P&G Digital Hack Night – Moving the Conversation

I could not make the event, but FM had two participants. Chas summed it up this way: "the format is like a reality TV show: A contest among groups of digital marketing experts, Apprentice-style, in an effort to tap social media tools to sell Tide t-shirts for charity." It…

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I could not make the event, but FM had two participants. Chas summed it up this way: “the format is like a reality TV show: A contest among groups of digital marketing experts, Apprentice-style, in an effort to tap social media tools to sell Tide t-shirts for charity.”

It was a fun night, from what I’ve heard, and $100,000 was raised for charity, which is really cool.

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Google Selling History as Behavior, But I Like The Controls

This is very interesting (from the NYT): Google will begin showing ads on Wednesday to people based on their previous online activities in a form of advertising known as behavioral targeting, which has been embraced by most of its competitors but has drawn criticism from privacy advocates and some…

This is very interesting (from the NYT):

Google will begin showing ads on Wednesday to people based on their previous online activities in a form of advertising known as behavioral targeting, which has been embraced by most of its competitors but has drawn criticism from privacy advocates and some members of Congress.

Perhaps to forestall objections to its approach, Google said it planned to offer new ways for users to protect their privacy. Most notably, Google will be the first major company to give users the ability to see and edit the information that it has compiled about their interests for the purposes of behavioral targeting.

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Can Google Find Its Voice?

This is going to be a very big deal. Or forgettable. I am not sure which. I had a conversation with a NYT reporter about this today. (Story here, but I was not quoted). It made me think. First off, this product was not launched by Eric, Sergey, or…

Googlevoice

This is going to be a very big deal. Or forgettable.

I am not sure which.

I had a conversation with a NYT reporter about this today. (Story here, but I was not quoted). It made me think. First off, this product was not launched by Eric, Sergey, or Larry. So who knows if this is a Big Deal Inside Google, or Pasta Against the Walls?

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Watch the Aardvark

Just off the phone with the folks behind Aardvark, a (relatively) new service that will most likely be the talk of SXSW this week. I'll have a longer riff on the company shortly, but suffice to say, I find it fascinating. The service rides between your social network(s), search,…

Avark

Just off the phone with the folks behind Aardvark, a (relatively) new service that will most likely be the talk of SXSW this week. I’ll have a longer riff on the company shortly, but suffice to say, I find it fascinating. The service rides between your social network(s), search, and the web, cleverly leveraging each to provide a platform for asking and answering the kinds of questions for which traditional search usually fails: the kinds of questions you ask a friend (or a friend of a friend, the real sweet spot here).

Many things make this company worth watching, its backers, its model, and its approach. Particularly noteworthy to Searchblog readers: a large group of the founders are from Google.

More soon.

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Another Conversational Economy Milestone

Found in this Wired piece on Comcast: Thanks to Famous Frank (here's Searchblog's interview), Comcast began thinking about going even further. The weekend that the company published its response to the FCC—outlining how it managed its network and how it planned to change—one of Roberts' lieutenants suggested something even…

Found in this Wired piece on Comcast:

Thanks to Famous Frank (here’s Searchblog’s interview), Comcast began thinking about going even further. The weekend that the company published its response to the FCC—outlining how it managed its network and how it planned to change—one of Roberts’ lieutenants suggested something even more radical: having ordinary company engineers go on message boards to answer questions. It was the kind of proposal that violated every tenet of the old cable code of business, and the matter could be settled only at an executive board meeting on the 52nd floor.

Roberts, sitting with his back to the window, listened to both sides. Then he declared it was time to be a bit more transparent. He finally got it. He was turning a page. “I think we should do this, but we all have to have thick skins,” he said. “People are going to vent. But that’s all right.”

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“Search Is A Pencil”

I will never forget that quote, from Alta Vista founder Louis Monier, as he bemoaned the devolution of his creation into Yet Another Portal. He was devoted to the idea that Alta Vista would do one thing – search – and do it well. But Alta Vista was instead…

pencil.jpg

I will never forget that quote, from Alta Vista founder Louis Monier, as he bemoaned the devolution of his creation into Yet Another Portal. He was devoted to the idea that Alta Vista would do one thing – search – and do it well. But Alta Vista was instead turned into a bawdy image of Yahoo, AOL, Lycos, Excite, and all the other portals of the late 90s.

And along came Google, which by 2000 had gained a reputation as the Best Search on the Web. And Yahoo, eager to appropriate all things Best on the Web, was more than happy to give Google what Netscape had given Yahoo in the mid 90s: a font row seat to Becoming the Next Big Thing.

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Pretty Please, Give Me A Web Time Axis

Tonight I've wanted to find out information detailing the backstory of how Google initially powered Yahoo search back in the early 2000s. I know, I know, it's in my book, at least, it's in the notes and interviews I did for the book, but damn, that was a long…

Tonight I’ve wanted to find out information detailing the backstory of how Google initially powered Yahoo search back in the early 2000s. I know, I know, it’s in my book, at least, it’s in the notes and interviews I did for the book, but damn, that was a long time ago. I am lazy, I want to simply ask Google. But I can’t date-range my search, dammit. If I could, I’d ask for results for “google powers yahoo search” from 2001-2004.” That would give me a treasure trove of early blog posts, Cnet articles, and the like, and I’d be off to the races. But instead, the damn time axis is polluted by whatever has been most popular in the past few months.

Give me a Web Time Axis, gosh dang it!

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Happy Happy

Mondays are not always easy. But today some news about my main work at FM makes me so happy I have to tell you all – Federated Media has been named "Publisher of the Year" by Ave A/Razorfish, along with Yahoo and the New York Times. I'm beaming!…

Mondays are not always easy. But today some news about my main work at FM makes me so happy I have to tell you all – Federated Media has been named “Publisher of the Year” by Ave A/Razorfish, along with Yahoo and the New York Times. I’m beaming!

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Pizza Joint Employs Conversational Jujitsu

This is priceless: (via Boing Boing) At San Francisco's Pizzeria Delfina, they know how to own their pain. Rather than wringing their hands over Internet sourpusses who give them one-star Yelp ratings, they've printed up tees with excerpts from the most scathing reviews ("This place sucks") and given them…

This is priceless: (via Boing Boing)

At San Francisco’s Pizzeria Delfina, they know how to own their pain. Rather than wringing their hands over Internet sourpusses who give them one-star Yelp ratings, they’ve printed up tees with excerpts from the most scathing reviews (“This place sucks”) and given them to the staff to wear.

I call this practice “conversational jujitsu” – take the negative force of complaints, embrace them, and use them to your advantage. Just wait until really large companies start to do this. Then we’ll see remarkable change in this economy.

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The Conversation Is Shifting

Search, and Google in particular, was the first true language of the Web. But I've often called it a toddler's language – intentional, but not fully voiced. This past few weeks folks are noticing an important trend – the share of traffic referred to their sites is shifting. Facebook…

Search, and Google in particular, was the first true language of the Web. But I’ve often called it a toddler’s language – intentional, but not fully voiced. This past few weeks folks are noticing an important trend – the share of traffic referred to their sites is shifting. Facebook (and for some, like this site, Twitter) is becoming a primary source of traffic.

Why? Well, two big reasons. One, Facebook has metastasized to a size that rivals Google. And two, Facebook Connect has come into its own. People are sharing what they are reading, where they are going, and what they are doing, and the amplification of all that social intention is spreading across the web.

This is all part of the shift from static to real time search. Social is the fundamental element of that shift. What are YOU doing? What is on YOUR mind? Who do YOU want to SHARE it with?

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