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First Open Cross-Communication Between Social Networks?

Cliqset shared some pretty interesting news with WebProNews today. They say that for the first time ever, the users of two independent, public web entities are able to communicate with each other, without being on the same service as the person they are communicating with. Cliqset and Status.net have accomplished this using Salmon, but this isn’t just big news for these two services. It’s big news for the open web.

Amazon Kindle Leads iPad In Brand Recognition
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While eReaders are still becoming mainstream, the Amazon Kindle leads its competitors in brand recognition, with 61 percent of consumers having heard of the device, according to a new report from PriceGrabber.

More than half (55%) of consumers said they had heard of the Apple iPad. Thirty-four percent indicated they had heard of the Sony Reader, and 28 percent of consumers were aware of the Barnes & Noble nook.

Game Over For Google In China?
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Google’s term as a search provider in China may at last be coming to an end.  Reports from all over the country indicate that would-be users are only getting error messages when they conduct searches, even if their queries cover completely bland and innocent terms.

Which Payment Platform Will Dominate Mobile?
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A recent study found that consumers are getting more comfortable with mobile shopping, and you best believe that will only continue, as people continue to spend more of their web time on their phones. So as everybody reaches for their mobile devices to make payments, which platforms are they going to use?

Dailymotion Introduces New Video Player

Dailymotion said today it has launched a new Web video player as part of a series of website improvements aimed at offering a better video experience for users, content partners and advertisers.

The chromeless player was rewritten to be less resource intensive for faster loading and playback. The cleaner interface features improved headers, larger buttons and more streamlined controls for video sharing. Improved search pages and related video recommendations make it easier for users to find videos they are looking for.

LinkedIn BlackBerry App Debuts
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BlackBerry devices are, more than any other phones, associated with the business world.  And LinkedIn is, in most English-speaking markets, the dominant professional network.  It makes a great deal of sense, then, that LinkedIn has at last released LinkedIn for BlackBerry v1.0.

Yahoo Brings Facebook to the Inbox

Yahoo has begun rolling out what the company calls its "next milestone" in Facebook integration. Yahoo Mail users can now update their Facebook status right from their inbox, and they can see their friends’ Facebook profile photos in emails received in Yahoo Mail.

Calling Upon Customers to Give Where it Matters to Them

Boulder, Colorado-based social software developer Giveo has just introduced a new way for brands to get customers engaged with their charitable giving efforts. It’s called Crowdgiver, and lets the customers of charitable brands have a say in where the company is donating its money. WebProNews had a chat with CEO Ed Messman about the product, which was first launched in private beta about a month ago.

Google Adds File Transfer Option To iGoogle, Orkut Chat
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Sending someone a picture or document while chatting online can seem like the most natural thing in the world; it’s common enough for topics like children or school papers to be discussed.  So Google’s upgraded one of its offerings by making it easier for people to trade files.

FBI Arrests Man Who Made YouTube Threat Against Cantor

A Philadelphia man has been arrested and charged for threatening to kill Republican Party Whip Eric Cantor in a video on YouTube, according to the FBI.

Norman Leboon, 33, threatened to kill congressman Cantor and his family in a YouTube video uploaded sometime in late March. In the video Leboon allegedly said: "Remember, Ericour judgment time, the final Yom Kippur has been given." The video then refers to Cantor as "Lucifer, you’re a pig you’re an abomination."

Google, Adobe May Bring Together Chrome, Flash

Google and Adobe may be set to grow a lot closer.  A new report claims that the two companies will announce a partnership tomorrow, and that the deal will entail some form of bundling between Chrome and Flash.

Tips For Conference Attendees

Every year in March I make my annual trek to Austin to be part of the South By Southwest Interactive show, one of the biggest gatherings of people working in all aspects of the web in the world. For those who have been, they might describe the event as a simultaneous assault of information, networking and back to back parties. It has become the Everest of social media events, and in my fourth year of attending I realized that there are techniques for surviving a large event that I have been using and adding to each year.

