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Augmented Reality App to Provide Greater Value to Local Businesses

It’s a very interesting time for local businesses. Mobile apps are opening many different opportunities for them to be discovered and new and creative ways. Likewise opportunities for engaging with customers and providing them with offers are becoming increasingly apparent.

Layar
, which makes a pretty useful augmented reality app, announced Layar Stream today, which will fuel the discovery of augmented reality content that is available around you.

New Data From Google Can Help You Optimize Your Site for Conversions
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Google has just started sharing more detailed data for each individual search query in the Top search queries feature in Webmaster Tools.  Google used to just report the average position at which your site’s pages appeared in the search results for a particular query.

Google Buzz Gets Even More Integrated with Email
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Over the last month or so, most of the discussion around social media has been mostly related to Twitter and Facebook, as both recently had their developer conferences and introduced some new things to get people talking. We haven’t heard a whole lot of discussion around Google Buzz. When we have, it’s still mostly been about privacy.

Twitter Promoted Tweets – Advertising With or Without Them
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Twitter has finally unveiled its business model in the form of "Promoted Tweets". The company refers to this as a "non-traditional" and "easy" strategy that "makes a ton of sense for Twitter." Promoted Tweets are described as ordinary tweets that businesses and organizations want to highlight to a  wider group of users.

Would you pay to promote a tweet? Let us know.

6.7 Billion Tweets Forecast For January 2011
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Forecasters of all sorts have been working overtime the past week or so, discussing floods in the U.S., Greece’s economy, and elections in the U.K.  Now here’s a little something for the tech community: Pingdom has predicted that Twitter will process 6.7 billion tweets in January.

OneRiot Launches Out of Beta, Intros Trending Topics Engine
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OneRiot has officially moved out of beta today, and while doing so has also launched a realtime Trending Topics Engine.

"Our trending topics engine detects breaking stories and emerging trends faster than anyone else," OneRiot’s Courtney Walsh tells WebProNews. "And the topics are more detailed: we won’t just tell that iPhone is trending right now, we’ll tell you why."

Microsoft Edges Google In Mexico
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Mexico’s online population has jumped 20 percent in the past year to 15.5 million Internet users making it one of the fastest growing markets, according to a new report from comScore.

"With more than 15 million Internet users in Mexico and growing fast, advertisers are increasingly turning to the digital medium to reach their desired audiences with increased sophistication and efficiency," said Ivn Marchant, comScore Country Manager for Mexico.

Bing Brings Social Experience to Shopping Results
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Microsoft has added a new social sharing feature to Bing Shopping, which lets people share products with members of their social circle via Facebook, Twitter, or email. "Folks can now ask for input before they make that important purchase," a representative for Bing tells WebProNews.

Google Nixes AdWords Maintenance, Announces Webinar
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AdWords professionals know by now not to fiddle with their accounts on the second Saturday of every month; maintenance is always scheduled to occur from 10 AM to 2 PM.  Google’s going to allow everyone the opportunity to be extra-productive this month, though, cancelling the maintenance session and preparing a free webinar, too.

Apple Readies iPad Release for at Least 18 More Countries
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Apple announced today that the iPad will be available in 9 more countries starting May 28. The company had delayed international release to keep up with domestic demand.

  These countries include:

More Relevant Results: Google or Bing?
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Remember when Bing launched its recipe results? Now Google has launched a similar feature with recipe rich snippets. "For example, if you were searching for an easy to make thai mango salad, you can now see user ratings, preparation time, and a picture of the dish directly in search result snippets," explains Google. It may not be incredibly far-fetched to suggest that maybe Bing’s offering nudged such a feature into development, whether or not Google would admit this.

Borders Gears Up To Sell Kobo eReader
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Borders has rolled out its campaign to promote the Kobo eReader, which will launch next month along with its eBook store.

Borders is now taking pre-orders for the Kobo eReader, which retails for $149 and will be available on June 17. The eReader will come preloaded with 100 classic books.

The upcoming Borders eBook store will carry over a million titles and will allow consumers to purchase books through its website and via free Borders apps available for the iPhone, Blackberry, Android, as well as the iPad and PCs.

eBay Announces New Joint Venture In Asia
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Any eBay shareholders who were less than thrilled about eBay’s $1.2 billion acquisition of Gmarket last June may feel better after hearing about a new plan that involves the property.  eBay announced late yesterday that it intends to work with Gmarket’s founder to expand Gmarket’s presence in Japan and Singapore.

eBay

LinkedIn Continues Adding Features to Recruiter
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LinkedIn has added several features to its Recruiter platform. These include real-time profile matches, mini profiles, and free InMails to 1st degree and fellow group members.

Are Forums and Q&A Sites More Important to Search Now?
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Facebook and Twitter get a lot of the credit for all of the conversation that is going on around the web these days, and they certainly account for a great deal of it. Still there is public conversation happening in many other channels – blogs, Q&A sites, news sites, YouTube, other social networks, and forums.

Yahoo Examines iPad Ownership Trends
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Even before the iPad was released, Yahoo started catering to potential users, releasing a Yahoo Entertainment app.  It later partnered with Appolicious, too.  Now, Yahoo’s taken a look at what sort of iPad owner audience it’s attracted, and it seems that Yahoo’s done best with wealthy-ish, middle-aged men who take lots of pictures.

Let’s start with the simplest subject: gender distribution.  About 66 percent of iPad users on the Yahoo network are male, compared to 51 percent of regular Yahoo users in the U.S.

Internet Archive Offers 1 Million Books To Visually Impaired

The Internet Archive said today it has made available more than 1 million books to those who are blind, dyslexic and visually impaired.

The Google Redesigns That Could’ve Been
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Google Senior User Experience Designer Jon Wiley posted an explanation of the new Google redesign from a design perspective today. He talks about how other elements of the Google experience were made simpler to lighten the load as the left panel got more complex.

Yahoo Gives Update on Alliance with Microsoft

We haven’t heard much about the long-awaited Microsoft-Yahoo Search Alliance in a while, but reminding everybody that the integration is still on the way, Yahoo posted an update today via its Search Marketing Blog.

The company says priority one is to make the transition to Microsoft’s adCenter as smooth as possible, and that includes the following steps:

Should Social Media Be Held Accountable for User Actions?
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Update: A court document from the judge in this case has been released indicating that the for profit factor of YouTube is waht makes this a crime.  A Google representative is quoted as saying:

Integration Of All Google Services With Google Apps Planned
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Google Apps customers may soon have a lot more options in terms of which of the company’s other products and services they’ll be able to access from their official accounts.  Google intends to let customers remove all restrictions sometime in the next six months.

Digg Downsizes Team By 10 Percent

The recession’s effects have been lessening for several months now, with banks repaying their loans, consumer spending increasing, and the Dow currently around 2,500 points above its 52-week low.  Unfortunately, whether due to the recession or for other reasons (note: this occurred before the market started crashing), Digg laid off about ten percent of its employees this morning.

Google Goggles Gives Translations Via Camera
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Late last year, Google introduced a very cool mobile product called Google Goggles. While only an experimental labs release, it is looking more and more like it will be one that actually graduates to a real feature, and a useful one at that.

DMA Says Privacy Bill Would Hurt Online Advertising
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The Direct Marketing Association has voiced its opposition to a draft of a privacy bill introduced this week by Representatives Rick Boucher (D-VA) and Cliff Stearns (R-FL).

The DMA says the draft bill has potentially sweeping impacts for direct marketers working across every marketing channel, from direct mail and telemarketing to email, Internet and, mobile marketing.