Signal From Noise

Media and Marketing stories that interest me today: Kindle Will Get App Store (NYT) – I've been on about this for a while now, and finally, it seems Amazon is getting a clue. I'm guessing the impending launch of the iTablet, which certainly will have an app store (like the…

Media and Marketing stories that interest me today:

Kindle Will Get App Store (NYT) – I’ve been on about this for a while now, and finally, it seems Amazon is getting a clue. I’m guessing the impending launch of the iTablet, which certainly will have an app store (like the iPhone does), is pushing Amazon to open its doors to developers. About time. For marketers, this ideally will become a new channel into which you can extend your app-based platform ecosystem, assuming you do it in a way that adds value.

A Twitter Tracker for Jersey Shore (clickz) – What, Battelle likes Jersey Shore? Not really (though I have watched, astounded on so many levels). What I think is worth pointing out is the concept of Twitter tracking in general. Curating and adding value to conversations around brands is a skill all marketers must have going forward. Witness the first (and one of the best, I’ll submit humbly), Exectweets, and one of FM’s latest, Amex Open’s Pulse.

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Google, The Software Brand

One of my predictions this year (#2) focused on Google becoming a software brand. To my mind, every interaction with a brand strengthens a consumer's understanding of what the brand means. And with that in mind, this dialog box, which has been popping up every so often on my desktop,…

One of my predictions this year (#2) focused on Google becoming a software brand. To my mind, every interaction with a brand strengthens a consumer’s understanding of what the brand means. And with that in mind, this dialog box, which has been popping up every so often on my desktop, certainly screams “Google is a software brand” to me.

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In the past, just two other companies have had this kind of a relationship with me: Apple and Microsoft. Whenever those dialogs pop up on my desktop, they’re reminding me “Apple and Microsoft are software brands”. Add Google to the list – and scratch “search, and only search” from its list of brand attributes.

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The Evolving Search Interface: Mobile Drives Search As App

I've said before that search interfaces, stuck in the command line interface of DOS, will at some point evolve into applications on top of a commodity search index. I further opined that Bing, in particular Bing's limited but compelling visual search, was just such an example: search as an…

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I’ve said before that search interfaces, stuck in the command line interface of DOS, will at some point evolve into applications on top of a commodity search index. I further opined that Bing, in particular Bing’s limited but compelling visual search, was just such an example: search as an interactive, rich application, as opposed to search as a list of results.  

The commodity of search results is critical, but as we shift our usage to the mobile web, the use case for a list of results weakens. Instead, as this Bizweek article points out, we’re using apps. On their face, these apps don’t seem like search at all. Except they are.

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An Apple Search Engine?

….driven by the need to kick Google off the iPhone? An interesting idea. Worth thinking about…. From a Businessweek article: Some analysts believe the Apple-Google battle is likely to get much rougher in the months ahead. Ovum's Yarmis thinks Apple may soon decide to dump Google as the default search…

….driven by the need to kick Google off the iPhone? An interesting idea. Worth thinking about….

From a Businessweek article:

Some analysts believe the Apple-Google battle is likely to get much rougher in the months ahead. Ovum’s Yarmis thinks Apple may soon decide to dump Google as the default search engine on its devices, primarily to cut Google off from mobile data that could be used to improve its advertising and Android technology. Jobs might cut a deal with—gasp!—Microsoft to make Bing Apple’s engine of choice, or even launch its own search engine, Yarmis says. “I fully expect [Apple] to do something in search,” he adds. “If there’s all these advertising dollars to be won, why would it want Google on its iPhones?”

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The China Story

It's my sincere hope that this blows up, not over. With reports coming in that the Chinese government was most certainly behind the attack on Google and 20 other companies (and has done this before), and that the White House is now supporting Google's position, it's about time that we…

It’s my sincere hope that this blows up, not over. With reports coming in that the Chinese government was most certainly behind the attack on Google and 20 other companies (and has done this before), and that the White House is now supporting Google’s position, it’s about time that we call a spade a spade here. What China is doing is wrong, regardless of how much debt of ours they hold. Looking the other way in the name of pure profit is a practice whose time should end.

Update: Cato has an interesting take on how the Chinese hackers got in: by leveraging infrastructure Google put in place to help the US Government do wiretaps. Thanks to reader Brandon Byers for this.

Another update: Xian Qiang, who I taught with at Berkeley and launched China Digital Times earlier this decade, has a take here.

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Oh, the Humanity: The Database of Intentions At Twitter Is Empty (After Two Weeks)

I was stunned to learn, via Danny, that our collective tweets seem lost to eternity (or at least, to search). While the data exists, tweets can't be found via search, which means they can't be found via the search API, which means…well, they can't be found. I hope this situation…

I was stunned to learn, via Danny, that our collective tweets seem lost to eternity (or at least, to search). While the data exists, tweets can’t be found via search, which means they can’t be found via the search API, which means…well, they can’t be found. I hope this situation is rectified, if only for history’s sake.

(Danny notes that they can be found using Google or Bing, at least for now. That’s a relief. But it does not bode well for Twitter’s ability to scale.)

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Google’s Tortured History With China

Google yesterday surprised Wall St. and its partners with the announcement that it may pull out of China (most expect it will, given the politics of making such a statement, the move is most likely assured). Google said that "hackers" had leveraged its infrastructure to target Chinese dissidents. To my…

china-flag-wave.jpgGoogle yesterday surprised Wall St. and its partners with the announcement that it may pull out of China (most expect it will, given the politics of making such a statement, the move is most likely assured). Google said that “hackers” had leveraged its infrastructure to target Chinese dissidents. To my mind, that means Google has discovered that China’s government is using Google’s networks and data, and Google realized that can’t stand, for any number of reasons. (Including that US and European based activists were targeted – via phishing and other similar types of scams).  

Google further noted that at least 20 other companies were also being targeted, and it has been in contact with those companies as well.  

What’s interesting and consistent to me is that Google has been here before – at the same time that Google was entering China (Jan. of 2006), the US Dept. of Justice demanded data from Google as part of a child porn fishing excercise, and Google refused to comply, and then went public, in essence becoming a leader in data rights by forcing the government’s hand.

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Google’s Next Mountain to Climb: Customer Support

Google has never had a great reputation for customer support – back in the "hair on fire" days of 2003-2006 the lack of a human response to search engine marketers' questions was a huge complaint. Now the company is going direct to consumers with a major phone launch. As…

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Google has never had a great reputation for customer support – back in the “hair on fire” days of 2003-2006 the lack of a human response to search engine marketers’ questions was a huge complaint.

Now the company is going direct to consumers with a major phone launch. As I wrote about a year ago (about Google Voice):

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Fred Dictates a Blog Post

And while it ain't pretty, it's pretty important. Recall my prediction way back ten days ago about a new interface? Here's the glimmerings……

And while it ain’t pretty, it’s pretty important. Recall my prediction way back ten days ago about a new interface? Here’s the glimmerings…

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