free html hit counter June 2008 - Page 3 of 6 - John Battelle's Search Blog

Hearings Slated, an Industry Tenses

By - June 24, 2008

Members of Congress yesterday announced another hearing into the Google-Yahoo deal, as well as a deal between NebuAd and Charter that tracks searches at the ISP level. Watch this space. There are five hearings so far plus a Justice department inquiry. From Ad Age:

This week a House Small Business Committee panel is to hold a hearing on “the impact of online advertising on small firms,” which is supposed to highlight the benefits and challenges on small business’ use of advertising techniques. Additionally, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection panel, and the Senate Commerce Committee have announced plans for separate hearings. While the Judiciary Committee’s examination is only about Google/Yahoo, the rest are broader.

“There are increasing concerns about data collection for online advertising practices across the popular websites and search engines, the sharing of information and the ability of users to control their personal information,” an aide to U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said regarding the Senate Commerce Committee hearing.

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Google Starts Wikifying Maps

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This feature was a long time coming. From Mashable:

Google has announced a new feature of Google Maps called MapMaker, which allows anyone with a Google account (therefore, everyone) to edit Google Maps Google Maps . We’re not talking editing your or your friends’ version; we’re talking about the real thing. You can now edit and moderate roads, lakes, parks, POIs, cities and other local features as you please.

For now the feature, called MapMaker, is limited to some pretty odd choices: Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Jamaica, Netherlands Antilles, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago. Why? According to Google: “The existing mapping data for these countries could benefit tremendously from local knowledge and expertise that you and other map makers posses, and we’re excited to see how you put that to use.” Google’s primary example: Mapping Myanmar for relief efforts, an application that Google already executed.

That’s very, very cool, of course, but if you think Google is doing this entirely out of the goodness of its heart, then you must also think Google AdWords is a philanthropy effort. As with nearly everything Google does, there’s always a reason that sounds like a gift to the world, and a reason it makes sense that’s a gift to Google. Allow me to bold the word in the Google announcement that might be the latter:

Map Maker allows you and your peers to add, edit and moderate most features you see on maps including roads, lakes, parks, points of interest, businesses, cities and localities. You will be able to trace many of these features using satellite images; as you trace, maps are immediately updated.

Anywho. I think this is a great new feature, and if it eventually allows for crowdsourced local AdWords, so much the better!

More Departures, Peanut Butter Has Left the Bread

By - June 20, 2008

Brad Garlinghouse, author of the Peanut Butter memo, is out. So is head of search Vish Makhijani. And others. Who will be left? What a mess. Sad, sad mess. Word is that another re-org is on the way. Has to be, because there’s no one left to run it, so it all needs to report to one place. Yahoo is very close to being a distressed property, it feels like. Or is it already?

Into the Mainstream

By - June 19, 2008

From MediaPost:

Text messaging, blogging and social networking have reached critical mass, with more than half of adults now relying on at least one of these so-called Web 2.0 platforms for communicating with friends, family, or colleagues on a regular basis, finds the latest installment of an ongoing tracking study from Interpublic’s Universal McCann unit. The research, which comes from UM’s ambitious “Media in Mind” study, one of the first to show that things like blogging were becoming a meaningful personal communications platform several years ago, now finds that among digital media’s bleeding edge – adults 18-34 – social media now is the dominant form of personal communication media, with 85% of this influential demographic group relying on one or more Web 2.0 platforms to stay in touch with others.

And the Pace Quickens

By - June 18, 2008

Stewart and Caterina are leaving Yahoo. I also have heard about at least one other high level departure, but I cannot report that yet. Scores of lower level folks are leaving, most too junior to merit reporting, but very significant anyway. If Yahoo’s board is not in emergency session right now, coming up with a plan to fix this, I’d be amazed.

Every Great Business Is An Argument

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That’s the title of my latest post for Amex’s Open Forum Blog. From it:

In my experience starting businesses, and in my study of other businesses that have succeeded wildly (like Apple, Google, or eBay), every great business is founded in a thesis, a statement of what should be true. It’s then the business’s job to go prove that thesis – in essence, the business becomes the argument that proves the thesis.

Read the rest and tell me what you think at the Amex blog…

Reader Jeremy Writes…

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Reader Jeremy Writes: [Yahoo] couldn’t get off the crack pipe…the Paid Inclusion model. It failed *everywhere*. [It] still can’t get off the crack.

]]> Read More Read More

Support Mike and Brain Research

By - June 17, 2008

Earlier I posted about Mike Homer and his fight with CJD, a brain wasting disease. Yesterday the fight widened with the announcement of a YouTube channel in conjunction with UCSF, and more. Om has a nice writeup here. From it:

UCSF along with YouTube have launched a comprehensive Internet video channel dedicated to the improved understanding of incurable neurodegenerative brain diseases. The YouTube channel is part of an overall Internet campaign that will help UCSF’s researchers and clinicians reach out to a global audience.

It was inspired by the “Fight for Mike,” an initiative by Silicon Valley leaders to save the life of former Apple/Netscape marketing ace Mike Homer, who was diagnosed last spring with CJD and is being treated at UCSF. Since June 2007, the Fight for Mike has raised more than $7 million for CJD research at UCSF. Maybe you want to join hands and help
support the cause.

Google Owns Mobile Search

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Probably not surprising to readers of this site (ars):

Google managed to spank the rest of the mobile search world during the first quarter of 2008, according to data from Nielsen Mobile. The search giant managed to capture 61 percent of the mobile search market in the first four months of the year, with Yahoo! taking a very distant second at 18 percent. MSN sat at third place with a measly 5 percent.

The main reason: the iphone.

Jeff Weiner, No Longer at Yahoo

By - June 16, 2008

This is a major loss. I am a big Jeff Weiner fan. As Om said, Ouch. Clearly I missed this, and Jeremy’s exit as well.

Wow, those were two of the guys I really respected there. There are others, of course, but from what I can tell, they are on the way out too.

Wow. What a tragedy.