Happy New Year!

It was a great 2007 and we are hoping for a better year this 2008. Happy New Year to everyone!

Treemo unveils Channel Player widget

treemo Treemo unveils Channel Player widgetTreemo, a real-time social media publishing platform dedicated to sharing any type of media anywhere, unveiled its new Channel Player widget that users can embed on websites, blogs, MySpace and integrate as a Facebook application to allow for automatic publishing of photo, video, audio and textual content uploaded to Treemo.

Each user gets their own Treemo Channel where they program their photos, videos, audio and text and share content within the Treemo community or among personal groups. The Channel Player lets users play the latest 24 content items from their or any other Treemo Channel. Users can simply embed the Channel Player in any web page, blog, or wiki to showcase the latest content from users’ favorite channels.

Online holiday spending through December 27 nears $28 billion, up 19 percent

comScore released an update of holiday season e-commerce spending for the first 57 days of the 2007 holiday season (November 1 – December 27). Nearly $28 billion has been spent online during the season-to-date, marking a 19-percent gain versus the corresponding days last year.

comscore1 Online holiday spending through December 27 nears $28 billion, up 19 percent

“Even as the holiday shopping season winds down after Christmas, we continue to see some relatively strong online spending days,” said comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni. “For example, the day after Christmas saw online sales of $545 million, more than double the sales on the same day last year. This would appear to indicate that consumers were willing, and able, to take advantage of the attractive late-season promotions and price discounts offered by retailers this year.”

Another means of gauging the strength of online holiday spending is to examine the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which represents the core of the holiday shopping season. This year, there were 32-days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, compared to 31-days last year. During this period in 2007, online sales grew by 21 percent versus year ago, a full 2 percentage points higher than the overall holiday season-to-date growth rate.

From the wires…

Web playgrounds of the very young

In 2007, housing and dollar crumbled, but oil and Web 2.0 soared

New app helps publishers track content across Web

Get real: People will want to connect in 2008

Should web giants let startups use the information they have about you?

Tips for small-business owners making New Year’s resolutions

Google in search to sell its advertising to newspapers

Start-up whiz takes on new challenge

Netscape, the browser, dies

Netscape, the browser that we know since the onset of Internet, is dead. Okay, not yet. Give it until February 1, 2008.

Netscape, the portal, will still be around though.

TripAdvisor now carries destination videos from GeoBeats

tripadvisor TripAdvisor now carries destination videos from GeoBeatsGeoBeats.com, a video travel guide to international destinations, has inked a distribution agreement with TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor’s monthly audience of more than 25 million travelers will now have access to GeoBeats’ travel videos when searching for destination information.

Covering 30 countries, each of GeoBeats.com’s destination videos is filmed by a local filmmaker and creates an authentic experience for the viewer.

Former Yahoo, Disney exec goes to Metacafe

AdWeek reports that Metacafe has hired former Yahoo! and Disney executive Scott Bushman as VP for Business Development.

Bushman is responsible for cultivating relationships with global media companies, overseeing content licensing deals and determining other viable growth opportunities for the company within the short-form video arena.

Digg dogged by controversies

digg Digg dogged by controversiesContent-sharing site Digg is plagued with controversies and denials these days. Despite its recent discussions with investment bank Allen & Co, Digg CEO Jay Adelson has insisted the company is not for sale anytime soon. Moreover, he turned down the speculations that the company will go public next year.

Adelson also downplayed its rumored acquisition plans for Spanish-language content-sharing site Menéame and another social voting platform coRank, saying they do not have “large cash pool to ‘go and make crazy acquisitions’ with.”

Well, this is not really a denial game for Adelson. He has revealed to BusinessWeek the general direction of Digg in 2008 – international expansion and more new features designed for better customization and personalization.

Some of these new features include alerts for new stories preferred by users, rating system similar to eBay’s, and “story suggest” function which recommends articles similar to what a user has recently read or rated.

Ribbit triples size of its developer community

ribbit Ribbit triples size of its developer communityRibbit announced that nearly 2,000 developers have registered to get access to the Ribbit development platform– more than triple the number of developers that the company had when it launched.

At the core of Ribbit’s technology offering is a sophisticated, open platform that enables developers to bridge the worlds of traditional telephony and the web. The Ribbit SmartSwitch and open Flash/Flex-based API enables non-telephony developers to quickly build innovative, rich voice applications and integrate them into web sites, communities and applications.

“The developer platform has already generated a number of innovative solutions,” said Charles Freedman, Director of Ribbit’s Developer Platform. “The size of our community is soaring and we expect market-ready solutions to begin launching early in the next year.”

Ribbit also announced they would be providing developers a way to make money creating Ribbit applications, by providing them a mechanism to market and distribute their applications. In addition, to spur further innovation, Ribbit has also announced a challenge to its community, offering rewards for the best Personal Ribbit phone applications.

Kayak.com secures $196 million funding; announces merger with Sidestep

kayak Kayak.com secures $196 million funding; announces merger with SidestepKayak.com, the travel search engine, announced the completion of a $196 million financing round. Kayak.com will use this investment to complete a merger with SideStep, Inc. and to pursue a more aggressive worldwide expansion. As part of this transaction, Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital will join Kayak.com’s Board of Directors.

Other participants in the financing round include existing Kayak.com investors General Catalyst Partners and Accel Partners, SideStep investors Norwest Venture Partners and Trident Capital, new investors Oak Investment Partners and Lehman Brothers Venture Partners, and debt lenders Silicon Valley Bank and Gold Hill Capital.

In parallel with the new financing, a subsidiary of Kayak.com will merge with SideStep.com, the Internet’s first travel search company. This transaction combines the two biggest brands in travel search, which would make Kayak.com and its affiliate sites the fifth largest travel brand, with more monthly unique visitors than Priceline, every airline except Southwest, and every hotel and rental car brand.

Kayak.com intends to maintain both the SideStep.com and Kayak.com brands and will develop and promote each site independently, with key SideStep.com personnel joining Kayak.com’s team.