On Speech Based Interfaces to Search – and Beyond

This stuff is going to get real, soon. From Google's latest Technology Roundtable Series: [This] video, "Applications of Human Language Technology," is a discussion of our enormous progress in large-scale automated translation of languages and speech recognition. Both of these technology domains are coming of age with capabilities that…

This stuff is going to get real, soon. From Google’s latest Technology Roundtable Series:

[This] video, “Applications of Human Language Technology,” is a discussion of our enormous progress in large-scale automated translation of languages and speech recognition. Both of these technology domains are coming of age with capabilities that will truly impact what we expect of computers on a day-to-day basis. I discuss these technologies with human language technology experts Franz Josef Och, an expert in the automated translation of languages, and Mike Cohen, an expert in speech processing.

BTW, isn’t it funny how so many VP level people (note the guy introducing the piece) at Google says “Google” exactly the way Larry and Sergey say it, and not at all the way most of the rest of us say it? There’s this funny, compressed, geeky inflection on the “ooooo” sound.

Leave a comment on On Speech Based Interfaces to Search – and Beyond

CM Conversations: David Rosenblatt

Second up in my series of crowdsourcing the CM Summit conversations (first up was Laura Desmond) is David Rosenblatt, former CEO of Doubleclick, now a VP at Google. David is something of a DoubleClick lifer, having joined the company in 1997 and rising from tech lead to CEO of…

Speaker Rosenblatt Second up in my series of crowdsourcing the CM Summit conversations (first up was Laura Desmond) is David Rosenblatt, former CEO of Doubleclick, now a VP at Google. David is something of a DoubleClick lifer, having joined the company in 1997 and rising from tech lead to CEO of a company valued at more than $3 billion when sold to Google in 2007.

Readers of Searchblog will recall the industry charlie horse that the DBLCK deal caused – Microsoft lobbied mightily against it, US and European governments took their time approving it, everyone else went on a drunken ad network buying spree, and one could argue that the deal set the painful decline of Yahoo in motion – here was Google, taking square aim at Yahoo’s one remaining stronghold – display advertising.

It’s been so long since the deal was announced – a year and a half – it’s easy to forget it didn’t really get final approval till March of this year. The integration, in other words, is still in its first six months, and Rosenblatt took a portion of this summer off before rolling up his sleeves and getting back to work.

Read More
11 Comments on CM Conversations: David Rosenblatt

CM Conversation: Laura Desmond, CEO Starcom MediaVest Group

FM's third CM Summit is just two weeks away (register here), and as I have in the past (and will with other speakers as well as folks I'll interview at Web 2), I turn to the collective intelligence of Searchblog readers to help me prepare. I'll be having conversations…

Speaker Desmond FM’s third CM Summit is just two weeks away (register here), and as I have in the past (and will with other speakers as well as folks I’ll interview at Web 2), I turn to the collective intelligence of Searchblog readers to help me prepare. I’ll be having conversations with Evan Williams (co-founder Twitter), Gian Fulgoni (founder Comscore), David Rosenblatt (CEO DoubleClick, now at Google) and many others.

But first up in terms of thinking out loud here is Laura Desmond, Chief Executive Officer, Starcom MediaVest Group, a unit of the Publicis Groupe. For those of you who might not follow the world of marketing too closely, SMG is one of the largest and most influential marketing services companies on the planet, its clients include Kraft, Allstate, Kellogg’s, Walt Disney, GM, Coca Cola, Proctor & Gamble, RIM (Blackberry), and on and on. The company collectively controls billions of dollars of marketing spend, including a significant chunk of the monies that fuel the Internet Economy.

In other words, Laura is one Very Important Person in the world of the web, even if you’ve never heard of her.

Read More
10 Comments on CM Conversation: Laura Desmond, CEO Starcom MediaVest Group

TweetSense

I think the business model at Twitter is going to be really, really interesting, and I think it's going to leverage search, but search as a proxy for data and pattern recognition. We get an inkling of it at Election 2008, Twitter's mashup of Tweets relating to the election,…

Prmote Twitter

I think the business model at Twitter is going to be really, really interesting, and I think it’s going to leverage search, but search as a proxy for data and pattern recognition. We get an inkling of it at Election 2008, Twitter’s mashup of Tweets relating to the election, but there’s a lot more to think through. First off, Twitter is using its real estate to promote its deal with Current, which is a first, from what I can tell. The “ads” are on the right, right below each users’ profile. I remember covering every new pixel as the Google homepage caved to promotional reality, it’s interesting to watch it happen at Twitter, too, which I think has a lot of similarities to Google in terms of potential models.

Also worth watching is the hash function, where you can tag any topic (IE #redsox, as Churbuck pointed out). This function is not likely to catch on with my mother (I can’t imagine her adding hashes to her tweets, much less tweeting…yet), but what it enables certainly could. The problem is, when you create a site to pull hashed stuff out into a stream the result is often less than useful (as Churbuck noted in his post).

This is where the role of curation and editors is paramount. Voice, as Fred pointed out. There is voice in editing, voice in curation. And voice adds value. And where value is added, marketers can play, both on Twitter (imagine a cars.twitter.com, with auto advertisers on the right rail and at the top, perhaps using contextual TweetSense – yes, it’s owned, by…), and off (think about a feed of contextual Tweets and TweetSense next to conversational sites like Digg and, well, millions of others, as well as sites created simply from Twitter feeds on popular hashes…).

Read More
13 Comments on TweetSense

All Algorithm, No Voice

That's how Fred describes Google's new blog search, a supposed "Techmeme (or Technorati or Blogs.com) – killer". It's a very good description of Google's services….

That’s how Fred describes Google’s new blog search, a supposed “Techmeme (or Technorati or Blogs.com) – killer”.

It’s a very good description of Google’s services.

Leave a comment on All Algorithm, No Voice

World Inside Out

Over at the Amex Blog we're starting a conversation about how this financial crisis effects small business. The site has given me a chance to think more deeply about what it means to run or be part of a small business – none of us here in the Valley…

Over at the Amex Blog we’re starting a conversation about how this financial crisis effects small business. The site has given me a chance to think more deeply about what it means to run or be part of a small business – none of us here in the Valley like to think of ourselves as “small” but by nearly every definition, we are. And FM works with nearly 200 other “small” businesses. Join the conversation, we all might learn something. From my post:

…But that doesn’t mean I don’t wake up in the middle of the night, worried about what might be coming next. Many of us in the Internet industry are veterans of the last big bust – 2000-2002 – and we can still feel the pain of losing it all (as I did with the Industry Standard), or at the very least, having to cut back to the bone and wait it out. And this time, something feels different. This crisis is not limited to an overinvestment in telecom and Internet, this time our entire financial system has been brought to its knees. How can you not be worried when Congress is in an extended session to determine the best way to spend nearly a trillion dollars, money that, in fact, we don’t actually have (we’ll be borrowing it, given our national debt)?

It’s a well worn saw that as goes small business, so goes the economy. If all of us start laying off employees and cutting back expenses by a third, our economy will go into a deep funk. If, on the other hand, we all declare faith in the future and start acting accordingly, our businesses will become the engine of economic recovery.

Read More
3 Comments on World Inside Out

The Case for Local Conversation: Saving Corbet’s Hardware (Latest Open Forum Post)

(image credit Marin IJ) I've just posted my latest missive on the American Express Open Forum blog, where I Think Out Loud about my local hardware business, which just might be forced out of business. It's titled "Think Local, Act Conversational – It Just Might Save Your Business." From…

Corbets (image credit Marin IJ)

I’ve just posted my latest missive on the American Express Open Forum blog, where I Think Out Loud about my local hardware business, which just might be forced out of business. It’s titled “Think Local, Act Conversational – It Just Might Save Your Business.” From it:

Corbet’s Hardware is my neighborhood hardware store, it’s something of a local legend. Let’s see what happens when I put it into Google (I omitted the apostrophe, as most folks do).

Interesting. First up is a link from “zinsser.com”, which appears to be some kind of a shellac company (no, really, a company that makes shellac). Corbet’s probably carries their products – the Zinsser site lists its distributors – but man, what on earth is that doing being first? Clearly, Corbet’s has not exactly joined the conversation economy quite yet.

Read More
1 Comment on The Case for Local Conversation: Saving Corbet’s Hardware (Latest Open Forum Post)

The Conversation Economy, Sketches

Thanks to Adobe, who sponsored this work, I pulled together some sketches for the book I keep talking about. It's blog posts from Searchblog, a talk I gave at Cisco, work I've done for the Amex Open Forum blog (which just won a Mixx award!), with Powerpoint and video….

Adobe Dmwnld

Thanks to Adobe, who sponsored this work, I pulled together some sketches for the book I keep talking about. It’s blog posts from Searchblog, a talk I gave at Cisco, work I’ve done for the Amex Open Forum blog (which just won a Mixx award!), with Powerpoint and video. A nice package, in fact, and I’m proud to say it all happened thanks to a sponsor. Check it out here (download will initiate). Thanks, Adobe!

3 Comments on The Conversation Economy, Sketches

Firing up the Burners: Android Starts to Boil the Telephony Ocean

Here's Boy Genius' take on the first phone to use Google's Android platform….

Here’s Boy Genius’ take on the first phone to use Google’s Android platform.

Google G1 Phone Group

1 Comment on Firing up the Burners: Android Starts to Boil the Telephony Ocean

Texting Is Stupid

(image) After seeing the clearly obvious story about texting being a bad thing to do while driving (er, no sh*t), I just had to write that headline. Sorry. I text with the best of them. I love the concept and efficiency of short messaging. But the interface is deeply…

Texting On M1082022(image)

After seeing the clearly obvious story about texting being a bad thing to do while driving (er, no sh*t), I just had to write that headline. Sorry. I text with the best of them. I love the concept and efficiency of short messaging.

But the interface is deeply stupid. I see these commercials from carriers extolling speed texting, and think to myself – “We’ve already invented an incredibly efficient way to get thoughts from our brains to others – it’s called speech.”

Why I can’t simply say to my phone: “Text Michelle” and the phone gets ready to send a note to Michelle. Then I say “Mich I’d rather hit Left Bank than Ambrosia for din love you bye” and the damn text goes to Michelle?

Read More
20 Comments on Texting Is Stupid