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Using Social And Local Search For Your Business
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 Local search and social media are becoming increasingly important for all businesses.

Influential VC Firm Creates $250M Social Fund

Entrepreneurs who are interested in creating social apps and services may be in luck.  This afternoon at Facebook’s Palo Alto headquarters, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers announced the creation of the $250 million sFund Initiative designed to assist some individuals.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Zynga’s Mark Pincus, and Comcast’s Brian Roberts were all on hand to lend support (along with John Doerr and Bing Gordon of KPCB), which may be an interesting sign of the sFund Initiative’s importance.

Yahoo Answers Just Got More Valuable for Businesses
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Yahoo has released a new mobile version of Yahoo Answers. For users, this means a more convenient way to access what I believe is the biggest Answers site on the web from their mobile phones in an optimized, less painful fashion. With Yahoo Answers for mobile, users can:

Optimizing Your Website For Google
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Coverage of SES Chicago will continue.  Stay with WebProNews for more notes from the event this week.

Google Picks Stanford Residences For Broadband Test

A physical site for one of Google’s ultra high-speed broadband networks has been chosen.  The company announced today that it will build one network for the 850 or so homes that are part of Stanford University’s Residential Subdivision.

This move makes sense for a number of reasons.  A post on the Official Google Blog explained, "Most important was Stanford’s openness to us experimenting with new fiber technologies on its streets."

Getting Your Site Ready for TV
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If you’re not already, it’s time to start thinking about optimizing your site for televisions. With more connected devices coming out and gaining popularity (not to mention people simply hooking their computers up to their TVs), you’re going to want to have a site that is presentable on large TV screens, as well as small ones. 

244,000 Germans Opt Out Of Street View
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Street View has at times seemed doomed in Germany, with politicians, privacy advocates, and lots of private citizens protesting the program.  Fewer than 250,000 people opted out when given the chance, however, which from Google’s perspective, is something of a victory.

Granted, 250,000 is a very large number, and Google’s only counted opt-outs from 20 cities in which it’ll soon launch Street View.  The trick is that opinion polls had indicated half (or more) of Germans didn’t like the idea of the program.

LinkedIn Stays Current for BlackBerry-Using Business Professionals
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In August, RIM announced the BlackBerry Torch and BlackBerry 6 operating system aimed at delivering "integrated and uncompromising capabilities for consumers and business professionals". Now LinkedIn, the social network for business professionals has a new app designed for this device and operating system. 

YouTube Can Help Promote Your Business
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Does your business have a video strategy? Do you want more people to watch and share your videos?

eBay Beats Forecasts, Sees Stock Jump
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This afternoon, eBay delivered its third quarter earnings report, and it’s a good bet that the company was eager to do so.  eBay beat analysts’ forecasts for the third quarter, gave better-than-expected guidance regarding the fourth quarter, and also discussed an interesting stock buyback program.

Let’s start with the third quarter results.  eBay managed to report earnings per share of $0.40, which is a significant improvement compared to the $0.37 analysts predicted.  It also earned $2.25 billion in revenue rather than the expected $2.18 billion.

Apple Fans Get All Kinds of Good News Today
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Apple made a series of announcements today, including a new MacBook Air, a sneak peek of Mac OS X Lion, the Mac App Store, a public beta of FaceTime for Mac, and the introduction of iLife ’11 with upgrades to iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand.

The New MacBook Air

Facebook Photos Goes Drag-And-Drop
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Three weeks ago, Facebook took several steps to improve its handling of photos, introducing a streamlined tagging and uploading process, a better photo viewer, and support for high-resolution pics.  Now the company’s at it again with a drag-and-drop option.

Microsoft Lands Huge NYC Cloud Computing Deal
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The most populous city in America has decided to turn for Microsoft for a cloud computing solution.  New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer met in person to announce a partnership-in-the-making earlier today.

Watch: Live at Facebook HQ – How Businesses Can Best Use Facebook
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Facebook has been running a series called "Building Social for Business". Past entries can be viewed here.

Today, Kevin Barenblat, CEO of Context Optional, will be at Facebook’s headquarters at 3:30 Eastern (12:30 PT) to talk about how businesses can best use Facebook, and answer questions from the audience. 

You can actually submit questions as well. 

When Tweeting with URL Shorteners Goes Wrong
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Former eBay President and CEO Meg Whitman is of course running for Governor of California. A spokesperson working for her has provided us all with a lesson about being careful with our social media content, and to always check our links before we share them with the world. 

Keeping Your Brand Relevant
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What do you do when your brand is on the verge of losing relevance? Former Kodak CMO Jeffrey Hayzlett had to take on that challenge.

The Intersection Of Marketing And Real-Time Search

Thanks to Bing and Google, the concept of real-time search is going mainstream, with content created just seconds ago showing up in search results on a regular basis.  A session at SES Chicago titled "Update on Real Time Search: I Want it Now!" tackled how marketers can address this phenomenon.

Coverage of SES Chicago will continue.  Stay with WebProNews for more notes from the event this week.

RIM: Customers Tired of Being Told What to Think by Apple

Apple and Google have become known for taking shots at one another during announcements and presentations. We talked about this at length here. However, Google’s not the only target of Steve Jobs these days. BlackBerry maker RIM was on the receiving end of some other harsh comments from Apple’s CEO this week when the company reported its financial results for the last quarter. 

Yahoo Delivers Passable Earnings Report
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The third quarter was not unkind to Yahoo, judging from a just-released earnings report.  Yahoo managed to meet or beat analysts’ forecasts in most respects, and its stock is now heading up in after-hours trading as a result.

To hit the highest notes first: Yahoo reported earnings per share of $0.29, which is great compared to the $0.13 it reported in the third quarter of 2009 and compared to predictions of $0.15.  (This was possible because the sale of HotJobs contributed $0.13 to the Q3 2010 total.)

The Future of Search Looks a Lot Like the Present (on Steroids)
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Another Search Engine Strategies conference, another conversation about the future of search. It’s a regular topic, but one that never loses relevance, as the search landscape continues to change dramatically, even between conferences. Look at all Google has done this year, for example. Not only did we get the left panel navigation, but Instant search. Those are probably the biggest changes to the interface, but there are plenty of other things going on.

Commissioner: “Google Contravened Canadian Privacy Law”

This isn’t at all Google’s week when it comes to international regulations and the company’s collection of sensitive WiFi data.  First came the news it might be fined $3.3 million in Spain.  Now there’s been an official declaration that Google broke Canadian privacy laws.

Chrome Gets a New Stable Version (No Instant Yet)
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Google, in keeping with its strategy of releasing a new stable version of its Chrome browser every six weeks, has released a new one today. 

Spain Weighs $3.3M Fine For Street View Data Gaffe
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For better or for worse, the Spanish Agency for Data Protection isn’t ready to forgive Google for collecting sensitive WiFi data along with Street View photos.  Indeed, it’s moved its investigation forward in a big way, starting a process that might result in fines totaling $3.3 million.

Avinash Kaushik Delivers SEM Advice
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Earlier today, SES Chicago 2010 kicked off, and Avinash Kaushik, Market Motive‘s cofounder and Google’s analytics evangelist, got it off to a good start by delivering the keynote.  The main topic was search engine marketing.

Coverage of SES Chicago will continue.  Stay with WebProNews for more notes from the event this week.