Google’s Planned Shopping Spree
Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, announced on Wednesday the company’s plans to acquire one new small company a month, as part of a new acquisition plan. While Google historically has been a connoisseur of small, but valuable companies, the global recession has put a damper on Google’s spending habits over the last few quarters. Google’s new expansion plans reflect Schmidt’s opinion that the worst of the global economic crisis has passed. Check out Mark Egan’s article, which discusses Google’s experience during the economic crisis and the significance of this proposition.
Twitter Location Devices
Twitter planned to launch their geolocation support system this week at the first ever Twitter Conference in Los Angeles. The system was ultimately not formally unveiled, but Ryan Sarver of Twitter did disclose some really interesting aspects of the program. Very soon Twitter should be able to store geographic coordinates on ‘tweets.’ While this may have some worried, Twitter promises to delete the information every 14 days and will not disclose the exact coordinates of individual tweets (think neighborhoods rather than street corners.) Gina Trapani’s article takes a closer look into Twitter’s geolocation plans and investigates the privacy concerns involved.
Omniture and comScore Announce Partnership
After being acquired by Adobe for $1.8 Billion last week, Omniture announced their plans on Monday to partner with comScore to provide better information to the online marketing industry. Together, Omniture with its advanced web analytics and comScore famous for their audience measurement surveys, the two seek to generate a more comprehensive and accurate view of customer behavior across marketing channels. Laurie Sullivan’s article provides a deeper insight into the goals of the partnership and the nature of the product offering Omniture and comScore have in the works.
This is without question my favorite story from this week. Nearly three years ago, Netflix launched a competition for scientists and engineers to develop a method to help Netflix improve its ability to predict what movies users would like by 10%. Two AT&T Lab researchers led the team that won, ‘BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos.’ The best part of the story is that the team, made up of several different researchers from around the world, handed in the winning algorithm 30 minutes before the deadline! Check out David Sarno’s article to find out more on the details of the algorithm and Netflix’s next contest plans. You should also check out Steve Lohr’s article, which takes a look at the lessons anybusiness can learn from Netflix’s contest.
Yahoo’s Advertisement Blitz Attack
Beginning Monday (September 28), Yahoo will release a series of new ads on TV, radio, print, billboards and the internet celebrating “you”. The #2 search engine plans to spend $100 million, if not more, on an advertising campaign bent on repositioning Yahoo as a new interactive portal for a young social media savvy generation. The campaign is not without its critics, however, who claim that Yahoo is not really introducing anything new to the game, but rather trying to recreate its original ‘cool factor.’ It’s a difficult feat, as we all know that brand loyalty in the search industry is a tough force to fight. To read more, check out Thomas Claburn’s article in Information Week.
Facebook and Nielsen Join Forces to Investigate Social Media Advertisements
Facebook and Nielsen announced this week their plans to join forces to investigate the relationship between online marketing and consumer behavior. Specifically, the project seeks to better describe how social media channels and advertisers can more effectively relate. The partnership comes as no surprise as Facebook strives to gain more attention from advertisers. To read more check out David Kiley’s article on the partnership in Business Week.
The Bits and Bolts of the Week
‘Bits and Bolts’ is a quick run down of some important stories that popped up over the week.
- Google sites (a.k.a. Jotspot- a build your own website program that requires no HTML knowledge) became a bit more user friendly this week with an API that will allow users to export their data from Google.
- Twitter strives to raise $100 Million, pushing its valuation up to $1 Billion.
- Continuing its advancements in mobile advertising, Starbucks is experimenting with digital gift cards for the iPhone.
- Jigsaw plans to launch iPhone applications, allowing their members to sift through 17 million contacts and download information onto their phones.
- Google Books Settlement has been postponed . Judge Denny Chin of the District Court of Southern New York granted the plaintiff’s motion to delay the scheduled Oct. 7 hearing, Google did not protest. No new date has been set.
- Rey Fleming, CEO of Particle, discusses the prospect of microvideoing on sites like Twitter and Facebook.
- In all seriousness, Columbia Pictures and director David Fincher have casted main characters for their drama ‘The Social Network.’
- Google Sidewiki was added to the Google Toolbar on Wednesday, allowing users to comment on websites in real time.
- Google suffered from another outage on Thursday, leaving many to question Google’s ability to provide business-critical applications and wonder if Google should perhaps focus on quality, rather than quantity.