Saturday, May 31, 2008

SMX Advanced 2008 Seattle a few days away

Search Engine Land's SMX Advance comes to Seattle June 3rd and 4th.

While access and networking passes are already SOLD OUT, Developer Day and Expo passes are still available.

Search Marketing Expo has added a variety of networking options, some of which can be found here.

Keynotes include Kevin Johnson, President of the Platform and Services division at Microsoft as well as Google's renowned spam fighter Matt Cutts.

For those interested in tuning in to some advanced search engine marketing techniques, there should be numerous live bloggers at the event.

If you're in the Seattle area on Tuesday or Wednesday, even expo passes usually provide a good networking opportunity (not to mention a bag full of schwag!)

Microsoft named Best Place to Work Europe 2008

Microsoft edged out Google, taking the number one spot in the annual '100 Best Place to Work Europe' study for 2008. Number three was Cisco Systems.

The report is prepared by the 'Great Place to Work Institute', a global research and management consultancy, and is published in the Financial Times.

The institute, which has been rating firms over 25 years, studied 1250 companies in 15 European countries. For 2008, the list was divided between the 50 best large companies and the 50 best medium and small companies.

In a press release from Paris, Microsoft's chairman for Europe, Jan Muehlfeit commented:
"Microsoft is a company that was built on innovation and individual initiative, and that creative energy continues to pervade our culture. Ranking number one among large European companies is fantastic validation that we're doing the right things to keep our people engaged and satisfied in their work — and that bodes well for the long-term mutual success of Microsoft and its employees."

Reaktor Innovations, a privately-held company in Finland, landed the number 1 spot is the medium / small company category.

The entire report (with facts, statistics, comments and more) can be downloaded from the website here.

Fast AJAX! - Google's new GWT 1.5 RC1

This past week, Google announced the release of Google Web Toolkit 1.5 Release Candidate 1.

Downloadable now, the latest GWT release incorporates a host of improved as well as new features.

Creation of more compact code, multiple-browser support, Java 1.5 support, full-feature debugging , lots of online support, and more.

You can download the RC (or read more about it) at the Google Code website here.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Behind the deal for the Weather Channel

It's been in the headlines one way or another for almost six months.

Privately-held Landmark Communications has been shopping for a buyer for it's weather divisions including The Weather Channel and

IHT , the NY Times, (and others) reported the news in early January of this year.

There have been numerous (large cap) 'interested parties' since that time.

Several headlines this morning are speculating that a consortium which includes NBC (the broadcast unit of GE) and the Blackstone Group (best known for it's upscale hotel acquisitions and as the first private equity firm to go public) will win the bidding with their latest offer of $3.5 billion US.

It's unclear whether Landmark will actually agree to the bid.

The weather is one of those things that's always there. While there are tens of thousands of weather destinations on the Internet, the brand is extremely strong, as is their cable / satellite tv channel audience. The combined audience could be considered HUGE.

It's a defined space that never goes away.

While NBC's Weather Plus is mentioned in most of the articles,'s strongest competitor is not. Privately-held AccuWeather, with it's large team of meteorologists, 'mega-computers', and popular website ( is considered by many industry watchers to be The Weather Channel's strongest competitor in the TV and radio weather syndication space. In fact, many NBC television franchises currently use AccuWeather products, which include everything from branding to graphics to complete weather forecasts by their own on air team (as well as a barrage of other industry-specific professional weather services).

Also in the US TV/Radio weather media mix is AWS Convergence Technologies with their extensive network of public school based weather stations, providing current local weather readings to TV and Radio stations.

The Weather Underground is now competing somewhat in the newspaper and mainstream market as well. The website was the first commercial consumer oriented internet weather source.

Enter the US Government. The US National Weather Service (part of NOAA) maintains more on site weather radars (and satellites) in the US than anyone. Most of the data (along with some provided by NASA) is made available to these companies and the public on a multitude of websites including, yes,

At the current price, this deal is probably good for NBC (and GE). It's the brand, the URL (in this case) and cross-marketing possibilities. The mainstream media weather landscape would change somewhat short-term and it actually could be good and bad for the competing brand-name weather providers, depending on how NBC integrates the TWC product.

Links / References Updated June 1

Two Freeware upgrades - Flock 1.2 arrives

Two programs that I personally use a lot just released upgrades:

CCleaner not only makes it really easy to empty that huge cache (and much more) but also has an excellent registry cleaner. New version 2.08.588 is now available. If this is your first time using CCleaner, during the installation, you can chose whether or not you want to install the Yahoo Toolbar (which is in the package), and whether or not you want the program to automatically check for updates. Simply a great way to occasionally 'clean-up the mess' and other unnecessary stuff on your hard drive. (For new users, exercise some caution with the advanced features!).

Fox-It Reader has significantly improved speed and compatibility with Version 2.3 (Note: The reader is free - the 'Pro Pack' is not).

Flock 1.2 reviewed previously is now out of beta. The new features can be found here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Friendfeed is leveling the playing field

The A-list is changing faster than ever before. Yes, it's another side benefit of, you guessed it, Friendfeed.

Your reputation is everything. You want to bring your talents to the forefront and let the world know who you are.

The rules are changing, and at a very fast pace.

In the past, you built a reputation slowly. It didn't hurt to have a few bucks. Many small companies or individuals simply couldn't afford to attend conferences.
They don't have the resources (yet) for a large staff and/or PR department.

I've noted a few things in the past where Friendfeed has been a benefit to me. This is yet another one where Twitter and Friendfeed are similar, but Friendfeed is better.

Since I started this blog last August (and came out of the shadows of mostly in-house SEO and electronic marketing), I've used all kinds of online tools to network and create relationships.

400 or so people follow me on Twitter. 200 or so on Facebook. I've been moderately active on Friendfeed almost since the start.

Not a day goes by that I don't have more than a few new people subscribing to me .... but that's not the magic.

I've developed 'instant relationships' with a wide range of talented people ... from all generations. They recognize who I am and what I can do. I've realized there's a whole group of people with all kinds of skills that can be an asset to me, many of whom I simply never heard of before. They don't go to meetups or conferences. They don't have widely publicized websites or blogs and they're not buying keywords on the Search Engines.

Many of simply entertaining AND enlightening.

They've always been there. I just didn't know it?

The playing field is changing again, and while there's no doubt the notable names in Tech, SEO, PR, and other spaces will be around for a long time ..... a whole new crop of talented, interesting and knowledgeable people are emerging on the pages of Friendfeed.

It's not an option anymore to be an early adopter. The Internet space is changing so fast that if you don't stay current with the trends, you WILL be left behind, whether or not your name is etched in the Web history books.

There's no longer any question in my mind.

This chapter in Internet discovery, networking, and more belongs to Friendfeed.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

We're back .... I think :)

This past weekend we implemented a few simple changes to SEO and Tech Daily (and a few more are in the works).

Comments, for the most part, on older posts were not restored and we have moved comments to Disqus (by popular demand!). Yes, you can now expose your comments or videos to the 'lifestreaming world'. Most of you have been interacting on Friendfeed anyway?. Either way, it's now up to you.

Be sure and check out the new additions to our shared feed. The latest Tech and SEO headlines from a variety of sources around the web, updated 2-3 times daily.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Format for this decade - Keep it simple

Here's a little Sunday perspective for you website designers and bloggers..

As we enter the age of legacy migration (IE: Taking existing websites and making them cooler looking with Flash, Silverlight, etc.), it's interesting to note that some of the most successful pages on the Internet are 'just plain vanilla'.

The most obvious example is Google. While iGoogle is available, is probably the most simple page on the Net. (It's also interesting to note that the company has never adopted a slogan or 'tag line', leaving them open to whatever challenges may lie ahead).

Others? Craigslist (still growing), Twitter, Friendfeed (although I got lost and had to find my way out of the new 'rooms' :), TechMeMe, and numerous others.

So-called 'plain' sites are also almost always easier for search engines to index.

I really enjoy watching both. Some of the newer sites employing next generation rendering technology are literal works of art, and more often than not, much easier to navigate.

If you're thinking about a legacy migration and you have an awesome search engine position, there are ways you can do it without losing it. In general, at this juncture, you may want to think about starting a separate website (NOT with duplicate content but simply making it clear about what you're doing in your landing page). A 'blank piece of paper' and a fresh start employing all of the 'basics' of SEO is probably better for most, than migrating your existing site.

There's lots of new stuff out there from Adobe, Microsoft, and others. Even some pretty decent freeware and shareware. Download some trials and get 'into the curve'.

Legacy migration will be the next big thing (It already is for larger corporate websites). For SEO companies, it's the next boom .... and well worth studying.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Google hyper indexing new Friendfeed Rooms

Almost overnight, Friendfeed is becoming a rather 'large house' with a lot of rooms!

Google has indexed over 100 rooms.

The 'room' feature (somewhat reminiscent of the IRC and chat room days), was just introduced by Friendfeed in the past few days.

Some of the public rooms include numerous individuals, topics, special interests, search (sem), blogging, FAQ's, advice, tips, weather and more.

Anyone can create their own room (and decorate it accordingly :)

Update: Google Blogoscoped has posted a Friendfeed room listing with over 500 entries here.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Weekend Pick - Microsoft's Pro Photo Gallery

While Yahoo's Flickr still leads the online photo community field in a variety of ways, there are numerous other places to view some absolutely GREAT photography.

Google's PicasaWeb is coming along nicely (and is free) and there are many other web spaces where 'just regular people' as well as professional photographers are uploading some pretty incredible stuff.

Microsoft, as of late, has been making some photography news as well.

The introduction of Pro Photo Tools 1.0, a simple yet handy tool to adjust the embedded characteristics of your shots. The HD Photo initiative, and more.

If you're anything like me, you may just want to look at some awesome photos once in a while.

