Friday, February 29, 2008

MyBlogLog dynamic profile goes live

Reminder: Hide OR add-to your MyBlogLog now!

The MyBlogLog dynamic profile that we reported on previously is now live.

The default for most services is ON.

In other words, if you do not wish to share your contact's (or your own) posts from services that you have registered with Yahoo / MyBlogLog (IE: Twitter, Bebo, Flickr, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, more), you need to log-on to MyBlogLog and 'hide' or remove those services.

Conversely, you can add services and create a dynamic profile to your contacts (and your own) notes and comments, similar, in a sense, to FriendFeed.

If you have multiple websites, the visible MyBlogLog feeds will only come from people that have tagged your primary account as a contact.

Yahoo takes another step towards social networking.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Yahoo changes PPC pricing

From a look at the comments since the original post on PPC pricing changes on the Yahoo Search Blog, it looks like Yahoo has just handed MSN Search more business?

As announced earlier this week, Yahoo is implementing a new pricing scheme for buying keywords based on quality, in some ways, similar to the way Google does.

In some 'niche' markets and other cases, it could be a (big) plus for some keyword buyers as the 10 cents minimum is going away. For those in highly competitive spaces, it could mean higher prices.

The 'account interface' is being changed as well and the FAQ's have been posted by Yahoo here.

Google adds to Online Office Suite

Without much fanfare, Google Sites went live early this morning.

The collaborative website 'easy creation tool' is now part of Google apps online, a growing suite of web-based business tools.

This is, in fact, a direct competitor to Microsoft's Office Live which began offering free websites, online collaboration, and a (somewhat buggy) online website creation tool last year.

A similar but much less robust offering from Google know as Google Page Creator has been available free for some time, as well as enterprise e-mail using GMail.

Hi I'm a Mac and I'm Microsoft's new ad campaign

AdAge is reporting that a new Windows Ad Blitz campaign has been awarded to Crispin, Porter & Bogusky.

The article in today's online edition values the campaign at 300 million US (however terms were not disclosed).

It also delves into the impact of the 'Hi, I'm a Mac' Apple campaign.

Take a few minutes for the read.

With Microsoft on the move from almost all of their divisions, including mobile, this should be interesting to watch as it unfolds.

staff edit

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 birthday contest

Sometimes I wonder what my daily routine would be like with PopUrls.

It was one of the first sites mentioned here back in August, and is the 'granddaddy' of aggregators.

Sure, you can now make your own at any one of the portals, but takes a quick look at just about everything!

The site sees an average of 75,000 users daily.

The 2nd birthday contest is on (It seems a lot longer). Why not enter?

The information can be found here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Google Dynamic Search delivering traffic

This is a story about blog traffic. It happened earlier today.

There have been many 'strange stat' days in the short history of this blog. Today was one of them.

Some of you reading this may say, well, you just went HOT on Sphinn. That wasn't it. Others know we're seen fairly often on TechMeMe. Not today.

This is almost funny, but also a lesson of sorts.

About 9:30 this morning, my wife called and said "I can't get into my e-mail". Barb is a Hotmail user and I'm a Gmail user. I tried accessing Hotmail and I couldn't get there either, or to our beta Office Live Test.

I put a couple of direct 'Twitters' out to a friends in the Northeast (at the time thinking that it was probably regional). Everyone was going up then down, etc. with Hotmail, and other MS sites.

Not being one to rush to a headline, I waited about 45 minutes and then posted the first piece on the Hotmail outage to this blog. Then followed it up, on and off for a few hours... and made a few updates. (That's the cool thing about Feedburner - You can re-write an entire piece when necessary).

Google (I guess they like us? :) dynamically indexes this blog in the main index. I've mentioned it before.

I'm not going to reproduce the entire Feedburner page here, and the day's not over?.
62.7% of our reads today, as of this screen capture (at 11 PM EST Feb 26) came from the Google main index for terms such as "Hotmail down" earlier in the day.

Coincidentally, I just read a great piece where Glen Allsopp interviewed Lee Odden, Neil Patel, Shana Albert and Jane Copland . This is a GREAT example of everyone in that article is talking about. On an average day, 72 per cent of this blog's hits come from other sites or feed readers.

Today was a whole different story.

I have no idea (nor do I care) if we 'broke the story'. We were early. Google indexed it, and it proved something important to me, particularly about blog story labels and traffic.

Don't discount search !

As mentioned in the previous version of this piece, our hope was that our previous SMX West article will catch the 'same day spotlight' here as well. The live blogging gang is doing a great job at SMX!. At this hour 90+ hits out to those sites at this hour. Not a bad deal.

Hotmail Outage - Update 3

A Hotmail outage that had been intermittent for most of the morning (at least throughout much of the Northeast United States), is now causing a little havoc among Hotmail users who are now commenting on social websites and elsewhere.

This morning, we received numerous reports from users in Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey that Microsoft's e-mail service was down or very slow. Service appeared to be restored around 11:30 AM EST.

Then down again.

Attempts to reach Hotmail are currently receiving the message 'Service Unavailable'.

Final Update: While it's apparent there is some ongoing difficulty today with Hotmail, most users are now reporting the service is restored but very slow or difficult to log in to..

The outage appears to be countrywide (worldwide?) with numerous reports now received.
Thanks to everyone for your input!

Updated post 1:31 PM EST Feb 26, 2008

Live Blogging from SMX West 2008

In a follow up to our piece on the 3 converging industry conferences, and who's live blogging what, there are now some great updates at SeoRoundtable , THE Lisa and Susan Esparza are live blogging over at the Bruce Clay blog, and, of course, daily updates are being posted to Search Engine Land.

Who gets the first Flickr Photos Award for SMX West?

Richard V. Burckhardt. You can find a few of his pics here.
Barry Schwartz followed with a variety of photos here and ...
The third runner-up is evilgreenmonkey with a few party pics here .
and ... Li Evans has put up her first photos here .
What the heck ... here's a few from W. Chris Smith

Now we're getting somewhere! shots from Ross Dunn here.
Here's a few SMX photos from Lee Odden's staff (TopRank) here

Barry Schwartz posted a video of him chatting with WebProNews on leap year Friday here and
Vanessa Fox just posted some videos to her blog here .

Final SMX West Update 15!

Finally, Sphinn and Twitter

A little community update:

First of all, a record read day for SEO and Tech Daily on Sunday.
Not too shabby on Monday either.....

It appears we're accomplishing our mission (I'll let you know what that is when I figure it out :)

Some of you have requested a Sphinn button. I didn't ignore you. Honestly, I just couldn't find one that worked reliably with the latest version of Blogger.

I'm the first to admit that I'm not an XML rocket scientist, but I finally wrote the integrated Feedburner Flare tonight (and it works!).

So, effective right now, if you wish to, you can now Sphinn (or Twit) right from the article.

Reminder, you can subscribe to our feed directly OR our Google Shared Feed or both at right.

Thanks to all

Monday, February 25, 2008

Did Yang and Decker really talk about MS today?

As I read the headlines blare across TechMeMe tonight, I thought to myself who's in the industry that might be live blogging from Phoenix and maybe have another view?.

I had my little cheat sheet on who's attending what, simply so I could keep track of the industry trends from here in the mountains of Pennsylvania, and I went over to John Battelle's blog. John was live blogging from the IAB event.

The CEO of Federated Media, a company that saw the 2.0 revolution coming (and profited nicely from it) would certainly have an opinion.

Did Jerry Yang and Sue Decker really 'break their silence' on the Microsoft takeover attempt?. Well maybe a little... just a very, very little.

You can read John Battelle here. (It's almost as good as being there, without the Dramamine :)

Trade show live blogging continues - 3 events !

Sam Harrelson of Reve News has been live blogging from the Affiliate Summit which will run very close to SMX West which begins tomorrow.

Can you be in Vegas and Santa Clara at the same time?

Knowing some of these guys (and gals), the answer is probably !

More on-line blog links from SMX as they become available.

Update: So where are Yahoo's Yang and Decker? At yet another simultaneous event.
In Arizona, at the Interactive Advertising Bureau event, Ecoystem 2.0.

Maybe it's time for a little coordination here ??

Update: has highlights from the Affiliate Summit.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Testing - Blog Comments by Phone !

Our Grand Central Beta Test is on.

As we noted the other day, Google has handed out a few beta invites to their Grand Central online phone service.

As many of your know, comments are disabled on this blog for a variety of reasons, mostly because we simply don't have time to moderate them.

So we're going to try a little experiment, and maybe even start a trend ?

Blog comments by phone!

Have a comment, question?. Want to be featured here?

Call and leave a voice mail on our Grand Central number.
We'll respond in an upcoming piece or via e-mail if you leave it in your message.

Want to comment on a post here ?

Shared feed mania - What's in it for YOU?

I started using Google's Shared Reader about 8 months ago, when it appeared that the entire tech (SEM?) community was using it (and yes, Twitter) to stay abreast of what was going on around them.

About two months ago, I inserted a subscribe link (to our shared feed) on this blog (still there, on the right) along with a graphic of the latest stories (including ours) that we shared beneath it.

It served numerous purposes including keeping our readers up-to-date when blogging in the middle of the night wasn't a good idea. (Yes, those are the posts that you see 'edit' under because I was half asleep?). Generally, NOT a good idea :)

I first learned about ReadBurner from Louis Gray's blog. Louis has carved out a cool niche in this area, following the various shared feed aggregators as they appear on the scene, among them SharedReader , RSSMeMe, and most recently LinkRiver.

Lots of developers out there, looking to make our lives a little easier?

Back to analytics and the reason for this post.

Only one of the above, at least according to this blog's Feedburner stats, is returning visitors. It's LinkRiver.

I chatted briefly on Friday with LinkRiver's developer Adam Stiles. Adam was incredibly responsive and engaging. In fact I was tempted to do our first audio interview but time just didn't permit it that night.

Here's one of Adam's comments:
"One point I'm trying to make about LR (and perhaps the product needs
to make the point better itself) is that you can follow whoever you
want to follow. In that way it avoids all the Digg/Reddit/lowest-common
-denominator problem. Follow who you want to follow.
That promise will be realized as the user base expands, but I
think LR has great potential in the area for personalized news".

If you haven't seen LinkRiver, you can find it here. The reason for the return visits becomes rather obvious.

Beta updates and some new stuff

Over the past few weeks, we mentioned a few beta releases that we were currently testing on our beta machines here.

This is a little 'community update'.

Windows XP Service Pack 3 Release Candidate 2 - Now running on two boxes (both with Windows XP HOME) with little if any problems. Slight increase in memory usage (about 5 per cent). Both appear very stable at this stage.
The 'rumored' performance improvement has been difficult to measure. Certainly, a good roll-up with some improved technology and security in the package. Beta testers should expect to tie up their computers anywhere for 30 -60 minutes on the install. Lots of subtle changes.

Flock 1.1 Beta - Great little browser using the Mozilla engine. If you do a lot of photo surfing or social networking, a host of services are built-in. We found Flock a little addictive (because you can log into a lot of stuff at once) which could be good or bad, depending on who you are?!

Firefox 3.0 Beta 3 - Dramatic improvement over Beta 2, particularly in the area of memory usage.

Overview: It's really hard to say if Flock will garnish any significant market share. It is pretty cool stuff and the development team deserves some Kudos.
Firefox keep on rockin', with the open source community (and Linux) strongly behind it. 3.0 will be a major upgrade when completed. Incoming browser analytics have been fascinating across various websites we administer, with techies and Bloggers using Firefox a lot more than 'enterprise' users. In fact, our analytics had us wondering a bit with many 'large companies' still visiting with Internet Explorer 6. Tech-Ed anyone?

More free stuff from Google. As noted Friday by numerous tech news blogs, users of Blogger are being offered a free run at Grand Central, (both Google owned companies). We did get a local number yesterday and, as time permits, we'll pass along whether or not that free local phone number is helping us in any way that would make it worth a second look.

That's an update from our very non-scientific lab :)

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1

Rumored for some time, it appears Microsoft is well on it's way to delivering the next release of it's still predominant web browser, Internet Explorer.

Some new beta invites were received this past week, and this post Friday on MSDN makes it pretty clear, that Microsoft isn't sitting idly by as Firefox continues to gather market share.

We can say comfortably, at this stage, that Microsoft is literally firing on all cylinders (including the almost inevitable takeover of Yahoo), to position itself not only on the desktop, but on the Internet and as a total media player.

Time will tell whether or not (or which of) these initiatives are successful and/or cost effective.

The bottom line. Make no mistake. Redmond is going for Google, with everything they've got.

Update: A status report on the progress of IE8 with be given at MIX08

Staff edit 2 Feb 24

Friday, February 22, 2008

Recession could be GOOD for Google

I've blogged here before that the Silicon Alley Insider is one of my favorite places to visit, especially now that the online publication is growing and it's voice is getting louder. I also have a lot of respect for Henry Blodget.

This subject has come up before. I've put my thoughts into comments on other websites.

This time, right here, and time will tell?

In a piece earlier today by Blodget, he commented that a recession in the US could be bad for Google.

Our contention on this issue is fairly simple.

The return on investment in Google Adwords (and others) if you do it right, and monitor your analytics carefully, is still significantly better than most other media.

Since that's a rather broad statement, I'll qualify it just a touch. Obviously, the target audience and keyword competition plays a role here. My 'take' is not universal. Some keywords are rising to rediculous levels, but that's still the exception rather than the rule in most spaces.

Since we're talking universal, it is important to note that since the latest update to Google's Universal Search earlier this month, more companies in MANY sectors will now be forced to buy adwords if they want decent visibility on Google. The new 'ten at the top' that appears under many search phrases now puts a lot of companies and others 'below the fold'. Many of them realize that, and will go for the 'buy' for a variety of reasons, and will also consider buying the 'network', as opposed to Google-only.

The 2008 media buy will be filled with difficult decisions.

It will be easier than ever to target your demographic (in most cases). Numerous cable and satellite channels, websites, blogs. LOTS of options. Where to go?

A brave, new world :)

Advertising will be more difficult to price for all media channels as this evolves, and contrary to what others have written, when the mainsteam advertisers discover blogs that work, monitizing for many blog publishers will provide a much better return.

Direct and affiliate marketing will flourish during 2008 right along side keyword buys.

As for me, I'd much rather do a media buy that I can track, almost in real time first, then move from there?

We'll see.

DataPortability needs you !

The Dataportability project has a little problem, and Chris Saad and others are asking all of us to publicize the solution proposed by them.

Very simply, that is the reason for this piece.

For once, I am not going to insert my opinion other than to say it is fair and simple and needs some publicity.

You can read about it on Chris Saad's blog here.

We all can help. It costs us nothing. It's important. Let's do it.
(I guess that's an opinion :)

Pass it around.

Update: Now there are prizes to win! Got graphics?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Firefox hits 500,000 downloads !

In a subtle announcement on the Mozilla blog about an hour ago, Mary Colvig announced a BIG milestone for the browser that has been continuously increasing market share over the past 18 months.

There are balloons and everything, and in classic Mozilla style, an opportunity to celebrate while feeding the hungry (Check the link).

Congratulations FireFox!

More SkyDrive and We Love Free Stuff !

There's a lot of free stuff on the web. Some of it works pretty well. Some excellent. Others, well you know.

Last month, about this time, we featured a few freeware programs that we use often here, and are time-tested.

In the past two years, literally tons of web-based free stuff began to appear from Microsoft, Google, Sun, Adobe, and many open source individuals and companies. We mess around with a lot of them. I mean, they're free? Productivity aside, Google Earth is simply awesome.

Today's news from Microsoft that their Live Spaces SkyDrive online storage space is now 5 Gigs (and free) really came as no big surprise. Think GMail. I think GMail's giving us a gig a day more space. Maybe that's a stretch....

So, we tested SkyDrive and only have one suggestion for Microsoft (in the outside chance they're running out of disk space? :).

Over the years, we have had several Hotmail, MSN, and now addresses (under the same user name). We found 5 Megs on each, and they all worked, and yes, they're consolidated.

Should we shoot for 100 Megs? I think not.

What will we do with all this cool storage? With local back-up drives becoming ultra-cheap, probably nothing. Skydrive IS easy-to-use for newbies like many of the 'Microsoft Live' products, so if you need a quick back-up, or you want to download all your Flickr pics just in case ???, here's your chance!

Microsoft finally gets it?

You don't need me to tell you. One look at TechMeMe today and you'll see Microsoft real good at what they've been real good at the last two weeks. Making headlines. On the web, on the financial channels, and just about everywhere else.

Microsoft today announced a new, much-broader initiative towards embracing open source.
Have we heard this before? CodePlex anyone?

My take on this is probably a little different than some of the over 200 already published articles and opinions posting as I write this.

First. This makes a whole lot more sense to me than buying Yahoo. The price tag just doesn't match what they could do with the money in-house, while luring employees from Yahoo and elsewhere (Google?) to accomplish it. Yahoo has a lot of work to do, and buying it just means cleaning a lot of that up. Some of the employees make sense, some of the parts make sense but, at least to this guy, unless they're going to break up the rest and sell it off, it just doesn't add up.
(There are a 'few' stockholders that still feel the same way).

Second. Open source is a GREAT way to let someone else do stuff with their own money, then buy a little piece if it becomes real popular or buy 'the person'.., or company. (Is anyone thinking Wordpress here?). There's a whole slew of open source developers (Many of whom probably still don't trust this annoucement) that LOVE to write code, publish unique software, launch start-ups and more.

Why use your own development money when you're already pretty good at what you already do? Two strong quarters BEFORE any Yahoo or Open Source talk.

While there's no doubt, this is yet another direct shot at Google, it's a good shot, if they mean it and prove it .. and (and find a way to win back a growing group of people that just won't pay for stuff and write it themselves).

Microsoft's Mix08 just became a lot more interesting. Not only is the elusive Ray Ozzie confirming he will speak at the conference, but publishing a whole slew of open API's to MSDN?!

I give that a WOW!

Finally, it starts getting interesting.

Wireless Price Wars continue

Earlier this week, there was a lot of speculation that Verizon Wireless was going to launch a $99 unlimited plan.

That speculation turned to reality yesterday as both Verizon and AT&T did just that. Wall Street reacted quickly by giving both stocks a little 'pounding'.

It's ain't over til it's over? (You knew this was coming)

Reuters is reporting on the potential that Sprint is planning to undercut both carriers significantly. Sprint has been losing market share in the US, in particular, since the iPhone exclusive with AT&T.

Sidebar: Those in rural areas may have had a surprise this week as the FCC gave the OK to turn off the legacy analog cellular systems throughout the US (known as AMPS). There's was some confusion with the announcement. While AT&T is expected to turn off their first generation digital TDMA service.....
CDMA, GSM and other newer generation phones are not effected.

Most reports indicated that approximately 1% of existing cellular users lost coverage.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Windows XP Service Pack 3 RC2 released

Microsoft releases second Release Candidate of Service Pack 3 for XP ..

We've been testing Windows XP Service Pack 3 Release Candidate 1 here on the 'beta box' since our previous post(s) in December, with no significant bugs found..

Earlier today, Microsoft released Windows SP3 Release Candidate 2.

A few notes to beta testers:
1) SP3 RC1 must be uninstalled before installing the new Release Candidate.
2) The download is a script which modifies the registry to accept the newer RC2 from Windows Update (Download the script, then head over to Microsoft Update to download and install).

The script can be found at the Microsoft download center here

We are currently testing the Release Candidate 2 and will provide some feedback to Microsoft and YOU as soon as it gets a good test drive, as always.

Note: Microsoft considers any CTP's or Release Candidates to be beta software and strongly recommends not installing on your primary or any mission-critical computers.

Update: Test drive looks good today. In fact (we're going to take a closer look at this), there seems to be a very slight speed improvement on both test boxes ?!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New Flock Browser Beta released - GMail and more

Flock is a browser that has been around from some time and has gone through numerous 're-inventions'.

If you spend a lot of time on social networks, or blog a lot, Flock could be your browser.

Based on the Mozilla engine, the current stable version of Flock was upgraded last week to version 1.0.9 to comply with the security upgrade in Firefox release

We've been using Flock on occasion since seeing their increased promotion crossing the web a few months ago.

Our take on the current stable version is that if your doing a lot of social networking, Flock does make it an easy (and, yes, somewhat addictive) experience. Integration with Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and numerous other platforms makes it outright fun (and even productive), without opening multiple tabs.

A people finder crosses all of your authorized platforms and customization is simple.

