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Legal Troubles in Europe for Google, Facebook

Google and Facebook, sweethearts of the Internet who would never face legal challenges on this side of the Atlantic, are both looking at legal troubles in Europe.

Facebook is facing a privacy probe in the UK, according to the BBC. The issue at hand is the fact that Facebook retains personal information about a user even after a user terminates his or her account.

Facebook acknowledges the practice in their Privacy Policy (emphasis added):

Access and control over most personal information on Facebook is readily available through the profile editing tools. Facebook users may modify or delete any of their profile information at any time by logging into their account. Information will be updated immediately. Individuals who wish to deactivate their Facebook account may do so on the My Account page. Removed information may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time but will not be generally available to members of Facebook.

Yahoo Tests Delicious Bookmark Info in Search Results

I’m a recent convert to the benefits of social bookmarking site

Sure, as an internet marketer I’ve always had a account, but that was only to be used when trying to promote web content. :-) Mid-way through 2007, I actually started using the way it’s supposed to be used, and I love it!

So, I’m excited to see that Yahoo is finally tapping into the huge index of tagged web content at and testing the display of tags alongside regular search results. Here’s a screen shot courtesy of TechCrunch:

There’s no official word on whether results are influencing Yahoo’s normal search algorithm. I suspect not, but it could easily do so if it sees that users find the tags useful.

The Man Behind LinkedIn’s Success

Do you use LinkedIn? OK, you’re all savvy marketers so perhaps the better question is; how do you use LinkedIn?

However you make use of arguably the world’s most useful business networking site, you may not know much about the man behind its success. AP’s Michael Liedtke takes a close look at LinkedIn’s mixed success and profiles its co-founder Reid Hoffman.

Hoffman, 40, has put that principle to work by mining his own vast network of Silicon Valley connections to rake in one Internet jackpot after another.

A college friendship led Hoffman to PayPal and his first windfall when eBay Inc. bought the online payment service for $1.5 billion in 2002. Since then, he has become even wealthier by investing in other Internet startups he discovered through friends and former colleagues.

Are Digg Editors Burying Your Story?

OK, if Valleywag’s revelation–that Digg employs editors to bury certain stories–is news to you, welcome to the nightmare.

According to someone who was approached about a job as a Digg moderator, Digg uses one moderator per topic, and their duties go far beyond patrolling the site for spam. While they don’t have the power to launch a story straight to the homepage, they can adjust the criteria to make it easier or harder for a story to make it big. And in so doing, of course, they exercise editorial judgment. When you submit a story to Digg, it’s not just in the hands of the users; it’s also at the mercy of unnamed Digg editors.

InSTEDD: Not Just A Misspelled Website

Admit it: when you saw “InSTEDD,” you thought, “Great, another ‘kr8tiv’ spelling for a Web 2.0 flop-to-be.” How’s this for a mission statement:

We want everyone to benefit from the tools and technologies we know can save lives.

Like what? Ultrasounds? EKGs?

No, Facebook. Duh.

While InSTEDD is decidedly Web 2.0-y, and decidedly misspelled, it’s not as useless as most Web 2.0 flops—and it comes with a pretty good pedigree. It’s an NPO, formally named Innovative Support to Emergencies, Diseases and Disaster, is designed to leverage (sorry, the Web 2.0-iness got to me) social networks to help “identify and warn others of outbreaks like Avian flu or disasters like Hurricane Katrina.”

In addition to its other initiatives, has invested $5 million in InSTEDD. The initiative will leverage (argh) social networks including Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Gains but MySpace Still Gets the Most Traffic

Hitwise has some new numbers about social networking sites. Though down, MySpace is still gets the most traffic with 76% of visits in 2007. It’s actually down. Number two, Facebook is up 51%. They monitored 53 different social networking sites to get the data.

What’s surprising it how far behind Facebook is – with just 12.57 percent of visits. People are returning to the sites. In December 2007, 95% percent of traffic to the site are return visits, not first timers. Facebook also has loyal users because 93% of traffic was also returning visitors.

Another measure of stickiness is how much time people spend on the site. In December 2007, the average time spent on Bebo averaged a full 30 minutes and 24 seconds. That is a long, long time online.

Yahoo Adopts OpenID’s Single Sign-in Platform

I must admit, I’m not a big user of the OpenID platform. In case you’re not familiar, OpenID allows you to have a single login name that you can use across different web sites. I finally set mine up last week and it looks like another 250 million of you will be able to do the same, thanks to Yahoo’s decision to adopt the OpenID framework.

According to TechCrunch

The service will be available in public beta on January 30, says Yahoo, and will allow users to log in to more than 9,000 OpenId compliant websites with their Yahoo IDs. Yahoo will also be integrating their Sign-In Seal feature, meaning users can view an uploaded image before giving over credentials – the feature is widely used by financial institutions and is designed to reduce the effectiveness of phishing attempts.