December 23, 2004

Merry Christmas!

December 21, 2004

2005 Crystal Ball

I usually don't like to do predictions because, as an optimist, they end up being just a wish list. But finally some things on my wish list might come true .... so without further a due ... Scott Knowles' 2005 Predictions:
  1. First and foremost, 2005 will be known as the year of the long tail. The efficiency found in the 80/20 rule will no longer be necessary and old, traditional industries will struggle to adopt. As Chris Anderson puts it, 99% of the market can act efficiently as a marketplace because scarcity doesn’t exist in the digital realm. This applies to everything from music distribution to Aunt Nelly’s frilly fabrics to how we manage the radio spectrum. The long tail embodies the the concept of micro markets. Peers reaching peers. No control of the masses, but by the masses. Chris has more in Wired and on his new blog supporting a book he is writing on the subject:

    To get a sense of our true taste, unfiltered by the economics of scarcity, look at Rhapsody, a subscription-based streaming music service (owned by RealNetworks) that currently offers more than 735,000 tracks.

    Chart Rhapsody's monthly statistics and you get a "power law" demand curve that looks much like any record store's, with huge appeal for the top tracks, tailing off quickly for less popular ones. But a really interesting thing happens once you dig below the top 40,000 tracks, which is about the amount of the fluid inventory (the albums carried that will eventually be sold) of the average real-world record store. Here, the Wal-Marts of the world go to zero - either they don't carry any more CDs, or the few potential local takers for such fringy fare never find it or never even enter the store.

    The Rhapsody demand, however, keeps going. Not only is every one of Rhapsody's top 100,000 tracks streamed at least once each month, the same is true for its top 200,000, top 300,000, and top 400,000. As fast as Rhapsody adds tracks to its library, those songs find an audience, even if it's just a few people a month, somewhere in the country.

    This is the Long Tail.

  2. Bloggers will become woven into newspaper content: A major print newspaper will fully integrate reader generated blogs into its content either via the offering of branded blogs or integrating outside blogs by correlating content between the two sites. As a side note, when my employment was a little less certain a few years ago, I was tooling around some business plan ideas that would involve this. I had visions of pitching Washington Post execs this concept and them wondering even what a blog was at the time. Now it’s obvious. Lemonde was the first to do something similar.
  3. Google will introduce a sell-side advertising model via web services.
  4. Only a few social networking sites will exist as a destination, and social networking will shift to be primarily a tool that’s layered across myriad aspects of the web. Foafnet will be the killer app of 2005. Meanwhile big media players keep buying up social networking sites but miss the importance of Foaf.
  5. Web Services will enable the customized aggregation to be integrated into search (think i-local meets Technorati.).
  6. Local Search becomes easy for local businesses through bid management companies like Local Launch and Reach Local and the hockey stick gets started.
  7. The music longtail becomes more enriched through Podcasting, which spreads beyond tech talk and sees the return of the DJ (or shall I say podjay). Traditional media tinkers with distributing content via podcasting but doesn't integrate user created podcasts into its own content (save that for 2006 or 2007).
  8. Out of fear of losing its power, the FCC settles with Fox over its indecent indecency fine and the Courts do not get to limit the self proscribed power of of the FCC.
  9. iPod allows a lossless music compression format (a la Flac).
  10. Tivo and other DVRs accept RSS video feeds.
  11. I drink too much egg nog on New Years Eve.

December 14, 2004

History of Spin

Lisa Stone traces the origins of spin and the history of how journalists have dealt with it. A long, but good read. The bottom gets really good ... and by the end it becomes apparent that bloggers are changing the fabric of journalism and media and, I think, 2004 will be the year that history looks back and identifies this shift.

December 08, 2004

Cool Origins, Dude

Scientific Linguist Scott Kiesling is publishing a scholarly paper on the origins of "dude."
Historically, dude originally meant "old rags" - a "dudesman" was a scarecrow. In the late 1800s, a "dude" was akin to a "dandy," a meticulously dressed man, especially out West. It became "cool" in the 1930s and 1940s, according to Kiesling. Dude began its rise in the teenage lexicon with the 1981 movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."


Thanks to PhysOrg.com for the pointer.


