• Google Cracking Down On Taboo SEO
    Overstock.com is being punished by Google for allegedly artificially boosting its search ranking. "The incident, according to Overstock, stemmed in part from its practice of encouraging Web sites of colleges and universities to post links to Overstock pages so that students and faculty could receive discounts on the shopping site," according to The Wall Street Journal. "Overstock said it discontinued the program on Feb. 10, before hearing from Google, but said some university Webmasters have been slow to remove the links." As a Google spokesman acknowledged: "Attempts to game Google's ranking go on 24 hours a day, every ...
  • Disney Buys Pee-Wee Facebook Togetherville
    Disney has acquired a social network for kids by the name of Togetherville, TechCrunch is reporting. Targeting children 10 years old and younger, Togetherville is essentially Facebook in an age-appropriate, parent-monitored environment. According to TechCrunch, the site "promises a safer, more secure environment, where parents can moderate who their children are connecting with." As such, parents can approve each of their child's friends, as well as connect with other parents using Facebook's social graph. What's more, parents can easily interact with their kids, who are then allowed to have their own social community and login to engage with ...
  • Social Platform Syncapse Soaks Up $25 Mil
    Founded in 2007, Syncapse competes with Vitrue and Buddy Media to supply enterprise clients with social media platforms. "In the spectrum of social media management firms, Syncapse sits atop the food chain," according to Mashable. "The company aims to work with global enterprises with between $25,000 to $50,000 to spare each month for full-service technical and business assistance, using the Syncapse platform to build, manage and measure social media campaigns and profiles across multiple sites." According to the company, existing clients include BlackBerry and Electronic Arts. Syncapse CEO Michael Scissons calls his business "a hybrid of content management, ...
  • Classmates.com Revamped As MemoryLane
    This week, the Web lost one of its most ubiquitous brands in Classmates.com. Seemingly another victim of Facebook's reign, United Online's semi-subscription-based social network has been repositioned as a "nostalgia content" site with the new name MemoryLane. In the words of TechFlash: "One of the survivors of the original dot-com craze, Classmates.com is taking a back seat to a new brand as its parent company maneuvers to escape the shadow of Facebook. Indeed, since its debut in 1995, "a new generation of social networks, such as MySpace and Facebook, eclipsed Classmates.com," writes The Seattle Times. ...
  • Digital Chocolate Gets Sweet $12 Mil
    Social game developer Digital Chocolate has raised $12 million in its fourth round of funding led by Intel Capital. Digital Chocolate is currently the 12th most popular app developer on Facebook with about 17.6 million users, according to AppData. Its most popular game, Millionaire City, has about 12 million users and is ranked 14 on the list of top Facebook applications. With those numbers, Digital Chocolate stands behind the giants of the social gaming space, including Zynga, Electronic Arts' Playfish, and Disney's Playdom. Zynga, for one, boasts 272 million users across all its games, according to AppData. ...
  • Halogen Boosts Management With Horan Hire
    Online marketing firm Halogen Media Group has named former About.com and IAC exec Peter Horan as executive chairman, paidContent is reporting. Horan's role will cover two major areas, Halogen founder and CEO Greg Shove tells paidContent. Specifically, he'll be charged with building up the company's audience strategy. "He'll also grow content sites in-house and will also look for companies to invest in or acquire as additions to its network." According to Shove: "When we look for audiences or sites to acquire, we'll be evaluating them based on basic site metrics--how many visitors they have--but more importantly, what kind ...
  • Facebook Nabs Google Latin American VP
    Facebook has hired Alexandre Hohagen, the top Google executive in Latin America, to be its vice president of sales in the region. Hohagen helped Google establish its Latin American offices six years ago and later served as general manager of Google Brazil, followed by vice president of Google Latin America. On the news, The New York Times notes: "The fight for talent between Google and Facebook -- or more precisely, the flow of Google employees to Facebook -- is not just a Silicon Valley affair." Facebook said the appointment underscored its commitment to the region, and said it ...
  • YouTube Looks Into Live Pro Sports
    YouTube is in talks with the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League to stream live games, Bloomberg reports. Beginning with the streaming of cricket's Indian Premier League last year, Google's video hub has recently pegged live video -- and pro sports, in particular -- as growth areas. "YouTube aims to show more live sports in the second half of the year," reports Bloomberg, citing comments from Gautam Anand, Google's director of content partnerships for Asia Pacific. "Adding live sports broadcasts may help YouTube expand revenue by keeping viewers on its site longer to woo more advertisers." ...
  • New Amazon Service Crowds Streaming Media Space
    Complicating matters for streaming media leaders like Netflix and Hulu, Amazon will now offer its Prime members free, instant streaming of more than 5,000 movies and TV shows. "Amazon's video streaming options will look familiar to anyone who's perused Netflix's own streaming catalog, with a focus on older titles," writes PCWorld. MediaMemo calls the move "Amazon's cautious toe-touch into Web video subscriptions" -- but "not a Netflix Killer." "Amazon certainly has the dollars and clout to compete with Netflix -- and Apple, and Microsoft, and Hulu," assures MediaMemo. "But for now, consider this a starting point, and not much ...
  • Facebook 'Stalker' App Takes Off
    Tellingly, a "Break-up Notifier" app recently attracted over 100,000 Facebook users less than 24 hours after its debut. The new app lets users pick "friends" whose Facebook relationship status they'd like to monitor. "When that status changes, the stalker ... er -- user, is notified via email," the New York Daily News explains. Insisting that he only created the "Break-up Notifier" as a joke, the app's creator, Dan Loewenherz, tells the News: "I wasn't even sure if it was work at first." That it has taken off shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone familiar with Facebook and its common ...
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