This Newsweek article confirms the obvious trend that dollars are flowing out of television and towards the Internet.
Archive for May, 2005
Ask Jeeves launched a couple of new features on
Thursday – increasing their search response times, and attempting to deliver results
based on the search intent. They’re pretty far behind on the search front, but this announcement
makes us wonder – again – when was the last time that Google improved their search response/functionality?
Apple’s announcement that iTunes will offer support for Podcasts should be an important boost to those trying to monetize the Podcast phenomenon. Presumably Apple will be able to provide verifiable third party information on which podcasts have been delivered. While that doesn’t translate into actual listenership, it will begin to provide some standardized metrics for salivating media planners to wrap their heads around.
US Web (US Web? Do
they still exist? Would anyone want that name? Evidently what’s left of that once mighty mess is squirreled
away somewhere near the storage barns at Phoenix airport) is taken to task for
offering bloggers five bucks a pop to post wonderful things about their
clients. We’re not sure about the ethics
of this either way but it is reminiscent of the early attempts at “Audience
Development” where agencies like Cybernautics could make a good buck with teams
of young, low paid employees furiously posting to newsgroups (remember newsgroups?) on behalf of
clients. Just like anything, the
aggressive Web-based businesses who believe a brand is something you burn onto a
cow will do anything to acquire new customers. Companies with brand images to protect won’t touch this stuff – it won’t
be worth their time to answer the snarky phone calls from reporters. This business seems ripe for outsourcing – if
it costs five bucks a post from the US, could you find bloggers to post for a buck in
Google’s VP of Engineering, Wayne Rosing, is leaving the
company to “focus on astronomy, his childhood passion,” according to this c|net
report. Rosing was one of Google’s nine top executives in their IPO filing with
the SEC. Reportedly, Rosing’s vested stock options were worth $28 million at
the end of 2004; at that time Google’s stock was around 180. Today it hit 256.
How ya doin’?
First the lead chef, now the lead engineer – who’s next to
jump ship? And is the company poised to handle the glut of Google-created millionaires who may want to pursue their own childhood passions?
Three times as many people are blocking 3rd party cookies – which are cookies set by an entity other than the site that you are visiting. The percentage of third party cookie blockers jumped from 4% to 12% last year, and have remained at that level – according to this Mediapost article on the Webtrends study. The ad networks are the largest practioners of 3rd party cookie setting – and if this cookie-cutting trend continues, their behavioral targeting offerings could be negatively impacted (although at 12% they’re probably not panicking).
But here’s what we want to know – could someone like… Eliot Spitzer… see 3rd party cookies as spyware/adware? Certainly, these cookies aren’t fouling up consumer machines like adware/spyware, but its not exactly an open kimono. It’s a question that dates back to the days of Doubleclick dominance – should consumers be "warned" that they are being tracked?
If you want to waste some time in the interest of furthering your claim to be on top of all things Internet, take a few minutes to create your own Google Personalized Page.
Honestly, you’d expect a lot more from a company that considers itself revolutionary. To launch Personalization with this weekend hack of a product gives new meaning to the word lame. The content offerings are thin as a razor blade and the flexibility non existent. Huh? I can only look at the weather in one city?
At minimum you would expect a "me too" portal product. The funniest, or most ominous (depending on your perspective) aspect of the new personalized page, is the link to the "Classic" Google home page — for all of you backwards minimalists. Kind of reminds me of the Latin American Coke execs who blew the call on New Coke.
Wasn’t Google supposed to be different? Wasn’t the brand built on the lack of clutter? Wasn’t Google precisely not a portal?
Now, we have no doubt the content will improve and we have no doubt that millions will create their own home page and we have no doubt (because it is Google after all) it will generate plenty of cash, but it raises the question of how long Google can retain its brand dominance with non-parity beta launches and a fuzzed up image.
Not particularly relevant to this blog, nor newsworthy outside of the Bay Area foodie world, but Charlie Ayers’ announced departure from Google’s cafeteria (sorry: "Charlie’s Place") is getting a lot of play; here’s an article on Ayers decision and next step from the San Jose Mercury News. Ayers has been a Google employee for five years – options et al. "Wish I was a headlight, on a North-bound train."
Google has released another new product – personalization of the Google home page. It seems that Google releases at least one new product/service just about every week, but when was the last time they vastly improved their search functionality? Does it even matter? In other words, is search no longer Google’s core business?
According to this article on Clickz, Atlas Solutions (aQuantive) is branching into the world of Video On Demand (VOD) and is launching a division called "Atlas On Demand" – essentially applying its online ad serving/tracking/reporting technology to VOD campaigns. Interesting, if not obvious, that an Internet advertising technology solution may be best-positioned to lead the ad tracking of a TV effort.