free html hit counter March 2004 - Page 3 of 12 - John Battelle's Search Blog

MSFT & Search: Europe, Ballmer

By - March 25, 2004

ballmersjpgCNET reports that MSFT CEO Steve Ballmer got animated when the subject of search came up at the company’s recent advertising forum.

“People say that Microsoft does it all, but this is the case where we didn’t do it all,” Ballmer told an audience of marketing and media executives on Thursday, here at the software giant’s fifth annual advertising conference. Then, like an eager football coach pumping up the team for the second half, Ballmer reasserted that Microsoft is still in the game and plans to win.

“You’ll see a lot of good competition in the area,” he said emphatically, at one point throwing his pen.

In other news, the Merc reports that the recent EU ruling against MSFT may stymie the company’s plans to integrate search into Windows.

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Shopping.com IPO Is A Search IPO…

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sdc_logoHow? Besides my own bias that all of ecommerce is driven by search, see this excerpt from a story on Shopping.com’s $400 million IPO:

Shopping.com’s biggest customer, responsible for 38% of its revenue, is Google. Shopping.com’s agreement with Google is expected to continue, although the market is highly competitive. The Yahoo! (Nasdaq:YHOO) e-commerce site has launched a new price comparison service, and Google is planning to launch its own price comparison service, Froogle.

And, ahem, let’s not forget Amazon…

Here’s the Shopping.com filing….(BTW, they filed in 2000 but never got out…)

Early April Fool's Post at MediaNews…We Hope

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Matt over at The Standard points me to this parody of Yahoo’s CAP program, which gets just about nothing right in terms of the presumptive pay for performance approach that it parodies, but is a pretty funny riff on what would happen if News Search was opened up to any bidder…

Organizations that are willing to spend the most will achieve the most prominent positions on the news pages, remaining in place until they are outbid by competitors. Although there will be no revenue payoff for news stories that rank high up the pages and gets lots of clicks, the program is certain to touch off a “share of mind” battle among news organizations–and, for the first time, allow the man on the street to tell his story without interference from editors…..

…Historically, professional journalists who were trained to separate wheat from chaff and remain utterly objective have decided what constitutes news stories and which ones deserve the most prominent “play” in newspapers, newscasts, and increasingly, online. That is, when they are not making up news stories, because it is easier than gathering the facts–and with some creative flare, can lead to prestigious journalism prizes. The Yahoo! “News Search” program essentially eliminates editors as gatekeepers to what constitutes news.

The piece includes some funny false headlines:

GIRLS SMARTER THAN BOYS – A study today released by Wellesley College is said to provide the first incontrovertible evidence that..

AOL REVENUES PUSH TIME WARNER STOCK HIGHER – Time Warner today announced that its America Online division was performing beyond all expectations and that Wall Street had finally taken notice as the parent company’s stock price soared..

PEEWEE GOALIE TURNS AWAY 12 SHOTS – the son of billionaire George Soros yesterday turned away 12 shots on goal in a 23-4 loss to the..

UPDATE: It's Brandt's Bomb

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yaehoosearhSomeone over there (I assume) is having fun at Google’s expense – check out the top result for a search on “Out of Touch Executives” on Yahoo’s Search page…

UPDATE: The Register has a story on this bomb, which clearly affected Google as well as Yahoo, and was perpetrated by Daniel Brandt, of GoogleWatch (and now Yahoo!Watch as well…he’s a busy guy).

(thanks, Phillip)

WaPost On TV: Shift Coming

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Good to see major papers getting on board with the “broadcast is dead” meme: Media Giants Need To Learn to Sing A New Tune (reg req’d).

Excerpt:

….it is only a matter of time before millions of consumers will be doing things like creating custom concert videos of their favorite artists. They’ll mix and match video from TV shows and DVD recordings which they (hopefully) will have acquired legally — much as music fans have been creating custom music discs and tapes for years.

Record companies and Hollywood studios may not willingly cede control over how future fans watch stars perform, but it’s hard to imagine how they could lock down digital video so tightly that clever youngsters won’t eventually find ways around them. Already, the Internet abounds with freely available software that lets consumers circumvent copy-protection systems used on commercial DVD movies and concerts.

But as with music, it’s also possible that the rip-and-mix generation will actually wind up buying more recorded video than before, all the better to fuel their digital creativity.

Upcoming WWW Conference: Loads O Search

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13th-intResourceshelf has culled the upcoming WWW conference for selected references to search. There’s also a whole track on the Semantic Web.

The complete list is a Who’s Who of search stars and a telling map of who’s doing interesting research in the area. Included: Intel, University of Washington, IBM, Yahoo (Understanding User Goals in Search), National University of Singapore, MIT, Microsoft. A9’s Udi Manber (who I did meet with, but can’t go into our talk quite yet) is giving a keynote.

OK, I think I have to go to this.

Silverstein Rides Again

By - March 24, 2004

craigsInterviewed in ZDNet, Craig suggests that voice-activated search is not so far away. Recall that his model was, at one point, Star Trek. Google Labs has a rudimentary application based on this idea here. And, as I noted yesterday, Opera has integrated it already into a version of their browser (using IBM speech technology).

Silverstein said he believes that within a few years Google could have a voice interface for everything from driving directions to help you finding the aisle for a particular food in your local supermarket.

“That’s something you would never think to ask a search engine. You’re not likely to be using your laptop in a supermarket, but in the future I think search will be far more accessible — you won’t be tied to your desktop, you will be able to do it from your mobile phone or PDA — and you’ll start to see search used in fundamentally different ways. The kinds of things people want information about when they are walking around or sitting in a bar is very different to what they want while they’re at home,” he said.

Thanks, Beal

Kanoodle News

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kanoodle2Kanoodle announced that is has snagged MSNBC.com distribution today, here’s the press release. Earlier it announced “ClickFactor” – a new ranking system for its ContextTarget paid search system. Forgot what Kanoodle’s deal is? Here and here….