Archive for January, 2009
By Bob Sullivan, The Red Tape Chronicles
Bryan Rutberg’s daughter was among the first to notice something odd about her dad’s Facebook page.
At about 8 p.m. on Jan. 21, she ran into his bedroom and asked why he’d changed his status to: “BRYAN IS IN URGENT NEED OF HELP!!!”
Rutberg initially thought little of it, and lay down for an after-dinner nap. But an hour later, when his wife woke him to ask what was wrong, he took a second look and realized his Facebook account had been hacked. Within minutes, his cell phone was ringing non-stop, with concerned friends calling to offer help. Many had received an e-mail with the story that Rutberg had been robbed at gunpoint while traveling in the United Kingdom, and needed money to get home. One even sent $1,200 to a Western Union branch in London.
The Seattle resident and Microsoft employee then spent the next 24 hours in a frantic search for a way to contact Facebook and stop the hackers. But he was locked out of his own account and locked into a Catch-22; criminals had changed his login credentials so he couldn’t access his own Facebook page. That meant he couldn’t remove the dire status message. He tried to use his wife’s account to put a message on his “wall” indicating he was fine, but the scammer had “de-friended,” his wife, so that didn’t work. And he had no outside-of-Facebook way to contact many of his friends. Before he succeeded in getting his account deactivated, a friend’s impulsive generosity had cost him big-time, and Rutberg was left wondering how carefully Facebook protects its users from these kinds of crimes.
“It was all over by Thursday (the next day) but not without a hell of a lot of drama,” Rutberg said. By then, friends had filled up his cell phone with text messages of concern, sent endless e-mails, and one even called Microsoft to warn the firm that an employee was in trouble.
Rutberg was the victim of a new, targeted version of a very old scam — the “Nigerian,” or “419,” ploy. The first reports of such scams emerged back in November, part of a new trend in the computer underground — rather than sending out millions of spam messages in the hopes of trapping a tiny fractions of recipients, Web criminals are getting much more personal in their attacks, using social networking sites and other databases to make their story lines much more believable.
Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz warned analysts that hard times would continue.The quarterly shortfall of $303 million is its first since 2002. New CEO offers few details about recovery plan.
Jessica Guynn reporting from San Francisco — Yahoo Inc. reported a $303-million shortfall Tuesday, its first quarterly loss since 2002, as the struggling Internet company took charges to acknowledge the shrinking value of its business.
Cutbacks by advertisers, especially on Web banners, hurt Yahoo’s revenue, which also dropped for the first time in seven years.
Eight days into her new job, Yahoo Chief Executive Carol Bartz warned analysts during a conference call that tough times would continue. But before the presentation, as required by law, Yahoo’s head of investor relations read the list of risk factors — things that could go wrong for shareholders and depress the stock even further.
“I should have understood all those risks before I took this job,” Bartz quipped.
The moment of levity was short-lived. The continued deterioration of Yahoo’s business in the fourth quarter, the last under former CEO Jerry Yang’s watch, made Bartz’s assignment even tougher.
The Sunnyvale, Calif., company reported a net loss of $303 million, or 22 cents a share, compared with a profit of $206 million, or 15 cents, a year earlier. Revenue fell 1% to $1.81 billion.
Still, investors had braced for worse. Yahoo’s stock rose more than 5% to $11.95 in after-hours trading, after closing up 1.5% to $11.34 in regular trading before the earnings report.
by David Baker , Monday, January 26, 2009
AS I SAT WATCHING President Obama sign his first executive orders, it made me think about the first 100 days of an executive term and how that sets the tone for the whole time as leader. There is a great read
by Michael Watkins, “The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels,” that is a must-have for any manager or leader in a new role. Some of the principles in this book are important to people running eCRM and email programs for major corporations. The theme of the book is one we should all take into account TODAY: “You’ve just been promoted to a new leadership position and you’re not sure of the challenges ahead of you or how you will meet them … all you know is you have three months to get on top of the job and move forward — or fail.”
As an agency, service provider, or marketing manager, this is very much the real world.
According to Watkins, your plan should consist of seven core elements (and I’ll skew this toward leaders who run email channels):
By Media Research Partners
A new survey from the Direct Marketing Association, complementing earlier research that focused on the Hispanic market from the consumer view point, presents the business side of marketing to Hispanics to provide benchmarks on the use of direct marketing methods in order to reach the Hispanic audience.
Anne B. Frankel, DMA senior research manager and author of the report, summarizes by saying “… Hispanic marketers find certain media channels and segmentation tools are more effective in increasing response rates among Hispanic consumers… therefore, marketing to Hispanics involves a different cache of tools than marketing to a general audience… it is crucial that direct marketers understand the nuances… ”
Partnering with PSA and Zubi Advertising to provide extensive commentary based on their knowledge of marketing to the Hispanic audience, the report notes that: