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Whether they’re being groomed for acquisition or poised for long-term profit as standalone entities, Web 2.0 startups continue gorging on investors’ millions, according to a new report today from Internet Evolution. Despite the confusion of the current economic climate, “Web 2.0’s Biggest $inkholes” highlights key areas where VCs and angel investors think big Web 2.0 payoffs await:

  • Targeted advertising: JellyCloud couldn’t hack it and $11.5 million later went belly up; Lotame is staying afloat with its $28 million purse.
  • Social networking: All-purpose inbox company Xoopit is working on a $6 million round, while Orgoo is on indefinite hiatus; AOL’s $850 million for Bebo ended up being largely a write-off for the company.
  • Video: Lots of money’s chasing the desire to be the next YouTube – too bad most of the hosted content is porn; Trooker and others are betting there’s a market for video search.
  • Search: Cuil ($33 million) and SearchMe ($43.6 million) might imagine themselves Google killers, or at least viable alternatives. For investors, imagination makes for a crummy investment strategy.
  • Self-publishing/social-publishing: Uber.com and Bricabox litter this landscape, having shuttered themselves as things got rocky. It’s unclear whether ShareNow.com can thrive here.

“These startups are gambling that they’ll be acquired by the dominant players in each of these Web 2.0 sectors – Google, Facebook, YouTube, MSN, and Yahoo,” says Terry Sweeney, Editor in Chief of Internet Evolution. “As if today’s market wasn’t enough of a hindrance, many of these startups also suffer from fuzzy business plans, poor execution, and even crummy company names. Incredibly, that’s not stopping the flow of investment in some below-average companies.”

About Internet Evolution: Internet Evolution hosts more than 100 world-famous Internet experts – such as Kevin Mitnick, once the most-wanted computer hacker in the world; Dr. Lawrence Roberts, inventor of packet switching, and one of the world’s foremost authorities on telecom network architectures; Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google; Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist.com; Paul Mockapetris, inventor of the Domain Name System (DNS); Howard Schmidt, former White House cybersecurity adviser; and Andrew Keen, author of Cult of the Amateur: How the Internet is killing our culture — all of whom are addressing today’s critical socio-economic issues within its ThinkerNet blogosphere. Internet Evolution also offers broadcast-quality broadband video documentaries and interviews; investigative reports; and user-generated content facilitated via the latest Web 2.0 technology.

About TechWeb: TechWeb, the global leader in business technology media, is an innovative business focused on serving the needs of technology decision-makers and marketers worldwide. TechWeb produces the most respected and consumed media brands in the business technology market. Today, more than 13.3 million* business technology professionals actively engage in our communities created around our global face-to-face events, Interop, Web 2.0, Black Hat, and VoiceCon; online resources such as the TechWeb Network, Light Reading, Intelligent Enterprise, InformationWeek.com, bMighty.com, and The Financial Technology Network; and the market leading, award-winning InformationWeek, TechNet Magazine, MSDN Magazine, and Wall Street & Technology magazines. TechWeb also provides end-to-end services including next-generation performance marketing, integrated media, research, and analyst services. TechWeb is a division of United Business Media, a global provider of news distribution and specialist information services with a market capitalization of more than $2.5 billion.

About United Business Media Limited: United Business Media Limited (UBM) is a global media and marketing services company that informs markets and brings the world’s buyers and sellers together at events, online, in print, and with the information they need to do business successfully. UBM serves professional and commercial communities, from IT professionals to doctors, from journalists to jewelry dealers, from farmers to pharmacists around the world. UBM employs more than 6,500 people in more than 30 countries. UBM’s businesses operating in the US include CMPMedica, Commonwealth Business Media, Everything Channel, PR Newswire, RISI, TechInsights, TechWeb and Think Services. UBM is listed on the London Stock Exchange (UBM.L) and has a market capitalization of $2.5 billion.

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Amateur and independent filmmakers, writers, actors and film buffs from around the nation can develop short films together, thanks to a new interactive online destination. Rootclip, located at http://www.rootclip.com , encourages site visitors to create customized short film storylines.

Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Moore says, “When I first heard the idea of Rootclip I was very impressed. It’s the ideal venue for established and up-and-coming filmmakers to interact and express their creative talents on the world stage. We’ve entered a new era of filmmaking and I believe that our next great generation of filmmakers might be inspired by places like Rootclip.”

