Microsoft Gets the Once Over

In this SJMN piece. Is it just me, or is the line "don't underestimate Microsoft" starting to ring a bit hollow these days? From the piece: According to comScore Media Metrix, the total unique audience that visited Microsoft's U.S. Web sites in December 2006 was roughly 117 million, unchanged…

In this SJMN piece. Is it just me, or is the line “don’t underestimate Microsoft” starting to ring a bit hollow these days?

From the piece:

According to comScore Media Metrix, the total unique audience that visited Microsoft’s U.S. Web sites in December 2006 was roughly 117 million, unchanged from the previous year. Google is fast catching up, with its number of unique visitors up 21 percent to 113 million.

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Google! Terrorism! Iraq! It’s a Trifecta!

"Terror Rats Go Google" screams the NY Post. My God, they're using Google Earth to figure out where the British bases are! The Telegraph has the measured story. The images are clearly old, but then again, who knows if "coalition forces" have moved anything around in the past few…

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Terror Rats Go Google” screams the NY Post. My God, they’re using Google Earth to figure out where the British bases are!

The Telegraph has the measured story. The images are clearly old, but then again, who knows if “coalition forces” have moved anything around in the past few years. They might be totally accurate outlines of how things are in the British bases. It’s amazing to think that no one figured on Google Earth being used by terrorists, and at least asked Google to help out. I mean, that’s kind of what intelligence agencies are supposed to do, no?

A Google spokesman in the piece:

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Carbon Offsets

I've become interested in the whole carbon credit thing, and wonder if any of you are as well. My research shows a few sites which allow you to pay off your guilt for your globe-warming ways, but I wonder, are these sites for real? Do they matter to anyone…

I’ve become interested in the whole carbon credit thing, and wonder if any of you are as well. My research shows a few sites which allow you to pay off your guilt for your globe-warming ways, but I wonder, are these sites for real? Do they matter to anyone but the guilty conscience of the person who is paying them off? Is any one better than the others? Any readers out there use these services, and do you recommend them?

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Searchbmob Roundup

Google Tops Fortune's 2007 List of Best Companies to Work for, Yahoo and MS Also Makes List SearchEngineLand Analyzes Its Growth USC Collaborators Preserve the Digital Fingerprints of Ancient Scribes Why MyBlogLog.com Is the Worst Social Network in the World Google to Help Build Telescope…

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Google Tops Fortune’s 2007 List of Best Companies to Work for, Yahoo and MS Also Makes List



SearchEngineLand Analyzes Its Growth

USC Collaborators Preserve the Digital Fingerprints of Ancient Scribes

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Totally off topic, but….

Totally off topic, but…. So today I posted a couple of jobs over at FM, and I used LinkedIn's job listing service. I plan to use others, including some of the job boards at FM sites like GigaOm, TechCrunch, and the like, but I was on LinkedIn for other…

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Totally off topic, but….

So today I posted a couple of jobs over at FM, and I used LinkedIn’s job listing service. I plan to use others, including some of the job boards at FM sites like GigaOm, TechCrunch, and the like, but I was on LinkedIn for other reasons and decided to get it done there first.

One of the features I like best about LinkedIn’s job postings is the ability to send an email to your entire network about the job. Now, this can get a bit perilous – not everyone likes to get unsolicited emails. But on balance most folks seem OK with it, and I don’t mind getting them, so I sent all my colleagues the job announcement. Now, I am not in the business of actively building out a LinkedIn network, but over the years more than 400 folks have asked me to join their network, and I generally do.

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MediaShift on the Google Porn Bug

From Mark's column: One problem in the sex blog snafu is the nature of the blogs’ subject matter and the exploitation of sex searches online. Blogs like Tiny Nibbles and Dirty Pretty Things and ErosBlog try to give insight into human sexuality in a more artful way than the…

From Mark’s column:

One problem in the sex blog snafu is the nature of the blogs’ subject matter and the exploitation of sex searches online. Blogs like Tiny Nibbles and Dirty Pretty Things and ErosBlog try to give insight into human sexuality in a more artful way than the average glossy porn magazine. But so many unsavory characters are trawling the web trying to divert the huge amount of sex searches to their own businesses — even if the business has nothing to do with sex.

