Social Media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here's the week's major developments, in scan-friendly format.
* Google Knol
* Facebook/Microsoft search deal
* Loopt's cheaper GPS deal
* Google buying Digg?
* New APIs/developer platforms
* It's a Miracle! Apparition of Robert Scoble in a Grilled Cheese Sandwich!
Google Launches Knol; 'Monetizable, Moderated Wikipedia'
Google brought its high-profile Knol project out of private Beta on Wednesday. The project aims to build a database of 'authoritative articles about specific topics, written by people who know about those subjects.' Authors and groups of authors of a page are named and are basically responsible for content in a Knol, and pages are rated and reviewed by the community. Read more at the Google blog post
Knol is summed up best in a headline by Tech Blorge as a 'Monetizable, Moderated Wikipedia
' (there's a revenue-share arrangement with regard to ads).
"The site allows anyone, anywhere to author a page, or a Knol, on any subject. Unlike Wikipedia, the author will forever be attached to that page, and more importantly, be in control of everything that is posted there. This will be achieved by what is being called Moderated Collaboration, and basically means that while any reader can suggest an edit to a page, that page’s author will have the final say on whether to accept, reject, or modify these suggestions."
Suspicion immediately surfaced that Google were granting Knol pages preferential ranking on Google search results, despite assurances that this would not be the case. Danny Sullivan covers Knol SEO concerns in some depth at SearchEngineLand
It could be well worth investing some time in creating a Knol, so go to Knol.Google.com
Microsoft Live to Power Facebook Search
Microsoft pulled off a nice coup in midweek, announcing a deal to power Facebook search with Live.com.
Jason Kincaid at Techcrunch
explains how the deal mirrors the Google/MySpace search agreement from a couple of years back. Google has struggled to make money out of the MySpace deal, and TC offers some theories as to why Microsoft was slavering to get involved with Facebook search given the lukewarm success of Google/MySpace. SearchEngineLand
also has good coverage of the new MS/Facebook tie-in.
Loopt Cuts Deal To Slash Geolocation Service Costs
Loopt is one of the primary players in the emerging geolocator/GPS social networking scene (another that springs to mind is Brightkite
). Services like Loopt figure out where you are via GPS and tells you where all your buddies are relative to you, and builds features onto that starting point.
It turns out that GPS-based services are pretty costly (who knew?). Every GPS request is called a 'Dip', apparently, and whoever sells these Dips (er...NASA??) has tended to charge per unique instance. Quoting VentureBeat: "Consumers may not realize [this cost] as much, but it’s a problem in selling an application like Loopt to carriers."
But now Loopt
has cut a deal with Qualcomm and SiRF to pay a flat-fee for Dip usage, which should make GPS capabilities more popular with carriers and cell manufacturers alike (iPhone already has such capabilities), and help Loopt, Brightkite et al to take off in the coming months. VentureBeat has the scoop
on this, and a fuller explanation of the issues involved.
Google Buying Digg? Michael Arrington reported
earlier in the week that Google was in advanced negotiations to take Digg off Kevin Rose's hands for around $200m. This story's gone quiet, so we'll have to wait and see.
A Couple of New Developer Platforms
* We brought you news of Glam Media's developer platform
the other day, which allows you to monetize your Glam Network widgets and apps by sticking a price tag on them or embedding ads. The Glam platform is in private Beta, and you can apply for an invite at the homepage
* Social Networking middleweight Piczo launched a developer platform this week, which you can read all about at TechCrunch
. Visit Piczo
Miracle! Apparition of Robert Scoble in a Grilled Cheese Sandwich! Evidence, at last, of Scoble's divinity
. Did you ever doubt it? Have a look at the blog post, and then check out the theologically-fraught FriendFeed discussion