Here's one place you may have missed.

The Microsoft Pro Photo Gallery Archive.

Be sure and check it out ... and ...

... enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Flock announces significant financing

One of the most enjoyable things about writing about software, web apps, testing betas, etc is you get to see a little of what comes out of it.

It's pretty simple. When you show a new or emerging app to a few people and they like it, there's a decent chance it's going somewhere.

Along with the various versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, regular updates leading up to the recently released Firefox 3.0 RC1, we have been closely watching Flock in the browser space, as well as Apple's Safari for Windows.

Earlier today, Flock announced a significant venture capital infusion.

This group has put together an integrated browser that makes social networking easier (and fun!), and the recent release of 1.2b (Beta) adds even more services. Unique features like the people bar add a new kind of visibility while your spending time on your favorite conversational site or so-called Social Network.

As of now, no Friendfeed ... yet (bummer).

I suppose tomorrow we'll learn whether or not Twitter really got the big bucks too :)

Staff Edit May 22 PM

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Generations X, Y and Internet Reality

In the past few weeks, more than a few blogs have been commenting on the effects of various generations on the state (and the future) of the Internet.

Let's assume (.... there's been about 12 definitions that I can count so far) that Generation X is the so-called baby-boom generation and Generation Y are their children who are now in college or entering the workforce.

Let's take it one step further and assume that a majority of these people are capitalists (IE: They like to make money?).

The key to all of this is extremely simple. Generation X and Y are the two largest spending audiences. Why? There's more of them than any other demographic group. Period.

Yes, the people that can 'recover the economy' if they want to (and/or have the resources). They are your friends if you're trying to monetize ANYTHING.

There are LOTS of the Generation X gang still out there, and without them, there may have never been an Internet as we know it.

Many are still running most of the companies that Generation Y works for?!

They started it all, and most still have a passion for the technology, although many have 'retired' to the venture capital space, they're still very much right here. They may just be holding the funds that Generation Y needs?

So who do you look to for your profit?


The U.S. market of Generation X and Y's are sitting on YOUR next sale (or page view). Beyond that, it's strictly a few distinct and rapidly-growing international markets.

Food for thought?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

TechMeMe adds search !

One of the most popular tech news aggregators, a literal default for many seeking breaking news in the tech industry, TechMeMe announced a short time ago that they have added a 'search' feature.

Crediting Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land for mentioning it (some time ago :), founder Gabe Rivera made the announcement on the TechMeMe site itself.

TechMeMe has been good to this blog. Numerous mentions under TechMeMe discussions as well as several lead headlines drove significant traffic and lent credibility to what we do here.

While many of us are running around trying to figure out what the next big thing is, TechMeMe continues to hold it's place as many people's 'technology home plate', for a variety of reasons, as Gabe (and company) continually tune the memeorandum bot and the results that appear.

TechMeMe is part of a family of aggregators which include (politics), (baseball) and (celebrity news and gossip).

Sunday, May 18, 2008

He Can if he wants - Icahn - MicroHoo - enough?

It was 'rush to press' over the past hour or so as both Microsoft and Yahoo! released somewhat anticipated weekend press releases in response to the hovering bid for Yahoo! by Carl Icahn.

There was absolutely nothing definitive in either press release.

These press releases aren't really meant for you, me, or even direct investors.

They're aimed squarely at Wall Street before the opening bell and the hundreds, possibly thousands of publications worldwide prepping their morning pages and newscasts.

Carefully worded proclamations by the legal departments that translated say "We're pretty much still open to what ever happens" in this case.

The analysts will spin this story 50 different ways in just a few short hours. Mutual fund managers and pundits will proclaim "This is what will probably happen". My Google Feed Reader will quadruple in size. I'll share 'a few' of the more likely scenarios.

There will be headlines as Icahn is busy on numerous fronts including the Blockbuster bid for Circuit City.

Nothing is being produced, created, or contributed to the GDP by these deals ... but hey, that would spoil all the fun?

Update 1 : Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) was up 1.52 per cent to 28.89 in pre-market trading with 'just a few headlines (over 3000 and counting):

Update 2: Kara Swisher has a much better headline than us (and a good 'take') here

More Free Stuff !

Want to jazz-up your blog or website? (.. like I should talk? :).

Here's another find that I thought some of you would enjoy:

50 Free Icons Sets - A really nice collection at

So go. Be creative. (and feel free to brag about it in the comments!)

Good weekend all

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Firefox 3.0 out of Beta

A short time ago, Mozilla announced that Firefox 3.0 has now moved to Release Candidate 1.

(Of course, if you subscribed to our Google shared feed or followed me on Friendfeed, you'd already know this .... DO IT NOW :)

Firefox 3.0 RC1 is the culmination of an extraordinary effort by employees and volunteers at Mozilla to bring a universally compatible, user friendly and security conscious web browser to both personal and enterprise users.

The difference between a Beta and a Release Candidate means that Mozilla is confident that the browser is now 'ready for prime time'. You can read the release notes here.

