Lycos Up For Grabs, Will Diller Re-engage?

Cnet reports that Lycos has retained Lehman to advise the company on the sale of its US assets. Cnet claims a possible price of $200 million. That'd be a bargain, a far cry from the billions Barry was willing to offer back in the good old days… Diller would not…

logo_lycos.gifCnet reports that Lycos has retained Lehman to advise the company on the sale of its US assets. Cnet claims a possible price of $200 million. That’d be a bargain, a far cry from the billions Barry was willing to offer back in the good old days…

Diller would not need the traffic, though it never hurts. What he does need is integrative search technology. And on that count, Lycos is not a strong player. Side note to Wired News folks: If you’re looking to do something new, you know how to get in touch with me…

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Tacoda To Form AudienceMatch

News broke today that Tacoda (previous post here) is creating a behavioral marketing network called AudienceMatch which will compete with other major ad networks like Google's AdWords or Overture's ContentMatch. Congrats to them, and to Fred, who invested in them….

tacoda_logo News broke today that Tacoda (previous post here) is creating a behavioral marketing network called AudienceMatch which will compete with other major ad networks like Google’s AdWords or Overture’s ContentMatch. Congrats to them, and to Fred, who invested in them.

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Good God, Let’s Get On WIth It Already

Is anyone else sick of all the Google IPO stuff? Until the S-1 or Form 10 drops, I promise I will no longer post on the IPO. I'm past the point of saturation, and I sense the rest of the world is too. As my friend John Heilemann pointed out…

Is anyone else sick of all the Google IPO stuff? Until the S-1 or Form 10 drops, I promise I will no longer post on the IPO. I’m past the point of saturation, and I sense the rest of the world is too. As my friend John Heilemann pointed out to me yesterday, it’s like the NFL draft. At the end of the day, what matters is the execution on the field. The draft is a sideshow.

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Talk of the Nation

I'll be on "Talk of the Nation" shortly talking about – what else – the Google IPO. Streaming audio will be up in about four hours (6 pm EST) I'm told. Other guests include Steven Levy and Lauren Weinstein….

logo_nprI’ll be on “Talk of the Nation” shortly talking about – what else – the Google IPO. Streaming audio will be up in about four hours (6 pm EST) I’m told. Other guests include Steven Levy and Lauren Weinstein.

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Enterprise Search (Yaawwwwnnn)

Oh, I know, I'm not big on enterprise search, it puts me to sleep. But to be honest, it was the enterprise that got me into this game, nearly 20 years ago, at a now defunct Macintosh weekly called MacWeek. We covered "MVBs" – Macintosh Volume Buyers, and my best…

appliance2Oh, I know, I’m not big on enterprise search, it puts me to sleep. But to be honest, it was the enterprise that got me into this game, nearly 20 years ago, at a now defunct Macintosh weekly called MacWeek. We covered “MVBs” – Macintosh Volume Buyers, and my best sources were big corporate buyers at Anderson and the University of Texas. These guys saw all the cool shit early, and then blabbed about it to me. Our fearless executive editor was a fellow named Dan Farber, who now runs editorial at ZDNet. Anyway, Dan emailed me yesterday and asked what I thought of enterprise search, which is clearly one of the most overlooked stories in search. (His view on it is now up, here). It made me think, and I realized that in fact, enterprise search will probably rise again, and end up being one of the coolest things in search in the next few years. Why? Because it sucks so badly now, fixing it will be the kind of 10X revelation we had when we moved from Yahoo to Google in 1998-99.

Germane to that, here’s an interview in the E-commerce Times with Google enterprise search chief Dave Girouard that’s interesting.

The funny part is it’s easier to find box scores from the 1957 World Series than it is to find last quarter’s sales presentation in the enterprise. While Web search has gotten really good, enterprise search has stagnated, and that’s why we really believe it’s a problem that needs to be solved and that Google has a unique set of capabilities to solve it.”

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Search Engines and the DMCA: Don’t Be Evil

From time to time you might note, if you are really paying attention, that results on Google have been removed due to the DMCA, in particular a clause known as "Safe Harbor" – it has to do with supposed copyright infringement. If and when you run across such results, Google…

From time to time you might note, if you are really paying attention, that results on Google have been removed due to the DMCA, in particular a clause known as “Safe Harbor” – it has to do with supposed copyright infringement. If and when you run across such results, Google posts a notice at the bottom of the page informing you, and linking to the DMCA request that led to the result being pulled from Google’s index. This is a very fine example of Google being a good corporate citizen, but Joe Hall has a good suggestion for refinement: show this disclaimer at the top of the page, not at the bottom, where many won’t see it.

