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Google Delivers Gmail Toys for the Holidays
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Google and Yahoo seem to be continuing to try to outdo each other in the email department, particularly in recent weeks. While last we checked, Yahoo still dominated the market share in the email category, Google seems to be doing everything it can to move in on that territory. They’ve been rolling Gmail features left and right.

Sina Makes Advertising Buy For Over $1 Billion
· 4

Sina.com is China’s largest Web portal, and today, the company behind it got even bigger.  Sina Corp. acquired parts of Focus Media Holding, which works in advertising, for over $1 billion in stock.

Google Gives More Options for Narrowing Down Image Search
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Much like with email, and obviously search in general (although the market share doesn’t dictate such obviousness), the competition between Google and Yahoo seems to be heated on the image search front as well. Maybe "heated" is the wrong word, but you know what I mean.

Microsoft Prolongs XP’s Life Yet Again
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Windows XP is, in a sense, like a horror movie franchise that the studio just won’t let die.  Microsoft has said it will deliver XP licenses up until May 30th, 2009, even though January 31st of the same year was supposed to represent a death date of sorts.

Google Earth Gains Ski Resort Snowfall Layer
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The very cold weather has become a top story across America.  In Europe, there are plenty of sub-freezing spots, too.  And in the event you’re not the type to respond by just grabbing an extra blanket or two, Google wants to help you find something to do.

Nielsen on the Increase of Online News Readership
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Just after examining one print publisher’s idea that staying away from the web would be in the best interest for his business, I came across a post on the Nielsen Online Blog indicating that going online is the key to print media’s survival.

Google, Mozilla Growing Apart
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Compared to a lot of businesses out there, Mozilla’s got nothing to worry about; a search partnership with Google has guaranteed it revenue through 2011.  But with Chrome becoming more and more of a threat to Firefox, it’s hard not to view the link between the parent companies as being a bit strained.

Newspaper Thinks Web Presence Would Hurt Business
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You often hear that print is on its way out as more people realize that the web is a cheaper and more accessible option to get information. Many newspapers have put more energy into their web presences, often offering a wider variety of rich content that wouldn’t be possible in print form in the first place – things like podcasts and online video.

Major Labels At Odds With Music 2.0 Companies

DEVELOPING STORIES:

UPDATED: Over what should have been a slow pre-holiday weekend two stories broke that again put the major labels at odds with several major Music 2.0 companies. Here are links to our updated coverage:

 

UMG Reports YouTube Making Them Millions

Well, it looks like the most popular video site on the Internet is making somebody money—but it might not be Google. Universal Music Group reports that YouTube is making them “tens of millions of dollars.”

Rio Caraeff, executive vice president of Universal Music Group’s eLabs and head of their digital group, told CNET:

Another Example That Internet Advertising is Holding Strong
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There has been a lot of talk about the online advertising industry being in trouble because of the economy, yet we continue to see example after example of the contrary. The latest example is highlighted by VentureBeat, and concerns ad network Glam Media, which despite making job cuts earlier in the year, is still seeing growth in advertising:

Would You Like SearchWiki More if You Could Hear it?
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The latest Google experimental lab is the addition of sound to its controversial SearchWiki, the recently launched personalized search results pages that allow users to vote results up or down, delete them, and comment on them. Google’s experimental page says:

Do you like SearchWiki? Do you enjoy having the power to remove results from your search results pages? Now you can do so in style by having a sound effect play along with the animation whenever you remove a result.

Recorded by our co-founder Sergey Brin himself, this sound effect is sure to please!

Blogging To Build Buzz About Your Business
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While blogs are now considered mainstream with more businesses using them to get their message out, just how are they building buzz online?  The SES session "Blogging For Business" has the answers.

Facebook Tries to Save You Some Holiday Embarrassment
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In the spirit of the holiday season, and holiday embarrassment that might come along with it, Facebook is reminding users that they have some privacy settings they can use and potentially save their reputations, or perhaps even their jobs.

"Now that the holidays are in full swing, complete with office bashes, ugly sweater parties and New Years soirees, we thought we would take a minute to explain in more detail how you can control access to the content you post on Facebook," says Sasha Rosse on the Facebook Blog.

Top Online Marketer Of 2008 Goes To…

Invesp Consulting, a company that does landing page optimization asked online marketers to nominate the best online marketers of 2008. These are marketers who have been innovative and contributed to online marketing as a whole. They named 100 of the best.

More Damage Done To Undersea Cables
· 4

Something – whether a terrorist organization, careless captain, aggressive marine animal, or plain bad luck – is at it again.  Undersea cables in the Mediterranean Sea have been damaged, disrupting Internet and phone connections in a large number of countries.

Vote For Your Favorite Tweets Of 2008

I’m in an awards mood today, and it’s almost time to reflect on 2008 as we head barreling into 2009. The New York Times blogged about a company’s quest (great PR move by Sawhorse Media)  to find the best tweeters of the year. The awards are called the Shorty Awards, and it’s a hot topic on Twitter. Over 12,000 entries have come in already.

Newspapers Take Interest In Social Networking

Yes, the headline isn’t really breaking news to many of us. However, I received an interesting report this week that ties numbers to the tumultuous newspaper industry and its struggle to remain relevant, today and tomorrow. I wanted to share the numbers with you…

Meebo Brings MySpace and Facebook Together
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Instant messaging and group chat provider Meebo is now allowing users to communicate with each other through both MySpace and Facebook IDs as well as all the other ones previously supported, like AIM, Yahoo, Google, MSN, Jabber, ICQ, etc.

Consumers Asked To Avoid Online Shopping
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The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) has launched a campaign asking consumers to shop locally at brick-and-mortar stores instead of shopping online. Their reason: online retailers don’t collect sales taxes and don’t support local jobs and community organizations.

Street View Draws More Privacy Trouble to Google
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Google’s Street View feature on Google Maps is certainly no stranger to privacy concerns. It has attracted lawsuits, but it is still moving right along. Google even dismissed one lawsuit bringer as being "out of touch with the real world."

ICANN Sets Limits On Domain Refunds
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ICANN has put the final nail in the coffin of domain tasting by imposing limits on the number of domains registrars can return within the five-day grace period.

Registrars will only be able to return ten percent of registered domains or fifty, whichever is greater, per month within the five day grace period for a full refund. A registrar purchasing 1,000 domains at $6 a piece, then, would only be allowed to return 100 of them in a month and would receive a maximum $600 refund.

What Will Google SERP Changes Mean for Reputation Management?
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Some say ranking is dead. Google’s going though changes that may turn SEO on its ear. Google’s Matt Cutts talked about some of these changes with WebProNews not too long ago. "I’m not sure I would say ranking is dead but it’s not as important as it used to be," he said.

Man Posts Baby Food Threat on YouTube, Pleads Guilty
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In one of those stories that makes you question humanity, some guy in New York pleaded guilty to posting a video on YouTube in which he claimed responsibility for seeing that millions of jars of Gerber baby food were poisoned. This is one of those stories from the dark side of social media and online video.

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