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Google Launches Art Project Featuring Street View

Google has partnered with some of the world’s most well known art museums to bring the works of more than 400 artists online.

Net Applications: Chrome’s Market Share Jumps To 10.7 Percent
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Whether or not any of us realized it at the time, the first month of 2011 was an exciting one when it came to Microsoft, Google, and the ongoing browser wars.  New stats from Net Applications indicate that some big changes took place, with Chrome gaining ground and Internet Explorer taking a hit.

Baidu Reports Big Jump In Revenue, Profits

Chinese search company Baidu shows no signs of slowing down when it comes to making money.  Late yesterday, the company released its fourth quarter earnings report, and analysts’ expectations were surpassed in pretty much every respect.

To sort of cut to the chase: Baidu’s stock is up 6.69 percent in early morning trading, which shows the degree to which the company impressed investors.  Jumps like that don’t occur on an everyday basis.

Web Conferencing Solutions – Where is the Performance?
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How do web conferencing providers differentiate themselves from the pack and demonstrate their superiority in value and benefits to potential customers? The primary answer (as known by any commercial software product marketing manager) is to add features. “More features! I need to be able to put out a press release talking about new capabilities! I need to publish a product sheet showing that we can do something our competitors can’t do!”

Gogo Offering Free Inflight Facebook Access

Gogo Inflight Internet said today it would offer free access to Facebook for the month of February for passengers on seven major airlines.

In partnership with Ford, Gogo is offering free Facebook access on American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, AirTran Airways, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America.

 

Gogo-Facebook

 

Yammer CEO Slams Salesforce’s New Chatter.com

It would appear that Yammer is not thrilled with Salesforce’s latest foray into social media-based productivity. Yesterday, Salesforce announced the launch of chatter.com, a free way for any business with its own email address to create a private social network for their company. 

16 Surprising Social Media Stats
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Over the last few months, I’ve bookmarked and read hundreds of posts. And, like many of you, have catalogued the myriad of social media stats that come our way each day.

There’s almost too many social media stats–but a few of my favorite posts with aggregated stats are this one from B2B Social Media and this one from Danny Brown.

Google Enables Tweets Via Phone in Egypt

Google has devised a way for Egyptians to tweet by calling a phone number and leaving a voicemail. The voicemail will be automatically interpreted into text and tweeted in real-time. This is extremely important to the democracy movement in Egypt in light of an attempt by the Egyption government to close Internet communication. Here is Google’s blog post announcing the arrangement:

Getting More From Your Google Place Page
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I write a fair amount about local search because it’s an important topic that’s only going to become more important as millions upon millions of folks move over to smart phones to do their browsing and shopping.

Demand Media Announces Closing of IPO
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Last week, Demand Media launched its initial public offering. Today, the company announced the closing of the IPO of 10,235,000 shares of common stock at $17.00 per share. From the release:

Facebook Third-Party Commenting System Said To Be In The Works

The comments that people leave on blogs and news sites scattered across the Web might soon (and presumably with their permission) be tied their Facebook profiles.  A rumor’s indicated that Facebook will unveil a third-party commenting system in the near future.

Google’s 2010 Lobbying Expenses Reach $5.16M

Google fans may want to brace for another round of accusations about the company’s influence.  The Lobbying Disclosure Act Database, which is backed by the U.S. Senate itself, shows that the search giant spent $5.16 million to talk to politicians in 2010.

That’s up a significant amount – $1.13 billion or 28 percent – from the $4.03 billion Google spent in 2009.  Groups like Consumer Watchdog are sure to object as a result, and even Google’s supporters can’t argue that the company’s lobbying expenses are in step with its growth as a corporation.

Caring About Your Customers Isn’t Enough
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We’ve all been on the phone frustrated with the customer service rep who we need to dictate all of our information to even though we just typed it in via our telephone key pad. We’ve all had problems with internet service providers or cable operators who can’t seem to fix our problems.

