Microsoft Goes After Click Fraudsters

It's been a while since I've seen click fraud in the news, but this Times story caught my eye, in particular because it was Microsoft. Google usually gets all the headlines around this issue, but it's interesting to see Microsoft leading the charge in this arena. The story is worth…

It’s been a while since I’ve seen click fraud in the news, but this Times story caught my eye, in particular because it was Microsoft. Google usually gets all the headlines around this issue, but it’s interesting to see Microsoft leading the charge in this arena. The story is worth reading, it sheds some light on the darker underpinnings of the search economy. From it:

Microsoft’s theory is that Mr. Lam was running or working for low-ranking sites that took potential client information for auto insurers. The complaint said that he directed traffic to competitors’ Web sites so they would pay for those clicks and exhaust their advertising budgets quickly, which let the lower-ranking sites that he sponsored move up in the paid-search results.

When people clicked through to his site, it asked them to supply contact information, which he then resold to auto insurance companies, according to Microsoft’s complaint, which estimated his profit at $250,000. In the complaint, it also said it had to credit back $1.5 million to advertisers because of the Lams’ alleged fake clicks. Microsoft is seeking $750,000 in damages from the defendants.

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Mashable on a Tear

I'm finding Mashable, an FM site, on a tear lately. These headlines over the past two days caught my attention: Google vs. Bing Battle Heating Up: Is Google Scared? Google to Launch a Twitter Search Engine? Social Media Goo: Cadbury Campaign Going Viral Apparently I am not alone in noticing…

I’m finding Mashable, an FM site, on a tear lately. These headlines over the past two days caught my attention:

Google vs. Bing Battle Heating Up: Is Google Scared?

Google to Launch a Twitter Search Engine?

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Facebook’s Namespace Land Grab? Or Maybe…It’s Just Useful

Much buzz over the past few days about Facebook's plans to let folks (and, ahem, brands) claim their namespaces on Facebook. IE, Starting this weekend, I should be able to claim www.facebook.com/johnbattelle, just like I already "own" www.twitter.com/johnbattelle (sort of). Anil Dash has a very funny send up of all…

Much buzz over the past few days about Facebook’s plans to let folks (and, ahem, brands) claim their namespaces on Facebook. IE, Starting this weekend, I should be able to claim www.facebook.com/johnbattelle, just like I already “own” www.twitter.com/johnbattelle (sort of).

Anil Dash has a very funny send up of all this in a future forward timeline satire here. His point is – why is everyone falling all over themeselves to get their vanity URL on Facebook – or Twitter, or anywhere else for that matter – when the web is an open place and anyone can get their own URL, after all.

Well, yes and no. I’ve been complaining about Facebook’s terrible link structure for a long time. We all spend time there, and create and share value there, but up till this weekend, it’s been very difficult to point folks to places *inside* Facebook from places *outside* Facebook. The future of the web is ecosystemic – it’s not about being in one place – this blog, that Twitter feed, or that Facebook page, it’s about the ability to be anywhere, depending on the context and the moment. Sewing it all together is critical, and this move should make Facebook that much easier to incorporate into an ongoing, web wide conversation. I hope.

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Everybody Dance

This video, of a lone guy starting a flash dance mob at a festival, is bouncing all over the web this week. I love it. Then I wondered, is this really spontaneous? It's too perfect! But it's really compelling either way. It plays on how we humans are wired. One…

This video, of a lone guy starting a flash dance mob at a festival, is bouncing all over the web this week. I love it. Then I wondered, is this really spontaneous? It’s too perfect! But it’s really compelling either way. It plays on how we humans are wired. One guy alone dancing alone is weird. But when the tipping point happens, everyone wants to join. I wonder what happened when the music stopped.

Of course, I love that fact it’s one of my new favorite artists who is playing, Santigold’s Unstoppable.

