Free Presidential Candidate News Widgets from

TrackurI’m excited to announce that we’re rolling out free Trackur buzz-tracking widgets. The widgets are designed to allow anyone to monitor the discussion surrounding a popular topic, company, or person.

As part of the roll-out we’re starting with widgets that are the most requested: Presidential candidates.

We’ve created Trackur widgets for Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain. Each widget uses Trackur’s powerful reputation monitoring technology to scour the web for mention of each presidential candidate.

If you’re so inclined, you can add these widgets to your blog, Myspace or Facebook profile, Netvibes, Ning, iGoogle and many other social networks–all for free!

P.S. After seeing more than one rally for Ron Paul over the weekend, we’ve even created a widget that tracks the “Ron Paul” buzz. :-)

Google Me Debuts on YouTube

An Google vanity search launched a movie idea for a filmmaker named Jim Killeen. He searched Google on his name to see what came up. This was two years ago and Killeen’s life was feeling empty. He was 38 and single. So after taking interest in the other Jim Killeen’s of the world, he decided to contact them and make a movie about what he learned.

He put everything on the line to make documentary about his journey which is now showing on YouTube and called, “Google Me The Movie.” Killeen doesn’t say how much he spent traveling and filming the documentary, only that he almost went bankrupt doing it. Making money doesn’t seem to be the point anyway.

Pilgrim’s Picks for April 28

Wow, lots of news today and not enough time to cover it all. Here are today’s Picks:

Who’s Bluffing? Microsoft or Yahoo?

The weekend deadline for Yahoo to accept Microsoft’s buyout offer has passed, with no new news.

Now AP is speculating whether Microsoft is bluffing about its talk of abandoning its bid or if the software company might actually walk away from the deal.

The public remarks of Ballmer and Liddell could be just part of a negotiating ploy aimed at pressuring Yahoo to the negotiating table.

But some analysts think Microsoft would be smart to walk away now.

By turning a cold shoulder, Microsoft could position itself to return with another bid this summer in hopes of completing the acquisition without suffering through the disruption and rancor likely to erupt if Microsoft were to try to oust Yahoo’s board in a risky process known as a proxy contest.

Google Discovers Holy Grail of Image Search, But Will it Scale?

Google has a lofty ambition when it comes to image search. The world’s largest search engine hopes to do for image search what it did for regular text search–make it a whole lot more reliable.

How it plans to do this is outlined in a new research paper written by two Google scientists. According to the NYT:

The company said that in its research it had concentrated on the 2000 most popular product queries on Google’s product search, words such as iPod, Xbox and Zune. It then sorted the top 10 images both from its ranking system and the standard Google Image Search results. With a team of 150 Google employees, it created a scoring system for image “relevance.” The researchers said the retrieval returned 83 percent less irrelevant images.

Risqué Teacher Profiles Raising Questions? Why Parents Should Carry Part of the Responsibility

The Washington Post pokes around a few MySpace and Facebook profiles of young school teachers and shares the apparently disturbing results.

One Montgomery County special education teacher displayed a poster that depicts talking sperm and invokes a slang term for oral sex. One woman who identified herself as a Prince William County kindergarten teacher posted a satiric shampoo commercial with a half-naked man having an orgasm in the shower. A D.C. public schools educator offered this tip on her page: “Teaching in DCPS — Lesson #1: Don’t smoke crack while pregnant.”

Shocking, huh?

I know you’re expecting me to now drone on about the importance of ensuring you have a clean online reputation and some bullet-points on how these teachers can protect their jobs, but I’m not going to.

Interactive Classified and Verticals to Grow 376% in Four Years

By Michelle Greer.

Apparently, some online advertisers are realizing that having ads on the 60th page of a Google keyword search isn’t exactly fruitful.

According to a study done by the Kelsey Group, the U.S. interactive classified and vertical share of online advertising will grow from 18 percent in 2007 to 24 percent by 2012. Revenues for interactive classifieds and verticals will grow from US$3.9 billion to US$14.7 billion during the same forecast period, representing a 30.5 percent compound annual growth rate.

What are other key points brought out in the Kelsey Group’s Research?

U.S. online classifieds will grow from US$3.9 billion to US$9.1 billion. Online verticals, such as home services, home and garden, health care, legal and auto repair, will grow from US$100 million to US$5.6 billion.