Another Good SE Relationship Chart

This one from Search-This, a SEO/SEM house. The buttons, when clicked, activate colored arrows that chart who supplies who with what…ie Inktomi powers MSN, Google powers AOL, etc. (Thanks to Josh Quittner for the reference…)…

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This one from Search-This, a SEO/SEM house. The buttons, when clicked, activate colored arrows that chart who supplies who with what…ie Inktomi powers MSN, Google powers AOL, etc. (Thanks to Josh Quittner for the reference…)

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Google Code Jam Winner

Once a year Google holds a contest for hardcore search-related coders. This year, the Europeans swept, interestingly. But no mention of what they actually did (as I recall, last year they asked for new features, and the winner made a local search app that Google ended up incorporating into Google…

Once a year Google holds a contest for hardcore search-related coders. This year, the Europeans swept, interestingly. But no mention of what they actually did (as I recall, last year they asked for new features, and the winner made a local search app that Google ended up incorporating into Google Labs)? I’ll look around…Aha…Read Slashdot threads here to find out more on the problems the Google coders were solving…MarketingWonk has a round up here of the PR and Marketing implications…

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Why We Wish Some Public Information Would Remain Bound To Atoms (The Public Privacy Dilemma)

In the past few months I've gotten a fair number of similar email threads forwarded my way by friends who know I'm writing about search. By the time they've gotten to me, the emails have wound their way fairly well through the six-degrees-of-separation web, with scores if not hundreds of…

In the past few months I’ve gotten a fair number of similar email threads forwarded my way by friends who know I’m writing about search. By the time they’ve gotten to me, the emails have wound their way fairly well through the six-degrees-of-separation web, with scores if not hundreds of souls cc’d, forwarded, and attached. The subject line usually blares something along the lines of “I can’t believe they can do this!” and “Oh My God, Did You Know?”

Here’s a sample email, with identifying information deleted:

——————-
Subject: This is hard to believe, but true, I tried it.

Google has implemented a new feature wherein you can type someone’s
telephone number into the search bar and hit enter and then you will be
given a map to their house.
Before forwarding this, I tested it by typing my telephone number in
google.com. My phone number came up, and when I clicked on the MapQuest link, it actually mapped out where I live. Quite scary.
Think about it–if a child, single person, ANYONE gives out his/her phone
number, someone can actually now look it up to find out where he/she
lives. The safety issues are obvious, and alarming. This is not a hoax; Mapquest will put a star on your house on your street.
—————

I understand the initial reaction of many to this feature (which is not that new). My God, They Know Where I Live! But this fear of a such a simple thing – a reverse directory lookup – bears further contemplation. Fact is, reverse directories are not illegal. But they are also not widely available – usually only cops and reporters had access to them. No more. (more via link below)

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A Robust Market Ecology

When Google flutters its wings, a typhoon may result in the AdWords ecology – those hundreds of thousands of advertisers who depend on Google for sales via the company's paid listings. So points out CNet's Stephanie Olsen in a good overview of advertiser reaction to Google's most recent shift in…

When Google flutters its wings, a typhoon may result in the AdWords ecology – those hundreds of thousands of advertisers who depend on Google for sales via the company’s paid listings. So points out CNet’s Stephanie Olsen in a good overview of advertiser reaction to Google’s most recent shift in its AdWords technology. The complications Olsen reports point to a larger story: the increasing complexity of this shifting market ecology. The question then becomes, can any one company maintain control of this? I don’t think so, you need robust competition; the recent defection of Paul Ryan (former CTO of Overture) to MSN will help insure robust competitors for years to come.

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Search Drives First-Ever Quarterly Profits at MSN

This has been in the works for sometime, but MSFT formally announced its earnings yesterday, and broke out the MSN unit's numbers for the first time. Headline: It's all about paid search. The highlights (from the MSFT IR site): MSN had 50% quarter-to-quarter advertising revenue growth, total revenue totaled…

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This has been in the works for sometime, but MSFT formally announced its earnings yesterday, and broke out the MSN unit’s numbers for the first time. Headline: It’s all about paid search. The highlights (from the MSFT IR site): MSN had 50% quarter-to-quarter advertising revenue growth, total revenue totaled $491 million in the first quarter compared to $427 million in the prior year’s first quarter. MSN Subscription revenue declined $17 million or 6% reflecting a decrease in the number of subscribers. MSN Network services revenue grew $81 million or 51% as a result of growth in paid search and strong general advertising sales across all geographic regions.

