Tuesday Signal

Bare bones today. Links I found interesting: Ad Network Exec: Mobile Content Still Driving Display Ads 2009 US Digital Year in Review: ComScore Google Gets The Facebook Treatment: Privacy Group Files FTC Complaint Over Buzz MTV Networks Taps Quantcast To Power Ad Targeting Efforts Nearly 75 Million People Visited Twitter’s…

Bare bones today. Links I found interesting:

Ad Network Exec: Mobile Content Still Driving Display Ads

2009 US Digital Year in Review: ComScore

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Monday Signal: The Vacation Edition

I am with my family this week, as it's the kids' winter break. So posts will be light, and Signals may be weak. Here's a roundup of the long weekend's news, which was dominated by Google's continued tweaks to Buzz, and ongoing analysis of samesaid social app: Google Names Facebook,…

Screen shot 2010-02-15 at 8.34.12 PM.pngI am with my family this week, as it’s the kids’ winter break. So posts will be light, and Signals may be weak. Here’s a roundup of the long weekend’s news, which was dominated by Google’s continued tweaks to Buzz, and ongoing analysis of samesaid social app:

Google Names Facebook, Twitter as Rivals (Dow Jones via IWantMedia) Clearly anticipating social search and the power of social on its business model, as well as the launch of Buzz, Google in its 2009 annual report finally acknowledges what we all have known for some time.

Google Buzz Has Completely Changed the Game: Here’s How (Mashable) A positive take on the service. I’ll call Buzz a success when I feel compelled to use Gmail so as to use Buzz. I don’t think that is going to happen, though, as most likely, Buzz will open up and become part of the larger Facebook and Twitter ecosystem through third party apps (one hopes).

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Friday Signal: What Marketers Want from Twitter Metrics

Among other things, we discussed how Twitter might crack the code around explaining its user base, how its users use the service, and how it's growing (or the recently very hot – and to my mind misunderstood – topic of *if* it's growing, which he assured me it is). While I don't have any news to report on Twitter's stats, Dick shook his head emphatically when I asked him if the recent Royal Pingdom post about growth in overall tweets was directionally correct.

Screen shot 2010-02-12 at 1.03.15 PM.pngYesterday I stopped by Twitter HQ to see Dick Costolo. Dick recently moved to Marin (my home turf) and took Twitter’s COO job. I’d say that taking such a job means Dick’s hair is constantly on fire, but if you know Dick, you know that’s really not an issue. (He’s level headed, he’s a pro, and, well….let’s just say he doesn’t wear his hair long).  

Among other things (FM has partnered with Twitter in the past, and will continue to do so), we discussed how Twitter might crack the code around explaining its user base, how those users engage with the service, and how the service is growing – especially given the recently hot (and to my mind not well understood) topic of *if* it’s growing. Dick assured me it is – echoing a recent tweet from founder Evan Williams.

Much has been written around the topic of Twitter’s growth, but the shorthand is this: You can’t rely on Comscore or web-based measurement services like Compete or Quantcast, because they do not measure the entire Twitter ecosystem, which is distributed in nature. For example, these services do not measure use of Twitter’s API, which accounts for more than half of the service’s traffic (through apps like TweetDeck, Twitteriffic, Exectweets or Stocktwits, for example). They also don’t measure mobile usage, and some don’t measure international traffic, which Costolo said in some countries is growing “straight up” – quite like it did in the US early last year.

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Google Buys Human-driven Search Engine Aardvark: Will It Make It to the Main SERPS?

The news broke today that Google will be buying Aardvark, a human (and algorithm) powered social search engine that I have written about quite a bit (early last year, most recently, all). I've also featured the service's founders at both Web2 and the CM Summit.) I've confirmed the news in…

Screen shot 2010-02-11 at 11.44.03 AM.pngThe news broke today that Google will be buying Aardvark, a human (and algorithm) powered social search engine that I have written about quite a bit (early last year, most recently, all). I’ve also featured the service’s founders at both Web2 and the CM Summit.)

I’ve confirmed the news in an email with CEO Max Ventilla.

I can’t say I’m surprised by this news. Aardvark’s founders and advisers have strong ties with Google (Ventilla worked there, and a key adviser was at Kaltix, which was purchased by Google).

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The Thursday Signal: Is Google Losing Its Customer Focus?