Best of all, it hasn't locked up on any of our boxes :)
Sound familiar?

Last month, the crew at Flock announced that version 1.1 would be released 'in a few weeks'.

Just a few moments ago, Version 1.1 Beta of Flock was posted for download and incorporates Yahoo Mail, GMail, Picasa, and other improvements including the new enhanced 'My World' page.

You can read more about the new Flock Beta 1.1 (or download a free copy) here.

Our test drive is underway on the Beta box. Check back soon. So far, so good!

Staff edit Feb 20 12:18 EST

PepperJam introduces Affiliate Marketing 2.0

There are a lot of companies that say they do it, but if there's one thing you can say about PepperJam, they continue to stay literally on the cutting edge of Internet marketing.

Recently, Pepperjam announced a unique and different approach to affiliate marketing, and the launch took place shortly thereafter with a virtual who's who of advertisers.

The approach is, in fact, cutting edge (and most likely why Search Engine Watch chose them to promote SES-NY).

If you haven't seen the program yet (or lately), check out the line-up and new affiliate marketing program at here.

It may just have you re-thinking what you're doing to monetize your web properties.

SES - NY discounts now online

Search Engine Strategies returns to the New York City Hilton from March 17th-20th.

Early-bird discounts (as well as some sponsor discounts) have now been posted to the SES-NY site here .

With New York's 'Silicon Alley' continuing to grow, there's little doubt this will be a heavily attended event. As opposed to just a year ago, there is now a large variety of websites and blogs covering the 'NY tech scene'.

The convergence of media advertising (Madison Avenue), start-ups, financing, markets, and IPO's (Wall Street) and other tech complimentary features in New York City, are now fueling larger and larger staffs by some of the biggest players in the industry.

iPhone AT&T Facebook ad campaign goes network

I'll qualify this piece by saying I'm a lifetime PC user (Did someone say boo ??).

There are only two things that get me thinking about a Mac, iPOD or an iPhone every once in a while.

Apple's advertising.
.....and a few friends that keep harping on me.

Like the ultra-sleek design of their products, every time I see an Apple commercial, I want an iPhone. More recently, especially since reading some of my colleagues informal reviews, I've wanted a MacBook Air. It IS definitely slick.

I guess we've had a couple of Apple ads from YouTube on this blog. Tonight was different. There it was, on NBC (in both the NY and NE PA markets), the iPhone, AT&T, Facebook ad.

Now, there's only one thing left stopping me. AT&T doesn't work here. Whew ....

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Blu-Ray wins ! Bye, bye HD-DVD

The tech headlines blared around the world the past few days. HD-DVD is dead. It is.

If you were like me, and trying to take a few 'holiday' days, you may have missed it.

Toshiba (along with a variety of others) threw their support to Blu-Ray and here in the US so did Wal-Mart. As of this morning, Wal-Mart's website is still showing lots of HD-DVD titles so evidently there's still a little inventory :)

Unlike the Sony BetaMax days of years gone by, it seems certain that HD-DVD is DEAD and Blu-Ray has won the home theater disc war. Sony can declare a much needed victory for now, at least until memory gets cheaper and digital downloads probably replace everything.

So, you can either grab those disc deals as the prices begin to plummet, or start thinking about a new player if you were an 'early adopter'? It doesn't look like you're going to have much of a choice.

Something tells me there's going to be a few more (more than a few) surprises before analog TV goes off the air in the US next February. Stay tuned :)

Update Feb 19: It's official. Toshiba pulls suppport. The Press Release is here

Capitalizing in Bad Markets

The US dollar dropped again this week and it seems that industries that could profit from this, are doing NOTHING about it?

I've mentioned geo-targeting numerous times throughout the brief lifetime of this blog.

The leisure travel sector as one example (with a few niche exceptions), is significantly off projections, and the earnings of most major hotel operators are starting to show it.

Travel to the US at the current exchange rates is less expensive than in a long time.

There needs to be a consortium of some sort to promote this.

The US is one of the only countries in the world without a federal level 'Ministry of Tourism'.

Canadians are also shopping in the US and saving taxes and with the current exchange rate.
US Malls are advertising in Canada!

Just a little food for thought.
Are YOU missing an opportunity?

Good weekend all
Charlie & crew ....

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Google's other search engine

While it's no secret that Yahoo acquired numerous Search Engines as they built their search technology portfolio over the years, what many people don't know is that Google and Microsoft have a few other search places on the web as well.

Microsoft owns which now redirects to it's product but was up until recently where most of the publicly viewable testing for Live was done. There were are variety of entrance points to the site where you could view various renditions of the 'new' Microsoft search product and even provide feedback during the months leading up the the launch.

With somewhat of an identity crisis still going on between MSN and, maybe Microsoft should be trying something new back at At the very least, it would create a little buzz (and it would be a lot cheaper than buying Yahoo?).

Back in Mountain View ....

On the web for sometime, is owned by Google. I often find myself going back to SearchMash. It's simplicity and speed reminds me of Google before the arrival of Google Universal Search, provides some information and results that the main index doesn't (in an uncluttered way), and also still allows user feedback.

I honestly have no idea if that feedback is still being monitored or not, but if you've never seen SearchMash, it's worth checking out. As of this point, it's very much still there (and ad-free!).

Duck Charlie ... you've just been banned again ...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Yahoo's MyBlogLog to incorporate Twitter, YouTube, more.

Late today, MyBlogLog Product Manager Ian Kennedy advised some significant new features and changes to the popular blog networking platform.

The new feature set is called 'New with You' and will allow users to share their most recent activity across numerous other services such as Twitter,, Digg, and YouTube and other services, directly on their current MyBlogLog profile page (which will be changing soon to reflect the new features).

In essence, MyBlogLog profile pages will become dynamic, rather than static.

Some may have noticed that a small implementation of this has been visible at the very top of the profile pages for Twitter users over the past 2 months or so.

Acccording to Kennedy, any or all of the feeds may be turned on or off by the user as desired.

Some information has already be posted to the MyBlogLog FAQ page .

Update 1 Feb 16 PM: The first announcement has been posted to the MyBlogLog blog here and it answers 2 very important questions. (1) If you don't want you're online life profiled, opt out now. The default is ON (2) The new features should start to become visible in less than a week.

Building 99 - Inside Microsoft - Scoble

There's a lot written and blogged about the Googleplex but it's not too often that we read about what's going on inside Microsoft.

Robert Scoble posted a piece today well worth a peek on 'Building 99', Microsoft Research's new facility.

We thought our readers would find it pretty cool. You can read Robert's post (along with photos) here .

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Microsoft Exec shake-up expected today - Update

CNET is reporting that that the anticipated upper-level shake-up at Microsoft will be announced later today.

Notable in the piece is the departure of Senior VP Steven Berkowitz, founder of (then AskJeeves), which he sold to IAC several years ago. He left IAC / Interactive not too long after the sale to join Microsoft.

Berkowitz, who used to be a regular on the SEO convention and other circuits has been pretty quiet since arriving at Microsoft. It will be interesting (very?) to see where he goes next.