To engage site visitors, Rootclip holds contests for filmmakers. The first Rootclip.com competition, entitled “Good Luck,” runs from April 28 to July 7. The winner and a guest will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the Traverse City Film Festival in Traverse City, Mich. from August 1-3, where they will meet with Michael Moore and screen the completed short film in front of a live audience.

“Rootclip was conceived as a catalyst to get people thinking about and being creative with short films in such a way that it radiates out to the masses and brings new life to the art form,” said Erik Luchauer, co-founder of Rootclip, about Rootclip’s development into a national destination for independent filmmakers. “Our goal is to create connections between directors, writers and actors across the country.”

How It Works: Each Rootclip process plays out over a six chapter cycle, beginning with the Rootclip in-house team developing an inaugural film chapter to jump-start the story. Participating filmmakers then view the root clip, a few minutes of content that begins the story but has a completely open-ended conclusion, and then shoot their own rendition of what should happen next. The users’ upload their one-minute chapters to Rootclip.com, where online viewers then judge the submissions and select the chapter winner. Once the winner for that “chapter” is announced, the open submission period begins again. This process repeats itself four times before culminating in a final chapter competition between all previous chapter winners.

Rootclip began as a social networking tool supported by the Scripps Newspapers Entrepreneur Fund, whose primary goal is developing brands that increase the reach and audience for local media.

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Cyberbullying, using the Internet, cell phones, or another type of communication technology to hurt or embarrass others, is an increasingly common problem among today’s youth. In a recent study conducted by the National Crime Prevention Council and Harris Interactive Inc., more than 43% of teens ages 13-17 have experienced cyberbullying within the past year.

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, about 93% of teens use social media Web sites, and 55% of online teens have created a profile through social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. These sites allow teens to express their feelings online for the cyber world to view. Often motivated by anger, frustration or boredom, cyberbullies harass individuals by posting negative comments and pictures.

Victims of cyberbullying usually feel a wide range of emotions, including indifference, anger and embarrassment. According to a study conducted by Fight Crime, only 35% of teens have told a parent about being cyberbullied; 16% have told no one.

Parents need to be aware of cyberbullying by monitoring their teen’s online activity. If a cyberbully harasses your teen, the California Association Marriage and Family Therapists offers the following tips for parents:

  • Encourage your teen not to respond to the bullying.
  • Save pictures and messages as evidence.
  • Contact your teen’s school to report the cyberbullying.
  • Closely monitor your teen’s computer use.
  • Try to identify the individual doing the bullying.
  • If possible, block the cyberbully from future contact.
  • Try to contact the cyberbully’s parents, if possible.
  • Contact the police or an attorney if cyberbullying becomes violent.

Cyberbullying should not be taken lightly. If your child is seriously troubled by a cyberbully and it affects his or her emotional or mental behavior, consider seeking professional help.

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CondeNet announced that it has launched applications for Style.com, Epicurious.com, Wired.com, and flip.com on MySpace, the world’s most popular social networking site. Empowered by MySpace’s newly announced Developer Platform, CondeNet was able to easily build and deploy the applications for its Web sites.

The Style.com application, Fashion Flash, offers the inside scoop on fashion, shopping, beauty and celebrity style. In the application’s first week, more than over 1,200 users installed it.

Style.com Fashion Flash MySpace Application.

The Epicurious.com application, Recipe of the Day, serves up a different, tasty food each day, drawing from a selection of more than 25,000 professionally created and tested recipes.

For the Wired.com application, Wired Gadget Lab, Wired News bloggers bring their sharp eyes and wit to the world of gadgets.

Wired Logo.

The flip application, flipbook creator, can be used to make and share online scrapbooks called flipbooks. Users can upload photos, video, and music; rotate, resize, and crop images; write text; add a soundtrack; draw freestyle; and share their flipbooks with friends. Registration is required to make a flipbook.

MySpace first introduced its Developer Platform site on February 5, 2008, beginning a month long application development period that made it possible for companies including CondeNet to build and test their applications in a secure environment before going live to the MySpace community.

On March 13, 2008, MySpace launched the public beta of the Application Gallery, enabling broader testing of approved applications by allowing public installation. MySpace members can now discover and add new applications from a variety of categories, including Fashion, Food & Drink, Fun Stuff/News & Weather and Fun Stuff/Photos to both their home and profile pages.

