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Blog

New York Times allows user comments - on third party sites

The New York Times announced on Monday that it will allow its stories to be commented upon, yet it stops short of embracing user-generated content by allowing comments only through third party sites (Digg, Facebook and Newsvine).

It is the first time the newspaper's online site has added a news-sharing tool, which will allow users to discuss its stories on social news sites, though in truth users can do this anyway...

Nevertheless, the paper has embedded links to all three sites onto many of its online stories.

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Are PR firms paying Digg users?

Calacanis-flavoured rumours doing the rounds in the blogosphere suggest that some of Digg's top posters have been paid, or offered payment, by PR firms.

He may have resigned from his position at Netscape, but Jason Calacanis is still keeping an eye on events surrounding Digg. He reports in his blog that a number of Digg's top 50 users are on the payroll of a leading (unnamed, of course) PR firm.

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Sethi leaves TechCrunch UK after dispute with Arrington

Intrigue and confusion over at TechCrunch UK following what appears to be a dispute between Sam Sethi and TechCrunch head honcho Michael Arrington, with Sethi losing out and moving on.

In his (now removed) final post Sethi wrote:

"Following yesterday’s post about Le Web and Loic’s retort. It seems Mike Arrington has disagreed with my post and opinion believing my actions to be vindictive towards Loic. What was said between Mike and I will remain confidential but suffice to say I can no longer remain with TechCrunch UK & Ireland.

"It is a very sad after all the work that has gone into TechCrunch UK and Ireland. I wish all of the UK and Irish entrepreneurs well. I will be personally blogging back at www.vecosys.com and looking for something new to keep me busy. Bye."

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Skype founders' Venice Project now in beta

The Venice Project, the internet TV project from Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, has gone into public beta testing.

The Venice Project will stream TV to its users’ PCs, thereby avoiding the long download times of other internet TV services like Channel 4's recently launched on Demand service.

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Google claims click fraud rate is lower than 2%

Andy Beal at MarketingPilgrim has an interesting article, in which he reports claims from Google that their click fraud rate is less then 2%.

Andy has been talking to Google’s business product manager for trust and safety, Shuman Ghosemajumder, about click fraud detection. He was shown a PowerPoint presentation which was normally for Google employees' eyes only.

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Le Web 3: France 'behind' in web commerce, culture

France is lagging behind in online innovation because the government has not created good enough conditions for entrepreneurs, according to French interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy.

Staking out his e-commerce credentials in the 2007 presidential election race, Mr Sarkozy on Tuesday told 1,000 bloggers and web professionals France had come late to the internet party, and he painted a bleak picture.

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Reaping the rewards of consumer brand ownership and Web 2.0

Opinion piece by Douglas M. Smith

Recently, I sat in a meeting with the Chairman of a well-known entertainment brand, which few would label as being the most advanced company in terms of online marketing.

Being able to present to any major company Chairman is in itself, a clear sign of the shifting corporate priorities towards digital related marketing techniques...

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Le Web 3: Mainstream bloggers sometimes need prompting

One in 10 posts on new blogging service Vox are the result of prompts from owner Six Apart.

Mena Trott, co-founder of the blogging software provider best known for Movable Type, told the Le Web 3 conference here in Paris that the new service's Question of the Day feature encouraged users to write blog posts when their creativity was running on empty.

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Le Web 3: Second Life firms 'not yet strong enough'

Despite a raft of headlines about its potential as a shopping environment in recent months, Second Life creator Linden Labs has conceded that few of its resident stores are yet making fortunes in the virtual world.

"Most of the brands that have come in have not created a strong enough presence to create a significant business for them at this moment in time," Linden Labs marketing director Glenn Fisher told the Le Web 3 conference in Paris this afternoon.

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Wikia launches free wiki tools

Wikia , the commercial offshoot of Wikipedia, has launched a range of free tools for bloggers and publishers that want to build collaborative features into their sites.

The service, called OpenServing, will offer free software, content and hosting to its subscribers, who can also keep all of the advertising revenues they generate from the apps they develop.

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Google in duplicate content shocker

It seems that, when they came to designing an IE7 promo page, Google couldn't be bothered to start from scratch, and produced a page that looks remarkably similar to Yahoo's.

Both Yahoo and Google have produced personalized versions of the new Internet Explorer 7 browser – Matthew Ingram has the screenshots.

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Web 2.0 company Xing raises €35.7 million in IPO

Business social networking service OpenBC, a Teutonic version of LinkedIn, has announced that it has raised €35.7 million in an IPO. Its market cap is about €157 million.

OpenBC, which is rebranding as Xing, has around 1.5 million members, and was able to boost its revenues year-on-year from €1.6 million to just under €6 million at the end of the last fiscal year.

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