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Grokking a New Approach to Search Advertising Experience: Sea Dragon and More

By - May 10, 2007

Gary Flake (I posted on my meeting with him earlier this week here) has sent me files from his demo at SAS. I missed that demo, but you can get the picture, literally, by checking out these images.

Here is an image of LiveSearch with the SeaDragon/SivlerLight mashup overlay.


When you mouse over or click on a favicon-sized object at the beginning of the paid search ad on the right (in this image, you can just see one of them at the bottom right), a window opens up with tons more information, turning a “text ad” into an interactive display ad, voila! Yes, this is like Ajax, Flash, etc. But the feel is far more fluid, at least, it was in the demo…

Now, imagine this technology for display ads or online representations of traditional publications. Here’s an example of a digital newspaper:

Flake Ex 2

Imagine clicking or mousing over that BMW ad and getting tons more info instantly. All of sudden, real estate gets far more fungible. It could change the business model a bit.

PhotoSynth is still in early dev stages, but the possibilities are very interesting. Using the technology you can start to build virtual stores that integrate the way we are wired – visually – to the way the web is wired – datily. Er, data-ly. You get the picture. Well, no, here’s the picture:


In this example you see a very realistic rendering (it should be, it’s from a photo) of a high-end plumbing fixture store. Highlighted via the PhotoSynth interface is a faucet, and on the left is a ton of specs, data, etc. on that item. Imagine shopping in this interface online. It’s compelling….the glimmerings of a tangible link between the physical and the data worlds.

It’s all the matrix anyway. We just process it one way. Connecting the way we process data to the way machines process it is…well, fun to think about.

I bet if we asked nicely, Gary’d be happy to take your questions and input in the comments section….

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Offsite Day

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I’m in an offsite all day … but I got a lot to write about, so watch out when I come up for air….which might not be till next week…

A9 Makeover

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A9 has been very quiet since Udi Manber left, but Gary notes it got a makeover recently….

SAS: Gary Flake Shows Some Tantilizing Stuff

By - May 08, 2007


I had to leave SAS early today, but before I left, I met with Microsoft’s Gary Flake, who debuted Photosynth at Web 2 last year. He had some cool stuff to show me. I was very keen to learn more about Sea Dragon (which also might be called See Draggin’, you know…), and that did factor into what I saw, but the stuff he showed me was even cooler.

First, one thought on the implications of Sea Dragon. In short, the idea is this: Finite real estate, infinite information (this is a Flake-ism). I want to get pics from the Gates demo to show you what I mean, but imagine the ad as a rabbit hole of sorts. If you go down it, you can explore all of Wonderland without ever really leaving the page you are on.

Much of the other stuff I saw was under NDA, but suffice to say, I was impressed. What I can tell you about has to do with a new model for ads on the web, a sort of mashup between web-based data and virtual representations of familiar tableaus, for example, a typical storefront. It’s sort of hard to explain, it’s best seen. Gary called it “one and a half life…”.

In short, it’s all about a new interface for navigation through commercial space, and honestly, it’s about time we started to see innovation in this space. I’ve asked Gary and co. for some screen shots, and when/if they come in, I’ll post more. I’m a bit tuckered. It’s been a long 24 hours. More when I can…

News: Google Analytics Upgraded

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Google today announced a new version of Google Analytics. From the release mailed to me:

Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) today announced a new version of its powerful web analytics solution, Google Analytics™. The new version of Google Analytics was unveiled today at the EMetrics Summit taking place in San Francisco. Google Analytics, a free enterprise-class solution, enables executives, marketers and website owners to understand how their users interact with their website and maximize online business. Google has completely redesigned the product and enhanced the feature set through new email reporting, customizable dashboards, improved map displays, and plain language descriptions to make important information more accessible. …..

…..In the new version of Google Analytics, data is concentrated into combinations of reports, allowing users to make informed decisions about site management and Google AdWords™ campaigns. Google Analytics tracks the effectiveness of online marketing initiatives such as display campaigns or cost-per-click programs and creates e-mail reports that can be scheduled and distributed to colleagues.

I asked Google to answer this one question:

How does Google use the data it has access to through Google Analytics?

I’ll report back when I get an answer….

Found on SearchMob

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SearchMob is in a bit of a lull since I stopped posting roundups from there, but found today, a cool extension for Firefox that “automatically shows you whether or not the search results listed will contain the keywords in your search query. ”