Blog faces huge mutiny among fan sites

The admin teams behind several fan sites have left en masse, saying the Sky-owned portal’s technology is outdated.

The rebels have set up a new sports network called Clubfanzine and claim around 40 Rivals sites have agreed to jump ship, including those of Premiership clubs Newcastle, Middlesborough and Derby County.

This is bad news for Sky, especially given the timing, just days after the new football season started.


VibeAgent - a hotel review site

VibeAgent is a hotel search and review site that's currently in private beta - users submit hotel reviews and recommendations, while the site allows you to book the hotel online.


Email marketing overtakes direct mail

Email marketing has overtaken direct mail in terms of volume for the first time, according to figures from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).

The DMA's Email Benchmarking report revealed that the average volume of emails rose by 52% year on year, while direct mail volumes have decreased as a result of improved targeting.


Microsoft restructures for online ad battle

Microsoft has restructured its digital advertising business to accommodate its recent buyouts of aQuantive and online ad exchange AdECN.

The software giant has created a new ‘Advertiser and Publisher Solutions’ unit to promote its online ad platforms to publishers and brands and carry the fight to arch-rivals Google and Yahoo!.


Social media's influence overstated?

A new report from JupiterResearch has questioned the tactic of targeting high value customers through social media sites, saying they may be more traditional in their online behaviour than social marketers think.

The research found that, although nearly 25% of all online adults are classed as influential ‘brand advocates’, they spend more time gathering product information and purchasing items than spreading the word through social media sites.


Polar Rose launches photo search tool in beta

Polar Rose is a Swedish startup that's developing photo search and facial recognition technology for use on the web. It has recently launched in a private beta.

Polar Rose aims to use the technology to make images on the internet as searchable as text documents and web pages. It raised $5.1m in funding from Nordic Venture Partners last year to develop its product.


Mahalo launches web search toolbar

Mahalo, the new search engine project launched recently by Jason Calacanis, has launched a toolbar to allow users to compare its results with other search engines.

The Mahalo Follow toolbar, available only for Firefox, allows you to view its human edited search results next to those of the other search engines, or else appear in response to other pages. For example, bringing up will generate SEO/marketing related results.


Glam Media to raise $200m war chest?

Glam Media, which runs a network of sites focused on women, is reported to be receiving another $200m (£99.5m) in funding, a whopping amount for a company that essentially doesn't own many online assets.

VentureBeat has a copy of the document (pdf) Glam has been sending out to potential investors, which trumpets the network's visitor numbers, reach and projected revenues.

Matt Marshall at VentureBeat also reckons that Glam will announce a deal with Google that will see the search engine power searches on 'Glam's sites'. This is news to many of the people that actually own these websites.


ISPs concerned about the iPlayer

UK ISPs have reportedly been expressing concerns about the BBC's new iPlayer service and saying the corporation should make a contribution towards the cost of delivering video across their networks.

Providers including BT and Tiscali are worried that having thousands of people receiving content from the BBC will increase the strain on their networks.


Q&A: WorkingMums founder Gillian Nissim

WorkingMums is a recently-launched online service in the UK that displays flexible jobs opprtunities for women.

Started last year by Gillian Nissim, a working Mum herself, the business has been profitable since November and has signed up 600 employers. We asked Gillian about her experiences of launching a start-up and her plans for the future.


House of Lords calls for action on online security

A House of Lords committee has called on the government to take more action on the issue of online fraud and security, calling the current policy 'unrealistic'.

The Lords' Science and Technology Committee, which has been investigating online security over the last six months, referred to the government's current policy as a 'Wild West' approach.

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'YouTube killer' bags $100m funding

The as yet unnamed joint online video venture from News Corp and NBC, touted as a 'YouTube killer', has received $100m (£49.5m) in funding from Providence Equity Partners.

The VC firm will take a 10% stake in the company, which gives it a valuation of $1bn (£495m) - not bad for a site that's as yet unlaunched and thus unproven.