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Amazon's R&D spend is up 40% to nearly $10B

In Q2 2014, Amazon increased their R&D spending by 40% year-over-year. + 40%! During this calendar year, Amazon is tracking to invest $9.1 billion in research and development.

Below is Amazon's P&L as presented in Google Finance:


Back-to-School Shopping Trends [Infographic]

Just over half (51.2%) of parents in the United States say they begin back-to-school shopping in August, according to a recent report from Offers.com.

July is the next most popular month for starting back-to-school shopping (29.2% of parents surveyed), followed by June (7.8%).

Some 6.6% of parents say they wait until after school starts to begin shopping.

Exciting Announcement from SocialMediopolis

smo ema partnerI have an exciting announcement and you’ll be the first to hear about it. For the first time since we’ve been in business, we have partnered with another company to expand our base of members. The company is the  eMarketing Association (eMA), one of the oldest and most prestigious online marketing membership organizations in the industry.
The eMarketing Association has a list of over 700,000 members, many of which are Fortune 1000 companies. They are a fantastic match to our audience and will provide a great addition to our core strengths. SocialMediopolis now represents over 1,400, 000 members. Together, we now have the largest professional marketing database in the world, with well over 2,100,000 members.
This offers you multiple benefits in reaching this valuable audience, not only with increased marketing power, but with the synergy and branding cross-over between the two organizations. I’ve attached our Charter Media Kit for your review. Our latest 2016 Demographic Survey is now online, too. Let me know  if you have any questions, or if you’d like to schedule a new campaign. Remember, we only have 4 announcement slots a month, and 2 are already sold out so let’s talk soon to lock in one of remaining positions for you.
As always, we really appreciate your business and look forward to making your campaigns a success!
Mike Crosson/Cheryl Fleming

Facebook Announces Stricter Guidelines For Research And Experiments On Its Users

F10-2After a study on whether emotional manipulation in the News Feed could make people sad turned into a PR disaster, Facebook has now set up a formal review process for pre-approving research on its users, and Research At Facebook website to centralize all the academic work done on its enormous data set.

Facebook admitting to screwing up with the emotions study, explaining “We were unprepared for the reaction the paper received when it was published and have taken to heart the comments and criticism. It is clear now that there are things we should have done differently. For example, we should have considered other non-experimental ways to do this research. The research would also have benefited from more extensive review by a wider and more senior group of people. Last, in releasing the study, we failed to communicate clearly why and how we did it.”

How to Use Social Media to Ethically 'Stalk' Competitors and Job Candidates

7-31stalkWhile the term "stalking" has a sinister ring to it, there are legitimate reasons to stalk people online. I'm not talking about keeping tabs on your ex or monitoring what your teen is doing on social media. I'm talking about using online investigation techniques for valid business-related reasons like:

Instagram touts app-install ad wins

instagramInstagram demonstrates its effectiveness as advertising platform for app installs

Instagram is proving to be a strong advertising platform to drive mobile application installs, with a click-through rate of 0.8 percent compared to Facebook’s rate of 0.6 percent, according to a new report from Nanigans.

New Hootsuite/Nielsen Survey Confirms the Value of Social for Business

HS10-22A survey released today underscores the importance of social to business, but also reveals the challenges businesses have dealing with the amount and types of data produced by social.

Social media software company and consumer ratings giant Nielsen surveyed employees in medium to large-scale enterprises across North America, the United Kingdom, and Australia, and found that while 88% recognize the importance of social, 60% have trouble taking their data and turning it into something actionable.

Why Twitter Is Handing Over Your Tweets to MIT

T10-2Though the slogan works for marketing diamonds, perhaps it’s more accurate to say that the Internet is forever. Your Livejournal from 2002 can still be found, and so can the picture of you from that one night you can’t remember (even though you took it off Facebook).

Now, every tweet ever made public, starting with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet in 2006, is subject to scrutiny by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Laboratory for Social Machines, which aspires to have a better understanding of how information gets disseminated through social media platforms like Twitter. The Wall Street Journalreports that the university “plans to build data visualizations, mobile apps and other tools to ‘create new forms of public communication and social organization.’”