Experiment to Freak Out Expedia and Hotels.com

Today Google Labs posted news that it was playing around with showing hotel prices on Google Maps. From the post: Google Maps is often one of the first stops travelers make to find and compare hotels. Today we started experimenting with a new feature, visible to a small portion…

Screen shot 2010-03-23 at 8.02.54 AM.png

Today Google Labs posted news that it was playing around with showing hotel prices on Google Maps. From the post:

Google Maps is often one of the first stops travelers make to find and compare hotels. Today we started experimenting with a new feature, visible to a small portion of users, to help make that process even easier by showing specific prices for selected hotel listings.

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Tuesday Signal: Answer the Open Phone, Microsoft!

From my rant over at the FM Blog: Now Microsoft is pushing to become a third major player. And to my mind, the company has a choice to make. No one – not even folks at Microsoft – will dispute the fact that Windows Phone 7, due out in the…

From my rant over at the FM Blog:

Now Microsoft is pushing to become a third major player. And to my mind, the company has a choice to make. No one – not even folks at Microsoft – will dispute the fact that Windows Phone 7, due out in the Fall, is a reboot of sorts, and a clear attempt at creating the kind of platform that Android and iPhone already enjoy. While the system is not yet out, the early buzz is good, but Microsoft stands at a crossroads. In essence, the choice comes down to this: Will Microsoft ape Apple’s approach, or will it take the path of Google?

I fervently hope it will do the second.

Why? Well, we’ve seen this movie before, haven’t we? It didn’t end well for Apple, in terms of market share, when it took a vertically integrated, precious approach to operating systems back in 1984. After Apple changed the computing market with the Mac, Microsoft took the best ideas in Apple’s OS, integrated them into Windows, opened it up for any hardware maker to use, and the rest is history. Apple sued Microsoft, but to no avail. (HTC, anyone?!)

Right now, Google is taking the same approach in phones – Microsoft’s approach! So imagine this observer’s dismay when early news leaked out that instead of out Microsofting Google, Microsoft instead was parroting Apple in its approach to the Windows Phone application store. As far as I can tell, Windows Phone 7 won’t support Flash, either– though the company is promising to fix that later….


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The 2010 Web2 Summit Theme: Points of Control

Each year at the Web 2 Summit, Tim and I try to focus our program on an overarching theme that we believe best sums up the year ahead. This is never easy to do – the event is still eight months away. But this year I feel better than I…

web22010.pngEach year at the Web 2 Summit, Tim and I try to focus our program on an overarching theme that we believe best sums up the year ahead. This is never easy to do – the event is still eight months away. But this year I feel better than I ever have about our focus, because it’s a return to our roots, as it were.

If you know my work, you know I’m fascinated by the interplay between the entrepreneurial culture of our industry and the giants who have emerged from within it – Google, Facebook, Microsoft, to name a few – as well as those who have joined it from other industries – Comcast, GE, and Newscorp come to mind.

For 2010, Web 2 will focus on the chess game in which all of these companies are now engaged, a battle to gain the upper hand in crucial “points of control” across the Internet Economy. The idea sprang from Tim’s “War for the Web” post last Fall, but we’re taking that riff and broadening it, identifying chokepoints on an increasingly crowded chessboard.    

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Microsoft Got Hand(s)

From my Friday Signal over at FM's blog: ….It’s a very big year for Microsoft, in terms of the initiatives the company is launching, in particular in the consumer space (its business/commercial space is already cranking out tons of products, but the company’s focus on consumer products has hit a…

msft logo.pngFrom my Friday Signal over at FM’s blog:

….It’s a very big year for Microsoft, in terms of the initiatives the company is launching, in particular in the consumer space (its business/commercial space is already cranking out tons of products, but the company’s focus on consumer products has hit a tipping point). Natal, Bing (updated version is coming soon), Windows Phone 7, Office 2010, the company’s cloud initiative (which has sigificant consumer angles)…it’s quite a lot.  

Recall three of the major trends that I predicted for 2010: One, that someone will create an open gaming platform; two, that Microsoft will take second place in search share (from Yahoo); and three, that we’ll see a major advance in the user interface of the web.

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Me On Search

Over at SEL Gord Hotchkiss has published an interview with me on the future of search. From it: We’re going through a shift in how folks are understanding what search really means to them. And what it means to them is “I have a need and I need it fulfilled,…

Over at SEL Gord Hotchkiss has published an interview with me on the future of search. From it:

We’re going through a shift in how folks are understanding what search really means to them. And what it means to them is “I have a need and I need it fulfilled, and I’m going to use the online medium to fulfill it in some way.” We had a very, very basic, well-understood use case for 10 years, which was Google or “like Google”—you put in a couple keywords and you get a response back. And that framework of searching and coming back with the best document to answer a query is morphing. People are asking far more complicated questions now and they’re demanding far more nuanced answers, simply because they know they’re out there….

…Search as an application where your first search isn’t the search itself but rather the search for the right application is a very, very different use case. You have the market influence and dominance of one player splintered into tens of thousands of players. You or I sitting in our office over the weekend could come up with the absolute best structured search application for determining who should be your arborist to cut your trees. And that’s a threat to Google Local Search. If the best application to determine a plumber is the plumbing app on an iPhone—you download it and it automatically pulls all the local results from Yahoo!, Bing, and Google, then pulls all the reviews from Yelp and Angie’s List, then cross-compares that with complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau and Diamond Certified—if that’s the app you use, where’s Google in all of that, right?

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Value Above the Level of the App

….is the topic of my Thursday Signal over at the FM blog. From it: ….the architecture of "apps" is broken, and marketers can have a role in fixing it. Broken? But it's just getting started, right? Well, yes – and no. Apps are great, but they lack any number of…

….is the topic of my Thursday Signal over at the FM blog. From it:iphone-apps.jpg

….the architecture of “apps” is broken, and marketers can have a role in fixing it.

Broken? But it’s just getting started, right? Well, yes – and no. Apps are great, but they lack any number of characteristics that we’ve come to expect from a truly “Web 2” world. First (and certainly foremost), apps are not connected, in the main, to other apps. They are single use-case driven – a fact that often makes them compelling. But however useful a focused app may be, it can only get more useful if it could communicate with other apps, the way that great web services do. After all, a core tenet of the Web 2 movement was APIs and web services. YouTube would never have become a signal service of the web without being embeddable onto blogs. And blogs would never have risen without RSS.

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Things I Want to Write….

Two Apple and one Microsoft posts are begging me to be Thought Out Loud, and yet I am so damn busy I can't write. yet. So here they are in shorthand form. ….Apple is creating a closed advertising and distribution system that taxes all publishers and retards the Internet. Discuss….

wired-pray.gifTwo Apple and one Microsoft posts are begging me to be Thought Out Loud, and yet I am so damn busy I can’t write. yet. So here they are in shorthand form.

….Apple is creating a closed advertising and distribution system that taxes all publishers and retards the Internet. Discuss.

….Apple leveraged open development operating systems – in particular Windows – to get iTunes into a position of distribution lockin. Ironic? Discuss.

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FM Signal Up

Over at the FM blog…forgive me the light posting here this week. A lot of offline writing and travel keeping me busy. Stay tuned for more regular posting shortly…….

Over at the FM blog…forgive me the light posting here this week. A lot of offline writing and travel keeping me busy. Stay tuned for more regular posting shortly….

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