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MySpace May Be After Flixster

Over the past several months, MySpace has become much more formidable thanks to some new features, a deal with a record label, and a couple of acquisitions.  It looks like the growth spurt may not be over, either, as a report’s indicated that MySpace is now interested in getting to know Flixster.

Twitter About to Get More Useful for Businesses

If You don’t think Twitter is useful for business now, new features may change your mind. Twitter announced that it has begun limited beta testing of a new feature aimed at businesses, called "Contributors." The feature allows businesses to have more control over who is posting for their company Twitter account, and to make that information visible to users.

Would you find such a feature useful? Comment here.

Facebook URL Shortener Makes Appearance

Long URLs cut into character limits, are difficult to remember, and simply look awkward.  Quite a little industry has sprung up in response.  Only it looks like a major player is now entering the game, as a URL shortener created by Facebook has been sighted.

Online Holiday Shipping Deadline Looms
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Most holiday shipping offers are set to expire on or before December 18, according to a new study by Shop.org and BIGresearch.

Nearly two thirds (62.3%) of retailers’ shipping deadlines for Christmas delivery will fall on or before December 18, with 34 percent of shipping deadlines occurring on December 18 itself.

Many of the busiest online shopping days of the year are set to take place this week as shoppers go online to make holiday purchases in order to meet impending shipping deadlines.

Google Now Has Its Own URL Shortener
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Google made a couple of announcements today that actually combined for perhaps a more interesting announcement than either of them as stand-alone news items.

A&E Television Becomes Google TV Ads Partner

An advertising program that gives marketers access to little or no popular content isn’t worth much.  Fortunately for Google, Google TV Ads is moving further and further in the opposite direction, and today, an announcement concerning yet another well-known network was made.

Mark Zuckerberg Is Hesitant Going Fully ‘Public’ With His Facebook Profile

Mark Zuckerberg and I aren’t Facebook friends. That’s cool; I don’t know him. Until recently, all I could see of his profile was his picture, networks and friend list. But this morning, either the Facebook CEO had decided that’s what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, or even he didn’t know what the new privacy settings changed.

AOL Might Be Looking To Sell ICQ

AOL continues to travel into the brave new world that it is venturing into as the lines have been cut that once attached it to TimeWarner. Of course, there will be a lot of scrutiny which often leads to criticisms but that’s just part of doing business.

TVGuide.com Taps PubMatic To Boost Ad Revenue

TVGuide.com has tapped ad firm PubMatic in an effort to boost its advertising revenue.

"PubMatic has significantly decreased the operational burden of managing multiple ad networks and simultaneously helped us eliminate inefficiencies in our remnant advertising pricing," said Ian Wallin, Vice President, Online Ad Sales, TVGuide.com. "We’ve enjoyed working with them."
Ian-Wallin

Analyst Raises Expectations For Google’s Stock

Last week, Yahoo experienced a small win on the financial front as an analyst gave its stock a "buy" rating and increased his price target from $19 to $20.  Today, Google achieved a rather bigger victory as another analyst raised his price target from $600 to $695.

Real-Time Search and Analytics for Tweeted Videos

TwitVid has announced the launch of its own real-time video search and video analytics features, as well as virtual gifting. In case you are not familiar with TwitVid, it is a service commonly used by Twitterers for uploading videos that can be viewed from Twitter.

Ticketmaster Testing Online Seat Map Feature

Ticketmaster has begun beta testing a new online "Interactive Seat Maps" for a select number of sports teams.

Interactive Seat Maps allows users to navigate and choose from all seats and configurations. Ticketmaster’s traditional "best available" searches uses computers to search availability one row at a time, the upgraded maps allows people to look for tickets in any part of a venue.

MapQuest Gets its Own Street View
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AOL’s MapQuest has announced the launch of "360 View," a feature that may remind Google users of Google Maps Street view. For now, it’s available for 30 cities and 13 suburbs in the United States, with more on the way.

"We have studied our industry, gleaning tidbits here and there, and polled our customer base in creating a simple, easy-to-use interface that fits seamlessly into the MapQuest mapping experience you have come to know and understand," says MapQuest.

LinkedIn Launches Faceted Search Feature
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LinkedIn has launched a new addition to its People Search Experience. It’s called "Faceted Search".

Faceted search allows you to search for a person and narrow that search down by specific "facets" as you go along, in order to quickly find the most relevant profiles possible. Users are presented with categories under the following facets as they search: current company, past company, location, relationship, industry, school, and profile language. The following clip nicely sums up how it works:

Google Apps Goes Live In L.A.
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The Los Angeles city government is moving ahead with its plan to embrace Google Apps.  Today, 34,000 city employees are supposed to switch to it from an old system, and the mood appears to be much more "excited" than "nervous" at this point in time.

The L.A. City Council approved a $7.25 million Google Apps contract in late October, but not everyone was enthusiastic about the move.  Councilman Paul Koretz displayed a bit of doubt, for example, by referring to both "cutting edge" and "the edge of a cliff."

Amazon Kindle Comes to iPhone in Over 60 Countries

Amazon has released an iPhone app for the Kindle to over 60 countries. Now users in a total of 64 countries can read Kindle books on their iPhones and iPod Touch devices.

Google Pushes Chrome With Newspaper Ads

Google is a master of online advertising, and in recent days, has more than ever been vilified as an enemy of the newspaper industry.  People were understandably surprised, then, to find ads for Chrome plastered all over a UK newspaper this morning.

The Metro is a free paper targeted at commuters in 16 cities.  It’s supposed to be the world’s largest free paper and the UK’s fourth largest paper of any sort, with 1.3 million copies distributed every weekday.

New Google Phone Has Tech Community Licking Chops
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The tech industry was abuzz about a new phone from Google over the weekend. After months of speculation, it was discovered that Google does indeed have a new smartphone, and now more details and images have surfaced.

Online Holiday Spending Closes In On $20 Billion

Online holiday spending reached $19.9 billion in the first 41 days of the shopping season, marking a 3 percent increase over the same time period last year, according to the latest report from comScore.

The most recent week saw above average online spending growth of 4 percent versus a year ago, two days shattered the $800 million mark in spending, led by Thursday, December 10, with $852 million.

Google Asks For Help With Transcriptions
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Although spell checkers have been around for about 30 years, they still miss or incorrectly flag a whole lot of stuff (try "eye wonder weather this is write" and "monetize").  Google wants its transcription software to become better more quickly, and so is asking for users for a hand.

European Online Holiday Shopping Off To Strong Start
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European online Christmas shopping season got off to a strong start this year in the U.K., France and Germany, according to a new report from comScore.

Visits to retail sites were up 18 percent during the first week of November compared to an average week during the prior two months, and increased even more throughout the month to reach a 41 percent growth rate during the week ending November 29.

France saw solid gains, resulting in the same 41 percent growth rate during the last week of November, while Germany showed slight lower growth at 16 percent.

10 Search Topics That Require Further Discussion
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The search industry has changed a lot since it was conceived years ago. The rate of change shows no signs of slowing down either. That’s one reason why it pays to keep up with the current trends and discussions surrounding the industry. One way to do this is through attending conferences. WebProNews attended and covered Search Engine Strategies in Chicago this week, and we’ve put together ten selections that can help you learn a thing or two for your own search engine marketing endeavors.

Lime Wire’s Plans for Working with the Music Industry

Earlier this year, we spoke with Lime Wire CEO George Searle about the music industry and the company’s future, as it offers one of the most widely used file sharing services. Now we have engaged in a Q&A with Zeeshan Zaidi, who came to Lime Wire as the company’s Head of Global in July, with a background as a record label executive, a musician, and a lawyer.

Google-Backed Undersea Cable Project Moving Forward

Quite some time ago, Google and a number of other companies announced their intent to create something called the Southeast Asia Japan Cable (SJC).  This week, there was confirmation that the undersea fiber optic project is progressing.