It would be very cool, with recent 'events' unfolding between Barry Diller and Liberty Media if he was heading back, to try and make a more viable player in search with a larger market share. Jobs, Case, and others have done it. Why not Berkowitz?

Stay tuned.

Update Feb 14 PM : Appears Steven Berkowitz departure is in August. Mary Jo Foley has the run down on the fairly significant realignment at Microsoft on ZDNet here .

Update 2: The complete text of the press release from Microsoft on the management changes is now posted here .

Tech Ticker revisited - Yahoo innovation?

The other day, I noted that Yahoo finance was about to launch a new feature called 'Tech Ticker'. I blogged about it here and watched the launch with a few friends (Yes, the video worked!).

I've been watching Tech Ticker for a few days. The layout is clean, and overall, so far, is a good 'quick take'. The video auto-playing isn't even annoying, which at least to me, usually is.

One cool piece revealed that Jim Cramer went to school with Steve Ballmer and they played poker together. Cramer went on to extrapolate that this IS why Microsoft will win Yahoo. "Steve doesn't quit". While I'm not sure that's a great quality for a CEO in this particular case and / or analogy, it was a neat piece. The scary part is Cramer seemed calm....

On the converse side, Tech Ticker's brief interlude with Michael Arrington was outright lame. I'm really hoping he was kidding or just having a little fun. Arrington has, no doubt carved out one of the largest niches in blog 'breaking news' and I respect that (and read TechCrunch, like many, at least once a day). The brief and somewhat weird interview was then compounded by Sarah Lacy commenting "If he hasn't written about you, you don't exist" and calling Michael "Larger than life". I must be missing something here :)

Kara Swisher of AllThingsD has been quoted on Tech Ticker as well. Definitely refreshing, as Swisher can be counted on for some pretty objective reporting, particularly with the recent Yahoo-Microsoft-News Corp-AOL-and-whoever-is-next deal.

The reruns are all there and can be accessed from the links above, along with the rest of the launch content. See what you think. Regardless of the fact that Yahoo is currently in play (understatement?), it appears they have a better-than-decent product here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Yahoo - What's next?

Briefs (and site update):

TechCrunch is reporting that talks continue for a possible counter offer from News Corp for Yahoo.

Numerous Yahoo employees began receiving either pink slips and/or exit packages yesterday.

Special Note: Due to extreme weather event in our region (ice storm), we are suspending direct updates to SEO and Tech Daily for a day or two. Special thanks to those of you who e-mailed or 'twittered'. We're OK! :)

As always, you can pick up the latest tech-related headlines at TechMeMe (including their all new RSS feeds launched today).

Update: After a rather hellish icy and 'powerless' day here in NE PA, our servers, websites etc. have been restored .... Now, we're working on the people :)
Staff edit

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Firefox 3.0 Beta 3 released

Gecko 1.9 starts to shine! Firefox 3.0 Beta 3 is here.

As mentioned here earlier , Firefox's next generation browser 3.0 Beta 3 was in 'code freeze' and was going through some bug testing before release for testing.

Late yesterday, Firefox 3 Beta 3 was released for evaluation and bug reporting.

The list of improvements and added features
is now simply mind-boggling and can be found at the Mozilla developer site here .

From what we can tell so far, the memory issues that have been one of the more significant 'issues' have been cured in a test drive last night. We'll be posting more in the coming weeks as, so far, this really appears to be a quantum leap for the project.

Existing beta testers can simply hit 'Help' and 'Check for updates' to install.

IMPORTANT: The current stable release of Firefox is Mozilla advises only developers and beta-testers download their beta software. Be sure and read through the entire page above. There are still some 'known issues' being worked on, and in some cases, the download could overwrite your existing installation of Firefox.

staff update

Surprise Delivery from Microsoft - Silverlight

While upgrades to Internet Explorer 7 were long expected to be delivered via Microsoft's automatic update (and currently are), today's release of numerous 'Tuesday patches and updates' held yet another surprise delivery from Redmond.

Along with a group of numerous 'critical and not-so-critical' updates today, Silverlight, (or, as some view it, Microsoft's rich media alternative to Macromedia's Flash) arrived today in the automatic update 'custom' folder.

Silverlight 1.0 is currently available for Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 and is also compatible with most (but not all) Mac OS 10.4.8+ computers.

The big question? The browser that has been building market share (approximately 16% currently in the enterprise at present, even high in other sectors) ....
YES, Silverlight IS Firefox compatible

Quick Test drive: (Note - We DO NOT recommend this on any mission critical computer or network!) ... Our 'beta box' that has been testing Windows XP Release Candidate SP3 and a variety of other Microsoft and Mozilla Beta products is (so far?) stable tonight with Silverlight onboard, right along side Flash.

In any event, if you keep auto updates turned off for resource savings, or because you don't like 'web-aware' applications, be sure to check today's updates from Microsoft and see which you need or wish to apply.

The Silverlight website at Microsoft can be found here.

It's all about mobile

While the Microsoft - Yahoo deal continues to dominate the headlines, numerous other deals are being discussed and /or completed in the tech sector.

Make no mistake about it. Cellphones, and everything about them, from operating systems to navigation are hot, as evidenced by several deals in the GPS mapping arena these past few months and yesterday's announcement that Microsoft has 'picked-up' Danger, the manufacturer of T-Mobile's Sidekick.

Starbucks made headlines yesterday as well as you can now bring your iPhone there. No more T-Mobile. Starbucks has switched to AT&T.

The first Android-based phones were also shown this week, and while this technology has a way to go, it's apparent it is being developed for the consumer market by some vendors.

Video streaming consolidation will be another area to watch in the next few months as the umpteen players in this space begin to get financed, bought and / or vaporize.

With all the news about 'search,' it's easy to overlook what's going on in the everyday tech sectors.

Just someone please let me know when my cellphone can dispense coffee....

Monday, February 11, 2008

Now two choices to stay up to speed

Occasionally we, like everyone else, take a little break (or are doing something else), and that prevents us from updating here as often as we'd like.

As we continue to improve the look and feel of this site, we may take a few 'technology breaks' here and there. Maybe even get some sleep!

Here's a few ways to keep on SEO, Internet Marketing and Tech headlines and opinion.

1) This past weekend, we added a variety of news streams on the lower right.
Just click the topic! Try it out. (Yes, it's powered by Google News...)
2) Our shared reader feed. Hand-selected items that YOU can subscribe to and/or share...

and 3)
There's always TechMeMe :)

Thanks to all for your recent comments here, on Twitter and elsewhere.

Brief : Yahoo! Board rejects Microsoft bid

As expected, Yahoo's Board of Directors sent a letter to Microsoft this morning rejecting the current tender offer for the company.

The complete text of the letter can be found here

UPDATE 1: The drama begins?

Microsoft did respond today and the complete text of their response can be found here .

Yahoo Finance introduces Tech Ticker

Why not capitalize on yourself?