“We have found social networking applications to be an effective vehicle to speak to our existing audiences in a new way, as well as a wonderful tool to reach new users,” said Chris Gonzalez, Product Manager, Distributed Content, CondeNet. “As one of the first content providers to have a presence in the MySpace applications offering, we are thrilled to be able to provide members the ability to interact with our brands.”

flipbook creator.As with all MySpace Developer Platform applications, the Style.com, Epicurious.com, Wired.com, and flip.com applications will be able to safely access publicly available profile information, including a user’s friend list, interests, photos & albums, and video, as well as status & mood. The four applications will have real estate in five places within MySpace including:

  • A MySpace application profile (users can “friend” the apps).
  • Access to embed applications on the user homepage (inward facing-for you to see).
  • Access to embed applications on profiles (outward facing widget-for friends to see).
  • An Application Gallery listing.
  • A canvas page.

“We have had tremendous response both from companies and our members since announcing the MySpace Developer Platform,” said Kyle Brinkman, vice president and general manager, MySpace Developer Platform. “CondeNet is one of the early adopters to implement applications, particularly within the publishing industry, as they realize the importance of connecting their brands with our members.”

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Summary: Indie rock band Kindred Souls is sponsoring a photo contest on http://www.Fotki.com. The winning photos selected from entries worldwide will be used in their ‘Leap of Faith’ music video bringing together people from around the globe and celebrating their personal triumphs.

A band, a song, a website, and hundreds possibly thousands of music lovers worldwide will soon join forces to produce a user-generated music video about taking their “Leap of Faith.”

What is a “Leap of Faith?” First, it is an inspirational song by Indie rock band Kindred Souls that is about overcoming obstacles and achieving personal triumphs.

“The song is about saying to yourself, ‘I believe in you!’ It means taking a great leap towards believing in yourself and what you can accomplish,” says Kindred Souls singer-songwriter Jeff Rafferty.

Kindred Souls joined forces with international media social network website http://www.Fotki.com to ask people to share photographs of their “Leap of Faith” – whatever that means to them. Fotki.com is based in 215 countries. This is an opportunity to collaborate on producing a video with people around the globe including photographers, proud parents and grandparents, students, athletes, performers, and non-profits.

To be in the music video, visit http://www.Fotki.com or http://www.kindred-souls.com. Download the song for free, and submit a photo and a brief story about your “Leap of Faith.”

The contest started May 7 and photos will be accepted for two weeks. After that, fans will be asked to vote for their favorites. The photos will be compiled into a music video for the song “Leap of Faith” and launched on YouTube and on http://www.kindred-souls.com.

Lon Bachrach“We will include as many photos as possible in the video and donate $100 to the favorite charity of whoever submits the most popular photo,” says Kindred Souls songwriter and keyboardist Lon Bachrach.

What inspired Leap of Faith? Band founders Rafferty and Bachrach agree it was drawn from overcoming some of their own personal struggles, which includes trying to achieve success for their music.

Playing in clubs ranging from Asbury Park’s Stone Pony to New York’s Knitting Factory, Kindred Souls is an all-original rock-n-roll band whose music has shades of blues, jazz, R&B, funk, and soul. The band features bassist Stan Quincy Adams, guitarists Ted Heman and Jeff Samet, and drummer PauPreview this Postl Lavenhar.

“There isn’t anything else that I can do but make music. Being a musician is who I am,” says Bachrach. “Part of our message is to tell other artists and folks of vision, who are the carriers of creativity’s torch, don’t stop! Continue to share, to create, and to believe. Take your leap of faith!”

Music video by Kindred Souls from their CD “Takes Two”.

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MySpace, the world’s most popular social network, alongside Yahoo!, eBay, Photobucket, and Twitter, today announced the launch of the MySpace ‘Data Availability’ initiative, a ground-breaking offering to empower the global MySpace community to share their public profile data to websites of their choice throughout the Internet. Today’s announcement throws open the doors to traditionally closed networks by putting users in the driver’s seat of their data and Web identity. The launch of the Data Availability initiative marks the first time that a social Website has enabled its community to dynamically share public profile information with other sites.

MySpace Data Availability on Twitter.

