free html hit counter April 2004 | Page 10 of 11 | John Battelle's Search Blog

Yahoo: New Brand Image ("Life Engine"), Distribution Wins

By - April 05, 2004

Yahoo will launch a new brand marketing campaign this week, according to a lengthy report in Media Daily News. It’s the first major effort by the new CMO, Cammie Dunaway. The theme is “Yahoo is the life engine” and it features a number of “minor celebrities” like former CA governor Gray Davis.

Perhaps the most charming of the initial group is a spot featuring former California Gov. Gray Davis paired with a junior high school student who uses Yahoo! mail to convince her schoolmates to elect her as eighth-grade treasurer. With “Hail to the Chief” playing in the background, Davis introduces himself and says he’s using Yahoo! to look for an agent, suggesting that if a former actor can be governor, maybe a “former governor can be an actor,” although he doesn’t think “action/adventure” would be his genre. The spot closes with Yahoo! as a “Job engine, mail engine, life engine.” The creative strategy presents the audience with two different demographics, each using Yahoo! to achieve a task or to enrich a passion.

In other news, Yahoo and its Overture subsidiary won some new business last week, including stealing CNN’s search biz from Google, and adding a deal with the WSJ and renewing and extending its deal with ESPN. Release in extended entry.

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How To Stop Gambling Online? We'll Never Know, Exactly…

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gamblingjpgYahoo and Google have agreed to stop take online gambling advertising. Lycos already has.

I’m not sure I like this, for the precedent it sets. I don’t like the lack of clarity by the companies about why they made this decision, and I don’t like the perception that the threat of government action was behind it all. In essence, it feels this was done behind closed doors, without a clear signal as to why the action was taken. Again, I don’t like the precedent. First this, then? Don’t Be Evil can cut both ways.

TuneCircle

By - April 04, 2004

tunescircleBuddy just invited me into this new social networking app: share your music library (info only) and see how FOAF plays with tunes. Plan to sign up and see how it goes.

Skrenta Groks The Google Platform OS

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Some very smart thinking in here about how Google is a massively distributed platform with its own OS, and how that has given Google the competitive edge to roll out cool stuff like Gmail. Very Web 2.0 stuff here – the Platform Web.

Google is a company that has built a single very large, custom computer. It’s running their own cluster operating system. They make their big computer even bigger and faster each month, while lowering the cost of CPU cycles. It’s looking more like a general purpose platform than a cluster optimized for a single application.

While competitors are targeting the individual applications Google has deployed, Google is building a massive, general purpose computing platform for web-scale programming.

This computer is running the world’s top search engine, a social networking service, a shopping price comparison engine, a new email service, and a local search/yellow pages engine. What will they do next with the world’s biggest computer and most advanced operating system?

PS – read the comments in my Gmail post. Seems some Gmail beta testers are hanging out there…

PPS – Gmail is reviewed here by a beta tester…thanks Eric

Is the Google IPO Meme Slipping?

By - April 02, 2004

traderwoesMethinks.

The Guardian:

As it is, Google’s plans to embrace the public market and all that entails seem to have slipped. Too late for the pre-summer flotation window, there are also no jungle drums beating for an autumn offering. It is as if the search engine’s owners have tested market receptivity, found it to be OK in principle but now have to make the hard decisions about the merits of a listing before they even get to the issue of its timing.

Newsletter reminder

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Hey Folks -

Reminder, if you want to get a week’s worth of Searchblog in your in box each Friday, toss your email into the box at left. Will send the next one – version 1.04, shortly.

Google Changes AdSense Pricing Strategy

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googleAdSense is Google’s contextual ad product for publishers – the one folks can sign up for and have up and running on their own site in minutes. Google’s advertisers have long complained that AdSense ads are far less valuable to them than AdWords ads (the ones that run on Google’s site), as folks who are reading content on any given site have far less intent to buy than folks who are actively searching for something on Google’s site. Google steadfastly mixed the two and would not offer variable pricing, until now. But their plan is not to split the purchase, but rather “monitor performance” and offer a better rate if conversions are low. Cnet reports. Overture already offers a split pricing service.

This move is widely seen as “Google giving in to advertiser demands.” Interesting. Jarvis sees it another way: He says publishers – in particular bloggers – are getting shafted by an ever more powerful Google. He’s hoping to drive interest in alternatives via his session at Bloggercon.

GMail Roundup: "The Creeps"

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gmail_logoThe meme most media outlets have given to their second day coverage of Gmail is that it gives folks “the creeps.” In essence, the idea that machines will be reading folks’ email freaks a lot of observers out. Privacy advocates are connecting the dots on mailing lists like Farber’s IP, and Cnet, the LA Times, and Wired News have written stories turning on this angle.

I think the jury is out on this issue. If people willingly give up their privacy to get a gig of storage and the ability to search their email (email search is one of the biggest search hairballs out there, IMHO), who’s to say that’s wrong? On the other hand, this does create a lot of potential for trouble, given how much information can now be connected. If you get on the wrong side of the government, for example, and use GMail and Google search (and Orkut…), you had better hope the Patriot Act has been repealed. But this is true if you’re using Yahoo, AOL, or MSFT as well. All these companies would have to give up your personal information to a government demand. It’s just that with Google, the power of that information working together is so obvious, and is, in a way, made available to you via a business model which – thanks to contextual advertising – makes it economical for you to have a gig of storage and a whole new interface to mail (search). Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so. But I do think it’d be very wise for Google to lay out a white paper explaining all of this in intricate detail, a link to which is prominently displayed to all Gmail users.

Trust me, Google may be the first company to show the general public the power of personal information leveraged against search, but they won’t be the last. Think about Amazon for a microsecond…

Of note:

Phillip points to a GMail screenshot. He also rebuts the privacy issues in this post.

Yahoo Responds to GMail (unconfirmed)

By - April 01, 2004

Now that we know Google’s Gmail is for real (though my God, what a joke it was…) and – blush – I went out on a limb and called it a hoax – I have unconfirmed news that Yahoo has already responded to some users with an upgrade to 100MB of storage. Here’s what a Yahoo mail user claims was sent to him, no idea if this is confirmed. Will attempt to find out for you all…

UPDATE: Yahoo PR sez: This test was in the works well before Gmail rolled out, and was sent out prior to the GMail announcement…

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Yahoo! Mail
Service Notice

Dear Yahoo! Mail User,

We’ve made changes to your Yahoo! Mail account — we’ve upgraded your email
storage quota to 100MB, at no cost to you. As a loyal Yahoo! Mail user, you’ve
been randomly selected to receive this free benefit effective March 31, 2004.
You’ll also be able to attach up to 10 files to an outgoing email message
(increased from 3); and your outgoing message size can be up to 10MB
(increased from 3MB). It’s just our way of saying thanks!
You can keep these benefits as long as this Yahoo! Mail account remains
active. For your email account to stay active, you must sign in to your Yahoo!
Mail account at least once every four months and comply with all applicable
Yahoo! Terms of Service and guidelines. If your email account becomes inactive
at any time, you will no longer have the increased storage capacity.

If you purchase a Yahoo! premium service in the future that includes
additional email storage*, you will be charged the then-current price for that
service. After the purchase, your storage quota will be the level that
accompanies the purchased service or the level granted to you as part of this
offer, whichever is greater. Storage will not be additive. For example, if you
purchase a Yahoo! Mail Plus account with 100MB of storage, your total Mail
Plus storage quota will be 100MB. You will not receive any refunds or future
credits with your service upgrade.

Thanks again for using Yahoo! Mail. If you prefer not to receive this free
benefit for any reason, simply reply to this email and let us know.

Sincerely,

Yahoo! Mail

*These include SBC Yahoo! Dial or DSL, Yahoo! Plus, Yahoo! Mail Plus, or
Yahoo! Mail Extra Storage.

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