Google Maps Updates Just in Time for Holiday!

If you are traveling for the long weekend you can use Google Maps in a new and improved way. The team at Google is announcing additional features to go along with their cool new logos. This is surely a watershed day in Google’s history.

Ok, so it’s not exactly a banner news day but at least this update has some practical value. Here’s what happens. Google maps will now show a main route when you request directions but will also show available alternate routes for you to consider. They appear under a suggested routes option that you can move between to get the details on the trip. It’s actually pretty cool.

Below is the example given on the LatLong blog

goole-map-update

So how do they do it?

Twitter’s ‘Post Oprah’ Reality

An article over at CNN Money ran the headline “Oprah’s Skypefest draws backlash” while the page title included Twitter as well so I decided oprahto take a look. Now honestly, outside of my mom, I don’t know anyone that is part of “Oprah Nation” and I like it that way. It’s the numbers attached to her every move that are at once intriguing and disturbing. Now with her supposed love affair with social media, marketers have to at least keep an eye out to see what happens through this highly influential channel.

Well, according to the article, if you are Twitter, the initial press was pretty cool but as Oprah’s first tweet of

“HI TWITTERS . THANK YOU FOR A WARM WELCOME. FEELING REALLY 21st CENTURY.”

Yahoo Wants to be on the Social Networking Boat

For Yahoo it appears as if the good ship “Search Business” has left the dock and Yahoo is just waving as it goes yahoo-logomerrily off into the horizon. In other words, they missed the boat. We all pretty much know and accept that. Well, according to The Business Insider there is talk at Yahoo that they better get on the USS Social Networking vessel before it sets sail for good as well.

Is all the water and ship imagery making you a little nauseous? Imagine how the people at Yahoo have felt considering the rough ride they have had for quite some time now. In an effort to settle down and actually put together a strategy it appears as if social networking will be the focus moving forward. Yahoo’s CTO Ari Balogh stated yesterday that it could happen in a number of ways and untying the purse strings is one of them.

Google Debates Beta Status of Big Offerings

It is curious that the most recognizable brand in the world, Google, seems to be afraid to truly step out into the gmail-logoreal world in many instances. As pointed out by Michael Arrington at Tech Crunch, 4 out of the 5 core Google apps offerings are still in Beta. The very recognizable names are Gmail, Google Docs, Google Talk and Google Calendar with Google sites being the only one that does not carry the Beta label.

Facebook IPO! (in a few years……maybe)

facebook-logoWith all the Facebook investment and valuation talk swirling about, I stated yesterday that if Facebook was going to do an IPO then that would be news. Well, that ‘announcement’ is not imminent according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as he addressed the Reuters Global Technology Summit.

Zuckerberg’s comments really didn’t add any fuel to the fire or speculation about investment in the company. In fact, he made sure that it was clear that all of the talk right now is just that; talk. Reuters reports:

The 25-year-old co-founder of Facebook said he is always open to partnerships and investments, but stressed that Facebook can achieve its business goals with its current financial base — despite numerous media reports that it has had talks on a new round of funding with various investors.

Social Media Ad Buy Standards Released

The Interactive Advertising Bureau has released a new set of standards for social media ad buying. eConsultancy reports that the announcement was made at the IAB Social Media Conference in New York (makes sense). The standards are being introduced to at least create a baseline to consider when trying to determine how, when, why, where and for what reason to buy social media advertising.

Seems that everyone wants to get involved in social media and can talk a great game about how ‘valuable’ it is but the reality is that actually knowing what to measure and how to measure whatever it is is often a question that is unanswered. As a result there is trepidation by many with regard to getting involved in social media advertising. With the IAB getting in the game like they did in 1996 by creating general online advertising standards the hope is that more will feel comfortable making the move to social media opportunities.

Facebook Valuation Rumor Mill at Full Tilt

Well, it’s been a relatively quiet week or so regarding Facebook so let’s see what the talk around town is. It looks tofacebook-logo be about Facebook’s valuation and whether they are seeking money or not. Also, if they are seeking some more cash what is it for? Some say a stock buy back from employees. Some say something else. It’s social media’s version of ‘He said, she said’ but the truth must be in there somewhere, right?

After all, we couldn’t continue to function if there was no Facebook, correct? Sorry, it’s early and there isn’t enough coffee in me to cool the sarcasm on this kind of stuff. I realize that by writing about I add to the fray but unfortunately until someone comes up with something that can generate the kind of users that a Facebook or Twitter can we may be stuck with this for a while but I digress.