free html hit counter John Battelle's Search Blog - Page 58 of 548 - Thoughts on the intersection of search, media, technology, and more.

The Week In Signal

By - August 06, 2010

FM-signal-header.gif

Folks, you have every right to be upset with me this week, my writing simply ceased, I was on vacation, at least in terms of creating longer form posts. However, Signal did not take the week off, and here are the week’s offerings:

Friday Signal: Let’s Do Launch

Thursday Signal: Highest Order Bit

Weds. Signal: What’s our Policy?

Tuesday Signal: Dog Days

Friday Signal: Vacation Ahoy!

Thanks for reading. I promise to be back soon.

  • Content Marquee

Signal Update

By - July 28, 2010

201007281034.jpgEvery day I spend an hour or two curating a set of links that I find provocative, useful, or important, adding a few lines of commentary to boot. It’s called Signal, and you can consume it in three ways – as an email newsletter (sign up on the Signal Home Page in the upper right hand corner), in your RSS reader, or on the web.

For those of you who like to click on links, here are the last three Signals for your enjoyment:

Weds Signal: Get Out There And Be Counted!

Tuesday Signal: Control, Alter, Delete

Monday Signal: Summertime, and The Linkin’ Is Easy…

Thanks for reading…and I hope my August semi-break, coming soon, will allow me to write longer pieces here with more frequency. I’ve been hard at work on some Web 2 Summit projects, expect more on that late next month.

CM Summit Sizzle Reel

By - July 23, 2010

I’m proud of the team that put the CM Summit together, and this reel. Well done folks!


This Week In Signal

By -

For all 186K of you loverly RSS readers, here are the past five Signals:

Friday Signal: Is Apple Evil? Is the Web Over? Is Privacy Dead? Is This Thing On?!

Thursday Signal: Why I Love My Job, Again.

Weds. Signal: The Numbers Tell The Story

Tuesday Signal: I Got Yer Policy Right Here

Monday Signal: Google Buys, Android Flys

If you squint, it almost looks like a weekly newsmagazine!

What Means This, To "Go Google"!?

By - July 21, 2010

GoogFortuneBackPageJuly2010.png

I thought it meant to search! Apparently, in this context, it means “to drop Microsoft Office and use our software!”

I almost feel like a relic pointing out the obvious, but when I got my latest paper-based Fortune magazine (yes, I do subscribe to a few still), I found the image at left on the back cover.

Long ago, while writing the book, I predicted that Google, long proud of the fact it never had to market its brand, would have to start marketing like a “normal” company. Why? Because while search “markets itself”, applications like Picasa won’t.

And so it has been, and so it continues. In January of this year, when my attention turns to predictions, I said that Google will have to decide to promise more as a brand than “search.” In May, I pointed out that this concept was progressing.

Not that big a deal, I suppose, given that the years have come and gone, and we’ve turned our attention to other Internet meteors like Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare. Except…I still find it significant that the king of the Web has purchased the back page of an analog magazine. If for no other reason that this entry in the database of intentions – this blog post – may be discovered by some anthropologist in centuries yet to come, as proof of some point yet unmade.

Or something.

Still and all, I am fascinated by what it means that Google, the verb that means “to search”, is being used by Google, the company, to mean something entirely different.

What Would You Ask Fred Wilson?

By - July 20, 2010

bio_fred.jpgTomorrow I will be at the Geo Loco conference in SF, interviewing Fred Wilson, partner at Union Square Ventures, investor in Twitter, Zynga, Etsy, Tumblr, Foursquare, and many others, and general good guy.

Fred is great on stage, and we have a lot to talk about, given our mutual interests. But as I was preparing for the discussion, I pinged Fred and asked if he thought it’d be a good idea if I asked all of you for input. Of course he said yes.

So, what do you want to hear from Fred? What should I ask him?

The Facebook App Economy: Revival Time?

By - July 19, 2010

ZuckNBat.jpg

Who remembers the utter gold rush that was the Facebook Platform back in 2007, back when everyone, and honestly, really, EVERYONE, in the industry was busy answering the question “What’s Your Facebook Platform strategy?”

