free html hit counter March 2005 - Page 6 of 9 - John Battelle's Search Blog

The Other MSN Search Shoe: MSN AdCenter

By - March 16, 2005

I had to rush to catch a plane this morning and I missed the embargo lifting on this important news: As expected, MSFT will build its own Overture/AdWords competitor, called AdCenter, due sometime later this year or early next. This does not come as a surprise to most, it’s not only logical, it’s necessary. The big question is whether the company will able to scale to the tail – or will it keep its ecosystem closed to MSN. For now, it’s closed, but syndication is in the plans, I was told in a pre briefing. More soon, I am dashing onto the plane….release in extended entry.

Seattle paper’s coverage….


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Update: Google X (Un)Launches

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OK, so I just got word of this new Labs offering, and it looks neat, and yes, I do like the Mac OSX references in the blog posting, and as a Mac guy it’s nice to see some props thrown our way. Turning the tabs above the search box into an icon-driven menu bar is a cool idea. And it lets Google cram 11 items up there, as opposed to the six they now have as text.

But let me be very clear about this: The “aw shucks gee golly this was just something I tossed together and it seemed really cool and gee the nice managers at Google let me put it up” schtick is wearing, well, really, really thin. Even if it’s true that most new ideas do bubble up from engineers in their spare time (and far as I know, they do), it’s just …. I dunno, a schtick. Nothing gets up to Labs or the main page without some serious strategic thinking – or at least, it shouldn’t. And does every engineer that hacks something together have the same affection for the words “cool” and “amazing”?

That said, it’s a neat UI hack, and it addresses, at least in some small way, the tabs issue that Danny writes of so well.

UPDATE: Google has taken the site down. And my contats at Google have only this to say “We are not providing comment.” Hmmmmm…may be that Apple did not like the compliment….

Yahoo Blog To Debut, Called 360

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The story is out, the ‘sphere is buzzing. Yahoo will soon introduce a new service that incorporates blogging, photo sharing and other neat tricks.

Yahoo Research Labs Launches Buzz Game

By - March 15, 2005

BuzzgameOver at its Research Labs, Yahoo today announced The Tech Buzz Game, in conjunction with O’Reilly Media. This is a search-driven marketplace creates a futures market of sorts predicting the popularity of various technologies. Very cool. You can even win prizes for best predictions.

A9 Launches "Open Search" – Vertical Search, Syndicated

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Last night at Etech Udi Manber gave me a sneak peek at what Bezos announced this morning – A9’s “OpenSearch.” A9 has always been more of a “remixable” search engine – with many columns on the right hand side that let you hack your search interface – you can create columns of image, reference, web, and many other types of searches. When I wrote up A9 last year, I imagined that those buttons on the right hand side may well augur a time when any content provider might become a button. Turns out, I was right. But I didn’t imagine A9 would use RSS as the way to do it, it’s a neat hack. As the tagline to the introduction of the new services states: “We want OpenSearch to do for search what RSS has done for content.”

Today Bezos took the stage at Etech and announced an open platform which lets any developer create a searchable column that can be added to A9. In short, if you have a content site, you can syndicate searches of that content through A9. It’s all built on RSS, and it’s quite easy to do, I’m told. There are already a bunch of new content sites on A9, I imagine many more will be added as news of this spreads. I’ve added a couple to my page – “Top Blogs” which searches the top 300 or so Technorati sites, and “Sponsored” which basically shows every Adword related to the keyphrase you type in.

“We want to have thousands of these columns,” Bezos said.

This is a neat idea, one that I think will evolve and shift over time. What helped me grok it was the idea of a professional, say a doctor, who builds his or her own A9 interface that has traditional web search, as well as a special column for PubMed (MedLine). It lets the doctor remix the search experience to add vertical search results as well as web search into his search interface.

I asked Udi why he didn’t have an RSS button for each new column so that we could syndicate new search columns into our RSS aggregators, and he agreed that that should be added, and most likely will be shortly. Also, you can’t point to searches as links due to the javascript based interface, which is kind of a bummer.

But the javascript means that the interface for this new feature is very slick – as you use it, it really starts to feel like a desktop OS environment. Just an observation…

Web 2.0 2005 Dates, Location Announced

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Web2Today at ETech we announced details about Web 2.0’s sophomore edition. Once again we are doing the event in San Francisco, and even on the same dates: Oct. 5-7. We’ve upgraded the hotel to the Argent, which is right across the street from SFMOMA and the Yerba Buena center. The program is in very early stages of development, but we’ve got a great initial lineup of speakers committed, including Jeremy Allaire, who’s doing some interesting things with video over IP over at Bright Cove, Stewart Butterfield at Flickr, Tom Barton at Rackable (the company which literally builds the web platform – the computers for Google and many others), along with Scott Cook, Mark Cuban, Rob Burgess, Mary Meeker, Microsoft’s new CTO Ray Ozzie, and many more.

Our initial thinking behind this year’s event reflects an evolution of Web 2.0’s original theme, which was “the Web as Platform.” This year we take that as a given, and focus on what the opportunities and challenges are in this new web ecology, in particular services and businesses which run over the platform. Hence the tagline “revving the Web” – both adding power and features, as well as the idea of building the Web’s next iteration. Broad areas of focus included media & entertainment – an area which is clearly accelerating this year, communications (including Mobile and VOIP), and computing and OS (including the whole Web OS concept).

Here’s where you come in, much as last year, except we have more time this go round. I’m looking for amazing ideas, companies, and people to feature in High Order Bits and workshops. Last year we had more than 90 speakers by the time all was said and done, and I’m sure we’ll have just as many this year. Send any and all ideas to me at jbat at battellemedia dot com, and I very much look forward to seeing you in SF this Fall!

Google Local Adds Self Serve Business LIstings

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I’ve taken jabs at Google for not doing what Yahoo does in the Local market, ie, allow local businesses to update their listings, and in particular, charging those businesses for premium services. Well, Google went halfway toward addressing that shortcoming with “Google Local Business Center,” a free listing service for all US businesses. The company stopped short of actually introducing a business model, though.

Text of email announcement is in extended entry.

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Google Tweaked

By - March 14, 2005

Over at BB, Cory posts on Mark Pilgrim’s hack “Butler” which strips out most Google ads, removes copying restrictions in Google Print, adds alternative search results to nearly every Google service, and generally does things which I can only imagine will keep give big G fits. It is still in geek stage – it requires “Greasemonkey” and Firefox – but man, it sure sounds like fun.

Proud to Be Part of Boing Boing…

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BbFor the second year in a row, Boing Boing has won best group blog and best blog of the year at the Bloggies! Wow! Here’s the site’s post….I have to say, being the band manager for such a great site is an honor and a privilege.

Sifry Updates Web 2.0 Preso: Man, A Lot of Folks Are Blogging!

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Slide0003-1Dave Sifry of Technorati has updated his “State of the Blogosphere” presentation from Web 2.0 last October. The growth in blogging is really amazing. From his note announcing his new findings:

“Technorati is now tracking over 7.8 million weblogs, and 937 million links. That’s just about double the number of weblogs tracked in October 2004. In fact, the blogosphere is doubling in size about once every 5 months. It has already done so at this pace four times, which means that in the last 20 months, the blogosphere has increased in size by over 16 times.”

Dave will be adding more to his presentation, so keep an eye on his site.