December 07, 2004

Fox Brief Filed

ahh ... I love a good fight in the courts against censorship .... Fox is the latest challenging the FCC's authority over fining "indecent' broadcasts. Jeff Jarvis summarizes extremely well (too long to quote... so just read it). If Fox indeed wins, this would be a great first step in taking away the power FCC exerts in governing the airwaves and is trying to exert in other media.
mean to link to this earlier .... the value of the long tail.

December 06, 2004

The Aggregation of Disaggregation

Blogads weblog: "Isn't disaggregation -- not just of content but of bodies -- the trend?" (Henry Copeland's response to Mark Glaser's new news media wish list).

Which makes me think about the concept of the aggregation of disaggregation. Think Foafnet, Technorati and Local-i.

QuackTrack

.... claims to have the world's largest blog index. Technorati probably still holds that title (as David Weinberger points out). But QuackTrack must have the largest structured blog index. Neat site .. check it out. I would be curious to know how they rank the blogs.....

December 01, 2004

A La Blog

Lots of good stuff out there today and no time to comment on all of them so I will just link:

Jeff Jarvis challenges broadcasters to fight against the FCC and states they are finally about to do so. In the same breath Jeff points to the brodcasters (CBS and NBC) who are refusing to air a commerical from the United Chuch of Christ because it's "too controversial" (and we're not talking abortion).

Mark Glasser on how the news media is dead to the wind and what he's looking for in Journalism 2.0.

Doc Searls on Chris Locke's new venture.

And Doc Searls tons of linky love on blog tails.

Jason Kottke is asked by Sony lawyers to take down audio clip of Ken Jennings' loss and its description.

Making the Perfect Marketer
- Strategy + Business.

November 30, 2004

This piece by Halley Suitt on the Alpha Female Blogger has something to do with my last post. Still formalizing what that it is. But read it any ways. It will make you understand bloggers (and writers). And will probably make you laugh.
I won?t tease you. I?ll give it to you straight. Blogs are artful. The best ones play with language, play with style, reference prior art and artfulness. They can reach down deep, make us laugh or cry, be a call to action. I thinHenry James is also famous for calling the novel a “loose, baggy monster.” I?ve always
liked that description. As they incorporate all types of writing within their ungainly
bodies, weblogs certainly commit the sins of loose, baggy monsterhood. As in James?
homage to the novel, I want to bow down to blogs and give them their due. They are
art. They are up to something. They are getting away with murder, entertaining us,
amusing us, making us act. They are not going away. They are here to stay. Get used to it.

They are also political — in the broadest sense, by sharing divergent voices across a
worldwide population — as well as in the literal sense, of often taking politics as their
subject and getting people fired up about new beliefs and calling them to immediate
action.k they are artful and artistic and radical as any new art form. They should be entertaining.



November 29, 2004

Why I Write - George Orwell

The Literature Network posts an essay by George Orwell in which he gives a look into why he and others write. There is an element of truth to this for bloggers as well:
Putting aside the need to earn a living, I think there are four great motives for writing, at any rate for writing prose. They exist in different degrees in every writer, and in any one writer the proportions will vary from time to time, according to the atmosphere in which he is living. They are:

1. Sheer egoism.
Desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on the grown-ups who snubbed you in childhood, etc., etc. It is humbug to pretend this is not a motive, and a strong one. Writers share this characteristic with scientists, artists, politicians, lawyers, soldiers, successful businessmen ? in short, with the whole top crust of humanity. The great mass of human beings are not acutely selfish. After the age of about thirty they almost abandon the sense of being individuals at all ? and live chiefly for others, or are simply smothered under drudgery. But there is also the minority of gifted, willful people who are determined to live their own lives to the end, and writers belong in this class. Serious writers, I should say, are on the whole more vain and self-centered than journalists, though less interested in money.

2. Aesthetic enthusiasm.
Perception of beauty in the external world, or, on the other hand, in words and their right arrangement. Pleasure in the impact of one sound on another, in the firmness of good prose or the rhythm of a good story. Desire to share an experience which one feels is valuable and ought not to be missed. The aesthetic motive is very feeble in a lot of writers, but even a pamphleteer or writer of textbooks will have pet words and phrases which appeal to him for non-utilitarian reasons; or he may feel strongly about typography, width of margins, etc. Above the level of a railway guide, no book is quite free from aesthetic considerations.

