I want my MTV.com
Poor Viacom (NYSE:VIA). Life hasn't been kind for the media giant since it was jilted at the altar as the losing bidder in the MySpace sweepstakes. Despite its programming grasp on the country's youth through MTV and Nickelodeon, the company has failed to make much of a splash online. That has cost it in more ways than one. Its supposedly sluggish sister CBS (NYSE:CBS) has proven to be the more popular investment since January's spin-off, and there has already been one CEO chopped at the block.

Now we discover that Viacom, in a desperate attempt to matter in cyberspace, is set to launch 20 new websites in the coming months. Really, 20? Yes, 20! I can actually dig that approach. Sprinkle enough seeds, water liberally, and you never know if you may get a killer bloom or two.

However, I also have to come to Viacom's defense because I don't think the company's been asleep at the wheel at all in carving out its online presence. Over the past year and change, Viacom has acquired Atom, Xfire, iFilm, and NeoPets. It has also been striking up some pretty beefy international deals, like one with China's leading website and Rule Breakers recommendation Baidu.com (NASDAQ:BIDU) to stream music videos in the world's biggest country.

Having said that, here are some websites that I hope won't be part of the new 20-site explosion:

  • NobodyIsWatchingMTVAnymore.com
  • SpongeBobAndPatrickAreJustFriends
  • TakeAHikeTomCruise.org
  • SpikeTVIsNotAllAboutTheRugratsDog
  • TheBoysOfSumner.com
  • BetterThanCBS.com

Yahoo! 1, Google 0
It isn't every day that you see Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) outshine Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), so take a moment to inhale the rare aroma of Google getting smoked. The company is shuttering its Google Answers feature, a humbling admission that it just couldn't keep up with the more active Yahoo! Answers site.

Yahoo! has this one down to a science, offering up an addictive points-driven platform where visitors ask and answer each other's questions. I believe that Google's surrender may be premature, though. Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Live.com search engine has a similar QnA offering in beta. I don't think that Google was afraid of getting spanked by both Yahoo! and Mr. Softy, though the timing does make one wonder.

Until next week, I remain,
Rick Munarriz

Yahoo! is a Stock Advisor selection, Baidu is a Rule Breakers recommendation, and Microsoft is an Inside Value pick. Follow the links to try any of the newsletters free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy.