Yikes! Google to Acquire Yelp!?

yelpYou know how marketers will burn unused budget before the end of the year, so they don’t lose it next year? Apparently Google must have some end of the year M & A funds lying around to spend. The word is that they are ready to acquire the local business review site Yelp for a tidy sum. What a way to end the year.

Michael Arrington at TechCrunch has been busy coming up with the inside scoop:

Google and Yelp are in advanced acquisition negotiations, we’ve confirmed from multiple sources. And while the deal isn’t done, we’ve heard that it’s very likely to close. The price is supposedly at least $500 million.

How Newspapers Use Twitter

Twitter icon2009 cannot be over quick enough for the newspaper business. The year was full of bad news, followed by worse news, which in some cases, ended in business ending news. The prognosis for the future is not real rosy either so what can the reeling industry do? One thing is to erect pay walls but we’ve heard enough on that one. One thing that the industry can do is embrace social media and in particular, Twitter, to get the attention of the digitally inclined.

The Bivings Report decided to do conduct an imperfect study of the use of Twitter by the newspaper industry. To their credit The Bivings Report themselves noted that the study was imperfect which shows some considerable integrity and makes their findings of greater interest to someone like myself. Their blog states:

Google Services Takes the Audi A8 for a Spin

Google Logo FRGoogle is taking mobile very seriously, as in they are partnering with Audi to bring Google services including Google Earth to the A8. This marks the continuation of Google’s attempts to bring their services into automobiles and does it at a new level. According to Google’s Lat Long blog:

With their newly unveiled Audi A8, Audi is the first car manufacturer to bring Google Earth directly into the vehicle and to combine that with a set of useful Google services. We’ve worked closely with them to create a compelling in-car experience integrated with the Audi navigation system. You’ll be able to enjoy 3D satellite imagery, terrain information and a wealth of additional geo information relevant to your current location: layers like Wikipedia to learn more about your surroundings or Panoramio images to get another view.

Possible Facebook Privacy Fiasco Solution – Lie

Facebook IconWhile many people already lie on their Facebook profile despite the pleas by Privacy Czar Mark Zuckerberg to keep the Facebook database clean for YOUR benefit, it is now an informally ‘recommended’ practice by some at Facebook. Before we move forward, let’s put this on the table first. Facebook’s move toward less privacy for its users may have profoundly changed the service once the full scope of what they are looking to do hits the masses. It will be hard to look at the service without seeing them trying to squeeze every last dollar out of it at the expense of the privacy and safety of its users.

Twitter Trends – Another Way to See 2009 in Review

Twitter iconBefore we get into the meat of the article I have a challenge for you. Say “Top Twitter Trends” 3 times fast. Frustrating isn’t it. Every time I try it I end up saying “Top Twitter Twends” thus giving the Baba WaWa (Barbara Walters for you young kids) sound to it. As you have likely guessed I think I may have too much time on my hands so let’s get back to the real deal.

Twitter is one of the Top stories of 2009 because of its tremendous growth, the tremendous amount of media attention it has gained and the general feeling that 140 characters is more than enough to form a relationship with. What the folks at Twitter have done, in particular Chief Scientist Abdur (don’t these people have last names or when they come on board the Twitter team do they have to even shorten their names as well?) is take a look at the top trends that have been ID’d by Twitter users for 2009. Fun stuff. Not earth shattering but fun. At the Twitter blog Abdur says:

A bit.ly of Interesting News

bitly_logo_topSo you are bit.ly and you just suffered through the announcement that your already crowded area of the Internet space has been sat on by the 800 pound Google gorilla with their announcement of the arrival of their own URL shortening service. That can make for a rough day. Sure competition is a good thing because all ships rise with a rising tide. Google makes those tides rise so fast sometimes though that the little ships get tossed in the air and don’t always land well.

Well, bit.ly is trying to do its part in making the URL shortening industry a little more interesting. They have announced their new Pro service. One wonders if they needed to announce it a little more hastily than anticipated considering the new “Google’s in the URL shortening house!” scenario. At any rate they are offering a chance for users to provide customized / personalized / whatever-ized shortened URL’s for those looking t stand out from the crowd. Their blog’s description goes a little something like this:

Twitter Developing Specific Features for Business

twitter-birdIf you are Twitter you have to be feeling a bit dizzy by now. 2009 has been a year of tremendous growth, more than a little success followed by more than a little criticism. There are always questions hovering over why Biz did that or if Jack really meant that or if Evan is saying something that isn’t supposed to be public or whatever.

Meanwhile, the rest of the market is flying around at a rapid rate. Google has come up with nearly forty innovations in the past 70 days alone. Some of which involve the real time search genie that Twitter represents.

Well, while not innovating at Google-like speeds (who does that anyway) there are some things emerging from Twitter like their announcement yesterday about a new ‘business’ feature. On the Twitter blog we read