• Google "Out-Opens" Facebook
    Today's technology news is all about Google vs. Facebook, after the search giant announced a common application programming interface that lets software developers create programs to run within a whole host of social networking Web sites. The idea is to let developers keep the information they obtain about various sites and their activity across different sites so that advertisers may target them better. Google signed 12 major partners for the initiative, called OpenSocial, including LinkedIn Corp., Ning, Inc. Friendster Inc., Hi5 Networks, and B2B giants Oracle and Salesforce.com. It also signed up several developers. Conspicuous by their ...
  • HuffPo Reinvents the Media Wheel
    Is Arianna Huffington reinventing the media business? As it's grown, the HuffPo's business model has morphed into something akin to "building communities around news content" by getting experts and influential people to blog about their specialties for free. But who wants to blog for free? Apparently, 1,600 people and counting--all personally invited by Huffington to drop their two cents on specific topics from politics to entertainment to food. It's an ingenious business model, "cooked up with relatively little money" by Huffington and her fellow co-founders, and one that keeps overhead low because it only needs a small editorial ...
  • Congress Extends Web Tax Ban
    Consumers and telecommunications and technology firms rejoiced on Tuesday after the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously voted to extend the moratorium on Internet taxes, prohibiting state and local authorities from taxing Web access for another seven years. The Senate had already passed the measure, which means that President George W. Bush now has to sign off on it before the current ban expires on Thursday. State and local authorities are upset; they wanted to see a shorter extension and a "narrower definition" of the taxes that could not be charged. But the news is good for just ...
  • Casual Games: Big Reach, Small Bucks
    The"casual games" sector, an industry generating a serious $2.25 billion per year, according to the Casual Games Association, is growing annually at 20 percent. That's a healthy growth figure, especially when you consider that some 200 million people already play casual games. The nascent sector has also proved to be a great way for advertisers to reach everyone, as the ratio of men to women is a nearly even 48.3 to 51.7 percent. Compared to the hardcore or "enthusiast" gaming sector, which consists of console gaming and massively multiplayer games like World of Warcraft, casual gaming's $2.25 ...
  • Report: Google in Verizon Talks
    Ever-busy Google is now talking with major U.S. wireless carrier Verizon Wireless about putting its applications on Verizon-powered handsets. During a third-quarter earnings call, Verizon Communications COO Denny Strigl confirmed that the company had spoken with Google, but he didn't elaborate. The talks involve a potential ad share agreement, which could mean the discussions are about Google's forthcoming mobile operating system software, which reports say will deploy advertising to subsidize cell phone and network costs. France Telecom, believed to be involved in similar negotiations, denied that Orange, its wireless unit, has spoken with Google. Following this and ...
  • Networks Help Advertisers Find the Long Tail
    Ad networks are increasingly getting into bed with news distributors like Voxant, is in the business of delivering stories from major news outlets like the Associated Press to its own network of smaller blogs and Web sites. Many of these sites are valuable to advertisers because they have loyal niche audiences, but the traffic we're talking about is very small-Donklephant, the blog has just 40,000 users per month. However, for sites that center around granular topics, Voxant helps deliver relevant text, videos and photos to make their content richer. They also open up new ad inventory from ...
  • False and Misleading Data Devalues Facebook
    Facebook's user info may not be kosher for advertisers. For one thing, you can't always trust online users--especially young online users--to provide accurate information. There is an awful lot of role-playing on the Web, but to a larger extent, social network users like to fib. A Pew study says that 56% of teens post false items on their social networking profiles. That, by the way, includes MySpace founder Tom Anderson, who's been lying about his age to his hundred million-plus friends since day one. Anderson's profile says he's 32, but reports claim he's pushing 40. That puts him in another ...
  • Facebook Employees Are Watching You
    Privacy concerns were raised at Facebook after an anonymous source revealed that a friend from the company had asked her why she kept looking at his profile. Well, according to the source, one of the "perks" of being a Facebook employee is the ability to see anyone's profile and their profile activity. According to Web 2.0 master John Battelle (link: http://battellemedia.com/archives/004056.php) says, is a "very real" problem for Facebook, because one of the main reasons for the company's success is its ability to handle personal data in a respectful manner. Millions trust Facebook, but letting its employees eavesdrop ...
  • Investors: Set AOL Free
    When news came last Friday that Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons could be succeeded by Jeff Bewkes as early as next week, the company's stock surged 3.5%. The media giant, whose share price has barely budged during Parsons' five-year tenure, has been in need of change for some time, or so goes the general consensus. Some speculators said the surge indicated that investors hoped Bewkes would break up the lumbering conglomerate, starting with AOL. The company former known as America Online was supposed to be "the growth engine on which Time Warner staked its future in the ...
  • Google's Social Assault: Maka-Maka
    Google may have lost out on a piece of Facebook, but the Web giant is now responding by moving headlong into the territory of Facebook and MySpace. Google plans to incorporate social media features into all of its applications, using them as the glue that sticks each application together. The initiative goes by the name "Maka-Maka" and borrows heavily from Facebook. For example, Google aims to make "activity steams," like those news and mini feeds you see on your Facebook profile, a key part of each Google application. You could see those feeds appearing inside your iGoogle ...
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