3. Historical impulse.
Desire to see things as they are, to find out true facts and store them up for the use of posterity.

4. Political purpose.
? Using the word 'political' in the widest possible sense. Desire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other peoples' idea of the kind of society that they should strive after. Once again, no book is genuinely free from political bias. The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.

November 22, 2004

Real War Bloggers

Kevin Sites, who was responsible for video taping a marine firing on an unarmed Iraqi insurgent, tells the full story on his blog. He's been covering the trenches of war as a journalist for 5 years. This is my first time stumbling upon his blog, and the rest of it is just as gripping.

November 18, 2004

Adfreak Weblog Launched by Adweek

Adweek has launched a weblog, "Adfreak." Jack Freuer, on of my favorite Adweek writers, is a contributor. Kudos to them for launching in true blog fashion with a solid blogroll with self depricating links to sites making parodies of their own publication and those critical of the ad biz. (via Adrants).

November 15, 2004

Senator Spector Key to Judicial Future

With a possible 3 Supreme Court Justices being replaced in Bush's next term, if there's one small fight worth joining, it's moderate senator Arlen Spector's bid to head the Judiciary Commitee.

FCC Lies to Push Forward Indecency Case

Using the Freedom of Information Act, Jeff Javis uncovers that only 3 people, out of the 159 claimed by the FCC, actually wrote letters to the FCC about sexual suggestive programming causing $1.2 million dollars in fines, chilling the speech of our media and trampling over the very meaning of the First Ammendment.

There's a second travesty in all of this. It is the blatant laziness (or even worse, submission) by the mass news media to uncover this while reporting on the story. Every jounrnalist claiming to have covered this story should be ashamed of the standard they have upheld.

The FCC should repeal the fines they issued. Other citizen journalists should file similar FOIA requests and uncover what really happened with the Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction. And the mass news media should either get it together or just pack it up because you're worthless to us and you're losing to citizen journalism.

November 12, 2004

FCC Chills Speach of ABC Affiliates

KOMOTV: As many as 65 of the more than 200 ABC Affiliates chose not to air Saving Private Ryan due to fears of heavy fines and potential loss of broadcast licenses from the FCC.

November 10, 2004

Is branding dead, or just need to be redefined?

Hugh at Gaping Void gives us the top 9 reasons it's dead.

Number 4:
"Branding" is backwards looking. It's all about capturing past associations. It's never about what the business could become, but protecting what came before.


But an astute reader who works in branding counters convincingly in Hugh's comments:
brands should never be backwards looking, but tell the people - as you say - what the product is for. Make a promise and keep up to it.For me, the bradn itself is the key to the conversation between the companies and their stakeholders. It's like the common base for the conversation/discussion.Could sound like this:Company: "Hey, we know your problem and have a solution that's calles XYZ (the brand)."Customer: "Nice, but your XYZ lacks ...., fix it and I like you more."Company: "Ok, now we know better what you mean and will try."

P2P Search

Smart Mobs points us to a new P2P search tool called NeuroGrid.... keep your eye on this space.

October 21, 2004

Targeted Filtered Advertising

Dave Morgan introduces a simple but profound concept for internet advertisers in ClickZ today. Put consumers first in determining how to serve advertising. Why target advertising when it can be filtered. I ask Dave to take this a step further to social networks as a platform to filter advertising -- a socially networked advertising model as the basis of filtering. We just need to think way outside the box of relevancy, clutter, personalized offers and privacy that Dave suggests. Although they are a good start -- the consumer still doesn't drive the experience.

October 18, 2004

Web 2.0 Presentations

.... can be found here. John Batalle points us to this one on search.

October 14, 2004

Kiosk Marketing by Yahoo Local

Search Engine Jounral reports that Yahoo Local is putting its product in the thick of it to kick off marketing efforts by placing kiosks on the streets of New York:
Early next week, NYC Transit users will get first hand glimpse of a cleaver marketing tactic from Yahoo. Yahoo plans to install bus stop kiosks featuring Yahoo Local-Search in order to test user’s responses in one of the densest urban environments in the US. The first kiosk will be installed at W. 42nd ST and Eighth Avenue. A search for a cybercafe on 8th Avenue NYC produced a lengthy list of all cybercafes in the five boroughs including the first reference, a short two blocks from the epicenter of my search, W.42nd and 8th.

UniGoog

Google's Desktop Search has arrived. Great overviews by Danny Sullivan and John Battelle. Kottke has even grander thoughts.

October 13, 2004

Rojo

Keep and eye on this space (more http://www.rojonetworks.com/and Rojo Blog here) (via Allen Searls).
Rojo is a free, web-based service dedicated to helping information consumers efficiently discover, organize, read, and share dynamic content—such as online news and weblogs. Rojo enables users to easily search and subscribe to feeds (sometimes called RSS or Atom feeds) published by online content sites, blogs, discussion boards, and various corporations. Rojo helps users identify what content is most useful for them personally and Rojo's community-building features enable users to easily share relevant content with friends and colleagues. Rojo also offers services for publishers and bloggers to help them harness the emerging world of feeds.



October 11, 2004

More Podcasting

Marc Eisenstadt of Get Real has a very good overview of the who, what, where and when of Podcasting.

October 06, 2004

Jeff Javis is blogging the heck out of Web 2.0 and in doing so previews Idea Lab's new search engine Snap. Also see Web 2.0's coverage.

Update: BoingBoing smacks Snap for a pitiful linking policy.

Torrent Casting

In the same vein as podcasting, Slashdot discusses the reality of creating your own television network via bittorrent, a popular method of p2p file sharing. More here and here.

October 05, 2004

Feedster's complete Web 2.o coverage.
Blog marketing explosion ... (well, "explosion" might be pushing it).

Podcasting

Imagine a world where portable audio blogs existed. Where you could take an audio clip from your blog world and listen to it on your way to work, at the gym and on the plane. Portable, time-shifted radio programming that you control. Because you want control. You need control to fit everything into your life. But not only do you listen. You participate. You create. The next thing you know there's a blogosphere of audio programming that you control what you listen to, when you listen to it and what you contribute. And it's not broadcasting. It's narrowcasting to and from your realm of passion. Just like blogs.

But it's already here. Thanks to Adam Curry and others, via podcasting, we citizens are creating our own programming, we are downloading it, and listening to it on our iPods on our way to work, at the gym, and on the plane.

Jeff Jarvis and Doc Searls have much more... (too much to quote, so I encourage you to read it all).

October 04, 2004

The More Things Remain the Same

Doc Searls digs up a long lost classic from 1995 (this is essentially pre-commercial web or just when just a few were entering the game, folks). How true it is today:
  1. The Internet is the ultimate base medium -- it will either undermine or support all other media. Think of the Internet as a phone system, a postal service, a library, a distribution hub and a yellow pages -- all in one. Only, unlike all those traditional institutions, nobody controls it. Anybody can participate in any of those roles.
  2. On the Internet, all communications are personal. The "mailto" link on every working Web site goes to an individual. If a site lacks that link, or if nobody responds to a mailing across that link, the site is virtually dead.
  3. Communication = conversation. Markets are conversations, whether they consist of one person or ten million people. Marcom needs to take advantage of this fact, both within the company, and between the company and the conversations that constitute its markets. **
  4. A company's "Intranet" connections should equal or exceed its Internet connections. Without groupware you get gropeware. Whether you use Notes, Groupwise, Collabra or POEMs (Plain Old E-Mails)... you need to make, and use, your internal connections. In fact, your company will be no more effective than its collaborative platform. Making that platform work should be everybody's -- especially marcom's -- job.
  5. Customers are the best sources of useful information -- and the most abundant. Now they're good for a lot more than money.
  6. There is no strength in isolation. Ivory towers are the last refuge of the clueless.
  7. Relationships matter. More sales are becoming marriages, and fewer are one-night stands.
  8. Service is everything. If you can't service your customers, they'll find suppliers who will.
  9. Branding requires substance as well as style. If you can't walk your talk, nobody will follow your lead or listen to what you say.
  10. There is no market for messages. In fact, there never was, but now the customer is in a position to say so.
  11. Logic and reason sit on the mental board of directors, but emotions cast the deciding votes. This is why share of heart matters more than share of market and even share of mind.
  12. The purpose of marketing communications is not just to tell & sell but to learn & earn. Every company needs to learn from customers and to earn their interest and loyalty. If they don't, they'll talk to nobody and sell nothing.
  13. There is no market for secrecy. Customers rarely demand that companies keep secrets. But they always demand more information. Don't hide it.
  14. Your "position" is a fact, not a statement. And the only fact you can't change is where you come from. This is the one thing you can't lie about, and the first thing people want to know about you.
  15. Marketing should be as simple as a handshake. Your marketing should answer the same questions people ask strangers when they meet for the first time:
    • Who are you?
    • Where do you come from?
    • What do you do?
    • What are you doing here?
    • Where do you live?
    • Who are you with?
    • Where are you going?
    If your answers to any of these questions are unclear, or if you can only explain them at length, you're not making sense. This helps: one or two word answers work best.
  16. Information isn't data -- it's the communicable form of knowledge. Derived form the verb to form, information literally changes what we know. The goal of a communications strategy therefore is to inform and to become informed. It must work both ways -- an exchange that makes a difference for both parties.
  17. Competition is necessary to a marketplace, but not sufficient. Customers want choices; and every product choice results from many people, and many companies, adding their goods together, not just opposing each other. The next time you hear a story about the U.S. versus Japan (or Mexico, or Germany...), look inside your PC. On average you'll see labeled products from up to 13 different countries. Peace at work.
  18. Conversation isn't win/lose or even win/win. It's play/play. Think of marketplaces as homes and communities, not just as ball courts and battlefields. The press loves sports and war metaphors for a good reason: stories are about conflict and struggle. No story starts with "happily ever after." This is why the press' job is to make trouble, often where there isn't any. Really, they can't help it. But the truth is usually much more complex, much less dramatic and rarely as conclusive as the stories told by the press. Just remember: if a customer loves your company and buys your product, that doesn't mean he's taking your side. If you think he is, you may end up fighting your wars alone.
  19. Honesty is the only policy. "If you can fake that, you've got it made," George Burns says. Unfortunately, most of us can't. It's very hard to fake one side of a conversation. And truth is a lot easier to maintain than a lie.
Much more here and in Doc's post.

September 29, 2004

What the Bubble got right.... by Paul Graham. (thanks John Batelle). Something to really sink your teeth into ... which I haven't had a chance to do yet.

September 15, 2004

September 08, 2004

Poynter released their latest eye tracking study with interesting results for advertisers and architects.

Shut Up and Talk

Listening has been trumpeted as one of the skills that makes a great leader or manager. I think listening makes one a good blogger too. Stowe Boyd quotes James Surowiecki's "The Wisdom of Crowds," in a section which argues that those who are more talkative in small groups are perceived as being more influential. Stowe sees a correlation to this and blogging.

September 07, 2004

Curious Search

Just about to pick up The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, a story that is told through the voice of a young autistic boy, and noticed my new favorite blogger, John Battelle, has a great look into the allegory between the novel and search:

I'm not entirely sure why, but this really hit home with me, after a year or so of interacting with the engineers and mathematicians who drive innovation in search. It's not that, as a group or even as individuals, the geniuses behind search are autistic. But as a culture, and in particular, as a product, search certainly can be understood to be face blind in the very least - unaware and/or unable to discern the cues we as users give it.

And there is a certain...coldness to search, an aloof, detached, and passionless side to it, where all things which can be indexed, are indexed, and a certain arrogance with regard to those things or people who don't understand how to retrieve that which is in the index.

I can't put my finger on it in this passage, nor will I try any more than I have, but, in the end, this is why we read novels, to feel that which otherwise we might not even notice.

August 30, 2004

August 26, 2004

A Google Browser? Jason Kottke thinks so and it makes perfect sense to me too.

August 24, 2004

Democratic Marketing

Independence Air, the new low-cost carrier based out of Dulles, is putting its marketing in the hands of their customers. Members of their frequent flier club are asked to choose Independence Air's next promotion.
Stuart Henshall's beginnings of a Manifesto on Social Networking.

July 28, 2004

Reading Jeff Jarvis's continuous thoughts on transparency and mass media's lack thereof has made me think, does the lack transparency also make us stupid? The type of transparency Jeff talks about is that which enables people to gain a better understanding of a writer's, or for that matter a media organization's, point of view. But does opaqueness also shade us from knowledge, not just honesty and truth?

July 02, 2004

June 30, 2004

Amy Blogs!

I've been trying to get my wife Amy to see the fun in blogging for a while now. Write what you're passionate about. Connect with others.

It wasn't resonating ....until now.

Amy has taken up the big challenge of running the Marine Corp Marathon. She has been sending out weekly updates to all her friends and family and her training. All of which have been written really well. I suggested she start a weblog. And she did.

So far she has 3 entries (number 1 is still my favorite). I'm still trying to get her to use a blog roll. There are tons of other running blogs out there I discovered via Google -- okay I'm passionate about blogs, and Amy is passionate about running. She doesn't get that part yet --- her audience is really just friends and family.

She is already up to 8 miles!

June 23, 2004

If you hold any value in the freedom of speach, read this.

June 03, 2004

Amazon Blogs... err... Plogs

If there hasn't been proof enough that blogging is mainstream, Amazon is toying the concept in a new content layout called Plogs. Right now I only see this as a new way of ordering content, but the potential is there, especially in the area of collaborative filtering across outside blogs and in the use of RSS. Rafat Ali says:

what I would like is that if Amazon can spider services like Technorati to see other references (from other blogs/media sources) to a new book released, and present that ecosystem as part of the "plog" recommendation...
As such, the blog meme is powerful than you think..the chunk-sized bites are about to take over the world...sorta.
I can see implications of this integrated into its A9 search engine

Stowe Boyd adds:

I can't tweak very much, can't change look/feel, move things around -- just toggling on and off the monetary value of purchases made -- and I can't actually add any content. Wouldn't it be sensible to have my own reviews, etc.?

Is this only a mechanism to push information to me? Even so I like the format. But there is no RSS feed, so I guess you have to actually go and read the damn thing.

And the whole social angle -- seeing updates to your buddies' wishlists, for example -- isn't integrated at all.

It will be interesting to see how Plogs affects sales. Unless they leverage some of the ideas from above, I don't see them helping.

Looks like Plogs is only in beta, so some might not be able to see it in action.

May 27, 2004

Short Clutter Spans

I've always stated here that ad clutter has diminished the effectiveness of advertising. This seemingly common sense notion has had me perplexed for some time as to why agencies and advertisers continue to pack as many messages into a bottle as possible. Not only does this make the advertiser lose, it makes the media property lose as well. They are perceived as cluttered, annoying and disprespectful of a customer's needs. It would seem there would be less and less clutter as the audience demands it.

Of course, sometimes common sense doesn't win out. A study is needed to prove the obvious. BURST Media took that step today in releasing a study which shows that clutter not only makes advertising ineffective but also creates a negative brand impact.

Key findings included:
-1/3 of web users (34.2%) say they will tolerate a single advertisement per web page
-Another 1/4 (26.7%) of respondents say they will tolerate two advertisements
per page
-1/2 (51.2%) of respondents say they have a less favorable opinion of an advertiser’s product or service when their advertising appears on a web page they perceive as cluttered
-More than 1/3 (36.8%) of respondents say they immediately leave a site if it appears cluttered
-Fully 3/4 (73.4%) of respondents who remain on a site they perceive to be cluttered say they pay less attention to advertisements appearing on its pages

These findings should be extended to other advertising. We would find longer but less frequent TV commercials more effective, same with radio, and the list continues. It's not short attention spans that we have, but a need for clearer communication. Hopefully this is a first step in the market reacting to the overall shift to a more consumer empowered marketplace.

26.2 Miles!

Amy has decided to run a marathon. It started as a half marathon and she decided to go for broke. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is sponsoring her training and the money she raises we'll go towards their programs. Here's a bit from her website:
"I have chosen to run the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC on October 31, 2004. This will be the FIRST race I have ever ran in my life. Actually, this is the first major athletic event I have ever participated in. I could barely finish a mile in middle school gym class. And now I'm going to run 26.2 miles throughout the monuments of Washington, DC. "

April 29, 2004

Google Files for IPO: "A management team distracted by a series of short term targets is as pointless as a dieter stepping on a scale every half hour"

Looks like it's official. Google filed for its IPO today. I find myself wanting to quote their entire filing .... so instead of me doing that just read it. You will never believe how much you can enjoy reading an SEC filing. Typical Google, a breath of fresh air.

April 23, 2004

ESPN.com - NFL - Ex-NFL player Tillman killed in Afghanistan

ESPN.com - NFL - Ex-NFL player Tillman killed in Afghanistan: "'In sports we have a tendency to overuse terms like courage and bravery and heroes,' said Cardinals vice president Michael Bidwill, son of the team's owner Bill Bidwill, 'and then someone like Pat Tillman comes along and reminds us what those terms really mean.'"

April 01, 2004

The Web as Door-to-Door Salesman

Wish I had time to read this, but if the sub-head is any indication, this should be a good read:The Web as Door-to-Door Salesman. "Blogs and online communities force marketers to rediscover the human touch of old-style direct marketing relationships (first of three parts)."

March 18, 2004

The Trifecta

There's a reason things have been ... well... a bit non-existent here ... Besides getting married in two weeks (woe! [err .... whoa!]) and buying a new house a couple months ago, I just started a new job. At big bad AOL.

Besides my passion in p2p marketing (eg. blog marketing), I also have a very strong interest in the development of local search. I stumbled across a great opportunity to join AOL's Search & Directional Media Group. My experience at TMP, which I seldom talked about here, was tightly focused around local internet marketing. Specifically the field of internet yellow pages. Which is exactly what I'm focusing on at AOL along with its integration into the new field of local search.

While I won't be talking too much about the field here ... as I never heavily covered local search in my blog, and I don't want to come across as a spokesman for AOL's local search plans.... I do want to say how pleasantly my outside view of AOL, which the press without a doubt shaped, has been smashed. From my first interview to my first 2 weeks on the job, I have met nothing but very friendly, approachable, smart and passionate people. Sure, I'm in the honeymoon stage, but a colleague from the recently AOL acquired Singingfish, shared the same sentiments as we were talking last night. There are a few things I might disagree with stategically, but I don't think there is any company the size of AOL that an employee wouldn't say the same thing about.

That's where I've been and where I am going. I'll throw a link of interest up here and there, but expect things to continue to be light here until after the honeymoon (that's the honeymoon after the wedding).

March 06, 2004

Wired News: Warning: Blogs Can Be Infectious

More of a bookmark to myself. But nevertheless an interesting study on how popular bloggers aren't usually the original creators of new ideas.Wired News: Warning: Blogs Can Be Infectious

February 24, 2004

February 23, 2004

This made me laugh ... 10 worst album covers of all time:10 Worst Album Covers

February 02, 2004

Doesn't the FCC have more important things to address than an investigation into Janet Jackson's boob? Like spread spectrum technology? Or the nearly monopolistic control of the airwaves? Or the chilling of innovation that the FCC's rules have caused for decades?

January 30, 2004

"Biological Changes Over Time"

is what Georgia is trying to make "evolution." Trying to appease the conservative right. Rep. Bobby Franklin, a Republican notes, "If you're teaching the concept without the word, what's the point? It's stupid. It's like teaching gravity without using the word gravity."

What other politically sensitive words can we make euphemisms out of?

January 26, 2004

January 23, 2004

Open Source Politics

Wonder why Dean has gained so much momentum and made so much progress? Someone asked me where he came from the other day. The old-school response would be grassroots. The new response would be open source. Doc Searls, co-authur of Cluetrain, spent some time with the Dean team. Here's what he heard:


During my time with the Dean team, I heard Cluetrain quoted a number of times. There was my "markets are conversations" line and David Weinberger's "hyperlinks subvert hierarchy." But the one that made the most sense for the campaign itself was Chris Locke's "networked markets get smarter faster than most companies". Exactly that principle, they said, applied in electoral politics today. That's why they were building or applying technologies that embraced their own networked markets.

Doesn't just apply to politics. It applies to business as well.
Google announces it has created social networking site: Orkut
(via marketingwonk) more here and here
The Industry Standard is back!
(via MarketingWonk)

January 19, 2004

A Dinosaur Evolves

Leading Internet Yellow Page site Superpages has announced sweeping changes to its site starting March 1st and is doing away with its current model. The new model will include a mix of pay per performance positions for national advertisers for the top 3 positions per page (bidding a la Overture). There will also be 3 pay per performance positions per page for local advertisers followed by 9 local fixed place/price advertisers per page. Additionally, (and my guess is because they have so many advertisers) they will be offering 15 pay per performance ads on the right hand side a la Google AdWords. [correction: these right hand ads will be fixed placement]

This is a big deal for the local search/IYP arena. Superpages has been the leader in the space both in terms of traffic and advertisers since the GTE/Bell Atlantic merger. Many (including myself) thought Superpages was to big and too old to adopt to the changing field. Superpages acquired pay per performance engine FindWhat late last year which is driving many of the changes to the site.

The change falls in line with a major theme that emerged from last Fall's Kelsley Conference on Local Search whereby national advertisers could handle the complexity of a bidding/pay per performance model and local advertisers would prefer a model that was more straight forward. My guess is this change will enable Superpages' ability to widen its scope of alliances to include major search players like Google and Overture and ultimately enable their product to be more easily integrated into any pure search engine. Currently, Superpages has alliances with MSN, Infospace, Lycos to name a few. These sites all have yellow page elements which are separated from their search function, but typically linked from the home page.

January 02, 2004

New House, New Wife, New Car, New...

I love vacations. And this has been one of those do-nothing except what you want to do vacations. I've finished two books ... a feat I never before accomplished in this short period of time. I had never read Huckleberry Finn and Amy thought I would really enjoy. What a classic. I also read Prey by Michael Creighton. Not nearly as good as Huckleberry Finn and more like watching an hour of television, but still pretty enjoyable. Especially with my gaining interest in social networks. I was going to read Linked next, but I'm afraid all I'm going to think about is how nano technology will take over the world through social networks. Better put that off.

I've also spent some time listening to music. Really listening to music. Usually I'm moving at such a quick pace that I can't take time to enjoy and really get into what I have on. I got a bunch of CD's for Christmas which I've really enjoyed. The Allman Brothers Live at the Atlanta International Pop Festival -- I wasn't sure how this was going to be, seeing how great the Fillmore disc is. How can you top a classic? The new disk is surprisingly different from Fillmore. It has more edge to it, and the jams take a different direction. The guitars are frequently out of tune, but it almost adds to the realness of the performance. The disc is actually to discs of two sets. It's interesting how the the first is more raw. While the second set which was performed around 3 am, is more subdued. I also was given the new Jimi Hendrix at Berkeley CD. This is also juxtaposed against another classic Fillmore recording. Whereas the Allman's Fillmore performance was more subtle and the Atlanta Festival more electric, it's Jimi's Fillmore performance that was more electric and the Berkeley show that was more subtle. Jimi starts off Berkeley with a very mellow and informal jam. Reminds me of my last Pearl Jam show where they started with the droning Release Me track and built into an incredible crescendo. Jimi does the same thing here. By the end of the disc, Jimi is ripping furiously through Voodoo Chile (Slight Return).

2004 is set to be an incredible year. Tomorrow marks Amy and my 3-month count down until our wedding. I've spent much of my vacation tying up loose ends for the wedding ... addresses, groomsmen gifts, etc. We are also set to close on our very first house on January 12th. It is a great end unit town house about 10 miles north of Bethesda, where we currently live. We're going to miss living in the middle of the action, but we're close to a town center which should give us plenty to do. Amy has been getting psyched for decorating. She's read this decorating book I got her for Chanukah twice already. I also got a new car. No more leasing! No more mile restraints! I chose a Honda Accord LX. So far I love it, although my only complaint is that it doesn't have as much leg room as my old Passat.

I'm not one for New Year's resolutions. I always believed if there was something you wanted to change, why wait. Just change it. Plus I think I have enough new things to keep me busy for a while. Things I'm going to keep doing ... going to the gym, lose more weight, keep improving this blog as time allows, keep loving my fiancee and do the best in everything I set out to do. Simple enough, right?

Happy New Year!