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Jumat, 03 Oktober 2008

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carbonmade - A free online portfolio showcase.

Planning Center Online - A church worship services planning app.

Creative Manager Pro - Online ad agency management software.

Rentomatic - Simplified property management app that includes an online rent-payment system.

Tuggle - Online ministry management suite that includes communication and event management tools.

CollabTrak - Project management specifically for Web designers.

N2uitive - An online insurance claims interview management software.

Macrocasa - Manage your real estate website and business.

Propertyware - Online property management software that organizes property and lease information, records income and expenses, lists vacancies, and more.

RentYield - A property management tool for landlords and real estate investors that allows you to stay on top of your rental income and track performance of your properties.

Shockfolio - An online portfolio site for actors, musicians and photographers.

Weefolio - A free online portfolio creator.

Streetfolio - Property management app that manages cashflow, insurance, mortgages, and more.


GigTide - Online creation of resumes, that also allows you to publish, manage and track your resumes, contacts and cover letters.

RB-Apps - RB-Apps provides customized, DIY business mini-applications based on the RB-Apps Platform.

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As we rehash the Google-Yahoo story once more in light of the companies’ insistence to press forward into a non-exclusive search advertising arrangement - for which they have drawn considerable ire for earlier in the year when they trialed such a partnership at a time when Microsoft’s pursuit of a complete (and then partial) buyout of Yahoo, was still more or less on the table - there comes another provocation writ to the effect that the proposal is not anything to be alarmed by.

Actually, the exact title of the piece published today is “Why the Google-Yahoo ad deal is nothing to fear,” under which author and SJSU business professor Randall Stross presents a sort of “what monopoly?” flavor of argument. But the outline and commentary delivered by Stross makes some points that seem loose and even nitpicky at points. Altogether, the article hinges on the concept of auctioneering. Advertisers must bid, so all is fair, right?

Not quite. Yes, Stross makes a perfectly valid point to write up the auction process as the key factor in what drove Google and Yahoo to purportedly think they would not be troubled by a potential denial from regulators at the U.S. Department of Justice. (Though I think Stross steps a bit too far in thinking that Google and Yahoo “innocently thought that their advertising pact…would said through a regulatory review.” And Stross also steps leisurely past the fact that Google and Yahoo had played briefly without such an official OK before “they voluntarily submitted” to DOJ review, as he describes it.)

But the element of Google’s current market share (and, furthermore, what it would have access to following approval of this effort) is part and parcel of the sales process. It is, in short, what determines the value advertising. Advertisers pay considerably more to Google for ads that are more or less equal in size and shape to Yahoo’s own placements because Google’s audience is naturally much larger, and is growing still. (If third party analysts’ readings are accurate, Yahoo, Microsoft and others of the upper echelon of the Web search industry are either growing much more slowly, have become stagnant, or are decreasing in share.)

Another item Stross mentions is one I will just go ahead and paste verbatim:

“The deal would mean that some ads that visitors see on Yahoo’s search results page would be supplied by Google. Yahoo expects it will bring in $800 million annually in additional revenue because some search phrases get better results on Google, and some search phrases draw a plentiful number of advertisers on Google but none at all on Yahoo.

Everyone who wants to see Yahoo, the No. 2 search engine, regain some of its lost luster has abundant reason to cheer the deal on….”

The first paragraph is stands pretty much without error. Some search phrases do get better results on Google. And, yes, some search phrases do draw advertisers that don’t crop up in Yahoo’s own list of clients. But to claim that everyone who wants to see Yahoo regain some of its mojo should love the deal is, hardly something to consider seriously. That would be something a Google representative might say to sugar coat a message that would otherwise read as such: “Yahoo is hurting, folks. You want them to make more money? Here’s a quick fix. $800 mil’ for the next year, give or take some pennies. It might not budge the stock price, but Yang & Co sure could use the cash. And look at it this way, if we do good, Yahoo does good. That simple.” (Maybe throw in a “bada bing, bada boom” for spice.)

I have to say that it’s also a bit humorous to see Stross hedge some of his argument on an advertising deal made between Google and, which started in 2002 and registered renewals in 2004 and 2007.

What this essentially comes down to is that there is always a mixture of pros and cons in the world of big business. Some win, some lose. And there’s really no disputing the fact that Yahoo will likely bring in that $800 million in revenue if the DOJ flicks on the green light. In that sense, yeah, it can be a winner. But the DOJ has to consider the perspectives of not only the advertising networks, but the advertisers themselves and the costs and potential repercussions associated with bridge-building between the #1 and #2 players in the industry. One example, the Association of National Advertisers, comprised of some 400 advertisers big and small, told the DOJ earlier this month that it was apprehensive of the deal, thinking it would amount to a 90% control over search advertising inventory. The government frankly can’t quite ignore that large an organization or pass it off as a kind of paranoia.

Also, the World Association of Newspapers too found the deal disconcerting. WAN president Gavin O’Reilly explained very plainly several days ago that, “Advertisers will increasingly migrate to Google since they will see diminishing price advantages to advertising through Yahoo. Google has refused to allow Yahoo to show Google ads on the websites of new publishing partners it acquires after the deal is finalized - in other words, Google has imposed a condition that impedes one of Yahoo’s last remaining opportunities to compete with Google.”

Statements made against the Googe-Yahoo deal aren’t, in the words of Mr Stross, an effort “to depict Google as a price-controlling monster.” At least not those statements made by parties doing business with one or both companies. Rather, they are a concerted push to scrutinize the possibility that Google, with a Yahoo partnership, will become a market controlling behemoth. Which has its downsides.

