Monday, October 30, 2006
"And Google shows no signs of letting up. On Oct. 24, Google unveiled tools to allow users to build and customize their own search engines. In doing so, it moved onto the turf of companies such as Septet Systems, which offers the ability to personalize search engines and share them with others through its "Personal Search Syndication" site (www.pssdir.com). The company sells ads through Google and splits the revenue. "I'm very flattered that they are doing this, because it makes our business model that much more legitimate," says PSS's co-founder Benjamin Epstein, adding that his search engine still has some features Google's does not. "But, yeah, there is always concern that they will just wipe us out."
Monday, October 16, 2006
The future of PR is here, and it looks like PR pros can now test their story pitches in the virtual world on virtual reporters. From our media contact, Eric Auchard, at Reuters:
By Eric Auchard and Kenneth Li
SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Reuters is opening a news bureau in the simulation game Second Life this week, joining a race by corporate name brands to take part in the hottest virtual world on the Internet.
Starting on Wednesday, Reuters plans to begin publishing text, photo and video news from the outside world for Second Life members and news of Second Life for real world readers who visit a Reuters news site at: http://secondlife.reuters.com/
Homework on the Web
Real estate information is just a mouse click away
By PHYLLIS FURMAN
DAILY NEWS BUSINESS WRITER
Vincent Ngai did his homework.
For Vincent Ngai, hiring a real estate broker wasn't enough.
Ngai, a 34-year-old product manager for a financial services company, was recently searching for a studio apartment to buy on the upper East Side of Manhattan. He stumbled on a New York real estate web site, StreetEasy.com, and started doing some research.
Once Ngai honed in on an apartment he liked, he checked the site to see the listing prices for other units in the same building. He was then able to base his offer on "reliable information," as opposed to strictly using a broker.
"The question is, is a broker working in my best interest?," Ngai said. "This gave me a sense of security. I wasn't in the dark." Want to know about public schools in the neighborhood? Curious about what your neighbor sold his apartment for? How about getting an on-the-spot estimate of what your house is worth?
You could call a broker, but these days more and more people are heading to the Web.
Some 77% of all home buyers first search on the Internet, according to the National Association of Realtors.
New Yorkers are leading the way. Started nine months ago, StreetEasy draws 20,000 visitors a month and is growing 20% a month, though it has yet to score advertisers. Another prominent real estate site with roots here, PropertyShark.com, gets about 8,000 searches a day, up 44% from last year.
"Everyone in New York lives in an expensive box," said StreetEasy CEO Michael Smith. "They are tracking their real estate just like they track their stocks. Am I in the right apartment? Could I sell my place and move? Can I move from Tribeca to Chelsea?"