About Joe Lewis

Joe Lewis is a staff writer for WebProNews.
Rumor: StumbleUpon To Be Acquired By eBay
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Reports surfacing about a possible eBay/StumbleUpon deal have created quite a buzz throughout the blogosphere over the last 24 hours. Forsaking the significance that such a deal could have in the silently mounting animosity between Google and eBay, the rumored details of acquisition weave an interesting tale in and of themselves.

Headlines on the acquisition front have, by in large, been dominated by Google over the last six months, starting with the company’s highly publicized and now much scrutinized purchase of YouTube.

Google Steps on eBay’s Toes
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Google has set up a system to provide content recommendations and random site navigation based on information contained within a user’s search history and preferences, which would seem to be a step onto StumbleUpon’s turf. If the eBay purchase of StubmleUpon goes through, we could have a classic confrontation.

Virtual Gambling Could Bring Down Second Life
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In the virtual world of Second Life, one can engage in just about every imaginable sort of commerce. Industries spanning from standard retail to prostitution offer the average Second Lifer a veritable cornucopia of possibilities, but it’s the virtual casinos that exist in the online world that are drawing the attention and ire of government agencies in the United States.

Yahoo Challenges Google On Analytics Front
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Search engine marketers rely heavily on website metrics to determine what adjustments need to be made to advertising campaigns in order to increase time on site and conversion. Google has offered free analytical tools to webmasters for some time, but now site owners are starting to take notice of the new measurement tools contained within Yahoo’s Project Panama.

Blinkx Remote Serves Up TV Shows

The landscape of online video becomes more interesting by the day. While YouTube find itself bogged down in a quagmire of takedown requests and DMCA notices, Blinkx has decided to roll out a new search tool specifically aimed at directing users to television content that they can view and/or download.

Death Knell Chimes For Internet Radio
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In March, the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board approved a proposal by SoundExchange, working on behalf of the RIAA, which would implement a significant increase in royalty rates for streaming audio providers. Realizing that these rates would put them under, online radio stations banded together in one last desperate appeal to the CRB to reconsider the decision.

Unfortunately for Internet radio providers, and for music lovers around the world, the judges at the CRB denied the appeal headed up by NPR and joined by several online radio stations.

Atari To Develop Its Own Virtual World

Second Life has inspired numerous other start-ups looking to take advantage of the hype surrounding the user-generated virtual world phenomenon.

While many companies are looking to make a name for themselves with such aspirations, Atari just wants to reclaim its piece of the video gaming pie.

Just what sort of unmitigated chaos has been wrought in the wake of Second Life’s popularity?

Coke Expands Viral Marketing Efforts Online
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Crayon has been working closely with Coca-Cola to expand its brand awareness within the virtual world of Second Life. Coke is now taking its online campaign to the next level with the “Virtual Thirst” contest, which is being promoted across multiple social avenues, including Second Life, MySpace and YouTube.

The contest is simple: design a new Coke machine for Second Life. The execution of the challenge, however, is the unique factor that bears mentioning.

Search Engines Build Blog Traffic, Not Popularity
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Optimizing your blog for search will certainly increase the amount of search engine referrals that will come through, which sounds great on the surface to anyone looking to monetize that traffic. When it comes to retaining users and garnering popularity, however, search becomes less important.

Inbound traffic is the most commonly employed metric in determining the value of a website property. In calculating market share, analytics firms almost exclusively base their figures on the volume of traffic a site receives.

Google Pulls Imus Related Keywords?
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It hasn’t been a good week for long-time shock jock Don Imus. After his controversial comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team, his Imus in the Morning radio show was quickly dumped by both MSNBC and CBS. The events surrounding the scandal have had an interesting impact on the search world as well.

Prior to CBS axing the Imus program, several major sponsors pulled their advertising from the show, which no doubt was a major factor in the network’s decision to pull it from the airwaves.

Rumor: Yahoo Could Acquire Rivals

The story broke yesterday concerning Yahoo’s possible acquisition of Rivals, a popular sports content site. With the possible price rumored in the nine-figure range.

