On Facebook, Comments, and Implications

Today was a good day. I got to meet with serious leaders of the Internet economy, think Big Thoughts, and push my understanding of the world a bit. In short, I spent the day with folks I'll be interviewing onstage at Web 2 next month, but also, with people who…

Today was a good day. I got to meet with serious leaders of the Internet economy, think Big Thoughts, and push my understanding of the world a bit. In short, I spent the day with folks I’ll be interviewing onstage at Web 2 next month, but also, with people who run companies that in one way or another are key partners and players in the ecosystem I love and in which my company (FM) works.

I started with a private meeting with a fellow who is taking time off from Google. Can’t say much more than that, but it was a great conversation. From there, I met with Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen. Now, I’ve got a lot more to say about Adobe, which recently purchased Omniture, but for now, trust me when I say, keep your eye on Adobe. Next, I met with Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz. And then, I met with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

I noted an anecdotal observation to Sheryl – that I would write something here, tweet a notification of my post on Twitter, and that notification would then update my Facebook status through an app.

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Why Are Conversations (With the Right Person) So Much Better Than Search?

Thanks to the BingTweets program, I've been asked to opine on search and decision engines. I'm kind of proud of my third and final post, which riffs on the first two and goes a bit, well, meta. I'd love to know what you guys think of it. I'll repost the…

hal.jpegThanks to the BingTweets program, I’ve been asked to opine on search and decision engines. I’m kind of proud of my third and final post, which riffs on the first two and goes a bit, well, meta. I’d love to know what you guys think of it. I’ll repost the first half here, and link back to the whole post on the original site that commissioned the work.  

Over the past two posts I’ve outlined my hopes and frustrations around search and decision making, using my desire to acquire a classic car as an example of both the opportunity and the limitations of web search as it stands today. As an astute commentator noted on my last post – “normally a 30 minute conversation is a whole lot better for any kind of complex question.”

Which leads me to my last post in this series. What is it about a conversation? Why can we, in 30 minutes or less, boil down what otherwise might be a multi-day quest into an answer that addresses nearly all our concerns? And what might that process teach us about what the Web lacks today and might bring us tomorrow?

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Web 2: Help Me Interview Carol Bartz

What more can be said about Carol Bartz? Her appearance at the helm of Yahoo has certainly energized the company and given both its supporters and detractors plenty to talk about. But beyond the colorful language and straight shooting demeanor lies one of the most challenging turnarounds in Internet history…

web 2 09.png_@user_60981.jpgWhat more can be said about Carol Bartz? Her appearance at the helm of Yahoo has certainly energized the company and given both its supporters and detractors plenty to talk about. But beyond the colorful language and straight shooting demeanor lies one of the most challenging turnarounds in Internet history (at least from this observer’s point of view).
Last year I interviewed Jerry Yang, and by most reports, it didn’t go so well. Well, let me put that another way – it was great to watch (and to be part of), but many said that interview was pretty much proof that Jerry needed to find someone else to run Yahoo. Which is why I am both impressed and a bit trepidatious that Bartz agreed to sit for an interview – will she think I’m trying to drive her to the brink of quitting?! Well, the answer there is no, but I will want to ask her the hard questions. And that’s where you come in.
What do you want to hear from Carol Bartz, CEO of Yahoo?
Others we’ll be interviewing (and I’ve asked for your help):

Evan Williams

Brian Roberts

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Web 2: Help Me Interview Jeff Immelt

Jeff Immelt is the CEO of GE, one of the largest enterprises in the history of the world. Let that sink in for a moment, it's not a trivial concept. One of the largest enterprises ever devised by mankind – General Electric. The Microsoft, nay, the Google of the 20th…

Jeff Immelt is the CEO of GE, one of the largest enterprises in the history of the world. Let that sink in for a moment, it’s not a trivial concept. One of the largest enterprises ever devised by mankind – General Electric. The Microsoft, nay, the Google of the 20th century, and not content with that success, Immelt and his team of hundreds of thousands of employees is bending toward the task of once again redefining the nearly 150-year-old company.

Witness this speech, recently delivered to the The Detroit Economic Club (Immelt was announcing a new R&D initiative in Detroit that will bring 1100 new jobs to the devastated Detroit economy). In it, Immelt does not pull punches. From the text:

I am proud to work at GE, a great American company since the 1800s. Since I joined the company in 1982, GE has earned $230 billion – more than any enterprise in the world. We have paid $130 billion in dividends to our investors – again, more than any company in any country. Today, we have over 300,000 global employees with about half here in the United States.

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Here We Go: Another Round of Us v. Them, Courtesy Them

Twitter is a fad! Google isn't American! We're in charge! Thank God there's Tyler Bruhle! Please….

Twitter is a fad! Google isn’t American! We’re in charge! Thank God there’s Tyler Bruhle!

