You Can Buy an Old Dog(ster) For New Tricks

Dogster, the old-school social network for dog and cat owners has been purchased by Say Media in the first deal for the recently created content and advertising company. Say Media was created last September when blogging platform SixApart was swallowed by video ad network VideoEgg.

Struggling Six Apart Begged for $2M Loan

When blogging pioneer Six Apart said it was being purchased by ad network VideoEgg the deal seemed to confirm that the once-hot startup had been left in the dust by competition from the likes of WordPress, Twitter and Facebook. The merger documents tell a sad tale.

Six Apart Deal With VideoEgg Marks the End of an Era

After denying rumors of a deal, blogging platform Six Apart and advertising network VideoEgg have confirmed they are merging to create a new social-media company called SAY Media. It’s the end of one of the early pioneers of the blogging world as a standalone entity.

Vid-Biz: News Corp., VideoEgg, YouTube

News Corp., MySpace Eye Flixster; News Corp. has been conducting due diligence on Flixster as part of a plan to combine it with Rotten Tomatoes. (AllThingsD)

VideoEgg, comScore Partner on Tracking Ad Impact Offline; companies will launch a new product that allows brands to gauge the impact of online advertising on brick-and-mortar sales. (MediaPost)

YouTube Adds Facebook Friends; in addition to finding Gmail contacts on YouTube, users can now find and connect with people they know on Facebook. (YouTube blog)

Blockbuster Picks Widevine for DRM; DVD rental company will use Widevine’s DRM and video optimization technology for video delivered to internet-connected consumer electronic devices. (emailed release)

BrightRoll Launches Platform Partner Program; partners include advertising companies, Auditude, FreeWheel and LiveRail, as well as video player companies including Brightcove and thePlatform. (press release)

FiOS Adds HDNet to VOD Lineup; service includes more than 20 hours of HD programming from HDNet and more than 25 free movies from HDNet Movies per month. (Multichannel News)

Critical Media Hires Gilley as CTO; Vidavee founder and former Vignette CTO Tom Gilley will be responsible for product development on Critical Mention, ClipSyndicate and Syndicaster products. (emailed release)

Vid-Biz: Ponzi Schemes, AMG 3D, Old Jews

YouTube Fertile Ground for Ponzi Schemes; the Better Business Bureau says there are nearly 23,000 pyramid scheme videos on YouTube that have racked up more than 59 million views. (Ars Technica)
AMG Switching to All 3D; network will broadcast in three dimensions all the time, will require users to get an add-ons to make the service work in the home. (Variety)
Did You Hear the One About Old Jews Telling Jokes Going to Home Video? First Run Features picks up the rights to the web series. (The Hollywood Reporter)
New Devices to Show off Mobile Video at NAB Next Week; Open Mobile Video Coalition’s booth to show a Dell netbook with integrated “ATSC mobile DTV,” as well as DTV-capable mobile phones. (Broadcasting & Cable)
YouTube Symphony Orchestra to Perform Tonight; musicians from around the world have gathered for their big show at Carnegie Hall to play “Internet Symphony, Eroica.” (YouTube Blog)

Where’s the Money in Online Video?

This post was originally written for GigaOM‘s syndicated column relationship with BusinessWeek. It’s relevant to NewTeeVee so we’re publishing it here as well.

The sharp growth in online video viewing, increasing availability of TV online, and proliferation of high-quality, web-originated content has made it easy to point the arrow for online video advertising up and to the right. But while video will probably continue to be a bright spot of growth in a dull economy, that’s mostly because it’s just getting started. The reality is revenues will be close to nothing for a long time, and the growing number of tech entrepreneurs and creative types in the space should probably be worried that industry watchers are now cutting their expectations for growth in online video revenues based on factors other than the shaky U.S. economy. Read More about Where’s the Money in Online Video?

VideoEgg: New Buzz for Old Hats

Perhaps ad network VideoEgg should switch business models (again) and become a PR firm, because the company is definitely good at generating buzz. Whether it was declaring a turf war with YouTube over overlay ads, dropping video partners, or, like today, announcing new features to ad products that have been in the market for years, the company knows how to pimp itself.

Some tech blogs jumped on the VideoEgg bandwagon to tout its “new” features such as dynamic RSS content updates, localized messaging, multiple video tracks in a single ad, shopping functionality and sharing.

Too bad it’s all been done before. BrightRoll offers auto-updating, geotargeting, and viral sharing on its network. Tremor Media offers multiple videos in a single banner as well as dynamic ad versioning. And while it doesn’t consider VideoEgg a direct competitor, Eyeblaster did geotargeting in ads with airlines years ago as well as dynamic RSS updates with BBC. It has toyed with offering shopping experiences within the ad unit, but hasn’t gotten too far because it is difficult to create secure environments within the ad and it wound up doing what VideoEgg is doing: deep linking to a client’s store.

To be fair, I’ll bet even VideoEgg was surprised by the amount of coverage it received for the release. During a phone briefing yesterday, VideoEgg CMO Troy Young said of the announcement, “It’s not the second coming, but I think it’s cool.”

(Disclosure: BrightRoll is funded by True Ventures, which also funded GigaOM.)

KidZui: No Pornography Here

The launch of KidZui could be viewed as just another social network for kids hitting the market, or it could be seen as a victory of real-live people over the mighty algorithm. Time and the company’s success will eventually tell. Over the last two and a half years, KidZui has paid 200 parents and teachers to manually filter the adult Internet, distilling the world wide web down to 500,000 sites appropriate for kids.

The KidZui Internet is accessed through a browser designed by the company to reflect a child’s point of view and levels of interest. The goal is to get parents of kids ages 3 through 11 to sign up for $99 annual plans or $9.95-a-month plans. Those subscription fees (no ads) will support a staff of editors who will monitor where kids want to go outside of the KidZui sites, reviewing and adding those that are appropriate.

Read More about KidZui: No Pornography Here