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Dabbling in Video

By - July 24, 2006

Picture 2-14Dabble video search launches today. It accesses over 240 video hosting sites, including small independent sites alongside YouTube, Revver, Bilp.tv, Google Video, etc.

Its 120 partnerships (and growing) are more necessary in video search because active, direct collaboration is necessary where spidering is blocked. In the long run, this may help Dabble position itself as an axis for video content.

Dabble is working to systemize the varied permission methodologies of hosts to create their video database. Mary Hodder, CEO says, they’re working on creating RSS feed standards with several sites, including Photobucket, as well on mirrorplay, a tag-sharing standard built on xFolk, with bilp.tv, mefeedia, and others.

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YouTube Worth $1 BIllion? But Who Will Buy It?

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Youtube-1

This NY Post item caught my eye – YouTube was the toast of Herb Allen’s Sun Valley conference, and therefore is now worth $1 billion. I don’t buy it. I don’t think the founders are smoking this shit, I think the media is – at least I hope that’s how it is. Why? Simple really. While YouTube is an amazing service, with extraordinary uptake, I’ve been told (and it seems obvious on first glance) that its core content is mostly copyrighted material. (I make this statement after being told as much by two very senior folks at major media companies who have studied content patterns on YouTube.)

Now, folks who own copyrights are waking up to the power of letting their copyrighted content flourish on YouTube, but that particular worm has not turned – content companies are very, very wary of letting this genie out of the bottle.

So who might buy YouTube? A major entertainment company, like the ones mentioned in the Post piece? No way. That’s buying a lawsuit or ten – if Time Warner bought YouTube, how long do you think it’d be before competitors sued to get their copyrighted stuff off TW’s new service? And once that stuff is cleared off (YouTube does make a point of taking down copyrighted material when asked, but policing that massive service is not exactly a hand-rolled affair), what is YouTube worth then?

It’s something of a catch 22, and augurs a waiting period of sorts. I personally believe YouTube proves that our culture wants desparately out of the traditional model of force fed television, and wants to move to a model where we participate in it – indeed, where we remix and share it. But change takes time, and Big Media Companies With Alot To Lose don’t change that quick.

What about a new media giant buying YouTube – Yahoo, say, or Google? Or Microsoft? Nope, nope, nope. Yahoo is a media company, and acts like one. Google doesn’t have it in its DNA to run a service like YouTube (though Google, with its Switzerland like approach to content, is the best fit, in my opinion). And Microsoft? They don’t need any more legal headaches over in Redmond right now.

It should be an interesting Fall season, that’s for sure. I’ll be watching.

(While I was out, there was news about YouTube updating its Terms of Use. Boing Boing has coverage here).

to play a part, pretend

By - July 21, 2006

Publishing 2.0 charges ‘Hypocrisy in Google’s User Experience Policies’, after juxtaposing Google’s penalization of AdWords advertisers for low quality landing pages and its simultaneous advocation of parked pages among AdSense users.

Publishing 2.0: Explain this — Google is penalizing AdWords advertisers “who are providing a low quality user experience on their landing pages,” and yet Google just signed a deal with GoDaddy.com to run AdSense on parked domains (via JenSense):

The program is called CashParking. And the monthly fee is scaled depending on what percentage of GoDaddy’s revenue you want to keep. It is worth noting that GoDaddy is sharing the revenue they earn from Google, so Google will still be earning money from each click on a parked domain page.

Google AdSense for Domains: “allows domain name registrars and large domain name holders to unlock the value in their parked page inventory. AdSense for domains delivers targeted, conceptually related advertisements to parked domain pages by using Google’s semantic technology to analyze and understand the meaning of the domain names.”

True enough, if Google assumes that parked pages are ill-advised search results and yet encourages their proliferation it would seem they are hypocrites. But then Google is only thinking of ‘Google user experience’, right? So this would assume Google intends to permit these pages to appear anywhere near the top results. (Most users only view the first page of results.) How likely is that?

To be a hypocrite is to elicit a false positive of good intentions. By that standard Google probably isn’t hypocritical about its commitment to user experience, but just aiming to plug-up someone else’s engine to their own profit. (Although there are adjectives to characterize that too.)

round up

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Picture 2-13Fun with Google

- E4! on Google Earth.

Techkwondo is developing a game of Battleship for Google Earth that interacts for the drop with players’ cell phone GPS signals. (via Blogscoped)

- Painting with Google.

Also via Philipp, a fan creates a working mock-up of what Google Paint might look like.

I’ve been messing around with Phillipp’s new book, 55 Ways to Have Fun with Google– and it is just that.

Keyword price down-tick

The average bid for search marketing keywords went down 8.6 ($1.27) in Q2, reports the research firm Fathom.

Search Zoom

Become.com introduces Search Zoom, which aims to capitalize on its vertical advantage with categories: buying guides, product reviews, discussion forums and product details. Become’s Sr. Director of Product Search, Jon Glick notes in Comparison Engines:

“If you’re a general purpose search engine, you can’t have 30 buttons across the top. As a vertical search engine, we just wanted to limit the choices to the decisions that people who need to make a buying decision need. We have a more constrained problem. We can help people in ways that Google as a general search engine can’t.”

