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Google partners States for Public Information Search

google 2 Google partners States for Public Information SearchThe Googlebot just got bigger. Question is, does it have teeth? is it more like a Labrador or a Pit-Bull, both have ravenous appetites, but only one bites?

Google has announced a new partnership with the US States of Arizona, California, Utah and Virginia that will see public information and data from all 4 State Governments indexed and available via Google.

To quote Search Engine Journal (source) quoting Google:

These partnerships developed as both Google and officials with the four state governments recognized that the public is increasingly turning to search engines like Google to access government services, but that a significant share of the information on state agency websites is not included in its index of information sources on the web.

As a result, many online government services can be difficult for the public to find.

According to SEJ, the States will be using Google’s Custom Search Engine.

Calacanis new venture is search? or is it a Topix clone?

Valleywag has the scoop: (or should that be rumor?) Jason Calacanis, best known for his time starting Weblogs Inc, is entering the search game:

the next venture is a search engine. Calacanis, we hear, has already hired about 20 engineers to work on the project. Begun in the poolhouse of his Santa Monica home, it recently moved to an office nearby. Sequoia isn’t merely giving him shelter while he comes up with a new idea; Roelof Botha, Calacanis’ patron at Sequoia, has already committed the funds. Former associates of Calacanis, such as Mark Cuban and Jonathan Miller, his former boss at AOL, are also backing the venture.

They go on:

It’s a cross between Wikipedia and Google. Calacanis’ new site will create more digestible search results for popular queries such as the names of Hollywood stars, and tech products. The pages will be seeded, initially, with content gathered automatically from the web and other sources. But they will be open to contributions by readers. Sounds like Wikipedia? Yes: except Calacanis will employ paid editors to oversee the pages.

Sounds a bit like Topix to me, lots of content, initially from external sources, then added to by humans, great content for other search engines. The search part only comes into play if the content on the site becomes authoritive to the point that people will actually visit the new site to search for things. It logically cant be a search only play if it generates its own content, search engines don’t generate content, they index it.

One to watch.

New Media Wire – Mon Apr 30, 2007

Is Ghostblogging CEO Blogs Bad?
Debbie Weil, who has been dishing out great advice for corporate/CEO blogs recently moderated a panel and the consensus seems to be that ghostblogging is not bad. At least, that’s the consensus of a small group of writers surveyed. This is in response to a Dilbert cartoon about the pointy-haired boss wanting to start a blog. Tris Hussey gave his perspective on ghostblogging.

Twitter Too Popular in Australia
Apparently Twitter can’t handle it’s popularity in Australia and have suspended their SMS feature there. Rumor is that 901am’s Duncan Riley did this single-handedly :)

The End of Blogs?
I don’t know what the big fuss is. So what if the blogosphere has halted at 15 million blogs? Inorganic populations have lifecycles, too. No doubt there will be mini-spurts as more serious publishers join.

How To Blog Jason Calacanis?
Let’s not pussyfoot around here… If almost anyone else had done what Jason Calacanis just did on his blog, telling you how to get his attention online, they’d be called arrogant. But I don’t think that applies here. Calacanis is the genius who built up and sold Weblogs, Inc., turning himself into more than just a celebrity in his own mind. And that means some bloggers would like to catch his attention. It’s a fact, and he knows it and so do you (if that’s what you want). So get to it, grab his attention. Just don’t expect an interview over the phone.

2006 Canadian online advertising tops $1 billion

The Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada (IAB) announced that 2006 Canadian Online Advertising Revenues surged to an unprecedented $1.01 billion dollars for the year. The 2006 actuals represent a 26% increase over the $801 million originally estimated by the IAB for 2006; and an 80% increase over the 2005 actuals of $562 million. Of the $1.01 billion, approximately $208 million or 21 percent of ad dollars were allocated to the French Canadian Online market, representing growth of 68% over the 2005 actuals of $124 million.

