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Reddit Sets a Price for “Gold” Version that it Used to Ask for Donations With
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Last week, Reddit announced Reddit Gold, a paid version of its service that would cost whatever users were willing to pay. This was essentially Reddit’s way of asking for donations to help with its operating costs, and giving those donors a little something extra.

It didn’t take long for Reddit to declare the initiative a triumph, saying, "We’re getting a much-needed cash infusion."

5 Current Social Media Stories That Mean Good Things For Your Business
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There are too many happenings everyday in the social media space for any single business owner to keep up with. Today’s web is fast, and very, very innovative. The production never slows down. New tools and integrations are launched seemingly every other minute.

While I’d encourage you to sift through the headlines and social media app directories on a regular basis, I’ve put together a few currently unfolding storylines with big implications for business owners.

Microsoft Launches Limited Beta of New Security Essentials

Microsoft announced the beta for its next version of Microsoft Security Essentials today. Among the new features are:

Microsoft Announces Kinect Pricing for November 4 Release

Microsoft announced today that the Kinect for Xbox 360 will include Kinect Sensor and the video game "Kinect Adventures," and that it will retail for $149.99 when it launches November 4 in North America. The Kinect Sensor will work with all Xbox 360 consoles (of which 40 million have been sold, according to the company).

Google Director Challenges Jobs On Mobile Search
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It doesn’t look like the rift between Apple and Google is going to heal anytime soon, at least where the mobile market is concerned.  Today at the paidContent Mobile Conference, one relatively high-ranking Googler used the word "bullshit" to describe Steve Jobs’s ideas about mobile search, and also hinted at taking on iAds.

Skype Gives Businesses “Click & Call” Ads to Place Around the Web
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Google’s not the only company to offer a new ad format today. Skype introduced its new Click & Call ads, supported by Marchex. Skype says Click & Call Advertising provides an efficient and measurable way to acquire new customers by using Skype to drive inbound calls.

More Marketers Turning To Digital Media For Brand Building

More marketers are using digital media to sell and build stronger relationships with their customers according to a new report from the Direct Marketing Association and David Shepard Associates.

Google Indexes Over 10 Billion Images
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Google launched a new version of its image search today (as well as a new ad format) and in the announcement, Google dropped a few interesting stats about its image search growth.

Google Image Search first came out in 2001. Back then, Google says it indexed around 250 million images. By 2005, the company says it indexed over a billion. As of today, it’s over 10 billion.

Google Launches New Image Search Ads

Google began rolling out a new design for its image search today, and along with that came a new ad format. The format is called (appropriately) Image Search Ads.

Google Apps Gets User Policy Management Feature
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After launching multi-domain support a couple weeks ago, Google has now launched user policy management for Google Apps. These features are designed to give IT administrators greater control and flexibility within Google Apps, the company says.

Google Tells FTC a Hot News Doctrine Would Hurt Journalism
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Last month the Federal Trade Commission published its staff discussion draft of potential policy recommendations to "support the reinvention of journalism." Those potential recommendations have been the subject of a fair amount of controversy throughout the industry.

Google Enters 20-Year Wind Power Agreement
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Two months ago, Google invested $38.8 million in two wind farms, and as out-of-the-blue as that development may have appeared to some people, it wasn’t an isolated event.  This morning, Google followed up with what it’s calling a "20-year Power Purchase Agreement" involving another wind farm.

MovieTickets.com Partners With Xbox Live

MovieTickets.com said today it has been selected to provide an online movie ticketing service via the Microsoft Xbox 360.

MovieTickets

MapQuest Greatly Expands Coverage of Live Traffic

MapQuest announced that it has expanded its live traffic coverage. It now includes over a quarter-million miles of roads in major North American cities.

MapQuest is now including "key" arterials and city streets. The goal of this is to provide users with more information to make better decisions about alternate cross-town routes.

Google Readies Hong Kong-Based Q&A Site

Although many human rights and free speech advocates may not approve of the concessions the company’s made, it looks like Google’s attempt to stand up to the Chinese government is continuing.  Google is supposed to launch a new Q&A service to compete with other products it will stop supporting.

Facebook Scores Low In User Satisfaction

While Facebook is the most popular website in America, users indicate they are not enthusiastic fans of the social network, according to the 2010 American Customer Satisfaction (ACSI) Index E-Business Report, released in partnership with ForeSee Results.

Google Buzz Just Became a Great Deal More Useful
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Google has introduced some new features to the Google Buzz API, which launched at Google I/O back in May. This includes the much-requested firehose, which makes available all public activities on Buzz as they are published, with one subscription.

Study: Virtual Goods Increase Brand Awareness, Purchase Intent

A new report from Appssavvy claims that "virtual goods may be bringing the largest disruption entertainment, communication and e-commerce infrastructure companies have seen for a long time." The company’s research found that leveraging social activity around virtual goods has been successful in building brand awareness, influencing positive opinion about products, and even driving purchase intent.

MySpace Rolling Out New Profile Pages
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MySpace is gradually introducing users to new profile pages in an effort to reduce the clutter of the old design.

Sean Percival, MySpace’s vice president of online marketing, tweeted his own "clean new" profile today.

"We’re testing a new look and feel of our site among users and the response so far has been positive," a MySpace representative told Mashable.

YouTube Users Already Part of Google’s Rumored “Google Me” Social Network?
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Over a year ago, Google announced that it would start requiring all people signing up for YouTube usernames to have a Google account. Now they’re going to start requiring all users of YouTube that signed up prior to that to connect their accounts to Google accounts as well.

Are you already part of Google’s new social network? Share your thouhts here.

Who Would Benefit from the Government Regulating Google Search Results?
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There’s a very interesting discussion going on about whether or not the government should regulate search results. This began last week, when the New York Times ran an editorial titled, "The Google Algorithm", which suggests one way "to ensure the editorial policy guiding Google’s tweaks is solely intended to improve the quality of the results and not to help Google’s other businesses," is to "give some government commission the power to look at those tweaks."

ThinkEquity Bestows “Buy” Rating On Yahoo

One day ahead of Yahoo’s second quarter earnings report, a financial firm has suggested that investors give the company their support – and their money.  ThinkEquity upgraded its rating on Yahoo from "Hold" to "Buy."

Adobe Soon to Enable Any Publisher to Easily Create Digital Magazines for Tablets

Content publishers are excited about the iPad and other tablet devices. Such devices provide readers with a new way of interacting with content. Print publishers, in particular, are hopeful that this kind of publishing can make up for some of the losses they have experienced on the print side.

Baidu to Compete with Google in the Mobile OS Space Too?

InformationWeek is reporting that Baidu may be looking at developing a mobile operating system, citing Chinese media reports. The project would be led by former Google employees. Meanwhile, TechCrunch says Android is poised to dominate in China.