Archive for November 3, 2006

GoogleSpot; YouTube Gossip; Kerry’s Goof

November 3, 2006 Leave a comment

Top Stories for the Week of October 30 – November 3

 Google continues its pre-holiday shopping spree – this time buying wiki service JotSpot (via Paid Content). Mashable! notes JotSpot is now closed to new sign-ups while the service-G-Spot, anyone?-is migrated to Google. (Enough with the mashups of “JotSpot” and “Google” already, blogs Inside Google.) It’s a good fit for Google, blogs Micro Persuasion, since JotSpot was already moving away from enterprise biz toward consumer applications. JotSpot competitor Ross Mayfield took the buy as an occasion to push his own wiki company, SocialText, and Don Dodge cites SocialText’s recent deal with Microsoft to create SocialPoint, a wiki-based collaboration service that will work with SharePoint-and calls it an amazing transformation for an open source company once competing with Redmond. Whisper numbers of the deal are $50 million, prompting Valleywag to ask: did Joe Kraus have blackmail material on someone in M&A?

 Meanwhile Condé Nast, in the guise of Wired, bought user-generated news site Reddit for an undisclosed sum, creating a few more Boston millionaires (via Slashdot). Who’s next? Since Google bought YouTube, everybody’s talking to everybody, writes business2blog. News Corp. may be chatting with digg, Yahoo may be flirting with AOL again and there could even be a Yahoo-Microsoft linkup.

 Speaking of buyouts, here’s a theory on what drove YouTube into Google’s arms: increasing infringement complaints from copyright holders big and small, and if Blog Maverick‘s anonymous source is believable, $500 million of the $1.65 billion purchase price is now in escrow to deal with copyright problems. That explains to Valleywag why YouTube is nixing copyrighted content-like all those Daily Show clips. Founder Chad Hurley says YouTube’s been doing this for months (via business2blog), but  Monkey Bites links to speculation that length may be a factor in the take-downs (keep it under five minutes and you’re okay). YouTube and Comedy Central owner Viacom appear to be in talks over licensing, though, and John Stewart is returning to YouTube as you read this (via Mashable!).

YouTube has new competition too, like BrightCove’s release of new, consumer-friendly products for creating individual TV channels, Metacafe’s Producer Rewards program (via business2blog ), and even a new revenue-sharing program by Google Video.

Print newspapers keep hemorrhaging readers, blogs BuzzMachine, but eyeballs are turning to online editions, with double-digit increases in readership since last year. Sure, average daily print circulation is off 2.8% and Sundays are down 3.4%, but Mark Evans blogs that it’s like when radio faced the TV threat: Papers need to adjust their economic model. Better measurement of online readership will help, particularly since advertisers demand it anyway (via NYT:Technology).

 Not content with losing 2004 for the Democrats, John Kerry told Pasadena college students that members of the armed forces wound up in Iraq because they were either lazy or dumb (via Carpetbagger Report). White House spokesman Tony Snow quickly jumped on Kerry’s comments, but the Massachusetts senator refused to apologize, calling Snow a “stuffed suit White House mouthpiece” and implying that Republicans who didn’t serve in the military were cowards. Kerry’s gaffe gave President Bush some much-needed good news in a tough year for the GOP, writes the New York Times, but bloggers were less kind. Kerry’s still miserable and bitter about the 2004 election, blogs Politik Ditto, while Ace of Spades HQ chuckles that Kerry not only can’t admit what he said, he can’t apologize for it either. Kerry finally apologized a day later for his “botched joke.”

 On the liberal side, Huffington Post screams at Kerry to go on live TV now to defuse this bomb, particularly since GOP Rep. John Boehner says his party will beat Kerry to death until he apologizes. But Gun Toting Liberal is psyched, saying Kerry’s both-barrels-blazing reply shows he’s still got a pair.

It could be worse: At least Kerry’s staff didn’t beat up a blogger at a campaign rally, as Virginia senator George “Macaca” Allen’s allegedly did (via Boing Boing). But Kerry is suddenly persona non grata among Democratic candidates, canceling campaign appearances in Iowa and Minnesota, blogs Strata-Sphere. Hey, his schedule is lightening up, writes Captain’s Quarters. Kerry’s troubles haven’t kept name-brand politicos in both major parties from rushing to stump in close Senate contests-Booker Rising spots Bill Clinton appearing for Tennessee Democrat Harold Ford Jr. and Laura Bush for Ford’s GOP opponent Bob Corker.

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