Now at MySpace: 'Community builder' platform, new sales and marketing chief

News Corp.'s social network made two advertising-related announcements Tuesday: the launch of a new "community building" platform so that advertisers can easily create a presence on the site, and the promotion of Jeff Berman to president of sales and marketing.

The ad platform, to put it simply, helps advertisers build MySpace profiles for their brands, complete with friend lists, widgets, blog entries, and ads provided by the site's HyperTargeting ad program. If they aren't familiar with MySpace's structure or with the CSS and XHTML code skills necessary to make those profiles extra-sparkly, … Read more

Six Apart acquires Apperceptive, fires up client-centric strategy

Blogging software company Six Apart has announced a new "social media services" strategy that involves a new satellite office in New York, the acquisition of social-media consulting and development firm Apperceptive, and a new initiative to "provide new advertising, design, implementation, development and site optimization services to bloggers and companies of all sizes."

In other words, the company is moving beyond simply providing software, entering the lucrative business of bringing clients into gear with that whole "Web 2.0" thing that all the cool kids are talking about.

Six Apart, which operates blogging platforms … Read more

Dries Buytaert crowned one of the Businessweek's top technology entrepreneurs

It's very cool to see Dries Buytaert, co-founder of Acquia and founder of Drupal, listed on Businessweek's list of the world's top technology entrepreneurs. The story of Drupal - started by Dries in his spare time - is amazing, and testifies to the power of open source.

Great work, Dries. You deserve it.

Skeletons in the crimson closet: Facebook's latest Harvard scuffle

This post was updated at 6:17 PM PT to correct the title of Aaron Greenspan's book.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg never finished his stint as an undergraduate at Harvard, opting instead to move to Palo Alto and eventually become the world's youngest billionaire. But his days in Cambridge, Mass. continue to resurface, as allegations and accusations about Facebook's earliest days grow into ivy-covered drama.

The latest: Whether Facebook can really claim it owns the term "facebook." A former classmate of Zuckerberg's, having run into problems promoting a self-published book that uses the company … Read more

Blockbuster sued over role in Facebook's Beacon ad program

As if troubled movie rental company Blockbuster didn't have enough to deal with already: an angry Facebook user has taken issue with its participation in the social network's controversial Beacon advertising program, and is pursuing legal action.

Cathryn Elaine Harris, a Texas resident, filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for eastern Texas on April 9, claiming that it's a violation of a federal statute for Blockbuster to participate in Beacon, which shares rental history on Facebook members' "news feeds" unless they manually opt out. She is seeking class-action status, hoping to eventually … Read more

OpenSocial apps now available to Orkut users in India

And now, the latest in social network developer platform announcements: Orkut, the community site owned by Google, has rolled out a directory of applications to its users in India and will continue to expand geographically over the next few weeks.

India, along with Brazil, is one of Orkut's main hubs of popularity; in Brazil, it faces many of the same issues that massive social networks like Facebook and MySpace do in the U.S. Despite having been developer in-house in Google's Mountain View, Calif.-based headquarters, the site has never really taken off stateside. Meanwhile, rival MySpace is currently launching an India-centric portalRead more

As expected, Buzznet inks a major music label deal

Universal Music Group has invested an undisclosed amount in pop-culture social network Buzznet.

Beyond the financial investment, this means that Universal artists will post promotional blogs on Buzznet, and the social site will have access to the label's music and video catalog.

Last week, Buzznet CEO Tyler Goldman told CNET to expect a partnership announcement that would bring more audio content to the site.

According to a release from the two companies, this is "one of the first times that a music company will be directly involved in developing editorial programming for a social-media site, with … Read more

'Lonelygirl15' creators launch production company, pull in venture funding

Remember the Web series Lonelygirl15? Protagonist "Bree" might have gotten killed off, but the team that created her wants to go places.

On Thursday, Lonelygirl15 brains Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried--who also created a British spin-off called KateModern--announced the launch of their new "social entertainment" production company, Eqal. Previously, their company's name had been a bit more of a mouthful: LG15 Studios/Telegraph Ave. Productions.

Along with its debut, Eqal has announced $5 million in Series A venture funding in a round led by Spark Capital, with contributions from notable investors, including Silicon Valley veteran … Read more

Social-media analytics firm Collective Intellect gets $6.6 million

Collective Intellect, a Boulder, Colo.-based analytics firm that specializes in crunching the discussion on blogs, forums, and social networks, announced Wednesday that it has netted $6.6 million in Series B venture capital. The investment round was led by Grotech Capital Ventures and included funding from Crawley Hatfield Capital as well as existing investors Appian Ventures and Croghan Investments.

With the fresh cash, Collective Intellect said it will beef up its marketing and sales campaigns to pull in more clients and revenue. The company's Series A round, $2.6 million in February 2006, was led by Appian Ventures.… Read more

Six Apart wrestles the social-media dragon

The Web might have just gotten one step closer to a universal "social dashboard" capable of managing an array of blogging, messaging, networking, and media applications. It's a small step, but still a move in the right direction.

Six Apart, the software company behind blogging platforms TypePad, Movable Type, and Vox, has launched a new Facebook application called "Blog It." Facebook members who install the application can post to multiple blogging services at one time, update their Facebook status in sync with micro-blogging services like Twitter, and have updates from the app appear in their Facebook Mini-Feeds.… Read more