Stackdriver names Cisco vet to board, Amazon alum as advisor

With Hans Robertson and Ben Matheson, Stackdriver gets expertise in SaaS and public cloud, according to co-founder Izzy Azeri.

Is Amazon getting ready to launch a game console?

Amazon has reportedly shown senior game publisher executives a version of its Android-based game console, which could launch later this year.

Amazon CTO Werner Vogels: Cloud and SaaS are going global, fast

Amazon’s cloud services helped jump start a lot of entrepreneurial activity and now its globe trotting, maverick CTO Werner Vogels believes it help global small and medium sized businesses embrace the cloud and SaaS — which in the end is a good news for AWS.

Amazon’s holiday success and UPS’ holiday fail highlight the internet economy’s problems

The holidays were great for Amazon and lousy for UPS. The two are linked and are a good illustration of two problems we’ll face more often as the web meets the real world.

The best holiday yule logs for cord cutters

Hey cord cutters! Are you searching for a holiday yule log to brighten your Christmas morning and maybe warm up your New Year’s Eve? I checked out the options and wish I could get these in 4K.

So why did Jeff Bezos pre-announce plans for drone-based delivery now?

Amazon is measured when it comes to revealing its future plans and is reticent to share details. And when it does, it does so with its own ends in mind. That begs the question: why did Jeff Bezos pre-announce Amazon drone delivery so early?

Social Media Newsfeed: Black Friday Social Media Disappointing | Walmart Tops Social Media on Black Friday

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Black Friday 150x150Social Media Isn’t as Good at Driving Sales as You Might Think (Daily Dot)
In its annual study of online shopping trends, IBM has found that less than 1 percent of visits to online retailers come directly from social networks. Tracking some 800 e-commerce sites, the granddaddy of tech companies found very few shoppers were coming to sites as a direct result of clicking a link presented to them through some sort of social network. Mashable To put that another way, only 1 percent of orders on shopping sites came from people who visited a social network immediately before. That number, which is based on IBM tracking transactions across 800 U.S. retail websites, didn’t improve much from the previous year. AllThingsD So, for example, if a person sees an ad on Facebook for an e-commerce sale, but first goes to Google to search for something before navigating to the e-commerce site, Facebook wouldn’t get credit for the sale. Another caveat: Advertisers continue to pour money into Facebook for direct-marketing purposes; you would think those advertisers would stop spending money if they weren’t seeing a return, but they haven’t.

Thanksgiving By the Numbers: Facebook, Twitter Data Spot the Hottest Retailers (VentureBeat)
Twitter and Facebook posts represent data worth mining for Black Friday thoughts. And on those sites, Walmart easily beat out other major retailers in terms of “social content amplified by shoppers” from Nov. 1 to Nov. 24, according to data from Shareablee, which describes itself a “social business intelligence platform.” Walmart picked up almost 20 percent of the “share of social word of mouth,” while came in No. 2 with 8 percent.

‘I’m Very Sorry:’ Mugger’s Facebook Apology to Victim — 35 Years Later (New York Post)
It was a heartfelt, if belated, apology. A man who mugged a stranger on the steps of the American Museum of Natural History 35 years ago finally got to say sorry after recognizing his victim on a random Facebook post.

How Facebook Can Help Nonprofits Raise Money and Awareness (AllFacebook)
Working with BLiNQ Media, the PKD Foundation held a social media campaign that resulted in raising that awareness very effectively. The campaign increased interaction with foundation content by 439 percent, with total reach — the number of people exposed to our message — skyrocketing by 1,158 percent.

‘Mob City’ Uses Twitter to Build Suspense for a Premiere (The New York Times)
Popular shows like “The Walking Dead,” “The Voice” and “Scandal” have consistently figured in the weekly top 10 list for Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, a new statistic that professes to measure not just the number of Twitter posts about shows but also the number of followers who read them. Now “Mob City,” a new TNT series about Los Angeles mobsters in the 1940s, has a stunt that hopes to build fans on Twitter before its premiere on Wednesday.

Does Twitter Have What it Takes To Predict a Viral Tweet in Real Time? (AllTwitter)
Being able to produce a “viral sensation” on social media may seem like magic, but Twitter hopes to uncover the secret sauce behind the world’s more viral tweets. The question is, can you really boil down “going viral” to an algorithm?

Google Files for Patent on Automated Status Updates to Other Social Networks (GigaOM)
Google wants a patent on a method for collecting messages from other social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, and letting users provide an automated response to them. The patent application doesn’t cite Google’s rivals directly, but some of the text in the description (“user B reacted by clicking like/dislike button”) appears to be a to nod Facebook, while Google’s list of “prior art” references include two announcements by Twitter. The application also refers to social networks for dating (OKCupid?) and academia (ResearchGate?), and proposes a way to monitor and respond to calendar items.

