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Fly.com Makes It Easier To Search For Flights

A new concept in online flight search officially takes off in the UK today with the launch of Fly.com.

2009 In Review – According To Twitter

Now that Twitter employs a Chief Scientist, we will benefit from the ongoing interpretation and publishing of Twitter behavior and activity to better understand how Twitter is constantly evolving.

Firefox 3.5 Currently Most Popular Browser in the World
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According to data from StatCounter, Mozilla’s web browser Firefox 3.5 is now the world’s most popular browser. It has just surpassed Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7, which has beend steadily declining.

For December 20, StatCounter has IE 7 at 21.2% market share, and Firefox 3.5 at 21.93%. Microsoft’s IE 8 is closing in though. Its share has been steadily increasing, presumably making up for most of the lost IE 7 share, and has approached 20.33%.

October Marked First Decline For Twitter Visitors In A Year

Before you read any further just lean back and take a deep breath. You are about to enter the “Research Zone”. You know the place well. It’s where we give you shocking numbers that someone has come up with using their “methodology” and it is then used to create shocking headlines around the Internet for your reading enjoyment. It’s almost like having an informant who whispers something in your ear then you get to blab it all over the place and set the masses running.

Data Suggests the ‘Connect Program’ was the Reason Behind Facebook’s Surge

In case you missed it, Facebook is pretty popular. As of June 2008, they’d beat MySpace in terms of total unique visitors worldwide (ballooning to twice as many uniques as MySpace in January 2009)—and even in the US, one of the few Facebook-is-#2 holdouts, Facebook has caught up to MySpace.

July Was a Good Month for Tweeting

It appears that the number of new Twitter users has slowed a bit over the past month, although it’s still growing significantly. Regardless, it hasn’t prevented the number of Tweets from jumping.

Facebook Dealing With a Click Fraud and Data Access Lawsuit

It’s a saga we’re all familiar with by now: create a pretty awesome web service, start a trend, become a media sweetheart, make lots of money (VC or acquisition), get slapped with a lawsuit. Or two. Or fifty billion. Facebook added two more lawsuits to its heap recently: a countersuit from Power.com and a click fraud proceeding.

The Older Demographic Makes A Large Push On Facebook

The demographic has shifted dramatically over at Facebook and that change could lead to billions in revenue, according to one prominent board member.

Study Shows 18-24 Year Olds Love Social Media, Twitter Not So Much

These two charts say it all really:

Keeping Data Is Good, Says Google
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Retaining search data helps Google improve its search results, despite privacy concerns that such retention could end up in the hands of the government via subpoena.

Facebook Joins Data Portability Group

This is pretty big news, it seems to me, after all of the back-and-forth about data being trapped inside Facebook — the social-networking site has joined the Data Portability Group, along with Plaxo and Google, and will now be helping come up with a standard for moving personal data into and out of different networks.

The Data Portability Issue Isn’t Going Away

So Robert Scoble has his account suspended by Facebook for using an automated script to harvest his contacts and their email addresses (see my previous post), and all hell breaks loose.

Scoble, whose account is later reinstated, is denounced for being a publicity-seeking limelight hog, and for using a script from Plaxo that is an egregious breach of Facebook’s terms of use (since it uses optical character recognition to grab email addresses, which the site keeps as image files).

Who Does This Facebook Data Belong To?

In his post about Facebook disabling his account, uber-blogger and Facebook tart Robert Scoble admits that he was doing something that breached the site’s terms of use — specifically, he was running a script that accessed the social network and “scraped” data from it.

Online Advertising Might Benefit From Better Data

Suppose you’re promised one reward, and then often given two. Or promised two rewards, and sometimes given one. Studies have found that both humans and monkeys prefer the first scenario, but in the world of online advertising, execs expect to know exactly what’s going on.

UK Agency Loses Data On 6,000 Drivers

Computer discs containing the names and addresses of 6,000 Northern Ireland drivers has gone missing.

SES Round-up
Jolina and Mike had a great time at the Search Engine Strategies conference in Chicago. Not only is it the windy city, but a festive, cold and snowy one too by the sounds of it.

SEMPO Organizes Annual Meeting
SEMPO, the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, is organizing its annual meeting. For this round-robin discussion, it is bringing representatives from Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft. All the companies will discuss together about their latest plans and initiative programs.

Hitwise Adds Paid And Organic Search Data

Hitwise announced today that it has added new features to its Search Intelligence product, including paid and organic and fast moving search terms data.

Facebook Responds To Silent Data Report

Security researchers at CA found the Facebook Beacon keeps Facebook abreast of one’s activities on an advertiser’s site, whether the Facebook user opted out of that instance or not.

Netflix Dataset Cracked, Subscribers Profiled

Netflix offered a million dollar reward to anyone who could improve upon their recommendation engine by ten percent. Two researchers accomplished a lot more with the “anonymized” dataset.

What Better Relevancy Can Google Come up With?
Google, already has a near infinite number of data points to compute relevancy for the active parts of the web, and is looking to gather even more user data information. The WSJ has background on the story:

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