Could Acquisition of Neven Vision Help Google Monetize Video and Images?

Over at the official Google Blog come news that the company has acquired Neven Vision to help it improve Picasa, its image organizer offering.

Neven Vision comes to Google with deep technology and expertise around automatically extracting information from a photo. It could be as simple as detecting whether or not a photo contains a person, or, one day, as complex as recognizing people, places, and objects. This technology just may make it a lot easier for you to organize and find the photos you care about.

It could also be used to help Google understand the content of images and video so that it can sell relevant ads. But I’m sure if asked, they have “no plans” for that at this stage. ;-)

WordPress Adds New Features

Robert Scoble’s noticed that, hot on the heels of Blogger’s new features, WordPress has added some new bells and whistles too.

Since I went off the grid I noticed a new “Tag Surferâ€? and “My Commentsâ€? features. Tag surfer is cool — it shows me posts other people have made using the same tags I use…next to that is “My Comments.â€? It lists comment threads I’ve participated in.

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Your Favorite Search Blog?

Rand Fishkin has done it again! He’s created yet another link-tractor-beam, designed to get us search bloggers linking to him.

This time, Rand has listed out his Top 50 search bloggers, in order of who he reads and admires the most.

I’m on the list at #11 – in a scary sandwich of Robert Scoble and Jeremy Zawodny (I know, not a pretty picture)- so I thought I’d give him a link. I’m sure that the fact I happened to sit across from Rand during dinner recently, has nothing to do with my ranking. ;-)

BTW, Rand? Do you ever stop thinking about linkbait? Rumor has it that at the SES bar, someone asked “Who wants a drink?” and you thought they said “Who wants a link?” and ordered a PageRank 9! ;-)

Is Google’s Stock Still a Winner?

CNN Money looks at whether Google’s stock has lost some of its sizzle during its second year.

While some analysts point out that Google has fallen 11% this year and is, for the time being, still receiving its revenue from search; others point to the strength of the “one trick pony” and the future prospects.

I think the biggest factor favoring Google is not what it’s doing, it’s what its competitors are not doing – they’re not exactly offering services that blow the doors off the big “G”.

Google Maps Now Offer Printable Coupons

Google today announced an interesting match-up with coupon mailer, Valpak.

Looks like businesses will be able to add printable coupons to their Google Maps listing for free.

Any business can add detailed information about their business to Google Maps for free through Google’s Local Business Center. Once a listing is created, businesses can add a coupon in the same interface. The printable coupon will be co-branded by Google and Valpak, so businesses will know where it came from.

You have to be a Valpak advertiser in order to take advantage of the partnership.

I think this is a smart move and a great way for Google to merge the lines between online and offline. Everyone loves a deal, just search for “coupons” on Google and see just how much people love coupons!

Google Launching New Blogger Features

Google has announced they are rolling out new features for Blogger. Some of the cool new tools include:

* Permissions: Decide who gets to read your blog.
* Labels: Categories for Blogger, yay!
* Extra feeds: let readers subscribe to comments etc

Existing Blogger users will have to wait for a magic link to appear. In the meantime, everyone can check out the new features by simply starting a new blog.

I met with Jason Goldman, on the Blogger team, last week and he alluded to the fact that new features were coming. I practically begged them to add some type of categories, so I’m tickled to see the new features – now perhaps the WordPress kids will stop teasing me! ;-)

AOL Acquires Userplane

Quick news, via MarketingVOX

AOL has acquired Userplane of Los Angeles, a community-networking software developer of web-based chat and instant messaging tools used by social networking and dating websites, blogs, and niche communities.