free html hit counter March 2008 - Page 4 of 6 - John Battelle's Search Blog

The Successful Business Owner…

By - March 11, 2008

…is a great conversationalist. Part Two of my series over on the Amex site…

We humans are a very social lot. Without getting too academic, a pretty common tenet of psychology states that our greatest satisfaction comes from adding value to the lives of others. I know that in my business, my greatest satisfaction comes from the result of the work we do – providing a key source of revenue for scores of talented publishers. So think about that question again – what gives you the greatest satisfaction in your business?

I know the answer for my friend Mark, who runs a successful family restaurant near where I live. For him, it’s the countless exchanges he has each and every day with his customers. His place is always full of people, always buzzing, and Mark’s at the center of it all. He knows nearly everyone who comes in, and makes a point of getting to know the newcomers. He remembers your children’s names, your favorite wine, or the fact that you’ve been traveling too much lately. And when he comes by your table, nothing seems to please him more than to tell a story about his business – where he got the special cheese in the pizza, for example, or the day last week when a local winemaker came for dinner. In short, Mark’s greatest pleasure seems to be the conversations he has with his clientele.

And his restaurant is, in effect, a platform for those conversations. It’s a truism for nearly every successful local business I’ve seen: The owners are engaged with their clients, they know them well, and moreover, they are seen as leaders and storytellers – masters of their domain, and more than happy to talk about it.

  • Content Marquee

The Cage Fighter

By -

Just took this picture, a poster inside the window of a closed deli on Times Square. Just seemed, I dunno, worth posting…


No Connection

By -

1. Tim Armstrong, who runs ads at Google, says display will be “very significant” in near future for Google.

2. Google closes its Doubleclick acquisition.

As I said today at Verge, the key here is to define “display.” Is this “algorithmic juju masquerading as branding but really a front for more direct response” display, or this the “we are now in the publishing biz, AKA audience value-add, talent management, and human relationship” display?

There’s a big, big difference.


By -

Kvamme And Jp

Today I got a personal demo of the new searchme site from one of its backers, Mark Kvamme of Sequoia Capital. These are the guys who backed Yahoo and Google, so it was interesting to see how stoked Mark was about this new search player.

Mark and I were both speaking at the Ogilvy Verge conference, which is where this snapshot was taken, during a break, when Mark demo’d the new service to me live right before showing it to a few hundred marketers. The fellow next to him is Jean-Philippe Maheum, the Chief Digital Officer of Ogilvy North America.

As I’ve said many times before, I think there is a lot of innovation to be found in search interfaces, and searchme is clearly looking to lead in that field. To do so, however, they had to reinvent the crawl, as their UI innovation depends on categorization at the level of the crawl.

The interface is pretty much a direct imitation of the iPhone, an elegant Flex execution that’s fast and compelling. But does it have staying power? I am not sure. I look forward to using it more and seeing how it lasts. More from TechCrunch, which broke the story this morning….

We Got Our Own Ad Network

By -

Good luck boys.

In an effort to slow Google’s siphoning of advertising dollars away from television, the nation’s six largest cable companies are making plans for a jointly owned company that would allow national advertisers to buy customized ads and interactive ads across the companies’ systems.

That Old Database of Intentions, It Be Growin'

By -

The Web companies are, in effect, taking the trail of crumbs people leave behind as they move around the Internet, and then analyzing them to anticipate people’s next steps. So anybody who searches for information on such disparate topics as iron supplements, airlines, hotels and soft drinks may see ads for those products and services later on.

Consumers have not complained to any great extent about data collection online. But privacy experts say that is because the collection is invisible to them. Unlike Facebook’s Beacon program, which stirred controversy last year when it broadcast its members’ purchases to their online friends, most companies do not flash a notice on the screen when they collect data about visitors to their sites.

“When you start to get into the details, it’s scarier than you might suspect,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a privacy rights group. “We’re recording preferences, hopes, worries and fears.” (NYT link)

Help Me With a Google-Backed Panel Friday: On CrowdSourcing

By - March 06, 2008

Tomorrow I’ll be moderating a panel at Stanford on a fun topic: Crowdsourcing. In fact, the central question to the discussion will be addressing answers to this partial statement: “Crowdsourcing will never work to do….”

I’ve got three great panelists who are going to help get the conversation started. They are NYU’s Jay Rosen (more on him here), Google’s Hal Varian (here), and Current TV’s Joel Hyatt (here).

Jay plans to argue that crowdsourcing will never work to create new things.

Hal plans to argue that crowdsourcing will never get you an excess return on the stock market.

And Joel plans to argue that crowdsourcing isn’t an easier way to do business; it’s a *different* way to do business, with different processes involved and different skills required.

What I want to do here is to do a bit of my own crowdsourcing…. what do you think crowdsourcing can NOT do, and what do you make of our panelists ideas?

Download: The True Story of the Internet

By -


John Heilemann is one of my oldest and dearest pals and one of the most talented journalists in the business, so take this with a caveat, but only one that emphasizes how worth your time it will be to watch this series. Download: The True Story of the Internet is a documentary he’s been working on for more than a year. And I am certain it will be masterful. More details here.