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USA Today Make Over a Success?

It’s been over a month since USA Today launched their new social-network-influenced redesign. The initial response was extremely negative; within a few days there were hundreds of comments on the announcement story, and over 90% were negative.

Today, MediaPost reports that USA Today’s online registrations are up 380% since the makeover. (It doesn’t mention how much of the 308% increase was created by visitors who registered for the sole purpose of complaining about the redesign.) Also up is their unique visitors (increased 21% since February, according to Nielsen//NetRatings). Last month they had 40,000 comments on the site.

So is USA Today’s social make over a success? If those numbers were our only indicators, I’d say yes.

Facebook Gets Facelift

Facebook is getting a lot of press today after its recent redesign. Unlike their last major update, introducing a “news feed” that tracked all your friends’ actions on the site, this one appears to be well received. In fact, the largest “I hate the new Facebook layout” groups appear to be left over from the last redesign.

One reason for the improved reception was Facebook’s effort to solicit user feedback before making the change. They created screenshots of the new layout and uploaded them to the site, asking users for feedback for weeks before actually making the shift. I guess they learned something the last time around.

Technorati Acquires The Personal Bee

Mashable is reporting Technorati has acquired citizen journalism site The Personal Bee. Not familiar with The Personal Bee, me neither, so let’s take a look at what they say they do…

In a nutshell, we’re dedicated to helping information producers and consumers capture the essential buzz from the roar of information washing over us all everyday. We believe that smart analysis of the information torrent coursing through blogs and mainstream news sites, coupled with the abilities of smart, aggressive and ambitious human editors, will help accelerate the evolution of our news media.

In an even smaller nutshell, they’re a human-edited news aggregator. No official word as to how The Personal Bee will be integrated with Technorati, but I would imagine it would help bolster the recently launched WTF tool.

Spock Hopes to Make Your Face the Final Frontier

I’m not quite sure where Spock got its name – maybe they picked up the domain for cheap and liked the name recognition – but the people search engine behind it, looks impressive.

Michael Arrington has the exclusive screenshots of the new service that aims to index and aggregate information on individuals, and help the many millions of us that use search engines to research the famous and not-so famous.

Similar services already exist – LinkedIn, Zoominfo and Naymz are among the many that come to mind – but Spock is aiming to scour the web, scrub it of duplication and even allow people to claim their profile page.

Targeting Women (in a Good Way)

Behavioral targeting is a common practice in Internet marketing. But what about gender targeting?

We’ve established that men and women view websites differently and consume online video differently, and now they’ll be able to travel and talk about travelling differently.

American Airlines has appointed Nora Linville “Women’s Sales & Marketing” and started a website devoted to the 48% of travelers who happen to be women. Unimaginatively named “Women Travelers Connected,” the new women-targeted website is designed to “connecting women who travel, and an example of American [Airlines]‘s commitment to the growing women’s market.”

Are You Socially Mobile?

I was really excited to read another article from eMarketer Daily (Andy already covered today’s Australia article) on social networks going mobile.

Mostly, though, it was about social networks. But it there was a little new information:

According to a survey of over 1,400 social network members conducted by Compete, social networkers use an average of three sites, and many would visit even more.

In fact, 45% of those surveyed said they would be willing to join four or more social networking sites, with 7% saying they’d be willing to join 10 or more (job seekers?).

Interestingly, because both mobile phones and online social networks keep today’s consumers connected, they seem to be converging.

Mozilla Launches Social Network for Firefox

If you’re tired of having to visit your favorite social network, whenever you want to message friends or share content, why not have the network come to you for a change?

That’s exactly what Mozilla has planned with their Mozilla Labs experiment, “The Coop“. The Coop is a Firefox browser extension that places the social network exactly where you’d use it the most – your browser.

We want to create a fun and easy way to share links with your friends, and to browse the set of links that friends have shared with you. We also want to make it easy to “subscribe” to a friend in order to make it easy to keep track of the pictures, movies, blog posts and status information that they might be posting on a variety of services. There’s a project page that describes The Coop in a bit more detail…