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51.com Has 60M users and Another $10M in Funding
51.com, China's largest blogging community, has reached 60 million users, and is still growing at a rate of nearly 5 million new subscribers per month. They've also raised another $10 million in their second round of funding. 51.com is a personal blog network, ranking in the top 20 Chinese websites worldwide.

Social Network Ad Spending to Reach $2.5 Billion in 2011
A recent report from eMarketer notes the importance of social networks online, estimating their marketing to reach $2.5 billion between 2007 and 2011 in the U.S., a 180% increase from this year. Key hubs for online social networks as pointed out by eMarketer are MySpace and Facebook , as they have a broad reach to their demographics and have had an impact on advertising, for both online and offline.

Orbitz Looking to go Public
Orbitz Worldwide, a subsidiary of Travelport Limited, is planning an IPO. The travel booking and planning site is expecting the IPO to take place in the third quarter of 2007. A registration statement relating to the shares of Orbitz Worldwide common stock has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but is not yet effective. The book runners of the initial public offering are Morgan Stanely & Co. Incorporated, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Lehman Brothers Inc. and J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. Travelport, owned by The Blackstone Group of New Yor, Technology Crossover Ventures and One Equity Partners of New York, made $2.6 billion in revenue last year.

Joost Announces $45 million Funding From Sequoia, Index, CBS & Viacom
Internet TV startup Joost raised $45 million in a venture round of financing, the company will announce this evening. Investors include Sequoia Capital, Index Ventures, CBS Corporation, Viacom and Chinese billionaire Li Ka-shing. The company has not previously disclosed any financings. Joost was started by Skype founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström in 2006; presumably seed funding came directly from them.

Odeo Acquired By SonicMountain
Details are just coming out, but New York based SonicMountain, a new startup, has acquired Evan Williams' Odeo. The announcement will come sometime tomorrow. The price is not being disclosed but is in excess of $1 million, and the deal was all cash. Odeo was publicly put on sale last February. The company was bought back from investors late last year.

Weebly Launches Blog Platform, Closes $650K Investment
AJAX website editor Weebly has just landed $650K in investment and launched a new blogging platform today. The investment comes from Ron Conway's Baseline Ventures, Steve Anderson, Sydin Senkhut, Paul Buchheit, and Mike Maples. Weebly plans to put the money towards new personal and product design.

eBay Close to Acquiring StumbleUpon
First reported here at TechCrunch on April 18, eBay is now said to be close to finalizing its deal to acquire StumbleUpon for $75 million, according to a new online report from the Wall Street Journal. The high flying startup has been rumored to be in acquisition talks since November . The Wall Street Journal report quotes an insider saying that no final agreement has been reached and that talks could still fail.

Rabble's Mobile Social Network Gets Funding
Rabble, the mobile social networking community, has gotten some funding (or, more correctly, their parent company, San Diego-based InterCasting Corp ). Venrock, Avalon Ventures and Masthead Venture Partners have led and supported a second round of funding to the tune of $12 million, announced today.

VideoJug Gets Funding
VideoJug , the how-to video aggregator site, has raised $30 million in an equity round that included a private investment consortium that was led by private equity financier Jeremy Coller, founder of Coller Capital. The consortium also includes the venture capital arm of the hedge fund Sloane Robinson, which invested $20 million in VideoJug's latest round of funding for a significant minority stake in the video-sharing site.

Photobucket goes to Myspace (Acquired)
Like a squabbling couple finally realizing they can't live without eachother -- or a parasite fusing with its host -- Photobucket has concluded terms of a sale to Myspace, News Corporation's social network. The photo sharing service, which had a quarrelsome but symbiotic relationship with Myspace, may announce the deal as early as this morning. After final negotiations at the end of last week, Photobucket has called an all-hands staff meeting for 10am PST this morning. We don't have the financial details of the acquisition, but Photobucket, and its bankers Lehman Brothers, were looking for at least $300m.

Google In Talks To Acquire SimplyHired
Rumors surfaced today that Google is in discussions to acquire job search engine Simply Hired. Trip Chowdry, a research analyst at Global Equity Research first spoke about it, and the story was then picked up by Alarm:Clock. I spoke with Simply Hired president Dion Lim, who confirmed that there is 'lots of interest in us' from a number of parties but would not comment directly on the rumored deal.

About.com Takes ConsumerSearch for $33M
About.com , a leading resource for everyday advice on a wide array of topics, has reportedly bought ConsumerSearch for $33 million in cash. ConsumerSearch is a product meta-reviews site, aggregating reviews from across the web and in printed publications, to offer a systematic 'review of reviews' for consumers.

