THE WGA began its strike at midnight after Sunday’s 10-hour marathon negotiation broke down. Writers are expected to begin picketing at 9 AM this morning outside high-profile locations, including major studios on the West Coast and Rockefeller Center in New York. The Guild issued a memo telling its writers to spend at least 20 hours per week on the picket lines.
FACEBOOK is expected to announce a major push to collect more data about users by integrating with third-party sites. “Project Beacon” will track user activity outside of Facebook and send this information back to the social network. For example, transactions with an online retailer could appear in a user’s profile, letting everyone know when and where the user recently shopped. In exchange for the data, the retailer would receive exposure on the site and a link back to its store. The link will act as a free text ad and the data will allow Facebook to build an even more accurate profile of its growing user base. The new service will be announced on Tuesday.
MYSPACE will unveil a new service that allows small businesses, bands, and others to purchase advertising on its site. “SelfServe by MySpace” is an AdWords-like tool that will allow advertisers to purchase, create, and track display ads on MySpace. It will let advertisers target users by demographic, geography and other qualities revealed in a user’s profile. The service will be announced today and rolled out over the next few months.
GOOGLE may announce its mobile phone plans today, according to The Wall Street Journal. The heavily-anticipated “G-phone” is expected to be an open mobile operating system that tightly integrates with Google’s growing list of online applications.
MICROSOFT and ESPN will bring full-length games and TV shows to Xbox Live. The deal will include recent NCAA football and basketball games, the X Games, The World Series of Poker and more. TV shows will cost $2 for standard definition and $2.40 for high-def. Games will go for $3 (SD) and $4.50 (HD).