O, the wonderful world of Web publishing. There's never a dull moment, that's for sure. This week has abounded with all kinds of news about acquisitions, applications and product launches -- after awhile, it all seems to blend together. In attempt to straighten it all out, we offer the following synthesis.

New Acquisitions

As we reported earlier, Automattic acquired PollDaddy. WordPress-hosted blogs can now integrate Web-based survey and polls. Technorati has acquired AdEngage -- a small, Los Angeles-based online advertising network. AdEngage will continue to exist as a standalone business (probably because AdEngage's clients are of the "adult" variety), while the newly created Technorati Engage will focus only on blogs and social media sites.

New Applications

New York Times has created and released a Campaign Finance API. Designed to let users analyze and re-use some of the data the NYT has been looking at while reporting on the presidential campaign, the API offers overall figures for presidential candidates, as well as state-by-state and ZIP code totals for specific candidates. The API supports a contributor name search using any of the following parameters: first name, last name and ZIP code. Before you can use the Times' APIs, you must agree to the Terms of Use and register for a key. While this is the first API to be released by the NYT, there are more planned; up next in the queue is a movie API.

New Launches

Google released an AdWords display ad builder, which lets you create professional-looking display ads in AdWords without needing to hire a designer or starting from scratch. Built to help users expand beyond their text ad campaigns and to build display ads, this new tool lets users create customized display ads with their own text, images and logo. The tool can create ads to fit all possible placements across the Google content network, including video and game placements. The display ad builder is available now to all advertisers in the U.S. and Canada. Those interested can learn more via an online tutorial. Also reported earlier, Impelsys -- a provider of e-content publishing solutions -- launched iPublishCentral, a self-service e-content delivery platform for publishers. The new platform aims to provide an easy-to-use, full-featured and cost-effective solution for selling print content online. With three modules -- a widget, a warehouse and a portal -- marketing, distributing and delivering content has been streamlined.

New Trends

Speaking of Technorati, a Technorati-sponsored survey of bloggers conducted in July and August 2008 by Decipher revealed that blogs are now considered to be mainstream media. Blogs are being visited as much as social networking sites and are a consistent source of entertainment and politics among users. In addition to blogs becoming mainstream, the survey also highlighted the role of gender and blogs. A closer look at the gender breakdown by geography shows that bloggers in Europe and Asia skewed even more heavily male (73% each), while U.S. bloggers showed a less drastic gender split, with 57% males and 43% females. Earlier this week, we also covered a survey released by the Frankfurt Book Fair that revealed that 70% industry professions feel ready for digital age, though many are skeptical that the digital age will adopt the e-reader and other related technologies over the printed word. But maybe that's because most (60%) indicated that they don't currently have e-books and e-readers at all. So there you have it. A week's worth of Web publishing announcements that are shaping the industry.