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The latest trends in content development and social media:

Virgin Beats News Corp. with First Publication Made for iPad – Yahoo! News

Online content doesn’t care who or what type of brand you are. We’re going to start seeing more and more cases of aggressive marketers acting more like publishers than many publishers. Sure, many will fail, but the marketers that figure it out should make out quite well.

N.Zealand website defends topless breast cancer campaign – Yahoo! News

I can only imagine how much traffic this has driven to their site. The bigger question, of course: How many people are donating more than naked pics?

Eight Things I’m Sick Of In Social Media | Forrester Blogs

I’m digging Augie Ray’s writing more and more, and this one is right on.

For DecorMyEyes, Bad Publicity Is a Good Thing –

Must-read story about the absurd business practice of generating bad publicity to increase your Google search rankings. Google has already moved to address this issue.

Google’s “Gold Standard” Search Results Take Big Hit In New York Times Story

Danny Sullivan’s take on the NY Times story about a business intentionally trying to generate negative reviews for SEO ranking benefits. Danny’s right in saying this is a short term win, and not really a long-term sustainable business model. Sure enough, Google has already moved to fix this. The bottom line is, creating a positive experience online is always going to trump trying to goose the system, no matter how minimal or absurd that approach is.

ItsMyUrl Puts Your Whole Online ID into a Barcode

I’ve been a little surprised the use of QR codes hasn’t taken off more. Perhaps mobile smartphone use is still in a relatively infant stage. Whatever the case, we’re seeing a lot of different techs based around the idea that taking a photo is easier than entering text (think Google’s new Goggles). And as mobile phone cameras get better, and faster, and mobile data speeds and processors get faster, grabbing info off a QR code is going to get better and better.

Google Earth 6: Here’s What’s New

While most people are talking about 3D trees in the new Google Earth, I think the historical imagery is much more interesting.

6 Free iPad Apps for Planning Your Next Vacation

If you work in the travel industry, these are some apps worth noting. And perhaps what’s more worth noting is that while several of these apps are nice, there would seem to be a lot of room for new content in this category.