Please.

3 Comments on Here We Go: Another Round of Us v. Them, Courtesy Them

Google Google Google

A spate of Google books coming out, including one from Ken Auletta and one already out from Jeff Jarvis, and another from Richard Brandt. Ken's book has dangling, draw-you-in quote, as usual: Apparently Eric Schmidt told him that Google will be the world's first $100billion media company. MEDIA company, mind…

41B7NrA03OL._SL500_AA240_.jpgA spate of Google books coming out, including one from Ken Auletta and one already out from Jeff Jarvis, and another from Richard Brandt. Ken’s book has dangling, draw-you-in quote, as usual: Apparently Eric Schmidt told him that Google will be the world’s first $100billion media company. MEDIA company, mind you. MEDIA.

Oh, never mind.

12 Comments on Google Google Google

Help Me Interview Evan Williams, CEO Twitter

Thanks to those of you who chimed in, via email, Twitter, Facebook, and comments, on our first interview at Web 2 next month with Brian Roberts.    Next up on day one is Evan Williams, CEO of Twitter. I’ve had the pleasure before (at FM’s CM Summit), and posted…

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Thanks to those of you who chimed in, via email, Twitter, Facebook, and comments, on our first interview at Web 2 next month with Brian Roberts.   

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SideWiki and Google’s Community Dilemma

Today comes news that Google is offering a universal commenting feature that allows anyone using Google's toolbar to leave a comment on any page they visit. Called Sidewiki, the service is intended to "increase engagement on the page" for publishers. But as much as I love the idea of SideWiki,…

sidewiki.pngToday comes news that Google is offering a universal commenting feature that allows anyone using Google’s toolbar to leave a comment on any page they visit. Called Sidewiki, the service is intended to “increase engagement on the page” for publishers. But as much as I love the idea of SideWiki, I’m skeptical of it for one simple reason: Google isn’t in the community business, and SideWiki, if it’s going to work, needs to either A/be driven by communities or B/Needs to be embraced as a standard by publishers, who are the proxy for communities.  

Now, Google is an advertising services business, and one could argue that it’s in the business of publishing as well (YouTube, Blogger, Knol). However, the company is not that great at leading community. I’ve covered this before (Google Maps and Wikipedia, the lack of Google News comments, the failure of Google Video vs. YouTube (and hence, YT takes off, gets bought by Google…), so I won’t repeat myself. Suffice to say, I think SideWiki will suffer from the same fate as Google’s previous efforts requiring community input: Google is not seen as a explicit community platform.

I sort of wish Yahoo would do stuff like this. This is the kind of product Yahoo could really win with.

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Briefly Noted

Tim A. – who I will interview at Web 2 next month – says the future of AOL is in content. This is a drum he's been beating for some time, and I still find it intriguing that the man responsible for advertising at Google, a famously technology-driven company, is…

Tim A. – who I will interview at Web 2 next month – says the future of AOL is in content. This is a drum he’s been beating for some time, and I still find it intriguing that the man responsible for advertising at Google, a famously technology-driven company, is now a content nut.

The Chair of the FCC has reawakened the net neutrality debate and Comcast and Larry Lessig have already weighed in. Guess who loves it, and who is not so thrilled? Larry came last year, Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast, is coming to Web 2 this year.

WPP Chief Sorrell says he cannot keep pace with the decline in ad revenues. By keeping pace, he means firing enough staff.

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Modest Share Gains for Bing Continue

Comscore's monthly ratings are out and Bing continues a slow but steady gain in share, to the slight expense of Google and Yahoo. Bing has a massive marketing push on right now, but also, I think the service is starting to gain footholds with users who see it as a…

Comscore’s monthly ratings are out and Bing continues a slow but steady gain in share, to the slight expense of Google and Yahoo. Bing has a massive marketing push on right now, but also, I think the service is starting to gain footholds with users who see it as a regular alternative to Google. I am also a fan of the recently unveiled visual search interface – I think it augurs some serious new – and useful – approaches to sifting through massive amounts of related data.

From the Thomas Weisel’s analyst coverage, sent to me in mail:

Google maintains dominance within “core search” but Bing Nudges Up m/m at Yahoo’s and Google’s Expense: Core search excludes searches conducted on video, local and map portions of the companies’ websites. Google’s U.S. query share of core search queries was down 11bps m/m to 64.6% in August but increased nearly 1.3 percentage points from August 2008. Yahoo’s share was flat m/m at 19.3% in August and decreased 39bps y/y. Microsoft’s share increased 35bps m/m to 9.3% in August and up 89bps y/y. Ask.com’s share were was flat m/m at 3.9% in August but decreased 45bps y/y. AOL’s share decreased 14bps m/m to 3.0% in August and decreased 133bps y/y.

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