Eric Schmidt bellies up to Sun Valley bar, tells bedazzled reporters that Viacom is suing Google because litigation is a core Viacom business strategy. Cites example from 1980s in which Viacom sued Time Warner for HBO-bullying and won settlement and purchase of cable station at an above-market price. Also notes Viacom CEO’s years as general counsel. From Reuters
1.5 billion global internet users by 2011, says JupiterResearch, up from 1.1 billion today. That’s a 7% annual growth rate and suggests that 22% of the human population will be connected (plausible, as long as the number includes handheld users). Don’t rush out and found that New York-based start-up just yet, however: Most of the 400 million newbies will be speaking Mandarin, Russian, Hindi, and Portuguese. From ClickZ
Most “citizen-journalism” sites are hallucinating (e.g., Backfence), but some are doing quite well (Digg, Slashdot, etc.) One success story is Newsvine, which combines user contributed stories, links, and comments. Excellent interface, and traffic exploding. From Read/Write/Web.
Seth Godin’s Squidoo traffic plummets after company spanked by Google for search-engine spam. Company begins frantic clean-up effort. Godin says his big mistake was trusting people not to be sleazebags. From ClickZ
Next lesson web marketers and publishers need to learn: Stop using auto-play video/audio ads. Once thought to be the answer to interminable pre-rolls, embedded auto-play video ads have their own problems, namely: 1) users don’t listen to them (because they know better than to keep their speakers and headsets on), and 2) they drive users crazy. Also, enough with justification that some of these ads are “user-initiated” when the triggering event is an unintentional roll-over. From ClickZ
GE/NBC’s Peacock Capital invests in in-game ad network IGA. From MediaPost
Hey, non-profits! Google Apps are now free for you. And they work fine. From CNET.
Fat lady singing for many ‘Net radio stations, courtesy of Big Radio litigation. (Business strategy: When threatened, sue). Goodbye christmasmusic247. Adios jazzplayerradio. From WaPo
Google’s Sergey: If Facebook was for sale, we would buy it. So don’t go falling for those Microsoft-for-Facebook rumours. (At least until Google has a chance to make a counter-offer). From Reuters
DoubleClick employees agog at Google amenities after a tour of NYC cafeteria (“We all knew this would be good, but we were all overwhelmed,” the DoubleClick employee said. “It is so over-the-top. It is silly. They have an exercise room, a library, too, and toys all over the place.” (DoubleClick employees have only seen the cafeteria so far.) Yes, but do the perks also include Google’s famous “20% time”–a.k.a., a day off a week to surf think? From NYT
iMeem’s secret to success? Change. Valleywag examines the protean business strategies of the finally-apparently-thriving social network that is no longer being sued by Warner. From Valleywag
Liberty poaches AOL’s CTO and Executive Vice President, Balan Nair. From TechRockies.
TheStreet.com tries to temper Wall Street’s table-pounding bullishness on Google, fails. From TheStreet
News Corp’s Jamster bringing Homer Simpson to your cell phone. Press release
Scared of losing Wall Street Journal content, eager to bolster pathetic web site, CNBC runs to the Financial Times. From AP
Yahoo’s Jerry Yang pressured to explain how the heck he’s going to make the company relevant again. Hope is that these secrets will be revealed on next week’s Q2 conference call. Alas, as my old boss was fond of saying, “Hope is not a strategy.” From Seeking Alpha