Also on this issue, the Virginia Journal of Law and Techweighs in with a paper entitled “Application of the DMCA Safe Harbor Provisions to Search Engines.” Why do you care? Well, this paper concludes that “the burden of complying with the safe harbor procedures should not be placed on search engines. Given these concerns, a better alternative would be for Congress to grant search engines complete immunity from contributory liability for copyright infringing activities by third parties.”

To reach its conclusion, the paper argues that “Internet service providers who receive notifications from copyright owners about allegedly infringing content must remove or disable access to that content in order to remain immune from claims for contributory liability. In response to such notifications, search engines have begun to remove links to allegedly infringing content from their search results. Unfortunately, application of the DMCA safe harbor provisions to search engines is problematic. Key portions of the statute refer to “subscribers” and “account holders,” making their application to search engines unclear because search engines typically do not have subscribers or account holders. Also, the lack of a subscription relationship between search engines and alleged infringers seems to make search engines more likely than other types of service providers to remove content overzealously in response to notifications.”

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A Tale of Two Googles

Another (this is the third in two days) big NYT piece on Google, this one is from Saul Hansell, with great artwork (see left). Saul explores the debate between staying private and going public. And it had this tidbit, which I am embarassed to say I did not know: Google…

26GOOG.coverartxlAnother (this is the third in two days) big NYT piece on Google, this one is from Saul Hansell, with great artwork (see left). Saul explores the debate between staying private and going public. And it had this tidbit, which I am embarassed to say I did not know:

Google has hardly been lazy working to manage the timing of an eventual offering. Early on, it split itself into two companies, Google Inc. and Google Technologies, so that each would have fewer than 500 employees, according to a person who had been close to Google. That was important because the S.E.C. requires companies with 500 shareholders and assets greater than $10 million to file financial statements and most of the other information they would have to disclose in a public share offering.

Early in 2003, the two companies were merged, in effect setting the date of April 29, 2004, as the deadline for Google to make the required disclosure. (The law requires a public filing 120 days after the close of a company’s fiscal year, in this case April 29.)

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Biz Mag Round Up

Read a bit over the weekend. First, the B'week cover package timed for the IPO is entirely reconstituted pablum. You've read this piece before, don't bother. However, there is an interview with Page online, here, worth reviewing if you're into that kind of stuff. Best quotes: Q: Where is search…

Read a bit over the weekend. First, the B’week cover package timed for the IPO is entirely reconstituted pablum. You’ve read this piece before, don’t bother. However, there is an interview with Page online, here, worth reviewing if you’re into that kind of stuff. Best quotes:

Q: Where is search today on an evolutionary scale?
A: People have consistently underestimated the size and importance of search. It’s a very, very large space of technologies, usage, and information. We’ve gone from 30 million to over 3 billion documents in just a small number of years. There’s going to be a lot of commercial activity in this space, a lot of companies doing things that are going to be very valuable.

Q: Competitors want to build search that simultaneously queries an individual’s local computer, e-mail archives, as well as the Internet. Is that something Google aims to do?
A: Our mission is to organize the world’s information. Clearly, the more information we have when we do a search, the better it’s going to work. There are all sorts of details involved in different kinds of products, including privacy issues. I’d expect us over time to have access to more information.

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Google Sued in France: Trademarks

Good morning, Googlefolk: Your headache today (ain't it fun being big?) is that you're being sued by an *insurance company.* No, wait, that's not enough. A *French* insurance company, on trademark issues. Background here….

Good morning, Googlefolk: Your headache today (ain’t it fun being big?) is that you’re being sued by an *insurance company.* No, wait, that’s not enough. A *French* insurance company, on trademark issues. Background here.

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Markoff: Details on Google Filing; Rivlin: Who WIll Get Rich

Interesting: Markoff has a source (link is CC Times, not NYT, it's not reg required) who claims Google will not file an S-1 this week (the standard IPO prospectus) but rather will file … well…on that the story is not clear. But something. I believe the only thing they could…

IPOInteresting: Markoff has a source (link is CC Times, not NYT, it’s not reg required) who claims Google will not file an S-1 this week (the standard IPO prospectus) but rather will file … well…on that the story is not clear. But something. I believe the only thing they could file other than an S-1 is a Form 10, which private companies file when they surpass 500 shareholders and 10 million in assets. Markoff’s story does not say that will happen, but that’s the implication. There’s some good stuff in this short piece:

Google, the Web search company that has developed a huge popular following around the world, is expected to take a tentative first step next week toward a future public stock offering, a person close to the company said Friday. But it is likely to stop short of filing a formal registration to sell shares, he said……

At an employee meeting last month, the company’s executives stated that Google had embarked on the path toward a public offering. They did not give any information, however, about the possible timing of the effort.

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