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Yahoo: Gettin’ Facebook-y

We’ve been following Yahoo’s push to “socialize” their large webmail userbase. In November, it was called “Inbox 2.0.” At CES this week, Jerry Yang referred to “Yahoo Life.” But in reality, according to a Yahoo spokesperson speaking to TechCrunch, the project has no name.

Screenshot of new Yahoo Mail social via ZDNetName or no, the project is designed to have a deep impact on the way people interact with their email—and one another. The new interface will continue to integrate email and IM, as well as offering other capabilities. For a sampling of the technology, check out this example from ZDNet (via TC; photo also from ZDNet):

Mahalo Getting More Social by Leveraging Other Social Sites

Mahalo, everyone’s favorite human-powered search engine and Jason Calacanis venture, has announced a few more “socially” improvements to its site. One of the major updates leverages other social media sites; the other is frankly patterned after another.

Mahalo has expanded its Mahalo Follow tool to enable its users to post directly to several other social sites, including Delicious and Twitter. Also in the Mahalo Follow Sidebar are tips/tricks that accompany selected sites, including Gmail and Twitter. Vanessa Fox samples the sidebar’s suggestions and shares her results, which aren’t particularly helpful.

The second update is adding stub articles to Mahalo. If you’ll recall, Mahalo has always had articles and link lists for its most important subjects, created by its (supposedly vetted) editors. But now, admittedly patterned after Wikipedia, Mahalo has added the capability for anyone to add short articles and recommend links for terms that have not yet had full articles written on them.

Why SEOs Will Kill Wikia Search

When you launch a new search engine, admitting defeat at the outset isn’t exactly a promising start. Jimmy Wales founder of Wikia Searchwhich launches today–did just that.

“We want to make it really clear that when people arrive and do searches, they should not expect to find a Google killer,” Mr. Wales told the New York Times.

Hmm, not exactly the statement of faith I’d want to make when launching a new product. Sure, Wikia Search may technically be in “alpha”–what happens when that gets exhausted by start-ups, will we have to invent a new Greek letter?–but do you really want the media (and users) to form a negative sentiment before even giving Wikia a chance to impress?

How to Make A Blog Post Go Viral with Social Media

This article talks about how social networks can make a post go viral – or spread like crazy. It focuses specifically on the biggest social networks – MySpace and Facebook. Facebook tends to be a bit more technical – allowing you to utilize apps to spread the word. They also attract different types of people.

Social networks and related sites can be an excellent way to drive traffic to your blog. Twitter alone has sent a lot of traffic my way and I think it’s the easiest to use. Once you build a network of friends, just craft a compelling headline and link to your post. It takes a bit of dedication (time) but it can build your trust, visibility, and reputation along with links to your blog.

Plaxo for Sale?

Rumors seem like more than just rumors when they’re printed by the New York Times, don’t they? Well here’s one that you can judge for yourself: Plaxo is for sale. The news comes from people who were “briefed on the [upcoming] auction.”

The company has yet to turn a profit, but seems to think it’s worth $100 million. With 15 million registered users, the company may be being a bit modest with its valuation. Facebook, after all, thinks it’s worth $10B (and that’s on the low side). With just under four times the registered members, a price tag of $2.5B would at least not be the most outlandish thing we’ve ever heard.

Advertisers Banking on Social Networking in 2008

If you look at all the hype around social networking, you might think that it’s a fad that will soon fade. Advertisers don’t think so. After seeing how many teens and adults (40%) in the US are on social networking sites, they are upping their budgets for the new year.

Last year, advertisers spent $920 million advertising on social networks. They plan to spend a lot more this year – 69 percent more, according to eMarketer – around $1.6 billion. It’s not expected to slow either. In the next four years the figure is expected to reach $2.7 billion.

Advertisers are still trying to see what works on popular sites like Facebook, MySpace and niche online social networks. In a report titled: Social Network Marketing: Ad Spending and Usage, author Debra Aho Williamson, points out that:

Marketing New Year’s Eve Parties

As I write this there are 11 hours and 57 minutes until 2008. Entrepreneur Jann Yogman is banking that you are going to celebrate New Year’s Eve this year. He started New Year’s Nation, which is a ticket broker and organizer of New Year’s parties in big cities across the U.S.

Last year he launched with a virtual event that drew 5,000 people in five cities. They were connected by streaming video. Tonight there will be eight cities. If you want to book tickets in say, Los Angeles, it will be $150. Then you can watch partiers in New York, Boston, Seattle, or one of the other cities.