Goes Local; Retailers Should Take Heed
October 10, 2005

By Audrey Gray Passé are the days when a shopping trip began with a fat marker and the phone book. Now, when a customer is ready to purchase a big ticket item, they'll often start off with an internet search, just to get a sense of their options. And where do they begin online? As of August, 2005, 37 percent of Americans were turning to Google and 29 percent to Yahoo (Source: comScore Media Metrix). In early October, Google took it's new "Local" search feature out of the Beta testing ground and merged the service with maps. That