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What’s Your Hunch on New Discovery Engine’s Chances of Success?

Last week, we gave you a heads-up that Hunch would be launching today. Well, our…ahem…hunch was correct; Hunch.com is now live.

When you visit the site–it’s not really a search engine, as you’ll see–you’ll be asked to answer one simple question. Then another. Then another. In fact, Hunch cleverly draws you in my asking you a series of very simple questions–many of which you feel strangely compelled to answer. Here’s an example:

And another:

After you’ve answered 20 or so questions, Hunch will prompt you to save your answers by creating a new account, after which, it will be able to help you make those not so important decisions in life. Like this one:

Wikipedia Showing as a Source in Google News Stories

Google has shown an affinity for Wikipedia for years, often listing entries as a top source for many types of web searches. Now they’ve added links to Wikipedia pages with news stories on Google News.  This seems like a small detail, but it gives Wikipedia even more credibility with the most popular search engine.

Google News already gets news from both traditional media like major newspapers, CNN and Reuters (though the AP hates this fact), as well as new media (popular news blogs like Marketing Pilgrim).  There are also links to YouTube videos. This further blends how we get news and what is credible.

One Step Closer to YouTwitFace: YouTube Adds Facebook Connect

All your hours are belong to us: YouTube announced yesterday that it has joined Facebook Connect. The integration between the two sites is more than just the typical FB connect partnership, which allows FB members to link their profiles to comments on participating sites. On the Facebook Developer blog, program manager Josh Elman says:

When logged into Facebook and YouTube, users can now automatically publish and share the videos they upload to YouTube directly to Facebook.

YouTube isn’t the first video site to integrate with Facebook. According to AllFacebook, Joost has been in a partnership with Facebook Connect since December and has seen some serious benefits:

Twitter Starts New Verified Accounts Beta

good-housekeeping1In the wake of the run-in with St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa last week Twitter has officially launched its verified accounts beta. The service was mentioned over the weekend in Biz Stone’s blog post that made it known that Twitter would bow to no one on legal concerns that they viewed as frivolous.

Mashable’s Pete Cashmore tells of the new process

The feature has been a long time coming, and many celebrities will jump on the opportunity to prove their legitimacy. It’ll also solve the entrenched problem of celebrity impersonations, which are confusing for users and unwelcome by those being impersonated. Businesses, however, will have to wait: the feature has not been rolled out to corporate entities yet.

The End of the World! Twitter Traffic Flat!

Quick: stock up on nonperishables, call your loved ones home, gather them close. The world is coming to an end. First we told you the Twittersphere just ain’t what it used to be. Now, brace yourself for this one:

Twitter traffic month-on-month is flat—or maybe even declining.

I know. I’m sorry to break it to you this way; it’s such a shock. But I couldn’t prolong the agony. Hey, hey—sit down. Breathe into a paper bag. Put your head between your knees. We’ll make it through somehow.

But let’s face the sad facts: although Twitter is clearly the wave of the future, not everyone is as forward thinking as we are in embracing the latest, greatest way of doing . . . well, everything.

Facebook’s New Vanity URLs & Google Reputation Management

Despite the lack of publicly displayed information, I’ve always liked Facebook profiles for Google reputation management. I mean, just take a look at the number of times "Andy Beal" is mentioned on my limited public profile:

Coupled with your name in the Title tag, Facebook is pretty useful for occupying one of Google’s ten blue links–especially if you don’t already have a lot of positive content in the search results.

Well, Facebook is getting ready to allow users the ability to pick a username for their profile URL–as opposed to a randomly assigned series of numbers.

Twittersphere Ain’t What It Used to Be

twitter-birdA study was released today, conducted by inbound marketing company HubSpot, which looked at 4.5 million Twitter users over a nine month period. The data was gathered by their proprietary Twitter Grader tool and provides more confirmation of what we reported last week following a study conducted by a Harvard MBA candidate and assistant professor: As the tool as grown its usage has not in the same proportion.

What in the world does that mean, right? Of course if there are a gazillion people signing up for Twitter accounts and lawsuits being filed over impersonation accounts then it must be that all the world is atwitter with Twitter-itis, correct? HubSpot’s study shows that despite the top line growth in number of accounts the actual usage of Twitter may still rest with the technology crowd that claimed it as their own oh those many years ago (well actually around 3 years ago but in the Internet age that’s like a generation or two).