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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

From Russia, With Chat?

AOL Running ManAOL continues to travel into the brave new world that it is venturing into as the lines have been cut that once attached it to TimeWarner. Of course, there will be a lot of scrutiny which often leads to criticisms but that’s just part of doing business. Another part of doing business as a solo act is to make sure that you lean more toward ‘lean and mean’ which may mean trying to shed some business units that are not going to be helping AOL address its core competencies (which is another matter seeking clarity so feel free to chime in if you are from AOL).

Even Mark Zuckerberg Isn’t Sure About Getting More Public

Facebook IconMark Zuckerberg and I aren’t Facebook friends. That’s cool; I don’t know him. Until recently, all I could see of his profile was his picture, networks and friend list. But this morning, either the Facebook CEO had decided that’s what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, or even he didn’t know what the new privacy settings changed.

I’m going to guess that it was B, because since the articles on True Slant and ValleyWag have run, Zuckerberg’s profile is a lot more private.

On his Page (where you can be his fan, not to be confused with his profile), Zuckerberg defends the change:

Oh No! Google’s Buying Twitter Again?

Twitter Bird GoofyRev up the rumor mill engines! We’re not sure what the expiration date is on this one either so we better get on it fast. It appears that the fresh, French air at the LeWeb conference in Paris has created an awkward moment for Twitter co-founder and chairman, Jack Dorsey. Let this be a lesson for all you kids out there that words are powerful things and they are also very malleable. In other words, people like to twist them.

So what did Jack say? According to the Telegraph

During a panel session entitled: ‘European Gang Live’ at LeWeb 09 in Paris, Mr Dorsey was asked if Google was planning on acquiring Twitter. Instead of denying the possibility as expected, he replied: “There have been no announcements.”

Yahoo Moving in on Twitter

Twitter Bird GoofyYahoo (moves toward the little blue bird, the center of attention at the party): Well, hello there, baby. You sure are popular here.

Twitter (BIG SMILE): Yep! And I have #friends @overthere and @overthere and—

Yahoo (slips an arm around the bird): How would you like to come back to my place for a little . . . integration?

Twitter: Whoa, buddy—this is why I carry an API at all times!

Back in July, Twitter was popping up everywhere: first a deal with Bing, then a deal with Google. Not to be left out, Yahoo made a real-time foray with OneRiot, but apparently they still had their eyes on the life of the party: Twitter.

Last month, Yahoo News integrated Twitter into its results for breaking news via a tabbed shortcut:
yahoo twitter

Facebook Pushing People to Go Public

I think, somewhere in the back of our heads, we all had to know that this was eventually where Facebook would go. Yes, the erstwhile media darling of social networking, so prized because it was so private (unlike that icky old predator-friendly MySpace), has succumbed to the public pull of the Internet—when they prompt you to update your privacy settings now, they’ve already selected a default option to publish your information to “Everyone.”

This change comes as part of the new privacy migration tool, where users get to update their privacy settings as Facebook moves to improved privacy settings. (Or was that improved publicity settings?) It looks like this is the change promised in July to appease the Canadian government’s privacy complaints.

facebook privacy settings