free html hit counter Melanie's RoundUp - John Battelle's Search Blog

Melanie's RoundUp

By - May 12, 2006

Y! Answers Beta No More

Yahoo Answers plans to drop its beta tag on Monday. Since the launch in December 2005, Yahoo says its amassed a library of over 10 million Answers and 7.2 million unique users.

Picture 9Collexis Fingerprints

Yet another search service–but wait, Collexis claims individuality for “helping to get your job done by thinking for you.”

Instead of caching full pages, Collexis crawls for “Fingerprints” of content based on a thesaurus-rich text analysis that can access live pages, archives, and various other types of files.

“The system can create a fingerprint for each piece of text that contains relevant information, such as competence sheets, project descriptions or web pages. The fingerprinting process makes use of a structure of professional terminology of a particular field (essentially a thesaurus). Picture 10By doing so it embodies the way humans understand those terms and concepts.”



Collexis is a tailored industry search for government, university and medical research, pharmaceuticals, and banking and finance. Making data accessible and easy to manipulate will have nice implications for analysts and experts in all those fields, but Collexis also aims to make “it easy to use for even the most non-technical user.”

Google Execs Sell Lots of Stock

According to the SF Chron (via GoogleSystem), 14 Google Execs sold $4.4 billion in stocks last year and this year a dozen have sold $1.9 billion. “That includes founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, each of whom sold about $1.3 billion worth of stock.” They were actually asked about this at Google Day and Brin responded that like any investor it’s wise to diversify but that he intends to keep the vast majority of his stock “forever.” Based on the insider stock trade filing, the Chron also finds that of the $11.3 billion in personal income tax receipts California pulled in April, approximately an eighth or more derived from Googlers.

Speaking of MySpace…

Following-up John’s last post on the spike of hits from MySpace to Google, Paul Boutin has an article in Slate on why MySpace, as well as YouTube are pulling in the critical mass. Talking about the recent popularity stats on domains, which the WashPost posted, Boutin writes: I was skeptical when I heard how huge video-sharing hub YouTube and social-networking hotspot MySpace have become. YouTube claims 40 million plays a day, up from 35 million just a week ago. The answer he comes to is that the two social mega-hubs make it too easy to resist for non-geeks, making the web: “The secret to success is to make everything one-button easy, then get out of the way.”



Boutin also complains that Google Video (along with others) fall short by specializing the tools—in his words, presuming they know what users want–whereas MySpace gives you everything in one personalized space.
“MySpace isn’t that much easier to use than Friendster, or than other shared-user-content sites like Flickr (photo sharing), del.icio.us (bookmarks), or Digg (tech news). But it mixes multiple publishing models—blogs, photos, music, videos, friend networks—into one personal space. Most important, it doesn’t presume to know what your goals are.” In retrospect from Press Day, it’s a safe bet that the new Co-op exchange of social tags will include video soon enough.

Picture 8-1Withdrawing the Branch from Olive

Despite rumors the past few weeks that Google was going to buy Olive for $75 million, after looking the software company up and down in a week of intensive interviews Google then walked away. Olive software converts various data files (like PDFs, microfilm) into xml, accessible to search.

Is it a coincidence that a large portion of Olive’s employes are based in Israel and Google is opening new offices in Israel? Silicon Beat muses: Is Google turning into a Microsoft? Checking out the goods, and then going back and building it themselves? Or hiring away the better employees? Here’s what one person said: “Google learned a LOT about Olive… everything.”

VLAB Ad Forum on Ad Models

VLAB (the MIT-Stanford Venture Lab) is hosting a forum next Tuesday on new ad models. Hosted by Mark Kvamme from Sequoia, the startups Accomplice and Root Markets will talk about the dynamic of their models, alonside panelists from Carat Fusion, AdBrite and Google AdSense.

Indeed, the First PPC Job Search

Yesterday, Indeed announced the formal launch of its the first pay-per-click job advertising network. Unlike the Google and Yahoo PPC models, advertisers in Indeed don’t pick and buy keywords or write copy. Instead, offering a little wiggle room for advertisers, Indeed relies on the job descriptions to place relevant ads beside search results.

ICANN Rejects .xxx

The decision was considered by many internet freedom advocates as a test case for ICANN’s indepdence from US control
, the Reuters report. Over 1000 Diggers have tagged the ICANN announcement; and ICANN Watch is unsurprisingly not happy: “I would say that .xxx was a lousy idea, but that the people behind it followed all the rules and still lost — but that would suggest that there are rules.”

Picture 7-2Google Notebook Screenshots

Some pre-release screen shots of Notebook are on Flickr thanks to EricaJoy.

Yahoo CEO Pines for Google

Yahoo Chief Terry Semel tells The New Yorker his biggest mistake since 2001 was not purchasing the fledgling Google…although it seems he did not because Brin and Page would not sell. CNet notes that though this “story may have been told before, but it’s still a delight to hear from Semel’s lips.”

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3 thoughts on “Melanie's RoundUp

  1. King Troll says:

    FIRST!!!

    Damn bro you really write a lot.

  2. SorenG says:

    Very nice round-up. Thanks for this.

  3. Ken Chan says:

    SF Chron numbers reported incorrectly:

    You said: California pulled in $4.3 billion in personal income tax receipts last April.

    SF Chron said: California took in $11.3 billion in personal income tax receipts in April, $4.3 billion more than it collected last April.