Thursday, December 13, 2007
Aiming for every social driven and user generated content website out there to implement the new standards, the OpenSocial alliance seek to change the way people are interacting with each other on the internet by removing some of the boundaries set by a chaosed freedom and commercial interests. Websites already implementing the new OpenSocial tools include highly popular websites such as MySpace, Engage.com, Friendster, hi5, LinkedIn, Ning, Oracle and Orkut. Members of the alliance also include Plaxo, Salesforce.com, Six Apart, Tianji, Viadeo, XING and many others. See them all here or check on the video below for interviews with some of OpenSocuial early industry adapters.
Even though latest figures show the impact on FaceBook's application market is yet minor, the OpenSocial alliance is just one of those things we can't understand how they did not exist until they did and it seems that Google just changed the rules of the game once again. Social Internet has changed. Adding the numbers and including the vast member pool of MySpace - FaceBook's mightiest competitor and an avid OpenSocial integrator - we get a "completely different picture of the combined OpenSocial sites compared to Facebook". A swift look at the above chart posted about a month an a half ago by Bill Tancer, General Manager of Global Research at Hitwise, tells the whole story in short: FaceBook - you took the closed course and got knocked out by the open one. Just like your Microsoft partner.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
The hints kept coming. After unveiling Android, their new mobile phone software, it appears that Google's plans go way beyond another proprietary new software. Instead a consortium of top tier wireless companies is already on the run, developing Android to be "the first complete, open, and free mobile platform" As Linux for mobile still has some troubles gaining an honorable spot, and giving the history of previous Google attempts to move things around, allow me to bet this might work and the world of mobile computing is about to be changed completely.
Companies in the alliance, already counting more than 30, say their purpose is to "accelerate innovation in mobile and offer consumers a richer, less expensive, and better mobile experience" and plan on releasing an access software development kit next week. Yesterday we learned that Federal Communications Chairman Kevin Martin supports Google's Open Handset Alliance saying "more openness, at the network, device, or application level, helps foster innovation and enhances consumers' freedom and choice in purchasing wireless service." More about the new open platform for mobile phones and the Open Handset Alliance in this official video.
According to InformationWeek Google partners include T-Mobile, HTC, Qualcomm and Motorola. "Google is picking holes in the traditional hegemony of telecommunications providers," says Google analyst and author Stephen Arnold. "This is just using what Google's already got. There will be much more to come." Google refer to their Android platform "the first truly open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices."
Google's Android competes directly with other smartphone software available in the market today. This include software from Apple, Microsoft, Nokia, Palm, and Research in Motion. According to CNET the new Android platform consists of "an operating system, middleware, a user-friendly interface, and applications." and we can expect the first Android phones to be purchased sometimes between June to December 2008. There you have it - one Android the bad guys did not expect.
As opposed to mobile operating systems, Android will not be tied to a specific device but will support a long list of devices from major players such as Motorola, HTC, Samsung, and LG as well as Wind River Systems Inc. that joined the alliance as a Linux commercialization partner. A minimum of 200MHz ARM 9 processor is required to run the new system, promised to be "flexible, compatible with small or large screens, keyboards and other input methods."
According to Wikipedia an Android is "a robot designed to resemble a human, usually both in appearance and behavior". The term was first mentioned by Albertus Magnus in 1270 and was popularized by the French writer Villiers in his 1886 novel L'Ève future. I wonder what Magnus would have to say about the new Android.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Google Dance is a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) professional term referring to the period of time when Google indices are tuned. According to Wikipedia Google Dance often cause "both a fluctuation in index size as well a significant change in a web site's search result position." A week ago, on Wednesday morning October 24, the world was witnessing an electronic Tsunami of reports from around the web reported about famous websites and blogs having their Google PageRank value significantly decreased during the recent performance of the Google dancer.
Seomoz.org, a Seattle-based SEO blog and a hub for search marketers worldwide, followed-up and put up this list with some prominent websites that got hit. A few examples would be autoblog.com (from PR6 to PR4), forbes.com (from PR7 to PR5), engadget.com (from PR7 to PR5), copyblogger.com from (PR6 to PR4) and the famous blogger johnchow.com who now has to get up in the morning to a new PR4 blog, rather than the PR6 he was used to.
So what is going on?
According to Seomoz.org the most reasonable explanation for the recent change, that seem to be going further than we use to, is that the losses are "primarily a result of Google's continuing public relations campaign against paid linking." Opening the doors for corporate capital to override "people's voice" which is how Google have always seen their PR algorithm, Paid Linking is everything but how Google want to see their multi-billion dollar machine ranking Internet pages. I stumbled up this explanation in a few more blogs. Some even suggest that, as opposed to how things are usually done with Google, this time there seem to be some kind of manual override and that some websites are simply "being punished".
It is not clear if Google indeed seeks to eliminate the entire Paid Link industry. Yet, I agree with Loren Baker of searchenginejournal.com that "if Paid Linking houses use PageRank as a pricing metric, then eliminating or devaluing PageRank will devalue paid linking" so this is definitely an option here. Furthermore, Techcrunch reported yesterday that even though, normally Google update page rank once every three months, sometimes not that often", the recent PR "downgrade" of a broad range of blogs was in fact the third Google dance in October 2007. This never happened before and something is definitely going on with Google PageRank.