Regular readers of this blog have been following our reviews of Firefox 3.0 Beta 5 (or 'Minefield') that led up to this release. While we expected it this month sometime, this announcement came as somewhat of a surprise.

We'll have more on this latest Firefox release over the weekend. For now, it's FAST and appears stable. Some extensions are not yet supported.

In the meantime, grab your copy (read the installation requirements first??) here.

Update: An excellent review has been posted by Percy Cabello here

Friday, May 16, 2008

Flock 1.2 Beta Leaked ! Social Mania is here.

The gang at Flock have been talking about the upcoming release of Flock Version 1.2.

Yesterday, I learned that the beta of Flock 1.2 had been posted to the web. In my usual 'rush to try' style, I cranked up the 'Beta box' and downloaded a copy of what was then Flock 1.2a Beta.

I messed around with it pretty extensively and then dropped a note to 'someone close to Flock' asking if it was OK to post this. (Yes, I still pride myself on honoring embargoes).

The response was "I don't see why not. The nightly builds are public".

Trying to find those 'nightly builds' isn't so easy. In fact, a Google search turned up an RSSMeMe post (by me?) on Firefox 3.0 Beta 5 which included a mention of Flock.

For those of your that haven't been following Flock, it's an alternative browser that is very simply addictive. Many social networking sites are built in, as well as a blog editor (which this post is being done with), web mail and more.

The Beta, which a few hours ago went to Version 1.2B now includes Pownce, Digg, AOL Mail, as well as performance and stability improvements. Digg is integrated right on the address bar (They call it 'DiggMan' :).

Add that to the already 'integrated' Twitter, Facebook, GMail, Yahoo Mail, Picasa, Flicker, YouTube, Blogger, Photobucket, WordPress, LiveJournal, TypePad, Feed Integrator and Flock People Bar - most of which are fully customizable, and Flock is, in fact, an outright time-saver.

Almost everything is configurable. You can use it, integrate it, change the defaults, turn the media bar on or off, select your primary e-mail .... and access it with a keystroke. The sidebar can be used in a number of ways. If you're logged into Twitter, your 'followers' will line right up with their latest posts, same for Facebook, etc.

Memo to the Flock Gang: THINK FRIENDFEED!! (and maybe 1-button TechMeme?).

Here's a quick video from YouTube:

The not-so-secret official download link to Flock 1.2 Beta is here.

Enjoy :)

If Yahoo! escapes this latest chapter ...

The Yahoo! story will accelerate, possibly as early as this weekend, despite Jerry Yang's response to Carl Icahn and company late yesterday.

Dealing with a Microsoft bid and dealing with Icahn are two completely different scenarios.

Sooner or later, greed will enter the picture and if the major stockholders were to be convinced to sell to Icahn, Yahoo! could end up being sold off in pieces.

Although this story has now dragged out for weeks, and everyone pretty much thought it was over as Microsoft 'publicly' said they were walking away, this latest chapter, like it or not, is always an inherent risk of being a public company.

I'm not implying that Yang's response was 'window dressing' aimed as calming employees. It may have been a rallying call to larger shareholders. It could just be 'history' and Yang not wanting to give up?

The writing is on the wall for Yahoo!. If Steve Ballmer isn't interested in coming back to the table, it's time for Yahoo! to sell to a company that will do everything they can to maximize values for their stockholders AND employees.

If Yang can manage to hold on, the pieces need to go into place real quick and that could very well mean a 'significant' partnership with Google?

According to Hitwise earlier this week, Google just managed to oust Yahoo as the Number 1 visited home page on the Internet. Even if by a small amount, that was Yahoo's 'edge'.

The 'drama' continues. Stay tuned.

Update: CNET has posted Yang's latest 'letter to employees' regarding the above here.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

CBS to buy CNET Networks

CBS Corp (NYSE: CBS) announced an agreement this morning to acquire CNET Networks (NASDAQ: CNET).

The deal "will make CBS one of the ten most popular companies in the United States onthe Internet with a combined 54 million unique visitors per month", according to a press release by CBS Corp this morning.

The cash tender offer by CBS is valued at $1.8 billion (US) or $11.50 per share.

CBS is best known as the parent company of CBS Television but also owns numerous other TV networks and other advertising outlets including radio station, billboards, as well as book publisher Simon and Schuster. Also in the CBS portfolio is, a 'music community' that has been growing rapidly in popularity in the past year.

CNET is best known as the first 'large' technology news website on the Internet and owns the domain names and CNET publishes tech news, commentary, syndicated product reviews and more across it's websites, which include,,,,, and others. CNET first reported the news here then Larry Dignan over at ZDNet chimed in here: "We've been bought!".

CNET stock rallied on the news Thursday morning, (up over 40 per cent in early morning trading), while CBS was mostly unchanged.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Facebook disconnect. Flock upgrades

Users of the popular Flock browser unexpectedly got 'disengaged' from their Facebook people bar earlier this week.

According to Evan Hamilton, Flock's Community Ambassador, it was a code change by Facebook discovered last night and just repaired with the release of Flock Version 1.1.4.

Auto-updates should begin shortly (or if you can't wait, tap 'Help', then 'Check for Updates').

Flock has been growing in popularity among the social networking set with a variety of services built-in to the browser. They also recently released their 'Eco-Edition', a 'green' version, with numerous eco-friendly web resources as well as the 'green' page from Alltop.

Flock is planning to release the much anticipated Version 1.2 soon which will, among other additions, have Digg, Pownce and AOL Mail.

Google adds flavors to shared feeds

Google is spicing up their shared feed public pages ... well, maybe just a little.

Visiting my shared feeds this morning, I was greeted with the choice on the left.

I chose 'Sea' and it looks like this now.

Yep, fish.

Wonder if it will effect my subscriber count if I leave it that way?

Memo to G-Reader team: Cool idea! How 'bout a few more choices?

Two things you can do when you have writer's block

We've all been there.

You're want to do a post to your blog but you've got Blogger's Block!

While there's plenty of material, your personal flair just isn't there.

Here's two useful things you can do, when you just can't (or probably shouldn't) write:

1) SHARE: You add value to your own blog or website when you share. My own shares (lower right) are hand selected once or twice a day and reflect what I feel are some of the best or most-informative articles that day in 'our' space. They also appear right here, giving readers a quick take on SEO, SEM, Web 2.0, Lifestreaming and more. I update my subscriptions about once every two weeks (Things are always changing!!) and the blogroll about once a month.

So, if you can't find it here ... you usually still can?

Of course, once you've started sharing a bit, your shares will be found on RSSMeMe, LinkRiver, Friendfeed, the 'new' ReadeBurner (Check Readburner's new Netvibes integration), and other places. Maybe even TechMeme! So, once you've fine-tuned it, be sure and share your share.

Of course, if someone else shares your share, you may end up in even more places.


The best part. You can head on over to Friendfeed and see of anyone liked, or commented on your 'share'.... and best of all, it's not time consuming.

2) Reverse the process. Go over to Friendfeed and let someone else know that you appreciated or liked their share. It's good for you (your name's right there), and it's great for the person sharing the story. It's as easy as tapping the 'Like' button (You may want to read the story first :)

80 degrees (F) here in North Central PA today.
Off to share ... a tennis match :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

First annual Search Engine Strategies awards

The gang at Search Engine Watch have announced the first annual Search Engine Strategies awards.

An eclectic line-up of judges has been assembled and are now ready to take YOUR nominations.

15 'Outstanding Search Marketers' will be highlighted in these categories:
  • Best Search Engine Ad Platform
  • Search Engine with Most Relevant Search Results
  • Most Innovative New Search Engine
  • Technology Platform Search Marketers Can't Live Without
  • Best SEM Technology Platform for SMBs
  • Most Innovative Use of Search Engine Optimization
  • Most Innovative Paid Search Campaign
  • Best Social Media Marketing Campaign
  • Best Business-to-Business Search Marketing Campaign
  • Best Multi-National Search Marketing Campaign
  • Best Use of Local Search
  • Best Integration of Search with Other Media
  • Most Effective Use of Web Analytics
  • Best Web Analytics Platform
  • Most Advertiser-Friendly Search Engine
  • Editor's Choice
The award ceremony will coincide with the tenth anniversary of SES San Jose. More information on this, and other SES events can be found here.

The good news - Pluto is still there - WWT Beta is up!

It sparked controversy around the world in 2006. The International Astronomical Union declassified Pluto. No more Pluto? Are they kidding?

It actually sparked a little 'discussion' in my own household this past weekend.

Great timing? Enter Microsoft.

Earlier tonight, TechCrunch reported that Microsoft had launched the much anticipated World Wide Telescope on the web.

Sarah Perez followed up with some interesting background on

The soft launch from Microsoft Research is actually a 'Spring Beta' and despite the fact that I was unable to control the telescope (bummer), today's roll-out had a myriad of awesome views of our solar system and beyond, including many from the Hubble telescope.

(Note: The program downloads some features on demand but does provide a button to clear your cache, which could fill up pretty quick on some systems.)

The starting coordinates are, you guessed it, Microsoft Research's ultra-high-tech Building 99.

The best part?

Pluto is still there.


Update: The official release from Microsoft is here ... and for those interested in the 'Pluto controversy' and how it could get reversed this August (I rarely do this) ...see Wikipedia.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Google's Friend Connect Update (with video)

Google has announced 'Friend Connect', a new initiative that will allow website owners and bloggers to engage social communities easily and quickly through a 'snippet of code' on their blog or website.

The announcement also included a link to Friend Connect (which is now live).

"There's an emerging wave of social standards -- OpenID, OAuth, OpenSocial, and the data access APIs published by Facebook, Google, MySpace, and others. Google Friend Connect builds on these standards" .

