Unilever to increase investment in social media
In an interview with AdAge in Cannes last week, Keith Weed, Unilever's CMO talked about why Unilever is doubling its digital spend this year and how much of it will go to social media:

I want to be where consumers are. The truth of the matter is we're seeing this huge migration across the world to digital. We need to be ahead of the consumer, so when the consumer arrives, we're already there.

I look at our [digital] investment in the buckets of paid, owned and earned. [Owned] is the smallest part. The biggest part is going to be earned.

[Disclosure: Unilever is a We Are Social client]

Coke sees 'phenomenal' result from Twitter ads
Also reporting from Cannes, Tim Bradshaw covers the success of Coke's experiment with sponsoring the #WC2010 trend on Twitter, reporting that it saw 86m impressions of the ads in 24 hours. Carol Kruse, vice-president for global interactive marketing at Coca-Cola:

"The amount of impressions in such a short period of time around our whole World Cup campaign, to me it was a phenomenal time. It made this emotional connection at the time, it was great."

[Disclosure: Coca-Cola is a We Are Social client]

Foursquare raises $20m; Now valued at $95m
Foursquare has finally officially landed a new round of $20m in venture capital funding, valuing the location based service at $95m, with Silicon Valley’s Andreessen Horowitz leading the new investment. Dennis Crowley, Foursquare's CEO picks up the story on their own blog:

With this new round of financing, our main priority will be to expand our organization to supplement the amazing core team we’ve assembled already. We’re hoping to build a world-class engineering organization, based primarily in our headquarters in New York City, to help us develop the next generation of mobile + social + local products that will excite our users and provide unique value for local merchants.

[Disclosure: Foursquare is not a We Are Social client. Yet ;)]

Newspaper market shrinking, digital revenues unlikely to make up shortfall
Dirk Singer has a great post looking at the results of an OECD report showing that both the UK and US the newspaper markets are in a steady period of decline in comparison to AdAge reporting that digital revenues almost certainly aren’t making up the losses.

Newspaper market decline

Guardian takes bold step in open platform strategy with WordPress plugin
With perhaps the above in mind, The Guardian has unveiled a WordPress plugin which enables bloggers to publish content from guardian.co.uk on their own sites free of charge:

Bloggers will be able to browse through our articles on the WordPress platform, choosing which articles they wish to publish on their blogs. We will embed ads within the articles in order to build a global ad network for the Guardian, yet the bloggers will be able to keep any associated revenue that they earn on their own sites.

GigaOM has some insightful coverage on the move and its ramifications for the publishing industry as a whole.

Telegraph communities: the arrival of Disqus and BuddyPress
Meanwhile, the Telegraph has revamped its community section, now using BuddyPress for reader profiles, blogs and discussion groups and Disqus for comments (as we do here on We Are Social). Kate Day describes the move in detail.

'Your Freedom' is a failure. How to make it better
This week the UK Government launched 'Your Feedom’, a site designed to allow citizens to suggest repeals or modifications to laws they find restrictive or bureaucratic:

It's a major step to a more participatory democracy in the UK, and should be commended. However, Chris, one of many in the We Are Social team who is not shy in coming forward, has posted a detailed critique of the site on his personal blog.

CIPR Summer Social debate finds PR and search remain separate worlds
You'll remember that We Are Social is contributing to the CIPR's advisory panel on social media, and they've been running a series of workshops on the heading 'Social Summer 2010’, one of which, 'Has the PR industry failed to reskill for SEO', Simon and I went along to last week. It was a lively debate, which both Stephen Waddington and Daryll Willcox have written up magnificently. There are still another eight events in the series, so if there's one left that interests you, get yourself along to Russell Square...

Lady Gaga is first living person to reach 10m Facebook Fans
Yup, you read the headline correctly - Famecount brings us the world-shaking news that Lady Gaga is the first living person to reach 10m Facebook Fans, shortly after having overtaken Barack Obama as the most popular living person on Facebook on the 25th June. Michael Jackson, with his nearly 15m fans, will be turning in his grave (and not because he's listening to Thriller).

Wikio ranks top UK online marketing blogs
Back on planet earth, Wikio today launched a number of new rankings of blogs in specific categories of the UK blogosphere, including the UK's top online marketing blogs. It's gratifying to see that we're in 2nd place by their reckoning (these Monday mashups, as I've discovered this afternoon/evening, don't come easy), although don't forget about Spinning Around's pre-existing list of the UK's top marketing blogs based on AdAge's Power 150 rankings.