IAR Bits and Bytes

Jupitermedia Buys VB-World Network

Jupitermedia , the parent company of this publication, announced Thursday the acquisition of VB-World Network, a publisher of online content for Web developers using the Visual Basic programming language.

The deal brings a variety of sites geared to the Visual Basic-using Web developer community to the Jupitermedia stable of more than 150 IT-related Web sites. Visual Basic creator Microsoft estimates over 3 million developers use the environment, which gives programmers a visual, drag-and-drop interface to easily and quickly design prototypes.

“The acquisition of VB-World continues the expansion of Jupitermedia’s editorial coverage of Web development and the technology industry and will be a valuable resource for our user audience as well as for Jupitermedia,” said Alan Meckler, Jupitermedia’s chairman and chief executive.

Jupitermedia said the VB-World Network would join its Web Developer channel of sites like FlashKit.com, JavascriptSource.com, and Webreference.com. The VB-World Network includes VB-World, a resource site with tutorials, reviews and bits of code; VB-Forums, a site devoted to columns by Web developer specialists; and VB API, a reference site for developers using Windows APIs.

Details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The deal comes five months after the company purchased Jupiter Research and subsequently changed its name from INT Media Group to Jupitermedia.

Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL Are Top Interactive Brands

According to a research released Thursday by Nielsen//NetRatings , Yahoo , Microsoft and AOL were the top interactive brands for October.

The researcher came up with the rankings by combining usage data from a variety of interactive media — the Web, instant messaging (IM) clients, media players, ISP applications, and news and information toolbars.

Yahoo, with its top-rated portal and popular IM client, ranked highest on the list of brands, pulling in a unique audience of 79.6 million for an average of more than two hours. Microsoft and MSN finished second and third, respectively, while AOL was fourth.

Notably, AOL trumped all other brands measured with an average use time nearing nine hours, thanks to its top-ranked IM client, AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). In fact, the brands with returning use time over two hours are the top three IM players: AIM, Yahoo, and MSN. The only other interactive brand nearing them in time spent was eBay, which held its average user’s attention for just over two hours.

Measuring what Nielsen//NetRatings calls the “digital media universe,” which takes into account the popularity of IM, media players, and other interactive applications, causes the active online audience to jump by 10 percent over traditional online measurement, the company said.

The variety of interactive media accounted for by Yahoo, Microsoft, MSN and AOL kept the top four far in the lead in unique audience, too. While all four broke 70 million for the month, No. 5 brand Google managed just 37.7 million unique visitors, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

According to the study, the active digital universe stood at 129 million in October, with the average Internet user logging on for 54 sessions in the month and viewing 1,307 Web pages for 54 seconds. Overall, Nielsen//NetRatings found the average user spent 52 hours online.

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