Nintendo Launches Twitter Trivia Contest
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Nintendo of America said today it is launching a trivia contest on Twitter to promote its February 14 release of “Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation” video game for Nintendo DS.

Participants can visit “@NitendoAmerica” on Twitter to answer a series of trivia questions about the game, each one more difficult than the last, that will be posted throughout the week, for fans and followers to submit the correct answer.

 

Blekko Goes Mobile with Android and iPhone Apps

Blekko has launched new mobile apps for iPhone and Android, which include the search engine’s /date functionality and the ability to mark search results as spam.

If you’re unfamiliar with Blekko, it launched late last year as a human-curated approach to search aimed at eliminating spam from search results by way of human editing. With the new app, users can also "slash in" what they want and "slash out" what they don’t want. 

Papa John’s Launches Online Super Bowl Pizza Giveway

Papa John’s said today that people who place orders online on Super Bowl Sunday will have the chance to win a $45 gift card.

Beginning at 10 a.m. ET on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 6, every customer who places an order online  will be eligible to win a free $45 Papa John’s gift card. The 45-Second Giveaway runs through Super Bowl XLV, ending at 9:59 p.m. ET. Papa John’s customers can also register for the 45 Second Giveaway.

 

Bing-Alibaba Relationship Stumbles In China

It looks like Microsoft isn’t going to defy Google and Baidu and achieve a great victory in China anytime soon.  Three and a half months after it began, a partnership involving Bing and a search engine owned by Alibaba has already ended.

To be fair, little is known about the situation, and it could have been someone at Microsoft who pulled the plug.  The comments of one Microsoft representative hint that a corporate memo didn’t exactly go around, however.

Facebook/Face.com Rumors Surface

TechCrunch is pointing to a couple of Israeli articles from TheMarker, which are written in hebrew, claiming that Face.com turned down an acquisition offer from Facebook, and that the company is already powering facial recognition in Facebook’s own  Photos feature. 

Both of these things are rumors, but interesting ones. Face.com isn’t talking about it one way or another (which means they aren’t exactly denying it or confirming it). 

Facebook, Google & Other Tech Giants On Board White House Startup Initiative
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Today, the White House announced the launch of the Startup America Partnership as part of a national strategy to stimulate economic growth and create jobs. The initiative is being chaired by AOL co-founder Steve Case, and will receive funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Case Foundation. Carl Schramm, CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, will serve as a founding board member. 

Facebook Buys Menlo Park Buildings
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Current and potential Facebook employees who are weighing their options should set aside any concerns about lack of elbow space.  Although things might be getting tight at the company’s current headquarters, reports indicate Facebook has bought two new buildings.

Meijer Launches Online Grocery Service

Retailer Meijer has introduced a new online grocery service called “MeijerDoorstepGrocer.com.”

"This is a very important step for our e-commerce operations," said Rick Keyes, executive vice president of supply chain operations and e-commerce for Meijer.

 

Meijerdoorstepgrocer

 

Salesforce Launches Chatter.com For Any Business With Company Email Addresses
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Salesforce has launched Chatter.com as a way for businesses to create free, private social networks for their companies. 

Chatter, the product, has been around for a while now, and is often described as a "Facebook for the enterprise", but it has been part of the company’s Salesforce CRM and Force.com offerings. Now chatter.com is free to anyone with a company email address.

AOL Acquires Online Video Network Goviral

AOL said today it has acquired the European online video distribution network goviral for $74.1 million.

In addition, AOL will pay goviral $22.6 million over two years following completion of the deal.

“Video is core to AOL’s consumer programming strategy and goviral has created an incredibly compelling platform that delivers highly measureable and cost effective solutions to publishers and advertisers,” said Kate Burns, SVP, AOL Europe.

 

Connecticut AG Declines To Take Google To Court
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Google’s decision to ignore a Civil Investigative Demand issued by Richard Blumenthal may work out all right for the company.  New Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen and Consumer Protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell have reached an agreement with Google that should keep the matter from going to court.