Microsoft Acquiring ScreenTonic for Mobile Ad Platform
Microsoft is acquiring ScreenTonic, a local-based ads delivery platform for mobile devices, for an undisclosed amount. Paris-based ScreenTonic was founded in 2001, and has created the Stamp platform to deliver text or banner links on portals, text message ads and mobile web page ads, that vary depending on the recipients geographical location.

Mig33 Gets $10M in Funding
Mig33 , the mobile Internet company that provides VoIP and instant messaging services, has raised $10M in funding in their first round, led by Accel Partners and RedPoint Ventures. Mig33, whose parent company Project Goth is based in Australia, is headquartered in Burlingame, CA. The start-up offers mobile phone users VoIP, instant messaging, SMS messaging, as well as social networking services all rolled into one mobile community.

Outbrain Raises Funding for Blog Ratings System
Outbrain, a free service for rating and delivering content to site publishers, has received a round of funding from LGiLab, GlenRock, Sigma PCM and private investors, for an undisclosed amount. Outbrain lets you add inline, 5-star ratings to your blog entries, providing you with an interactive way to see what your readers do and don't like on your site.

HUGE: Microsoft Could Acquire Yahoo for $50 Billion
Stung by the loss of Internet advertising firm DoubleClick to Google last month, Microsoft has intensified its pursuit of a deal with Yahoo!, asking the company to re-enter formal negotiations, The Post has learned. While Microsoft and Yahoo! have held informal deal talks over the years, sources say the latest approach signals an urgency on Microsoft's part that has up until now been lacking.

Is the Web 2.0 bubble popping?
If there were a theme to today's WSA Investment Forum, it would have to be the battle for online advertising dollars. A host of presenting companies -- Mixxer, Ripl, Smilebox, Treemo and Yodio to name a few -- all are hoping to take a sliver of the online advertising pie. But for the first time since the dawn of the Web 2.0 era, I heard repeated comments about whether there was enough online ad money to go around. (Of course, Mark Anderson of Strategic News Service set the tone at the opening panel discussion in which he questioned the viability of ad-supported businesses). But throughout the day, concerns popped up.

eBay Gets Stake in Turkish Auction Market
eBay announced yesterday that it has acquired a minority stake in Turkish-based GittiGidiyor.com, an online marketplace structured in a similar manner to eBay. GittiGidiyor reportedly has more than 400,000 listings and 17 million users, which is a considerable percentage of the Turkish population. With the stake in GittiGidiyor, eBay now has the opportunity to enter the Turkish market via a system that's already similar to theirs in functionality and purpose. eBay is already present in over six countries, including Spain, China, France, Australia and Austria. They are also in the process of buying StumbleUpon, the bookmarking and site discovery site.

Minglebox Gets $7M from Sequoia
Minglebox , the India-based social network for college campuses, raised $7 million in funding, backed by Sequoia Capital India. Minglebox started with a concept similar to facebook (though less elitist), and Ning , creating customized networks for people on college campuses. The goal is for each network to be a close knit community, working like a college intranet. As with many other social networking sites, you can share videos, music, blogs, photos and events with friends and the group at large.

Frengo Raises $5.7 Million Series A Round
Redwood City based Frengo, a mobile social networking startup targeting the growing SMS/ TXT market have completed Series A funding of $5.7 million. The founding round was led by Trilogy Equity Partners, a firm led by John Stanton, the former T-Mobile USA and Western Wireless Chief Executive, and completed by Khosla Ventures and Index Ventures, both of which provided capital in the initial round of $2.3 million for Frengo in December 2006.

Yahoo! Announces Agreement to Acquire Right Media, Largest Emerging Online Advertising Exchange
Key Step in Executing Yahoo!'s Long-Term Strategy to Transform How Online Advertisers Connect to and Engage With Their Customers - Both On and Off the Yahoo! Network SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO - News ), a leading global Internet company, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Right Media Inc., creator of the Right Media Exchange. The acquisition of Right Media will build upon Yahoo!'s leadership in online advertising and is a key step towards executing the Company's long-term strategy to transform how online advertisers connect to and engage with their customers - both on and off the Yahoo! network. Under the terms of the agreement, which follows Yahoo!'s 20 percent strategic investment in Right Media in October 2006, Yahoo! will acquire the remaining equity interest in Right Media for approximately $680 million.