MTV World Series ‘Rebel Music’ Follows Young People in Six Countries (LostRemote)
MTV World recently debuted “Rebel Music,” a new documentary series about musicians and artists in areas of conflict. “Rebel Music” will feature six episodes examining the lives of young people using art and music to create change around the world. The first two episodes premiered last week, and the remaining four episodes will debut weekly on mtvU and Artist and activist Shepard Fairey, who also created the visual identity for “Rebel Music,” is an executive producer.

‘Hello Santa’ Offers a Memorable, but Pricey, Video Call with a Real-Life Santa (TechCrunch)
A new video chat app called “Hello Santa” offers you and your child a one-on-one with the jolly ol’ elf himself, and for once, it’s not a pre-recorded video. For those who are sick of standing in half-hour or longer lines only to have their kid freeze up, balk or cry when it’s finally their turn to sit on Santa’s knee, Hello Santa can be a great alternative.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Amazon to add Postgres to its most-favored database list

Postgres will take its position alongside MySQL, SQL Server and Oracle as a top tier database in AWS’ Relational Database Service, sources said.

Amazon partners stake claims in AWS cloud ecosystem

A raft of AWS partners used day one of the AWS re:Invent show to blast out new products and services.

Kevin Kelly & the power of ideas

Kevin Kelly, is a great role model for any and every technology writer. Former editor of A Whole Earth Catalog, co-founder of The Well (an online community) and founding executive editor of Wired Magazine is a man of ideas. My reflections after meeting him last week.

Retail’s reinvention: technology’s impact on today’s supply chain

Further growth of online sales is inevitable. This continued shift from brick-and-mortar retail shops to the online world affects everyone from the manufacturer to the distributor. Those looking to stay competitive must understand a new set of consumer wants and needs, new business models emerging, and those technologies that hold the most promise for the future.

How Stanford’s Andreas Weigend leads by example in pursuit of data symmetry

Andreas Weigend, formerly chief scientist at Amazon, has some ideas for how businesses can do more with their customers’ data. A few come from his old employer, while others stem from personal experience.


What’s the Secret Behind Amazon’s Super Smooth Drop-Down Menu?

Some say good web design is supposed to go unnoticed. But when it’s as clever as Amazon’s smooth drop-down menu, people take a closer look.
You may not have spent too much time thinking about’s mega drop-down menu the last time your reorde…

Weekly Social Media Recap #36

Time flies and since it’s not easy to follow, read and catch-up with everythin, we bring you a Weekly Recap from ViralBlog: all of the past week in one place. Last week on ViralBlog among others “Infographic: You Waste A LOT Of Time At Work “, “The Dutch Elections 2012: Wisdom Of Crowds?” and “Why Obama Will Probably Be Re-Elected”.

TVCs: What Can Microsoft Learn From Amazon?

Reviews of Amazon’s new Kindle TV Ad and Microsoft’s Bing TV spot bashing Google… By Igor Beuker for

Google scales back e-book affiliates program, drops some users

When Google launched the program, retailers, bloggers, book publishers and other website owners earned referral fees ranging from 6 to 10 percent of a book’s selling price, depending on the number of sales referred. That was a higher rate than the one offered through Amazon’s referral program…

Amazon yanks 5,000 Kindle titles in fight over terms

Amazon has turned off the buy button on nearly 5,000 Kindle titles from distributor Independent Publishers Group after IPG refused to capitulate to Amazon’s demand for better terms…

Amazon queues up new workflow service

Amazon says its new Simple Workflow Service (SWS) will run applications that are distributed between customer sites and Amazon Web Services cloud infrastructure thus further blurring the line between the customer’s own data center and their chosen cloud.

Data killed the HiPPO star

As the former CEO of OpenTable, Jeff Jordan can attest that most CEOs believe they intuitively know which product developments will make the biggest impact. In this article, Jordan makes a compelling case for letting data — and not the CEO — drive product development.

If the shoe fits: Ozon, Russia’s Amazon, buys Sapato

In a move that echoes Amazon’s purchase of Zappos back in 2009, Russian web store Ozon is buying online shoe seller — a deal that Ozon CEO Maelle Gavet says will turn it into a “powerhouse online retailer”.

Zynga lessens its Amazon dependency

Zynga the newly public company behind the games played by gazillions of people, is relying far less on Amazon’s public cloud than it has in the past: 80 percent of its daily average users now run on Z Cloud — not on that other cloud.