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As user generated content becomes more prevalent on the Internet and in the cellular industry, two Israeli companies launched products this week to take advantage of the trend.
MSN Israel launched its new video-blog facility Thursday giving users the ability to record a video journal directly onto the site (www.msn.co.il/reshet) using a webcam and microphone, for publication on the Internet. Each video allows the blogger to define and give a description of the blog and viewers the opportunity to rate the blog, and make suggestions to others. The service will also be presented as part of a new program on Channel 2 called Myblog starting in mid-July. The program will also be available to 3G subscribers to Orange's oboxlive portal.
Earlier in the week, cellular provider Cellcom launched its new blog Web site www.heep.co.il, marking a significant change in focus from its competitors in the cellular market. The new site gives surfers the opportunity to upload personal videos to share with other users, in line with the format of better known international sites such as youtube.com. Cellcom quoted the Financial Times saying that user generated content, mainly targeting younger users, was the most popular item on the Internet in 2006. Looking at the potential in Israel, the company noted that a clip entitled "hey" produced by Israeli youth had attracted 5.5 million hits on youtube.
For Israeli consumers being lured to the latest products in their email inbox, the fight against spam mail won a significant battle Thursday after an Israeli court barred "serial spammer" Amir Gans from using the 012 Golden Lines network. Gans caused the 012 network to collapse approximately two years ago for two days when he sent out spam emails on mass. The decision bans Gans and his so called email marketing company from logging into the 012 system. Microsoft Israel is also seeking to prevent Gans access to its network.
Less than two months after taking office as chief executive officer at cable company HOT, David Kaminitz has implemented major reforms at the company. The main change will see the splitting of its customer relations section to two separate business segments - being customer relations and operations. Kaminitz has also split HOT's technology department in two - engineering and information technology. The reforms, which come a few weeks after the completion of the merger of the three cable companies into HOT, will enable the company to provide customer service on a higher level and using better quality technology, Kaminitz said.
To accompany the changes, Kaminitz appointed Shlomi Ashkenazi as the new VP sales at HOT, Ziv Gila as VP Operations and Meidad Katz as VP of the Engineering unit, effective on Sunday. They replace Nurit Nahman who was VP customer services and Israel Eckshtein as VP Operations.