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Embeddable Maps from YouTube

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Maps Results LogoIt warms my heart to see functionality that once was reserved for Big Guys, like AOL, get spread out to everyone. Case in point: Used to be the only place you see embeddable maps was at large sites that had done licensing deals with MapQuest et al. Now, Google is making it possible for anyone to have embeddable maps.

This is great, but read the TOS. By using this, you are bound by Google’s overall TOS, including I imagine its use of any

data your create through using this feature. And you are bound by some interesting Navteq policies (that’s the data provider), which are, well, read the fine print. In short: Don’t mess with them. They are particularly irritated by any hacking with regard to automobiles, thank you very much.

And don’t even think about using this in a commercial manner. Er, but, what is commercial these days? I guess we’ll see.

The strategy is clear. Local is a huge business play for any search driven company. And the more distribution you get, the better. Smart, eh?

Google Responds – Welcome to the World Of Customers….

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Customers weren’t too happy with Google when it shut down Google Video. To its credit, Google responds:

We recently emailed you to let you know that Google is ending the

Google Video download to own/rent (DTO/DTR) program, and that

you’d receive a Google Checkout bonus equal to or greater than the

total amount of your Google Video purchases.

Since then, we’ve received feedback from people dissatisfied with

our approach to phase out the Google Video download to own/rent

program, so we’ve decided to take additional steps to address

these concerns:

1. We will fully refund your credit card for the total amount

of your Google Video purchases.

2. We’re going to continue to support playing your videos

through February, 2008. We won’t be offering the ability to buy

additional videos, but what you have already downloaded will

remain playable.

3. The Google Checkout bonus you’ve already received is yours

to keep. You can use your bonus at the following stores:

http://www.google.com/checkout/signupwelcome.html . Your bonus

expires on October 31, 2007, and the minimum purchase amount must

be equal to or greater than your bonus amount, before shipping and

tax.

Tafiti

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Tafiti 1

Check out Microsoft’s experimental engine, Tafiti (“to research” in Swahili, we are certainly running out of search names). You have to install Silverlight first (I covered this technology, an answer to Flash/Ajax, here and in particular here). Turns out, there’s Silverlight for the Mac (WOW!).

So this is a play to do several things. One, to show off Silverlight. Fair enough – check out the Tree View, pictured here, kinda cool. Two, to execute a cool application that helps people share search sessions. From an email I got from Microsoft:

Treeview

Tafiti helps people use the Web for research that spans multiple queries and sessions by helping them visualize, store and share the result. Search is becoming increasingly specialized, across different user scenarios, vertical subject areas and entry points. What works well for simple destination searches doesn’t necessarily work as well for more sophisticated research projects.



You can drag your results, literally, to a shelf on the right and store them, share them, etc.

And finally, well, if this works, it’ll help create a database of metadata that might inform better search. It’s all very As We May Think.



Here’s the FAQ.

YouTube Unveils Ad Strategy

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Instead of pre roll or post roll, Google and YouTube come up with an overlay with integrated player. For now it’s only with select partners on select videos (ie, the commercial ones). The really interesting question is when/how this will scale to the tail. I’ll comment on it more later, for now, read the Merc

And take a look at this pic:

Ytads

and this explanation of how it works from the overview sent to me by YT:

Ytads2

Light Day

By - August 21, 2007

There is a lot going on, but I’ll write about it later. Today I am taking off.

The Social Graph

By - August 20, 2007

PageRank was based on a big graph: the links that make up the web. The next breakthrough, many argue, will be based on the social graph, the links between us all. Facebook is clearly based on this insight. If you are interested in this issue, and feel it’s important (I do, in particular, who owns and profits from this information), read this write up from Brad Fitzpatrick who, it turns out, started at Google….today. Also working on this is David Recordon, who is going to Six Apart to work on these ideas. Interesting!

Comscore Launches qSearch 2.0

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From the release:

comScore, Inc. , a leader in measuring the digital world, today announced the launch of comScore qSearch 2.0, the second generation of search measurement. Previously, the search universe was defined as searches occurring at the major Web search engines. With search becoming a more ubiquitous activity across the Web, comScore is expanding the market view of the search universe to encompass other searches that occur on the Internet.

comScore’s qSearch 2.0 interface will provide clients with an in-depth view of the search universe in the U.S. and worldwide that encompasses:

— Core Search Engines — the five major U.S. search engines (i.e. Google

Sites, Yahoo! Sites, Microsoft Sites, Ask Network and Time Warner

Network).

— Top 50 properties worldwide where search activity is observed, which

includes sites such as MySpace, Baidu, and Naver.

— Major “vertical” search locations — such as eBay and Amazon in retail

and Expedia in travel.

— Partner Search — searches initiated at partner sites that redirect the

visitor to a search engine site.

— Cross-Channel Search — counts multiple searches when employing more

than one search tab (e.g. Web, images, news) for a single search term.

— Local Search — maps, directions, and local directory listings.

— Worldwide Search — includes comprehensive reporting of worldwide

search, with individual country reporting for the U.S., Canada, Mexico,

U.K., France, Germany, Japan, China, and Korea. Additional countries

will follow.

Rise of Conversational Media

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The Times piece today adds a nice narrative flourish,keying off AOL’s results, on the idea I’ve been talking about for some time now: That a new form of media is rising, and it’s one that the portals are not quite sure how to deal with. (For more on conversational media, see these posts).

As advertising is moving from offline media to the Internet at a rapid clip, portals, which command some of the biggest audiences online, should be among the top beneficiaries. Instead, the travails of the mass market portals like AOL, as well as Yahoo and Microsoft, indicate a decline in power….

…Part of the challenge for portals is that people are starting to approach the Internet in a different way. A new generation of Web users has grown increasingly adept at finding what it wants online and is less reliant on portals for guidance. What is more, younger audiences are spending more time on social networking sites and less time on traditional Internet portals.

…Social networking sites are not the only culprits. Thousands of smaller Web sites, like blogs, news collectors and niche content sites, are also attracting growing numbers of Internet users and advertisers.

Yup.