free html hit counter August 2009 - Page 3 of 3 - John Battelle's Search Blog

Google Adds Sense To Maps

By - August 06, 2009

Google yesterday announced it is adding more information to Google Maps:

“(We’ve added) icons and labels of prominent businesses and places of interest directly on the map itself. We’ve found it super useful for checking out what’s nearby a hotel we’ll be staying at, orienting ourselves, getting the feel for a neighborhood, or just browsing around for fun.

Wait a minute, let me rewrite that for you, with a business model attached:

“(We’ve added) icons and labels of prominent businesses and places of interest directly on the map itself. We’ve found it super useful for  leveraging our Adwords algorithm!

There ya go! Actually, I think this is a great move by Google, and in line with the concept of AdWords being useful to the information ecosystem.

For instance, if you’re looking to check out Martha’s Vineyard, the hotels link up on the left might be a link you are actually interested in.  

MV GMaps.png

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Flickr Gets A SearchLift

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new flickr searh.pngFlickr has upgraded its search, and I like the results. Funny how we are all talking about Yahoo ceding search to Microsoft, but we all forget there’s a lot of other search to be done on Yahoo – like Flickr search. I wonder who Flickr will be integrated into Bing, by the way? Anyway, from the post announcing the news:

Note the new “View” controls at the top of the page, these allow you to display the results in different sizes and formats. Both small and medium views have an ‘i’ icon on every thumbnail — click it to see more detailed information about a particular photo. We’re also doing some whiz bang stuff in the small view to take advantage of as much space as you have on your screen, just try resizing your browser to see.

On the right side of the page we try to provide a new perspective on your search. Based upon how our members are tagging their photos and participating in the Flickrverse, you’ll see links to the groups, photographers, tag clusters and places that are most closely related what you’re looking for. We hope these will occasionally provide a little extra inspiration for your search.

Lastly, we’re exposing simple summary information on the page as you refine your search.

Apple: Is The Worm Turning?

By - August 05, 2009

apple pray.jpegEarly this year, well, January 1, to be exact, I made this prediction about our friends at Apple:

Apple will see a significant reversal of recent fortunes. I sense this will happen for a number of reasons … but I think the main one will be brand related – a brand based on being cooler than the other guy simply does not scale past a certain point. I sense Apple has hit that point.

Now, “brand” is a very tricky concept. A brand lives or dies by how others speak of it. And lately, in the circles of folks who I’d call “brand influencers” in the digital space, the conversation has turned negative.

Not only has Apple taken a major hit from both observers and the FCC for its hamhanded rejection of Google’s iPhone application (among others), the company’s ongoing refusal to engage in a dialog with its customers (no Twitter account, no participation in industry conferences) is starting to wear thin. For more than a few folks I talk to on a daily basis, the Apple brand means “great products, but the company really couldn’t care less about you as a person, and frankly, is smarter than you, better looking than you, and above your station.”

Call it a gut feeling, but my favorite maker of computer products is starting to feel, well, out of touch. Am I off here?

Schmidt Leaves Apple Board

By - August 03, 2009

What a total surprise (kidding!).

In a statement, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that “as Google enters more of Apple’s core businesses, with Android and now Chrome OS, Eric’s effectiveness as an Apple Board member will be significantly diminished, since he will have to recuse himself from even larger portions of our meetings due to potential conflicts of interest.”

That Chrome OS was the last straw, I’d warrant. From my earlier coverage:

” At the very least, it feels like it’s time for Eric Schmidt to leave Apple’s board.”

Yahoo Microsoft Deal Overview

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The NYT has a good background piece from Carol Bartz’s POV. Carol will be at Web 2 this Fall, so will Qi Lu, the man who will own the deal and the search fight with Google.