Greg Magnus

AIM Custom Media Websites Blogs Glen Allen, VA 23059

Month: December 2006

Fitness Trend Predictions for 2007

For those interested, I posted the 2007 fitness trend predictions on my fitness-health blog. If you're a fitness professional looking for ways to increase your business by taking advantage of these trends feel free to contact me directly. I'm providing a limited number of marketing plan strategy reviews for readers of my fitness-health blog.

I attended a business development workshop in DC earlier this week hosted by Shipley Associates, leaders in the field. I'm also a Capture Planning/Bus Dev and Proposal Consultant for Shipley. One of the themes concerning the process of linking your service solutions (i.e., customer benefits) to understanding customer issues was, "Don't guess – ask!" We're glad to help so call us or send us your questions (complementary plan reviews are on a first come first serve basis).

Most of my client's in the fitness arena have completed their 2007 marketing plans. If you would like an unbiased review of your draft let me know. My contact info is here.

Skype to Charge For Calls in 2007

VIRGINIA, Dec. 13 – | PR News –  Beginning next month, SkypeOut calls (computer to non-PC phones) will no longer be free. The company announced today that they would start to charge an annual fee, but calls from PC to PC will still be free.


Unlimited calling costs just $29.95 per year. You'll receive the discounted rate of $14.95 if you purchase a plan before January 31, 2007. Users can pay 2.1 cents per minute without a plan. Don Albert, Skype’s general manager for North America, told The New York Times, “We see a willingness by consumers to make SkypeOut calls that are well priced.”

SkypeOut calls were free. Given VOIP companies such as Vonage charge about $25 per month, Skype will remain the best deal on the net. 

Hat tip to for alerting us to the change in Skype's service. 

Fried SPAM Cooks Up on Google, Yahoo, Ask and MSN

After reading a post on the developments of search technology at Read/Write web, I decided it was time to share a phrase I created with you, "Fried SPAM." It just seems appropriate to call websites Fried SPAM when they:

  1. Contain nothing but imported content (like the product SPAM itself), and
  2. They are saturated with fat ("in your face" Google and other network ads). 

Fried SPAM is cooked up far too frequently on Google, Yahoo, Ask, and MSN search results. Services such as and will grow in popularity as social networking continues to evolve from "here I am" to "here's what I think."

Here's a bit of the Read/Write web post on searching Web 2.0, stop by their site and read the full post:

Search 2.0 – What's Next?

Written by Emre Sokullu and edited by Richard MacManus

You may feel relatively satisfied with the current search offerings of Google, Yahoo, Ask and MSN. Search today is undoubtedly much better than what it was in the second half of the 1990's. But Internet search is still in its infancy and there's much room for improvement. Moreover, the super high valuation of Google on NASDAQ pushes investors and researchers to find better search solutions – to be The Next Big Thing. And these wannabes are not only working on discovering better indexing techniques, they're exploring new horizons like vertical engines, meaning-based search, intent-driven search, new clustering methods, and much more. In this post, we look into latest trends in the search industry….

Approach Enhancements (Vertical Search)
Vertical search is a relatively new discipline in search. Basically, vertical engines look up a very limited subset of the internet – so they are more efficient than generic search engines. Because their search area is not so broad, they can adapt themselves for the specific needs and common points of their area of focus…..

Maybe someone should start a database of Fried SPAM sites, then offer a plugin for search engines that eliminates the URLs from the search results. Raise a few million and go for it!


Custom Magazines to Your Taste

Innovation is one word that describes the current state of affairs in the field of communications and publishing. I often comment on the growing power of the consumer. Their choices are becoming endless and they move in nanoseconds when content screams "this is an ad." Now more than ever, advertisers and publishers need relevant and compelling content.

I found this post on a while back; finally getting around to sharing it with you. Would you be inclined to subscribe to a publication where you influence the content? Tell us what you think about this:

Shoutblog » Customizing a magazine to your taste After signing up, users provide feedback about what their interests are using various sliders. idio then matches the contents of the magazine to suit your taste. The whole magazine is served via Flash, and, from the looks of it, seems to be pretty slick. On the bottom of the interface are various pages, which are marked different colors based on if you’ve read the contents of each page or not. They also let you rate each article, which can possible allow them to adaptively change your preferences based on your ratings.

MarketingSherpa's Annual Email Study – Results Available

VIRGINIA, Dec. 1 – | PR News – If you haven't read any of MarketinSherpa's reports, here's a good one for you. Who is the MarketingSherpa?

MarketingSherpa is a research firm that publishes practical information for professional marketers. They are not a consulting firm, an ad agency, nor a market research firm available for hire. They are a business research company that just happens to focus on the marketing profession – and in my humble opinion they are very good at it.

The following excerpt provides details concerning the report and links to the executive summary: 


Sherpa's Annual Email Study Results: 3,637 Marketers Reveal Best Email Tests + New Eyetracking Heatmap

SUMMARY: Wow. 3,637 MarketingSherpa readers participated in November's email study, which makes it the world's biggest study of what works in email (and what doesn't). Many thanks to everyone who helped out.

Here's the Executive Summary of results we promised you, including:

– Best and worst email tests based on ROI
– Eyetracking study of an ecommerce email
– What B-to-B marketers need to know about filters
– How many of you are budgeting for mobile marketing

Plus, happily surprising data from you about the increasing value of your email programs: Executive Summary PDF
(Open access)

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