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MSN Invites You to Take Over Mainstream Media

MSNBC is launching a site for citizen journalists to contribute to their news. As a separate site, FirstPerson has a social media twist to it:

In the coming months, you will see the FirstPerson logo show up throughout the site, seeking your input and contributions on stories both serious and light-hearted. You will also be able to quickly scan through FirstPerson submission requests from throughout the site. . . .

See FirstPerson content from other readers you like? We invite you to vote for your favorite reader-submitted photos and video, and will let you know which ones the editors liked as well.

Although they say they’ll be taking “input and contributions on stories both serious and light-hearted,” right now their site is mostly requesting color stories: quirky local attractions, celebrity look-a-likes, dog photos, vintage car photos . . .

Is Your Site StumbleUponAble?

StumbleUpon is one of my favorite ways to browse the web, though I have to admit that I haven’t used it much lately. As the number of users nears 2 million, lots of Internet marketers are thinking about the best way to take advantage of the traffic.

After all, StumbleUpon offers a steady stream of qualified, interested visitors—if your content is good enough. If your content gets the “thumbs up,” it will be shown to more stumblers. If it gets “thumbs down” or no votes at all, it will be shown to stumblers with decreasing frequency.

How can you be sure your site is really ready for StumbleUpon?

StumbleUpon’s paid inclusion program FAQ gives a few guidelines:

North Carolina’s Wake County Library Bans MySpace on Computers

Local CBS affiliate, WRAL, has just reported that Wake County Public Libraries plans to prevent computer users from accessing MySpace.com. The library already has filters in place to prevent users from viewing pornographic web sites and those same filters will now work against MySpace accounts.

The reason? Too many people using MySpace to view pornographic content, which school children could be exposed to.

Odeo Hopes to Avoid Dead Pool, Up for Sale

When Evan Williams bought back Odeo in October, it looked like the newly formed Obvious Corp, would keep growing the podcasting site. Since then Obvious’ other property, Twttr, has taken-off, so Williams has decided Odeo would be better off in someone else’s hands.

It seems likely Odeo is worth more to someone else than it is to us at this point, so we’re looking for a new home for it. We’ve been having some conversations with potential buyers, and this is our attempt to put the word out more widely in the most expeditious way (and without involving investment bankers and the like). If we don’t get any attractive offers, we’ll continue to run it.

Williams is open to cash or equity deals and is selling off odeo.com, studio.odeo.com and all of the code etc.

Digg Threatened by New Yahoo Site?

So, Yahoo launches a new Suggestion Board format for visitors to browse suggestions submitted by users of properties such as Yahoo Autos, and it looks very similar to Digg.

Digg users get their underpants in a wad, and start screaming that the site is a blatant rip-off of Digg.

Diggers even go as far as spamming the new Yahoo Suggestion Board. (allegedly)

Meanwhile, blogger Andy Beal, suggests that Diggers accept that, unless Digg holds a patent for the “voting system”, it’s going to find more and more sites copying its format. When you get something right, others are going to copy you, it’s annoying but it’s life.

Instead of whining – appearing that you’re threatened by Yahoo’s foray into social voting – go back and think of ways to continue to innovate.

Election ’08: the Internet Campaign

We’ve already covered the PPC campaign for Election 2008. The candidates are making more headway in their Internet campaigns every day. From blogs to online video to MySpace profiles to their own social media networks, it’s clear that anyone who’s serious about the presidency in ’08 has hired someone who knows their Internet stuff.

To help us all stay on top of the developments in the Internet campaign ’08, TechPresident.com debuted this week. Part of the Personal Democracy Forum, TechPresident.com describes itself as a group blog:

that covers how the 2008 presidential candidates are using the web, and vice versa, how content generated by voters is affecting the campaign.

Social Networks Finding New Growth With APIs

Business Week is reporting plans by many social networking sites to open up their network to content developers, in an effort to grow their user base.

[Facebook], MySpace.com, LinkedIn, Friendster, and Google’s orkut are expected to…open their code to third-party developers this year as well—promising to kick off a spurt of innovation in social networking.

Virgin Mobile is among the many company’s licking their chops, at the thought of tapping into these mega-networks. Having access to an API (application program interfaces), many companies will be able to launch mashups and tools that will satisfy the growing needs of many social network members, as well as helping the networks grow their existing user numbers.