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Here is a sampling of posts from last week in case you missed them (click below to read each post in full).

Vehix Takes a Page From the Yellow Pages
My column for Search Engine Watch this month, Pimp My Vertical Search, takes a look at some of the directions being taken in vertical search, particularly in autos. Autobytel has begun to do some interesting things with its recently launched MyRide, while Vehix is utilizing its partnerships with cable companies to create interactive television modules (explored in a past post). But there is more to the story; Vehix is also turning a corner toward positioning its online listing distribution as more of a valued asset in the tool belt of its cable partner sales channels. (read more…)

Bill Day: ‘My Role as Marchex’s Chief Media Officer’
Web exec Bill Day, who formerly led WhenU (a behavioral targeting firm), and Prodigy, was announced yesterday as Marchex’s new Chief Media Officer (an interesting title). The position is a new one for the publicly-owned company, which isn’t well understood, but has considerable local assets, including 100,000 vertical domains, an ad network, and OpenList. Day says he was attracted to Marchex for a variety of reasons. (read more…)

Marchex Pays $20 Million for VoiceStar
Marchex continues to expand its local advertising and content capabilities with its acquisition of VoiceStar, the pay-per-call and call tracking company. The VoiceStar acquisition adds more than 100 local advertiser aggregators, including Comcast, The Cobalt Group, R.H. Donnelley/Dex and Yellow Book to Marchex’s current partner roster, which includes AT&T and (read more…)

YPG Committed to Value-Based Pricing
Yellow Pages Group CEO Marc Tellier offered some more color on his company’s plans to roll out value-based pricing (VBP). According to Tellier, the company should roll out the new pricing approach by 2009 or 2010. One key to value-based pricing is YPG’s Customer First customer relationship management platform, which aggregates all the publisher’s customer data into a unified view. (read more…)

What Is the Potential for Internet Yellow Pages Offered by Print Publishers?
Idearc Media and Yellow Pages Group announced their earnings today, and like R.H. Donnelley maintained their 2007 guidance estimates. As The Kelsey Group had estimated earlier in the year, print revenues are basically flat with growth coming from electronic, vertical and other new products. Idearc, in particular, entered a number of tests and distribution agreements that will allow it to distribute information on multiple platforms. (read more…)

Facebook and the Marriage of Classifieds, Social Networking and Video
There is no question about it: Facebook is on a roll. Since it made the astute move to release its API for Web developers to create various widgets that will work on its network, scores have already been developed to increase the value and appeal of the Facebook experience. Expect many more. The latest from the exploding world of Facebook is a partnership with to create a video classified engine called Garage Sale, which will allow Facebook users to upload videos of any possessions they want to sell. Think of it as a potential Craigslist on steroids. (read more…)

Murdoch Inherits Dow Jones’ Local Properties
It would be a stretch to think that Rupert Murdoch was pining for more local services when he bid $5 billion for Dow Jones. Mostly, he wanted The Wall Street Journal (and will take MarketWatch). Nevertheless, Dow Jones comes complete with some notable local properties. Its Ottaway newspaper division has 28 titles in the Northeast, Oregon and California, and has been a local advertising bulwark against cyclical downturns in national advertising. But my bet is that Murdoch will sell it to free up some cash. (read more…)

VoIP Over Wi-Fi: When Will We See Hybrid Phones?
As mentioned in last week’s post Here Comes the Gphone, one of the worries (among many) causing U.S. wireless carriers to exert so much control over the devices that run on their networks is the development of Wi-Fi-enabled phones. This would be a first step toward enabling consumers to bypass cellular minutes in favor of cheaper (and sometimes higher quality) VoIP calls, when in range of a Wi-Fi network. Some of the consumer benefits of such a scenario are broken down in a post yesterday on Tech Republic’s 10 Things blog. (read more…)

Google Builds a Local ‘Sales Force’
The Utility Belt blog reported that Google recently announced a plan to pay a commission to people who are willing to photograph local businesses and gather information about the company to post on Google Maps. The idea is that self-appointed local “contractors” would be willing to not only gather local information and photos, but also promote its AdWords program to local advertisers. (read more…)

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