Google Lets Children Write Their Code

In an effort to introduce secondary school and high school students to open source software development, Google has announced the Google Highly Open Participation Contest at the Open Source Developer’s Conference in Brisbane, Australia.

Students can compete for prizes such as cash and t-shirts; ten grand prize winners will receive a chance to visit the Googleplex in Mountain View, Ca. The contest features tasks that fall into the categories of code, documentation, research, outreach, quality assurance, training, translation, and user interface.

Over the past three years, college level students have participated in the Google Summer of Code where they have been introduced to open software development. Throughout that time, thousands of people from around the world have begun developing and writing millions of lines of code together, and now it’s time for Google to turn their attention to the younger crowds.

Community Apps from Microsoft

In an attempt to compete with Google Apps, Microsoft has launched Windows Live Community Builder. The idea behind Microsoft’s new service is to allow businesses or non for profit organizations to obtain a more engaging and deeper connection with their community through customized applications like email, photo service, messenger, writer, livedrive and more.

Windows Live Community Builder also offers company specific domain support while enabling the ability to register a domain name via supported partners included in registration.

Quigo to be Acquired by AOL for $300 Million

Quigo, a New York/Israel-based company that specializes in ad targeting, is in the process of being acquired by AOL, according to a report in Haaretz, an Israeli daily newspaper. Time Warner Inc. is purchasing Quigo for $300 million in an attempt to better compete with Google and Yahoo.

Quigo has two main services that they provide their clients, AdSonar and FeedPoint. Adsonar is very similar to Google’s Adsense in that it provides targeted advertisements on various websites, and FeedPoint is their search engine marketing tool.

Last June, Time Inc. signed an exclusive deal with Quigo that provided their 15 web titles with a custom version of the company’s pay-per-click ad service and allowed the online magazines to be sold as a single network.

Adobe Launches New Media Player

The Adobe Max 2007 conference is going on right now in Chicago, and yesterday the company announced the release of their new Adobe Media Player.

The Adobe Media Player is an AIR application designed to give users the ability to view and enjoy Flash video content wherever and whenever they want, both online and offline. Instead of scraping content from the web, Adobe Media Player will be enhanced by content publishers. Additionally, publishers who would like to monetize their content via advertising will be offered a co-branded version of the player.

Adobe Labs gives a fairly explicit breakdown of how their new media player can be used and enhanced by end-users and content publishers. Some examples include discovering new Internet TV shows, automatically downloading new episodes of your favorite TV shows, and managing personal collections of Flash videos for end-users as well as dynamically delivering banner ads and increasing viewership through RSS for content publishers.

Unique Pay Per Call Service for Small Businesses

Ingenio, Inc. announced yesterday that they will be joining forces with Network Solutions to incorporate Pay Per Call services into the Network Solutions suite of interactive marketing packages. The Pay Per Call feature will allow Network Solutions customers the ability to generate phone calls from their potential clients through their online marketing campaigns and only pay for the calls that they receive.

Once the Pay Per Call feature is fully implemented later this month, Network Solutions customers will be able to advertise to consumers who are searching for local businesses and wish to interact with a live person. Pay Per Call advertisers will also be allowed to run their ads across the Ingenio advertising network, which consists of free directory assistance service providers, mobile search, leading search engines and Internet yellow page directories.

Free Google Adwords until November 18th

Sponsored search ads on mobile devices have been tested by Google for quite some time now but the company is really beginning to entice advertisers using Google Adwords by giving them free clicks until November 18th.

Answers to questions such as how and where ads will run on mobile devices and how landing pages will be served can all be answered on Google’s new Adwords support page. Pages that are not mobile device friendly will not be available for mobile Adwords:

Each ad’s eligibility will be determined by its landing page and only ads with landing pages that can be adapted for viewing on mobile browsers will be shown. You can monitor each ad’s performance via a special performance tracking page within your account called “Performance Data: Search Ads on Google Mobile Search.”

Adjust Your Rankings with a Few Clicks

If you could influence or manipulate your search ranking, would you? Of course you would. That’s our main goal as search marketers. Sproose, a search engine that allows users to vote and rank the listings in their index, has just launched their voting technology for their video search.

Sproose delivers a “human popularity voting” model where each user may influence the ranking of the index creating improved search results. The more users that vote a site the further up in the ranking it moves. The same voting technology is now being applied to the Sproose video search index.

So basically, here’s how it works: