Thursday, January 31, 2008

Engaging Microsoft - MIX08 rolls into Vegas March 5th - 7th

As DEMO produced a few true winners this past week, the smaller trade mixers and conferences seem to be becoming more and more important each year.

One to watch (attend?) this year if you do any website updating or design may very well be MIX08.

Scheduled for the Venetian Resort Hotel in Las Vegas March 5th - 7th, MIX08 is billed as an opportunity to engage Microsoft about the future of the web. It's really about a lot more.

With Rich Media becoming more and more abundant on websites, and technologies such as Adobe's Flash, Flex, and Air, Microsoft's Silverlight, numerous video platforms, AJAX and and other technologies being implemented into websites (and web-based applications), it's a conference that companies such as H-P, Cynergy, Zumobi, Electric Rain and others have come together to sponsor. A few of the speakers should be familiar to many reading this post :).

We think this third year of MIX could be a stand-out and great networking experience. The web will look very different next year and this will pose new challenges for those at search engine companies, as well as SEO and SEM firms.

You can check out MIX08 on the web here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sprout springs a temporary leak !

In a brief follow-up to our previous post on the new online application called Sprout, it appears that the stories that appeared yesterday and last night across numerous websites (all positive) maxed out their servers!

So, take a deep breath ... wait a few days or keep an eye on this space , and give the guys a break until the new servers are online!

It'll be worth your wait.

Update Jan 31 PM : We received an e-mail from Carnet Williams earlier today, and they appear to be working their way through the backlog and green-lighting new invites.

Sprout - This is going to be HUGE

While I was catching up on some work a little while ago, in the background (I don't know how, or sometimes why, I do this ... ) I had the 'live' DIGG screensaver running on another box. I also had Twitter open . I get an e-mail.

What's the buzz that Techmeme is breaking on Twitter , people are 'hyper-Digging' and e-mailing?

I scanned a bit and found posts from DEMO08 by TechCrunch, Read/Write Web (and others).

The buzz was about a new online flash application that just about anyone could use, with a myriad of features.


SPROUT launched a few hours ago. More than a drap and drop widget creator (which might have been enough), this is just way too easy and platform-friendly live content creator.

As someone said a short time ago ... "You just gotta check it out" ...

This is a winner out of the box. Period.

SPROUT is here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Google main index grouping results for some keywords

There was some discussion over the weekend that 'new results' were being seen, particularly in the hotel, restaurant and events sectors, with Google now grouping ten results in the main index near the top of the page.

Apparently those results have now proliferated and we found it 'happening' this morning under a variety of direct keyword searches.

A few screenshots are below. Relevant? Positively.

Will the effect be positive or negative from PPC buyers in those sectors? We'll see.

Update Jan 30: A much more in-depth look at Google's new expanded search results has been posted to SearchEngineLand by Danny Sullivan here

Can you patent AIR ?

This past week, there were a lot of stories about AIR. Really.

Without air, we'd all be in a lot of trouble (Green plug intact :)

We're not talking about that kind of AIR.

Two other kinds of AIR hit the tech news headlines this past week.

Adobe AIR was installed by hundreds (thousands) this week in the tech community as it is required for the desktop client for start-up Pownce. Public recognition of the platform grew.

At almost the same time, we saw Steve Jobs keynote announcement of Apple's new ultra-light notebook - MacBook Air .

Just to be 'journalistic correct ??', news also came from Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley (home turf of hyper social networker Shana Albert ) from CNN Money on a company called Air Products.

When you pull into a service station to fill your tires, you usually pay for AIR. This is really getting scary.

So, this question is for our industry's resident Patent expert Bill Slawski.
"Is it possible, one of these guys can get a patent on AIR?"

We're going to e-mail Bill for his take. Knowing Bill casually, I'd say look for a response here, or at his website.

What's next ... Water?

Update Jan 31, 2008: Bill has responded and his take and analysis can be found here .

Battle for IAC (and ASK) is on - Bye, Bye Barry ?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Liberty Media Inc. has filed court papers to 'remove' Barry Diller from the helm of IAC / Interactive Corp.

A few observations and retrospective.

I have been an IAC (NASDAQ:IACI) watcher for a long time. Why? Over 80% of my personal income the last 5 years has come from travel SEM and SEO.

Now traded as separate companies, the IAC's travel group (which includes Expedia,, Travelnow, Hotwire and yes, TripAdvisor), has been feeling the heat of a general downturn in US leisure travel, changes in search engine algorithms that put 'some' hotels at the top, as well as sector PPC buy programs such as Yahoo Travel.

Regional independent hotel consolidators are challenging on a local level as well.

Proprietary deals are ongoing by competitors such as Travelocity (Can anyone say AARP?). Travelocity's latest move to win over regional travel bureaus (known as CVBs) and others is gaining ground.

It was a good move for IAC to separate this group should something happen.
It did.

Yesterday came news that IAC was taking a stake in the HealthCentralNetwork. Microsoft is well-along with it's 'Health' project and Google is too. The are numerous other established players in this space.

A few months ago, IAC announced it was spinning off the remainder of it's operating units as separately traded companies. Liberty was supportive at the time.

I'm not implying (at all) that Barry Diller isn't a respected CEO. We've featured lots of stories on IAC (including their very cool building in NYC) right here. Frankly, Diller, to many, is practically an icon.

Welcome back to Wall Street and who owns what. When a company doesn't perform, or, in this case a group of companies, someone's going to take a fall. This time, it looks like it might be 'the big guy'.

Sidebar: Liberty has positions in both QVC and HSN. HSN is part of IAC.

Is this getting confusing ?

I think 'Diller watchers' would agree. If Liberty succeeds, Diller will be back and that will be the interesting chapter.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Changes at Google Blog Search

Indexing blogs has to be a significantly more difficult task than indexing websites.

With a myriad of self-serving automatically generated blogs, blogs that scrape content, and other so-called 'bad guys', it's hard for me to even imagine an algorithm that can get through it all.

I've been watching a number of blog search engines to see how relevant they actually are.

Enter 'comments'.

Some make comments on blogs for their own self-benefit. I do it (1) when I mean it, or (2) when I just want to bust somebody's chops :) My guess is about 2 or 3 times a week.

I've said it before. The dialog is what it's all about. I believe it, and usually, that's why I'll post a comment.

Over the weekend, Google's Blog Search, which has been taking on blog spam, made yet another change.

If you comment on another blog, it now says 'Comment by'. In a way, this outs 'comment spammers'. It also gives full credit to the website you're commenting on.

In the example below, the first post is an actually post from here, hyper-indexed by Google in less than 5 minutes yesterday both on the blog search and main index.

The second guy is either a scraper or something else, but it's not me. (Those who know me, know I'm probably the furthest guy from Black Hat on the planet and I seriously doubt this hurts my Internet-based reputation management). The motive here, I suppose was exposure translating to unique hits.

I guess there's still some work to be done. Go to the page, I'm not even there :)

The next three listings ARE legitimate comments I made on blogs this past month.

My guess is between the recent changes at Digg and this change, there are a few people wondering where their hits went this past week.

Microsoft Popfly embraces Facebook

Microsoft's continues to show it's support for Facebook. Facebook integration is being seen in a number of Microsoft Beta products, the latest being their online Mash-up editor Popfly.

Popfly, which premiered in beta at has moved over to (So much for speculation that Microsoft was going to begin 'moving' products to the domain extension for Montserrat ?)

The Popfly mash-up editor, in addition to supporting import from Yahoo's Flickr now supports 'Save to Facebook'.

Microsoft also has a Facebook application development page here .

In October, Microsoft made a 240 million dollar investment in Facebook. Advertising and other deals between the two companies date back to 2006.

Both companies made headlines this past week. Microsoft reported record earnings for almost all operating units dramatically exceeding 'street' estimates. Facebook announced an open API for developers to allow the creation of applications outside of Facebook.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

NY Times to deliver more for cellphones

First, it was a Facebook application. Last week, word came that the NY Times Company was part of consortium investing 29 million dollars in Automattic, parent of WordPress, the predominant blog publishing platform.

There's simply no doubt, as noted in our last post, that the NY Times is one of the mainsteam media companies that 'gets it'.

If you want to grow and prosper, you need to target a larger and lasting audience.

Here in the U.S., that audience is the children of the Baby Boom generation, many still in college. Others, beginning new careers and networking like never before.

It is these young adults that are, and will be, the largest consuming audience for the foreseeable future.

It is also this group that uses cell phones, more than any other demographic, for their music, information, video, texting, and more.

This past Friday, the NY Times Company issued a press release that they will be delivering news and opinion to cellphones.

While many other media companies have also embraced the various mobile platform(s), the spectrum of information that the Times intends to deliver is much broader and includes real estate, numerous op-ed columns, stock quotes, movie reviews, business news, health, environment and a variety of other sections of the newspaper.

The mobile version of the NY Times can be found at . Keywords for specific interests can be found in the press release here, as well as next to each article in the print version of the newspaper.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Did someone say Techmeme ?

When you launch a project, try to keep it honest, pass a few milestones, see a few stories syndicated on Reuters .... you get a certain sense of satisfaction.

This blog was launched last August with a few missions, none entirely clear at the time other than to do what a lot of other blogs do.

Deliver a little fact and opinion, and contribute to an all-important dialog.

Search Engine Land has a 'bragroll' and almost all of us do a little 'shameless self-promotion'.

My phone rang a little while ago. A close friend said "Did you know your blog is on Techmeme?".

Huh? I really thought that, if it ever was to happen, it was a little premature and he was kidding.

Going back to my brief engagements with journalism, I felt a little rush. We have accomplished other stuff here.

Here's the screenshot at 11:30 EST on January 26th. Honestly, I'm somewhat humbled.
Now, how cool is this?

Honestly, any credit for this goes to Scoble, Arrington, Forbes and the others that were actually there.

Now off to the Feedburner numbers :)

Bloggers wrap up at Davos - The World Economic Forum

Technology is far from missing the unfolding events at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Mike Arrington of TechCrunch has blogged about the huge media room. Robert Scoble, now with FastCompany, is posting often from Davos as well. Forbes is there in real-time multimedia. There are many others, not exclusive of Facebook's Mark Zuckerburg and Google.

Is broadband changing the news landscape and worldwide mainstream media? You bet.

Who gets it? We've been watching and so far, there's no doubt the mainstream is getting it fast.

Murdoch, the NY Times, Blogburst is delivering to Fox Business, Reuters and others (including us :), CNN is there, Forbes has been there all along .... and with new widgets appearing all over, CBS is coming on strong. The question is, when all is said and done, who will be able to monetize it?

While none of us love the idea, in most parts of the world, the news still needs to be sponsored.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Data Privacy Day January 28 - Where is Yahoo?

The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) has declared January 28, 2008 as Data Privacy Day 2008.

While some bloggers (and others) continually blast the major search engines for 'tracking', profiling and other issues, I seriously doubt it's grandstanding by public companies like Google and Microsoft, to be supporting the association, and sponsoring this latest effort.

It's no secret that tracking, profiling, and list creation are a huge money maker on the Internet. Most don't worry about it. Others take careful measures to 'cover their tracks'.

Privacy is not unique to the Internet. If you make a retail purchase (with your zip code) in a store 75 or 100 miles from your home, many major retailers keep a tally on those numbers to see if they're missing a market, and should have a store closer to you. Some travelers now keep their hotel key cards, for fear that the credit card info embedded on the magnetic strips won't be erased. There are many, many other examples.

Privacy is an issue that will continue to make significant headlines this year and in the foreseeable future.

The question.

Yahoo, Facebook (Facebook??) and others that you might expect to want to be part of this initiative are conspicuously missing (as of the time of this post).

You can visit the website of the IAPP here and read more about Privacy Day 2008 and the upcoming summit in March in Washington DC.

Memo to Yahoo, Facebook and a few others : Registration is still open.

SEMMYs nominees are up - Vote !

The nominees for the SEMMYs awards have been chosen and are now posted to SEMMYS.ORG.
There's a selection of simply GREAT articles ....and a lot of busy people that took the time to put this together!

More than well worth the reading.

Take some time when you get a chance. Read these Search Marketing articles .... and then go ahead and cast your vote.

Without any doubt, some of the best material of the year is here.

It's your chance for a FREE SEM crash course, and, to participate!

Microsoft to the rescue ?

For lack of a better way of putting it, it's been a been outright scary week for the world's stock markets.

With the markets in literal free fall at the beginning of the week, the US Federal Reserve made a hefty emergency rate cut of 75 basis points. We commented on it here, and, in fact, it wasn't enough to dispel the fear and selling.

The markets finally leveled off somewhat yesterday after word came that an agreement was near on an economic stimulus package here in the US.

Then, Microsoft reported earnings. In a repeat performance of last quarter only better, Microsoft literally trashed all predictions and expectations, this time reporting record earnings for their second fiscal quarter and providing significantly higher guidance for their entire year which ends June 30th.

In after hours trading in the US, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) was up $1.84 to $35.09.

Other 'search-related' technology stocks also recovered a bit (in after-hours) with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) reaching $588.00 and Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) also recovering losses to $22.05.

The report couldn't have come at a better time as analysts were mixed on a whether a recession in the US would effect the ever-growing technology sector.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sarah Meyers interviews Richard Branson

I can't help but plug this.

Richard Branson has to be one of the coolest dudes on the planet. Now he wants to go to another one.

Sarah Meyers is rapid becoming a rising, well, 'new generation video pop-star' ? (with a little support from Techcrunch and PerkettPR). Her videos are regularly improving and her coverage from CES (and this interview) will, no doubt, help her 'ratings'.

As for Sarah ... we'll let you decide.

The interview is short but well worth a peek and can be found here

Recession creates opportunity - Part 1

No doubt it's a little overdue, but they're finally using the 'R' word.

There's an old saying "Recession is when your neighbor loses his job, depression is when you lose yours". I'm not sure if that's true anymore (but it's still a 'keeper').

I feel like we're in a replay of the 'bubble burst' of 2000 when I read or listen to the analysts on Wall Street and/or see who is in Davos at the World Economic Summit right now. It's a really creepy mix. There's simply no doubt that more than 25% of the people there will have absolutely no impact on the economy in the coming years. There's a few bloggers and Web 2.0 people. Let's hope that's a big positive. We'll see if the stories of told for personal gain, or overall good.

The US economy has been driven, in large part, for almost a decade, by mergers and acquisitions. Wall Street gets real nervous when that activity slows. I'm not against M & A at all. It's part of the system and sometimes creates some new and exciting companies (or 'rescues' others).

The mortgage mess is just part of the problem.

Currently, it's the American consumer that drives the economy. The pundits will have you believe the recession is because they're being cautious.

The fact is that many of the baby boomers and their kids, the largest portion of the of the 'consuming public' ... are broke!. Many of their parents were laid off (by M&A) just before their retirement, and the kids are paying off huge college loans!


We got a huge rate cut by the fed. The markets reacted 'a little', but not a whole lot. Emergency cut? Did it put money in your pocket? It slowed or temporarily stopped the blood bath in the world markets. The reality is the fed could cut rates again on January 30 at the FOMC meeting and the same thing will happen.

It's not enough.

The middle class needs CASH. The currently proposal in congress is a 'start' but 500 bucks maybe just just enough to pay off a credit card. I personally can't stand subsidies of any kind but I don't see any other way?

This isn't gloom and doom. It's an example of why blogs are so important. It's an example of how you, maybe for the first time in history, can and should be part of the dialog. There were much uglier economic times in history. There were a few 'great leaders' that ultimately fixed it. This 'could' be a blip on the radar screen. You have a voice. The college gang knows what I'm talking about.

Buy Grandma a computer so she can tell her story, and our politicians, corporate executives, and other decision makers finally 'get it'?

I'm an optimist by nature but we can't underestimate what's going on right now.

Stop blaming 'the war'. Start blaming blatant reliance on OIL. Who missed this?
Some things, like the hyper speed at which we became 'a world economy', were simply unpredictable.

Most importantly, whether you believe it or not, your voice CAN be heard. I found that out when I moved to rural America. Call your representatives on THE PHONE. Tell them your story. If they hear enough of them, they might actually break out of the 'political bubble' and realize what's really going on. If they already see the writing, you may force their hand?

I don't like when people get ripped-off whether it's within our 'search marketing / SEO / SEM space', or on Wall Street. If you have time, and hold stocks, attend a stockholder meeting. Watch the insider trades. Question them.

Companies can still be profitable and retain honor and integrity.

There's a lot of them that aren't. They're doing 'whatever it takes' to keep the stock price up and to pacify the fund managers on Wall Street.

There will always be good guys and bad guys. When times get tough, the bad guys appear like a plague. That simply makes things worse. We'll look at that in Part 2 from a search marketing perspective.

There's still lots of entrepreneurial opportunity, recession or not. In 'our space', we see new start-ups every day and existing ones scoring nice amounts of venture capital. If these companies create a solid 'corporate culture' (Google, again, being a great example), they may very well succeed without be creepy or doing crazy things that hurt people and ultimately hurt the overall economy.

While I've been an outspoken proponent of an ongoing dialog in the search marketing space in recent months, this issue is a 'little' larger.

I've never said this before but if you think I'm right, take 10 seconds and send this piece to Mixx, Blogrunner (NY Times), StumbleUpon, Digg, Google Shared Reader, or wherever you're comfortable. I honestly don't care if my name is on it or not. (I simply can't moderate any type of forum right now ...but don't mind being an instigator :).

Grass roots has worked before and it can work again. There's a lot of people out there right now that need our help.

Web 2.0 has provided us the greatest opportunity in history to speak out. Let's use it for everyone's good (and not just our own personal gain).

Update: As most of you know, I rarely get political in this blog and although I don't think this piece really had a political spinn, it appears the house and senate at this hour are close to a deal which makes sense. We'll see. Thanks for the notes from a few of you. I sincerely felt it was important but didn't expect action this soon.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Monthly Metrics for Design and Marketing

Every once in a while we share a few of our analytics with you so that you can optimize your website or blog to the current audience.**

Here's the latest from averaging 10 websites we 'maintain'...

Past 30 Days:
Firefox took another leap to over 14%
Explorer at 79% with version 7 (for the first time) just edging out version 6 but just about 50/50
Safari edged up to just under 4%

Far and away, the most common screen resolution is 1024 x 768 with a little over 50% and 800 x 600 still in deep decline with about 7.5%

Dial-up? There's a few of you still out there but only about 4 %
Cable/Fibre 46% DSL 22%

Operating systems: 81% Windows XP Vista coming on (a little) at 15%
Mac Operating System are up as well to 5.5 %
Variations of Linux 1.4%

**It's (very) important to point out that all of these stats are from consumer oriented websites.
Also these websites are all U.S.-based with U.S. geo-targeted audiences.
IE: Our technology websites / blogs scored higher in all of the Apple categories and Linux-based OS's.

For those of you that don't run extensive analytics (and you should!), we hope this post helps.

Update on Pownce and Andy Beal SEO List

I'm not sure if Andy Beal realized what kind of response he would get (or the Buzzzzz) when he posted this piece (mentioned earlier here) to Marketing Pilgrim. Lots of Gurus!!??. Remember when there were just 20 or 30 ?? Twitter better duck!

Is Pownce next?

Here's the update from last night's public debut. (Did I miss another party??)

Everyone's powncing on Pownce!

Their servers were keeping up tonight but it was slowing down to a crawl at times.

A few notes. 1) The new desktop client is MUCH better than the Beta. 2) You can only send a certain amount of invites at a time or they get backed up in the system. (With the auto-import from Facebook, Twitter etc, everyone found that our real quick). 3) If you show a 'minus' follower number, it's someone trying to friend you ... or at least that's what it was with me.

So far, looks pretty cool. Novelty? A keeper? Only time will tell.

So far, it looks neat.

Like I said in an earlier 'twit', with all this new stuff, maybe it really is time for OpenID.

The good part .. You can be part of the 'cool club' free.
Me on Twitter Me on Pownce

I let (almost) anyone in :)

Update your Google Analytics code !

In late December, Google Analytics (formerly Urchin) made a significant change to the tracking code placed on each page of your website.

It has come to our attention that many have yet to adopt the new code (which offers a variety of features).

While Google is continuing support for what they are now calling the 'legacy code', you may want to log-on to your (or your client's) account, and perform the update.

We just started the migration on a few websites and it's much better in a variety of ways.

Use caution, as this newer code now goes near the bottom of the page, rather than in the header.

Just a little 'heads up' from us .....

Pownce goes live

At about 4 AM EST this morning, Pownce can out of closed beta and opened their messaging platform to the public.

TechCrunch had the preview here.

and .... I'm messing around with it here this week, time permitting, here .

We'll see how this one goes. Best of luck to the 'founders' !

Update : Leah Culver posted this article showing what's all new with the public release of Pownce.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Google indexing Readburner feeds

Louis Gray pointed out yesterday that Readburner continues to improve it's look and feel.

This morning I noticed that Google in now indexing Readburner shares (No doubt, a big shot in the arm for Readburner ... and maybe all of us that have been using it as it evolves).

I'm sure none of you search your own name from time to time :) .... so I did ...

Andy Beal compiles SEO Twitter List

This is almost better than another award contest?!

For those of you that missed it, Andy Beal and Brian Chappell are compiling a list of SEO and SEM 'experts' that are currently using Twitter.

Wonder why your follower list climbed a bit lately ??

The growing (and growing) list is here .

Freeware that works (and is Spyware free !)

Freeware and Shareware have been around along time. I use a LOT of both.

I've had more arguments with tech guys than I can count about these programs.

The reality is that some of these programs should simply be being built into operating systems. Others are almost as good as some very expensive commercial software.

As far as shareware, I've had a long standing policy. While some of the authors are GREAT, I only buy stuff that has free upgrades for life. I suppose it's a double standard as, yes, I do buy Microsoft products (and others) when I'm convinced it will help my productivity. I also use them to stay current with the latest software and applications.

Gizmo Richards puts out one of the best freeware lists. I've experimented with many of them, and at least for me, while I like and read the commentary, I only find a few of them truly useful.

(Note: Some of these still carry the 'Beta' tag - Read everything - Some beta software should not be used in mission critical environments! )

This follows list is for Windows XP and, in most cases, Vista.

Freeware - The short list of Free Software that I use regularly:

FreshDiagnose and /or Belarc Advisor - What's in your computer? You may be surprised.
CCleaner - Use advanced features with caution
Firefox and IE7 and Safari for Windows Beta 3
Goggle stuff: Picasa 2, Google Earth, Gmail, Blogger
Yahoo Stuff: Flickr uploader Version 3 is here.
Microsoft Stuff: Live Writer, Live Mail Client, SysInternals utilities, Virtual PC
Paint.Net - Ugh, look out Photoshop ? - It just keeps getting better!
Fireshot for Firefox - Screenshots from Firefox
ImgBurn - Great for ISO's
Filezilla - FTP Client - Constantly updated.

While obviously, my own tests don't agree always with Gizmo, his commentaries in these categories (and about 40 more) are well worth the read and updated every few months.

I hope you find at least one of these programs useful!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Big lay-offs at Yahoo ? - Not yet.

Yesterday, numerous blogs reported that Yahoo was on the verge of laying off 1500-2500 people. News like that spreads around pretty quick.

We believe the source was the Silicon Alley Insider. The blogs posts we saw looked pretty much like they 'originated there'. (Credit your source??).

We're liking the 'Insider' more each day, with good stuff and a consistent mostly-authoritative stream of news from the growing tech center in NY, affectionately known as Silicon Alley.

One think we like the most about the 'online paper', is that when they're off the mark, they admit it.

Today's issue is reporting a different twist on the story with what has happened since the return of Jerry Yang to Yahoo, and what he and President Susan Decker have been doing to keep Yahoo alive and well (and keep Wall Street smiling :)

The article can be found here.

Update Monday 6:15 PM EST : The Yahoo story from today's NY Times online edition.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Change is good - SEO and Tech Daily

We are moving to a more versatile Blogger layout this weekend.

Please bear with us


PS: Be sure to check out our shared feed at left while we're playin' a little ...

OpenID - Where can I get one?

Numerous companies over the past few months have been experimenting with the new OpenID 'universal' log-in.

This past week alone Blogger and Yahoo both announced initiatives to allow users to log-in using their OpenID.

We set out to see who's using it now, and what the buzz is on who's next.

We didn't have to 'travel' far.

OpenID and a myriad of websites, news and more can be found here.

TicketsNow bought by IAC's TicketMaster

IAC / Interactive Corp (NASDAQ: IACI) TicketMaster unit has entered into an agreement to buy for $265 million (US).

TicketsNow has a large affiliate network and is considered to be one of the largest ticket resellers on the Internet.

TicketMaster, one of the first names in 'independent ticket suppliers' (on and off the net) has many exclusive ticket arrangements with a variety of shows, events and sports teams.

The combined company would be in a better position to compete with EBay owned StubHub.

More details are in TicketNow's release here

Crunchies Live from San Francisco

The Crunchies were broadcast live (over the net) tonight using Mogulus technology.

Overall the technology worked well and provided smooth streaming here on the east coast.

Hosted by Mike Arrington of and presented jointly by,, and (with a list of sponsors including a variety of tech companies and VC firms), the winners have just been posted to TechCrunch by Duncan Riley here .

Duncan was also pretty busy on Twitter before and after his presentation spot, and posting photos on Flickr at the same time here . (and they say guys can't multi-task ...).

It was GREAT to see OM Malik looking very well on stage, after some recent heart difficulties which he addressed on in late December. Just a mild-mannered cool guy.

I watched the show here on the east coast along with a few 'handicappers' on Twitter. Those at the show (I guess this could have be anticipated) were also on Twitter, several of which I chatted with briefly.

Unlike some of the earlier HUGE conventions, it was a truly interactive event which provided a great look at 'things to come' on the web in 2008. Tech journalists from 'the old days' joined with new generation web reporters, along with an assortment of tech executives, media and a variety of entrepreneurs.

Google was in attendance as well, with a 'pre-show' interview with Marissa Mayer, VP of Search Product and User Experience. Mark Zuckerberg was on hand to accept two awards for Facebook including 'Best Overall'.

Dan Farber of ZDnet hosted a mid-show panel which became a little controversial as the entrepreneurs seemed to dismiss entirely the prospect of a recession in the US effecting any of them. Good entrepreneurs simply don't care about recessions. They 'vision' what they can come up with in any economy and drive forward, perhaps a little more carefully.

Ryan Stewart (ZDnet) was also keeping us posted from the auditorium on Twitter, as well as numerous others.

I honestly don't want to leave anyone out here because the list was very representative of 2007 stand-outs, so be sure and check it out at the link above or any of the sponsor sites to see the winners and comments.

We're sure video re-runs will follow as well. If you have some time, check out the before and after interviews which, in same cases, were insightful, informative and just fun.

Yet another show attended in 'Green' from here without expending any jet fuel ?! :)

Congrats to the winners and all the nominees.

Update : Lots of photos on Flickr under the keyword Crunchies2007

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Lesley Stahl hooked on Facebook - CBS News gets it?

Just after the 60 minutes interview by veteran CBS News anchor / reporter Lesley Stahl with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg this past Sunday, I made a brief post here.

It was a relatively simple piece that included the CBS interview re-run web address, in the event that any of you that missed it wanted to see how Zuckerberg made out.

That post can still be found here .

At the end of the post, I joked that I was going to send a 'Facebook friend request' to Ms. Stahl.

Those of you that know me, know that I like to 'experiment a little' (understatement?), and have some fun in the Web 2.0 space. The fact is .. I did send Ms. Stahl the request. I then proceeded to file it under 'no way' :)...

Researching material for a future 60 minutes piece? Joining her CBS News friends already on Facebook? Could she actually be engaging the Internet social community??

Memo to Katie Couric (and Leslie Moonves) : This is how to get ratings !

Logging onto Facebook this evening, I was pleased to see that "Charlie Anzman and Lesley Stahl are now friends". Well how cool is that?

Memo to a few of MY esteemed colleagues: It might be a good idea not to 'poke' Lesley just yet. I didn't know what poking was until my first poke came from a guy, and I replied ... 'huh?'....

Staff edit : Replay link corrected

Score TWO for Yahoo - The Flickr deal, more

In a year where we saw Google going into the stock price stratosphere, and watched Microsoft making new turns, investments and acquisitions ..., many have been wondering about Yahoo (and their future earnings).

A few days ago, Bill Slawski pointed to a new way Yahoo is ranking websites.

We had done a lot of ranting last year about Yahoo's most recent algorithm 'adjustments'. If they are already using this new algorithm, at least in the spaces we monitor, Yahoo has become dramatically more relevant in their results in the past few weeks. (Some of the Yahoo search results were pretty scary there for a while !?)

Today, the buzz is all about Yahoo's Flickr and a new deal with the US Library of Congress. While Flickr is, no doubt, the most popular photo sharing platform (and may have spoken for itself?), this is a clear coup for Yahoo.

If you've been reading the articles today and can't find 'the stuff', the new 'Yahoo Commons' is here and the Library of Congress announcement is here. Be sure and check it out.

We're sharing (for free)

In concert with our story yesterday on Readburner, (and because we're just enjoying this way of reading YOUR stuff!) ... effective later today, we will be 'sharing' select stories from others' blogs on our Google Reader feed (link at left :)

None of us can be in all places at all times and we have found these feeds to be invaluable (and sometimes outright funny!) as of late.

Hopefully this trend will continue.

Special thanks for those that have already been sharing our feed(s)!

Another little experiment from 'up here in the boonies' that we sincerely hope you find useful and enjoyable.

Staff edit: Link corrected

Robert Scoble's new job -confirmed - sort of

I honestly don't know whether Mike Arrington (TechCrunch) and Robert Scoble both knew about it when Arrington broke the story that Scoble was leaving Podcast for Fast Company ... in the middle of his speech in Paris last month (with Arrington blogging from the audience).

It's probably unlikely based on the on-stage response from Scoble and others accounts (and it's not entirely 'unlike' Arrington :)

Whether you love Robert or not, there was a huge media blitz that followed. Despite his years in the biz, the guy still knows how to make headlines.

Earlier today, 'confirmed' that Scoble has joined Fast Company and starts his new gig tomorrow. You can read the entire piece at here .

Robert's blog at this hour says 'Jobless' ....

From 'radio' to video, once things for certain. Scoble looks like he's havin' a awful lot of fun ...

Update : FastCompany's Press Release is now here and Robert's comments are posted this morning here .

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

ReaderBurner continues to grow - and deliver.

Over the past few weeks, we've seen a little 'buzz' surrounding ReadBurner. (That little buzz turned Readburner into a little mess for a few days in the early tests!).

Honestly, we're lovin' this new 'tool'. As simple as it may seem, there seems to be a new gem in the mix each day.

ReadBurner simply gives you a quick peek at who's sharing feeds on Google Reader (if they have 'burnt' their feed into the system).

There are already some 'regulars' on Readburner, mostly made up of people who we were already reading. While we still like the personalization of Google Reader itself , Readburner, although still in it's infancy, is growing exponentially.

See what you think. Check out ReadBurner here , or, burn your Google Reader feed and see what happens? (There may be a short delay in getting you into the system due to volume).

Update: If you just want to read a little about ReaderBurner, the official blog is here .

Monday, January 14, 2008

Google Reader wants to hear from YOU

In a post earlier today, Google engineer Mihai Parparita posted a great piece on the Official Google Reader blog.

In addition to quoting a user that used Google Reader to find a new job, Parparita notes the many current uses for the product.

The mention of Twitter in the piece was 'interesting' :)

We adopted Google Reader a few months ago (See left?), and haven't been sorry since. Not only has our reader base increased exponentially, but it gives us a fast take on others posts as well.

We've also noticed in the past few weeks, prominent bloggers changing to and/or registering addresses to make full use of the Reader feeds.

AOL watch continues -

Weblogs Inc., the blog network acquired by AOL (Time-Warner) from Jason Calacanis (now building Mahalo) and Brian Alvey in late 2005, continues to integrate Weblogs Inc. content into AOL.

Weblogs' portfolio includes are variety of popular blogs and websites, among them Engadget and Download Squad.

Of particular interest to us is the continuing breaking content growth at
Be sure to check this site out.

AOL's new look continues to improve and is VERY content-rich. The question remains "will content command your start-up page ... or not?".

With iGoogle, Microsoft's and other 'vanilla' and customizable offerings growing, and combination offerings from My Yahoo and MSN, the jury is still out on AOL's future.

Content-rich Yahoo has been making significant company and personnel changes in the past year to compete and keep it's position intact on many desktops.

One thing's for sure. It'll continue to be an interesting year on the portal front.

Google makes wireless spectrum payment to FCC

Google (Google Airwaves Inc.) has made the expected deposit payment to bid in the upcoming FCC auction of wireless spectrum cell-phone / broadband frequencies.

Others bidding for spectrum space include AT&T Inc., Verizon, Cox Wireless, Qualcomm, MetroPCS and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's Vulcan Spectrum LLC.

There numerous others with a total of 214 qualified approved bidders at this time.

As expected, Frontline Wireless, which apparently 'shut down operations' earlier this month did not make the deadline.

The complete list can be found at the Federal Communications Commission website here .

Microsoft Listas Tech Preview

Microsoft has opened the tech preview of LISTAS to the public.

A somewhat unique bookmarking service combined with a community, the preview is worth checking out (to try and see how it will be integrated in the future?).

You can access (with a .net ID) MS Listas here

Facebook riding the CBS PR wave on Google ?

About 5 hours after the 60 minutes Facebook interview, in which Mark Zuckerberg commented "We have to make money. We have 400 employees", we noticed a 'phenomenon'.

Facebook was buying Google Adwords with a significant number of them appearing on notable 'social networking' blogs.

The interesting part was this was about 1 AM EST on Monday. Was this campaign aimed at European advertisers ??

The screenshot at left was 'borrowed' from Social Desire (Thank you Shana :).

For those of you that saw the piece, we sent Lesley Stahl a 'friend request'. Keep you posted .....

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Flickr does downtime again

Yesterday, Yahoo engineers were performing some sort of upgrade to Flickr which created significant downtime throughout the today (and a barrage of blog posts by photo lovers!).

Well, it's 4:06 pM here on the east coast and Flickr is down again.

According to the Flickr blog, "someone kicked a power cord in one of the datacenters".

I really hope that was an attempt at humor?.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Facebook buzz continues on 60 Minutes ?!

CBS News has posted some previews of Lesley Stahl's upcoming 60 minutes interview (tomorrow night) with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg .

CBS News also tapped author and Forrester Research VP Charlene Li. Her perspective and a behind the scenes 'feel' can be found on her blog here.

You can watch the interview on 60 minutes Sunday, January 13th at 7 PM.

The CBS online replay of the brief (somewhat uneventful) interview is here

MacWorld Conference and Expo 2008 - Virtual Coverage

It seems like just yesterday when CES was the only electronics trade show ...

.... now it seems as if there's one every two weeks?

Bye, Bye Vegas ....

This year's MacWorld Conference and Expo is next, from January 14th through the 18th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

The question on everyone's mind is "What can Steve Jobs do for an encore?".

While Bill Gates heads for a 'working retirement', there appears no sign that Jobs is letting up any time soon.

Few would dispute that 2007 was 'The Year of the iPhone', as well as a new generation of MAC users. Despite mildly upsetting (understatement) a few iPhone early adopters by dropping the price $200 (US) just weeks after it's retail debut, Apple had a stellar year, despite a broad-based retail downturn in the US.

Jobs keynote speech is known for a few surprises. It will be Tuesday at 9 AM (PST). see links below.

Will there be a significant announcement this year? The new Mac Pro and Xserve have already been announced. While most suspect 2007 can't be repeated, we think Jobs is planning to keep the latest Apple buzz alive and well (and he has a long history of doing just that).

We scoured the web earlier today to see which bloggers and websites will have video and other coverage from 'The Largest MacIntosh Event of the Year'.

Here's the starter kit for you virtual show-goers ...

MacWorldExpo - The Official Website of MacWorld (and the previous home of live feeds of Steve Jobs' keynotes)
MacWorld - Preview podcast now online at
Engadget - Already "on the ground at MacWorld !" and promising live coverage of the keynote.
Digital Lifestyle - also already previewing video coverage from Mac World now.
Gizmodo - MacWorld coverage page
Ars Technica - First banner pics from MacWorld already online.
Apple Insider - Apple Insider Online
Mac Rumors -
MacOSRumors - Under new management, they simply have to be on-time?
Mac Daily News

Whether you make it to SF or not, enjoy the show. This one will definitely be interesting to watch.

Possibly for the first time, whether it's from rural America or from remote parts of the world, you'll be able to attend MacWorld from just about anywhere ....

Update: More 'personalities' from MacWorld can be found on this page at Qik

Friday, January 11, 2008

Something to play with over the weekend (for free)

This should keep a few of you busy :)

In an update to our post on the new version of gOS, the Beta 2.0 release, featured at CES, has now been posted as an ISO to their website here .

Google profits in bad markets

I can vision a day where you'll be able to buy options on Google Adwords CPMs ....

It was few months ago when I commented on an article (I think it was on Mashable but honestly don't remember at the moment :). It was about the real estate downturn and it's effect on Google.

Since then, through a variety of metrics, I've been tracking real estate PPC prices in a few select markets.

It didn't come entirely as a surprise. As many of you know, the ROI in many (most?) cases on buying PPC vs other media, if you do it right, is very simply MUCH better. There are still much more effective media plays, but most are much more expensive.

It's not just Google. At this point, in some spaces, many just can't afford real estate keywords. Yahoo, Live, and Ask and the 'secondary' PPC networks are all getting a real estate play ... and it's huge.

It's simply not fair that I can't profit from this. Are you listening Wall Street ... CBOT ... ???
You did futures on DRAM. How about PPC prices ? Supply and demand, right?

Then again, if the markets begin to 'dictate' PPC costs, smart people might just start moving their money to PPC futures and the price of oil might come down.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Update to CES post - David Caruso IS at CES

I think most of us thought is was more of a curiosity thing last month when David Caruso of CSI Miami fame showed up at PubCon. Bloggers posted lots of photos with Caruso, who was more than gracious, and then the social networks began the buzz.

What was Caruso doing at PubCon?

The buzz got a little louder as some started talking about a 'new technology company'.

I joked "No sign of David Caruso at CES yet" earlier this week ....

Nothing like a little 'star power' to get a buzz going. You gotta love buzz.

Welcome to Lexicon? Huh?

From CES (not to be confused with CSI) in Las Vegas (Not Miami) CNET's Kara Tsuboi has the video interview with Caruso on his new company partnership here.

I suppose the question is "Where is Mister Wolf?"....

Update: AOL and G4TV have a probing video of Caruso and his business partner in Lexicon here along with some more video from CES.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Malware is not the only 'bad guy' issue anymore

Malware is not the only problem that Search Engines and others need to watch in 2008 .....

There's a huge challenge ahead for search engines, particularly in the blog space.

It seems like just yesterday, yet it was eleven months ago when ICANN was caught in the middle of a dispute between an official ICANN-accredited registrar and several thousand customers who, almost all at once, started a huge and horrible buzz.

Not only were their credit cards being charged multiple times, but their domain names were expiring or 'being locked down'.

The legitimate owners lost access to their control panels, and in many cases lost ownership of their domains.

We are all still at the mercy of our respective registrars.

The fact was that the registrar had (1) had serious technical problems, (2) apparent financial troubles, and (3) an internal management (partnership) fallout.

There were no safeguards. Despite ICANN's charter at the time limiting what they could and could not do, they did in fact spend money, travel, visit the company and more, to try and rectify the problem.

The matter literally became an international incident, effecting foreign government websites, non-profits and thousands of small and medium size businesses, many of whom had to lay-off employees as legitimate websites went dark.

Non-US companies actually blamed the United States in more than a few blog posts!

Ultimately, the problem was solved when GoDaddy stepped in and 'took over' (terms were never disclosed) the remaining portfolio of the registrar. They did an excellent job repairing what damage they could and bulk transferring the names. It was a tedious and time-consuming process.

I maintained consistent communication with ICANN and others throughout this unfortunate chapter in Internet history. Several of my clients were effected. They were 'as responsive as they could be' and maintained an open dialog on their blog. Their charter, plus the registrar's somewhat inaccurate registry history made it impossible, at the time, for ICANN to simply flip a switch and return the system to normal.

In fact, companies completely folded that depended on the web. Many jobs were lost, and for the purpose 'our space' and SEO / SEM , search engine rank was considerably effected as many of these companies websites disappeared with no explanation, some for many months.

The continued irony of this story is that someone claiming to be this registrar is contacting 'former clients' by e-mail soliciting renewals right now, while in fact those domains were either bulk transferred (or entirely lost) long ago. The website still comes up in number 1 position on Google despite an ICANN mandated message on the front page ??!!

Today came news that we have a new 'issue' with domain names known as 'Front Running'. It's not a rogue registrar using it. It's Network Solutions? The story, and a little 'understanding of what this is' can be found on the CircleID website here. While not as severe as last year's saga, it deserves early attention and awareness.

The bottom line is while 'some' continue to predict Internet bottlenecks and outages due to more video, etc. (How many times have we heard this in the last decade??), the industry does have to be kept abreast of other and new problems facing our growing infrastructure including malware, rootkits, spyware, and attempt to predict by examination and avoid situations such as those posed to ICANN last year.

We all have a vested stake and should not be complacent, participate in the dialog, and remain active in assisting those which greater resources to protect Net Neutrality and the Internet as a viable vehicle for everyone, whether they are technically literate or not.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

FaceBook and Google to join Data Portability

Read / Write Web has was could be, in their words, a potentially historic piece on and their upcoming members, Google and Facebook.

Plaxo is also mentioned for those of you that followed the Scoble saga last week ....

The piece from earlier today can be found here .

Wikia Search - What we found or didn't

If you're an avid blog reader, you no doubt read yesterday that the much-anticipated Wikia Search launched, to mixed, if not outright bad reviews.

I suppose it's important to realize this is an Alpha release. I, for one, don't really think 'alphas' should be public. Alphas generally create negative publicity, but they decided to 'go public' and let us all play.

TechCrunch did a piece on the alpha here . Matt Cutts (Google) on his return from a brief vacation noted some Wikia Viagara math (?!) at this blog here . Then, a slew of reviews came down during the day on Monday.

Here's what our gang noticed, for what it's worth.

You were able to instantly create a relevant piece to your search term at the very top. Check back later, it stays there. If that theory goes where Wikipedia's been, that can be good or bad, depending on who writes the updates.

The part we liked the best were the little voting stars. Just click on them and you get a very cool "Sorry, this doesn't do anything yet" ?!

Now, that's an alpha.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Eric Ward gloats - the mandatory reading list continues

Today brings another addition to our 'mandatory reading list'. We think most of you will agree.

Eric Ward, better known as 'Link Moses' to many, wrote an all-important piece at Search Engine Land today.

While the 'black-hats' (and a few SEO snake oil salespeople) continue reeling over Google's recent SERP realignment (and while we concede that it wasn't without a few 'blips' that need to be corrected), the FACT is that the technology has caught up with the well-documented basic rules of SEO. Not just Google's rules. Rules that have been discussed and proven for many years.

References to what Eric has been preaching can be found on Google blogs and others as early as 2004.

This has been a hot button issue since last month when MANY top-10 websites literally dissipated, some buying the dreaded Google -40 or -90 penalty. The reality is that most of these websites bought into 'easy linking', the algorithm caught up, and the story was told.

The next time someone calls (this especially applies to the Travel and Real Estate spaces!), offering you this 'great new link network', read this piece by Eric Ward first.

Search Engine Journal announces Annual Blog Awards

Earlier today, Loren Baker's Search Engine Journal announced the winners of their 2007 annual blog awards. We watched the Kudos, Comments and Sphinns, as they posted throughout the day. It was a diverse and interesting mix for each award.

SEJ IS providing a platform to not only recognize those that have been working many years, but also recognizing newer authors and editors that build solid, reliable, and informative blogs over a relatively short period of time.

There was a little 'behind the scenes' lobbying (maybe more than a little) which is entirely normal but not completely self-serving. It demonstrates the industry's continued respect for Loren and Search Engine Journal. Search Engine Journal now finds itself in an increasingly crowded field, but the publication's simple and genuine approach keeps it alive and well within the community.

The other feeling we came away with is that some of the hardest working people in the various categories won. Both young and 'older' bloggers, I often wonder how some of these people find the time to do what they do each day.

Dosh Dosh was one of many standouts this year. Maki has managed to not only grow a long list of 'social followers' and readers, but has created an excellent and trusted social network reference. He crossed over successfully to the SEO space this year as well. Maki was 'spotted' earlier today in the social space 'adjusting' his Twitter contacts. This IS a classic example of how the industry (and reaching your target audience) continues to change.

You can read through the winners beginning on this page at Search Engine Journal and step to the next award at the bottom of each page. Not only is it fun and interesting reading but the comments, so far, provide a long list of 'other knowledgeable people' as well as mentions of those that did a great job but got 'edged out' ..... at least, for this year.

gOS - The sequel - The $200 PC OS evolves

Some of us experimented a little with the now-infamous 200-dollar PC that was marketed by Wal-Mart last year.

The operating system, a combination of Ubuntu Linux with a custom GUI by Enlightenment, came preloaded with 'lots of things Google', Facebook, Meebo, Wikipedia, and more.

It met with somewhat mixed reviews in it's initial release on the Everex $200 PC. (What do people expect for $200 ?)

Some thought that gOS stood for Google Operating System. In fact, it stood for GREEN Operating System, as the software and hardware were designed to be very 'power-friendly'.

As I write this, the gOS website has a countdown timer on their home page. A brand-new version of the software is expected to be unveiled at CES mid-day today.

I, for one, particularly liked this screen on the site and am thinking of adopting it right here ...
"We welcome unorthodoxy in large amounts" too :)

Staff update Jan 9 11 pm est - gOS 2.0 has been posted to the gOs website for download.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

CES 2008 First Online Coverage - Save the air fare?

If you're regular reader of this blog, you'll know that if there's one thing we enjoy, it's trade shows.

Well, you can only fly from New York to Vegas so many times... so once again, we explored the web landscape earlier this morning for 'first takes', blog posts and video, from what is essentially the largest (this year, called International) Electronics trade show in the world. The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, opened to exhibitors in Vegas today and you can watch it right here, on the net.

1) CNET is there and their coverage is here

2) Mahalo has teamed with Engadget with video and more.

3) No sign of David Caruso yet (CSI) who appeared unexpectedly at Pubcon and made a few comments about a technology company? Hmmm.... We'll see.

4) The Official CES Website has a few RSS feeds for attendees and press

5) Gizmodo, as last year, is already video blogging the show here and noted that there is an entire area set up for the "press vs bloggers war" here!. Noting that 'the bloggers are winning'.

6) Check out is Digitial Trends reporting from CES here .

7) Finally, the MSN coverage begins tonight (and no doubt Bill Gates keynote speech?) and will be here .

A little starter kit for you virtual show goers. Enjoy the Gadgets!

Update: CrunchGear is also blogging live from CES here
Update Two: Gates keynote is on Microsoft's website here
Update Three: (and last for this post): Podtech is streaming live video from behind the scenes at the Bloghaus here

Social Bookmarking may not work next year

As I wandered around a few of the social networks tonight, and yes, added and subtracted just a few people, I thought about 'the next chapter' ... and sure, I cast a few 'real' votes.

It's pretty obvious that Mixx and Stumble are gaining ground. The question is why?

Maybe I'm naive but it seems to me, it's a lot easier to be noticed when there are less players? GREAT for now but what about later?

Digg is still huge. Technorati continues to seem 'confused' despite significant recent improvements. Others are already losing ground.

They're all a little different. Some of the bookmarking and voting communities may be for you and some may not. Right now, at least a few are probably important for you to at least explore.

I think it's high time that someone hits the subject that nobody wants to think about.

When the commercial interests and / or 'huge money' discover the potential of these networks, will they instantly become corrupt?

If someone offered you $50 for every vote you cast, would you think about it?

The possibility is real. It may be already happening.

I know we really don't want to think about any of this, but maybe if a few of us consider it now, we can help retain the integrity of these important websites going into 2008, and beyond.

Niche social markets with improved and improving moderation (such as Sphinn) will thrive.

Voting sites with larger audiences will need much-improved automatic and HUMAN monitoring. Sad, but true.

The players in this space need to be thinking about this now. I would hope they are already. I think it's possible to maintain the integrity of most of the niche sites and even some of the huge sites, if safeguards are put in place now.

If we can keep the 'voting space' relatively clean, your vote will be just as important as the CEO of a mega-corporation. Think about the possibilities. Right now, it's pretty cool watching the young crowd speaking out unabashed and really not caring at all about what the so-called 'huge people' think. More dialog like that can just help to improve the Internet landscape.

Sidebar: Collective-thoughts, along with a group of other blogs and websites, are running a little contest to vote for the 'bookmarkers' you think are doing a GREAT job. Unfortunately, because many of their authors are some of the BEST volunteer 'voters', they are not on the list, yet there is a good list to pick from.

Voting ends Tuesday. These people volunteer their time to help you find 'the best stuff'. Why not throw them a vote back?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Microsoft support for Firefox

According to our analytics, Firefox has managed to grow to about a 12.5 per cent share. That's pretty hefty.

Microsoft's Office Live is going through a number of changes including support for Firefox.

The upgrade information can be found at the Office Live page here .

Friday, January 4, 2008

CES 2008 - Las Vegas

One of the longest-running electronics trade shows, the Consumer Electronics Show (or CES) is just a few days away.

