Fotolog, which recently announced a multi-year search agreement with Google, showcased a variety of numbers today showing how it is becoming one of the most popular social media networks. This data is drawn from a variety of sources.
Fotolog said that, according to comScore, it now has 4.6 million daily visitors, more than 15 million monthly uniques, 25.4 minutes average minutes per usage day and more than 21 average monthly visits per visitor. These measures rank Fotolog 19th worldwide in average minutes and 11th in average visits. It also now has 10 million members, over 100 million photos and is getting daily around 700,000 photo uploads.
“Fotolog is on a tear â€“ weâ€™re adding 30,000 members a day and have welcomed 5 million so far this year as we continue to make our user experience even more interesting and compelling through our partnerships with Google and AOL,” said John Borthwick, Fotologâ€™s Chief Executive Officer. “Just 14 days after we launched AOL’s chat service, one-third of all the people who ever signed up to Fotolog enabled Fotolog Messenger.”
Legendary entertainment industry figure Quincy Jones debuted today a new video podcast series through a partnership with podcast distributor Wizzard Media. The video podcast offering is part of a plan by Jones to go more digital as he launches an enhanced personal Web site to host the podcasts and other content.
The new Quincy Jones video podcast series will comprise at least 26 episodes in the first year. It will include “footage of him at work in the studio with some of today’s biggest stars and at exclusive events around the globe. Also featured in upcoming video podcast episodes will be Quincy on film, popular culture, politics and events on the national and international stage.”
The first video podcast shows Jones “in the studio producing Celine Dion’s version of I Knew I Loved You, recorded for the tribute album We All Love Ennio Morricone and slated for inclusion on Dion’s upcoming Greatest Hits album…it allows viewers to experience the recording and production process with Quincy and Celine and hear Quincy sharing candid and personal thoughts on the project.”
Solid Oak Software, a company which provides Internet filtering products for parents and others, announced today a new program designed to block access to select popular social networking sites. CyberSitter Social Networking Blocker is available now for free personal usage.
CyberSitter Social Networking Blocker, said Solid Oak, is designed to block unauthorized access to MySpace and FaceBook. It also blocks access to several hundred known Web proxies that can be used to bypass filtering programs.
â€œWe have been doing this longer than anyone else out there,â€ says Brian Milburn, president of Solid Oak Software. â€œWe have the expertise, we know the web sites, and we know the dangers, and we are stepping up and giving away a tool we hope will help keep kids a little safer and help parents sleep a little better.â€
How would you like to own a pizza-sized gold coin? If you are the highest bidder in the upcoming online auction put on by Escala Group, a global collectibles company in stamps, coins and militaria, you will.
The coin, which will be on auction beginning August 16, is a 100 kilogram coin published by the Royal Canadian Mint. It weighs over 220 pounds contains more than $2 million of gold bullion. The auction coincides with the launch of Teletrade Direct, a new service to sell gold, silver and platinum bullion coins.
“Itâ€™s the most valuable coin ever offered in an online-only auction,” said Ian Russell, President of Teletrade, an online rare coin auction company. Teletrade is part of Escalaâ€™s Spectrum Numismatics division.
Realtor.com, which recently added a Windows Mobile offering for those seeking real estate information, announced today they would be more frequently updating listings in participating metro areas. It currently updates listings from nearly half of the 900 MLS systems across the US multiple times per day.
Realtor.com is shooting to increase listing updates every 15 minutes. The company hopes to increase the number of properties being updated in 15 minute increments from more than 500,000 every 15 minutes today to more than a million later this year. Some of the metro areas getting thie more frequent listings include Washington DC and Baltimore, Atlanta, Orange County, Boston, Memphis, Las Vegas, Ft. Myers, Cincinnati, Northern Michigan, North San Francisco Bay area and the Silicon Valley, and San Jose.
“Nothingâ€™s more frustrating than going online to research properties and finding youâ€™re basing a decision on old or out-of-date information,” said Realtor.com President Errol Samuelson. “With 15-minute MLS updates, consumers now have access to comprehensive information on listings in as close to real time as possible. This means a sellerâ€™s home will be visible to potential buyers faster and buyers will be able to find new homes or price reductions faster.”
Metacafe, a large scale video Web site with a reported 25 million people who visit it each month, has branched out into letting users program their own online channels. This new feature is live now.
