As anyone who hasn't been living under a rock is well aware, tomorrow is Black Friday, which isn't nearly as dire it sounds.

"Black Friday" actually refers to the day on the books when the ink turns black (positive).

With that in mind, one can't help but have visions of cash registers dancing in their head. This, of course, has ramifications for marketers in general, be they online or offline or any mix of the two.

There are tricks of the trade and tips and all sorts of advice that can be proferred up, but call me Scrooge -- I ain't sharing.

What I will share is a couple of points of interest in my Internet days between yester and today. To wit:'s Catherine Holahan had an interesting and insightful article on the traction gain by PayPal and other online payment systems. In short, PayPal continues to not only facilitate online commerce transactions, but is doing everything in it power to make online commerce easier, consumer and merchant friendly and secure.

Coming up second is Google Checkout, launched in 2005 but not, to date, having overpowered the frontrunner and market leader position.

The Paypal/Ebay synergy is obviously symbiotic, each furthering the other. And Google Checkout was to have the same sort of launchpad with Froogle which has, to date, been more tried than true.

However, it is the season for hauling out the holly, dusting off the mantel and hanging the stockings by the chimney with care before settling into the home office to do what will definitely be a perusal of online shopping opportunities. Merchants, with visions of usability studies dancing in their heads hope that the perusing will actualize into an online purchase.

So too, it seems, does Google, as it's delved into the back of the closet to see what it could come up with this holiday shopping season, and lo and behold, there it is front and center, all dusted off and propped up on the mantel that is their homepage, Google Products.

'Tis the season.

Have a good one.

~The (SEP) Guy