Pilgrim’s Picks for August 29th: Link Blog Edition

It seems the morning flew by! I ended up adding a lot of great stuff to the link blog today. You can subscribe directly to the link blog here, visit the page here, or just simply view the latest findings below.

Plaxo Offers Naked Social Networking

image Yes it’s true. Contact management service Plaxo wants to strip down and reveal all for its new Pulse social networking aggregator. OK, so we’re talking about its decision to open up some of its source code–and not actually encourage nakedness on its network–but that wouldn’t make for an interesting headline, would it? ;-)

The company has released the code for its new “Online Identity Consolidator,” which can automatically discover a user’s social-networking accounts across the Web and embed their related RSS feeds on a Plaxo Pulse profile.

You can get access to the open source code at opensocialgraph.plaxo.com.

Google CFO Steps Down

GooglePlex Google Inc. have announced that Chief Financial Officer, George Reyes, will be stepping down – a move remarked as one of the first departures from its top executive ranks.

Both CEO Eric Schmidt, who worked alongside Reyes at Sun Microsystems, and co-founder Larry Page praised his contribution:

[George was successful in] keeping Google financially disciplined while protecting the company’s entrepreneurial culture.

Some have speculated that Google’s previous lackluster quarter has led to disagreement around the boardroom table regarding the Internet giant’s future strategy – one of diversification led by a massive hiring initiative.

Reyes will assist in the search for his successor in an effort to cut recruitment expenses – a transition hoped to be achieved by the end of the year.

Nokia Hits Back With Rival Music Service

Nokia Less than three months ago the daddy of mobile handset manufacturers, Nokia, announced a strategy to separate-out its Consumer Internet Services division as a core business unit.

Today the Finnish company will launch a worldwide music download service to rival Apple’s iTunes – having recently felt Apple muscle-in on their turf.

Alongside this move; its mobile content-sharing site, Mosh, and recent acquisition of media-sharing network Twango, are also being closely watched by mobile operators who have failed to make any impact on the music download market.

According to data published by M:Metrics, the research company:

…of the approximately 36m people who listened to music on their mobile phone from April to June in the US and Europe‚Äôs five biggest markets, fewer than 14 per cent had downloaded from an operator portal

Google Goes Social on Facebook

The Wall Street Journal may have moved on, but Google is just getting to the Facebook party. Mashable covers yesterday’s launch of the Google Facebook application. Because, of course, it’s far more convenient to use an application within Facebook than the search box or toolbars in our browsers.

Google Facebook application screenshot from GoogleSystem.blogspot.com
Google Facebook application screenshot, courtesy of Google Operating System.

Mashable also points out that the timing of the application couldn’t be better. Just days after Robert Scoble raved that Facebook’s social aspect (along with Mahalo and Techmeme) will supplant Google in four years, Google’s new application takes on social search.

Currently, you can perform searches from within Facebook and share your favorite results in your Mini-Feed (on users’ profiles). According to Google Operating System, the application also highlights the most popular shared items.

Wall Street Journal Discovers Social Networks Other than Facebook

Like most mainstream media outlets, The Wall Street Journal is gaga over Facebook. Just last week, they were writing about everyone’s favorite social networking site.

But now it looks like the honeymoon’s over. The WSJ has discovered that there are other social networking sites out there—and many of them are inherently useful! Today they profile four niche social networking sites.

Perhaps most impressive among these is Sermo.com, a social networking site “for physicians, by physicians” (which you can tell is true, because if someone other than a “physician” had created the network, it would have been for “doctors”). The WSJ story starts off with an anecdote about a doctor physician who turned to Sermo when presented with a puzzling case—and was helped to an accurate (and obscure) diagnosis.

Marketing Pilgrim Live – Are Paid Links Evil?

On this week’s episode of Marketing Pilgrim, I offer up my thoughts on whether paid links are evil and, more importantly, whether Google can actually spot them or not.

Note: For some reason Ustream didn’t capture the video smoothly, but the audio should be fine.