And there’s still more growth to come. IAB Canada’s projected total for 2007 Online advertising in Canada, is estimated to be $1.337 billion – a full 32 percent more than the 2006 actual of $1.01 billion. “It’s interesting,” says Gignac. “While it took us 13 years from when the first banner was served on the Internet, until now, to reach the billion dollar mark in Canada, it may only take us another two to three years to reach the second billion.

Yahoo to acquire Right Media

The New York Times reports that Yahoo plans to acquire Right Media, a privately held company that runs an advertising marketplace.

Yahoo will pay approximately $680 million, in equal parts of stock and cash, for the remaining interest in the company.

“The acquisition, to us, is a key step toward executing our long-term vision to build the leading advertising and publisher ecosystem both on and off the Yahoo network,” Terry S. Semel, Yahoo’s chief executive, said in the Times report. The deal is expected to close in three months.

Sirius dumps Podshow

Bad news for Adam Curry, content from the Podshow network is being dumped from Sirius Satellite Radio from May 1.

There is no word yet as to why the previous arrangement was not renewed.

Paul Colligan believes that the decision means that Satellite Radio “Becomes Even Less Important”, and that 10.5 million iPods sold last quarter is proof of the potential audience size for podcasts.

Red Sox star pitcher offers $1M on his blog

curt Red Sox star pitcher offers $1M on his blogRed Sox star pitcher Curt Schilling lashed out at the media in a scathing 1,300-word post on his personal blog and offered $1 million to anyone who would prove that it was not blood that blotted his sock in the 2004 playoffs.

Schilling’s sock was put into question when Baltimore Orioles broadcaster Gary Thorne said Red Sox catcher Doug Mirabelli had told him it was paint, not blood, done for a publicity stunt. Thorne later said that he had misreported what he overheard. Despite this, Schilling still ripped Thorne and the media through his blog.

Anyone interested in Schilling’s offer? Go look for the sock first as Schilling said he put it in the laundry. Now he suspects a Yankees clubhouse employee still has it.

Google unseats Microsoft as world’s most powerful brand

Google, with a brand value of $66.4 billion, has unseated Microsoft as the world’s most powerful brand, according to an annual ranking by UK research firm Millward Brown Optimor. The search engine’s brand value increased by 77 percent since last year and is followed closely by General Electric at $61.8 billion. Microsoft is a distant third at $54.9 billion and Coca-Cola at $44.1 billion.

“Success stories from this year’s Brandz Top 100 demonstrate that winning brands leverage major market trends effectively to create business value,” said Joanna Seddon, chief executive at Millward Brown.

“Strong brands are capable of extending into areas of opportunity to access new revenue streams and to help businesses respond to market changes.”

The ranking attempts to put a dollar value on a brand based on current and expected future earnings. The figure is generated from hard economic data as well as softer variables such as intangible consumer loyalty and perceived growth potential.

MySpace goes to China

MySpace announced its launch in China, officially taking on the nation’s 137 million Internet users.

MySpace China introduced itself as a “locally owned, operated, and managed company” in which News Corp. was only one among several investors. Other investors include International Data Group and China Broadband Capital Partners, the investment company of former China Netcom Group Corp. chief executive Edward Tian.

“Based on the MySpace global brand and technology platform, we will develop products and features that are tailored to today’s Chinese citizens,” said MySpace China CEO Luo Chuan, a former Microsoft executive.

The MySpace China community is still in its test stage, adapted from the US version, but will gradually be developed to meet the needs of Chinese users, the company said in a statement.

Sony late again… but launches video-sharing site anyway

eyevio Sony late again... but launches video sharing site anywaySony Corp. launched a video-sharing site in Japan where users can share videos and blog about them, creating a potential rival to Google Inc.’s YouTube. It’s not a little late for Sony. It’s late.

The eyeVio site allows users to upload video clips, watch those of other members and subscribe to channels featuring content from commercial providers as well as models, designers and writers. Sony said it would carefully monitor the videos uploaded by users. How? It was not explained.

Again, late.