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EQAL to enter Asian market via LonelyGirl15 international agreement

eqal EQAL to enter Asian market via LonelyGirl15 international agreementEQAL, the social entertainment company founded by Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried, creators of wildly successful Internet social dramas, announced a licensing agreement with entertainment company Shinto Tsushin to distribute lonelygirl15 and KateModern throughout Japan and to create original content under the LG15 franchise.

Under the terms of the partnership, Shinto Tsushin will distribute Japanese dubbed versions of lonelygirl15 and KateModern throughout Japan. Additionally they will produce and distribute an original LG15 social show that will take place in Japan.

Shinto Tsushin will work with a local production company to create a new social show to extend the LG15 franchise. The show will fit into the general LG15 mythology and Shinto Tsushin will be responsible for localizing the story and characters to Japanese culture and norms.

EQAL has a similar licensing agreement with Polish producers Agora and A2 Multimedia for the n1ckola social show, which is distributed in Poland and also part of the LG15 franchise.

The Knot launches 75 new wedding websites

The Knot Inc. announced the launch of the next 75 wedding websites in its growing portfolio of niche wedding destinations. In less than three months, The Knot has launched over 80 new planning sites, leveraging its vast content databases to offer the most robust local resources available for today’s couples tying the knot.

On these hyper-local sites, brides and grooms can browse for inspiration from more than 1,700 Real Wedding photos, get instant community feedback from other brides planning in the same locality, and immediately email thousands of wedding vendors who can help make their dream wedding a reality.

The new sites are search-engine-optimized to appear in natural search results, offering brides and grooms the best tools for wedding-planning on the local level where other national brands are notably absent. The company anticipates it may have as many as 200 niche sites launched by the end of 2009.

PopCap launches Bookworm for iPhone

Developer and publisher of casual games PopCap announced the launch of its hugely popular word game Bookworm for the iPhone and iPod touch.

Bookworm is the most popular digital word game of all time, and this new adaptation has been customized for Apple’s highly successful smart devices, and contains nearly the entire volume of words from the Oxford English Dictionary, plus a host of new features found only in this version.

In Bookworm, players build words from contiguous letter tiles on a grid. Longer and more difficult words score more points and produce a variety of “gem tiles” that offer additional bonuses when used (and mega-bonuses when multiple gem tiles are used in a single word). Burning tiles sear through normal tiles, reaching the bottom of the grid quickly; they must be used before they reach the bottom, or the game ends.

The game is available at the Apple App Store.

Local search growth outpaces overall online search

A tremendous surge in the annual growth of local search far outpaced growth of overall web search, according to a study conducted by comScore and released by the Yellow Pages Association.

The study found that local search grew 58 percent in 2008, reaching an annual total of 15.7 billion searches. By comparison, overall US web core searches grew at a much smaller rate of 21 percent year-over-year, nearing 137 billion searches by the end of 2008. Local searches stand at 12 percent of core searches on the top 5 portals.

Buoyed by the growth in local search, Internet Yellow Pages and locally-focused online business directories also saw double-digit growth of 23 percent in the same period, totaling 4.6 billion searches in 2008.

As more users conduct local searches, exposure to sponsored links for Yellow Pages data is increasing as well. Year-over-year, Internet Yellow Pages sites have seen their exposure to sponsored links increase 50 percent to reach 353 million in the month of December 2008 alone, demonstrating the increasing need for local business information.

Gamblingplanet.org adds new web 2.0 tools to its online casino portal

logo1 Gamblingplanet.org adds new web 2.0 tools to its online casino portal Gamblingplanet.org announced the addition of two web 2.0 tools to the site’s existing network of social media features. The additions include a free user poll and a Twitter news feed.

The new Gambling Planet poll is a single-click survey that asks players their preference among online casino games. Gambling Planet’s own developers created the poll and offering it free of charge at widgetbox.com. Webmasters who employ the widget on their site gain several benefits, including a link to Gambling Planet and insight to player preferences.