While half the tech reporters in the world are running around, checking websites and blogs, making calls, etc. to be the very first to have 'the next word' on the Microsoft - Yahoo takeover attempt, Yahoo Finance today announced a new feature called "Tech Ticker".

Participating in the launch are some well-known business personalities including Henry Blodget (CEO - Silicon Alley Insider), Sarah Lacy (BusinessWeek), Aaron Task, Andy Kessler, and Yahoo finance partners.

This morning's announcement can be found here.
Yahoo! Tech Ticker is here.

Photo Credit: Yodel Anecdotal Flickr pics

Staff edit

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Yahoo is talking to AOL - This could work.

Take two 'ailing' but long-time, and heavily-visited portals and what do you get. A potentially viable poison pill defense for the Microsoft-Yahoo takeover.

The Times Online (UK) is reporting that Yahoo is in talks with AOL.

Time-Warner has recently rebuffed rumors about selling AOL and instead said they were going to split the unit into two separate operating companies. They have been downsizing personnel.

Keep in the back of your mind, throughout these Yahoo negotiations, that AOL's market cap at one time was so high that they were able to BUY Time-Warner. That's what can happen on Wall Street.

The Microsoft - Yahoo takeover landscape is now finally starting to get interesting.

Google is a 'provider' to AOL. AOL needs help. Yahoo needs help.

Time-Warner, potentially with a little help from Google, could potentially delay any deal or even, yes, kill-it.

Any delay is a big plus for Google.

We're not ready yet to retract our 'It's a done deal' (ONLY because we're talking about Steve Ballmer here) , but now, we're getting close.

Stay tuned :)

Blog content scraping running rampant

Well, if there's on thing Technorati is currently great for, it's to find out whose scraping your content.

I dropped a note to a friend last week about 9 sites that were literally picking up each one of my posts (here and elsewhere) and evidently auto-inserting a different author's name, and making slight modifications to the content..., I suppose to cover copyright issues.

I also noticed intense scraping of TechMeMe and others.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? Here we go again?

Technorati's needed a little 'tune-up' for some time so before they fix this (each scrape adds to your authority??!!), you may want to head over and see whose 'borrowing' your stuff.


Microsoft - Yahoo takeover (continued....)

It appears that Yahoo's board is going to send a 'no thanks letter' to Microsoft on Monday, and share a little 'bed room' with Google, to stave off a hostile takeover attempt.

There's one thing I've learned from reading numerous posts over the past week, is that some 'get it' and some don't.

In perspective. If Microsoft has any second thoughts, this is their way out. The software giant could certainly buy a lot of good (very good) companies for 44 billion and some stockholders aren't too happy about them using up their cash reserves or borrowing to do this deal. This IS a company that just posted two strong quarters (long overdue) and even managed to nudge their stagnant stock a bit. Microsoft is doing just fine.

Huge profits in search? Absolutely. Is this acquisition the right way to get there?

It doesn't matter what I think.

If Steve Ballmer's history holds true, he will move forward with this buy-out with 'whatever it takes'. Literally.

We'll make a prediction that nobody's yet talking about.

If Microsoft ups the bid, or finds another way to approach Yahoo's stockholders directly, Micorsoft could possibly be facing a fierce fight from their own stockholders.

After all, two strong quarters and lots of cash, along with one of the largest market caps in the world (and a dividend) is 'kinda nice'?

Enter Google: Another fact that nobody seems to be talking about is that Google's stock (currently in the low 500's) was never split. In other words, most of Google's stock is being held in fewer hands (institutional investors, mutual funds, etc.). If Google gets involved ,they have much less 'reporting' to do. IE: Google can move here to help Yahoo with a quick consensus.

Prediction? We said it earlier in the week. Because of the players involved, mark this one a 'done deal'.

staff update

The small print is gone, or, you can see us now.

After visiting with a few of you this past week, then looking at our analytics (or, in this case, Feedburner), it became apparent that your default screen resolutions are getting bigger.

If you're anything like me, I'm all 'squinted out' by the end of the day.

A few hours ago, we made some tweaks to our look (again). We hope it make for easier reading.

We also added some real-time SEO, search, and tech news headlines from a variety of media in the right column. Hint... you can click on the company and the stories change. Pretty cool huh?

The update template seems to be OK with Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Flock, and others at resolutions of 1024 x 800 and above.

Feel free to send your feedback!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Writers Strike, Hulu, and 10 Billion Videos

Comscore reported on Friday that a record 10 Billion (with a B) videos were viewed on the Internet during December, one-third on which were viewed on Google owned properties.

I suppose that I accounted for about twenty or so of those viewers, as I continue to follow the progress and growth of, the joint video venture of NBC and FOX that has grown exponentially in the past couple of months. Now, with MUCH more content as well as video from years gone by, and numerous 'cool clips' and full episodes. Hulu is still in closed Beta but just threw a few 'invites' at some users. (I have ten - If you want one, just tell me who you are, what you do, and drop a request to the e-mail at the bottom of the page, send me a note on Facebook, or a private message on Twitter or Pownce.

I have to wonder if Comscore's report would have been different if Hulu was open to the public at this stage, although with so many 'embedded' YouTube videos, it's doubtful. Once again, Google has shown that whether it's Adsense, maps, or videos, they have reached out and simply made it easy for webmasters to embed their products into individual websites worldwide, driving traffic right back.

The Comscore report also notes that the writers strike could be driving people to the web and video. Earlier this week, there were numerous reports quoting Michael Eisner saying the strike was a 'done deal'. The fact is that a proposed deal is being presented to the rank and file later today. The tentative deal is close, according to WGA Presidents Patric Verrone and Michael Winship in a post to the WGA blog Wednesday. You can follow the progress of the Writer Strike on Twitter here.

Finally, as many of you know, this blog launched 6 months ago as a little 'test', and a little fun. The Feedburner numbers are telling a 'pleasing' story and TechMeMe picked us up 8 times in the past 10 days which was extremely gratifying.

Update Sat Jan 9, 2008 2 PM EST: The New York Times is reporting that a tentative deal in the writers strike has been reached. The piece is here

Thanks to all and have a great weekend!
Charlie Anzman

Thursday, February 7, 2008

OpenID - The gang's all here

The OpenID foundation this morning announced that Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, VeriSign and IBM have all joined the Internet OpenID initiative.

OpenID is an initiative where individuals can create one identity (and log-in) to be used on numerous websites across the web. It provides for other 'sharing' vehicles as well.

Over the past three months or so, several companies began supporting and implementing OpenID. This announcement adds a variety of significant players to the fold.

A good primer for developers for OpenID was posted by AOL in September here.

The announcement this morning from the OpenID foundation, along with recent updates, current developer info and more, can be found at the OpenID website here.

Search Engine Strategies NY - March 17-20, 2008

SES New York Conference and Expo

Search Engine Strategies returns to New York City on March 17th-20th at the NYC Hilton.