NBC Universal Acquires RMail
Great news for founder Randy Charles Morin, but a bit of a head scratcher for us: NBC Universal has acquired RMail, Randy's startup that allows you to subscribe to RSS feeds via email. The site has more than 50,000 users, 100,000 subscriptions and sends over 50,000 emails per day - not huge numbers compared to the likes of Feedburner and Feedblitz. What are NBC Universal's aspirations in the RSS space, and how does this buy fit in? Nonetheless, congrats to Randy on a big coup for the company.

Google: Serve YouTube Ads this Way and You'll Make Billions
YouTube is testing pre-roll and post-roll ads behind the scenes, say BusinessWeek and others. While these are shorter than your typical 30 second TV slots, they'll still be super annoying and could kill the addictive nature of the site. But there's another, really powerful solution that Google should consider (no doubt they already have, in which case this is a vote for it).

Stockpickr Acquired By TheStreet.com
In January StockPickr announced an investment stake and partnership deal with TheStreet.com. It looks like both sides liked the deal; this evening TheStreet.com announced that they acquired the company. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Blinkx IPO?
The UK-based Autonomy has exercised an option to take over the consumer site Blinkx (Blinkx founder and CEO Suranga Chandratillake-a former U.S. CTO of Autonomy-told Search Engine Watch in 2005 that Autonomy didn't have any equity in the search site, but was only providing the search technology behind the service), the site had about $10-12 million invested in it since it founded in 2003. With the takeover, Autonomy is spinning off its consumer division (the technology), merging it with Blinkx Inc (the video search site), renaming the two together as Blinkx, plc, and then will float them through an IPO on London's AIM market in May...

EQO Gets $9 Million
EQO, a mobile services company we've covered only because of its social networking integration, is announcing on Wednesday that it has raised $9M in Series B financing in a round led by Ventures West, with the return of GrowthWorks and BDC Capital. EQO launched at DEMO 2006, and offers to mobilize IM and VOiP networks including Skype, AIM, ICQ, MSN Messenger, GoogleTalk and Yahoo Messenger. The funding is being used to expand the team and build new products.

Facebox Becomes Netlog; Raises €5M
Netlog , previously known as Facebox, is relaunching (again) under their latest new brand name, with €5 million ($6.8M) in their pocket from a round of funding backed by Index Ventures. Netlog has an extensive, and confusing, history. Feel free to delve deeper into their story here . Netlog has created a network of interactive communities that span Europe in nine different countries, all operating in their respective languages from English to Dutch to Portuguese.

CastTV Raises $3.1 Million, Battles Google And AOL In Video Search
San Francisco-based CastTV, a video search service that is yet to launch, announced a $3.1 million round of financing from Draper Fisher Jurvetson this morning. We first wrote about the company, which is led by husband and wife team Edwin Ong and Alex Vikati, last October. See our post and screenshots here . AOL arguably has the best video search technology through their acquisition of Truveo in early 2006. Google also has a growing video search engine that includes both Google Video and YouTube videos.

PayPerPost Acquires Zookoda
Controversial startup PayPerPost will announce the acquisition of Zookoda , an Australian blog-to-email service, tomorrow. We wrote about Zookoda last year, and the company put the product up for sale last September. There were reportedly a number of offers for the service when it was originally put up for sale, but the asking price of US$500,000 was too rich to close a deal. Now, nearly seven months later, PayPerPost has stepped in to acquire the company. PayPerPost is not disclosing what they paid for Zookoda, although CEO Ted Murphy did tell me it was a cash deal.

Privacy Group Objects To DoubleClick Deal
Google 's proposed $3.1 billion purchase of online ad firm DoubleClick would merge two powerful digital data gatherers that track people's online activities, raising serious privacy concerns that the Federal Trade Commission should investigate, consumer advocates allege in a complaint to be filed with the FTC today.

Google's copyright-protection tool unveiled
World's largest Web search services provider finds a way to protect itself from recent piracy claims from Viacom as well as future allegations. Google is ready to introduce a copyright protection tool that helps media owners to automatically report acts of piracy on its YouTube video site, Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said Tuesday.

Facebook Tells Twitter to SHUT UP
If all that self-obsessed Tweeting was starting to irritate you, don't fear - Facebook now provides the same service. The thing is, Facebook was practically the same as Twitter already - the site's 'status updates' allowed you to tell your friends what you were doing at any moment.

