Buried in the I Was a Cybercrook for the FBI article on Wired:
The full scope of the problem is hard to judge, but nonetheless staggering. U.S. banks lost $546 million to debit card fraud in 2004, according to banking research firm Dove Consulting, and credit card fraud losses were estimated to be about $3.8 billion globally in 2003 according to The Nilson Report. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that 10 million Americans are victims of credit card fraud each year. The financial impact of identity theft remains untold.
Wow. That is a pretty big number to absorb.
After a nearly two year absence, the web analytics provider Reinvigorate is back with a closed private beta.
I received a private beta invitation this morning and after installing it on a couple of my sites, I’m impressed with the results. The beta includes 28 individual reports – all with multiple view configurations. Here’s a sampling from the dashboard overview showing visitors and pageviews:
An hour’s worth of data collection certainly isn’t enough to provide adequate feedback on the new and improved Reinvigorate, but based upon what I’ve seen in that time, they are certainly on the right track. I’ll give it a few more days, check with the Reinvigorate team as to what information I can publish during the private beta period, and report back next week.
“There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose the ventures before us.”
-William Shakespeare, Julius Ceasar
“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
Google changed the terms and conditions of the AdSense program this week causing mass panic throughout the web.
1. Google removed the stipulation that other contextual ad programs could not be used on the same page.
2. Google added terms that prohibit other contextual ads not only on a per page basis, but on a per site basis, when such ads mimic the look and feel of Google AdSense ads.
3. Google now prohibits the collection of data for referral products. Which should close down those sites which were using Google’s free products to collect email addresses and other biographical information.
4. Google now prohibits the use of images next to ad units. Effectively clarifying the vagueness that existed over this issue.
There has been a bit of controversy surrounding #2, which basically puts almost every site owner who was using both YPN and AdSense with similar color pallets in a position where they are forced to choose one program or the other. No more A/B testing between programs to find the best payouts. I’ve always made it a standard practice to rotate between YPN and AdSense on a 50%-50% basis and tweaking the display percentage as time went on in favor of the ad group generating the better revenue numbers. With the latest change, I was forced to run through the last 60 days of revenue figures and forced my sites to one program or the other.
In the long run, Google’s change might only end up being a blip on the radar of inconvenience, but to a marketing guy who is always testing and tweaking, this takes a tool out of my toolbelt.
Probably not something I’m willing to dabble with, but I love the concept of making money from the marketing pitch of credit card companies. At least he clearly spells out the warnings first and foremost.
Shamelessly stolen from Avinash Kaushik’s post on Five Free Advanced Web Analytics Tools, Microsoft AdCenter Labs has a predictive index for site demographics culled from their userbase. Enter in a URL for a report.
Here’s a snap from one of my sites:
According to this article at Slate, Amazon.com quietly offers a 30-day price guarantee on any purchase made from Amazon.com. If the price drops on any item within 30 days of your purchase, you can request a refund on the difference by calling the super-secret Amazon Customer Service phone number – 1-800-201-7575, extension 7.
Amazon Price Watch – will email you price changes on up to 4 items per submission.