SHELLY PALMER shares a true story about the pitfalls of dating in the social-networking era. Is that perfect stranger you met really perfect? You may want to check his Facebook profile before deciding.
NBC UNIVERSAL will purchase 35% of web site and VOD channel DriverTV for $6 million. DriverTV creates short promotional videos for major car makers, profiting from video production and receiving money each time a video is viewed. NBC U is looking to benefit from increased online spending by GM, Ford and other automakers. It will create synergy between DriverTV and NBC U properties, using the car-related videos on NBC.com and directing visitors to DriverTV.com.
CISCO announced that it will embed P2P from GRID NETWORKS in its home-networking products, after recently revealing that it was a major investor in the company. The move could turn millions of home networking products into P2P clients, helping shuttle video and audio around the web. In related news, Cisco has completed its plans to phase out the Scientific Atlanta brand, replacing all SA-labeled products with the Cisco name.
MICROSOFT will purchase RAPT, a provider of online ad management systems. Microsoft had formerly used Rapt for ad management on MSN and the arrangement produced a 15% to 20% increase in ad revenue. In related news, Microsoft and Yahoo executives finally met last week to discuss the details of Microsoft’s standing buyout offer. The meeting was the first sign of progress in an otherwise stalled deal — with Yahoo having rejected the bid and Microsoft vowing not to increase it.
YAHOO is creating major buzz with its new DIGG-like service. Yahoo Buzz allows users to vote on top third-party stories and adds the cream of the crop to Yahoo’s front page. This is translating into some major traffic spikes for top web sites. Salon, TechCrunch, Huffington Post and US Magazine have all experienced record-setting days after getting “buzzed” articles posted on Yahoo’s main page. About 1 million visitors have clicked through for each article.
SAG and AFTRA are at odds again, this time over basic cable. SAG suggested it may want to include basic cable in the prime-time negotiations with the AMPTP, prompting AFTRA to accuse the Guild of intentionally distracting the focus from the prime-time issues. SAG believes that Phase One, an agreement between the two unions, covers collective bargaining for basic cable. AFTRA wants basic cable to remain a separate negotiation and issued a letter threatening to enter solo talks with the AMPTP. The soap opera continues.