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Major Search Engines Support Sitemaps Protocol

By - November 16, 2006

This just announced at the WMW conference….

Las Vegas, November 16, 2006 – In the first joint and open initiative to improve the Web crawl process for search engines, Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft today announced support for Sitemaps 0.90 (www.sitemaps.org), a free and easy way for webmasters to notify search engines about their websites and be indexed more comprehensively and efficiently, resulting in better representation in search indices. For users, Sitemaps enables higher quality, fresher search results. An initiative initially driven by Yahoo! and Google, Sitemaps builds upon the pioneering Sitemaps 0.84, released by Google in June of 2005, which is now being adopted by Yahoo! and Microsoft to offer a single protocol to enhance Web crawling efforts.

Together, the sponsoring companies will continue to collaborate on the Sitemaps protocol and publish enhancements on a jointly maintained website www.sitemaps.org, which provides all of the details about the Sitemaps protocol.

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AOL Shakeup

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Jonathan MillerJonathan Miller, who only last week came out to Web 2 and sat for an interview, is out at AOL. He’s being replaced by an NBC executive, Randy Falco. The Washington Post has a source who says Miller was pushed out, and that his replacement is more focused on sales and operations.

The timing is rather odd on this one. Miller is generally credited with turning AOL around, and sales were starting to grow faster than the market. Why replace the CEO now? Hmmmmm.

Snap Preview Anywhere

By - November 14, 2006

Picture 2-27Snap Anywhere, announced today, is a smooth scroll-over widget that allows readers to visually preview external sites from in situ links. SPA is available free to site owners, by pasting a short snippet of code in their page. Snap hopes the tool will save readers some “wasted outbound trips,” as well as grow their own database of web images.

Internet Revenue Breaks $4 Billion

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Online revenues hit $4.2 billion in Q3, up 2 percent over Q2 earlier this year ($4.1 b), Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP announced today. This quarter is also 33 percent higher than $3.1 billion in Q3 2005.

Sheryl Draizen, SVP and General Manager of IAB, notes, “Marketers are experiencing how this medium enhances their ability to target and engage the audience that matters to their brand and then measure its effectiveness in ways no other medium provides.”

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Google's YouTube Acquisition Closes

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Google-Youtube-Yahoo-Facebook NfnIt’s official; the knot is tied between Google and the social video search darling, YouTube. Now people will really start looking for ‘that YouTube thing‘.

Details, from the pre-nup press release:

In connection with the acquisition Google issued an aggregate of 3,217,560 shares, and restricted stock units, options and a warrant exercisable for or convertible into an aggregate of 442,210 shares, of Google’s Class A common stock. The number of shares of Class A common stock issued and issuable by Google was calculated by dividing $1.65 billion less certain amounts (approximately $15 million) funded to YouTube by Google between signing and closing by the average closing price for the 30 trading days ending on November 9, 2006. 12.5% of the equity issued and issuable in the transaction will be subject to escrow for one year to secure certain indemnification obligations.

Chad Hurley, CEO and co-founder of YouTube, added they plan to “roll out many new exciting features and programs to benefit the creativity and participation of our community” over the next few months.

Zoo – A Safe Search for Kids

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Picture 1-30Lifted from embargo today by InfoSpace, Inc., Zoo.com offers a child-proof search engine for web research and news. With over 50,000 ‘adult words and phrases’ blocked, the Zoo.com search engine promises to be a kid-safe online research space, and a headache-free solution for parents. With a bit of category and content filtering Zoo pulls results from Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Fox New, Yahoo News, and ABC News.

Despite the wildlife in the playful safari motif, as the name reminds us, the contents of this savannah are meant to be tamed. In the spirit of testing the limits (as children are wont to do), however, it took but one guess for Zoo to bring me to a result that Wikipedia describes as ‘sexual’. Admittedly, the youngins probably aren’t that sophisticated, but then– with kids these days, you never know. And that’s the point. But overall, Zoo provides a decent tool for making the worldwide web a safe place to play.

Now This Is Different For a Major Label

By - November 13, 2006

Emilogo

One of the sessions I was most proud of at Web 2 was “The Pirate and the Suit.” Somehow I got the CEO of EMI North America, David Munns, to sit down with Eric Kleptone and have a real conversation about the issues involved in making new forms of music like “A Night at the Hip Hopera“, which starts with a very big “FU” to EMI (I even played the intro before we started talking). It was a thoughtful conversation, and at times it was clear that David was less than comfortable – he was in front of what might at any time turn into a hostile audience, and he was representing “the man.” So when it was over, I went into the green room and thanked him for showing up. After all, many others in his position – the CEO of Verizon, for example – begged off.

Turns out, not only did he show up, he had a colleague record the session, and they posted it on their site. I’d never expect that kind of transparency from a label. Kudos.

Web X.whatever

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Remember my 2006 predictions? In them, I said:

“Web 2.0″ will make the cover of Time Magazine, and thus its moment in the sun will have passed. However, the story that drives “Web 2.0″ will only strengthen, and folks will cast about for the next best name for the phenomenon.

While there is still time for Time to create a cover on Web 2, the fact is, the Times has already declared “Web 3.0″. And I have to say, now that the conference is over, that all this nomenclature debate is deeply boring. Fact is, the web matters now, and it will never, ever, not matter again. Before “web 2″, one could argue that the web was a trend. But now, the web is us – everyone, not just the folks debating it. When we don’t matter, well, then we can end the discussion.

What's Up with Google, Video, and Ads?

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This is a major question, and it’s unanswered. Why, if I had nothing but time, I’d be digging into this, and deeply. The amount of rumors, speculation, and backstory that’s crossed my desk – involving Hollywood agents, rising videoblogging stars, quarantined inventory on major tech sites, and the like – is enough to fuel at least a front page NYT story. At the very least. Start here, and stay tuned.