free html hit counter June 2008 - Page 5 of 6 - John Battelle's Search Blog

Marketing on Twitter

By - June 05, 2008

Marketing exec Ian Schafer has gotten folks talking (in particular, over at Mashable) about his move to sell his Twitter background on eBay. This is clearly an experiment, as much as I like following Ian on Twitter, I doubt his pageviews support anything other than a super endemic, non scalable campaign. That said, it got me thinking, how might Twitter make money? It’s got the attention of a lot of people. But it’s also got the Facebook problem – millions of hours of attention, fractured in millions of ways. Not exactly the one to many model so loved by traditional approaches to marketing. I pinged Evan Williams and he said his focus was not on figuring out this problem at the moment (and I am certain that is the right answer – after all, he’s got other oceans to boil).

For me, one answer to the Facebook problem was the launch of the platform. That provided cool applications and services that started to feel like publications – Watercooler, Graffiti, etc. And Twitter has so much potential. Perhaps it should launch a platform as well….

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FM Partners with Outside Lands

By - June 04, 2008

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Those of you who read this site regularly know I’ve talked about how much I love Bonnaroo, and how excited I am that the producers of that event (which, yes, I am going to again next week) are producing Outside Lands here in my backyard. I mean, it’s only the first time in history that a band is playing at night (three days and nights!) in Golden Gate Park, and oh, by the way, it’s Radiohead. And Wilco. And Beck. And Broken Social Scene. And Jackie Greene. And Rodrigo Y Gabriela and Tom Petty and Jack Johnson and Steve Winwood and Primus and Ben Harper and Steel Pulse and ….anyway.

Well, more coolness. My company, FM, has struck a deal with the producers of Outside Lands. We are partnering to create a collective, crowdsourced media campfire of sorts before, during, and after the festival. It’s called CrowdFire, and it’s going to be very, very cool. More when we’re ready to talk more about it, but it’s a merging of the human, physical energy of a music festival with the human, virtual energy of conversational media. I’m really stoked to be working with these guys, they are total princes. When work = fun, life is good.

Searching Together

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It happens – the phenomenon of similar ideas all hatching at the same time. The latest seems to be synchronous web experiences. I’ve heard about three or four of them in the past few weeks, the latest being Microsoft’s Search Together. From a page explaining the research project:

Search, of course, has become ubiquitous for enabling users to find Web content, but existing search engines have been designed for use by an individual. Search interfaces don’t support collaborative search. Collaborating on search generally means one person at a keyboard while another makes suggestions, or two people using instant messaging or a phone while each is viewing a Web browser. It can work, but it’s not optimal.

While using SearchTogether, though, users can collaborate locally or at different locations, working in tandem or at different times.

Cool idea, but you have to use all Windows and MSFT stuff (Messenger, Live ID, etc) to make it work.

Google's Brand Champ at YouTube Off to Greener Pastures

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Om reports:

YouTube’s head of monetization, Shashi Seth, has now left the company to become the chief revenue officer of Menlo Park, Calif.-based startup Cooliris.

Om continues:

Despite being the largest video-sharing web site, YouTube is still finding it hard to make money. My sources say that YouTube made around $80 million in 2007, a number that could grow by more than 50 percent this year to around $125 million. A Bear Stearns report estimated YouTube revenues at around $90 million for 2008. I’m not sure if $120 million-$125 million is going to make Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who has been publicly talking about YouTube and its money-making potential, happy.

What stands between YouTube and money is the lawsuit by Viacom, as it makes owners of legitimate content a tad nervous.

It’s true that the Viacom suit is a major issue. But I don’t think it’s the only one. I think looming even larger is the culture inside Google, one that does not support traditional approaches to supporting brand marketing. In other words, YouTube is a very large branded media play inside a massive engineering/direct response machine. YouTube is a major conversational media platform. But unlike MySpace, which reports into a media culture at Newscorp (Rupert Murdoch made this point at D last week), YouTube reports into a technology culture. I think it makes a difference.

The company Shashi is going to looks like a competitor to Microsoft’s Photosynth and Silverlight (not directly, but it looks like a market implementation of those two technologies). It just announced a deal with YouTube. Interesting!

Search The Real World

By - June 03, 2008

BB notes:

Swedish ethnologist Erik Ottoson of Uppsala University studies how people browse at flea markets, wander through malls, window shop, and even dumpster-dive, to understand the psychology of “searching.” Specifically, Ottoson focuses on “serendipitous searching,” what he defines as “open browsing for anything that awakens the person’s interest.”


Icahn Gives Yang More Headaches

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As Barry Diller (I think) said at D last week – “Oh Icahn, he’s just looking to make himself a few hundred million dollars.” From the Journal:

“It’s no longer a mystery to me why Microsoft’s offer isn’t around,” he said. “How can Yahoo keep saying they’re willing to negotiate and sell the company on the one hand, while at the same time they’re completely sabotaging the process without telling anyone.”

Mr. Icahn said he is convinced that executives of Microsoft, which withdrew its takeover offer last month for Yahoo, no longer trust Mr. Yang and won’t make a new bid — as Mr. Icahn and many investors are hoping for — unless Mr. Yang and the company’s board are ousted.

“I’m very cynical about many of the boards and CEO’s in this country, but even I am amazed at the lengths that the Jerry Yang and the board went to entrench themselves in this situation,” Mr. Icahn said.

Wikia Announces Hackable (ie Open) Search

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Wikia launches features on its poorly reviewed but theoretically interesting search engine that allow folks to hack the results and share them with everyone. More at Cnet. For now, this is pretty much a test, as it’s only on about 30 million results.

How to Move the Needle In Share: Buy It

By - June 02, 2008

Microsoft announced this today:

Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has won a key distribution deal with HP, the world’s largest PC manufacturer, to install a Live Search-enabled toolbar on all HP consumer PCs planned to ship in the United States and Canada, beginning in January 2009. As part of this deal, the default search engine setting in the browser on all HP consumer PCs will also be set to Microsoft Live Search.

I think this is a very big deal for Live search. It’s the only way to win share. Google has owned Dell and Firefox, this is a way to fight back. I am sure it cost a pretty penny….