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Twitter Bumps Ceiling

It had to happen, and it has. Twitter’s unbelievable growth numbers have flatlined, or even gone down, if you look at Quantcast (the site is not Quantified).   This was predictable, given all the media hype and new folks, and the very real newbie problem I outlined in this post last…

quantcast twitter june.pngIt had to happen, and it has. Twitter’s unbelievable growth numbers have flatlined, or even gone down, if you look at Quantcast (the site is not Quantified).  

This was predictable, given all the media hype and new folks, and the very real newbie problem I outlined in this post last month.

I predict Twitter will address this issue, and growth will resume, but at a more moderate and sustainable pace. But this is a very clear sign that Twitter, which made the cover of Time magazine last week, is on the other, less happy side of a traditional hype cycle.

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English’s Millionth Word: Web 2.0

For the past few days I've been focused on a final draft of an essay, co-authored with Tim O'Reilly, focusing on the theme of this year's Web 2.0 Summit. It's rewarding work, reminiscent of the early days of Wired, when I'd regularly edit or write long form pieces focusing on…

web2.pngFor the past few days I’ve been focused on a final draft of an essay, co-authored with Tim O’Reilly, focusing on the theme of this year’s Web 2.0 Summit. It’s rewarding work, reminiscent of the early days of Wired, when I’d regularly edit or write long form pieces focusing on big ideas and the future, but grounded in real world examples from today.  

But writing and editing this kind of stuff is also challenging work, and I often procrastinate, as I am right now, by writing a blog post or skimming the web for interesting tidbits. And boy, did I find a funny one today. According to CNN, the term “Web 2.0” is not only now an “official word” in the English language, it’s also the millionth one, of all things. (This according to the Global Language Monitor, a website that uses algorithms to determine when words enter the language.)

Too funny!

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DOJ Headaches for Google continue

Just for the record, noting this article from the NYT on Google's continued skirmishes with the DOJ, this time on the book settlement front….

Just for the record, noting this article from the NYT on Google’s continued skirmishes with the DOJ, this time on the book settlement front.

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But It’s Not Google

Seth has a funny interpretation of what "Bing" stands for: But It's Not Google. This is a week old post, but I was just catching up on my reading. The rest of his post, however, strikes me as not quite right. In it he says: The problem, as far as…

Seth has a funny interpretation of what “Bing” stands for: But It’s Not Google. This is a week old post, but I was just catching up on my reading. The rest of his post, however, strikes me as not quite right. In it he says:

The problem, as far as I can tell, is that it is trying to be the next Google. And the challenge for Microsoft is that there already is a next Google. It’s called Google.

I actually don’t think Microsoft is trying to out-Google Google with Bing. I think it’s trying to build a different kind of search application, one that sits on top of commodity search and helps people make decisions in a new way. Done right, this totally breaks the AdWords model that has driven search so far. To me, that is a very big step in a new direction, and one that Google cannot afford to make.

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Blind Search Site – Bing, Yahoo, Or Google?

Quite the kerfuffle brewing over this site, built by a Microsoft employee, given folks the chance to blind taste test Bing, Google, and Yahoo. Bing was doing well early, but that might be due to the fact a lot of Microsoft folks took the test first. In any case, SAI…

blind test.pngQuite the kerfuffle brewing over this site, built by a Microsoft employee, given folks the chance to blind taste test Bing, Google, and Yahoo. Bing was doing well early, but that might be due to the fact a lot of Microsoft folks took the test first. In any case, SAI has a good write up of the whole affair...  

My issue with this is that it’s just about ten blue links. Bing in fact is about an application, including a good UI, on top of the base of ten blue links.

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The Original Industry Standard

Eleven years ago or so a small team of us created a prototype issue of what became the Industry Standard newsweekly magazine. Matt McAlister, an original team member, is posting images of the prototype on flickr. It’s not all there yet, but here’s a great start!   …

TIS protopage.jpgEleven years ago or so a small team of us created a prototype issue of what became the Industry Standard newsweekly magazine. Matt McAlister, an original team member, is posting images of the prototype on flickr. It’s not all there yet, but here’s a great start!   

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