free html hit counter May 2005 - Page 5 of 10 - John Battelle's Search Blog

I See A Trend Here…

By - May 18, 2005

Headlines pulled from today’s issue of I Want Media:

The Quest to Bring Consumers to the Advertising

Technological advances are helping create a fear among ad execs that conventional advertising is losing its punch. The best advertising should be “a form of entertainment or even a part of everyday life.”

Web Pulls Ad Buyers From TV

Broadcast network execs at the “upfront” advertising drive this week worry that the Internet will steal ad dollars. Says one big advertiser: “The couch potato has been replaced by the Web surfer.”,1,4728143.story

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Google a One Hit Wonder, Muses Ballmer

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Ibm XtBizweek reports:

Speaking to a packed auditorium at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., on May 12, Ballmer trumpeted the ripe opportunities around Microsoft’s sprawling business and questioned the ability of Google (GOOG ) to maintain its edge. Clearly alluding to Microsoft’s key Internet search rival, Ballmer said: “The hottest company right now — the one nobody thinks can do any wrong — may just be a one-hit wonder.”

Yeah, and where was Microsoft seven years after it was founded? Let’s see, it started in 1975, so that’d be 1982. By then, MSFT had one major product categories: DOS. Sure, it also had programming languages and some false starts in hardware and games (kind of like Google has OEM deals, the Search Appliance and Orkut), but it was, for the most part, a one trick pony. Its revenues of about $24 million in 1982 pale compare to Google’s $5 billion+ run rate at year seven.

Steve, not a good call.


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That was the name of the odds & ends (and corrections) column we had at Wired in the early days. It was too clever for its own good. Here’s some odds & ends in the search world:

Via its desktop search, Google does deal with Lotus to search Notes. In fact, Google has launched Google Desktop Search for Enterprise, with various enterprise friendly features (ie, the damn thing was not going to fly as is in companies concerned about security). Take note, enterprise, Google has not forsaken you.

Danny finds evidence of Google doing….old fashioned marketing. In Kansas City, no less. What’s wrong with Peoria?

Ebay tests new forms of internal search. One such test supports multi-faceted browsing (s you can search across categories, instead of being driven by a DOS like hierarchy.) Other bells and whistles also included. Amazing it took them this long given how search drives their business.

Matt Wells at Gigablast tells me he’s at over two billion pages indexed, and his directory, based on DMOZ, rocks. It can search entire sites in a topic, includes links to the Wayback Machine, is sorted by link popularity, and much more.

GoFish announces Playlist uploading. From an email announcing this: “We created the first technology that allows virtually anybody to submit their personal playlists to our search platform, personalize the playlist with images of the contributor, descriptions, special characteristics etc.

Our system automatically appends these playlists with the accurate Album Art, 30 second sample clips, and other relevant catalog meta-data, and allows anybody searching at GoFish to find these user-playlists the same way in which they would find any major, mainstream artist’s album.”

Newsgator swallowed FeedDemon. Fred has a nice analysis here.

Neat police blotter/Google Maps mashup: (via ISEDB) Also, a cheap gas mashup.

Google has hired Dan Senor as VP of Communications.

Another Googler Pulls Up Steaks (er, Stakes)…

By - May 17, 2005

…this time in the kitchen. Google chef Charlie Ayers is cashing in his chips. Now, let’s review: last week it was Wayne Rosing, before that it was Cindy McAffrey, before than, Evan Williams. I am sure I am missing some. The lure of having enough money to do your own thing is very real…

NYT Goes Sub For Portions of Site

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Nyt-1By now most of you have read that the Times is putting its Op Ed contributors behind a paid sub wall. (Caveat: I did a very brief consulting gig for the Times back in the Fall on these issues writ large).

Fifty bucks will get you “TimesSelect” – all the Op Ed columnists, plus the entire Times archive, plus some other bells and whistles like the Times email news alerts, some organizational tools, and some special editorial features. Times coverage is here. The release is here.

It’s tough to make what was once free into a paid business, and the Times is getting some to-be-expected shit for this. But I think I understand where they are coming from on this one. They are keeping most of the site free, after all, and asking that people pay for the stuff that has proven to be the most valuable – folks’ opinions.

They are also bundling a some stuff that was already paid into the price – the archives, the news alerts – and I can only imagine more will come soon. I have my own short list. To wit:

– I’d like to be part of a community. If I pay the fifty bucks, how about I get the chance to blog for the Times?At the very least, invite me to some cool Times events and parties.

-If I’m a subscriber and I have a blog, I’d like to be able to link to the stuff behind the wall. That would get serious bloggers to sign up, I’d warrant, and ensure the Times does not suffer from the same fate as the Journal.

– TimesSelect includes something called TimesFile, a sort of Furl for the I’d like it to be for the entire web, with a NYT filter of sorts.

The Times stated reason for doing this is to diversify its revenue mix, and I buy that logic. It’s scary to be totally leveraged over advertising. However, I think it’s justified in a web world, because margins are so much higher – subscription prices are justified by the costs of printing, marketing, distribution – in the print world, subscription revenue often simply covers a portion of your overhead. But with the lower overhead of online, there is more margin, and more cushion for down periods.

What I wonder is if TimesSelect will be considered “paid subs” by the offline print auditing services, and included in overall circulation by the newspaper. That would be interesting, if the answer is yes. Though I can’t imagine it would be, given it’s just the Op Ed columnists.

In any case, we’ll all be watching closely as this rolls out. I’ll be getting a sub, especially if it means I can link to the stuff behind the wall.

Update: Rick Stratton points me to this at Paid Content(scroll down): Quoting Martin Nisenholtz: “We also hope to roll out an affiliate program so the long tail can create a revenue stream for itself. If you’re a blogger who uses a lot of Times Op-Ed content in your blog you can continue to (by subscribing to TimesSelect)… and, through an affiliate network, extend that to their base and they can make money on the backend off that. We think the blogosphere needs more revenmue streams.”

Google and the Long Tail

By - May 16, 2005

Googlelt2 2Chris Anderson has a nice write up of Eric Schmidt’s talk at the shareholder meeting, including and explanation of the the graph at left.

Update: Here’s the link. Sorry folks, had some odd posting issues.

Seth On Arbitrage

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It’s going to be a five part series this week, here’s part one.

From it:

The largest beneficiary of online arbitrage is Google, which continues to leverage the basic behavior of people searching for things to drive ever more valuable commercial services; in fact, each Google application which leverages their core algorithmic platform effectively buys low and sells hi. This is probably why Google refuses to disclose much to investors, or why it provides far less information to advertisers than virtually any other online media network. Google does not want anybody to know how it arbs search behavior for increasing returns.