• The Facebook That Wasn't
    Adam Goldberg could have been a contender. So says Slate of the Columbia grad "who came within arm's reach of a multibillion-dollar idea that ultimately slipped his grasp." The idea? A social network for college kids named Campus Network -- then called CU Community for Columbia University. At one time, according to Slate, CU represented "perhaps the greatest threat to Facebook's dominance." Says Goldberg, now 26 years old: "If you talk to [Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg], he'll be the first to tell you he thought CU Community was the biggest competition that Facebook ever had." ...
  • Rats Abandon Yahoo
    In one fell swoop, three top execs are abandoning Yahoo, including U.S. head Hilary Schneider, U.S. Audience head David Ko, and VP of Media Jimmy Pitaro. "This entire mess -- and that's precisely what it is -- calls into question the tenure of [CEO Carol] Bartz ... who was brought in to clean up Yahoo after the maelstrom around the failed takeover attempt by Microsoft several years ago." Sources tell BoomTown that Yahoo board members convened an emergency meeting this week to figure out how to deal with the mess.   Suggesting that Bartz's ...
  • Analyst: Facebook '11 Ad Sales To Top $3 Bil
    Overshadowing previous estimates, Facebook's ad sales will exceed $1.6 billion this year, according to a new report from Cowen & Co. analyst Jim Friedland. That number, combined with "non-ad revenue," will bring Facebook's overall sales to nearly $1.75 billion for the year, notes paidContent. "It was only last month that eMarketer said Facebook's ad sales for the year would likely total $1.2 billion," paidContent writes. In his report, Friedland said he expects Facebook's U.S. ad sales to total $1.05 billion and international ad sales of about $500 million. eMarketer suggested that Facebook's U.S. ad revenue would reach ...
  • Ah, The Memories: IMDb Turning 20
    Marking a maturing Web landscape, popular film and television search engine IMDb.com turns 20 next month. As the Associated Press notes, the site was also overhauled this week to emphasize video clips and "help fans find what they'd like to see next." The goal was to "help people make viewing decisions" and "emphasize the visual nature of film and TV," Col Needham, the site's British founder and chief executive, tells AP. Also, trailers and ticket information are now much more prominent. The site actually began as a database program that people had to install on their computers. ...
  • Google's Mayer Prays For Friendlier Facebook
    What does Marissa Mayer, Google's VP of search and user experience, think about Facebook. For one, the top social net is "really different than what Google is really focused on," she said at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference this week, according to VentureBeat. There are, however, "elements that are interesting," she added. Like her boss Eric Schmidt, where Mayer takes issue with Facebook is its insistence on hiding content from Google and other search engines. "There is a lot of content that is being locked in," she said. Despite privacy concerns, "You should still be able to find ...
  • Google Phone Store Open For Business
    Google: Supreme search engine; First-rate direction giver; aspiring phone seller. Yep, Google has relaunched its phone store, dubbed "Phone Gallery," and is now hocking an array of phones compatible with its Android mobile operating system. The former URL was used to sell the Nexus One, but was closed when Google decided to stop shipping the device, notes Fortune's Seth Weintraub. Regarding the new store, Weintraub says, "I personally like the compare feature at the right which allows you to to [sic] pick any three phones and get a specification breakdown." Google is presently advertising phones from five ...
  • A Little Talky: Facebook Friends Skype In Google Voice Battle
    Challenging Google and its popular Voice service, Facebook is working with Skype on a "wide-ranging" partnership, reports BoomTown's Kara Swisher. "You didn't think Facebook would integrate with Google Voice, did you?" she jokes. Citing sources, Swisher says the broad partnership will include integration of SMS, voice chat and Facebook Connect. Bigger picture, what the does the would-be deal mean? "Such an alliance would be a challenge to Google, a value for business users, and would benefit both Facebook and Skype," PCWorld writes. "Google has dabbled ... social networking ...
  • Twitter Surpasses MySpace, Lauded By Schmidt
    Twitter has surpassed MySpace in unique visitors to become the third-most popular social networking service, reports The Los Angeles Times. "According to its latest stats, Twitter has more than 160 million users and is adding 370,000 users a day." To boot, Twitter had nearly 96 million unique visitors in August, up 76% from the same period a year ago, ComScore said. Even Google chief exec Eric Schmidt admits Twitter is a big deal. "Twitter strikes me as being a very important platform," Schmidt said during the TechCrunch Disrupt conference this week. "Twitter should be able to come ...
  • Google Vows To Make Display 'Sexy'
    Google is promising to make display advertising much more engaging, and, dare they say, "sexy," (they do, in fact, dare) The Wall Street Journal reports. "Display is bringing 'sexy' back," Barry Salzman, a Google managing director for media, said at the IAB advertising conference this week. Until now, display ads were "static" and it was "tough to engage Madison Avenue's most creative minds," Salzman said. In five years, Salzman predicted that 75% of display ads will be "social." In other words, according to The Journal, "People will be able to comment on them, share them with friends ...
  • Top Networks Sue Web TV Service Ivi
    Online subscription service Ivi is being sued by the top networks for streaming their programs over the Web without authorization. The companies, including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and the Public Broadcasting Service, accuse Ivi and its founder Todd Weaver of copyright infringement in a federal court complaint in New York, reports Bloomberg. "Defendants have launched their infringing Internet TV service to coincide with the start of the new fall television season," the broadcasters said in the complaint. Based in Seattle, Ivi reportedly began streaming TV stations there and in New York 24 hours a day to Web ...
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