I’m a bit reticent to jump into this, as I’m not sure you all care that much, but I’ve got a decent reason for writing about Buzz (yesterday’s piece) again today.   First, I’ve seen a piece (Calacanis) proclaiming Buzz the second (third? fifth?) coming of social. Facebook will “lost…

Screen shot 2010-02-11 at 8.43.07 AM.png

I’m a bit reticent to jump into this, as I’m not sure you all care that much, but I’ve got a decent reason for writing about Buzz (yesterday’s piece) again today.  

First, I’ve seen a piece (Calacanis) proclaiming Buzz the second (third? fifth?) coming of social. Facebook will “lost half its value” due to Buzz’s arrival, Jason opines. I think this is silly. Then again, I seem to think a lot of things are silly. Pretty soon, I’ll be chasing kids off my front lawn, the way I’m going. And I’ve not used Buzz, nor will I, as I’m not a Gmail user nor do I plan on becoming one. So don’t listen to me if you are a Gmail addict who wants to recreate your entire social experience in that medium. Go nuts. I’m all for more options.

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Another Ocean to Boil: Google May Take On ISPs

Whoa cowboy, yet another massive industry Google will try to reinvent? Apparently. From a blog post announcing the initiative: We're planning to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the United States. We'll deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than…

Whoa cowboy, yet another massive industry Google will try to reinvent? Apparently.

From a blog post announcing the initiative:

We’re planning to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the United States. We’ll deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections. We plan to offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.

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Weds. Signal: What’s The Buzz, Google?

So Google went and did it – it integrated a whole mess of social and local features into Gmail, wrapping the whole thing into a product burrito it calls Buzz (Yahoo has got to be fuming, if it has any more fumes left, that is).   The first-day response is somewhat…

Screen shot 2010-02-09 at 11.11.37 AM.pngSo Google went and did it – it integrated a whole mess of social and local features into Gmail, wrapping the whole thing into a product burrito it calls Buzz (Yahoo has got to be fuming, if it has any more fumes left, that is).  

The first-day response is somewhat positive – mainly due to the huge installed base that Gmail brings to the party.

Screen shot 2010-02-09 at 11.12.01 AM.png

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The Tuesday Signal

Tuesday, we hope, things will get back to normal after Super Bowl fever had subsided. Google is set to turn Gmail into a status updatin' machine, which positions it to compete directly with Twitter. I'll be posting this Signal an hour or so before the details emerge. I have…

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Tuesday, we hope, things will get back to normal after Super Bowl fever had subsided. Google is set to turn Gmail into a status updatin’ machine, which positions it to compete directly with Twitter. I’ll be posting this Signal an hour or so before the details emerge. I have an FM Board meeting this morning, (don’t fear, it’s all good…). So click this link for news of Google’s Gmail moves.  

Meanwhile, the past 24 hours has brought, as usual, all manner of linkworthy schtuff:

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A Google Twitter Killer? Not Till Google Mutates

That’s the rumor (BI via WSJ). The idea is to let Gmail become your portal into status update.   It won’t work, period, unless it connects to Facebook and Twitter. And so far, as I’ve pointed out before, Google won’t do that, at least, not yet, and and certainly not in…

Screen shot 2010-02-08 at 11.52.49 AM.pngThat’s the rumor (BI via WSJ). The idea is to let Gmail become your portal into status update.  

It won’t work, period, unless it connects to Facebook and Twitter. And so far, as I’ve pointed out before, Google won’t do that, at least, not yet, and and certainly not in the way it should be done.

Google is simply not understood by consumers to be a place where they can connect with friends and colleagues. If it intends to become that, it has some DNA mutation in its future.

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The Monday Signal: Monday Morn. Advertising Quarterback

Was it really as simple as that? Google CEO Eric Schmidt took to the blogwaves after the Super Bowl yesterday to explain Google's surprising decision to purchase an ad thusly: We didn't set out to do a Super Bowl ad, or even a TV ad for search. Our goal was…

Was it really as simple as that? Google CEO Eric Schmidt took to the blogwaves after the Super Bowl yesterday to explain Google’s surprising decision to purchase an ad thusly:

We didn’t set out to do a Super Bowl ad, or even a TV ad for search. Our goal was simply to create a series of short online videos about our products and our users, and how they interact. But we liked this video so much, and it’s had such a positive reaction on YouTube, that we decided to share it with a wider audience.

If there’s one thing Google’s consistent about, it’s the company’s approach to PR: it always sounds reasonable and intellectually defensible, but it’s never really the whole story. Google didn’t set out to run a Super Bowl ad, that’s for sure. But somewhere in the last five or so years, it became the kind of company that would. And that’s the point. I mean….is Eric serious when he implies somehow he needs television to find a “wider audience.” I mean, seriously?!

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