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In case you missed any posts this week, here are a few highlights. Click below to read each post in full.

Competing for Attention in the Social Networking World
Peter Krasilovsky’s post this morning got me thinking about MySpace’s future. It makes a lot of sense that the company would come out with an ad product to rival Facebook’s Pages and Ads programs. It has already made a few moves in this direction. Overall, the once dominant social network is scrambling, given new competition from Facebook. (read more…)

MySpace Ramping Up Small-Business Features
MySpace is moving beyond personal and band profiles, and in fact, already has 3 million businesses, according to coverage by PaidContent of comments by Fox President and COO Peter Chernin at a CitiGroup conference in Phoenix. Chernin said the business application will be ramped up by the end of this month. Currently, the site indirectly serves small businesses, which can hitch a ride on localized classified sections and in profiles. (read more…)

The Battle for IYP Market Share
A year ago, my colleagues Neal Polachek and Charles Laughlin predicted that Internet Yellow Pages as a percentage of total U.S. Yellow Pages revenues would climb from about 6 percent in 2006 to 24 percent in 2011. While the base is higher in most coutries outside the U.S., the trend is the same. The issue becomes whether the convenience and ubiquity of a print Yellow Pages directory will translate online. (read more…)

Zillow Sheds Beta Status, Announces Performance Metrics
Zillow made a few announcements today including the fact that it has reached the start-up rite of passage (or sometimes-PR stunt) of coming out of beta. But more important than this symbolic move are the reasons behind it. The company announced that it has grown its database of homes to about 80 million in 48 states. This is 27 million more than it had when it launched two years ago and represents 88 percent coverage of U.S. homes. (read more…)

Urban Mapping’s API Set Free
Urban Mapping, a very interesting company working on making mapping data more accurate, has released its API. This will essentially allow any local search site to better index local listings and improve its search functionality. (read more…)

Microsoft Expected to Buy FAST for $1.2 Billion
FAST Search and Transfer, whose “enterprise search” makes every element of an organization searchable, is being sold to Microsoft for $1.2 billion after the Oslo-based company severely missed sales goals and was forced last year to lay off a large number of employees. The company has recently sought to extend its role beyond enterprise search by developing AdMomentum, an AdWords-like ad solution. (read more…)

Kelsey Analysts Predict …
Earlier this month the Kelsey program directors — Charles Laughlin, Matt Booth and Peter Krasilovsky — offered up their predictions for 2008. These predictions present Kelsey clients a partial road map for navigating what could be a stressful and challenging 2008. Most economists are now debating only the depth of a U.S.-led recession rather than the possibility of a recession. A couple of our analysts’ predictions are highlighted below. (read more…)

Word of Mouth Works

An interesting op-ed piece in The New York Times on Sunday looked at the importance of “word of mouth” in defining individuals’ candidate preferences. The essence of the article was that voters are swayed much more by what an acquaintance or friend says about a political candidate than a television ad. (read more…)

ReachLocal Gains AdWords Reseller Status
SEM reseller and campaign management firm ReachLocal today officially brought Google AdWords into its ad product toolbelt. This extends its offering to SMBs interested in search engine marketing or in cross-platform ad bundles. ReachLocal’s online offerings to SMBs also include Yahoo! (YSM), MSN (AdCenter), Ask and Superpages. (read more…)

Update on Cox’s Kudzu: National Footprint, Beefed Up Local, AutoTrader Tie
Kudzu, the service-oriented rating and review directory from Cox Search, has been under the radar for a while, while similar services (i.e., Judy’s Book, Insider Pages and Backfence) have run into some turbulence. But a recent visit with GM Tom Bates and head of business development Edward Rosenfeld at Kudzu’s headquarters in suburban Atlanta suggested that the company is plowing ahead. (read more…)

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