From the Editor
By Ina Steiner
As more of our readers branch out from eBay to set up shop on their own sites and other venues, I traveled to New York last month to attend the Search Engine Strategies (SES) conference, looking for the latest search engine marketing techniques designed to increase traffic and sales. While larger companies have scaled back on travel budgets, the SES conference was crowded with plenty of attendees, emphasizing the importance of search in building a successful online retail presence.
The Facebook booth got a lot of attention at SES, but it was there to pitch its advertising service. It uses all that information you share with it to offer advertisers an extremely targeted way to reach its users. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said 2009 was the year to get serious, according to one of the Facebookers, and I'd expect to see more ads on Facebook based on the attendees' level of interest. Interested? You can check out Facebook's advertising program on this page.
Google was previewing its new AdWords interface, and Searchapalooza showcased some innovative search engines. Here's a link to a blog post with my initial thoughts about the conference at the end of day one. And here's a link to a roundup of the podcast interviews I conducted at the show.
The real buzzword of the conference was Twitter, the real-time social networking site that has seen a meteoric rise in users over past several months. Marketing evangelist Guy Kawasaki set the tone in his keynote address, saying, "Nobodies are the new somebodies," and calling the Twitter phenomenon the Democratization of Power - "No matter who you are, you get 140 characters."
It's a numbers game, he said, and he encouraged Twitter users to get as many followers as possible.
Guy was signing copies of his book, "Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition," and he agreed to let me give away a copy to an AuctionBytes reader. Guy's blog is very popular because he's written some excellent essays for technology startups and entrepreneurs, and the book includes some of these gems.
For a chance to win the signed copy of Guy's book, email me 300-400 words about how you are using social marketing sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and blogs to drive traffic and boost your online sales. (Be specific and include links.) We'll publish our favorite entry in the next issue of this newsletter and send them Guy's book. We'll also reprint other notable submissions in the AuctionBytes Blog.
While I was in New York, I visited Etsy.com's headquarters in Brooklyn. The company has seen meteoric growth, and I was struck by how the company is retaining its funky, start-up roots while starting to impose structure necessary to manage that growth. My description of the tour along with a link to the podcast interview I conducted with Adam Brown is included in this issue. You can also read some of my thoughts about Etsy's challenges and opportunities on the AuctionBytes Blog.
Ed Tomchin is back in today's issue. Ed previously reviewed eBid, OnlineAuction and Overstock Auctions for AuctionBytes, and in this issue, he reviews Atomic Mall and Wensy.
Greg Holden takes a look at an ecommerce site started by a former eBay seller called Stootsi.com. Drawing from features he liked at Amazon.com and Woot.com, Bryan Corbett is now letting third-party sellers onto his site.
Thanks for reading.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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