Below is the preview video that the team at Google just posted to YouTube.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Firefox 3.0 heads for RC1 - possible final release

Updated May 10 - (See end of story)

A few weeks ago, there was an announcement from Mozilla that Firefox 3.0 (even though still in Beta) was 'safe' for public use. That may have been a little premature.

Lots of add-ons are just making the 3.0 cut now, and there a still just a few issues being 'knocked off' by a very dedicated team.

Firefox is still the stable release and can be downloaded here.

Firefox 3.0 Beta 5 is making GREAT progress in many of the nightly builds.

After seeing a few troubled comments the past few days (mostly from people on the Apple platform), I thought it was time to point some stuff out.

1) It's probably not Firefox that's the culprit but a setting you've chosen in the browser preferences (or a huge, unnecessary cache).

2) Switching to Flock shouldn't make a difference at all since Flock is using the 'stable' Gecko engine (the same one used in Firefox 2.0)

(Sidenote: You can help! Check out this Mozilla page.)

A word about 'nightly builds'. For the most part, they're put out there for the developers. They're test builds of the latest browser rendition and although most show improvement, you could catch one that's off the mark. Be careful if you're messing with these.

Overall (Yes, I download them), Firefox 3 Beta 5 is showing really great promise and no doubt will debut 'stable' well before Internet Explorer 8 does.

Speaking of Internet Explorer, if you upgrade to the new Windows XP Service Pack 3 and already are using IE7, you will not be able to uninstall it. More on that (and IE8's progress) here.

As noted previously, Flock is just cool if you're doing 'the social thing' and Apple's Safari for Windows does a good job displaying your website or blog as it would appear on a Mac (and it's quick!).

Finally, clean up those temp files once in a while. All kinds of 'things' can be lurking in there and ...set your browser to 'recheck the page' not auto-check.

Hope this helps!

Update (May 10) : Firefox 3.0 Release Candidate 1 should be available publicly available sometime this month according to this post to Mozilla Developer News. Closer is better :)

Huge Markets vs Who Really Clicks on Ads

There are tens of thousands of blogs and websites competing for ad dollars.

You may not be getting your fair share.

Here are a few observations after more than a few years of watching this stuff and measuring LOTS of analytics.

Some of my own (or my former clients') best 'income days' were NOT high volume at all. They were when a (carefully marketed) website (or website page) hit a high demand search. There's a big difference. One that can both save you and make you money at the same time.

There's also a huge difference when someone else is running mainstream media (especially TV) ads for your particular target market. You're simply riding along with their advertising if you're there at the right time. (This is a huge plus, rarely mentioned!)

Your 'customers' are shopping for a very specific product, service or information. They're digging on the net. They WILL click on ads because time is a factor and if the ad looks good, it may provide their solution. Think about it. You probably do it yourself?

It can be because of 'the times' (ie: gas prices, high mileage cars) or something people will always be searching for (ie: honeymoons).

By all means, read 'the gurus', but also follow your instincts. Don't try and emulate someone else's success.

It doesn't matter if your target market is saturated OR if the PPC buys are high. You can geo-target markets, or find numerous other ways around that.

Use a solid mix of SEO and PPC and, more importantly, don't fixate on the competition!

Most importantly, set a budget and stick to it.

Maybe this will be the first in a series or something. It really hurts me when I see some people working day and night (some really nice people) and going nowhere. Consider it a starter kit of a few points that I think (I hope?) will help some to re-think what they are doing.

PS: If you're addicted to Twitter, turn it off once in a while :)

Great weekend all

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Murdoch Web - The genius continues

I suppose it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand what was going on, on the Fox Business Channel tonight.

While CNBC, Bloomberg and others were off covering stuff I really didn't care that much about, Fox Business was discussing the 'Microsoft buying Facebook' rumor that's proliferating the web tonight.

The panel was diverse and pretty good. There were some great points made by all.
Behind it all was more Murdoch genius.

Boomtown's Kara Swisher was on the panel. There must have been 15 or 20 plugs for AllthingsD.

Boomtown is Swisher's column on AllThingsD. AllThingsD is part of Dow Jones. Dow Jones is now part of News Corp. It really sounds simple doesn't it?

Murdoch is doing what Gates and Google have already done. Slowly and methodically getting into the eyes (then pockets) of almost everyone in America (or, in the Internet's case, the world?).

It's not just about Fox. There's much more going on here ... and it all works together, without screaming 'anti-trust!'. Brilliant.

So forget about all this Microsoft / Yahoo stuff.

Keep a close eye on News Corp. heavily indexing Friendfeed

Every day, I do a little research on what the search engines are up to. It's important because it really does change that often. My own 'little tests', then compared to what others are saying.

Yesterday, Microsoft's introduced their new 'vanilla' look.

Going over to check it out this morning, I did something that I do about once a month or so. (Come on ... tell me you don't do it :).
Yep .... I searched my own name.

The first two entries weren't about my company, me, or even a Microsoft-hosted beta test on Anzman Consulting. In post position one AND two were links to Friendfeed?!