The Metacafe user channel offering lets individuals subscribe to channels that suit their tastes and interests, knowing theyâ€™ll receive daily e-mail notification if one or more of their selected channels have been updated. Users can visit established channels through a variety of criteria, with advanced search functionality and additional subscription tools be introduced in the coming months.
â€œMetacafe has always empowered our audience to decide what videos appear and are featured on the site,â€ said Erick Hachenburg, CEO of Metacafe. â€œIntroducing personalized channels is a natural next step in advancing audience-driven programming and fostering an environment where people know theyâ€™ll be entertained. We expect these channels to prove especially popular among our producers who can now showcase their videos more easily to a large and diverse audience.â€
MySpace and Dark Horse Comics have teamed up to bring online life to a comic anthology by launching MySpace Dark Horse Presents. It will be exclusively on MySpace and free of charge to users.
The inaugural August issue of MySpace Dark Horse Presents includes contributions from Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) & Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance). Future issues, which will be available on MySpace the first week of every month, will include a mix from both established, successful, comic creators as well as talented amateurs. Site editors from both MySpace and Dark Horse Comics will search MySpace profiles for new talent to feature in every upcoming issue.
â€œJust over 20 years ago, we published our first comic, Dark Horse Presents #1. Our goal was to bring new and talented creators to the forefront of comics culture, and also to give industry luminaries a chance to retain the rights to their workâ€ said Mike Richardson, president and founder of Dark Horse Comics. â€œYears later, with that same goal in mind, we are reviving this title online, with the help of MySpace.com, whom we feel may be the most culturally relevant website on the net. With their broad cultural significance, and incredibly wide reach, we felt they would be the perfect partner to lead our charge into original online content. Our hope is to both reach new readers, and to give longtime Dark Horse devotees a new and exciting comics experience.â€
Wikia co-founder Jimmy Wales waded deeper into open source territory today as his company announced it had acquired Grub, a distributed search project. Financial terms of the acquisition were not revealed.
Grub, acquired from LookSmart, works under a model of users donating their personal computing resources towards a common goal. The application has been released under open source license by Wales and company for download and is “designed with modularity so that developers can quickly and easily extend and add functionality, improving the quality and performance of the entire system.”
Grub, described as “a massive, distributed user-contributed processing network,” is being combined with the open source Search Wikia project and is seen as a large step “towards a future where search is open and transparent.”
“Weâ€™ve had a tremendous response from very interesting commercial players in the search space,â€ said Wales. “The desire to collaborate and support a transparent and open platform for search is clearly deeply exciting to both open source and businesses. Look for other exciting announcements in the coming months as we collectively work to free the judgment of information from invisible rules inside an algorithmic black box.”
Hakia, a meaning-based search engine, unveiled today a toolbar for Internet Explorer users. The new Hakia ScoopBar is designed to eliminate what Hakia calls “double searching.”
“Double searching” occurs when you first find a Web page for a specific term and than have to search through that page to find exactly what you were looking for. The toolbar automatically highlights the relevant text in response to your search and locates the text by scrolling directly to that portion of the Web page. An additional feature lets you save the relevant section of a Web page for later use offline.
â€œWhen most people search, they have to search and search again through a results page to find the relevant text,â€ said Dr. Riza C. Berkan, founder and CEO of hakia.com. â€œThe automated sequence of highlighting, positioning, and scooping saves researchers a great deal of time. We are cutting the work of search in half.â€
A new travel Web site has popped up which is taking an interesting approach to providing travelers with information they need regarding destinations around the world. Extremely puff-piece style press release aside, Chokti looks to have a different spin on researching your next travel location.
Chokti pulls together information for a specific location from not just the official source itself but also a variety of other sources such as user opinions and guides. The information, often collected through RSS feeds from various Web sites, is geotagged and organized into a search engine. It makes use of a searchable map and accepts user generated content.
Chokti said it will pull “together as much content as possible that relates to a certain topic in an easy-to-use format. The site can be used to: access guides to cities, museums, historical sites, parks, zoos, restaurants, hotels and amusement parks; distribute supplemental information through pdf files containing maps, coupons and vouchers; and promote current and upcoming events such as gallery exhibits.” It fully launches this fall.