This week’s news: Amazon, 10Centuries, Blogging police officer

Welcome to the new edition of “This week’s news”, a selection of links to interesting articles and news from the worlds of blogs, commerce and e-commerce.

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These days, it’s hard to publish an edition of “This week’s news” without mentioning Amazon. The New York Times debates the issue of the online giant’s incapability of making profit. Despite exploding revenue and confidence among shareholders, the company is still focusing on growth over profit. Some observers actually are questioning whether Amazon will be able to “change its business model from selling other people’s products at a razor-thin margin to selling other people’s products at a large margin”. Still, the extraordinary long-term strategy of the company seems to have a lot of support within the industry. The idea that one day everyone will buy everything from Amazon simply is too intriguing.

But as a little sign of change, Amazon just raised the free shipping limit for deliveries in the U.S. from 25 to 35 Dollar.

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eBay wants to get rid of its image as auction site. The strategy: Becoming more like Pinterest, the booming visual bookmarking site that generates a lot of referral traffic to other online shops. This week the company also announced the acquisition of the UK delivery startup Shutl.

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10Centuries is the name of a new bloggging service for users of App.net (the company trying to establish a better Twitter) and Evernote. The idea is pretty neat: Instead of having to use a dedicated admin interface and blog editor, users can simply send a private message to @10centures from their favourite App.net client. The first time they do that, a new website will be created and a link is being sent back to them to share. Also, 10Centures lets users publish Evernote notes to their blog. Content is hosted at either App.net or Evernote, meaning that users of 10Centures own their content.

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All kinds of people blog. At least in Sweden, even police officers do. Martin Marmgren works for the police in Stockholm and publishes reflections and opinions about his work as police on a dedicated, personal blog. He is not afraid to discuss highly controversial cases that have gotten a lot of media attention and doesn’t hesitate to criticise specific police operations either. His blog is in Swedish but a version automatically translated to English should be ok to read: konstapelbastian.blogspot.se (translated).

This week’s news: Pierre Omidyar, WordPress, Blogging for money

Welcome to the new edition of “This week’s news”, a selection of links to interesting articles and news from the worlds of blogs, commerce and e-commerce.

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Some weeks ago it was announced that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos personally has acquired the Washington Post. Now, another e-commerce billionaire is getting serious about journalism: Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, plans to launch a new online media outlet, focusing on independent, investigative journalism. One of the first members of his team is Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, who is widely known for having helped the Whistleblower Edward Snowden to leak his stories.

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Speaking about Jeff Bezos and Amazon: Bloomberg Businessweek’s Brad Stone is about to publish a book titled “The everything store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon”, describing in detail how the e-commerce giant became one of the most powerful companies in the world, and how Bezos made all this happen. Businessweek has published a (lengthy) excerpt from the book describing how Bezos forced diapers.com to sell to Amazon.

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The US startup Square, run by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, has become known for its smartphone credit card dongles and payment processing tools available for small and medium retailers. Now users in the U.S. can use the newly launched Square Cash service to send money to each other in the most simple way: by email.

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WordPress is a great blogging system. But it also can be used to set up a neat online store. Practical Ecommerce shows 4 popular e-commerce plugins for WordPress: WooCommerce, WP e-Commerce, Jigoshop and Cart66 Lite.

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To make a living with blogging – that’s a dream of many. Swedish blogger Emma Sundh has managed to do that. For the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter she explains what’s needed to turn a blog into a part- or even full-time business. Here is the Swedish version and here one automatically translated into English.

This week’s news: Card payments, Amazon, Huffington Post and more

Welcome to the new edition of “This week’s news”, a selection of links to interesting articles and news from the worlds of blogs, commerce and e-commerce.

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Having to enter credit card details into online forms on e-commerce sites involves always security risks. Now the three big card giants Visa, MasterCard and American Express plan to get rid of those numbers all together, at least for online customers. Instead of the numbers digital tokens would be processed, making payments more secure. Currently a framework and standard is being developed.

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Meanwhile, mobile payments are finding increasing acceptance among online shoppers. According to global payments solution specialist Adyen, mobile-payment transactions have increased by 27 percent worldwide from May to August. And iOS devices accounted for nearly 3 out of 4 mobile transactions.

