free html hit counter April 2006 - Page 4 of 6 - John Battelle's Search Blog

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Engine?

By - April 14, 2006


Not I, sez Mr. Parsons. An interesting AdAge article. From it:

The Time Warner chief said the two search-engine giants are overturning the old realities of advertising and media and are “very good for the content side of our business because they provide new ways to reach more people with more content.”

“I think they present an interesting challenge to the distribution side of our business — the cable side of our business,” he said. “But that challenge is not imminent and I see ways that the two can actually work together to provide consumers with an enhanced set of offerings that can cross-promote each other.”

  • Content Marquee

Akismet For MT: Death to Spam

By -


If that headline means anything to you, then rejoice. It’s long been known that Akismet, WordPress’s remarkable anti-comment spam technology, was the best out there. Moveable Type users (like me) salivated at the thought of having Akismet-like functionality on our sites. The technology works in an AI like fashion, learning from the edges – bloggers like us – what is spam, and what is not. It’s elegant, and it scales.

Well, thanks to the folks at Automattic (and a big assist from Scot Hacker, Searchblog’s native web jockey), it’s now possible to run Akismet as a Moveable Type plugin. Searchblog was among the first to test the Akismet plugin, and it is working beautifully. Sure, you’ll see spam on this site from time to time. But as soon as I label it “junk” in my MT backend, it’ll never show up again. Yeeehaw!

PS – Akismet tracks spams blocked on its home page. According to those figures, 84 percent of all comments left in the blogosphere are spam. Holy crap.

When WIll MyYahoo RSS Go Full Text?

By -

MyyahoorssbbYahoo Publisher Network has its own blog now, and I like watching it to keep up with what is sure to be a big year for Yahoo as it rolls out a more full throated response to AdSense. And most of you know I’m also pretty interested in new ad models generally, and RSS specifically. So this headline on the new site: “So What’s All This About Ads in RSS” certainly caught my eye.

The post explains the basics of RSS, and how folks who publish feeds can make some extra revenue by adding Yahoo RSS ads (YPN text links for now) into their feeds. The post explains how RSS readers work, using examples like NewsGator, Bloglines, SharpReader, Firefox’s Live Bookmarks and others. These are all full text readers, so Yahoo’s RSS ads will show up in them (they appear at the end of a post).

But the problem is this: One of the largest RSS readers in the world is My Yahoo. In fact, in the post, Yahoo promotes it’s “Add to My Yahoo!” RSS feature as a great way for a publisher to promote their RSS feeds. Yet My Yahoo’s implementation of RSS is crippled: It only pulls headlines and snippets. It strips out URLs and ads. In other words, it won’t show the very ads that Yahoo is promoting (or any others, for that matter).

The post, therefore, is pretty much a contradiction in terms. On the one hand, it says you should add YPN advertisements to your feeds – they’ll show up in full text feed readers (in other words, the places Yahoo does not control). On the other hand, it encourages the use of the My Yahoo RSS reader, where those very ads will never show up (and they don’t need to, because Yahoo will show their own ads around My Yahoo).

I don’t think you can have it both ways. I use both FeedBurner and FM ads for FM’s feeds. Hence, they don’t show up in MyYahoo. This is not a new issue – the question of who makes money off other folks content is a big one. For now, the industry has settled into a quid pro quo of “headlines and snippets for clickthru traffic”. But readers don’t care about that. They want their content where they want it, and if it’s inside MyYahoo, great. Just deliver ALL the content, including the ads. I’ve brought this up with the good folks there. They understand the issue, but for now anyway, they aren’t going to change their model. I think they should.

And We Thought It Would Never Come

By - April 12, 2006


Google Calendar is here. Now, I don’t want to go on a random walk, but it’s time we called a spade a spade. Google is a portal, plain and simple. The company made its name, its brand, and its money on being one thing – a non judgmental service that quickly moved you from intent – your search query – to content – someone else’s page. Now, it’s moved quite systematically – with Base, Finance, Mail, and everything else – to being a company that is clearly about monetizing its core revenue asset – AdWords – on anything related. That, my friends, is a portal. It’s a version 2.0 portal, but it’s a portal.

Now, is this a bad thing? Well, depends on your point of view. I think this is inevitable, and the next phase will be about traction with these new services. You don’t have to use Calendar, or Mail, but when you type “GOOG” or “YHOO” into the simple interface of Google these days, your first choice is now a Google page, not someone else’s. That’s a fundamental change, worth noting.

All Good

By -

The response to my search this blog post was pretty overwhelming, the box isn’t moving. meanwhile, I am, hitting LA for some great meetings around FM and then over to Arizona for some time with family during my kids’ spring break. Posting will be sporadic…

Search This Blog

By - April 10, 2006

Search This BlogSo I’m thinking about moving “Search This Blog” from it’s prominent spot on the left. Why? Well, I think perhaps there are other, more important features, like a list of recent posts or perhaps a sponsor unit, that might be better over there. Before I do, how many of you use it on a regular basis, and like where it is?