Gambling Planet’s other new web 2.0 endeavor—a round-the-clock Twitter news feed—is perhaps even more exciting, particularly for the site’s typically unfazed writers who are, reportedly, “as enthusiastic as school girls on prom night” about the Twitter team-up. Renowned for its provocative news and editorials, Gambling Planet will now provide 24/7 daily updates via Twitter.com.

Singapore Internet users spend half of time online on social and entertainment sites

comScore, Inc. has released its first overview of web usage in Singapore. The report includes a ranking of the most engaging and visited Internet site categories and properties, based on the comScore World Metrix service, and the top search properties, based on the comScore qSearch service.

In February 2009, more than 2.5 million people in Singapore age 15 and older accessed the Internet from home and work locations, consuming an average of 1,785 pages of content and accessing the Internet an average of 21 hours per person.

Internet users in Singapore averaged 21 hours online per visitor during February, with online communication, entertainment, and social networking topping the list of how users were most likely to spend their time. Highlighting the particular significance of online communication in Singapore, Instant Messaging captured 24 percent of total minutes, making it the leading activity, while Web-based email accounted for 6 percent.

singapore Singapore Internet users spend half of time online on social and entertainment sites

go2 launches mobile entertainmentguides for 473 US colleges

Mobile media company go2 Media announced the launch of go2 Colleges, a mobile local entertainment guide for 473 colleges across the US. The guides are available on AT&T MediaNET’s NCAA Basketball site as “News and Events from Your School,” where students can access local events, movie showtimes, college sports scores and recommendations from the go2 Content Network. The guides will soon be available to Virgin Mobile/Helio and Sprint/Nextel subscribers.

go2 Colleges provides students with an unmatched array of useful entertainment info in one portal designed around their campus location. Students can check constantly updated local event info about movies, concerts and school sporting events or access a directory of restaurants and bars close to campus. go2 employs the national go2 writer network to add recommendations for local events, TV picks, video games and new music to the go2 Colleges portal.

NIC launches first Recovery Act iPhone application

eGovernment firm NIC has launched “Transparent Gov,” a free iPhone application dedicated to deciphering where and how the money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is to be spent.

The Transparent Gov application includes:

  • Clear and concise spending information depicted graphically for ease in understanding
  • Lists of key recipients of the funds
  • Ability to drill down into relevant text from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

NIC also launched today a one-stop online source for access to stimulus and transparency information from governments nationwide. The site is a free resource that tracks the transparency services offered by federal, state, and local governments in their efforts to make more information available to citizens.

Footnote.com releases Great Depression Collection

depression Footnote.com releases Great Depression CollectionHistory website for original content Footnote.com has launched its Great Depression Collection, giving unique insights into life’s struggles and the financial challenges Americans faced during the 1930s.

The Great Depression Collection includes millions of digitized and indexed documents including historical newspapers. Visitors to Footnote.com can view original pages featuring articles and advertisements that reveal fascinating details about what was happening in Washington, D.C., as well as in mainstream America. Visitors can also read articles about Roosevelt’s New Deal or see how much groceries cost during the time of the Depression.

As part of this collection, Footnote.com is introducing the first ever Interactive 1930 US Census. Footnote.com has combined innovative technology with the 1930 Census to create an interactive experience allowing members to contribute their own family photos, documents and stories by attaching them to the names on the census.

Nokia invests in Obopay

obopay 300x235 Nokia invests in ObopayPayments provider for mobile phones Obopay, Inc. announced that Nokia has invested in the company, an endorsement of its ongoing innovation in mobile money technology.

Obopay will use the minority investment to aggressively extend their product suite and enhance their global presence, as mobile devices become constantly more integrated into the daily lives f the world’s 4 billion mobile customers.

“This investment is a landmark in the evolution of mobile payments. It underscores the global potential of mobile money by providing convenient access to money anytime, anywhere. Given Nokia’s position as the leader in mobile communications, we could not have asked for a better investor,” Obopay CEO Carol Realini said.

Financial details of Nokia’s investment were not disclosed.