Matt Cutts hacked

Google’s Matt Cutts will wake to an interesting April Fools Day, Google’s spammer head kicker has had his blog hacked by the Dark SEO Team.

mattcutts Matt Cutts hacked

According to Search Engine Land, the hack was more than the main/ index page hijacking, with Cutts’ entire archive also being deleted as well.

TechCrunch acquires Fucked Company

fuckedcompany TechCrunch acquires Fucked CompanyThe Ying and Yang of the startup business.

Michael Arrington has announced that TechCrunch has acquired famed Web 1.0 failures site Fucked Company in a script for assets deal.

Arrington says on the deal:

Since FC focuses on the negative news coming out of startups, and TechCrunch tends to focus on the positive, this combination may seem odd. But the sites are in fact extremely complementary. For example, the audiences are about equal in size and have very little overlap. So from day one we will double our reach and traffic.

To be honest I wouldn’t have visited Fucked Company in maybe 4-5 years, and am surprised it was even still going, and yet Arrington getting into the dead pool game is a sure sign that the boom is on the way out and that TechCrunch is going to have less and less positive start up stories to blog about….indeed remember 31 March, it could become one of those tipping point days in the history of Web 2.0, where the lead cheerleader for Web 2.0 went negative by acquisition.

Update: suggestions elsewhere + in the comments here that this is a April Fools Day joke from Arrington. Dave Winer seems to think it is, but the post is dated 31 March, not April 1, and as far as I can remember, jokes on March 31 don’t count as April fools day jokes. If it is a joke, Phillip Kaplan is in on it given the intro splash page at Fucked Company has a “big news” intro and a TechCrunch style logo for the site. Time will tell I guess, but oddly enough I still think the acquisition makes a lot of sense, even if it is a big joke.

New Media Wire – Fri Mar 30, 2007

Would You Watch Ads On Your Cell Phone?
Some people seem to think that you and I would be willing to watch ads on our cell phones in return for free calling minutes. A Harris Interactive survey suggests, however, that more people would prefer cash before minutes, and fewer people would accept free ringtones or discount coupons. I don’t know. Would you want to watch ads on your cell phone? I’d think the incentive would have to be high.

Who Reads More? Print or Online Readers?
You’ve probably read or heard that online readers only browse, have short attention spans, and probably don’t finish anything they start reading. That’s probably true of those that subscribe to hundreds of feeds, but a Poynter Institute study, Eyetrack, suggests that online readers actually complete more stories than print readers.

Twitter From the Founders’ Viewpoint
Alexandra Berzon at Red Herring gives a nice explanation of the success of Twitter from the founders’ point of view, and how the blogging of influential people such as Steve Rubel and Robert Scoble contributed significantly to that success.

Yahoo acquires Wretch for $21m

wretch Yahoo acquires Wretch for $21mYahoo has won regulatory approval to acquire Taiwanese based social networking site for $21.2m.

The relatively unknown Wretch, which we covered back in February, is a Xanga style blogging and social networking destination extremely popular in Chinese language markets, with an Alexa ranking in 36, making the Yahoo acquisition a complete and utter bargain.

According to reports, the purchase had been held up by the Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission, who investigated complaints that the acquisition would give Yahoo Taiwan unfair control over Internet advertising rates in Taiwan, and excessive market share as well.

Wretch is said to have 2.8 million members.


Brilliant Print Memes Or 1000 Journals Or Why Print Will Always Be In

You’ve probably heard the term meme and thought, oh it’s some online gimmick that bloggers use to propagate ideas and promote each other. Well, memes can exist offline as well. Boing Boing mentions the 1000 Journals Project, where someone “propagated” journal-type books so that they’d make their way around the world. People wrote or drew in them and left them where they lay or passed them on to people.

These sorts of experiments always fascinate me. Back in my punk years of my mid- to late-20s in Toronto, I used to keep a stack of journals. One would almost always make its way with me when I went nightclubbing, and friends and acquaintances would add a little bit to the book. In more recent years, I came across a little downtown cafe, The Cornerstone, in the town I currently live in. In one of the windowsills, there’s a stack of unlined journals with some of the most fascinating text and graphics contributed by customers young and old – some regulars.