Relevant, I guess. Robert Scoble , Louis Gray (and others) have created an incredible buzz about Friendfeed in the past few weeks and, we know, it's all about the buzz.

I guess it's working.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Windows XP Service Pack 3 posted to TechNet

The 'official' roll-out of Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3 arrived earlier today with numerous 'flavors' now posted to Microsoft's TechNet Website.

For those that are new to 'our space', one of the things we do a lot is test beta software, online and off.

The 1st and 2nd Release Candidates of this Windows XP Service Pack have already been reviewed here. From our perspective, while for the most part transparent to the user, XP SP3 appears to be a solid release with absolutely no issues to report to date.

The good thing about Service Packs is that they also act as 'roll-ups' of previously released patches and updates. In addition, numerous files are replaced with the latest official files, so if your operating system has been compromised in some way (DLL replaced, etc.), the Service Pack should bring you back to the latest version. You should keep a copy of the full Service Pack around with your SP2 disk for future use if necessary.

Microsoft will begin releasing XP SP3 via Windows Update beginning tonight (If you happen to have SP3 RC1 onboard, you may want to un-install that version prior to installing the new one).

As far as some reports of a performance increase, it really depends on your configuration, and in any case, it will be minor. On the other hand, there are a host of other mostly-transparent improvements in this Service Pack.

You can read more or download a copy from Microsoft here.

Name Intelligence sold to TCI

Some may remember them as Others know them by their newer name,

Simply one of the best sources of domain name information (and other IP and DNS related stuff) on the net. A valuable and easy to use resource. Let's hope that doesn't change.

This morning, Jay Westerdal announced the deal today.

Name Intelligence (the parent company) has been acquired by Thought Convergence Inc.

TCI currently owns TrafficZ and Both are 'domainer-related' companies.

I'm not big on posting on the domain name reseller (or so-called 'parking monetization') markets, so let's just say, we wish the best of luck to Jay and all at Name Intelligence. continues to be an excellent resource.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Google Reader adds new stuff !

You can read about Google's little surprise today, with (significant) new features in Google Reader in ... ugh .. our shared Google Reader feed (Below right).

Pardon our appearance (if you noticed ? :) as we move a few things around and 'play' with a few goodies from the Blogger in Draft team (Try the search box at right. This IS very cool).

Love it when I don't have to think XML and they do it for me :)

Update: Adam Ostrow (Readburner) has posted their initial take on the Google Reader changes here.

Highlights of our informal "What are you doing with your Tax Rebate?" Twitter / FriendFeed Poll" tomorrow!

Yahoo! Meltdown Monday? YHOO before the bell

Ex-Googler and co-founder Paul Buchheit posed the question on Friendfeed Saturday night: "Any bets on where YHOO opens on Monday?".

About 20 of us chimed in. I speculated $19. Steven Hodson of WinExtra went for $15 as did a few others. MG Siegler of Venture Beat (better known to some as Paris Lemon) looks like he may have won the pool (so far) with his guess at $22.

At 5 AM EST, Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) was bid at 22.75 in extended hours trading, down 5.92 from Friday's close.

Looking to put any fears to rest, Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang posted this message to the Yahoo Corporate Blog on Sunday to explain why he acted (in almost every way possible) to keep the company from being acquired by Microsoft.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) stockholders appear to be showing support for CEO Steve Ballmer's decision (relief?) with pre-market up almost 5% from Friday to $30.50.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) also appears to be headed for a higher opening, up about 3 1/2 per cent in pre-market activity.

Update 1: In very heavy volume, shares in YHOO were at 23.25 (at 9:45 AM EST). You can watch the 15-minute delayed ticker here

Update 2: OK, Paul wins. I'm not totally convinced this deal is over yet ... but on to other stuff ... Later :)

PS: Welcome to the new Twitter, FF, and Facebook followers. Fun stuff, huh ?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Web apps for iPhone growing - Apple

In the past couple of weeks, LOTS of new applications for the iPhone have been posting to the Apple iPhone Web app pages by third party developers. It appears the API is alive and well (and growing rapidly in popularity).

Sure I'm an 'early adopter' but in a non-geeky kinda way, I've been resisting an iPhone, and even though I played with one in a store again today (shhh!), so far so good.

Why? When I'm not working, blogging, or generally away from my computer, I don't want to know what's going on on Twitter (OR Friendfeed). I want to be breathing fresh air, hanging out with friends or family, hiking... not 'beeping'!. Just imagine Twittering from an A's game? My Twitter stays in the office, or home. Period.

There's a rumor going around that AT&T's going to drop the iPhone price again soon.

So... to my wife and daughter.
Fathers Day is coming.

Under the pillow would be good.

The Time Magazine 100 (and a good read).

Most of you probably read early in the week that Mike Arrington (TechCrunch) squeaked into this year's Time Magazine list of 100 influential people.

