Midweek News Roundup

A few news bits from the interactive media world this week:

—Online search and contextual advertising firm Marchex announced yesterday that it will buy Open List. Open List has a vertical and local aggregation platform for reviews and listings data that will help Marchex improve the many local domains in its network.

—Prolific New York Times tech writer John Markoff reports on social search start-up Tacit. The company has developed a platform to direct search queries to the sources that are most likely to hold the best results or answer to a specific query. The article is framed around searching for people or noncommercial information, but the technology clearly has applicability (and better monetization potential) with local search.

—Jason Calacanis (via SEW) has an interesting comparative analysis on the results pages of major search engines.

—Krishna Bharat, the man behind Google News, spoke in front of the International Press Institute Congress in Edinburgh about the future of online news. His general message was that the medium must be fostered with better attention to users’ needs than has been done by traditional publishers and news organizations. Read more here.

—In other Google news, the company has been quick to respond to Yahoo!’s partnership with eBay (which among other things will utilize the latter’s PayPal online payment system) by finally launching its much anticipated online payment system, described here by Search Engine Lowdown.

—Google has also released an API for AdSense that publishers can use to incent user-generated content (could be value-add reviews, ratings in the case of social search and community sites) by sharing ad revenues with contributors. John Battelle describes it here.

—Good Morning Silicon Valley’s John Murrell also has an interesting post on the emergence of user-generated content. It links to Pew data on upward trends in UGC and to this interesting piece by Robert Young on Om Malik’s blog, which contends that the social networking phenomenon is part of a much broader trend of digital self expression. Like many discussions on this topic, Young and Murrell circle back to the much grappled question of how to harness the power of these trends in the form of a business model.

—A start-up called Kozoru has developed a search technology to be used from within mobile IM clients. It promises to be better suited to the medium by delivering fewer and more relevant results that are limited by users’ preliminary selection of specific sites of interest. CNET News.com has more.

—Lastly, some data: Online advertising was up 38 percent in the first quarter, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau; ZDNet has April search engine market share numbers; Pew reports on broadband adoption growth; And Harris Interactive (via ZDNet) published historic U.S. online adoption data.

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