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The Week We Searched For- November 6, 2009

Google Introduces New Commerce Search Engine

Google announced the launch [1] of their new commerce oriented search engine on Thursday. According to some analysts [2], the launch is a bit surprising, coming from Google, as their traditional search engine already occupies a large, healthy retail based business. It could be that Google is trying to use their commerce search engine as a preemptive strike against Bing, which has concentrated on online shopping. While this may not be a ‘game changer’ for experienced, large retail business, it could help mid-size retail companies have a more robust online marketing presence this coming holiday season.

Social Media Doesn’t Isolate

A new study came out this week from Pew Internet Personal Networks Community that debunks the argument that social networking sites encourage social isolation in society. [3] The study directly challenges a now famous study, from 2006, which was written by Miller McPherson and Lynn Smith-Lovin that addresses an increase in American social isolation since 1985.  According to McPherson and Smith-Lovin, weakening ties to neighbors and the community demonstrate this trend. According to Pew Internet’s survey, Americans are not as isolated as McPherson and Smith-Lovin wrote and in fact, social networking sites foster more diverse social networks.

Can’t you just hear precocious teenagers throwing this argument at their parents, as they tell them to get off of Facebook or MySpace and come to dinner?

Google Address Privacy Issues and Offers Transparency

Google announced their new service [4], Google Dashboard, at a conference in Spain on Thursday. The service pulls together user information from Gmail, Picasa, YouTube and other Google services, allowing users more transparency and the right to edit their privacy settings. While most of the information was already available through different sources on Google, the new services brings this data together. The service has already generated both criticism and praise, I suggest checking out both on the New York Times’ Technology Blog. [5]

MSN’s Makeover

Good ol’ MSN got a makeover this week. [6] The newly designed homepage allows users to directly access their Twitter and Facebook account within MSN, allowing users to update tweets or news feeds without being redirected. Check out the new homepage for yourself! [7]

Facebook to Implement New Anti-Scamming Rules

Facebook announced yesterday, via a blog post [8], their intentions to implement new anti-scamming rules around app advertising. The announcement comes on the heels of user complaints and industry criticism.

Bits and Bolts

About Camille Canon

Outside of summer jobs and not-for-profit internships, The Search Agency is my first official place of employment. I recently graduated from Mount Holyoke College, where I studied Art History and German. I am an avid cook, baker, and destroyer of diets. My specialties are cream cheese brownies, biscotti cookies and lemon bars. I am also an Art enthusiast. Living in Berlin enables me to follow a young, emerging Art scene complete with “eccentric” performance pieces and temporarily converted butcher shop galleries. I also enjoy running, traveling, and handy work. Camille Canon + [20]