Hey, troops (holiday pun not intended). I hope you were all blessed with a three day weekend and used the time to back away from the computer and actually enjoy it. To those who had to work yesterday, well…my tanned, relaxed body feels almost sorry for you. Better luck next year, eh? [By “tanned” she means “burned”. It’s not pretty.–Susan] - Only my shoulders are burned and I’m adorable. Cancer-ridden, but adorable.
Here are some of the headlines I missed during my Memorial Day BBQ-athon.
Google/Doubleclick Deal Scrutinized
I was enjoying the few days that went by without a Google/DoubleClick headline but, like three day weekends, all good things must come to an end.
The New York Times reports today that the Federal Trade Commission has begun its preliminary investigation into the Google/DoubleClick deal that was announced back in April. You’ll remember that when the deal was first announced privacy groups were up in arms, arguing it would "give one company access to more information about the Internet than any other company in the world". The combination of Google collecting user search histories and DoubleClick tracking user movements made some people a tad fearful.
The FTC will now conduct an investigation but they’re probably not too concerned with your privacy fears. As the NYT notes, antitrust officials don’t deal with privacy issues, they’re concerned about whether this deal hinders competition. The FTC has sent Google a list of detailed questions known as a "second request" in order to get more information. This may indicate that they found something in the initial deal that raised some flags.
Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, believes that the decision the FTC makes will have a lasting effect on the online advertising agency and privacy on the Internet.
Facebook Mania Goes Widespread, Privacy Concerns Abound
Do you want to know how most of the SEO community spent their weekend? They spent it joining and obsessing over Facebook. If you don’t believe me, I have the friend requests, a mile-long newsfeed, and messages from some of my favorite SEOs to prove it.
SEOs weren’t the only ones running to Facebook, though. Last week’s f8 Platform launch (the one that released an API allowing developers to create additional toys and functionality for the site) made Facebook everyone’s new favorite watering hole. I’d be excited about this if I liked the idea of new kids coming in and ruining a good thing.
Thanks to f8, droves of news users are joining Facebook and littering their once clutter-free profiles with noisy applications like embedded Digg and Twitter feeds, music programs, political compasses, random trivia games – and that’s just on Tamar Weinberg’s page! Kidding – Tamar hasn’t adopted the compass. Yet.
Yahoo Puts Non-Yahoo Links On Home Page
There’s lots of buzz today over Yahoo experimenting with putting non-Yahoo property links on the home page. According to Michael Arrington, who was personally contacted Yahoo because he is just that cool, says Yahoo will analyze the click data they receive and decide whether or not to make this a permanent thing.
I think it’s a great step by Yahoo to increase the relevance, or at least the perceived relevance, of its home page by linking out the same way the rest of us have to. And if Yahoo is looking for blogs willing to participate, well, just drop me an email. And if an email is too much work, our answer is yes!
Eric Enge details 10 Cool Things You Can Do With (the New) Google Analytics.
Australia has a not-yet-launched search engine claiming to be powerful enough to dethrone Google. They won’t launch until late June, but they’re snarky and we like that!
Darren Rowse asks if you kiss on the first date. He pretends he’s talking about blogging, but we all know he’s not.
The New York Times takes a look at Meetup.com and basically makes it look like a haven for anti-social losers. Way to go, New York Times!