free html hit counter March 2006 | Page 6 of 8 | John Battelle's Search Blog

The Search, Audio Version

By - March 08, 2006

Thesearch Bookcover-8I just bought The Search in audio format, and I wanted to encourage all of you to do the same. Why? Well, because it’s my voice reading the book. It took me a long time, and it’s very, very hard to do – the engineers are sticklers for pacing, inflection, pronunciation, and the like. I thought it would be easy – after all, I did play Nathan Detroit in my high school’s production of Guys and Dolls – but I was in that damn studio for the better part of two weeks. It was hard work, yet I really wanted to do it – the idea of having a record of my work, in my own voice, where my inflections and nuances were preserved, well, that struck me as a neat idea.

This audio book has been available for some time – in fact, I’m told it’s already a best seller for Audible (it don’t take much, folks) – but I have not pushed it here because I was waiting for Audible to make a special landing page for Searchblog readers (yes, I get a small cut, like with Amazon). They’ve finally done it, and you can buy it here. If you become an Audible member ($9.95 a year), you get the book free. That’s pretty cool. (You can also get the book on iTunes, if that’s your method of choice.)

Many will ask why I went with Audible instead of streaming a home brewed podcast. In a word, professionalism. I don’t have the time, money, or inclination to figure out how to execute the quality of work the engineers and producers did on this product. By the next product, I hope that will no longer be the case.

If you get the book and listen to it, please by all means tell me what you think. I’m working on a new chapter for the paperback now, stay tuned for more on that.

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Plum: Pulling It Together

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PlumHans Peter Brondmo is demoing Plum, a pretty cool application that mashes up, well, everything. The title of his talk is “First you Google, then what?”

Neat application. He’s announcing APIs today. From his site: Plum is a young, little company (no, we’re not afraid to admit we’re still small) we started because we think collecting and sharing stuff on the web that you care about, stumble across or need is really fun and useful, but much too difficult to do. While we love blogging and think wikis are great too, we don’t think either solves the problem of collecting the things you care about, and then remixing, annotating and sharing them for others to see and use.

Martin Writes..

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Martin Writes: The move to web storage of data is irreversible. We will have data banks the way we have financial banks. Read More Read More

Hump Day Roundup

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At etech today. It’s so fun to be here listening to smart folks building the web’s future. Much is afoot in the search world, some of it launching here….

MSFT has launched Windows Live Search (SEW). More on this later. And Ray Ozzie has folks thinking with his idea of live cut and paste across the web. Anil has more.

Gary has a roundup of search, advertising, and personalization related GYM patents.

Tom wonders why The Search isn’t in Google Book Search, and discovers why.

Yahoo launches commercial shopping APIs and a new Product Search, Photos, and Calendars APIs.

Scaling problems?

Blinkx launches pico, the “smallest search engine in the world.”

Google tests search by date and calendar.

You Ain't Firefox…But Where's Ask, MSFT, and Yahoo?

By - March 07, 2006

Jeremy notes that Firefox made out like a bandit ($72 million) in its deal with Google, which is true. Other things that are true:

– This is an unusual deal. No one else has Firefox reach (besides folks like Ask and AOL). This is Google paying Firefox for distribution, pure and simple.

- Yahoo is taking entirely too long to have an AdSense competitor. Come on, folks, get it outta early beta. We’re eager. And, by the way, Microsoft, what’s up with you guys? Have you done the math and decided to forego syndication?

- Google expects AdSense margins to be squeezed (WSJ).

- That’s not stopping Ask, though it’d be nice to see more…

Light Day: Etech, Ho!

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Any of you going to be at Etech this week? I’m looking forward to the event, I’ll be traveling today, and there tonight.

Study: Yahoo and Google Tied

By - March 06, 2006

No one study should be seen as definitive, but it’s interesting nevertheless to see this study from French Professor Jean Veronis and his students, which shows a tie between Google and Yahoo in terms of relevance. What’s even more interesting: the study found that *all* the engines failed, for the most part. From the post:

Google and Yahoo tied for first place, with a rating of 2.3, but the most striking result is undoubtedly the extremely low level of user satisfaction. None of the search engines even passed (2.5 out of 5) and some of the grades were extremely low…

Store 100%: No Thanks

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Forever and a day, we’ve discussed the idea that the Google Grid is coming, and a slide which apparently slipped in (and has been purged from) last week’s analyst day briefing has confirmed “GDrive.” Greg found it here (I mentioned this in another post, but did not pick up on this till now), Philipp expounds here. From the slide notes, which has been pulled from the presentation:

“Store 100% of User Data

With infinite storage, we can house all user files, including: emails, web history, pictures, bookmarks, etc and make it accessible from anywhere (any device, any platform, etc).

We already have efforts in this direction in terms of GDrive, GDS, Lighthouse, but all of them face bandwidth and storage constraints today. (…) This theme will help us make the client less important (thin client, thick server model) which suits our strength vis-a-vis Microsoft and is also of great value to the user.

As we move toward the “Store 100%” reality, the online copy of your data will become your Golden Copy and your local-machine copy serves more like a cache.”

The more I think about this, the more I’m not comfortable with the idea of having all my data in one place. Any place. Google or otherwise. It simply makes abuse too easy.

AT&T Again

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Why do you think this is happening? Get ready for the second round of the Bell Oligarchy. With the peering and net neutrality issues once again at the fore, this should be interesting.