Here in Lexington, Rivals is a very popular site for fans of Kentucky basketball. Its forums have been ablaze ever since the abrupt departure of former head coach Tubby Smith and stayed hot throughout the entire search process which eventually landed Billy Gillispie at the helm of the program.

EFF Sues For Release of NSL Abuse Records

On the heels of Congressional hearings and extensive media coverage of a Justice Department report documenting abuse of privacy measures, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is seeking an emergency order that would require the FBI to surrender and make public all records regarding the misuse of National Security Letters (NSLs) to collect private information from American citizens.

SES: Promote Your Site With Wikipedia
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If you check out the Google search results for most terms, you’ll find Wikipedia at or near the top of the list.

Record Labels To Blame For Industry Decline

Physical music sales continued a trend of downward progression and digital revenues are not making up the difference. Within the next two years, total revenues from music sales are projected to dip down to $23 billion, which is half of what the industry brought home a decade earlier.

Utah vs. Google: Trademark Debates Heat Up
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The Utah State Legislature has passed a bill that would make it illegal to purchase keywords relating to a competitor’s product in order to show up alongside them in search results. The Trademark Protection Act has come under much public scrutiny, most notably by Google.

Survey: Search Marketers Happy With ROI

According to a study conducted by Jupiter Research, sixty five percent of advertisers will increase their spending in search marketing in the coming year. Overall, advertisers are pleased with the return on investment (ROI) that they are seeing from the dollars that have been spent thus far in search.

ISPs Still Ducking Clickstream Questions

The issue of data privacy has long been one of intense debate and speculation across the blogosphere. Reports have surfaced here and there of ISPs selling clickstream data to third party advertisers for mere cents per user. As journalists continue seeking answers, the ISPs are remaining conspicuously tight-lipped about their data practices.

Mozilla Flies The Coop With Prototype Addon

Last week, Mozilla announced the development of an addon designed to implement social networking features within its popular Firefox web browser. The company has released an early prototype of the feature, named The Coop, so users can get an initial preview of what’s to come.

Viacom, Yahoo Sign Online Advertising Deal

A deal has been announced that will see Yahoo act as the exclusive provider of sponsored search and contextual ads to all of Viacom’s web properties.

Analysts and commentators have suggested that Viacom’s billion-dollar lawsuit against Google may have been as much a contributing factor as its confidence in Yahoo’s ability to effectively monetize traffic.

It appears that Google’s loss is Yahoo’s gain, at least when it comes to dealing with Viacom.

Zune 2.0 To Hit The Streets In ’07

Microsoft plans to follow up the lackluster release of its first generation Zune portable media player with a new model by the end of the year.

The Zune 2.0 will come with standard and flash based drives, but will it manage to garner more market share than its predecessor?

Some labeled the Zune as a potential “iPod Killer” in the hype preceding the device’s launch last year.

Making The Most Of Your Blog

Blogging has transcended beyond the trendy platform that all the emo kids embraced as the new medium to publicize their fits of melancholy self-talk. Now, the practice has evolved into one of the most powerful vehicles for public information and discussion that the age of modern communication has ever known.

Google Buys Stake In Maxthon

TechCrunch has broken the story that Google has bought a $1 million dollar stake in the Chinese/Israeli owned Maxthon browser.

The move could represent a significant drop in traffic for Baidu, which is currently the largest search engine in China in terms of market share and Google’s primary competition within the country.

According to some report, Maxthon could account for as much as 25% of Baidu’s overall traffic.

Social Networking: Examining User Behavior
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Results from a recent iProspect study outline the specific behaviors of users visiting the most popular social networking sites. Among other items, the study finds that marketers should spend more time and resources investing in sites that operate within a relevant niche to their product than they have in the past.

Consumers Put Vista On Hold
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Since its launch on January 30th of this year, Windows Vista has been met with lukewarm fanfare by analysts and consumers alike. According to a Harris Interactive poll, only 12 percent of those who are aware of Vista actually plan to upgrade to the new operating system.