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Jul 2, 2008 - Spotting things you'll want to see today.

Search engines see Flash
Flash logo

On Tuesday Adobe announced some dramatic improvements to Flash animations that will greatly increase the ability of search engines to see them. Yahoo is expected to adopt the changes and Google has already begun implementation, with some stated limitations. The developments could end years of frustrations between design, usability and search concerns. Ars Technia spelled out some of the improvements and Search Engine Land highlighted key issues that will now affect the use of Flash. Future Now was one of several blogs who saw the news as a mixed blessing, feeling that Flash animations can be attractive but they often test poorly and perhaps the search problems could no longer be used as an argument against their use. Search Marketing Gurus felt the same way and they came up with a list of limitations that the anti-Flash contingent could still use.

Any news involving Google and Yahoo has to have a soap opera element to it -- so where is Microsoft? A common conspiracy theory points to Microsoft's new competitor to Flash known as Silverlight. Is Microsoft the innocent victim of monopolistic practices by industry giants? Mashable was one of several blogs that came to the defense of the software underdog from Redmond.

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What's new on AdSense?
Family Guy, created by Seth MacFarlane

On Monday The New York Times described an important content distribution experiment by Google. Their AdSense network will be used to distribute not only ads but also original content to support the ads. First up on the new network will be a series of short videos by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. Traditional media blogs such as IP Democracy were quick to point out the enormous implications of Google vertically integrating content and distribution. Internet focused blogs such as ClickZ saw it as a somewhat defensive move by Google to combat banner blindness and to improve their position in display advertising. The blog Lies, Dammed Lies speculated on the role of online publishers who could see their own content overwhelmed by Google's distribution of work by people like MacFarlane.

Google took a related step towards media convergence power by announcing the Google Media Server, their link to the TV screen which eCommerce Times described as a major step towards Google ads appearing on the big living room screen.

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.bye .bye .com ?

ICANN, the group that oversees domain names, announced a major expansion of top level names that could make .com, .net and .edu quaint memories in favor of domains such as Amazon.Bookstore or Profiles.Facebook. The Buzz Machine bemoaned the expected increase in complexity which, along with web naming conventions that ignore vowels, could render the domain name irrelevant. Many users already rely on search engines to remember URLs and that practice would be sure to increase. Ivan Croxford was another blogger who felt that the decision could divert websites from producing true value on their existing .com accounts. Nominet took a good look at the details of the plan, saw a gold rush in registration fees but a resulting web structure that leaves the world a bit flat.

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Tools: New and/or improved

Radar Screen: Gnip wants to be a social network transit hub

Twitter has recently served as an unfortunate case study of how faulty infrastructure can cripple any social media application. A startup called Gnip seeks to remedy the situation by managing contacts.


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