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theEweekly Wrap - MySpace, marketing and internet privacy

Don't stop believingFlagging social network MySpace has teamed up with hit US drama Glee in an effort to entice users back to the service.

The site, which many consider to be singing its final notes, is offering members the chance to star in the next season of the musical programme - currently shown on E4 in the UK - by submitting an audition tape.

The bosses behind MySpace will be hoping the new campaign stems the exodus of users to rival social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

"Once an online hotspot attracting musicians and movie stars, MySpace has almost capsized in Facebook's wake," wrote Mercedes Bunz in The Guardian.

"After the sudden departure of its chief executive, Owen Van Natta, recently, the new bosses decided to focus on what they've got, and that is several million active users left, and a huge media company in the background," she continued.


Show me the moneyNew figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau revealed online marketing investment continued to rise over 2008-2009.

The study, conducted in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers, found internet adspend grew from £3.54 billion in 2008 to £3.54 billion a year later. The 4.2 per cent rise in online marketing came despite the deepest recession since World War Two.

"Ten years ago, online was a new medium with high expectations but backed by little commercial reality," said Eva Berg-Winters of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"Since then, it has matured to become an integral part of our lives, which marketers have learned to trust."

A separate report from an American digital marketing group revealed that 81 per cent of companies are planning to run paid search campaigns in 2010. The SEMPO State of Search Report surveyed just under 1,500 companies across the globe.


Analytical advancesFormer Google employee Brian Clifton has speculated that users will become more concerned with issues of privacy over the next five years.

Speaking to Search Engine Land, the former head of web analytics for Google EMEA said searchers would start to limit the amount of personal data they shared online. He argued that the SEO industry needed to accept the shift in user attitudes.

"The key is putting the user in control of their privacy. We have a long way to go in this area," said Clifton.

"I would like to see the industry lead the way in protecting online privacy."

Most recently, Google introduced the option for web users to remove their data from user-tracking software Google Analytics. Approximately 80 per cent of digital organisations in the UK use the software to monitor the number of site visitors.

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