Well I sure do. At FM, we had meetings to address this question, meetings driven by me, by my staff and my senior executives, and of course, by our investors, who were asking the same question of every portfolio company they had. (And…do you believe…when Facebook launched Platform, it only had 20mm users?!)

Fortunately, our “Facebook strategy” was to not drop everything and start developing apps for the new environment. Despite the extraordinary hype, we took a measured approach, working with a few clear winners (like Graffiti), and waiting to see how it might all play out.

Fast forward a few years, and it’s clear that a very small set of important companies have managed to lever the original Facebook Platform into real value – Zynga, Slide come to mind – but I’m not certain the amount of energy put into the Platform ever netted out a gross ROI for all who threw themselves into the race.

Now, three months after all the Open Graph announcements at this year’s f8, I find myself wondering – where are all the web-based Facebook applications and services? It seems to me that Facebook has won, big time, in terms of getting folks to adopt “Likes.” But where are the developers and the awesome new ideas? Am I missing something? Is Facebook going to go toe to toe with Google, Apple, and Microsoft for the hearts and wallets of the developer?

From what I can tell, Facebook’s privacy tempest has delayed the formation of what I expected to be another goldrush. And no, I’m not talking about publishers who have incorporated “Likes”. I’m talking about entirely new or re-formulated web and mobile services that leverage unique data feeds from Facebook so as to bring entirely new value into the world. We’ve seen a fair amount of this from the Twitter ecosystem (though still and all, not as much as we might see soon). In the case of Facebook, however, I expected that by now we’d have seen a bunch of super cool services. But so far, none.

Again, am I missing something? What are you planning to do with the Facebook APIs? And what do you wish you could do, but so far, can’t, despite the announcements at f8 last April?

(Image above is from the Web 2 Summit, where Mark Zuckerberg will again grace the stage and converse with me).

On Math, iPhones, Android, and the 100K Phone Gap

By -

Unknown.jpeg

The media really, really, really loves to write about Apple and the iPhone these days. It reminds me of Google in 2004, when the media fell in love with the concept of search.

Besides the antennae story, which I find hopelessly over reported, the latest iPhone rhapsody has been how many iPhone 4s Apple has sold – apparently, 3 million as of last Friday. Friday was July 16th. The iPhone 4 launched on June 24, so that’d be 23 days to reach the 3 million mark.

3 million phones in 23 days – that’s a pretty strong clip, the fastest sales of an Apple phone to date, Mashable reports. If I do the math, that’s more than 130,000 phones a day.

But did anyone in the press notice Google’s little announcement, the day before Apple launched its iPhone 4? This one? The one where Google said, and I quote:

“Every day 160,000 Android-powered devices are activated — that’s nearly two devices every second.”

iphone4logo.png

Yep, that’d be 30K MORE phones a day than Apple. And my guess is that Android’s pace is accelerating, while the iPhone 4 is probably sliding downward, given how many folks bought it at launch (Mashable reports that 1.7 million were sold in first three days, so 1.3 million the next 20 days). In fact, if you do THAT math, and divide 1.3 million by 20 days, you get 65,000 iPhone 4s sold each day, which is nearly 100,000 less, PER DAY, than Android phones.

Is that story anywhere in the press? Not that I see.

As far as I can tell, Android-based phones will far outnumber any other smart phone by year’s end. Apple, meet your new Windows. It’s name is Android.

We Are Capable of Many States

By - July 16, 2010

In this overwraught essay, a novelist yearns for a time before addiction to technology slowly drained us of our humanity.

I don’t buy it.

We can both be connected and be fulfilled. We can stop, disconnect, read a book, make love without checking our devices for updates. And we can also be connected, while still being human. In fact, being human is being connected. We’ll figure out the instrumentation that works for us.

Can we misuse it? Yes. Will we? Yes. Do I believe that we’ll figure out the right balance, even as we redefine what it means to be human, thanks to our ability to connect in new ways? Of course.

If you want to go upstate and read a book, by all means go do it. But read this review – in the same issue of the NYT – of “Hamlet’s Blackberry” while you’re at it. We’ll evolve. Just, perhaps, not into who you want to be. Which is fine. Stay gold, Ponyboy.