A Few Quick Links to Monday Note #42

Newspapers Downsizing – NYTimes and Herald Tribune to merge sites. The move was meant to happen. A growing number of NY Times stories are appearing in the Herald Tribune, the NYT Co. is bleeding ad revenue. There is no longer room for duplication. The merger on the web is the first step (pretty easy to take), and the newspapers will follow. It is a matter of when, not if, the IHT
brand disappears. (Story in the IHT )

Online Advertising – Publicis Group launches VivaKi, a weird name (how much they paid for such an neologism breakthrough?) for a global initiative in which the n°3 advertising group will combine all its digital forces. Says Maurice Levy, Publicis Group Chairman: “Digital revenue should represent more than 25% of the group’s total revenue by 2010 compared with 18% in the first quarter of this year”. (Story in the FT)

Social Networks – LinkedIn worth $1bn. At least according to VCCW (Venture Capital Common Wisdom). This is based on the $53m investment coughed up by a group of VCs including Bain C
apital Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners. (story in Condé Nast Portfolio )

Aggregator – Slow Growth for Google News.
In May, Google News got only 11.4 million users. It ranked No. 8 among news sites, far behind Yahoo News, which was No. 1 with 35.8 million visitors. Its growth rate of 10% over the last two years is far slower than, for instance, MSNBC.com that grew by 42 percent, adding 10.4 million users. Proof that algorithm is not everything. (Interesting story in the New York Time )

(Finally) — The best bang for the buck. Find out how the clever tiny advertising agency Lastfool (no website in sight, sorry) made a funny viral movie for a cell phone earpiece maker. Small budget, many viewers. The funny thing is the counter strike of an anonymous member of the French mobile phone lobby…