These types of memes just cannot exist online, and is one of the reasons – besides the tactility of books – why I think that paper will never go out of style. On the other hand, this meme can be facilitated online by making the existence of journals known on a website. So if you want to be part of this journal meme, check out the newer 1001 Journals, which lets you either sign up for a journal or send one out in a controlled fashion.

Amsterdam, Sold! For $50,000!

msaleem amsterdam Amsterdam, Sold! For $50,000!Amsterdam, one of the landmark business in Second life, modeled on the city’s red light district, and specializing in adult content, was sold for $50,000.

The previous owner, whose avatar is called “Stroker Serpentine”, says he sold the iconic virtual destination “to focus on a new, bigger adult business”. Little is known about the city’s new custodian, except that he is — perhaps appropriately — from the Netherlands.

Amsterdam is one of the first places that most first-time players visit in Second Life, mostly due to the ‘titillation factor’.

InformationWeek has more on this titilating development.

Google Pay-Per-Action Beta — Your Questions Answered

msaleem google Google Pay Per Action Beta — Your Questions AnsweredI mentioned Google’s new pay-per-action scheme about a week ago. Since then, the announcement raised more questions than it answered, and so Google ventures to answer some of them for you.

  1. Do pay-per-action ads show on or on sites in the search network?
  2. I am an advertiser using My Client Center (MCC) and am interested in the pay-per-action beta test for my clients, as well as for my own business. What are my sign up options?
  3. Is it possible to set a cost-per-action (CPA) value (i.e. the amount I’d like to pay for a specific action) as a percentage of the amount of the purchase rather than as a fixed amount per purchase?
  4. I am also an AdSense publisher and would like to participate in this test. How can I sign up?
  5. I am not a US advertiser, and wonder when pay-per-action will be available in my country?
  6. Although I am not a US advertiser, my campaigns do target US customers. Can I participate in the beta?

And then of course there is the official pay-per-action advertising FAQ.

ICANN Says ‘No’ To Internet Red Light District

msaleem icann ICANN Says ‘No’ To Internet Red Light DistrictThe ICANN Board today rejected a proposal to create web addresses ending in .xxx in a vote ending 9-5 (1 abstention), and sent a broader message that ICANN will not accept the role of content regulator on the Internet.

ICANN, had been asked to allow the creation of web addresses ending in .xxx to specifically indicate sources of pornography and adult entertainment, and in effect create a virtual red light district on the internet.

Vint Cerf, the Google Inc. senior executive who is also chairman of ICANN, said the board’s decision had nothing to do with the actual content of the sites in question. Rather, the rejection came because the proposal could be seen as ICANN creating rules effecting Internet content, which is at odds with its mandate to oversee the way Internet operates in order to ensure open and fair participation by all.

MarketWatch has more.

Where Oh Where Has TV Guide Gone?

Over the past few years, the once ubiquitous TV Guide magazine seems to have disappeared from many magazine outlets, at least here in Canada. In a similar vein, numerous newspapers have turned their weekly TV listings into a useless matrix with nothing more than episode number and time. No more commentary on an episode or movie. And not all that easy to find regional TV listings online, depending on where you live.

But with time-shifting TV and cool software like Orb’s myTV and Rok TV for mobile viewing, do you really need a TV guide? An episodal search engine may be more useful (provided you know what you’re looking for). And that’s what the once ubiquitous (in print) TV Guide wants to be: the go-to resource for video search. They’re planning a launch for mid-April, and with their beta search engine, you’ll be able to find links to full episodes. That is, they won’t be hosting the content – at least not initially.

Fun With Twitter: WordPress Plugins

Of course, instead of using a Feedburner BuzzBoost mashup of Twitter, you could use Alex King’s WordPress plugin, Twitter Tools. (If I’m not mistaken, Alex King is one of those names you see in the default blogroll when you set up a new WordPress blog. He has a great WordPress Theme Browser that also lets you easily download themes you like.)

His Twitter Tools plugin only works on WP2.1 and up, but it takes recent Twitterings and collects them into a single blog post. This is apparently configurable, as he explains in his Proper behavior for a Twitter archiver WordPress plugin and Twitter tools roadmap posts. (You can see an example at Fun Anymore.)

Once he has all features in place, you be able to configure the plugin to create “daily digest” posts of your Twitterings, thus turning your microblogging back into a sort of regular blogging. One really interesting feature Alex is thinking of implementing is being able to Twitter directly from your blog’s sidebar.