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Ask Searches For What’s Next In Search

Ask Chief Steve Berkowitz (caveat: we ran in the same circles at IDG) gives one of his first interviews (to the CC Times) since being formally named CEO. Steve's a good guy and he has quite a job – being #4 in a three-horse race ain't fun. But he…

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Ask Chief Steve Berkowitz (caveat: we ran in the same circles at IDG) gives one of his first interviews (to the CC Times) since being formally named CEO. Steve’s a good guy and he has quite a job – being #4 in a three-horse race ain’t fun. But he lays out his plans and makes his case in the interview.

Samples:

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The Database of Intentions

So nothing really new in the news today, I wanted to take a graf or two and explain what I mean by The Database of Intentions, referred to in this post. That way I can use it again and again and just link the phrase to this post. Hey, we…

So nothing really new in the news today, I wanted to take a graf or two and explain what I mean by The Database of Intentions, referred to in this post. That way I can use it again and again and just link the phrase to this post. Hey, we love the web, Ted Nelson lives….

The Database of Intentions is an idea central to the book I’ve been working on for the past year or so, which is tentatively titled “The Search: Business and Culture in the Age of Google” (Penguin/Putnam/Portfolio 2004). As with many in this industry, it all started with the Macintosh. Back in the mid 80s I was an undergraduate in Cultural Antropology, and I had a class – taught by the late Jim Deetz,which focused on the idea of material culture – basically, interpreting the artifacts of everyday life. It took the tools of archaeology – usually taught only in the context of civilizations long dead – and merged them with the tools of Cultural Anthropology, which interpreted living cultures. He encouraged us to see all things modified by man as expressions of culture, and therefore as keys to understanding culture itself. I began to see language, writing, and most everyday things in a new light – as reflecting the culture which created them, and fraught with all kinds of intent, contreversies, politics, relationships. It was a way to pick up current culture and hold it in your hand, make sense of it, read it.
(more via link below)

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Online Ad Sales Booming (The Standard)

It gives me something of a thrill to reference The Standard in an article about booming online ad sales, and give credit to Matt McAllister, who runs Infoworld's site and took over thestandard.com as a sidelight, as IDG was about to shut it down along with all of IDG.net….

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It gives me something of a thrill to reference The Standard in an article about booming online ad sales, and give credit to Matt McAllister, who runs Infoworld’s site and took over thestandard.com as a sidelight, as IDG was about to shut it down along with all of IDG.net. The archive is still not up, but Matt vows it will be, and the stories are all headline retreads from other IDG publications, but, there’s still a pulse there. Also, it’s really poignant to see contextual ads on the site, after all the dreaming I did of CRM doing – far too expensively – what contextual ads essentially can do now. Thanks Matt!

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Diller, Cheshire Cat of Local Search

Via MarketingWonk, I saw this short blurb in Crain's NY business which points to Barry Diller's increasing show of muscle in the local search market. He's got Citysearch and various other localized online businesses, and Yahoo, MSN and Google are all hot for the opportunity to extend their advertising…

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Via MarketingWonk, I saw this short blurb in Crain’s NY business which points to Barry Diller’s increasing show of muscle in the local search market. He’s got Citysearch and various other localized online businesses, and Yahoo, MSN and Google are all hot for the opportunity to extend their advertising networks into the local market. Diller seemed to be at his Cheshire’d best on an earnings call Tuesday.

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Watch What You Do While Online: Universities (Including Mine) Log Students’ Net Usage…Govt. and RIAA Take Notice

Eye opening Salon piece on Universities' practice of logging the net usage of their student populations. It notes that these practices are under review as the Patriot Act and RIAA are subpoenaing the logs, which many universities kept as a matter of course (why? who knows). This is another…

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Eye opening Salon piece on Universities’ practice of logging the net usage of their student populations. It notes that these practices are under review as the Patriot Act and RIAA are subpoenaing the logs, which many universities kept as a matter of course (why? who knows). This is another example of the power of the Database of Intentions (a term that is central to my book, and I promise, I’ll explain at some point). Interestingly, the Patriot Act may well be responsible for the widespread loss of this valuable resource (see excerpts).

Excerpts: “At the University of California at Berkeley, the everyday Web-surfing habits of students are regularly watched and recorded. Berkeley’s Systems and Network Security group uses a program called BRO — named after the infamous fascist icon from George Orwell’s “1984” — that keeps logs of every IP address students visit on the Internet from the campus network.

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