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Paying to Sow Discontent

By - May 14, 2008

Mark Cuban is clearly drinking and blogging again.

How many websites would have to recuse themselves from the Google Index before Google Search was negatively impacted ? thinks it needs to support the 25k most common search terms in order to be successful. What would happen if MicroSoft or Yahoo or a MicroHoo went to the 5 top results for the top 25k searches and paid them to leave the Google Index ?

A theoretical maximum of 125k sites, but with overlap, probably closer to 100k or less, times how much per site on average ?

The math starts to get interesting. At $1,000 per site average times 100k sites, thats only $ 1 Billion Dollars. The distribution would obviously favor the larger sites, so of that billion dollars, would the top 1k sites take 500k each and the remaining 99k split the rest ?

Given the stakes, why stop at $ 1 Billion Dollars ? Would the top 1k most visited sites take a cool $1mm each, plus a committment from MicroSoft or Yahoo to drive traffic through their search engines to more than make up for the lost Google Traffic. After all, once consumers realized that Google no longer had valid search results for the top 25k searchs, that traffic would most likely go to MicroSoft and Yahoo.

One big problem: No one would do it. Well, some would, but assuming that folks would be willing to be paid to screw over Google assumes folks 1. have no soul and/or 2. hate Google. I pray that for most folks, #1 is not true, and Google prays that for most folks, #2 is not true. So far, I think we’re both right.

But hey, Mark, you have the money! Why not find out?!

Google Invests In BrightSource

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One of the key themes this year at the Web 2 Summit will be how the web is addressing the larger limits of the world. is set up to do that, I applaud the investment they are making in solar. More here.

Happy Birthday, Pop

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Dad 74Th

My father, Richard Battelle, turned 74 today. Happy Birthday, Pop!

I don’t blog about family much, and today I realized, as I snapped this rather out of focus shot on my phone, that perhaps I should from time to time. If I truly believe in this whole Database of Intentions and search thing, I realize that this site, which is pretty much my main outpost on the web, should memorialize folks like my Dad. Up until this post, he didn’t show up in Google. Life is precious, and he deserves an entry or two in the Grand Index. From my book:

What does it mean, I wondered, to become immortal through

words pressed in clay—or, as was the case here, through words

formed in bits and transferred over the Web? Is that not what every

person longs for—what Odysseus chose over Kalypso’s nameless immortality—

to die, but to be known forever? And does not search offer

the same immortal imprint: is not existing forever in the indexes

of Google and others the modern-day equivalent of carving our stories

into stone? For anyone who has ever written his own name into

a search box and anxiously awaited the results, I believe the answer

is yes.

Google Will Be Bigger Than Windows

By - May 13, 2008

Steve Ballmer might throw a chair after reading this:

Google’s search business will pass Microsoft’s Windows business by early next year (at the latest). Good thing Microsoft has another huge, wildly profitable monopoly: Office. Add that to the calculation, and Microsoft can breathe easy for a few more years.

PowerSet To Go

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I’m late on Powerset (I just don’t have time to do the briefings anymore), but Mike has coverage here and Danny’s is here.

What I find interesting about Powerset is the refinement, which Danny covers well. The interface (in particular the response to query) is much more grammatical and conversational. That’s where the entire web is going, and it’s cool to see an example of it.

Is Google Bureaucratic?

By - May 12, 2008

Maybe only when it has to create products in response to market demand (ie new features for enterprise Google Apps), as opposed to engineer delight. Philipp has an interesting post/thread here.

Bold Is Good, I Hope It's Better Than My Curve

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Via Ars, news of a new BBerry 3G phone. I want one. I love my Curve, except…it chokes on all the mail (about 750 a day) and calendar items (about 60 changes a day) that it has to synch over the air. The phone is unusable for one to five minutes each time it wakes up from an extended period of non-use – the very same time that I need it most (like when I get into my car, have a conference call in two minutes, but have to wait for the little spinning hourglass icon to resolve). I sure hope the BBerry Bold fixes that. But, no matter. When it comes to phones, the BBerry is my Mac – I love to hate it, and hate to love it.

MySpace, Facebook, Google: Connect, Compete, Control?

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Great news developing over the weekend around data portability, though it remains to be seen how the implementations go.

Facebook Connect:

Today we are announcing Facebook Connect. Facebook Connect is the next iteration of Facebook Platform that allows users to “connect” their Facebook identity, friends and privacy to any site. This will now enable third party websites to implement and offer even more features of Facebook Platform off of Facebook – similar to features available to third party applications today on Facebook.

MySpace Data Portability:

MySpace, the world’s most popular social network, alongside Yahoo!, eBay, Photobucket, and Twitter, today announced the launch of the MySpace ‘Data Availability’ initiative, a ground-breaking offering to empower the global MySpace community to share their public profile data to websites of their choice throughout the Internet. Today’s announcement throws open the doors to traditionally closed networks by putting users in the driver’s seat of their data and Web identity. The launch of the Data Availability initiative marks the first time that a social Website has enabled its community to dynamically share public profile information with other sites.

Google’s “Friend Connect”

Websites that are not social networks may still want to be social — and now they can be, easily. With Google Friend Connect (see following this evening’s Campfire One), any website owner can add a snippet of code to his or her site and get social features up and running immediately without programming — picking and choosing from built-in functionality like user registration, invitations, members gallery, message posting, and reviews, as well as third-party applications built by the OpenSocial developer community.

But the key is how this is implemented, as David Recordon points out w/r/t Myspace:

At the end of the day it seems that MySpace is trying to become a large centralized profile repository on the internet. One where information might be available but certainly not allowed to be actually moved outside the network’s walls. A good try, but just as no one would like Microsoft own identity for the entire web with Passport I fail to see how others will let MySpace own all of the profiles.