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December 5, 2008

Friday Recap: Here Comes Santa

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It’s already shaping up to be a perfectly awesome Friday. Donuts thanks to Robert Esparza and Starbucks care of Susan! Plus after work I’m heading to the happiest place on earth to squeeze in some extra time on my annual pass. Speaking of Disney, Michael Gray alerted me to the fact that they’ve created a cool video for you to send to friends letting them know where they stand on Santa’s naughty or nice list. And wouldn’t you know, Danny Sullivan made it to the nice list this year.

It must be in part due to the fact that this year’s SMX conferences were so chock-full of info. Next year’s are sure to be the same, so take advantage of the pre-agenda price for SMX West 2009. Today’s the last day to get the best deal available — just $995 for an All Access pass.

And it’s not too late to register for next week’s Search Engine Strategies Chicago. Bruce is going to be speaking on the SEO Tools panel Tuesday, and will be making a special announcement about our own SEOToolSet. Next week’s SEM Synergy is all about tools and the upcoming updates to our own tools, so check that out on WebmasterRadio.fm Wednesday.

Another upcoming deadline is next Sunday, December 14, the last day to submit a short film to YouTube’s annual short film competition Project: Direct. YouTube has also instituted a number of changes to the video site. The video box is wider, an embedded search bar has been added (which you can remove), and content with profanity or sexually explicit material will be demoted.

Oh, and YouTube’s director of content partnerships spoke at the OnScreen Media Summit about the company’s moves toward monetization. Social media marketer Brent Csutoras let us know about Reddit’s latest attempt to monetize the site. At least it’s more appropriate than ads that are now showing up on high school exams.

The concept of social network monetization saw some increased interest in the SEO blogosphere this week, as Lisa Barone of We Build Pages and I both dedicated some time to the topic. If social networks can’t bring the money in, at least they can spread some happiness!

My favorite SEO blogger also brought up an issue this week that sparked a frenzy on both sides of the conversation, namely, how important spelling and grammar are to your online communications. Along with proper grammar and spelling, avid writers can take a tip from Copyblogger, which reminds us to keep it simple.

Now that the first week of December is over, the holidays are truly upon us. There are a number of fun little goodies available for technophiles. There’s the NORAD Santa Tracker which lets people follow the jolly man as he travels the globe.

Google has released a few cool features for the season. Holiday templates include postcards, mailing labels, gift tags and cool video e-cards. This week we found out that the U.S. Department of Justice was hours away from filing an antitrust lawsuit against the search engine. As if we didn’t already know that Google has a monopoly. A more shocking lawsuit is the one a grandma is filing against the U.S. Army. She’s asking to recover the cost of a plane ticket and 15 lattes.

Oh, right. Back to the holidays. Those with iPhones can download holiday apps that let you organize your Christmas list and shopping budget, find holiday music and play holiday-themed games. The search industry’s own Barry Schwartz developed an iPhone Menorah so you can bring your Hanukkah candles with you wherever you go. Barry’s going to be my guest on SEM Synergy on December 31, giving his take on the year’s most interesting stories and possible developments in 2009. It’s pretty sweet.

If you don’t have an iPhone, you may want to take a look at the newest smart phone to run on Google’s Android operating system, the Kogan Agora. Although, 2009 isn’t looking like a strong year for smart phone sales, which continue to drop in the weakened global economy.

Jessica at Indexed gets it:

With all the attention given to the traditional winter holidays, don’t forget about the two special events being celebrated today. Seventy-five years ago today, Prohibition was repealed. If you’ve already broken out the egg nog, make a toast! Today is also the Day of the Ninja. The most shocking thing about that post was the Googler’s claim that they couldn’t find an actual ninja to consult. Please! The search industry has a whole company full of them!

If you ever had one of those Advent calendars with chocolate inside as a kid, you may enjoy the treats Google’s giving out on the Countdown to 2009 calendar. Along with the days, hours, minutes and seconds left until that sparkly ball drops in Times Square, each day comes with holiday search tips. In the new year, make sure you’re following the top 50 marketing blogs to watch in 2009 as chosen by small business Internet strategist Evan Carmichael. I had to add a number of blogs to my reading list.

Things I learned from Boing Boing this week:

  • I thought Susan was a tough judge of what I can and can’t blog about. Not really, but it was a good setup for the story.
  • The world’s oldest inhabitant is 176 years old. (This is a purely selfish share. I heart tortoises.)
  • Like children, bored octopi are adorably mischievous. Aren’t you glad your little one doesn’t have eight arms?
  • If you ever gave yourself a hard time for that failing memory, realize it could be a blessing in disguise.
  • They took this down from Boing Boing, but you must see this video of a chicken.
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