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!