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

Does Google Digg It?

By - November 30, 2007

This Google experiment allows searchers to vote and add “better pages” to SERPs.

A840E102 Screen More coverage here.

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Facebook: New Ad Plan

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Facebook has released the details of its new approach to user control:

Under the changes outlined late Thursday, Facebook’s 55 million users will be given greater control over whether they want to participate in a three-week-old program that circulates potentially sensitive information about their online purchases and other activities.

Facebook provided two different opportunities to block the details from being shared, but many users said they never saw the “opt-out” notices before they disappeared from the screen.

With the reforms, Facebook promised its users will now have to give their explicit consent, or “opt-in,” before any information is passed along.

More coverage in the Times.

No Surprise: Google Will Apply for 700Mhz Auction

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From the release (more here):

“We believe it’s important to put our money where our principles are,”

said Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO, Google. “Consumers deserve more

competition and innovation than they have in today’s wireless world.

No matter which bidder ultimately prevails, the real winners of this

auction are American consumers who likely will see more choices than

ever before in how they access the Internet.”

The Google Intranet

By - November 29, 2007

Fascinating.

I heard a lot about this when reporting the book, and even asked (many times) to see it in its early stages. But this is a great insight and reminder – there is a very significant story, and culture, developing in the 16,000 strong and growing folks who are part of this village. A village who believes, for example, it can solve the world’s energy problems. As I said, fascinating.

Facebook Calls a Privacy Huddle

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Via Salon, Bizweek reports:

In the wake of mounting criticism, Facebook executives are discussing changes to a controversial advertising tool that publicizes users’ Web activities outside of the popular social network. Alterations to the recently introduced Beacon system could be announced as early as Nov. 29, BusinessWeek.com has learned.

Googler Reflects on Google's Influence

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Chris Sacca, whose blog I follow, is a director of special projects at Google. His latest has been figuring out wireless with a team of minded colleagues. This post is quite worth the read.

Turns out, a lot of people at Google cared deeply about these issues. So we built a humbling team of like-minded folks to explore what we could do to make the wireless industry more open. At first, it was comprised of all volunteers, though we have since grown to much bigger ranks including dozens of full-time RF engineers and policy gurus. In fact, we have now grown too big for the room in which we hold our meetings and chairs are scarce.

PS – a good speculation on what it all means (Google’s entry into telcom) here on Gigaom.

Predictions, Revisited

By - November 28, 2007

Whoa. This is the first result on Google for “predictions 2007.” I better focus for 2008. I was just reviewing what I wrote about a year ago, and to find it, I typed that phrase into Google, and was stunned. I am certain someone did a better job than me, on issues far more important than the ones I found interesting. Clearly, the Index has a way to go…

Interesting Study Of Yahoo and Google

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From our French researcher, a student-based study of Yahoo and Google, with conclusions that I both agree with (Wikipedia is starting to dominate results) and don’t (general search engines have had their day):

The detailed examination of links returned is equally instructive. The first link offered by Google and Yahoo is identical in 27% of cases. In a previous study (using a slightly different protocol), conducted in December 2005, the proportion was 24%. The order of magnitude is thus similar.

The most surprising result came from the use of Wikipedia. This use was marginal in December 2005 (see study). At the time, for all 10 results on the first page, 2% of the links proposed by Google and 4% of those proposed by Yahoo came from Wikipedia. On the first link alone, Google offered no Wikipedia results (at least not in our sample) and Yahoo offered 7%.

The strategies have changed completely. Today 27% of Google’s results on the first link alone come from Wikipedia, as do 31 % of Yahoo’s.

How can this sudden interest in Wikipedia by both engines be explained? It is undoubtedly connected with the increasing difficultly engines have in calculating satisfactory ranking.

The Database of Intentions Meets Blogger

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An example of what I’ve been on about (via TC) for years – Google hands over information in a case in Israel, the company insists it did so only after full legal process, which I am sure is true, the point however is that your tracks in this digital sand are most certainly discoverable.