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Here are the highlights from the TKG blog over the past week, in case you missed any posts. Click below to read each post in full.

YouTube: Helping or Hurting Video Quality?
Related to the previousl post, NewTeeVee asks whether YouTube is feeding creativity or killing it. Lots of examples are given of homemade videos that have made it big, and have fueled the growing online video culture we find ourselves in. As pointed out in TKGs recently released video forecast, this is one of the drivers for video’s popularity at the local level and its nearing status as an expectation for local search and business profiles. (read more…)

If I Can Just Put on My Sneakers
At Princeton’s Fourth of July fireworks last night, I got into a discussion with a friend who is concerned about his son who works as a journalist for a small NJ newspaper. I referred him to a “tell it like it is” story in Search Engine Watch by Kevin Heisler under the foreboding headline “Newspapers Bleed Red Ink: Death by Internet.” I particularly liked this article because he quotes experts in the Internet/media business, Google‘s CEO Eric Schmidt, the NY Times, News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. (read more…)

Bain Readies Plan for Restructure of Key Newspaper Cos
Media News Group, Hearst Newspapers and Freedom Communications have retained Bain Consulting to help realign their cost structures, says MNG Chair Dean Singleton, who was speaking at a World Association of Newspapers meeting in Sweden. “We asked Bain to answer the question: If we started the business today, know what we know today, what would our infrastructure look like?” (read more…)

Google Launches Voice Search for Mobile Maps
The Google Mobile blog today announced that the company will bring voice search capability to mobile mapping queries. This will utilize the Goog411 voice search technology, and will be available initially on Blackberry Pearl models (8110, 8120 & 8130). It will also play off the MyLocation feature launched in November. (read more…)

AskCity Drops Maps, Outsources to MSFT
Microsoft’s Virtual Earth Blog posted yesterday that AskCity will now use Virtual Earth to power its mapping and local features. This will take the place of Ask’s homegrown mapping tool that was the first to come out with multi-point directions, drawing tools and lots of other features that have since been adopted by other mapping engines. (read more…)

Digg Gets More Social
Social bookmarking and news aggregator Digg has announced that it will integrate a new recommendations engine. This will track users’ activity and recommend stories according to the behavior of other presumably like-minded users. This is mostly a filter to increase relevance — a move toward letting users cut through the clutter, now that “Dug” stories are reaching 12,000 to 14,000 per day. (read more…)

TeachStreet, Find-A-Local-Teacher Site, Gears Up for Market No. 2
TeachStreet, which lists and profiles local independent teachers for everything from test prep to tennis lessons, is close to its official launch out of beta in Seattle and readying a second market in Portland, Oregon, according to founder Dave Schappell. From there, it will add the Bay Area. (read more…) Pushes Display Ads for Brand Marketers yesterday announced an ad distribution deal with Hearst-owned White Directory Publishers. The deal will bring’s display ad inventory to White’s national sales force. In this way it presents an opportunity for White to appeal to national advertisers that want to target locally. (read more…)

Microsoft Acquires Natural Language Search Company Powerset
As speculated, Microsoft today announced the acquisition of natural language search technology developer Powerset. The acquisition is hoped to help Microsoft better serve search results, based on a natural language analysis of user queries, and better index of Web content. (read more…)

Recruiting and Training Online Reps a Global Challenge
Over the past several months, The Kelsey Group has been talking with a number of sales managers and directors of companies in the directory, newspaper and online space to understand the challenges of recruiting, hiring and training online reps. The sense from our interviews is that the market for skilled reps who understand and have sold online products with success is extremely competitive. (read more…)

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