YouTube, your tube?

By - July 20, 2006

Apparently not anymore. YouTube altered their Terms and Conditions to claim ownership a broad, sweeping license of all and parts of uploaded content—visual, audio, and all.

“…by submitting the User Submissions to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the User Submissions in connection with the YouTube Website and YouTube’s (and its successor’s) business… in any media formats and through any media channels.”

Will this give leverage the bumper crop of other collaborative community video site blossoming out in that fresh start-up air?

(Wired Music talks more. And, thanks Eric.)

Not from our plate

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This is a few days old, but it’s worth the note whilst channeling some vintage Battelle circa 2004 (without consent in his hiatus, of course) …Microsoft is marking the ground in enterprise search.

“Those people are not going to be allowed to take food off our plate, because that is what they are intending to do.” Microsoft’s Kevin Turner at a company conference.

The “people” that Turner was referring to was Google, and the “food” was corporate search customers…Turner, who joined Microsoft from Wal-Mart Stores 11 months ago, was adamant that corporate search is “our house.” “Enterprise search is our business, it’s our house and Google is not going to take that business,” he told 7,000 delegates in Boston. (From Forbes)

In 2004 Battelle wrote of Enterprise, after some yawning:

When Google goes public, and it seems that this is most certainly a when, rather than an if, it will have to grow. And once it’s hit the plateau of consumer facing businesses, it will turn to the corporate IT market (it’s already focused on the problem and is cranking up that focus). That market is still nascent, and there are buckets of money there (just ask Microsoft or FAST.) Mark my words, boring as it might seem, corporate search will be a big deal.



Whereas MSFT seeks MSN to miraculously overtake googlebot, GOOG aims to release a free beta for every office app. in Microsoft’s toolkit—plus Enterprise. (Isn’t this ripe for parody of ‘I’m a Mac and I’m a PC’ ads?)

Meanwhile, Microsoft announces Vista will allow users to use Google. Why, thank you for the permission and likely avoiding stacking the headlines with another grueling trust lawsuit. …All right then, maybe not.

Adding at the margin

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Picture 1-16Google burps, we listen. In this case, Google Finance is registering hiccups from user feedback and has added some initial improvements:

- a stock-market module on the business section of Google News and support for multiple portfolios.

- auto-suggest feature to the search box.

- reverse chronological order for message boards.

- adding links to SeekingAlpha, which offers free transcripts on many earnings calls.

round up

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Yahoo plop

Yahoo share dropped “nearly 22 percent on Wednesday,” reports the WashPost. “The wipeout erased about $10.4 billion in shareholder wealth,” although the Q2 revenue is up 26%. (Thread Watch mumbles, ‘because they can’t keep up with pushing out more beta products like Google.’)



India blocks ISPs for security

The block on blogging sties in India is reportedly due to a government security blackout aimed at derailing “terror units (read SIMI)” by physically locating IP addresses. According to Mutiny, India asked ISPs to suspend access to blogspot, typepad, and geosites. This may clear up the lack of explanation since Sunday, but it is unofficial and meanwhile Indians are fuming.

Estimating MySpace search

Whether or not the mega social site generates proportional ad revenue, it certainly is making a dent on search referrals. An interesting Business Week article suggests MySpace search is powered by RevenueSource (the auction specualtion continues) and parses stats on MySpace’s generation of search traffic, but SEW says the numbers don’t add up. Was that 5% of search traffic on the web, .06% in the US, or 8% of Google’s search?

Post secrets

According to a new PEW study (PDF): Bloggers largely post about their personal lives (37%)—rather than general topics such as technology, politics, business or other news. Also, authors are generally young (54% under 30) and evenly divided between genders. (via Resource Shelf)

dealspl.us

By - July 19, 2006

Picture 2-11It’s probably a good sign when the first response to a new service is, Why hasn’t this happened before? dealspl.us (uncapitalized) users contribute posts on shopping deals they find and community votes determine the importance of a bargain, bringing it to the front page.

It’s self-billed as a combination of Digg and BensBargains.net, for which one of the DP co-founders also serves as President. From the press release: “dealspl.us… is the first and only [community shopping] site [that] combines social bookmarking, user level, and non-editorial control over the posted content.

disagreeing over more than semantics

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An interesting exchange on the Semantic Web yesterday, when Peter Norvig responded to Tim Bereners-Lee’s presentation on AI. Norvig commented at length (venting some frustration) that the semantic web would facilitate the interloping spam and PageRank manipulation Google faces.

“What I get a lot is: ‘Why are you against the Semantic Web?’ I am not against the Semantic Web. But from Google’s point of view, there are a few things you need to overcome, incompetence being the first,” Norvig said. Norvig clarified that it was not Berners-Lee or his group that he was referring to as incompetent, but the general user.

(CNet story has full quotes, via Resource Shelf)