“The walls around the garden are coming down-the implementation of Data Availability injects a new layer of social activity and creates a more dynamic Internet,” said Chris DeWolfe, CEO and co-founder of MySpace. “We, alongside our Data Availability launch partners, are pioneering a new way for the global community to integrate their social experiences Web-wide.”

Data Availability – User Interface

Data Availability pioneers a new way for users to dynamically share their user generated content and data with websites of their choosing. The Data Availability initiative is founded first and foremost on the simple and comprehensive user control of their own content and data – users will have control over what information they share and who they share it with.

Additionally, rather than updating information across the Web (eg. default photo, favorite movies or music) for each site where a user spends time, now a user can update their profile in one place and dynamically share that information with the other sites they care about. MySpace will be rolling out a centralized location within the site that allows users to manage how their content and data is made available to third party sites they have chosen to engage with.

Inside this opt-in framework, they will be offered the opportunity to share their MySpace profiles with the site they are visiting. MySpace, and its landmark launch partners, will be allowing users to dynamically share the content and data of their choosing including: (1) Publicly available basic profile information, (2) MySpace photos, (3) MySpaceTV videos, and (4) friend networks. Integration of the Data Availability project will roll to MySpace users and participating Websites in the coming weeks.

“The launch of Data Availability is an unprecedented move to further socialize the Web and empower users to control their online content and data,” said Amit Kapur, Chief Operating Officer, MySpace. “We are thrilled to begin this initiative with a world class suite of landmark partners and invite websites around the world to participate.”

Partner Website Functionality

Data Availability is about enriching existing Internet destinations with social functionality and valuable pre-existing user generated content and data.  By empowering users with the ability to dynamically share, those destinations will create deeper levels of social engagement and new functionality throughout their site. As the online home to 117 million users worldwide, this groundbreaking initiative enables the larger Web to leverage the highly engaged and passionate MySpace global community.

To ease implementation for participating sites, the MySpace Data Availability initiative uses OAUTH and Restful APIs as its core technology underpinnings. MySpace is using open standards in an effort to embrace the open source community and allow the implementation to be as non-proprietary as possible. Today’s announcement is the first step of MySpace’s larger data portability initiatives coming down the pipeline. MySpace is officially joining the Data Portability Project demonstrating our continued commitment to openness and open standards.

Data Availability on Yahoo!

MySpace’s Data Availability complements Yahoo!’s recently announced Yahoo! Open Strategy (Y!OS), a company-wide initiative to open Yahoo! to application developers, unlock the rich social connections across the Yahoo! network, and enable users to customize and make more personally relevant their experiences of Yahoo! and other Internet services.

On Yahoo!, the Data Availability initiative may appear to users in a variety of ways.  For example, users that have chosen to share their MySpace content and data with Yahoo! Instant Messenger might find their MySpace default photo, interests, and favorite music displayed to their Messenger contacts directly in the IM client.  Additionally, MySpace users will be able to choose to display their data within Yahoo!’s universal profile or leverage it in Yahoo! Mail’s smarter inbox, once those upcoming releases are deployed.

“Yahoo! believes in an open Internet that gives users the flexibility to make their Web experiences as relevant, social and personalized as they can.  As a longtime collaborator with MySpace on a variety of projects, including the OpenSocial Foundation, we’re thrilled to support this new initiative,” said Ash Patel, Executive Vice President, Platforms, at Yahoo!.  “The Yahoo! Open Strategy and MySpace Data Availability are a giant leap towards a more social and open Internet.”

Data Availability on eBay

Through the MySpace Data Availability implementation, eBay profiles can be easily enhanced with MySpace bios, interests, pictures, and videos. In a socially driven marketplace, this will yield a deeper connection between individuals. When browsing or transacting on eBay, the availability of external social information can help users make good decisions quickly about whom they can do business with, and perhaps even make a new friend.

“The MySpace Data Availabilityinitiative will further enrich eBay profiles and create a more elaborate social experience for buyers and sellers worldwide,” said Matt Ackley, VP of Internet Marketing of eBay.  “As the world’s largest social commerce site, eBay is dedicated to creating a social context and personality for the people with whom you transact.”

