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Talk of the Bay

Published December 8, 2006



Out with the accountant, in with the lawyer. The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce changes the guard next week. Chairman Jose Valiente, the above-mentioned numbers guy, will yield to lawyer Fredrick McClure of DLA Piper LLP. Other offices getting new blood include the Committee of 100, the chamber's business recruiting arm. Trammell Crow's Bob Abberger will step aside for Wachovia Bank's Roy McCraw. The chamber will make the announcements at a banquet Thursday at the Tampa Convention Center.

Wikia hitches ride on mighty Amazon

Wikia, the for-profit arm of online encyclopedia Wikipedia, has hitched up with a new investor rather familiar with the Internet world: So says Wikipedia co-founder and St. Petersburg resident Jimmy Wales. Amazon wouldn't say how much it was investing, but an Amazon executive is joining Wiki's board. On Wikia, communities gather virtually to create Web pages devoted to just about any subject. Amazon and Wikia didn't commit to any specific partnerships, but both companies did note the natural congruence between products Amazon sells and pages Wikia hosts. Even while it was the target of investor money, Wikia also played investor itself this week, doling out more than $2-million to buy ArmchairGM, a sports community site running on the same MediaWiki software platform used by Wikia and Wikipedia.

Alltel gets the call as top cell service

We can apparently hear them now. Consumer Reports' subscribers from the Tampa Bay area ranked Alltel highest in customer satisfaction in the magazine's annual survey of cell phone service in 20 markets nationwide, closely followed by Verizon and T-Mobile. Tampa readers were less satisfied with Cingular and Sprint, which both came in more than 10 points below the leaders. Verizon got top marks for fewest dropped calls, but Cingular was singled out for "circuits full" messages. In the January issue that contains the results, Consumer Reports' editors also say Cingular is not referring to them in ads that say a "leading independent research company" found its service has the fewest dropped calls.



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[Last modified December 8, 2006, 06:28:17]

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