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What Is Private?

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All Facebook discusses the story of a dust up between Facebook and blog publisher Gawker, which posted information and pictures found in a well known New York socialite’s Facebook profile.

Is information found in a Facebook profile public? It seems to me to be pretty clear that it’s not. Emily’s public profile on Facebook has none of the information Gawker published. The real question seems to be whether Emily is a “public figure” and therefore subject to a different standard. The author at Gawker got access to Emily’s “friends” profile, which had much more information, and published that. Is that so different than gaining access to, say, a private party where a reporter sees Emily, and reports on what she does? That’s privileged information, but no one would have an issue with a gossip reporter covering a party full of socialites.

Regardless, it’s clearly a violation of Facebook’s terms of service. Will be interesting to see if Emily or Facebook pushes on this.

Travelin' Blues

By - January 14, 2008

On the road this week, posting alas will be light.


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I love Kara’s take on Microsoft merging with Yahoo:

But that’s kind of like stitching together Bill Richardson and Dennis Kucinich and getting a potential front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Maybe with some Yankee determination, the two will make it happen. But I kind of doubt it. Microsoft has a lot on its plate just making aQuantive pay off this year…on the other hand, Microsoft kind of needs it…and so does Yahoo..

Zuckerberg Transcript

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Thanks to Gary for pointing me to the transcript and video of Mark Zuckerberg’s 60 Minutes appearance. So far the response (at least from comments here on Searchblog) is not overwhelming.

Memo to the Writers Who Want To Start Their Own Company

By - January 12, 2008

Guys, it’s a great idea. But don’t make the same stupid mistakes your bosses made and claim you need $30 million to do it.

Did it cost $30mm for Ninja, RocketBoom, WebbAlert or Diggnation to make serious money? Nope, it did not. Don’t take VC money and fail. Do it smart, lean and right on the web. In short, don’t do it in a packaged goods way. Do it conversational.

Update: I know that these guys want to make traditional movies, but there are so many new ways to finance movies as well. You don’t need to finance the company to the tune of $30mm to do it…

The Size of the Domain Market and Other Stats

By - January 11, 2008

I’ve always been marginally fascinated by the domain marketplace (key companies include, Name Media, Demand Media), it’s not an area I’ve studied closely, but clearly, it’s booming. I’d like to get to know it better, in particular as I prepare to give a talk to a massive gathering of folks in this industry later this month. So in the spirit of “my readers are smarter than I am” I’m asking for your help – where can I get good information on this market? I’d like to know its size, growth, issues, etc. I am already doing research on it, but figured if anyone knows, you all do…

A few things I’d love to know with some authority:

– Overall size of the market

– What percentage of traffic is “type in”?

– How do majors figure in the business – do they endorse, ignore, partner (I know Google partners…)

– How much of the domaining business revenue is Google Adsense?

Please, Don't Make Me Yell

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Google has no reason to buy a Yellow Pages company. Does it? I’ve railed about this before, the sourcing at British newspapers is nearly as bad as second class blogs. Listen to this little bit of sourcing gymnastics:

The Independent newspaper in the U.K. reported today that a “market source heard talk of a 500 pence-per-share bid” for Yell by Google. Spokespeople for Yell and Google couldn’t be reached immediately to comment.

Jesus. And I woke up and thought that Google might buy Circuit City out of Chapter 11, so I printed it.