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For What It’s Worth

From time to time, I am jolted into re reading stuff that I practically memorized while writing the book. Here's one passage, an appendix to "The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine" – the original paper by Larry and Sergey introducing Google – that felt like it…

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From time to time, I am jolted into re reading stuff that I practically memorized while writing the book. Here’s one passage, an appendix to “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine” – the original paper by Larry and Sergey introducing Google – that felt like it was worth another look, in particular given the tempest over “tips” and ongoing pressures to monetize partnerships like AOL and YouTube, as well as the increasing creep in the number of ads we all see in Google results. I’ve bolded that which I find particularly worthy.

Appendix A: Advertising and Mixed Motives

Currently, the predominant business model for commercial search engines is advertising. The goals of the advertising business model do not always correspond to providing quality search to users. For example, in our prototype search engine one of the top results for cellular phone is “The Effect of Cellular Phone Use Upon Driver Attention”, a study which explains in great detail the distractions and risk associated with conversing on a cell phone while driving. This search result came up first because of its high importance as judged by the PageRank algorithm, an approximation of citation importance on the web [Page, 98]. It is clear that a search engine which was taking money for showing cellular phone ads would have difficulty justifying the page that our system returned to its paying advertisers. For this type of reason and historical experience with other media [Bagdikian 83], we expect that
advertising funded search engines will be inherently biased towards the advertisers and away from the needs of the consumers.



Since it is very difficult even for experts to evaluate search engines, search engine bias is particularly insidious. A good example was OpenText, which was reported to be selling companies the right to be listed at the top of the search results for particular queries [Marchiori 97]. This type of bias is much more insidious than advertising, because it is not clear who “deserves” to be there, and who is willing to pay money to be listed. This business model resulted in an uproar, and OpenText has ceased to be a viable search engine. But
less blatant bias are likely to be tolerated by the market. For example, a search engine could add a small factor to search results from “friendly” companies, and subtract a factor from results from competitors. This type of bias is very difficult to detect but could still have a significant effect on the market. Furthermore, advertising income often provides an incentive to provide poor quality search results. For example, we noticed a major search engine would not return a large airline’s homepage when the airline’s name was given as a query. It so happened that the airline had placed an expensive ad, linked to the query that was its name. A better search engine would not have required this ad, and possibly resulted in the loss of the revenue from the airline to the search engine. In general, it could be argued from the consumer point of view that the better the search engine is, the fewer advertisements will be needed for the consumer to find what they want. This of course erodes the advertising supported business model of the existing search engines. However, there will always be money from advertisers who want a customer to switch products, or have something that is genuinely new. But we believe the issue of advertising causes enough mixed incentives that it is crucial to have a competitive search engine that is transparent and in the academic realm.

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Searchmob Roundup

Google to Help Build Telescope Trends in Search Engines UIs 55 Percent of Online Teens Have Created Online Profiles Convergence: Saying Hello to USB/TV Updated Beta of Ojax, an Ajax Powered Open Source Federated Search Technology Now Available…

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Google to Help Build Telescope

Trends in Search Engines UIs

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Got a Startup? Launch It at The Web 2 Expo This April

Most of you know that I am a partner and Program Chair of the Web 2 Summit. That event has been oversold for three years now, and my partners O'Reilly and CMP have launched a second event targeted at a broader (and much larger) audience. As part of that…

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Most of you know that I am a partner and Program Chair of the Web 2 Summit. That event has been oversold for three years now, and my partners O’Reilly and CMP have launched a second event targeted at a broader (and much larger) audience. As part of that program they are replicating the Web 2 Launchpad that’s been part of the Summit these past two years. If you have a new company with a major product or company launch in the April timeframe, this is a great place to do it. More information is here. The deadline to apply is Feb 1….

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Net Neutrality an 2007 Issue

The Times reports on new legislation, emboldened by AT&T's recent concessions: Senior lawmakers, emboldened by the recent restrictions on AT&T and the change in control of Congress, have begun drafting legislation that would prevent high-speed Internet companies from charging content providers for priority access. The first significant so-called net…

The Times reports on new legislation, emboldened by AT&T’s recent concessions:

Senior lawmakers, emboldened by the recent restrictions on AT&T and the change in control of Congress, have begun drafting legislation that would prevent high-speed Internet companies from charging content providers for priority access.

The first significant so-called net neutrality legislation of the new Congressional session was introduced Tuesday by Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of South Dakota, and Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, one of the few Republicans in Congress to support such a measure.

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