free html hit counter March 2007 - Page 7 of 8 - John Battelle's Search Blog

More Bits of Tid

By - March 11, 2007

So much happening.

I am in Austin for SXSW, a wonderful group of people are here. I have a few posts brewing but for now….

On to the tidbits:

– If you have Vista (and I have more to say about that soon) Microsoft is starting to roll out non browser-based search integrations. It’s also working on dealing with the competitive threat of Google Apps.

– Ask keeps pluggin’ away with innovations, this time in local search.

– You all know I dislike the Patriot Act. I am not alone. Just as we all expected, the powers of the Patriot act proved too much to resist, the FBI has been caught and called out for putting on Patriot’s secrecy ring….my precious! A related video is worth a view.

– Good to see the remixing trend getting more support….this time from Battlestar Galactica.

– Everyone’s happy to work at Google? Not this guy.

– Matt Cutts goes on the record saying Google isn’t inclined to trap user data. Watch this space.

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Conversational Marketing: PGM v. CM, Part 3

By - March 09, 2007

Ah Bourbon-1


Grab a favorite beverage if you’re going to read this one. It’s rather long…..


If you believe that conversational media (post 1, post 2) represents an important emerging category in the overall media landscape, the question must be begged: how does one pay for it? What is the central economic model for conversational media?

I have a short answer, and a very long one. The short one is this: Conversational marketing. The long one gets into how conversational marketing is simply the tip of a very large iceberg, representative of a sea change in how all businesses converse with their constituents – be they customers, partners, or employees. Yes, I’m going somewhere with all of this – my shorthand for it is “The Conversation Economy” – but for now finding a succinct definition is exceedingly notional – and frustrating. Regardless, the more smart folks I talk to in the media, marketing, and business world, the more I am convinced we are entering the age of the Conversation Economy. But to get there, we need to crack the code of conversational marketing. So that’s what I’ll focus on in this post. The next (and final) one will, I hope, tie it all together.

And because I am writing this all day today, I plan to experiment a bit with how I write for the web (I’ve referred to this as web-enhanced writing). In short, I plan to serialize this post over the day, posting it as I write it. Every hour or two or three, I’ll hit “publish” and you’ll see wherever I am in this process of Thinking Out Loud. Given the way I know I write, I’m sure that each successive post will not only be longer, but an entirely revised version of the stuff I’ve already published. I hope by the end of the day to have a decent draft finished, and perhaps, you’ll visit from time to time and toss your comments into the mix.

So onwards. (Pressing the publish button for the first time now….)

Update – this post is getting so long, I’m going to put it in the “extended entry” format. Continue reading by clicking that link below….

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Bits of Tid

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Today, I am writing. Yep, taking the entire day off from meetings and scheduled phone calls and travel, and just writing. Oh, what a luxury!

First off, a few tidbits have piled up in my inbox. Here they are for your consideration.


IBM and Yahoo have teamed up to create the UFOCrawler. No kidding. “UFO Crawler, a new search engine specifically tuned to search for information about the paranormal and unexplained will be launched Friday by the Anomalies Network. The UFO Crawler is taking off thanks to IBM’s newest search software, IBM OmniFind Yahoo! Edition. Like many organizations, the Anomalies Network was faced with the need to improve access to its growing collection of information, while also looking for a tool to create a competitive advantage for the business through search.” Or, in other words, a fun way to promote IBM and Yahoo’s enterprise search offering.

Speaking of Yahoo, it launched a new edition of MyYahoo yesterday. From the email notification: “Some new features include:

Pre-built personalized pages

Category pages for topics and “content suggestions”

Further customization of their page with drag-and-drop modules

Feed previews and a full post reader on the page

Editable Personal Assistant with instant access to things like Yahoo! Mail, horoscopes, local traffic, etcRedesigned modules from Yahoo! and partners, with games, music, commerce, sports updates, weather, finance portfolios, TV listings, etc.

Sharing feature, enabling users to send their My Yahoo! page or favorite modules with friends and family.

And we can’t have a Yahoo upgrade without a Google response, this one is to their Local Business Center. This is important, I’ve been banging on them about how Google does not take advantage of the architecture of participation for local merchants, now it is. From the email I got: “today Google released new features to its Local Business Center (, further enabling small businesses to reach potential customers looking for local goods and services online. The Local Business Center, a free service, allows business owners with a physical location to add their business information to Google Maps, and edit or delete existing listings. The new features include photo upload, custom attributes, local correction and listing statistics.”

Danny Hillis is talking more about his MetaWeb project, and the Times has the story. Danny and I are trying to find a time to sit down and really talk. We spoke of this project three years ago when I interviewed him for the book. He’s a very, very smart fellow. Markoff’s lead: ” new company founded by a longtime technologist is setting out to create a vast public database intended to be read by computers rather than people, paving the way for a more automated Internet in which machines will routinely share information.” More, including screen shots, at Radar.

Web 2 Expo: Special Deal for SearchBlog Readers

By - March 08, 2007

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I’ve told you before about the Web 2 Expo, it’s the cousin of our original Web 2 conference (now called the Summit). I’m pleased to report that more folks have registered for the Expo than we originally predicted, and not only that, the lineup of keynote speakers is really excellent. Jeff Bezos, Eric Schmidt, and Jeff Weiner are confirmed as keynotes, plus Mena Trott, Caterina Fake, Joe Kraus, and tons more. I’m going to be interviewing a lot of these folks on stage.

The event is April 15-17 in SF at the Moscone center. It’s bigger and far more hands on than the Summit, and if you plan on going, the early bird registration expires next week, Monday I believe. The organizers have offered Searchblog readers a special registration code that will knock another $100 off the price for all of you. If you are interested, send me an email and I’ll email you back the code.

MSFT Search Chief Is Leaving

By - March 07, 2007

The woes at MSFT search continue: Christopher Payne, the boss of search at MSN, is leaving. I have been talking to a lot of folks in the MSFT world, and search is a true charlie horse for the company. It needs an order of magnitude shift to win, and that’s a very, very tall order. More as I can write more…

Big Q4 For Net Ad Revenues

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From the IAB release:

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) today announced that Internet advertising revenues for 2006 are estimated at $16.8 billion, a 34 percent increase over the previous revenue record of $12.5 billion in 2005. The 2006 Q4 revenues totaled just under $4.8 billion, making it the highest quarter reported. Fourth-quarter revenues for 2006 represent a 32 percent increase over the same period in 2005, and a 15 percent increase over Q3 of 2006, estimated at slightly under $4.2 billion.

Two Reader Suggestions

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First, check out Research Google, a CSE rolled by reader Chris that includes 160 or so Google related sites.

Then, check out cRANKy, which is “age relevant” search, thanks to reader Joel.

The Google Phone

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Lots of chatter while I was away. Cnet’s story is here, the posts outlining details are here and here.