Reputation Monitoring Firm Cymfony Acquired?

paidContent is reporting social media monitoring company Cymfony has been acquired by UK-based research firm Taylor Nelson Sofres.

No details on the value of the deal – paidContent estimates double digits based on Cymfony’s $24m raised in VC – and we don’t have any official word yet.

Without knowing much about either company, I’d guess this is a smart move for TNS, and a poor decision by Cymfony. We’re only just starting to see companies wake up to the concept that they need to monitor and engage social media, so Cymfony likely sold way too early. Then again, Cymfony may have gotten triple digits and smiling all the way to the bank!

On the Road for Two Weeks

As you may recall, I’ll be speaking at Australia’s Search Summit next Thursday and Friday. That means I’ll be heading to LA on Sunday and then flying to Sydney on Monday. With the time difference and speaking, my blog posting will be light next week.

But wait, it gets better. After Sydney, I’m heading to Tahiti for a vacation and NO BLOGGING! Yikes!

But don’t panic, we’ve got you covered!

Regular contributor Jordan McCollum has my super secret list of RSS feeds and she’ll be checking the latest news, filtering out the junk, and providing you with the Marketing Pilgrim point of view. In addition, Jeremy Luebke will continue his awesome posting, and Ben Wills has even threatened to come out of retirement, to throw in his 2 cents.

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New SEM Scholarship Contest Coming in March

I wanted to give you advance notice that we’ll be running a new Search Engine Marketing Scholarship contest at the end of March. I’ve listened to a lot of feedback, and addressed two common suggestions:

  1. The next contest will be judged over a longer timeframe. This will allow entrants to apply many SEM talents, such as link building, and will ensure the winner wasn’t necessarily the one who managed to get a spike of traffic in a few days.
  2. You asked for advance notice, so here it is. Sometime mid-March, I’ll make the official call for entries. I’ll give a two week entry period, so you’ll have plenty of time to digest any rule changes or formulate your strategy. With this post, regular readers are getting even further advance notice. ;-)

Google Gives-up Building Own YouTube Filters, Follows MySpace’s Lead

The San Jose Mercury News is reporting Google has signed a deal with Audible Magic to screen uploaded videos for copyrighted content. Just days after Google’s Eric Schmidt confirmed YouTube would roll out anti-piracy measures – which we all assumed would be something developed internally – we learn that the video sharing site will partner with the very same company MySpace partnered with last week.

The big question now is whether YouTube can maintain its popularity, once it starts screening for copyrighted content. Could YouTube become the next Napster – immensely popular while unregulated, but now just a shadow of its former self?

YouTube is “definitely going to lose popularity,” said Jesse Drew, acting director of the technocultural studies program at University of California-Davis. “These things become popular because they are underground and free and accessible.”

Fox Interactive Media Acquires Ad Targeting Company Strategic Data Corp

News Corp’s Fox Interactive Media has acquired Strategic Data Corp. Fox Interactive hopes Strategic’s interactive ad targeting technology will help the company better target advertising on sites it owns, such as MySpace.

From the press release…

 â€œSDC will enable us to realize the full potential of our massive online network,” said Peter Levinsohn, President, Fox Interactive Media. “SDC’s expert team and technologies combined with our own top notch engineers and vast audience will enable us to ensure the optimal performance of our advertising for the benefit of clients and consumers alike.”

Strategic Data Corp will help Fox “to deliver highly-targeted graphical performance-based advertising on literally billions of Web pages viewed each day across its growing network.”

No financial terms were released.


Google’s YouTube Will Offer Copyright Protection "Very Soon"

It appears Google’s finally starting to realize that if YouTube is to continue its success, they need to figure out how to protect copyright holders from video piracy.

I’m guessing losing big deals to your rivals and watching others being proactive on copyright protection, finally got Google’s attention, but apparently only just recently.

“We just reviewed that (issue) about an hour ago,” Schmidt told Reuters when asked what Google was doing to make anti-piracy technologies widely available to video owners. “It is going to roll out very soon … It is not far away.”

No timeframe for rollout was given by Schmidt – shocker! – but whatever they introduce will be available to all copyright holders, not just the big guys who make licensing deals with Google.