Two seemingly unrelated pieces of information that are connected. These are my headlines, BTW:

AOL to Invest $120M in Patch

As Jack Shafer points out, the model needs some work because people go “hyperlocal” through Facebook and Twitter and Yelp. I look at several Patches every day, but the last article I read came from Hingham, Massachusetts, and concerned reaction to Whitey Bulger’s arrest. The hyperlocal that folks around here always wanted were who died, who got arrested, and who won the high school football/basketball/soccer/baseball game. Oh, and in season, whether taxes are going up. Since the answer to the latter is that taxes around here are always growing up, the question now is “How much are taxes going up?” I do disagree with Shafer that the kind of stories true news consumers prefer are the disasters. I think they want a mix of the scandalous and the thoughtful, the frivolous and the profound, sort of like what Slate does.

Murdoch Takes $545M Hit on Sale of MySpace

The culprit, it is generally agreed, is Facebook, which grabbed the advertising and eyeballs that drive the advertising. Analysts think MySpace may create a niche space for music. I must be a case in point. I have a MySpace page and can’t remember the last time I looked at it. I went on Facebook today. Actually I just went on looking for information for the next part of this post. My first question was why do advertisers think I’m overweight?

Just as I was putting this together I found what may be a third link.

Google Supersizes

Google today set up a social network site called Google + . All reports say that it is challenging Facebook after the latter started a search engine.

The lesson? Everyone is struggling to create interactions that advertisers will pay for because users really want them. At this point things stand at one degree of separation from Facebook, times three.


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