SideStep Acquires Hotel Review Site TravelPost.com

 I’ve been doing a lot of research in the hotel space just recently – and I’m not just talking about planning my next vacation either! So, I’ve learned a lot about TripAdvisor wannabe, TravelPost, and their efforts to grow their user numbers to more than 700,000 monthly visitors.

Not surprisingly, travel search site SideStep has decided they’d like to take advantage of that great community, acquire TravelPost and add it to their 5 million monthly users.

The deal, for undisclosed financial terms, is aimed at offering an independent alternative to travel industry-backed sites. SideStep plans to combine TravelPost’s reviews with its own site in the coming months, matching travelers with hotels based on advice from people with similar interests.

YouTube Asked to Remove Comedy Central Videos

The soon to be acquired, YouTube, has received a request from Viacom to remove videos of some Comedy Central shows.

The source said Viacom, owner of the Comedy Central cable network, had sent a letter last Friday requesting that some of its shows — including the popular “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” “The Colbert Report” and those from MTV Networks and BET — be purged from the site.

While some might start questioning the viability of YouTube – if they’ll continue to receive such requests – I tend to look at this as a positive for the company.

A positive, I hear you ask? If you think about it, each time YouTube receives one of these requests, it learns two things:

Channel Sponsors

Performancing Helping this Blogger Succeed..Maybe Not

Update: Ok, so all of a sudden it stops working and keeps asking me for a password. It appears to be a bug for those using the FF master password. Next stop, Qumana.

Update 2:
And the winner is, brace yourself, Microsoft! Yep, their Windows Live Writer is an awesome tool with lots of functionality and a nifty Firefox plugin. I know it’s hard to think of Microsoft as being cutting-edge in the world of blogging, but hat’s off to them! If I break it, I’ll update here. :-)

Ok, so switching to WordPress is both exciting and a huge learning experience. Going from Blogger to WordPress is not that different from switching from a PC to a Mac. The experience has been made much more enjoyable with the help of Perfomancing’s great Firefox extension.

Tracking 404 Pages with Google Analytics

Switching blogging platforms has introduced me to some unique problems and some cool tools. One of the problems I had to find a solution for was tracking 404 errors using Google Analytics. As GA is a script based analytics tool, I figured I would need to find a new solution that used the site logs instead.

A quick “google” later and I discover Google Analytics has already thought of this problem and created a solution.

So, for all of GA users, here’s your solution for tracking 404 errors, whether you’re switching blog interfaces, or not. :-)

Google, Diet Coke & Mentos – the Perfect Menage a Trois?

Google just sent me an example of how their Google Video sponsorship’s can work. The video is very cool, with 200+ diet Coke bottles and a bunch of Mentos used to create a domino-effect display. The sponsored ad – which is assumed to be courtesy of Coke – comes at the end.

And you thought the fountains at the Bellagio were cool.

Now, here’s a question for you. Is a viral video, really viral if Google has to use its PR team to spread the word? :-)

Update: More at the official Google Blog.

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.

Goodbye Pluck RSS Reader

Sid has news that Pluck will be shutting down its RSS reader service after giving it a good effort over the past two years.

According to Pluck

You have until 1/5/2007 to export your data, after which our servers will be turned off and your data will be deleted. Note that the Pluck RSS readers are not supported for use on the new releases of IE (version 7) and FireFox (version 2).

I guess they just decided it wasn’t worth the effort to compete against the likes of Bloglines and the new Google Reader.