With the ever-increasing presence of 'Search' appearing in New York's Silicon Alley, this year's SES NY shows every sign of eclipsing last year's attendance.

Registration is online here .

Words of advice ... (1) Last year, we spent about 2 hours in Midtown traffic (It was just one of those days :) Try mass-transit. (2) Hotel rooms in NY are getting harder-to-get - Book early. (3) Get there early, otherwise Tamar Weinberg 'could' make off with all the Schwag !

Google Forms and Stop Sharing Spreadsheets

Late yesterday, Googlers Andrew Bonventre and Michelle Lee introduced 'Forms'.

Apparently, the sharing of speadsheets in Google Docs may have caused a few cockpit problems. In fact, the announcement on the Google Docs Blog says 'Stop sharing spreadsheets, start collecting information'.

Obviously, they're not asking that you stop sharing spreadheets entirely.

Forms enables you to create an e-mail. The recipient can then gain access to your speadsheet(s) as you wish. There's also a gadget (but you knew that :).

Looks to be a step in the right direction for Google Docs.

The article can be found here .

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Weather and Technology - The Tornadoes

Yesterday, tornadoes killed over 50 people here in the United States while they slept. The local media did a good job of putting up watches and warnings ... but it wasn't enough.

As I write this, the same system that wreaked havoc across four states, is passing over my office with severe thunderstorms .... in the middle of winter. Certainly much less intense than the system that they experienced.

Here in the US, there are several commercial companies, the US National Weather Service, a host of amateur weather stations like ours, volunteer amateur radio operators, as well as professional storm chasers, and others, all of whom contribute to pinpointing dangerous weather.

Weather technology has improved dramatically in the past few years.

Those of you that know me (or have visited some of my other websites or blogs) know that I'm somewhat of a weather fanatic. Last summer, I had the pleasure of touring AccuWeather headquarters in State College, Pennsylvania with my long time internet colleague, friend and AccuWeather meteorologist Jesse Ferrell.

A self-proclaimed seasoned 'weather veteran', I was literally floored by the size, scope, and yes computing power at the facility. Racks on top of racks of computing power, looking at dozens (hundreds?) of computer models, calculating possibilities, and feeding that information to a team of over 100 meteorologists. Prior to this, I had no idea of the independence and intensity of their forecasting ability ... or the sincere pride in what they do.

I was proud to read this account late today from AccuWeather:

"Yesterday, the deadliest outbreak of tornadoes in over twenty years killed more than 50 people across Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama.
In extreme weather situations like this, mere minutes can make the difference between life and death. During this event, AccuWeather fulfilled its mission to save lives and protect property with reliable and timely forecasts.
Beginning on Monday, the free website correctly warned users in the Memphis area of "Severe thunderstorms (which) can bring downpours, large hail, damaging winds, and a tornado (Tuesday night)." Other popular forecasting web sites were calling only for strong storms, even as Memphis was hit by a tornado.
AccuWeather pinpoint-accurate forecasts for numerous business clients, including one manufacturing plant north of Oxford, Miss. Two tornado warnings had been issued by the National Weather Service for parts of the county, but none for the area of the plant itself. correctly warned their client that the manufacturing plant would be hit by a tornado between 5:50 PM and 6:15 PM. The plant took precautionary measures to close down its production line and to protect sensitive equipment and its employees. At 5:59 PM, the plant was indeed struck by a tornado."

The point of this story is fairly simple.

For $20 or $30, your can buy a weather radio receiver that automatically turns on in the event of impending weather, a National emergency, or other life-threatening events.

It doesn't matter where you live as those in Westchester, NY found out last year. Consider the fact that numerous earthquakes occur ever day. As in this case, it's only the larger events that we read about, or see on TV.

I've said it before in other places.

If you don't own a SAME-encoded NOAA weather receiver, get one. It's just as important as the smoke detector in your home.

If this post serves to save one life 10 years from now, it was worth it.

Jesse has posted some videos of yesterday's horrific system here . (Note: Jesse's blog is not story-keyed, so you may have to scroll down). You can also follow him on Twitter here .
He's a modest guy with a complete fascination for weather.

There's no disputing we have a long way to go with the science of predicting weather, particularly when it comes to hurricanes. Many companies are hard at work on it right now.

God's speed and our very sincere prayers to those who lost loved ones in this horrific event.

Howcast is live

TechCrunch is reporting on a NY-based start-up by a few ex-Googlers called Howcast.
The site launched today.

While there's a lot of do-it-yourself websites out there, somehow, this one feels a little more personal.

Yes, we like it. You probably will too. Check it out.

Innovation continues!

staff edit

Firefox security fix today or tomorrow

The latest update to Mozilla's Firefox browser is expected to be released between now and Friday.

The update (to version will include an important security update.

If you are not automatically updated, select 'help', then 'check for upgrades', or visit at the end of this week.

In other Firefox news, the next generation of Firefox (3.0) is in 'code freeze' on the third Beta.
Beta 2 was a very significant improvement over the first release and we could see Beta 3 soon.

Update Feb 7, 2008 - 9 PM EST: The Firefox update is now online and can be obtained by following the instructions above.

More surprise takeover bids on the way !

Nobody likes to use the 'R' word. The fact is, if you don't use it soon enough, you could be dealing with the 'D' word. Election year or not.

The Fed cut (significantly). The 'not enough' economic stimulus package is still stuck, and unemployment numbers are moving up. Margins are tightening and major companies are beginning to shed middle management salaries. The latest round at Time-Warner being reported by AdAge.

Not gloom and doom (yet). Just time to look at history and do something.

The US economy (in my humble view) has been, and is, in recession. The markets are recognizing it, and as I write this, Japan's Nikkei is sharply down on "US recession fears".

What's next?

During the Microsoft / Yahoo 'headline parade' this past week, others (notably AOL) were making acquisitions. There's a very good chance, that Private Equity is about to move into this market.

I'm betting on more acquisitions in very short order. Most will be complete surprises. Nervous markets or not.

(1) Market caps of some great companies have tanked as have their stock prices.
(2) Private Equity has no place to put their money. T-Bills? They're better off taking some small (or big) chances right now, and they know it. Funds and ETF's have a few investors looking for action. Public companies will be looking hard at acquisitions over the next few days as well.
(3) The world was watching Super Tuesday as evidenced by those commenting on the Twitter / Google map (see previous post) yesterday. No clear direction for America on Super Tuesday (and the primaries could very well be decided right here in Pennsylvania in April!).

The markets are very nervous and could sink further from here. Not a time for the small investor. M & A - You bet.

The week to watch is ahead. As company valuations and stock prices continue to tumble, you can bet there will be a host of acquisition announcements, big and small.

Do I know what I'm talking about? We'll find out :)

The good news. You may be able to say 'fill it up' again soon.

Update: Bloomberg is reporting that TWX is considering spinning off AOL among other options here .

Update 2: is reporting the latest on AOL and the Time-Warner plan here .

