Citi and MSN’s Bundle Visualizes Personal Spending

Bundle.com launched this week a data visualization site for personal spending. The company, founded last June with funding from strategic investors Citigroup, Microsoft and Morningstar, helps users understand how they match up to others in their demographics and locations with regards to monthly household expenditures.

Revision3 Views Up 140% Despite Self-Imposed Standards

Online video studio Revision3 said today its program views are up 140 percent, with 46 million views in 2008 as compared to 19 million views in 2007.

revision3Last year Revision3 reported it had delivered 25 million videos (and 103 million “clips”). The startup later revised that number to 19 million, it told us today, as it became more stringent about its statistics. Now Revision3 counts only a full episode play or download, as opposed to a stream simply being started. Most other video sites are far more liberal. Revision3 CEO Jim Louderback has become a militant advocate of stricter viewership numbers (see his recent blog post titled “The Lies Must Stop“).

While that’s an admirable cause, it doesn’t make Revision3 — which was forced to cut some of its programming and staff in Oct. 2007 — look that good compared to its competitors. Next New Networks claimed 300 million views in 2008. Yesterday Break reported 35 million plays of its branded content productions “in the past few months.”

Revision3 does tend to run longer content than its competitors. To account for that, it also now reports the number of views for each “segment” of a show — for instance, Diggnation is divided into six segments. The network had 129 million segment views in ’08. All told, that amounts to nearly 1 billion minutes of content watched.

Will the Economy Slow Utilities Entering Solar?

When Congress passed $18 billion in national renewable-energy tax credits in October, it also approved a provision allowing utilities to take advantage of the credits for the first time. That led to wide speculation among solar insiders that utilities would be entering the industry en masse (also see stories here and here).

“A lot of utilities do want to operate and own and they have the tax appetite [to take advantage of the tax breaks,” Julia Hamm, executive director of the Solar Electric Power Association, told me then. Now, the economic slowdown is leading some insiders to wonder whether that trend is also slowing, in spite of an announcement last week that Southern California Edison completed the first of its planned 150 commercial rooftop installations, albeit four months later than originally expected.

“Utilities are taking a step back,” Michael Butler, CEO of investment bank Cascadia Capital, told me. “Not completely, but they’re being smarter with their cash.” Read More about Will the Economy Slow Utilities Entering Solar?