Perhaps the biggest news this week in the online world is that Seth Godin announced he is giving up on traditional book publishing and is going all-digital. Seth has the following and the leverage to make this an exciting development for digital publishing. This could be a big step in mainstreaming electronic publishing and changing the consumption of “books.” He has published 12 bestsellers in the traditional manner, so it’s possible he will be the reason some consumers start buying digital products.
Google announced their Google Voice service, which allows you to place calls to other Gmail users, right from your inbox, for next to nothing – free domestic calls and 2cents per minute for many international locations. Sounds like a cool feature, although PC World suggests it’s more about convenience rather than a game-changer, and definitely not a Skype killer.
In other Google news, their Realtime search feature now has its own homepage at google.com/realtime
Realtime results are pulled from sources like Twitter and Facebook status updates. These results were previously only accessible by clicking on the “Updates” link on the left of the Google search results page, or for ‘trending’ topics they are integrated into the main search results. So it’s not a major breakthrough, but will perhaps raise the profile of realtime search a little more. They’ve also added a couple more features such as integration with Google Alerts, and access to the full conversation that an update may be part of. ReadWriteWeb has a nice summary of the good and the bad of this announcement.
Has Google dropped Yelp reviews from their Places listings (those are the local map results you get typically when you search for a local business)? Techcrunch believes so. Catch up on the drama.
Digg launched their new re-design this week which, according to VentureBeat gives a more personalized experience and “makes it easier to find new sources to follow and connect to friends via Facebook, Google and Twitter accounts.” I barely use Digg at the moment, but if you regularly use it, I’m interested to know how you like the new design and if it means you will be using it differently in any way now.
Finally, a couple of awesome and stream-enhancing Tweeters to follow this week: