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Skype to Offer Bloggers Live Chat Rooms

CNET has details of Skype’s plans to offer bloggers the ability to host audio chats from their own web site.

The next version of Skype will enable people to post a link on a blog or Web site that will take people to a public chat room when clicked on.

There’s no timeline for the launch, but Skype execs say the feature is coming “soon”.

Skype is also in talks with many social networking sites about offering services that would allow members to share content with each other in conversations.

Facebook Recovers from Declining Traffic

We recently ran a poll on whether Facebook.com should take the money and run, after reports its traffic had started to decline. 63% of Pilgrims believed (me included) CEO Mark Zuckerberg should take sell the company now, lest the value reduce even further.

What the heck do we know!?!

Hitwise has stats that show Facebook’s decline in traffic was just a seasonal blip, which happens each September as college kids focus on their return to school. As the chart below demonstrates, Facebook is as healthy as ever.

Hat’s off to Zuckerberg – he wins this round of brinkmanship!

Add Any YouTube Video You iLike to iTunes

“Like” is the word of the week. After the launch of visual shopping search engine Like.com, earlier this week, comes news from TechCrunch that social music site iLike has added the ability to download music videos from YouTube to iTunes.

Every song on iLike includes a link to play a short sample of the actual song. Now there is also a link to “play video.� Click the link and iLike searches for the video on YouTube, embeds it into the site and begins playing it. In our tests iLike found the correct music video about 2/3 of the time.

The entire rollout took just 72 hours from idea to launch!

You can learn more at the iLike blog.

Hitachi’s Jeremiah Owyang Heads to Podtech

Congratulations to Jeremiah Owyang who’s announced he’s departing Hitachi Data Systems and joining forces with Robert Scoble at Podtech. His role?

I’m hoping I can be a community resource to companies that want not only to understand “what� and “Why� to use social media but to help answer “HOW� to deploy. At many of the conference, speeches, and workshops folks talk about why blogging is great, what happens if you’re not listening or if you’re unauthentic –the conversation has progressed beyond that, and now we must answer the “How� as community managers enter this new era of practice.

Jeremiah takes up the role of Director of Corporate Media Strategy.

Good luck Jeremiah!

Facebook Plays Acquisition Brinkmanship

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is playing a dangerous game of brinkmanship with potential suitors. Instead of cashing-out for $800 million, the young entrepreneur is holding out for $2 billion.

In the meantime, Business Week reports the site is starting to lose popularity and with the decline in growth, might come a decline in purchase price. Potential buyers such as Viacom and Yahoo, are content to sit back and wait, hoping to get a cheaper price tag.

Now, however, with traffic that may be declining alongside the always-elusive “cool factor” among fickle collegians, potential buyers are more inclined to wait in the hope that Facebook’s price may drop. For his part, Zuckerberg appears to be in no rush to make a quick exit to the bank. “We’re focused on building the business,” says marketing director Melanie Deitch. “We’re doing extremely well and we’re having fun.”

Wired Publisher Acquires Reddit

Another acquisition for your reading pleasure. This time, TechCrunch is reporting Conde Nast, owner of Wired magazine among others, has acquired social bookmarking site Reddit.

All four reddit employees will relocate from Boston to Wired’s San Francisco office and become part of Wired Digital. Reddit, founded and funded in 2005, is a YCombinator company (see our interview with YCombinator founder Paul Graham here). The two original founders are Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, and they were later joined by Christopher Slowe and Aaron Swartz.

Reddit works a lot like Digg. Although the user base is not as large as Digg’s, Reddit has certainly started to show-up a lot more in my referral logs.

Six Apart Launches Vox Private Blogs

Six Apart, the same team that gave us TypePad and Movable Type, has finally launched their new service Vox. After being tested in beta by more than 50,000 users, the new platform brings bloggers a host of new features, including five different levels of privacy. Six Apart is betting that many users will like being able to decide who gets to see their blog post…

“Not everything has to be published for public consumption,” said Mena Trott, who with her husband Ben co-founded Six Apart in 2002. “Everyone has their own assumptions about blogs. We think it is about publishing the stuff you care about to the people you care about,” she said in an interview.