Data Availability on Photobucket

MySpace’s Data Availability initiative will allow Photobucket users to enjoy a more seamless photo experience with their MySpace profile.  Photobucket users will be able to have a single view of their photos across multiple services, as well as opt-in to displaying their MySpace profile data in their Photobucket albums.  Users will also be able to leverage their existing connections on MySpace to share their content on Photobucket more easily, without having to re-establish connections and friend lists.

“MySpace users invest a huge amount of time populating their profile and personal interest data.  With the large overlap in users, the Data Availability initiative will allow Photobucket to utilize this profile data to enhance its own products,” said Alex Welch, President of Photobucket.  “The combination of the Data Availability initiative and the recently announced Photobucket Open-API provides new opportunities to create a more open web”

Data Availability on Twitter

Twitter profiles at present are primarily focused on current updates and are relatively sparse on user information. The MySpace Data Availability initiative enriches the current Twitter profile by empowering users to incorporate their MySpace profile content and data points previously not included in the Twitter product suite.  Once the implementation is complete, a user will be able to bring in their MySpace content and data including their bio, blogs, and photos, ultimately making the Twitter site a more enriching site with content previously unavailable in its interface.

“Finding friends to follow is central to Twitter’s value as a real-time communication utility.” Says Biz Stone, Co-founder, Twitter. “This project enhances discovery and connectivity making Twitter more relevant and useful-we’re very excited.”

Stay Tuned for more updates, later today. Subscribe

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TechWeb, the global leader in business technology media, announced that Internet Evolution, a Web 2.0 site dedicated to investigating the future of the Internet, has added exclusive access to a mobile blog – entitled “Alan Reiter’s Wireless Web World” – for readers from their wireless devices only. For access to the Internet Evolution mobile site from a wireless handset, visit: http://www.internetevolution.com/mobile/.

Alan Reiter's Wireless Web World.The blog, written by Alan Reiter, President of Wireless Internet & Mobile Computing, a consulting firm that helps wireless data businesses in the United States and abroad, will cover a wide range of wireless Internet subjects, including wireless email, games, music, videos, location technologies, 3G/3.5G/4G, online applications for phones, social networking, privacy/security, mobile browsers, mobile marketing/advertising, femtocells and wireless UMPCs/MIDs/subnotebooks.

“We launched this killer blog in response to our readers’ voracious appetite for wireless access to news,” said Stephen Saunders, Internet Evolution creator and blogger. “This is the latest example of our commitment to provide our audience with critical Internet-focused information in what they select as the most effective delivery method.”

About Internet Evolution

Internet Evolution hosts more than 100 world-famous Internet experts – such as Kevin Mitnick, once the most-wanted computer hacker in the world; Dr. Lawrence Roberts, inventor of packet switching, and one of the world’s foremost authorities on telecom network architectures; Jack Uldrich, futurist, scholar, and author; Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist.com; David Weinberger, technologist and co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto; Howard Schmidt, former White House cybersecurity adviser; and Norman J. Ornstein, political scientist and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) – all of whom are addressing today’s critical socio-economic issues within its ThinkerNet blogosphere. Internet Evolution also offers broadcast-quality broadband video documentaries and interviews; investigative reports; and user-generated content facilitated via the latest Web 2.0 technology. Internet Evolution is a joint production of Light Reading, the world’s leading publishing, event and research company focusing on communications service providers and InformationWeek, the largest, most influential community of IT buyers and providers, focusing on driving and setting the agenda for business innovation powered by technology.

About TechWeb

TechWeb.TechWeb, the global leader in business technology media, is an innovative business focused on serving the needs of technology decision-makers and marketers worldwide. TechWeb produces the most respected and consumed media brands in the business technology market. Today, more than 13.3 million* business technology professionals actively engage in our communities created around our global face-to-face events Interop, Web 2.0, Black Hat and VoiceCon; online resources such as the TechWeb Network, Light Reading, Intelligent Enterprise, InformationWeek.com, bMighty.com, and The Financial Technology Network; and the market leading, award-winning InformationWeek, TechNet Magazine, MSDN Magazine, Wall Street & Technology magazines. TechWeb also provides end-to-end services ranging from next-generation performance marketing, integrated media, research, and analyst services. TechWeb is a division of United Business Media, a global provider of news distribution and specialist information services with a market capitalization of more than $2.5 billion.

*13.3 million business decision-makers: based on # of monthly connections.

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