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Ask.com Launches Social Media News Site BigNews

Search engine Ask.com just launched a news aggregation site called BigNews. The difference is that it integrates voting with what it calls “BigFactor.” BigNews is like Yahoo News or Google News except it’s broader – it includes video, images, and blog posts related to each story.

If you click through to the actual story you’ll see related stories from Digg, sorted by number of votes. I also noticed Wikipedia content relating to the story.

If you mouseover the “BigFactor” vote you’ll see a score. It also shows a quick rundown on how the story rates according to criteria like how new the story is, how much discussion has resulted from the story, and other measurements. BigNews feeds in top stories on Digg as well as Digg stories with no votes – so you can be the first to vote on them. Click “track” and you can subscribe to the newsfeed or put it in “MyStuff.”

Will Social Networking Ever = Money?

Someone, somewhere is supposed to be raking it in from social media—but we never have figured out who that person is (unless it’s Mark Zuckerberg). We see the CEOs with their millions, and everyone wants in on the wave of the future, either in an IPO or working for the company behind the social network, or establishing their own.

But is there really any money to be had? Last week, social networking darling Facebook, still a privately-held and VC-funded enterprise, allegedly leaked its financial projections for the year. The outlook isn’t exactly what you’re hoping for in a company that is supposedly worth $15B:

2007 Revenues: $150 million

2008 Revenues: $300 to $350 million (projected)

2007 Headcount: 450

2008 Headcount: 1,000 (projected)

Exclusive: Predicting Super Tuesday Results Using Social Media & Search Sentiment

There’s no need to watch today’s Super Tuesday presidential election coverage, we already know who’s going to win: Barack Obama and John McCain.

How do we know this?

Marketing Pilgrim and Collective Intellect have joined forces to release “Election 2008: Using Social Media Measurement as a tool for predicting poll results” a study that looked at sentiment across social media and the search engines. Based upon our findings, we’re confidently predicting a win for Democrat Obama and Republican McCain.

You can download the free report via the Collective Intellect blog. In it, you’ll find full details of how we used blogs and search engine results to make our predictions.

For those of you interested, here’s a quick summary.

Sentiment across social media:

Google Laying the Groundwork for Identifying Latent Social Networks

google social graph api graphicHours after VentureBeat kicked off the latest round of social search speculations, Google announced the Social Graph API. The API could use information contained in files and links on a site (including FOAF and the XFN relationships meta data, which you may already be using) to identify social relationships between the people behind websites.

Like other meta data, this information is not generally available to visitors to your website (unless they view your source code). However, Google is quick to note that this data is already public and clarify that they will not be using private profiles or social networks to find relationships between people.

The XFN meta data can indicate relationships from everything to casual acquaintances to familial relationships to crushes. (But, uh, you might want to be careful about publishing that kind of info on your website.)

Is Social Search Coming from Google?

VentureBeat talked to Google’s Marissa Mayer, vice president of Search Products & User Experience, about Google’s future: specifically about their future in social search. VentureBeat notes that as recently as August, Mayer “said social search hasn’t shown much promise, but if it does, Google would be in a good position to incorporate it.”

VB’s reporter asks some pretty good questions (which he admits he had help on), although he didn’t ask about the progress that Google has already made in creating social networks in Gmail and Google Reader.

Perhaps most interesting from her comments is a brief history and potential forecast of social search efforts at Google. However, there is one part that privacy advocates are sure to jump on (bolded here).

How Many Facebook Users Actually Read the Wall Street Journal?

The fact that the WSJ and Facebook have just partnered on a new initiative to let Facebook users share their favorite news stories, surely demonstrates one of the following:

  1. Facebook is now dominated by 30+ -year old WSJ reading types.
  2. The WSJ is just desperate to attract some hip under 30-year old readers.
  3. Facebook is just completely selling out.
  4. Both companies are just desperate.

OK, so I’m teasing, but it really does just come across as a strange partnership. It’s almost as if both companies figured it would give each of them some buzz, so struck the deal without actually worrying if anyone would care to use it or not.

Anyway, if you’re simply salivating at the chance to share your favorite WSJ article with your Facebook friends, here’s what you’re getting:

Sheep-Throwing Coming to MySpace?

One of the things that I happen to find the most annoying about Facebook–externally developed junk such as "Zombie biting" and "Sheep Throwing"–will soon grace the pages of MySpace accounts.

Just as we reported back in October, News Corp’s MySpace will launch its own external developer platform, in an effort to keep a step ahead of Facebook.

As part of the February 5 launch, it has also promoted MySpace business development executive Amit Kapur to a new role as chief operating officer…Developers can register for more information at http://developer.myspace.com beginning on Wednesday.

No other details are available other than it will be open to developers in 28 countries.