A web 2.0 poster with all of the “cool” company logos just in time for the holidays.
Here is a little more about it on TechCrunch.
Who will acquire Digg? Michael Arrington from TechCrunch claims that Digg has been in acquisition talks with News Corp. and other companies: “However, the company was unable to land an offer in the price range they’re looking for – at least $150 million – and will likely close a Series B round of financing instead.” (TechCrunch Quote)
I am curious who those “other companies” might be. Here are a few random guesses (pure speculation):
AOL / Time-Warner: Calacanis might be interested in an attempt to merge Netscape with Digg (bad idea in my opinion).
Yahoo: The rumor is that they were in discussions for YouTube and FaceBook, and they have already acquired a number of web 2.0 companies. Digg might be an interesting fit for Yahoo.
Who should acquire Digg? Maybe Google. Due to the recent, and large, YouTube acquisition, I doubt that Google is currently in discussions to acquire Digg. Digg would be a great way for Google to get more involved in the collaborative, user generated content space to expand their web 2.0 offerings, and Google could probably add quite a bit of value in helping to optimize Digg’s promotion algorithms. Digg has sometimes struggled with attempts by users to game the system to promote their own stories using all types of devious mechanisms. Designing creative algorithms to prevent people from artificially inflating search results has been one of Google’s strengths.
Personally, I think that Digg will stay independent for now, but then again, I am frequently wrong about acquisition predictions. (I’m still waiting for Borland to be acquired – I predicted an imminent acquisition back in 2002 / 2003).
Rumors were flying this weekend, courtesy of TechCrunch, about Google’s purchase of SpaceShipOne. The recent YouTube acquisition rumor in the billion dollar range also seemed far fetched, and it turned out to be true, so you just never know with Google. Lending additional credibility is the fact that Larry Page is on the board of trustees at the X Prize foundation; however, this rumor turned out to be only partially true.
Google seems to have acquired a very realistic looking mock-up of SpaceShipOne. Still pretty cool.
The blogosphere has been speculating about the cancellation of Google’s Click-to-Call Service over the past few days as a result of a Google Blog post stating that Google was cancelling the service. According to Michael Arrington at TechCrunch, “the real story here is that the Google blog has been hacked.”
In reading the original post (which was quickly removed from the blog), this should be obvious. Google is known for hiring brilliant, well-educated people, and this blog entry just does not fit:
Notice that the wording of the post makes little sense combined with spelling errors throughout. This reads more like a spam email than an official Google blog entry.
Update 10/8/06 12:00 PM: Om Malik reported that a Google spokesperson has confirmed that an unauthorized user created the fake post. The Google spokesperson also said that the Click-to-Call service was proceeding on schedule.
Netvibes just released a new update (code named Cinnamon) with new features, new modules, and a better user interface.
I have been using Netvibes for a couple of months, and I use it constantly. I tried more RSS readers than I can count, and I hated all of them. Prior to Netvibes, I could not find any RSS readers that worked better than than the RSS functionality built into Firefox. The beauty of Netvibes is that they manage to cram a bunch of feeds on the screen, but organize it in a way that never seems overwhelming or cluttered. I can see all of the posts from more than a dozen blogs without scrolling, mouse-overs give me the first couple of sentences, and I can chose to read any post within the Netvibes interface or natively as a new tab in Firefox. Almost everything is configurable; I can have multiple tabs; and the content is easily organized by dragging and dropping.
Netvibes has also integrated a number of very useful modules. Michael Arrington uses it daily for one stop access to a variety of web services. I can see my unread Gmail messages, my delicious bookmarks (including sort by tags), the front page stories on Digg, the weather and more from a single page.
The best part is that I rarely have to wait on anything. Quick, configurable, intuitive, and easy to use … everything I want in a web app.
Yahoo Hack day is a geeky weekend of coding competitions held at the Yahoo campus. This year the winner was a team of women who created a mobile blogging solution. According to Michael Arrington (one of the judges for the event):
“The winning project, called Blogging In Motion, combined a camera, a handbag, a pedometer and the Flickr API to create a device that takes a picture after every few steps and then automatically blogs those pictures.” (Quote from TechCrunch).
TechMeme just released their new sponsorship model, and their approach is bit different from what we have been seeing on most sites. The typical sponsorship model involves either Google-style AdSense ads or TechCrunch-style sponsorship logos. Both of these are great models; however, I think that the TechMeme model is the best possible model for TechMeme, and it would also work well on other sites.
For anyone not already familiar with TechMeme, it “is an entirely automated web service that looks at what bloggers are talking about, and linking to, and decides what is news based on that analysis.” (Quote from TechCrunch). The sponsors have a place on the sidebar (clearly labeled as the sponsorship section) where the sponsoring company’s most recent blog entry is displayed along with their logo. In other words, to refresh their ad on TechMeme, the company simply needs to add a blog entry, and the new link will propagate to TechMeme via an RSS feed.
I love this model. I almost never click on banner ads or sponsorship logos; however, if I see an interesting blog entry from one of the TechMeme sponsors, I would certainly click on it. I suspect that this model will drive more people to click through the ad, thus driving more traffic from TechMeme to the sponsor than a traditional ad might be expected to generate. The end result is that these type of ads will have more value for the sponsoring companies and TechMeme just might be able to charge more for these ads in comparison to a traditional ad.
Jeff Jarvis, an expert in online advertising, says:
“I like it. It’s relevant; it’s human and not automated; it’s appropriate to the form. And it pays. … I think this works and I’ll be eager to hear the sponsors’ experience. I’d love to have a such a unit here.” (Quote from Buzz Machine).
I will be curious to see how others follow this example or modify it to create similar ads on other sites.
Ever wanted to easily hand out a few Flickr images? Moo has a service that prints your Flickr pictures on one side of a 28mm x 70mm card (about half the size of a standard business card) and contact information or any other text on the other side. As an added bonus to Flickr Pro users, you can get a free 10 pack of cards if you are one of the first 10,000 people to request a set. Others can order the 100 pack for $19.99.
I found out about this service on TechCrunch where many people leaving comments were getting a bit too hung up on whether or not people would use them as business cards. I tend to agree with some of the comments. Most professionals would not use these as business cards with the exception of a few artistic professions; however, looking outside of the business card box, I can think of several creative ways to use these cards.
“…business cards are boring.
In an ambitious reinvention, that will address both form and function, MOO will take the business card back to its roots as a sophisticated social tool for non-business use and will introduce a new, advanced generation of calling card for the networked, mobile and social young communities of today. If you’re reading this, that’s you.” (Quote from Moo.com)
Blufr is an online quiz with True / False answers (Way! or No Way!), but it keeps a point tally that goes up or down based on your responses. Careful, it is addictive.
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