Blog Aggregator Blogniscient Acquired

Top10Media, owners of TopTenSources (a human edited blog aggregator), have decided they can’t fully rely on the human intervention model and have acquired blog aggregator Blogniscient.

Never heard of Blogniscient? Here’s what they have to say about themselves…

Blogniscient categorizes and ranks blogs and blog articles in real time, providing up-to-date information on the hottest blog entries in a user-friendly format. Blogniscient organizes blogs and blog articles by category, allowing you to easily navigate between categories of interest and see the most sought-after information within each category.

Hat-tip to the TC guys.

Garrett French Leaves MSI and SearchEngineLowdown

I feel sorry for my old blog, SearchEngineLowdown.com. While it was tough to leave it last year, I at least felt good leaving it in the capable hands of Garrett French.

Now comes news that Garrett is the latest star employee to leave the once great, but now floundering, MarketSmart Interactive (formerly WebSourced/KeywordRanking.com). What’s bad for SEL, is good for Garrett as he’s found a shiny new home to spill forth his marketing genius.

He may not be quite ready to spread the word yet, but I know all and see all. ;-)

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Hedge Funds Using RSS Monitoring

TechCrunch has an interesting piece on Monitor110, an online monitoring tool aimed at the hedge-fund market.

The service tracks information from now 50 million sources, analyzes it for topical relevance and delivers near real time alerts to customers. It focuses on blog, deep web and static web changes. Topical expertise evaluation is an important part of the secret sauce.

This is a fantastic use for online monitoring. I’ve been telling businesses that there is all kinds of information out there, just begging to be found. Using RSS to track what is being said about a company and mining for financial information is a great example of how companies can use the web to ensure they never miss a thing!

Does Google Penalty Equate to Defamation?

The Kinderstart.com case has taken an interesting twist, as the judge decides whether receiving a 0/10 PageRank penalty from Google equate to the legal definition of defamation.

The judge asked whether Google has a free speech right to prioritize some sites over others in how it constructs computer formulas in its search system. “Assuming Google is saying that KinderStart’s Web site isn’t worth seeing. Why can’t they say that? That’s my question,” Fogel said.

Kinderstart is obviously grasping at straws here. If the judge rules that indeed a Google penalty equals defamation, that would set a dangerous precedent. It would take a brave judge to start interfering with what Google can and cannot do to search rankings.

Yahoo Tries to Jump-Start Talks with AOL

  Fortune has learned Yahoo has recently approached Time Warner in an effort to try and buy AOL…again!

Here’s what Fortune has to say about the benefits of Yahoo buying AOL…

Swallowing AOL won’t transform Yahoo, but would give it increased traffic and a shot in the arm for its search-advertising business. The real question is whether Time Warner wants to sell. “Time Warner has a new strategy for AOL and is not contemplating any deals,” says a company spokesman. Citigroup analyst Jason Bazinet estimates AOL is worth about $13 billion. Of course, Time Warner might demand more.

Zillow Faces Attack Over Inaccurate Real Estate Estimates

CNET is reporting real estate info site, Zillow, has had an FTC complaint filed against it for posting misleading home pricing estimates.

In its complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition states that Zillow is “intentionally misleading consumers and real-estate professionals to rely upon the accuracy of its valuation services despite the full knowledge of the company officials that their valuation Automated Valuation Model (AVM) mechanism is highly inaccurate and misleading.”

I think the claim is bogus. Zillow is just a research site. You can’t sue it for publishing real estate estimates, anymore than you can sue Jupiter or Nielsen for their research studies.

Google Adds Blogger Alerts

Good news for all you blog tracking addicts, you have a new weapon to add to your online reputation monitoring arsenal. Google has announced new Blog Alerts which allow you to track any keyword or topic of interest, or even your favorite blogger!

Here’s some examples.

– You want to know when anyone blogs about global warming.

– You like to track all Google mentions on Slashdot.

– You’re a bit obsessed with chocolate recipes on food blogs.

– You need to know when RottenTomatoes covers Will Ferrell.

– That well-known search pundit John Battelle seems to have a lot to say.