Blog Ad Network CrispAds Acquired by Intela
You'll remember we mentioned that CrispAds , the blog ad network, had been acquired by an unknown buyer. That buyer has now come forward: it's Intela LLC , a Boulder, Colorado-based affiliate marketing and lead generation company. They will offer the blog ad network to those clients who want to 'expand beyond straight affiliate marketing and those that are not well served in that arena', CEO Jim Mansfield says. The deal will be announced at the San Fran Ad Tech show on Tuesday, and a release will go out the same day

Podbridge Raises $8.5 Million, Podcasting Pops the Pilchard?
People are still throwing money at podcasting, it seems: podcast advertising firm PodBridge , which I first mentioned over a year ago, just raised a substantial $8.5 million Series B round of financing from Sutter Hill Ventures and return backers Mayfield and Worldview Technology Partners. Rivals include Podtrac , Fruitcast (missing, presumed to be plotting a relaunch), RadioTail and Kiptronic.

The Internationalization of Web 2.0
Interesting enough, I'm repping three companies at Web 2.0 Expo this year [ esnips , leaptag , and spock , and NONE of the CEOs are American. (Israeli, Turkish and Indian). Interesting isn't it? I'd be interested in hearing about other Web 2.0 companies started by non-Americans. (Apart from obvious winners like Skype.)

Hitwise Acquired by Experian
Hitwise, the company that performs analysis of log files from 25 million worldwide ISP accounts to provide relative market share graphs for web properties, has been acquired by Experian for $240 million [via Dave McClure and Marketing Pilgrim...]

Google Acquires Marratech; Gets Into WebEx Territory
After reporting a monster fiscal quarter (the company has close to $12 billion in cash sitting around now and has hired nearly 2,000 new employees this year), Google made a quiet announcement on its corporate blog tonight - they've acquired Swedish startup Marratech for an undisclosed price. This is the first I've heard of Marratech, which is broadly in the e-meeting space and certainly competes with WebEx (recently acquired by Cisco for $3.2 billion). Users are able to communicate via text chat, VOIP and video, and share applications in a virtual meeting.

Mobile Social Networking Patent Sells for $2.6 Million
The patent embedded below is extremely valuable: it just sold for $2.6 million. At 3pm on Thursday, this US patent (number 6,618,593) sold at the Union League Club of Chicago, and that price made it one of the biggest bids recorded for intellectual property during a live auction. The patent covers mobile social networking - set to be one of the hottest tech markets this year.

Axis Open Source and Kaboodle Ventures LLC Announce Partnership to Develop Web 3 Media Applications
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona, March 8, 2007 Axis Open Source, a leading developer of Linux, PHP and MySql solutions and Kaboodle Ventures LLC a Web Technologies holding company announced today a partnership to develop, market and distribute a new series of Web 3.0 consumer driven media applications in the B2C, B2B and C2C market space.

eBay Acquiring StumbleUpon
High-flying startup StumbleUpon has been rumored to be in acquisition discussions since at least last November. Recently we've heard that talks have heated up again, with Google, AOL and eBay as potential suitors. A source with knowledge of the deal now says the company has signed a term sheet with eBay to be acquired. The price is somewhere between $40 - $75 million. (update: GigaOm is now reporting the price at a $40 - $45 million).

Yahoo reports earnings just under estimates, stock drops 6% post market close
Yahoo! Inc. reported results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2007. They reported Operating Income of $169 million on Revenues of $1,672 Million. CNBC is reporting, 'Yahoo 1st Quarter Earnings Fall to $0.10 a Share -- 1 Cent Below Expectations.' I guess one penny below is enough to push the stock down nearly 6% in post market trading. Yahoo is still up this year about ~20% but for the full year it is down.  All of the analysts keep discussing Panama, the new Yahoo ad product/software.

Web 2.0 Expo: Eric Schmidt Interview
Schmidt starts off by announcing a presentation feature for Docs & Spreadsheets. John Battelle points out that this completes the Office suite, so he asks is it now a competitor to MS? Schmidt says no, because it doesn't have the same or all of MS Office's functionality. He says Google D&S is a collaborative, web 2.0 framework - very different to MS Office according to Schmidt. He talks about the transition to a web-based computing framework, which their product is a good example of ...

Facebook May Launch Local Classifieds
Facebook is considering the launch of a local classifieds service, a source told Mashable. Under the proposed system, it would be free to list items in your own network, and cost a few dollars to post to each additional network. The following survey was sent to certain Facebook users...