This year's "International CES" will be held in Las Vegas, from January 7th - January 10th. CES spans tech, gadgets, home theater, computers and more, and seems to get even bigger each year.

From Bill Gates to Jerry Yang and many, many others speaking, CES is bound to be a hit this year with the incredible amount (and pace) of electronics innovations currently underway worldwide.

The official CES website is here.

Another reason blogging is just so great .

Ever since I started this blog and more-recently began personalizing it a bit, I realized that I may have been totally wrong about something a short time ago.

At that time, I was thinking of dropping SEO and SEM and going to work for a company I could have some fun with, preferably one of the major players in Search. My clients were driving me a little nuts. I needed a change. A new challenge.

I went so far as to apply. I had the background, qualifications, resume etc. etc. ....

I am about the same age as Bill Gates (less about 50 Billion + or -) ... I don't feel it at all. I am in complete denial, and I'm totally OK with that. In fact, I hope it stays that way forever. If I can keep the energy while growing the wisdom, well how cool is that.

I started wondering if, in fact, there was age discrimination in our industry. I e-mailed people that I knew (pretty well) at 'the big three'. Of course, they balked at addressing it. In fact, it took me a while to get them back to corresponding again. Was it fear? Was I right?

Since SEO and Tech Daily launched, I've have gotten to know a lot of people. Most 'remotely', something I plan to change this year.

I KNOW I was totally wrong about the age thing.

Some names that have been mentioned on this blog are young people. They're all extremely talented in their own unique way (and I'm going to get slaughtered for leaving gobs of people out here ... but, as they say, you know who you are ....).

Recently, Lisa Barone, Veronica Belmont and, yes, Vanessa Fox (Hey, Vanessa, you're still really young ... soak it up!).

ALL of them, at one time or another, had me re-think a position or a blog post based on what they had to say. Check out the 'Lisa' link above .. and my response. Just one example.

The social online dialog crosses generations.
Think about that for a second.

While some discounted one of my posts about 'world peace' and the Internet playing a role, we are in fact communicating ideas that could change the way people look at things, and potentially go on to create positive energy of some kind. Discussion on top of discussion, country to country, generation to generation, and person to person.

Unlike some of the morons that post "Wow, you're cute" to some of these ladies' blogs etc., why not read what they write? ... or in Veronica's case ... watch the video. She's better than some local news anchors?!

I could have just as easily picked out some brilliant men. Jesse Ferrell of Accu-Weather sparked (then ignited) my interest in meteorology 7 or 8 years ago. We didn't meet in person until this past year.

In recent weeks, I have pretty much focused on my 'next path' and am really excited about it. I'm not leaving search, weather or travel. There's just too much love there.

Above all, this blog will continue because I'm truly enjoying reading most of you and the comments here and there, positive and negative, and, I'm still learning and growing.

Did I actually say that ?

Scoble - What I learned in 2007 - Mandatory Reading

While Robert Scoble was making headlines the passed few days because Facebook suspended his account (This story will definitely not go away for a while :) ...

I was reading through his Google Reader shared feed this morning and noticed this 2007 year-end gem.

If you blog, do SEO, get popular in 2008, get rich ...or read any of this stuff, this post from December 31st makes our mandatory reading list for bloggers, webmasters and marketers. If you can't relate to it, bookmark it now because you will need it if you intend to grow in this space.

Scoble's 'What I learned in 2007" is here.

In the Marketing Mix - Social Networking translates into ROI

Many smaller companies are recognizing the importance (and outright nominal cost) of social networking in their marketing mix. This trend will continue and increase well into 2008.

Yesterday, I pointed to Mahalo as an interesting property. The reason I wrote a piece about Mahalo again (and logged on and played with it for a bit) was that founder Jason Calacanis has personally been very busy reminding us about Mahalo on Twitter, several times a day. He's visible on Facebook and other social forums as well. I also found it interesting that Veronica Belmont (formerly of CNET) was now with Mahalo. I tapped both of them in Facebook at they were both right back. That's important. Keep the buzz alive, your name and your company.

Looking back at 2007, it really was all about 'the buzz'. Facebook knew how to attract press at the right time. TONS of new users logged on. Facebook was no longer just the social network of the 'university set'. As it now says right now on the log-in page "Anyone can join".

Press alone can dramtically increase your personal or company's valuation at any particular time.

Mainstream buzz translates into users (or customers). Mike Arrington of TechCrunch has already crossed all lines and is often quoted in the mainstream press, major industry online (and offline) magazines, TV and more. TechCrunch, at least right now, is practically the start-up news website of record. The sometimes controversial Arrington calls them as he sees them.

Which brings us to search engines and trust. The search engines (and yes, Google) love it when they KNOW they can trust a site. Explain your mission, tell a bit about who you are and, if possible, a little about your history. Who are you?

It's called credibility and it's something that everyone should be thinking about in their SEO program. Keep it honest, network as much as you can, and the readers (and possibly profits?) will follow.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The return of human edited search engines

Meta search engines have been around a long time. There are many still around. They search several popular search engines and give you 'combined results'.

Complimenting these websites are a multitude of social network voting websites, perhaps Digg being the most famous, but with a variety of others in this space as well.

A community of 'social bookmarkers' has arrived. They vote, bringing attention to themselves, other blogs and websites.

The other day, we noted the launch Dec 31 of A meta-search engine that allows YOU to discuss, vote... etc.

During 2007, Mahalo made headlines, is growing, and now definitely worth checking out. A different approach from Jason Calacanis and crew. Mahalo is getting social as well and also recently launched a daily video being produced by Veronica Belmont.

Will people adopt these new platforms? Will people write, discuss or vote?

There are some absolutely great websites and blogs out there that still need some attention.

It'll be interesting to watch these combined communities (and others) throughout the year.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Marketing, broadcast, advertising to change forever in 2008

I'm the last person to make predictions for 2008. I've been wrong about 'the future of AOL' for over 7 years! ....

You can read plenty of other people's predictions on many of the websites and blogs in our latest blogroll (lower left :).

One thing I know for sure. Marketing, advertising, accountability, movies, tv, and radio will change more than ever in 2008.

Mainstream advertising companies have already been hiring SEO and other 'Internet people'. The reverse is true with large (huge?) existing Internet players dramatically increasing their New York payrolls.

This is the year. The biggest, and possibly most confusing and hardest to track, convergence of the Internet, Madison Avenue, Wall Street, VC, magazines, newspapers, and other media.

"It will be harder to price advertising than ever before. It will be easier to target market than ever."

Sadly, magazines will continue to get thinner. I like magazines.

As for TV ....

Fox has announced that 24 is being delayed until a full season is in the can. Now, that leads me back here ....

While I've never been a big 'union guy', and despite numerous announcements, the writers strike is NOT over. Writers are far from dumb and they have a point. As the transition continues to 'everything over IP', these guys (and gals) are getting the ding-dong. They know it. Robin Williams (whose been walking the line with them) knows it too.

There were numerous news stories on TV today about 'shows returning this week'. Maybe they sandbagged them for after New Years, or maybe, just maybe, they're just following the Writers Strike Twitter Feed ??

Let's hope 2008 isn't the year decent network TV croaked. Viewers are hard to win back.

Let's also hope Net Neutrality continues. YouTube and other video sites are helping keep a few people honest ....