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Update: Google joins Twitter for Super Tuesday

I guess you can watch it on TV. You could go to one of the social networks or major media websites for all kinds of graphs and graphics. You can attempt to be one of those bombarding Twitter with your own commentary.

If you're like me, you'll probably be doing a little of each.

While the YouTube debates were 'OK' (but a very important and hopeful start in citizens actually getting involved directly with THEIR government)...

... The new YouTube page launched yesterday in preparation for what is a historic primary, is well, just a little weird ...

Check out Super Tuesday on YouTube here .

Update: The Official Google blog just posted a variety of other Super Tuesday Google initiatives including interaction with Twitter. It's not too late. Check it out here .

Update 2: Direct link to the Twitter Google map is here . Neat huh ?

staff edit

Monday, February 4, 2008

Microsoft Research to open lab in Cambridge, MA

Microsoft to open Northeast US Research facility in Massachusetts.

Microsoft Research announced plans Monday to open a new east coast research lab in Cambridge, MA. The anticipated opening date is July 2008.

The new lab would provide another new MS 'presence' close to the coveted Massachusetts tech college recruiting campuses.

The lab will be headed by veteran Microsoft researcher Jennifer Tour Chayes.

Ars Technica has a good piece on the new Microsoft Research lab here .

The complete press release can be found here .

staff edit Feb 4

Sunday, February 3, 2008

SEMMYs winners announced

For those who missed the posts around the web, the winners of the SEMMYs have been announced and can be found here

There's a myriad of great reading from a wide variety of authors here.

Definitely worth a bookmark for later reading as the industry continues to evolve.

Yahoo says decision will take some time - Google responds.

In a second reaction to the Microsoft takeover proposal, Yahoo posted a brief Q & A to their website late Saturday. The company is planning to take their time, evaluating all options, including the possibility of remaining independent.

This type of reaction was fairly typical for a company that, despite earlier overtures, has in fact, been hit with what is usually characterized as a hostile takeover bid.

Reuters ran a story late Saturday noting Yahoo's comments, and went on to indicate that Microsoft said they have been courting Yahoo for 18 months.

It is noteworthy that Yahoo employee Jeremy Zawodny, just back from his honeymoon, did post a brief perspective on his own blog, (which we did carry on our shared feed earlier this weekend).

Update: Google has posted their first reaction to proposed takeover the official Google blog here.
Update 2: Microsoft responded early Sunday with a statement here .

Saturday, February 2, 2008

SMX West Reveals Changes in Search Marketing

SMX West will be held at the Santa Clara California Convention Center from February 26th through February 28th.

Wandering around the SMX website a short time ago, there definitely appears to be a lot of change in the wind.

Danny Sullivan's post to Search Engine Land recently on the latest changes to Google's Universal Search could literally be just the beginning. (This latest change has the potential to change entire industries!)

If you haven't read the article and do any kind of Search Engine Marketing, read it. Period.

Did someone say Search 3.0 and Search 4.0 ? Are we getting a little carried away here?

A look at the tentative agenda now only shows some of the changes taking place in online marketing in general, but the forum titles provide a peek at what may be next in search.

Regardless of what some of 'us' think, there always something new to pick-up and face-to-face still wins the race over 'social networking' and/or video conferencing.

Is there still an audience?

The other day, I walked into a local 'shop' that does a decent amount of online sales. The owner posed the question "What is SEO?". I suppose it's possible I spend too much time in front of a computer, particularly in the winter, but I was a little shocked.

Am I jaded? Yes.
Can SEO (and SEM) still help a lot of companies? YES.
Is there still a huge market? Positively.
Timing? Couldn't be better.

Slowing economies are when you want to be looking at your ROI!

So why the unsolicited (and non-compensated) plug from here? It was one of Sullivan's trade shows a lot of years ago (more than a lot of years? :) that set the tone for what we've now been doing for a long time.

As 'SEO' seems to becoming more and more 'SEM' (for another piece), it's probably more important than ever to stay 'tuned in'.

Why the deal WILL happen - Microsoft / Yahoo

One needs only to look back less than a year when News Corp made an unlikely bid for Dow Jones. The headlines flared. Is Murdoch serious?

Most of Dow Jones was controlled by one family who did NOT want to see the company sold, especially to Murdoch.

Enter stockholders and ... ugh ... profit ?

Murdoch offered a very significant premium over Dow Jones stagnant stock price. Ultimately, the Bancroft's (Ottaways, and a few others) respected a 'few' independent stockholders, started looking at the CASH, and the deal was done.

This deal is very similar in many ways. The stockholders of Yahoo! will green light it in a heartbeat. The EU may have a brief trauma with it but the FTC will probably go the way of 'they're essentially two different companies'.

There is some talk of a possible second or third bidder for Yahoo. Certainly there are a few private equity firms that could put the deal together but these are touchy times in the markets and it's doubtful that any of these companies would foot 44 billion, even as a combined effort.

With broadband e-mail names ('at' comcast, optonline, verizon others) quickly replacing a lot of 'at' Yahoo's, the hits to Yahoo's main page could decline. They probably are already. Yahoo's Flickr,, MyBlogLog (and others) are valuable properties that could have been monetized but really weren't.

Yahoo came along long before Google and MSN / Live search. Their innovation lagged, monetization was left to display ads and 'deals', an over-investment in content, an attempt but inability to create a viable competitor to Adsense .... etc.

Yahoo needs a rescue. It most likely will be Microsoft which poses the question ... Will they fix it, or absorb it and take it apart?

Enter AOL. Time Warner has to be going crazy that the bid wasn't for AOL. Should Google grab the content rich platform now? Do they need it?

Finally, Jim Cramer likes Microsoft / Yahoo deal.

That makes us wonder if we're right :)

... Finally: How many of you can remember when Yahoo looked like this ? (Click to enlarge).

Friday, February 1, 2008

Breaking : Microsoft makes bid for Yahoo

The year of speculation is over.
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) announces bid for Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO).

Microsoft confirmed a short while ago that it is making a bid to buy Yahoo.

The current offer is at $31 per share, or an estimated 44.6 billion dollars (US) in cash and stock.

Earlier this week, Microsoft posted record profits in the midst of a looming recession in the US.
Yahoo has been having difficulties during the past year, and stories of significant layoffs have been circulating the net.

In Europe, tech shares firmed quickly as news of the bid spread through the various markets.

As we expect numerous (More than numerous?) websites to post this news and perspective on the story today, updates will be made to our shared Google Reader list (at right) as appropriate.

The markets, which have been more than shaky as of late, couldn't have asked for better news on a Friday. It remains to be seen how the proposal plays out in the NY markets which open in a few hours. Reaction from the Yahoo board could come quickly or take a few days.

UPDATE 1 : The pre-market trading, Microsoft was trading down approx 6 per cent. Yahoo shares are up over 50% reaching for the tender price in pre-market activity!

UPDATE 2 : Yahoo responds to Microsoft offer. The press release from Yahoo is here .

UPDATE 3 (edit) : Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's memo this morning to Microsoft employees has been posted by here .