Linky Goodness, December 4

I know I’ve said this before, but I’m going to say it again: you won’t believe how incredibly good—and incredibly linky—today’s linky goodness is. Until you read it.

Google Philandering Behind DoubleClick’s Back?

Yesterday we mentioned that it looked like the FTC would soon give the Google/DoubleClick acquisition the green light after all. But Google’s not going to let that stop them: paidContent reports today that Google is exploring more partnerships, regardless of whether their current deal goes through:

the company also hopes to charm ad agencies and TV networks that appear increasingly concerned about the online giant’s respective online ad moves and its audience measurement agreement with EchoStar.

They didn’t, however, ignore the pending merger completely:

In terms of looking for the connectivity tissue between supply and demand, DoubleClick fits very squarely into our strategy. Given that strategy, one of the things we exploring the ability to work with multiple partners. We feel very strongly that the deal should be approved, in light of the approvals our competitors have received.

Technorati Revamps (Again)

Technorati has seen a lot of changes this year. In May, they launched a total redesign. In August, then-CEO Dave Sifry stepped down without a replacement. In September, they launched a stream-of-consciousness-river-of-news Topics section to highlight posts in each area (for one second apiece), which soon became the new front page for Technorati. And today, as reported by TechCrunch, they have another redesign going live.

Latest Technorati redesign

The new front page is similar to the topics front page in that it features recent stories. However, stories are featured for longer and the featured stories are determined in a Techmeme-esque algorithmic way (kind of ironic after the heat CEO Richard Jalichandra took for paying Techmeme a backhanded compliment in October).

NBC Pulls Videos from iTunes

NBC’s contract with the iTunes store has expired, which means NBC no longer has content on the site. That means Battlestar Galactica, The Office, NBC News, CNBC, NBC Sports, and other popular show are gone. The two have been long fighting over pricing.

NBC has launched a number of new initiatives like NBC Direct where downloads are free. They also have deals with NetFlix and others to distribute their content, often free, rather than the $1.99 charged on iTunes. NBC wanted to experiment with different prices and bundles but iTunes refused.

The problem with NBC Direct Player is that it requires Internet Explorer, a proprietary player, and the latest .Net framework. You can watch the videos 7 days after they are released and they expire 48 hours after you begin watching a movie. You can’t watch them on another computer or on a portable video player like your iPod. A Mac version is planned for next year.

Pilgrim’s Picks for December 4

SES Chicago is well under way, and today is the start of PubCon Las Vegas. The sun is rising on a beautiful day and Twitter is buzzing. If you can’t make PubCon, you may wish to follow my Tweets as I’ll keep you updated on anything interesting.

In the meantime, here are some Picks to keep you going:

Google Provides Custom Search to Florida Government

Google has teamed up with the state of Florida to help residents find information buried deep in local government web sites.

Information now available through the search engine includes reports regarding water and waste permitting through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Web site as well as information on individual schools using the Florida Department of Education’s Web site.

Sounds a lot like Google Custom Search–something Florida surely could have set-up itself.

"Every day, millions of people turn to search engines to find the authoritative and trustworthy information provided by their government, and it is our mission to help them connect with this content," said Elliot Schrage, vice president of global communications and public affairs at Google, in a press release. "Florida has joined a growing circle of states that are taking a significant step to make their online information and services more accessible to their citizens."

Digg Adds Image Support, Restructures Categories

It seems like Digg users have been asking for–and Kevin Rose promising–a category for images and photos forever. Well the long wait is now over and you can finally uploaded your favorite lolcats image.

At the Digg blog, Kevin Rose announces the launch of image support and also better organization of existing categories. Here’s what Digg users are waking up to today:

  • New Universal Taxonomy
    Now you can submit news, images, or videos to any category on Digg! Categories will be consistent across the board, which means you can view all media types in a given topic, or view one media type at a time (e.g., only images under the “sports” category). We’re also excited to support the launch with new categories. “Offbeat” will be its own category, with new topics, and we’re adding a whole new “Lifestyle” category with topics like Autos, Food & Drink, and Travel.