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Welcome to Geekbook —  Capturing the weekly buzz in digital media and online marketing & design, as well as trends, news, and cultural topics that are helping shape and inform today’s readers.

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Google Takes on Pandora and Spotify

Google held its annual developer conference, Google I/O this week, introducing several updates, including those for Google+, Gmail, Maps, and Search. One release that captured the attention of the internets was the introduction of Google Play Music All Access. Awkward name, I know. The new service gives users unlimited access to a cloud-based music library with discovery features and sharing capabilities, for $9.99/month. Critics are not giving Google much credit for creating something to differentiate it from others, though. As with anything Google does, there are many opinions on both sides. With its vast reach and extensive library of data, I wouldn’t count them out yet, though I hope they come up with a better name. – TIME

You Can Now Send Money Using Gmail

More Google news this week, as they introduced a new and rather intriguing feature. You can now send money using Gmail. Using their existing Google Wallet service, users will now be able to send each other payments, even if the other person doesn’t have a Gmail account. As is my usual take on Google’s new offerings, though this new service is similar in many ways to other existing services, the popularity and wide use of Google products give it a massive advantage. If this functionality scales-up to a broad user base and even forces the market to consider how this could be used at physical checkouts, we could be reaching a tipping point in digital payments. — Los Angeles Times

  

Yahoo May Buy Tumblr

Several reports this week indicate that Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer may be closing a $1 billion deal to buy  microblogging social media website, Tumblr. Yahoo continues to look to bolster its image in the social media world and this potential acquisition would give them a leg to stand on. Though considered a niche site in many ways, Tumblr is a powerhouse, with 107 million blogs and 15 billion pageviews a month. — GigaOm

 

Newsweek.com’s Impressive Redesign

It stinks when someone else launches your idea before you do, but that is apparently what happened to Newsweek. When the New York Times launched its immensely popular Snow Fall story earlier this year, it demonstrated a huge opportunity for the design and publishing world. Combining amazing imagery with a long-form essay and presenting it in a visually stunning way online, was the right recipe. Incidentally, at the time, Newsweek’s redesign was two months in the making, and reflected a similar approach. After shutting down their print magazine last year, this new strategy looks to create ‘Snow Fall’ stories on a weekly basis. This approach feels right to me. By taking the best traditional media content creators and combining them with this new user-focused design, legacy organizations have the ability to transform themselves and succeed in an increasingly digital world. — Advertising Age

 

Banner Ads That Work

Though banner ads are less effective than native advertising, I was pleasantly surprised this week as I sat through this one from IBM, that displays Internet statistics for the amount of time I watched the ad, even displaying my time on that current page. It caught my eye, though didn’t get me to click. One step at a time.

 

“Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.” – Pablo Picasso

 

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(Images via L.E.H., Technobuffalo.com, Mashable)

Geekbook is produced by Jeff Howland, Community Manager at Dream Local Digital, a marketing agency specializing in interactive media, marketing, SEO and social media.

Tips, additions, or comments? E-mail me.

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