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Local Guides Launches Beta

Local Matters yesterday announced the launch of their new site, LocalGuides.com, which mashes up Local + Social + Vertical content and utilities. The site is really strong with some compelling features, so I’ve kicked the tires and have a few technical comments.

New Windows Desktop Blog Client

Mariner Software is getting ready to release their new blogging client called WinJournal. If you’ve used a Mac, then you may be familiar with MacJournal. Well it’s the same idea, just for Windows users.

CityWaboo Goes Beta

It’s a city . . . it’s a waboo . . . it’s CityWaboo!  No, I don’t have a clue what the name means, but a new “community resource site” has launched in beta.

Reviewing Joost Beta 9

Got done reviewing Joost Beta 9, and it just keeps on getting better, and this time it did not bring down the network.

Yahoo Alpha Goes Beta
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This isn’t a typo: Yahoo!7 is running the search Alpha beta Down Under, offering a customizable start page people can equip with content modules from Yahoo’s properties and others.

Multivariate Landing Page Testing

Now that Google Website Optimizer is out of beta, more businesses will begin testing their landing pages to improve conversions.

As I was fairly familiar with the basic product features already, Google’s Tom Leung and I had the chance to talk informally about some of the benefits of putting this product in many hands.

SkypePal Finally Makes its Appearance

At the mesh meetup we had at the Charlotte Room tonight, I ran into Jim Courtney of Skype Journal and he said he had just finished posting something interesting about the new Skype beta — and he was right.

Wikipedia Competitor Released In Beta

While Jimmy Wales has been busy of late creating a new search engine and dreaming of challenging Google for dominance within the field, another Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger has been working on a new collaborative resource designed at offering more validity and expertise to its entries.

Jumping to Conclusions on Google’s PPA

There are lots of bloggers talking about Google’s launch of their Pay-Per-Action (beta) program which is really just adding CPA ad units to Adsense with a name to not associate it with CPA directly.

Google Launches Affiliate Network (Beta)

Via SEL, Google beta launched a distributed pay per action ad network, and are accepting publisher sign ups here.

AdWords Pay Per Action Hits Beta
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The new pricing model offered by Google to its AdWords clients means those advertisers will only pay Google when a customer converts in a specified way.

Looking at Joost Beta

Finally got a chance to install and look at Joost Beta, and it might just end up being the killer app.

Firefox Readies New Beta Release Process

A more measured process to releasing these updates should help Mozilla avoid issues with rolling out an update to its entire userbase in one shot.

Newspaper Software

The New York Times Reader, a piece of software you can download to read the NYT on your PC, came out in beta last fall and I immediately downloaded it for a few reasons — including the fact that I am a geek, a newspaper journalist and a big NYT fan. And I have to admit that it was (and is) pretty slick. Thanks to Microsoft’s presentation software, it replicates the look of a newspaper, but updates itself when connected to the Web, etc.

Microsoft’s Digg-Like Site

Microsoft has been running in beta in some foreign markets a website called MSN Reporter that copies many features from the popular Digg website. On MSN Reporter, users share and rate news, rating them up or down with giant “Kicken!” and “Dumpen!” buttons (translated as “Kick it” and “Dump it”).

Google Acquiring Video Game Ad Company

Google has agreed to acquire Adscape, a company that puts ads inside of video games, for $23 million. Google had missed out on Massive, a company Microsoft picked up for $200-400 million about a year ago, and is going to have to settle for the much smaller Adscape, which it will have to build into a bigger player. Judging by Google’s great success with dMarc, I’d assume nothing at this point.

Google’s Webmaster Tools Out of Beta

Vanessa Fox has reported on Official Google Webmaster Central Blog that Google is taking webmaster tools out of beta and allowing webmasters and others to comment on the blog.

Vanessa says on bidding farewell to beta:

Google Beta Testing Site-Targeted CPC

Cost per click bidding for site-targeted campaigns has been opened as a beta test for Google’s AdWords clients.

Email & IM Integration: Yahoo! or Yawnhoo?

Yahoo has announced the integration of Yahoo Mail with Yahoo instant messenger. This new functionality of Yahoo messenger will apparently make it possible to send and receive instant messages right from your Yahoo Mail (beta) interface.

Google Groups – Out of Beta Again

So this PC World story covers the new version of Google Groups, which is now out of beta, which means little in the sense that beta users have been using this interface for months.

Beta Testing Amazon Clickriver

I got my invite to beta test Clickriver today. Yippie. I already set up my account, so lets see how long it takes Amazon to start showing my ads for things like my name and search engine optimization.