Zunch COO Leaves, Forms Own Agency

Just been sent news that Zunch COO, Johnny Thompson, has left the company and resurrected popdensity.com, a full service interactive agency.

Smarter.com Launches Color Matching Search Tool

Online shopping search engine, Smarter.com, has announced a cool new feature: Visual Search Beta. Aimed at those shopping for clothing, Visual Search allows shoppers to select a type of clothing, then search by color using a color-wheel. It’s hard to explain, but easier to demonstrate.

Image courtesy of Comparion Engines, where you’ll also find a more detailed review.

Marketing Pilgrim’s Plugin List

Jeremy Luebke emailed me to ask if I would care to share the plugins used on MP. The site was fully custom built, so there may be some modified things, but here’s the list…

Akismet – Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web serivce to see if they look like spam or not.

Gravatars – for those cool photos next to comments.

intouch – for the contact form.

No Self Pings – prevents WordPress from sending pings for stuff I link to from my own site.

Social Bookmark Links – the drop down menu for bookmarking a post.

Subscribe To Comments – lets readers get email updates on comments.

Google Sitemaps – to help Google find all the new pages.

WordPress Reports – adds my Google Analytics and Feedburner stats to the WordPress dash.

Wired Publisher Acquires Reddit

Another acquisition for your reading pleasure. This time, TechCrunch is reporting Conde Nast, owner of Wired magazine among others, has acquired social bookmarking site Reddit.

All four reddit employees will relocate from Boston to Wired’s San Francisco office and become part of Wired Digital. Reddit, founded and funded in 2005, is a YCombinator company (see our interview with YCombinator founder Paul Graham here). The two original founders are Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, and they were later joined by Christopher Slowe and Aaron Swartz.

Reddit works a lot like Digg. Although the user base is not as large as Digg’s, Reddit has certainly started to show-up a lot more in my referral logs.

Google Acquires Jotspot, What Happened to Yahoo?

Google’s just announced their acquisition of wiki company Jotspot, finally putting to rest that Yahoo was close to acquiring the company.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but there’s plenty of other information out there. According to Jotspot’s Joe Kraus

As we built the business over the past three years Google consistently attracted our attention. We watched them acquire Writely, and launch Google Groups, Google Spreadsheets and Google Apps for Your Domain. It was pretty apparent that Google shared our vision for how groups of people can create, manage and share information online. Then when we had conversations with people at Google we found ourselves completing each other’s sentences. Joining Google allows us to plug into the resources that only a company of Google’s scale can offer, like a huge audience, access to world-class data centers and a team of incredibly smart people.

Google Secretly Working with the CIA?

Nothing like some conspiracy to start off your working day. Nate Anderson has a juicy rumor that Google is secretly working the US government, including the CIA. While, there’s no official confirmation or denial from either the government or Google, former intelligence officer Robert David Steele has made the claim…

“Google has made a very important strategic mistake in dealing with the secret elements of the U.S. government—that is a huge mistake and I’m hoping they’ll work their way out of it and basically cut that relationship off.” In his view, Google’s attempt earlier this year to avoid turning over information to the Department of Justice was little more than a hypocritical charade.

Spot Runner Gets Another $40m to Provide Low-Cost TV Ads

ClickZ has details of some new funding for low-cost television commercial provider, Spot Runner. Spot Runner is an interesting concept, allowing companies to create and place TV ads for as little as $500, using an online interface.

The $40 million raised, is impressive in its own right, but companies financing the round are even more intriguing…

The addition of CBS, Interpublic and WPP as investors is also significant. The three companies are major players in the online/television ad market, controlling billions of dollars in advertising budgets for some of the biggest buyers. On the ad buying side, WPP says it manages about $50 billion of clients’ budgets worldwide and Interpublic Group agencies serve more than 4,000 multinational, regional and local clients around the world.

Anyone actually used Spot Runner?