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Amazon Acquires Goodreads: Boon or Bust for Small Publishers?

1067843_old_books___Goodreads is a social network devoted exclusively to the literary arts. They have 16 million members and a book rating and reviewing system that can’t be beat. In addition, there are genre specific social groups, groups for writers and hundreds of daily book giveaways. “Over just the past 90 days, members have added more than four books per second to the “want to read” shelves on Goodreads.”

And now, they’ve been acquired by Amazon.

It’s a good match-up, given that Amazon is one of the largest (maybe THE largest) book sellers in the world. What does surprise me is that the press releases regarding the acquisition are extremely Kindle oriented.

Here’s Amazon:

Viggle and GetGlue Call Off the Wedding

Back in November, second screen newbie announced its intentions to acquire front runner GetGlue. I was surprised because, in this particular space, it’s like announcing a merger between Facebook and Twitter. Both services do fundamentally the same thing but they each have their own special twist and loyal fans. A merger might have been spectacular but more likely it would have resulted n the end of GetGlue’s unique badge reward system.

This morning, GetGlue announced that they’ve called off the wedding.

Today we’ve decided that GetGlue will not be merging with Viggle. The two companies remain friendly and think highly of each other.

Terillion Acquires Hotel Guest Review Company GuestComment

As you may recall, this past summer saw my involvement in the launch of an exciting startup named GuestComment. Earlier today, Terillion, a leader in reputation management and marketing, acquired GuestComment.

GuestComment will join a stable of very impressive products offered by Terillion. Terillion’s CEO, Jon Black stated, “GuestComment will fit in perfectly with Terillion’s product offering. Terillion’s mission is to promote and protect the reputation of the best products and companies on the planet, and with the acquisition of GuestComment, along with Terillion’s other esteemed brands–this mission will prevail.”

In addition to the acquisition, Terillion will work closely with Trackur over the coming months to bring its industry leading social media monitoring to the company’s products.

Second Screen TV App Viggle Buys Competitor GetGlue

Not since chocolate and peanut butter got together to form a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, have I been so excited about a merger. Robert F.X. Sillerman, Executive Chairman and CEO of Viggle announced today that his company has entered into an agreement to buy competitor GetGlue.

For those of you who don’t live and breathe TV like I do, Viggle and GetGlue are both second screen, social TV apps that reward viewers for checking in to various programs.

Viggle uses audio sync technology to make sure you’re watching the show, then rewards you with points. They also offer bonus points on a few shows a week when you answer trivia questions during the broadcast. These points can be redeemed for gift certificates, discounts and sweepstakes entries. I routinely use mine to buy iTunes and Starbucks gift cards which I often use as gifts (bribes) for family members.

Huh? Oracle Buys Vitrue for Just 3x Revenue?

What just happened?

I thought the words “social media” and “huge valuations” went together like “Facebook” and “privacy issues?”

I was under the impression that we lived in a bubble world where any company that touched social media was afforded a valuation that would make even VCs blush. So how come social media marketing platform Vitrue just sold to Oracle for a reported measly three times revenues?

OK, so it’s not an official valuation, but TechCrunch tends to be “in the know” when it comes to these things…

TechCrunch has discovered and confirmed that software giant Oracle has bought social marketing platform Vitrue for $300 million. [Update: A press release has confirmed the buy at an undisclosed price, though we know it to be $300 million.]…Vitrue, according to a source, was on course for revenues of just under $100 million this year.

Skype Gets into Group Texting

Skype, who is in the processing of being bought by Microsoft, just did a little buying of their own. They plunked down a rumored $85 million for group texting company GroupMe.

The GroupMe app was designed to solve a very basic problem — group decision making. If you’ve ever tried to plan a night out with four different you understand the issue. Fred calls Joe and suggests sushi, Joe calls Mary who says she doesn’t like sushi, so Joe texts Fred to say pick somewhere else, but in the meantime Fred is on the phone trying to talk Louise into coming out for sushi with him, while Mary texts Louise telling her Fred’s a loser and they’re all going for pizza. Next thing you know it’s 10:00 at night and no one has left the house yet.

After the Amazing Success of Nexus One (Not), Google to Acquire Motorola

This time last year, Google was licking its wounds after the dismal failure of its Nexus One phone.

You know, the one designed and sold by Google. A complete Android package from the search giant.

So what better way to celebrate the one year anniversary of that failed experiment than by coughing up $12.5 billion, in CASH, for Motorola and jumping feet first into the handset manufacturing business?

I know, you’re checking to make sure it’s not April 1st, but this is hot off the wire:

Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: MMI) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Google will acquire Motorola Mobility for $40.00 per share in cash, or a total of about $12.5 billion, a premium of 63% to the closing price of Motorola Mobility shares on Friday, August 12, 2011. The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.