FunnyorDie.com: Will Ferrell Takes Sequoia Investment
What an odd mashing of worlds: Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's production company has taken an investment from esteemed venture capital firm Sequoia Capital to launch a new comedy video site.

In Google we trust
What is Google? Before you reply, take a second to think about it. Let's think about it from the people in the biz perspective and the average Internet user perspective. Om Malik appears to share my view that Google is an advertising company whose products support their advertising platform. That's very different than a company who builds products and then relies on ads to support them.

Reunion.com Receives $25M Funding
Can a social network be Web 1.0? Reunion.com , which is announcing $25M in funding today from Oak Investment Partners, certainly doesn't adhere to the principles of modern web design and features. But it does have 28 million users, making it a major force (just behind Bebo, if you can believe any of these user numbers), and it now boasts one of the largest social networking investments to date. The company was angel funded to the tune of $1.4 million by Jeffrey Tinsley, Richard Rosenblatt ( Demand Media ) and Andy Mazzarella.

Why Google bought DoubleClick
If there was any need for proof that Google considers advertising its core competency, then last few days provide ample testimony to that fact. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company has partnered with Clear Channel Communications to sell radio ads, a move that follows their decision to snap up DoubleClick for $3.1 billion which has been the big news of the weekend.

Last.fm Partners with IODA - Even More Music on Last.fm
Last.fm, the social discovery and recommendation music site, will announce a deal today with the Independent Online Distribution Alliance. The partnership between Last.fm and IODA means that even more music is now available for Last.fm users. IODA's full catalog, which includes over 800,000 tracks, will be accessible to Last.fm members, and over 24,000 PromoTracks will be available for free on-demand streaming and download. Offering more variety, especially from artists that are marketed through IODA, is what brings value to Last.fm, as it is a social site that fully takes advantage of the music industry's long tail.

Google money is good but working for Google, not so good!
Dennis Crowley, founder of DodgeBall, a hipster SMS-social networking service that Google bought back in May 2005 has quit Google, reports Young Manhattanite. Alex Rainert, employee #2 for DodgeBall has also left the company. They both resigned on April 13th, 2007.

Microsoft Looking to Halt Google's Acquisition of DoubleClick
Microsoft contends that Google's acquisition of DoubleClick will stifle competition on nearly all fronts, and is the very making of a monopoly.

DoubleClick Acquired by Google For $3.1 Billion In Cash
Google reached an agreement today to acquire DoubleClick, the online advertising company, from two private equity firms for $3.1 billion in cash, the companies announced, an amount that was almost double the $1.65 billion in stock that Google paid for YouTube late last year.

Sun Microsystems to buy SavaJe assets
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Server and software maker Sun Microsystems, Inc. said Thursday it will buy the intellectual property assets of privately-held SavaJe Technologies, which makes an operating platform for wireless networks. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Sun Microsystems said it expects the acquisition to close during the fourth quarter of its 2007 fiscal year, which began on April 2. Sun Microsystems shares closed unchanged at $5.90 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Payday for Red Swoosh: $15 million from Akamai
Akamai has acquired Red Swoosh for $15 million in a stock for stock transaction. We covered Red Swoosh last year when they launched a free, ad supported version of its file serving technology. Red Swoosh uses bittorent-like technology to quickly transfer files using peer to peer technology. Some companies are starting to use bittorent directly for file sharing, however, which questions the need for something like Red Swoosh. See this post on the BBC's useage of Zudeo and bittorent to deliver files to users. Pando, another startup, also overlaps a bit with Red Swoosh.

Commentful Acquired by Blogflux
Remember Commentful, the service that tracks your comments across multiple sites? They've been acquired by the blog tools provider Blogflux, the company told us today. The app has been rewritten and much improved, they say. The new version is at commentful.blogflux.com. The acquisition took place quietly in January.

No IPO for you Web 2.0
Going IPO or to be "hoovered" by a big company, the choices of how to cash out of your web 2.0 company are getting more complex, and require patience. Forbes this morning is asking the question, why no Web 2.0 IPO's and then answers it with the idea that these companies are just not mature enough to go up for sale on the markets, or they are hoping to be bought out or "Hooevered" by a bigger company that make it through the Web 1.0 process.

CEO Of Rivals Committed Securities Fraud; May Kill Yahoo Acquisition
Rumors about a possible $100 million acquisition by Yahoo of sports content site Rivals surfaced today. But two previous deals to acquire the company died once it was discovered that the CEO, Shannon Terry, was found to have been involved in a classic 'pump and dump' scheme, and violated the anti-touting and antifraud provisions of U.S. securities laws in 1998.

