Articles of the Day


Rumor: Digg In Talks With Google Over USD 200m Sale — Digg is in talks with Google regarding a sale for around USD 200m, according to a report on TechCrunch citing sources within Google and external sources. According to the report, the two have signed a letter of intent and one source said the price was in the USD 200m range. According to the report, talks between the two having been ongoing for the last six weeks. According to a report on VentureBeat, Digg has not denied the story, despite having denied a similar rumor about being acquired by Microsoft several months ago.

Google Launches Its Challenge To Wikipedia With Wide Release Of Knol — After several months in beta, Google is going wide with content site Knol. While the site appears to be a challenge to Wikipedia, Google stresses that the articles and entries have a professional quality. The way Google is maintaining this difference between Knol and Wikipedia is that all entries must have be identified by the writer’s name. While Wikipedia does rely on editors and the community to police the site, Google is trying to go a little further. The articles on Knol can have multiple authors, which under Google’s structure, is called “moderated collaboration.” Like Wikipedia, any reader can make suggested edits to a Knol entry.

Slide Moving Toward Planned IPO With USD 550m Valuation; In Talks With Bankers — Slide, the privately-held San Francisco based social networking web application company, is in discussions with select bankers to manage its planned initial public offering. Corporate strategy vice president Keith Rabois said that despite the weakened state of the capital markets, Slide continues to view an IPO as its most attractive method of providing a return to venture capital investors that have funded the company with USD 58m to date, at an estimated total valuation of around USD 550m. “When you start raising that amount of money, there are not many [companies] that can buy you anyway,” Rabois said. Slide runs widgets and accompanying advertisements on popular social networking sites including Facebook and MySpace. The company launched in August 2005 and currently has around 87 employees. It plans to roughly double its staff within the next six to 12 months, Rabois said. The executive added that Slide is optimistic about its chances for success in the public market, noting the current belief of private companies that it is difficult to complete an IPO is “a total myth.”The company does not have a concrete timeline on which it is moving toward a public offering, but does intend to achieve a revenue run-rate of USD 100m at the time of its IPO, Rabois said.

Microsoft’s Kevin Johnson Out; Reorg Of Platform And Services; Ballmer Memo — A major departure at Microsoft this evening: Kevin Johnson, president of Microsoft’s Platforms and Services Division, is leaving the company to head up gearmaker Juniper Networks. The departure will coincide with a reorg that will see Johnson’s unit split into two parts. Microsoft’s official announcement is here. The news was first reported at WSJ. Johnson, who has been with Microsoft since 1992, and at his current position since 2005, was seen as a major figure in the company’s attempt to acquire Yahoo. In his official bio, the company touts 30 acquisitions under his watch in support of its ‘software+services’ strategy. As for the reorg of his unit, here’s how it works: One unit will oversee the Windows operating system and related online services. The other will oversee the pure online-only aspects, like MSN.com and the online advertising business. The first group will be headed by CEO Steve Ballmer, and three other executives. The company will begin a search for a newly created role to head up the other unit.

NBC Digital Health Network Adds Four Distribution Partners — The NBC Digital Health Network, launched this past May to increase patient education by providing its distribution partners with NBC content, on Wednesday announced the addition of four new distribution partners for its premium health video content. In addition, The Patient Channel and The Newborn Channel, in-hospital networks that were grown as part of iVillage, have today joined the NBC Digital Health team. The new multi-platform partners include Wellness Wireless, which distributes rich content on cell phones through personalized health and wellness applications developed by healthcare professionals; National Cable Communications, the national advertising firm jointly owned by three of the nation’s largest MSOs — Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable; eTAGZ, a digital media marketing company; and Family Marketing, an interactive direct marketing agency.

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