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The Week We Searched For- February 11, 2011

AOL buys Huffington Post for $315 million- AOL announced [1] on Sunday evening its plan to acquire Huffington Post for $315 million. As part of the deal Arianna Huffington will be named president/editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group and will oversee all Huffington Post and AOL content. According to their announcement, ”The transaction will create a premier global, national, local, and hyper-local content group for the digital age – leveraged across online, mobile, tablet, and video platforms. The combination of AOL’s infrastructure and scale with The Huffington Post’s pioneering approach to news and innovative community building among a broad and sophisticated audience will mark a seminal moment in the evolution of digital journalism and online engagement.”

Twitter, Google, Facebook, Deals,- The Wall Street Journal [2] reported on Thursday that both Google and Facebook are in talks with Twitter regarding a possible acquisition. These talks are rumored to value Twitter between $8 and $10 billion; quite the sum, considering the size of Twitter’s current revenue stream. And yet, the promise of social media outlets seems to outweigh the practicalities of their current earning potential.

Google Closes in on Next New Networks- The Wall Street Journal [3] reported today that Google is in talks to acquire the video website Next New Networks [4]. Although Google already dominates video content online, Next New Networks leading presence in the generation of original entertainment programming would be a powerful asset to YouTube.

As the Wall Street Journal explains, An acquisition of Next New Networks would mark YouTube’s latest effort to encourage and maintain a steady stream of videos to keep viewers on the site longer and to better compete with Hulu LLC and Netflix Inc., which offer more content from big media companies. A deal would also put YouTube into the business of overseeing creators of digital content in addition to aggregating videos created by others. However, a person familiar with the deal said YouTube isn’t expected to invest in being a studio.”

Google introduces new security options for Gmail- Google launched a new login authentication process on Thursday. The new option called “2-step verification” uses a numerical code obtained from your telephone to provide an additional line of security. To read more about Google’s new security system and to learn how you can employ the new service, check out Google’s blog announcement [5].

Nokia and Microsoft team up- Nokia and Microsoft announced [6] a new “strategic partnership” this week, which will enable Nokia to use Windows Mobile 7 as its smartphone platform. According to their announcement, Nokia will also work to improve Windows Mobile platform, Bing will be integrated into Nokia devices and the two will develop a unified strategy for mobile marketing. The announcement did not sit well with shareholders with stocks falling 10% in Helsinki, as many fear massive layoffs.

Facebook valued at $60 billion in employee stock offering- Rumors [7] have it that Facebook will allow employees to sell up to $1 billion of their shares in a recent offering that values the company at $60 billion. The deal would enable larger institutions to invest in Facebook and would help prevent employees from leaving after the initial IPO.

Google to launch wedding site- Google has launched a new wedding service, Google for Weddings [8], designed to help couples plan every detail of their wedding. The new service combines several Google offerings, allowing couples to upload and edit photos using Picnik and Picasa, generate guest lists, create a website and more.

What we’re reading:

State of News- Following AOL and Huffington Post’s acquisition announcement, Tom McGerveran authored a fascinating article on Capital New York [9], in which he discusses the mechanisms of news production today and poses the question, “What is it about the environment of traditional journalism that makes it so that readers are more likely to interact with the Huffington Post reblog of a New York Times article than they are with the article itself?”

Facebook’s 2010 Metrics- Still Growing- Matt McGee at Search Engine Land [10] wrote a blog post this week, discussing comScore’s 2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review, which shows that Facebook’s network is still growing, and now stands as the  fourth most visited site on the internet.

Google’s Art Project gets criticized- Have you seen Google’s new video montages of the world’s most significant paintings? It’s part of the Google Art Project [11], which provides digital admission to more than 385 rooms in 17 of the world’s most famous museums. Not surprisingly, some Art lovers are displeased with Google’s digital appropriation of classical masterpieces. Sebastian Smee authored an unfavorable article [12] in The Boston Globe this week of Google’s Art project, asserting that Google’s museum tours fail to properly recreate the viewer’s experience with three-dimensional objects.

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 + [18]