Google, Yahoo & MSN Now Support Same Sitemaps Standard

Breaking news today that Google, Yahoo and MSN have agreed to a single standard for XML sitemaps, according to Search Engine Watch.

As part of the announcement, the existing sitemaps protocol from Google gets a version upgrade to Sitemaps 0.9. However, no actual changes to the system have taken place…Anyone already using Google Sitemaps needn’t do anything different. The only change is now those sitemaps will be read by Microsoft and Yahoo, as well.

Let’s hope this is a start of a new trend by the top 3 to work together. TechCrunch has more and you can view a new web site dedicated to the new Sitemaps.

Google Holds $200m to Defend YouTube Copyright Claims

Just last week, Google CEO Eric Schmidt denied there was any truth to the rumors that the company would set aside $500 million from the YouTube deal, to protect against any copyright infringement suits.

Today, we get one more example of why you can never truly take what Google says at face value. While Schmidt didn’t lie, we learn he was very careful in his reply, as Google has in fact set aside $200+ million for such law suits.

I’ve said for many years that statements such as “we have no current plans” or “we do not intend” have no weight, when coming from Google.

Now, of course, every video publisher knows they can sue Google for copyright infringement, safe in the knowledge there’s a cool $200m to share.

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StumbleUpon For Sale?

TechCrunch has heard whispers that StumbleUpon may be looking for someone to buy them for $50 million.

The deal doesn’t appear to have been widely shopped – one potential acquirer said that they met with the company recently, but only to explore possible business development deals, and that an acquisition was not discussed. I spoke briefly with StumbleUpon CEO Garret Camp this afternoon but he refused to comment, saying “we do not comment on rumors.â€? Fair enough.

I’m a big fan of StumbleUpon and I love it as a user (finding new sites) and a marketer (people finding my sites).

Blog World Conference Announced for 2007

Just learned of a new conference for bloggers, taking place in Las Vegas next November.

Blog World claims to be the first and only tradeshow, conference, and media event dedicated to promoting the dynamic industry of blogging and new media.

The show floor will feature an abundance of products and services designed to help bloggers and new media entrepreneurs improve the look and functionality of their blogs, increase their readership, and monetize their blog…Topics will include blogging basics, monetizing your blog, podcasting, corporate opportunities in the blogosphere, building readership, RSS, Search Engine Optimization, blogging in the political arena, and other topics vital to serious bloggers who want to solidify their own space, and build their brand in the blogosphere.

Hopefully next year’s PubCon won’t clash with this, ‘cos I’d like to go.

YouTube Shows Double Standard with Cease & Desist Letter

If Michael Arrington hadn’t posted the actual cease and desist letter from YouTube’s attorney, I probably wouldn’t have believed the company had asked him to remove a tool that allows people to download and store YouTube videos.

It’s extremely hypocritical that YouTube so freely violates the copyright of so many video creators, yet feel they need to prevent others from accessing their content – which isn’t even there’s, as Arrington explains.

Given that downloads, with proper copyright attribution, are permitted under the Terms of Use, it seems like there is no problem at all for a user to download a video for personal use and put it on his or her iPod.

Arrington further suggests that this could just be YouTube covering its butt, by sending the letter, with no real intention of following-up. Either way, the letter is plain crazy.

Guy Kawasaki’s Keynote of PubCon

Barry has a summary of Guy Kawasaki’s keynote address at PubCon. It sounds awfully similar to the one he gave at TiECon earlier this year.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great keynote, but I hope Brett didn’t pay too much for the same presentation. :-)

106 Blog Ideas for Real Estate Agents

I mentioned Saturday, an article that provided 21 link bait ideas for real estate agents. The authors at FamousAgents.com (disclaimer ~ they’re a client) have now released 106 different content ideas for Realtors struggling to find something to write about.

If you’re in the real estate business and are struggling with ideas for your blog, you’ll find juicy suggestions, such as:

8. Create an ebook. Example: “(Your name)’s Guide to Buying Real Estate in (your area). Make it a step by step guide to let your clients know exactly what it’s going to be like to buy real estate in your state.