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Monday, Sep. 17, 2007 at 4:49 pm

Blog Buzz: Iran Blocks Google, EMusic Bests iTunes

By Robert Gorell
September 17th, 2007

Google Blogscoped reports on a story from, stating that Iran awkwardly blocked, then unblocked, Google:

According to

[Iran] has unblocked access to the Google search engine and its Gmail email service after briefly filtering them owing to an “error”, the Fars news agency reported.

So, the question remains; what kind of “error”? Inside Iran blogger, Jadi, insists “…this is not a minor fault. It is a Major fault or an unbelievable reality.”

Says the AFP:

Iran has tough censorship on cultural products and internet access, banning thousands of websites and blogs containing sexual and politically critical material as well as women’s rights and social networking sites.

On a lighter note, USA Today‘s Jim Hopkins reports on a new study which asks “Are Male and Female Entrepreneurs Really That Different?” (click to download the PDF). Summarizing the findings, Hopkins insists that…

Many factors do, indeed, drive performance, the researchers found. And many of them sound familiar to me after spending years talking to male and female business owners about this subject. Among the factors highlighted by Kepler and Shane:

* Men had more business experience before opening their business, and higher expectations.
* Women entrepreneurs had a bigger average household size. (This is a point women have mentioned to me often: They’re more likely to shoulder extra responsibility for child care and elder care, which takes away from time spent on their business.)
* Women were more likely to have positive revenues, but men were more likely to own an employer firm. (My take on this: Businesses with employees are more likely to have higher profits because they can take on more customers.)
* Male owners were more likely to start a business to make money, had higher expectations for their business, and did more research to identify business opportunities. [Continue reading "New study tracks male, female entrepreneurs"...]

Also today, ClickZ‘s Matthew G. Nelson reports that analytics firm Coremetrics has added a lifestyle behavioral targeting feature. According to Nelson:

Coremetrics has upgraded its digital marketing suite with a new release, Coremetrics 2008, that adds improved tracking of consumer behaviors. Rather than provide historical insight in the form of an isolated purchase or other action, the software will now track an individual over time to provide a more complete picture of his or her intent. The company is calling the approach “contextual marketing.”

The Coremetrics 2008 system is intended to identify and target valuable customers based on both individual traits and lifetime visits and behavior. Instead of tracking and reacting to a single sales event, such as a woman abandoning her online shopping cart with a red dress, the Coremetrics system will also provide the site owner with her previous purchase of jeans and shirts and her shipping preferences, all of which will allow the business to create a highly targeted e-mail offer to bring her back to the store. will kick off a three-week beta test later in the week. Says John Lazarchic, VP of e-commerce at PETCO:

[...] “We react quite often to single events, when we do interactive marketing, which has been successful, but now we can react to that event with knowledge of prior activity. It will be more impactful because we know more about them.”

Interesting stuff from Coremetrics… We look forward to reading the case study. (In the meantime, we invite the good folks at PETCO to watch this screencast.)

And finally, The New York Times reports that will sell audio books at half the cost of iTunes. According to the Times

Beginning tomorrow, eMusic, which is second to iTunes in music download sales, will offer more than a thousand books for download, with many of them costing far less than on iTunes. For example, “The Audacity of Hope,” read by author Barack Obama, will cost $9.99 on eMusic compared with $18.95 on iTunes. The retail price for a five-CD version of the same book is $29.95.

The biggest selling point for eMusic is also its biggest point of controversy: the site uses the MP3 format, which works on any digital player but lacks the technology, known as digital rights management, that protects copyrighted material from unlimited duplication.

By contrast, iTunes only works on an iPod, and songs downloaded from the service can be burned onto a CD only once and cannot be transmitted over the Internet.

So, with the iPhone-price-drop controversy behind us, will the competition continue bruising Apple? Stay tuned…

[Catch Blog Buzz weekdays on — or subscribe via iTunes. Bryan Eisenberg & Robert Gorell host the podcast, featuring a rundown of the day's top stories from The Grok's Interactive Marketing Buzz.]

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Comments (1)

  1. Apple produces great devices (and operating systems) but you pay a premium, their 30% share of sales in their app stores is too much for my liking, and they are paving the way for other companies (Google with 10% fee) to take market share. EMusic is exploiting Apples high pricing and hopefully can succeed and/or force a change to Apples policies.

    I hope EMusic does well, but I think publicity may be an issue, as I hadn’t heard of them before reading this post, and it’s from a while ago!

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