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Xing buys Spanish business social network

Xing, the German-based business social network, is expanding into the Spanish-speaking market with the purchase of eConozco, Spain's second biggest professional network.

Since launching in 2003, eConozco has reached around 150,000 members in Spain and Latin America. Both parties have agreed not to reveal the financial details of the deal.


Hitwise lists the most successful UK websites

Hitwise has published a list of the most popular UK websites in more than 50 categories last year, based on each site's market share of user visits.

It also lists the brands which were most searched for in 2006, with eBay unsurprisingly placing first and social networking site Bebo coming in second.


Rival to Wikipedia goes live

One of Wikipedia's founder members, Larry Sanger has launched a rival online encyclopedia, with the hope of improving on the original by avoiding the vandalism and inconsistency which affects some of its entries.

Sanger believes that allowing anyone to edit entries anonymously has caused problems for the original site, and plans to solve this by asking contributors to provide their real names.


Interview: Tim Curtis, head of Mothercare Direct

Tim Curtis has been at Mothercare Direct for five years now, helping the company shift towards multichannel retail and more recently overseeing its switch to Amazon Services' e-commerce platform.

We asked him a few questions about the challenges of integrating different channels within Mothercare, and what opportunities there are for retailers within Web 2.0, mobile and digital TV.


Sports Direct to buy web retailer?

Sports retail giant Sports Direct is apparently set to buy online rival M and M Direct for around £75m, in its first acquisition since listing on the LSE.

The Telegraph reports that Sports Direct is leading negotations for the firm and that the deal could be completed within weeks.


YouTube ordered to remove World Cup clips

Cricket's governing body has ordered YouTube to remove clips from the Cricket World Cup, claiming copyright infringement.

The International Cricket Council told parent Google it must take down hundreds of clips in order to protect the rights of its commercial broadcasting partners.


Yahoo! adds features for mobile publishers

Yahoo! this morning unveiled new tools that make it easier for publishers to mobilise and monetise their website content.

The Yahoo! Mobile Publisher Services help producers gain prominence for their sites in new mobile search services and allow them to make money from a range of ad formats.


M&S launches new Amazon-powered website

Marks and Spencer has revamped its online retail site with a little help from Amazon, hoping that its new multichannel approach to retailing will increase its online sales.

At the launch of its interim results for 2006/2007, M&S chief executive Stuart Rose said that the company intends to double its online sales from £100m in a short period of time.


Baidu launches Japanese search engine

Chinese search engine Baidu has launched a new service in Japan, the first time the service has launched outside of its home market.

Baidu has chosen Japan as the next step because of the high levels of internet penetration in the country, as well as the similarities in language between the two countries.


Extra supply or lack of demand foils PS3 eBay touts

Touts on eBay have been thwarted in their attempts to make a quick buck from people desperately searching for the new Playstation 3, as plenty of the games consoles are available to buy through regular channels.

Based on launches of previous gaming devices, like the PSP and Xbox, touts expected that the demand for Sony’s new machine would soon mean that shops would run out of stock and gamers would turn to eBay.


Amazon kills Statsaholic, but does Jeff know?

Does Jeff Bezos know about this?Statsaholic, the Alexa-powered traffic tool formerly known as Alexaholic, is being systematically crushed by Amazon in a move that is going to create a wave of negative PR for the online retail giant.

Earlier this month Amazon sent a legal warning that forced Alexaholic to drop the Alexa from its name. Fair enough – brands have to look after their trademarks. But now it is preventing Statsaholic from using its API at all.

This is bad news, and sends out a highly ridiculous message to current and prospective users of Amazon Web Services. The message is this: “If you are successful, we can close you down.”


Yell.com introduces PPC advertising

Yell.com, the online listings site, is to allow advertisers to use its site on a pay-per-click basis. It will also introduce enhanced banner advertising.

Yell has already signed up a number of well-known brands for the new listings, including American Express motor insurance, Interflora, Swiftcover motor insurance and Hiscox house insurance.