Digital Marketing Remainders for May 9, 2007

Bill Gates’s final year with Microsoft will be all about the ads. At Microsoft’s Strategic Accounts Summit yesterday, Gates told attendees his remaining 12 months or so of full-time work with the company will be focused on “search, buyers and sellers… That will be my biggest thing.” (link to MarketWatch story)

Scripps Networks is increasing the amount of its online content dedicated to social media. The company launched “Rate My Space” on HGTV.com in February, and reports logging 14.5 million-plus page views there. Now it’s launching a “My Projects section on DIYnetwork.com and CGM components on FineLiving.com.

“QVC Meets MTV?” Now there’s a horrid thought. Publicis recently shared details of a Web site it plans to launch that will showcase branded entertainment… and nothing else. Called HoneyShed, the property is being rolled out in conjunction with Droga5, an ad firm run by former Publicis exec David Droga. Droga told WSJ, “It’s about celebrating the sell.” (WSJ story, subscription required)

CityWaboo.com has launched as a community resource that aims to connect locals to area businesses. Yet another play in the crowded field of local media and directory services, the site will feature real estate listings, event postings, and “user-generated editorials and city guides from street teams, instead of reviews and articles from paid journalists.” Ads are billed on a monthly fee, rather than on clicks.

Local.com has introduced an ad program guaranteeing preferred placement in Local.com search results. Called Local Verified, the offering lets businesses pay $249 annually to guarantee their listing shows up at the top of search results pages in their category and region. I’m just surprised the company didn’t offer this already.

CNET Networks has joined the ranks of distribution partners to NBC Universal and News Corp.’s video venture. The erstwhile tech publisher has long been moving toward a consumer media model, and this deal further emphasizes that path.

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