Socialight Scores Major Deal with Virgin Mobile
A trusted source tells us that Socialight, the mobile social network, has struck a deal that could provide a big boost to the service. An agreement with Virgin Mobile means that Socialight is now preloaded on every Virgin Mobile phone - with 5 million Virgin subscribers, that's a big opportunity. BusinessWeek reported in February that Virgin Mobile may be headed for an IPO.

For $10,000 you can own the outdoor community site MyOutdoors.net
Want to buy a slightly used mashup? For $10,000 you can own the outdoor community site MyOutdoors.net . The site, created in 2006 by brothers Dale and Brian Beerman, 'provides everything the outdoor community needs to find and create journal entries of their outdoor activities'. You can see their ProgrammableWeb listing here.

Virtual feds visit Second Life casinos
FBI investigators have visited Second Life's Internet casinos at the invitation of the virtual world's creator Linden Lab, but the U.S. government has not decided on the legality of virtual gambling."We have invited the FBI several times to take a look around in Second Life and raise any concerns they would like, and we know of at least one instance that federal agents did look around in a virtual casino," said Ginsu Yoon, until recently Linden Lab's general counsel and currently vice president for business affairs.

Why Everyone's Talking about Twitter
If you ever fancied yourself a blogger but didn't have the time or energy to post thoughtful or silly missives at regular intervals, a new service called Twitter could set your inner blogger free. While some people call it microblogging or moblogging, I like to think of Twitter simply as blogging for regular people. Maybe you're really busy. Maybe you don't have much to say. Or maybe you're just lazy. Not a problem. This free service works by letting you broadcast a group text message to your friends' mobile phones from either your own phone, an instant message or an online form at twitter.com.

$200+ Million For Fandango
We're triangulating information from a couple of sources who have information about the size of the Comcast/Fandango deal . It sounds like Comcast paid $200 million, or perhaps a bit more. We're also hearing Fandango revenue is in the $50m/year range, split roughly evenly between ticket sales and advertising. This isn't firm yet - our sources are in the same ballpark but they aren't agreeing on an exact number.

Text Link Ads Launches Post Level Blog Ads
Text Link Ads just launched a service called 'Post Level Text Link Ads'. TLA, you may know, originally sold text links on websites. As feeds burgeoned, they launched Feedvertising , which embedded ads at the bottom of your posts in feeds. Now they're debuting something in between: Post Level Text Link Ads are like the feed ads, but they appear at the bottom of posts on your blog itself. Feedburner also offers on-site ads at the bottom of the first post, so there's increasingly an overlap between the two.

Technorati Acquires Personal Bee
As we reported in March, Technorati has acquired Personal Bee. We pretty much concluded this after the Personal Bee founder gave us a playful 'no comment!' in response to inquiries.

Viacom Snubs Google Again, Partners With Yahoo On Search Advertising
Viacom hasn't been gentle with Google this year. In February they slammed Google/YouTube with a massive DMCA take down demand (and an equally massive press outreach). A month later they sued Google for a billion dollars . Between those two events they signed a content deal with Joost , a YouTube competitor in the professional content space. All of this seems to stem from the fact that Google promised Viacom a revenue share deal on YouTube, then failed to table a compelling offer.

Public Relations -- A catalyst for success
I'm constantly surprised by the large number of techies who fail to understand or appreciate the role of good PR in launching and sustaining a company. Good Public Relation helps: articulate a message that resonates with customers; generate press coverage that drives sales leads and sales; attract partners; create market leadership; render competitors less relevant; attract investors at favorable valuation; maximize exit valuations.

PhotoBucket Videos Blocked on MySpace
Sometime around 10:30 pm PST tonight, MySpace began blocking videos embedded on MySpace pages that originate from Photobucket. This is a major blackout, affecting millions of embedded videos. Photobucket images and slideshows are not affected. Videos from competitors like YouTube are still working fine.

Spock's New People Engine
It's not often we hear about a startup's venture financing before we see the product, but that is the case with yet-to-launch Spock, located in Silicon Valley. Rumors about their $7 million Series A round of financing from Clearstone Venture Partners and Opus Capital Ventures circulated last December, months before the beta service was planned to launch.

Big Round For Aggregate Knowledge
As previously rumored, Aggregate Knowledge closed a second round of financing earlier this year - $20 million to add to their previous $5 million round from Kleiner Perkins and First Round Capital. DAG Ventures led this new round, and Kleiner also participated.


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