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Amazon is trying to compete with PayPal in getting online retailers to implement a button that allows their customers to pay for goods with Amazon. The “Login and Pay” button works similar to the ubiquitous PayPal buttons, making use of previously stored customer and payment details at Amazon. For retailers, the transaction fees are 2.9 percent + $0.30 per transaction or less, based on volume.

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The Seattle-based discount e-commerce site Zulily is the first deal site to go public since Groupon. It aims to generate about $100 million with the IPO.

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The famous US blog and journalism portal The Huffington Post, one of the first blog sites that became a big media entity, has launched a German version. As in its mother land, huffingtonpost.de will offer a mix of news written by professional journalists and of opinion pieces and blog posts by independent and community authors.

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Some people don’t want to blog. Other would like to but don’t really know how to start. And especially, where to start. Digital Trends has compiled a nice overview about the best free, freemium and premium blog services, describing who they are optimized for and what to expect.

Twingly goes media!

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These following weeks after our event in London have been amazing!

We decided to launch Twingly with an event at the Hoxton Gallery where we introduced the Twingly Blog Manager! At the event, we had a panel discussion with Peter Blaha, CEO of Twingly, Richard Woodbridge, COO of Nelly.com, Siân To, Director at Cybher, Sophia Marinho de Lemos, Editor and Founder of Girl in Menswear and Rachel Montague-Ebbs, LadyM Presents.

The media coverage, the people who have contacted us and the business in itself is, of course, fun.
Some of the media that’s written about our launch in Great Britain is  Seo Works with their eyecatching headline: “Bloggers means Business: Bloglinks amplify online retail sales”. That pretty much sums up the message we’re trying to get across. 🙂
Also, Wired decided to touch base on the Gladiator-angle, which of course is a “strong” one. Further coverage about our launch was published in Marketing Week, My retailmedia, Retail Digital and many more.

You can see images from the event we had in London here. Watch this space. Twingly is here to stay.

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This week’s news: Showrooming, China, Ghost

Welcome to the new edition of “This week’s news”, a selection of links to interesting articles and news from the worlds of blogs, commerce and e-commerce.

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Showrooming is one of the side-effects of the rise of e-commerce. The terms refers to a scenario during which customers walk into local stores to choose products to buy, but then go online with their smartphone to get the items at lower prices from an e-commerce site. The local store becomes a “showroom”, losing out on revenue and risking its own existence.

A study released by Columbia Business School and the loyalty management company Aimia might be able to calm down concerned store managers a bit: According to the research, only 6 percent of people try to purchase products with their smartphones after having seen them in a store. Many use their smartphone instead to find reviews and customers feedback to make a qualified buying decision.

A possible conclusion could be that stores actually should encourage customers to find reviews about the products sold, or even enable them, by providing in-store web access. If they realize that other customers like the specific item, the likelihood for an in-store purchases increases.

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Ever visited a Chinese online shop and got a shock about the amount of clutter, colours, banners and massive link lists? It has to be that way: “Our consumers like a page that is very crowded, busy with a lot of links so they can open lots of windows at the same time”. That’s a quote from a Chinese e-commerce entrepreneur published in a CNN piece about the “mad, mad world of China e-commerce”. It’s a world where the rules of the West simply don’t apply – an important fact that every online shop that plans to expand to China has to keep in mind.

And the differences don’t stop with the customers’ expectations on the “shopping experience”. Logistics and the integration of social media into the buying process are following different patterns than in Europe and the U.S as well. And there is one more point to consider: Competition is extremely fierce. Or how CNN describes it: “In China, e-commerce is a bloodsport.

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There is a new blogging tool in town called Ghost. At least almost, because it gives limited access for now. Humbly billed “Just a Blogging Platform”, Ghost follows a minimalistic approach, removing many of the elements found at increasingly bloated content-management systems and blog services.

The founder, John O’Nolan, targets slightly more tech-savvy people with his free open source service, since users have to take care of hosting for themselves – at least for now.

Wired has a write-up about Ghost, its features and main differentiation points to competitors.