YouTube Still Rolling Out Page Updates

YouTube has been testing page design upgrades and last week added a highlights view for comments that summarizes top rated comments, uploader comments and responses that can be drilled into for more detail.  YouTube also made some improvements to their new like/dislike ratings system. You’ll need to opt-in to be part of the test of these new features.

Lawmakers Call On FTC To Review Google Privacy Policy
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Congressman John Barrow (D-GA) along with a number of other lawmakers sent a letter last week to the Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz calling for the protection of consumer privacy rights and an in-depth review of Google’s public release of personal consumer information

Usability Counts for Content Too
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In a recent article, we talked about the importance of usability of both the search engines and your site, with regards to the path to conversions. If you create content, you would do well to consider similar lessons in how you craft that.

Nearly Three-Quarters Of Internet Users Visit Social Networks
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Globally, 72 percent of Internet users are members of at least one social network, which translates to 940 million people worldwide, according to a new study by InSites Consulting.

Eastern Europe and Asia are the regions with the lowest social networking participation (4 out of 10), while South America has the highest usage in terms of percentage (95%). Brits mostly visit Facebook (50%), followed by Twitter (42%). Worldwide, Facebook remains the most popular social network (51% use Facebook), followed by MySpace (20%) and Twitter (17%).

Google Reports “Partially Blocked” Mobile Service

It looks like China has found another way to strike back following Google’s decision to redirect Google.cn users to Google.com.hk.  The search company is reporting that its mobile service in China is now "partially blocked."

This information was disclosed through the "Mainland China service availability" page Google established after making its somewhat dramatic semi-exit.  And as you can see below, "mobile" is the first service to have its status change since the page debuted.

Internet Broadcasting Introduces New Hover Ad

Internet Broadcasting has introduced a new collapsible ad unit it calls the "IB Hover Ad", aimed at giving online advertisers more visibility while allowing for user control.

The hover ad is anchored to the bottom of a user’s browser, with an above the fold presence even when the user scrolls up and down a Web page.  The ad can be minimized by the user at any time, leaving a branded button at the bottom of the screen that can be expanded or closed.

T-Mobile Customers Bigger on Stocks, Bill Pay?

Last week, we saw some interesting findings from AdMob about smartphone usage. Now Compete has shared some of its own findings with WebProNews. The firm recently conducted a Smartphone Intelligence Survey.

About 47% of T-Mobile smartphone users use their phones to find local branches and ATMs, while 45% of AT&T users and 36% of Sprint users reported doing this (see chart #1 for data).

Apple Owners Show Most Interest In Buying An iPad

Awareness of Apple’s upcoming iPad release is highest among current Apple owners, (82%), consumers with $100,000 or more income (80%), and 18-34 year olds (78%), according to a new report by The NPD Group.

Those demographic groups are the ones with the most interest in buying an iPad. Only 18 percent of all consumers indicated a real interest in owning an iPad while 27 percent of 18-34 year olds and 24 percent of Apple owners said they were extremely or very interested.

Google Plans Office Tower Move In Japan

Google’s poised for another quantifiable growth spurt, this time in Japan.  Officials have confirmed that the search giant will be moving into a larger office space this year, joining Yahoo Japan, Ferrari Japan, and a number of other interesting companies in Mori Tower.

Will Wikipedia’s New Changes Boost Editing?
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A couple weeks ago, I attended a session at SXSW Interactive, in which USC Professor of Journalism Andrew Lih talked at length about the declining rate of Wikpedia entry editing. A large part of the problem, as Lih presented it, is that the editorial process itself has become much more complex and confusing over time.

Apple Reportedly Begins iPad Shipping

Apple has reportedly begun shipping iPads to the first customers to pre-order them. The year’s most talked about device thus far, is scheduled to go on sale April 3rd, but it appears that those who pre-ordered them on March 12th or 13th may get theirs a little early.

Maybe.

When Personalized Search and Relevance Collide
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Not everybody is a fan of the increasingly personalized search results they get from Google. Some criticize them as a way for Google to give advertisers reasons to rely on PPC as opposed to the less predictable organic results, and others just find it disruptive to relevance.