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IS CLEAN-TECHNOLOGY BOOM JUST A FAD?

Biz tidbits from the Internet, blogs and podcasts

"Apparently like everyone else, we are going green!" Om Malik wrote last week, pretty much owning up to his lack of enthusiasm for the new blog his company introduced, Earth2Tech (earth2tech.com). The blog is "devoted to the business of clean technologies, its innovations and everything else," he explained on his main technology-business blog, GigaOM (gigaom.com). Earth2Tech, he wrote, examines the clean-technology startups that are mushrooming in Silicon Valley and around the world, as well as the environmental initiatives of big companies like Google and Wal-Mart. "It took a bit to convince Om to go GigaGreen," the site's editor, Katie Fehrenbacher, wrote in her introductory post. She said that the clean-technology boom - fueled in part by the money and marketing prowess of venture capitalists like John Doerr and Vinod Khosla - could turn out to be not much more than a faddish investment vehicle. "It might be a bubble," she wrote. "We're agnostic. As always, through bubble or boom we'll keep the same GigaOM skepticism on this new site."

Those little Web sites can make big mone

Web sites like I Can Has Cheezburger? (icanhascheezburger.com) must be frustrating for big media companies that are trying to make money from Web publishing. The site is nothing more than funny captions with pictures of animals, but it pulls in enough money that its owner was able to quit his job as a software developer. Eric Nakagawa, who started the site in January, says he sells ads for $500 to $4,000 a week and that he makes about $5,600 a month for himself. To be sure, few such blogs make that kind of money. Cheezburger's success is a combination of luck and smarts, John Tozzi of BusinessWeek.com explains. But that it can happen at all is a testament to how the economics of Web publishing have changed. Tozzi gives several more examples, including the quirky technology blog Boing Boing (boingboing.net); Talking Points Memo (talkingpointsmemo.com), which offers political news and analysis; and the wildly popular PerezHilton.com, a celebrity-gossip blog.

Ah, gotta love those misplaced billboards

"The fight against cancer isn't hopeless," reads a London billboard. Directly under it is a billboard advertising Rothmans cigarettes. That and 14 other examples of "unfortunately placed" ads can be found at Oddee.com. In one, a Yahoo News article about coffee's ties to heart attacks is shown next to an ad for Folgers.

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