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Yesterday I detailed my experience of trying to use Twitter as a search engine. It wasn't a good experience.
A lot of people have been trying to define and categorize Twitter lately with minimal success. That's probably due to the fact that Twitter is being used by lots of different people for lots of different things; it's hard to fit it in a neat little box.
As blogs have gained in prominence as sources of news and information, the value of the most popular blogs has become a subject of much talk.
Some blogs, such as The Huffington Post, have been funded to the tune of millions of dollars by investors who believe that they're the next big media companies.
Take one publisher, one widget, Twitter, a sponsor, and a dash of censorship, blend well, and...you've got yourself an ad model!
At least. Glam did during last night's Oscar telecast. The company plunked a widget on its home page during the Academy Awards broadcast last night so its users could share their thoughts on the telecast. Aveeno's logo graced the bottom of the app.
But unlike the live Twitter feed gracing our fair homepage, Glam editors made plenty of calls: who was allowed to tweet, as well as redlining inappropriate comments, to make the environment more advertiser-amenable.
According to a report in Venturebeat, Glam intends to continue the experiment, but isn't married to Twitter. Facebook and Friendfeed could supply the user-generated content in future endeavors in a product it has dubbed "gWire".
Glam experimented with the feature during New York's Fashion Week last week to enthusiastic participation. The company says it's creating a pool of freelance contributors it can trust to feed teh stream with less supervision and accordingly, lower editorial overhead.
It seems that The Telegraph has been using Digg successfully to drive more traffic to its website, and provides a useful example for other newspaper and blogs to follow.
By encouraging readers to Digg the stories they are reading on the newspaper site, The Telegraph has managed to increase the amount of traffic it receives from the social news site, and is now largest recipient of Digg traffic in the UK.
As soon as President Obama was inaugurated this week, a shiny new version of the whitehouse.gov website was launched, replete with blog and RSS feeds, an indication of the new administration's intent to make full use of the internet.
TopGear.com, the sister site to the popular BBC motoring programme, has been trumpeting its relaunch with a series of viral videos seeded on sites like YouTube and Facebook.
The look of the site has been improved, while car reviews, and more blog and video content has been added. The redesigned TopGear.com also displays new and used cars from AutoTrader. This brings it into competition with sites like Autocar and Parkers, so I've been seeing how it compares.
2009 is shaping up to be an interesting year for the newspaper industry.
As the economic downturn accelerates the severe declines in print revenue most major newspapers have been experiencing, the imperative for change will only get stronger. Indeed, 2009 may be a make or break year for many of them.