Monday Morning Roundup

The NY Times (reg req’d) has a profile of/interview with Steve Berkowitz, who went from CEO of Ask to running Microsoft’s Internet arm. This is exactly the same article — in one way of looking at it — that was written about Yahoo!, which initiated a string of bad PR. Virtual Earth 3-D gets slammed a bit in the piece as being something of a distraction from core search. I like it and thing it has long-term value for the company. It just needs to operate faster online.

Helio adds mobile social networking features (per MediaPost, reg req’d), which will “dovetail” with local.

A couple of things I neglected to cover last week:

  • added a holiday shopping guide. It’s not particularly local but valuable for shoppers and users and raises the question of what I like to call “the product definition.”
  • In a conceptually related way, added enhanced mapping capabilities to its site and launched an entertainment vertical called Yell Food and Drink. Canda’s YPG directory has a number of verticals and in the US, RH Donnelley has made some tentative moves in that direction.

Gary Price points out Windows Live’s new local HotSpot locator.

The WSJ over the weekend had a piece (sub req’d) on four media companies contemplating creating a YouTube competitor:

Four major media companies, including News Corp.‘s Fox, Viacom Inc., CBS Corp. and General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal, are in talks about creating a video Web site to compete with Google Inc.’s YouTube, according to people close to the situation.

The companies, owners of most of the major TV networks, envision a jointly owned site that would be the primary Web source for video content from their networks, allowing them to cash in on fast-growing Web video advertising. They also have discussed building a Web video player that could play video clips from across the Web. A deal to create a competitor remains far off, however.

Walt Disney Co., owner of ABC, isn’t participating in the talks, because it wants to rely on the strength of its own brands, according to a person close to the discussions. ABC and the networks participating in the talks already offer some of their programming on their own Web sites.

LostRemote reports on local news weather forecasts showing up on Google video for the largest US metro markets.

Here’s an interesting NY Times article (reg req’d) on how publishers manipulate traffic numbers with pop-ups.

ClearChannel beefs up ClearChannel online, including with local ads and content.

Spot Runner has formed an alliance with the Diamond Promotion Service “to provide diamond jewelry retailers and manufacturers with cost-effective and targeted local TV advertising.  The ads complement DPS’ national ‘A Diamond Is Forever’ marketing initiatives and are designed to help jewelry retailers and manufacturers promote their businesses.” (something of a pun) launches a pan-European real-estate search site with over a million listings.


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