free html hit counter June 2007 - John Battelle's Search Blog

The Roof Party

By - June 29, 2007

Way back in the day, my old company had a lot of beer blasts on Fridays, up on the roof of our building in the city. Lots of folks came, and it got to be expensive, so we brought in sponsors. Then they got really big – and very good for my company’s business. Lots of ad deals were closed, lots of new folks were hired in a very competitive market, and our conference business, which ran the parties, made lots of dough. Of course that’s not how history remembers them – the parties became symbolic of the excess of the dot com era.

Well, that’s OK. You live with history, and learn from it. Today my current company, FM, is having a party on a roof, and I couldn’t be more happy about it. It’s our fourth annual Author Salon, and we’re doing it atop the Hotel Vitale in the city. I’m posting this from the party, and I’m proud to say that as with the last go round, this party is sponsored – by Searchblog. I’ve not taken money for the ads that run on the site for over a year, and the balance has really piled up. So I decided to use a portion of it to thank our staff, our authors, and our pals and partners by supporting an afternoon celebrating our second anniversary. In a very real way, all of you as readers have made this company and this celebration possible. Thanks! If you’re in the neighborhood, come on by!

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Walt Likes Ask

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Wow, the benediction of Walt Mossberg:

Google and Ask each have rolled out new ways of presenting search results. Google’s approach, which it calls “universal search,” is a modest thing, a first step in what it says will be a long effort to break down barriers between different types of information a user may be seeking, such as Web links, images and news.

But Ask’s new system, called “Ask3D,” is a much bolder and better advance in unifying different kinds of results and presenting them in a more effective manner. It shows, once again, that Ask places a higher priority than its competitors do on making search results easy to navigate and use.

Marchex Moves in A Hot Market

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Domains. Content. AdSense/Affiliate models. There’s tons of gold in them thar hills. Marchex is panning….or rather, working some hydraulic strip mines

SEATTLE, WA – June 27, 2007 – In the largest-scale Web site launch of its kind, Marchex, Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHX, MCHXP) today announced that it has launched more than 100,000 of its local and vertical Web sites, publishing more than one billion Web pages of content, features and functionality for consumers looking for local services and information online, along with highly targeted local advertising inventory.

The newly launched sites now feature more than 15 million business listings across all major yellow pages categories, a deep refinement system, user-generated reviews and ratings, and third-party expert reviews aggregated by Marchex’s Open List local content publishing engine.

Watch Demand Media in this space as well. And Name Media…here’s a NYT blog on it…

NBC/NewCorp Announce Leader of YouTube Competitor

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Profile Kilarj

From a release emailed to me:

News Corporation and NBC Universal have appointed Jason Kilar, a key executive at for nearly a decade, to Chief Executive Officer of the online video joint venture the companies formed in March, 2007, it was announced today by Peter Chernin, President and Chief Operating Officer of News Corporation and Jeff Zucker, President and Chief Executive Officer of NBC Universal. Mr. Kilar will join the new company on July 9 and will report to its Board of Directors, which include Mr. Chernin and Mr. Zucker.

The company’s video-rich site will debut later this year with thousands of hours of full-length programming, movies and clips from myriad networks and two major film studios and with an unparalleled reach. With distribution partners AOL, CNET, Comcast, MSN, MySpace, and Yahoo!, the new venture will have access to 98 percent of the monthly U.S. unique users on the Internet.


Mr. Kilar, 36, spent nearly a decade (1997 – 2006) at, where he quickly rose to help expand the company’s core business beyond bookselling. Mr. Kilar originally wrote the business plan for Amazon’s entry into the video and DVD businesses and ultimately led that unit as General Manager and Vice President. The video and DVD business grew to several hundred million in revenue under Mr. Kilar’s leadership. Mr. Kilar went on to become Vice President and General Manager of Amazon’s North American media businesses, which included the company’s books, music, video, and DVD categories.

He later served as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Application Software, where his responsibilities included Amazon’s Marketplace business and ownership of a significant number of the applications which can be found throughout Amazon’s global websites. He reported directly to CEO Jeff Bezos and his organization included hundreds of world-class technologists that innovated the customer experience within the areas of community, media storage and serving, item metadata, automated merchandising and more.

More here and here and here (Paid Content)

Google Funds Gadgets

By - June 27, 2007

Never hurts to put cash in the system, eh?

From an email from Google PR:

Today, Google announced a new pilot initiative called Google Gadget Ventures aimed at bootstrapping an economic ecosystem around gadgets. Since the launch of Google Gadgets more than a year ago, we’ve seen an increasing opportunity for individuals and companies to build successful businesses around this technology and are piloting this program to help support additional growth.

Google Gadget Ventures will offer third-party gadget development and gadget-related businesses two types of funding:

Grants of $5,000 to developers who’ve built gadgets in our directory that already receive at least 250,000 weekly page views. To apply, qualified Gadget developers will be asked to submit a one-page proposal.

Seed investments of $100,000 to previous Google Gadget Ventures grant recipients who’d like to build a business around the Google Gadgets platform. Qualified developers will be asked to submit a business plan.

The developer community is an extremely important part of our development ecosystem. Our hope for Google Gadget Ventures is to enable developers to grow and diversify the universe of gadgets in a profitable and sustainable way. Ultimately this will result in a wider variety of engaging and useful online content, which is a win for our users.

The release says more info can be found at but that URL is not resolving….

Ad OutLook Not Good?

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That’s the quote from an advertising study released yesterday.

U.S. advertising spending is predicted to grow a mere 3.1% to $290.3 billion this year, Robert J. Coen, senior VP-director of forecasting at Universal McCann, said in a media briefing Tuesday.

“The outlook for advertising this year is not very good,” Coen said in presenting Universal McCann’s Advertising and Media Outlook Mid-Year Update.

But wait….

Online advertising and search marketing have “violently” impacted established media as the appeal for marketing tactics closely tied to transactions grows.

In terms of national advertising by medium, Internet and direct mail were the biggest gainers in the first quarter, growing 16.7% and 4.5%, respectively, over the same period last year. Spending on TV, spot TV, syndicated TV, spot radio and newspapers decreased in the first quarter.

Ahhh, I see. The outlook is not good *for packaged goods approaches to advertising.* Important distinction…

More Road

By - June 26, 2007

I’m traveling for the next three days. Posting will be sporadic…