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New SMB Post: Cultivate That Garden

By - April 10, 2009

Over at the HP SMB marketing site, my second post is up. Now, for most of you, this stuff will not be particularly new, but it’s good to recall that just 42% of all SMBs have websites, and most of those are not particularly social in nature. From my post:

Most small business websites are not very good. That means you have a chance to really stand out. And that’s a huge competitive advantage.

At this point you’re probably rolling your eyes and saying “Yeah, right. Now I have to spend thousands of dollars making something that’s just going to break in a few months, and then I’ll have to pay another grand to fix it.”

Not true. With small business and the web, the best way to start is to start small, and start social. Your business is a network of relationships – between vendors, clients, colleagues, and co workers. So instead of worrying about boiling your website ocean, trying simmering the social seas instead.

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Down For A Count

By - April 09, 2009

My computer died last night, and my phone is acting, as I said on Twitter, like a teen on bad booze. So posting will be light, as I have to use the web interface and I’m not a fan of it, compared to composing in Ecto. I expect to be back to normal by the weekend, but my hard drive is in the shop. I hope it comes back.

Twitter Search

By - April 07, 2009

sketch.jpgMissed this post announcing further refinements to how Twitter is integrating search (I was in NYC last week), but it’s worth noting, and thinking about. Many others commented upon it, so I’ll try to not repeat what they said.  

I think the focus, however, should be on this line: “The best way to experience Twitter Search is when it’s a natural part of your normal Twitter experience.”

Exactly. The integration of results right into the main content section sets Twitter up beautifully for the integration of the next phase of Twitter monetization – TweetSense. Twitter knows it has to create an ad platform that reacts to a known set of results, both on Twitter’s domain, but more importantly, off it as well. The starting point is TweetWords – which will work beautifully off these new results. TweetSense will be TweetWords exported to other instances of Twitter out in the wild – TweetDeck, ExecTweets, and the like.

This is also interesting: “Twitter Search is an engine for discovering what is happening right now but it doesn’t always have to be a box and a button.”

No it doesn’t. Search has many interfaces, and so will Twitter.

Google The Big Target

By - April 06, 2009

IWM4.6.09.png It’s not easy being the oxygen of the Internet economy. Google is starting to take blows from every side. Check out the first five headlines from IWantMedia this morning.

First, the Post (which I don’t trust much as a rule, given its broad use of unnamed sources) follows last week’s speculation around a Twitter acquisition with the headline that Google is talking to Twitter as a “defensive move.”

Second, Barron’s practically yells at Google for even considering talking to Twitter, because Twitter will never have a business model. (Idiots, of course it does).

Third, Google’s YouTube division is widely reported to be losing nearly half a billion dollars.

Fourth, Google looks to have to fight, yet again, the trademarked AdWords lawsuit.

And Fifth, Google is now looking less like a sacred cow, and more like a milk cow, to media moguls with impaired cash flow.

Happy Monday, Google!

Back When Juju Was Freely Shared…

By - April 05, 2009

Matt reminds us of a timeretro-links1.png when Google used to promote its competition just in case you didn’t find what you wanted on Google. Can you imagine such a thing happening now? My, how the times have changed.

It’d really be a shock to see this attitude now, and Matt’s post reminds me how common it was back then to point to competition. Sad, in a way, we have lost something as the industry has “matured.”

To compensate, Matt points to a greasemonkey script that brings the juju sharing back. Not that anyone will use it, of course (I mean, really, the number of folks who actually install scripts is probably less than those who use advanced search.)

One Thing Google IS Doing With Twitter

By - April 03, 2009

Speculation is rife that Twitter and Google are possibly in serious discussions about an acquisition. (No, it’s not April Fool’s Day anymore). Others say there’s no deal on the table at all.

Well, of course they are talking, both parties would be crazy not to be at least doing that. (See Twitter = YouTube, et al). What I do know is that Google is testing a Twitter-related ad product through its AdSense network. That one you can take to the bank.  It’s not particularly innovative* – it lets brands run a Twitter feed through their Adsense buy, from what I’ve heard, but at least it shows Google sees Twitter as worthy of grokking.

More on this when I have the time to write it down.

*Running feeds in ads is something FM has done for three years, and we are doing with ExecTweets now.

Help Me Interview Will Wright

By - April 02, 2009

215px-Willwrightatsxsw.jpg

This morning at the Web 2 Expo I’ll be in interviewing Will Wright, legendary game designer best known for Sim City (his most recent accomplishment is Spore). What do you think I should ask him about?  

Breaking: Newscorp to Buy Twitter for $750mm in Cash

By - April 01, 2009

Jnewscorp twitter.pngust got confirmation from a very reliable source that Newscorp, eager to repeat its early success with MySpace (though not its later decline) has closed a definitive purchase of Twitter for “at least $750mm in cash.”

“We see Twitter as a key strategic asset for Newscorp,” the source told me, promising “not to muck it up too badly with home page takeover ads, at least, not this year.”

I could not reach @ev or @biz for comment, but since their isn’t their first goat rodeo, and they only have 140 characters to play with anyway, they won’t be making uncomfortably-half-drunk-with-money videos any time soon.

Congrats to everyone, especially Jon Miller, who now has the Web’s hottest growth property to keep an eye on. Hey Jon, you’re on Twitter, aren’t you?!

One clear result of this purchase is that all Fox News anchors will finally start a-tweetin’, and CNN’s constant pimping of the service will certainly dwindle….

UPDATE: This *is* an April Fool’s joke…

A Good Idea: Goog's VC Fund

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Just saw this item, which reminded me of my suggestion about Google, where I wrote:

Instead of trying to retain great talent, perhaps Google should encourage them to leave. Start a different kind of founder’s award – one that seeds new startups. Given all the talent and all the interesting new companies springing up from the fertile soil of ex-Google land, I’d wager that fund would do damn well.

More from NYT:

The group, called Google Ventures, is expected to invest up to $100 million over the next 12 months. It will be overseen by David Drummond, who will continue in his role as senior vice president of corporate developing and chief legal officer at Google. Investments will be vetted by William Maris, who joined Google about a year ago, and Rich Miner, a co-founder of Android, a mobile software startup that Google acquired in 2005.