I would venture to guess others players would simply hang up their competitive hats, because so much traffic going one way means less traffic going in any other direction. Eventually the choice really just becomes a matter of being seen or not seen. That’s already the case now to some degree. It’ll be even more pronounced if Google-Yahoo becomes a real thing. The free market is quite a wonderful ideal, sure, but as observers recognize more than ever, some regulation is necessary to provide reasonable opportunity for all involved in the economic process.

A UK-based social shopping service called Tribesmart recently had its unveiling, and so far it looks like a serious contender in the market. It’s young, so it doesn’t boast an immeasurably large supply of products to wade through, but the foundation for something reasonably big to occur.

Social shopping is a topic we return to with relative frequency here at Mashable. Earlier this month we mentioned a budding service called TurnTo, for example. And one thing that remains among the most necessary elements for a successful startup of this kind is not abundant features, but smart design. Intuitiveness is key. And in that respect, Tribesmart delivers.

Yes, you’ll probably become very quickly familiar with the way it operates. The site layout is fairly traditional, with few surprises, as you’ll immediately notice. Yet at the same time everything seems in the right place, and it’s all pieced together very attractively. Granted, it’s pretty sparse next to the gigantor that is Amazon, but what it does show it shows well. (Bad phrasing? It’ll have to do.)

I can’t really emphasize the utility of Tribesmart enough. Take the presentation of the homepage, for instance. Whereas some services might relegate product tags to some region around the bottom half of a page, Tribesmart positions it in the top left of the page. This fits nicely against the main menu and its submenus situated along the top of the window. It invites the user to look around as one would a new store. You might know what you’re searching for at Amazon the moment you arrive, but if you prefer an extra bit of spontaneity, Tribesmart does you that favor.

You can do a number of things besides browse products, of course. Write reviews, assemble personal lists to share, maybe. If you bring a group of friends along through the registration process, which takes only seconds to do, or alternatively find new contacts through the service, you can assemble tribes to discuss various things in the consumer realm. That’s where the social side of the equation really kicks in. For things in the land of technology - gadgetry in particular - groupthink is natural. It happens in places like Engadget and Gizmodo. Now Tribesmart, too. There’s even a chat window nestled along the bottom of the page, Facebook-style. However, this one is far less complex, and easy to ignore. If you don’t want to trouble with such a thing, well, you’ll hardly notice its there.

Getting back to the core shopping and sharing elements, Tribesmart presents users with tools to add to Firefox and Internet Explorer 5, 6, 7, and the 8 beta browser. Which are supremely useful as they allow users to quickly add just about anything one might want to highlight. Like iPods. Or digital cameras. Or summer garden sheds. Yes, sheds. The kind of contraptions that run homeowners thousands of dollars/pounds.

The number of users interested in huge and costly products is presumably very small, even taking into account the potential for a great number of registrants to climb aboard Tribesmart in the coming weeks and months. But the choice is yours as to what you add to the Tribesmart product roll, and that’s something to appreciate. Powerful aggregation in an elegant setup is a rarity. Now Web users in the UK can partake in the process.

Are you a college student, graduate or undergraduate? How would you like to work for Facebook someday? Sound nice? Zuckerberg and company hope you think so. Because they’ll be paying your place of higher learning a visit. As long as your campus is one of twenty or so listed here.

The Facebook employment tour, offering both “technical and non-technical opportunities…for full-time, co-op, and internship candidates,” has begun, as noted earlier today by Justin Smith of Inside Facebook. In fact, it began last week, according to the “Facebook at Brown” schedule. The company is gradually closing in on the mark that would make its workforce 1,000 members strong.

Have you devised an answer to the questions posited above? Really, consider your options, if you are indeed in the collegiate class. Do you put yourself out for a position at Facebook, or do work for some other company? Alternatively, do you brave entrepreneurship yourself?

You have presumably read plenty of news about employees at the largest of tech giants, Google in particular, who made the switch to walk with the most famous CEO in the social networking scene. Do you take that into account?

And on a more macro scale, in this less-than-stellar economic setting, do you consider what the likelihood of Facebook’s relevance might be 5-10 years hence, if it indeed lives to see its teenage years? No doubt about it, the questions quickly pile up. How do you respond?

A week ago we brought you word of a little website called What Would You Say To The President. And, well, it drew a mixed response. Today there’s another political item to consider, this one coming by way of Kronomy, an interactive timeline utility of the Dipity and AllofMe stripe.

Interested at all in ready-made timelines for the main contenders in this year’s U.S. presidential election campaign? Senators Barack Obama and John McCain have slideshows all their own. And if you want cutting user commentary to go along with this race to November, there’s plenty of of partisan rancor to bathe in whilst you embed your favorite candidate on a webpage of your choosing.

Whether it be on Blogger, TypePad, MySpace, Facebook, Friendster or Xanga, or you want to embed a piece of code manually, sharing is easy, and according to Kronomy it’s already quite popular. Tens of thousands of users have been interacting with the timelines provided. What’s more, there are items allowing you to publish your face aside one politician or the other and spread the support around to friends and anyone who happens to come across your personal graphic. Is this useful? Much less so than the timelines, which are quite well done and worth browsing. Even if you’re just looking to brush up your education of their respective biographies, they’re quite interesting. If you must share a widget with fellow Web users this election season, these are the ones to plug.

Touching once more on the me-and-Barry and me-and-Johnny features, it’s interesting to find in the white space present on both Obama and McCain graphics the circular logo for the Obama for America campaign displayed. A simple gray outline would likely suffice. What do you think?