Sitting with my wife in Borders today, I noticed that the profilers of each 'winner' were just as interesting as the winners themselves, in some cases. In Arrington's case, it was none other than Arianna Huffington, who probably can be credited for a large portion of the shift to online-only in news and opinion. For those new to 'these parts', she runs the Huffington Post or as they call it, "The Internet Newspaper".

Venture Capitalist Guy Kawasaki (and founder of Alltop, Truemors, etc.) profiled Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (talk about timing!).

Of course, there were many other high profile tech names as well as politicians, musicians, and others.

The Dalai Lama piece was just cool.

The Time 100 is now online and makes some interesting reading. Be sure and check out the 'profilers' too. Then, head on over and check out Your Time 100 (Hint: Eliot Spitzer is No. 14. Influential?!).


Friendfeed hits mainstream media - Sunday Times

Today's New York Times has an article on Friendfeed.

Perhaps the interesting part is how I came across this.
I wasn't reading the paper (online or off).

I WAS reading Friendfeed!

That pretty much makes it official.
We G-share, twit, FF, MeMe, and sometimes bookmark, vote, and ... Digg.
... and, if there's any time left over, pay attention to the stuff that makes us money ? :)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Microsoft pulls the plug on Yahoo!

In a style that has become all too familiar, Steve Ballmer 'dropped the bomb' on a Saturday.

Microsoft is NOT pursuing the acquisition of Yahoo.

Many had speculated (including me) that this was a 'done deal' from the start, particularly because when Ballmer goes for something, he likes to get it.

On the other hand, in one of our posts that crossed the 'Techmeme wire' early in the game, I humbly suggested that Microsoft (or Yahoo) think about AOL instead, noting "It's a bad deal for Microsoft".

In the meantime, Yang and company weren't sitting idling by, adopting one 'poison pill' after another, and, in what appeared to be an extraordinary motivational push, released one new product (or service) after another ... during the past few weeks.

Who wins and who loses.

On Monday, Yahoo stockholders will lose. Whether or not the stock tanks, it still remains to be seen as to whether or not it will stabilize and recover. The company is solid. They've introduced some relevant new initiatives, and yes, they still are the most visited page on the Internet.

The employees that 'kept on goin' with Yahoo will win. Especially, the really excited ones.
Don't count this company out.
Their search may need (A LOT) of work, but there's a lot of ways to profit in their position.

Microsoft wins? In my humble opinion, the price was extremely high. There's a lot of deals that can be done with a small percentage of what they were offering for Yahoo... and no doubt, they will.

Google wins big (again). Whether or not they do the ad deal with Yahoo, Google still owns a huge portion of advertising revenue on the Internet. Even if a company manages to come up with a viable alternative to adsense, Google remains forward-looking and is already testing the waters in the TV, Radio, and Cellphone advertising markets.

So, what's the deal with Google?
They 'won' when they lost the wireless spectrum auction.
They're winning here.

Most of the ex-Googlers love Google. It's the corporate culture at the Plex. It's the way they treat their staff, employees and contractors. It's different, and it works extremely well in this decade.

As companies adopted Japanese business cultures in the 70's and 80's (as Japan's products were rapidly overtaking American manufacturing companies), maybe it's time for the social scientists at Microsoft and Yahoo to be studying Google's culture more than anything else?.

Update: Yahoo has issued a response to Microsoft's letter here.

Update 2: Other voices: We just added a variety of other reports and opinions to our Google shared reader feed (at right) to make it easy for you to sift through some of the comments over the past few hours since the Microsoft - Yahoo exchange. In addition, Robert Scoble is posting the conversations and comments to Friendfeed here.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Why Microsoft and Yahoo will do a deal this weekend

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that, in fact, talks are once again underway towards a 'friendly takeover' of Yahoo by Microsoft.

There will be an announcement this weekend.

How do I know this?

I probably won't be around to join the 'blog meme' when it happens.

As some of you know, for the past 6 or 8 months, I've been talking to a few people about a writing, traveling, evangelist type gig. I've decided that this is the weekend that I am going to drive that home (or not) and move on to the next chapter of my somewhat eclectic career.

I'm definitely won't be on Twitter :) Lots to do.

Yahoo's shareholders are going to give in.

Count on a weekend press release .... Quote me.

Have a great weekend you guys and thanks for all the support, recently and and in the past.

PS: New York Times good overview just published.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

New Freebie from Microsoft - Pro Photo Tools 1.0

Microsoft just posted a cool new utility to the Microsoft Download Center.

Pro Photo Tools 1.0 not only allows you to change photo attributes (dates, comments, etc) but also provides 'instant GPS' using Live Earth.

So far, the utility is only available in English and only works of Vista (32) and XP SP2 (or SP3 :) 32-bit.

Read the system requirements and pick up your copy here.

Sun releases new Java virtual machine beta

Earlier today, Sun Microsystems released the latest Beta (Version 6 Update 10) of the Java SE with numerous new features and improvements.

We loaded it on the 2 'beta boxes' and will have more later in the week.

Information and the download (not for mission-critical computers) can be found at Sun's Early Access page here