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Weekend Grabbag: Updates from Startups Bideo, Smashwords, and

Now that carbon has become the hottest commodity on the planet, under the cap and trade market administered by the European Union, there would seem to be no reason that user-generated news video and images couldn't be aggressively traded in an online auction setting as well.

That is the context for the first of three news updates from startup companies this weekend:

  • That is the premise behind Bideo, a New Orleans-based service that aims to match content providers with news organiations such as USA Today. The system works like this: The seller uploads an image from a computer or mobile device; buyers assess the image and bid on the exclusive right to publish it; and the seller receives 75 to 85 percent of the final bid price immediately after the sale is complete.
Next, there is a significant update in the world of e-book distribution:
  • Book View Cafe, which is a digital publishing cooperative for professional authors, has partnered with e-book publisher Smashwords to distribute works by the likes of Ursula K. LeGuin, Vonda N. McIntyre, Sarah Smith, Seanan McGuire and Laura Anne Gilman. This is the latest in a series of distribution deals for Smashwords, including Sony and Barnes & Noble.
Finally, there is this update from the hyper-local news space:
  • The, which now calls itself "the insider source for everything local," announced it has hired about 30,000 Examiners, or local content providers, in 240 cities in the U.S. and Canada. The company says it now has over 1,000 contributors in both New York and Los Angeles, and is close to that figure in San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.