Quick News…

Here are three quick items for your consideration:

More Mainstream Media Do Social

I’ll just have to assume that these announcements aren’t April Fools jokes.

The Washington Post launched a reader loyalty program for subscribers to earn points by reading stories online. Earn enough points and you can get gift certificates, travel and more. The points can also be earned in the real world with a keychain used at participating companies like CVS.

Steve Hills, president of Washington Post Co., says that you can earn their PostPoints as well as retailer’s own incentive programs when shopping at participating companies, and credit card incentive programs when paying for those purchases, effectively “triple dipping.” The effort to get more customers reading will probably be better received than USA Today’s change, since it’s far less dramatic. (via)

Microsoft bCentral Submit It Deadline Announced

Back in November, we reported Microsoft had apparently shutdown their bCentral business directory. Today, we received an email with instructions for making any last minute changes to your directory listing, before editing permissions are removed and the directory changes format.

The good news is that existing listings will retain their “link friendliness and search ranking value”, hurrah!

How about I just go ahead and paste the entire email for you to read thru, sound good?

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Microsoft retiring Submit It!
On May 18th 2007 Microsoft will retire its Submit It! service. The service’s site preparation, directory submittal, and reporting tools will be decommissioned. To help you transition away from the service, we are giving you a limited period of free access to Submit It!’s site preparation, submittal, and reporting tools. In addition, existing Submit It! customers are being offered a way to retain their Small Business Directory listings, for free, through 2008. Please read below for more detail and when you can expect to see

April Fools’ 2007 in Social Sites

The April Fools’ Jokes in Search have already been well covered. In my blog reading today, I’ve only seen one mention of social sites’ April Fools’ jokes. Here’s what Facebook creators thought was funny (with my friends’ info anonymized):
Facebook April Fools 2007

Any readers catch any other April Fools’ jokes by social sites?

Bloggers Have Birthdays Too!

You may have noticed our logo is a little different today.

Well, that’s because we wanted to give you a visual clue as to why blogging may be a little lighter than normal. Yep, Jordan and I both share the same birthday, and so we thought we’d take it a little easier today – which in our world means 5 or 6 posts, instead of a dozen. ;-)

Anyway, if you do happen to see a post from Jordan today, be sure to wish her a happy birthday!

Andy

Topix Embraces Citizen Journalism

USA Today has the scoop on Topix.com’s (no longer .net) new initiative to encourage the general public to post news and reports from their local community.

“We’re doing this in every ZIP code in the country,” says Topix founder Rich Skrenta. “We see a big hunger for local news. Since Day One of our existence, people have been sending us news, even though we had no place to put it. We have a (tech help) form, and people would type news into it like, ‘Hey, did you hear about Coach Jackson?’ “

Expect to see more “mainstream” news outlets embrace citizen journalism. After all, why wouldn’t you want thousands of free journalists providing you with content?

Google Joins Battle to Buy DoubleClick

Last week, we reported DoubleClick was back up for sale and that Microsoft was the likely buyer. Now comes news that Google may be interested, which in turn could drive up the valuation to $2 billion.

Would Google really benefit from acquiring DoubleClick, or are they just trying to make Microsoft pay more for the company, than they originally planned?