free html hit counter January 2008 | Page 5 of 8 | John Battelle's Search Blog

Computational Advertising

By - January 10, 2008

I think humans are required anytime you want to connect a brand with a person in any kind of meaningful way. But “computational advertising” is one way to optimize that connection, for sure. This talk by Yahoo’s A. Broder does look interesting (via Greg).

PS – Greg is starting at MSFT next week. Great hire, and congrats Greg!

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More on MSFT and Fast

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Fast-1

Gary has a timeline on FAST deals, showing the companies reach into enterprise search. Recall my earlier posts on how I am seeing this as a very interesting area powering new search UIs for consumers (against structured databases like the NYT articles, for example.)

Facebook on Data Portability: Wait and See

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It’s a first step only, as expected. A comment send to me from Facebook:

We are committed to giving users control of their data on Facebook and, at the same time, safeguarding the privacy of users. Facebook joined the DataPortability Workgroup in order to actively participate in industry dialogue and to represent feedback from the Facebook community.

- Ben Ling, director of product marketing for Facebook Platform

Mahalo Stats

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Hitwise has some interesting insights.

Mahalo Growth

Mahalo receives most of its traffic from Search Engines (76% last week) and sends most of its traffic to Entertainment (37%) and News and Media (19%) websites. Visitors seem particularly interested in games websites such as GameSpot, IGN Cheats and Game FAQs and News and Media websites, in particular, Google News and other online news sources.

Mahalo is gaining momentum slowly but surely.

New CEO At Ask

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Jim Lanzone, who ran Ask since April 06, is stepping down and figuring out what’s next while EIR at Redpoint. I’ll be talking to him later today, update here soon.

Jim Safka has been named CEO of Ask.com. Effective immediately, he will oversee Ask.com’s global operations. He will also continue in his role as CEO of Primal Ventures, a new-venture entity that identifies seeds and incubates business opportunities for IAC.

Mr. Safka, 39, served as CEO of Match.com from 2004 to 2006.

Yikes. Old School Media Is Hurting

By - January 09, 2008

I read I Want Media each day, and these were the first four headlines:

Time Warner May Cut 1,000 Jobs Due to Strike

McGraw-Hill to Cut 611 Jobs; More May Come

Martha Stewart Said to Lay Off More Staff

Chicago Sun-Times Reduces Size, Cuts Jobs

Seattle Times Plans to Cut Its Work Force

Holy cow.

TV Companies as Web Content Distributors: Don't Blow It, Guys

By - January 08, 2008

Sharp Aquos

It’s happening. While at CES today and yesterday, I spoke to two different manufacturers of HDTVs who plan to launch, or have already launched, televisions that are RSS enabled. In other words, the TV manufacturers are getting into the web content distribution business. Can you taste the convergence? I love the idea that my favorite RSS feeds might be running over traditional packaged goods content from the TV Networks, and there is nothing they can do to control it. I love the idea that we, as consumers, can take back control of the screen, and what is on it.

I only hope that the TV companies don’t try to pick what content I want to watch FOR me. Oh, wait, that’s what they are doing – Panasonic and Google are hooking up to connect Panasonic TVs with the Internet (Panasonic would be the third one, then, that is connected itself to the Web, and in essence, becoming a PC). Well, at least, YouTube and Picasa. I hope that’s not ALL we can connect to….

Readburner

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Logo-Alpha

This looks really cool. Via Mashable, which has a good writeup:



Readburner is a site that has been playing at the edges of my feeds for several weeks now. I think I vaguely remember submitting my linkblog to a developer a month or so ago. He had said he needed a pile of linkblog submissions while he worked on an experimental aggregator based around Google’s Shared Item functionality. I saw a shared item in one or two of the linkblogs I subscribe to that ended up pointing back to a directory on an Amazon EC2 server.

Then Louis Gray wrote a couple articles, letting the cat out of the bag that there was indeed a project underway to finally fulfill the longstanding wishes of MG Siegler (and a great number of other folks like me who are avid Google Reader users). Yes, Virginia, there is a Google Shared Items memetracker, and its name is ReadBurner.

Wow. Facebook Must Read Searchblog!

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I’m kidding, but last week (and several times previously) I lectured Facebook to open up, and predicted it would. Today, Facebook (and Google, but we’d expect that) have joined the Data Portability group. What I cannot figure out yet is whether this really *means* anything other than, well, they joined a group. But it’s a great first step.

From my post on January 4:

With one move, Facebook can change the face (sorry) of this debate by making it falling-down easy to export your social graph. And I predict that it will.

Why? Because I think in the end, Facebook will win based on the services it provides for that data. Set the data free, and it will come back to roost wherever it’s best used. And if Facebook doesn’t win that race, well, it’ll lose over time anyway. Such a move is entirely in line with the company’s nascent philosophy, and would be a massively popular move within the ouroborosphere (my name for all things Techmeme).

Compete on service, Facebook, it’s where the world is headed anyway!

Microsoft Acts FAST

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Very interesting indeed. From the Journal (my linking mechanism is down at the moment, I am traveling):

Microsoft said it plans to buy Norwegian data-search company Fast Search & Transfer for 6.6 billion Norwegian kroner, or about $1.2 billion. The offer is a 42% premium to the target company’s most recent closing share price. Fast Search & Transfer’s board of directors has unanimously recommended the offer, and shareholders representing 37% of the outstanding shares have accepted it.