Above image is sourced from www.answers.com/topic/pagerank. More about possible future scenarios for the Paid Link industry in this article by dailyblogtips.com title The Future of Paid Linking and more about Google PageRank on this Wikipedia article. Oh yes, this recent PR "zetz" was actually pretty good for my blog as it was upgraded from PR2 to PR3. I guess one's loss can sometimes be someone else's cause for celebration. Is that a cruel world or what?
Friday, October 26, 2007
While we are on the subject of rumors, In our new media enhanced universe it's really just a question of time until everything is revealed. Even some things USIsrael government rather leave hidden. Thus, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) website now serves the original DigitalGlobe imagery pdf report of the location where Israel airstriked Syria September 6 this year.
The photos, taken on Aug 10, show the location reported on the Washington Post this Wednesday, informing us that "The facility is located seven miles north of the desert village of At Tibnah, in the Dayr az Zawr region, and about 90 miles from the Iraqi border". Based on size and proportions of the structures it is suggested that "Syria might have been building a gas-graphite reactor of about 20 to 25 megawatts of heat, similar to the reactor North Korea built at Yongbyon."
Stefan Geens of Ogle Earth, my favorite virtual globe blog with a special focus on Google Earth, published this amazing photo article discussing the recent news and saving us the trouble of searching ourselves. If you have Google Earth installed just click here to save the kml file and run it. "There on the eastern bank" says Geens, "is an unmistakable candidate nuclear reactor building, 45m x 45m in size, apparently still under construction". It also turns out that all of the sudden, since the last time Geens checked (a few weeks ago), the entire Syrian part of the globe has been upgraded with much higher-resolution image coverage in Google Earth. Ha!
A few open questions: Is Bashar al-Assad becoming a celebrity? Are we expecting a better resolution GE images of Israel soon? If so, is this going to be for similar reasons? Just check the bottom left of the last picture above. This is where we live.
Edit 18:30 GMT+2: roadstoiraq.com reports Google updated their Syria satellite imagery five times sharper from 25 meter/pixel up to 5 meters/pixel and that the upgrade was done two days go. Also according to this blog "It is possible to see all Syria military airports and even count how many warplanes on the ground" and "recognize anti-warplanes batteries, its positions and its types". Yet, roadstoiraq also insists on bringing up the bitter truth, reminding us about similar visuals we all saw a few years ago "exposing" Iraq’s WMD’s and the ones of inside Tora Bora...
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Rumors about FaceBook negotiating a bitter acquisition bidding war with Microsoft and or Google have been around for quite some time. This morning another step was taken as the company confirmed it is planning "a significant advertising-related announcement" in two weeks, in perfect timing with the AdTech new-media marketing conference:
"Facebook has invited some of its closest advertisers to an event on November 6 in New York. As part of it, Facebook executives will discuss new approaches for advertising online. We are not sharing any further details."
Owen Thomas from the valleywag.com says we need not rely on any rumors as for the real confirmation all we need is a bit of digging into FaceBook: Apparently, Brandee Barker, the charmingly indiscreet head of Facebook PR, has added Adam Sohn - global sales and marketing PR at Microsoft - as his FaceBook friend. Just buddies? Fooling Google to take its bid up? we'll see soon.
Meantime New York Post reporter Peter Lauria said multiple sources had indicated a battle for the deal and that we may even see results within the next 24 to 48 hours. According to timesonline.co.uk, value the social networking site FaceBook may sky high to more than $10 billion (£4.97 billion). Looking at the social media advertising business its no wonder at all: According to a recent research from eMarketer, for example, Social Networks ad spending is expected to reach $1.38 billion this Year, enormously growing to $3.63 billion in 2011. Here is a business you should look into.
Have a FaceBook account? mine is here.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
In the old days, when there was only Microsoft, software were always closed in the sense of not having an Application User Interface (API) for other developers to have their own software "talking" with them. Then came Google with their very different approach leaving everything open and inviting developers from other companies to join in the mashup game and generate new media content and additional value.
The mashup concept is one of the most important aspects of the web 2.0 phenomena as it puts the power of media giants in the hand of every garage project dreamer. As well explained in this Wikipedia article: "...a typical example is the use of cartographic data from Google Maps to add location information to real-estate data from Craigslist, thereby creating a new and distinct web service that was not originally envisaged by either source."
I bumped into BuddyMapping maps installed on quite a few blogs in the past but was never attracted to it, probably because I didn't like the way most of the maps I saw were brutally murdered into 150 pixels wide sidebars, which always look horrible. This simply doesn't work as the map needs space. Today, thanks to my StumbleUpon friend TheScrappyCat, I realized this is a very interesting new media application.
BuddyMapping make map-based guestbooks for online communities such as blogs, forums and websites. BuddyMapping enabled websites allow their visitors to sign-in to their map and by that place a red dot over their location, leave comments and attach pictures. The BuddyMapping application allows the map owner to collect contact information from visitors based on a given schema including support for custom fields.
Being a classic mashup mapping application BuddyMapping uses the open API of GoogleEarth and GoogleMaps. Thus, one of the coolest features it is able to support, which was actually the thing that dragged me into it when I subscribed to TheScrappyCat's map, is viewing the map in Google Earth. This is good because by doing that the user of BuddyMapping can enjoy all the benefits involved in using Google Earth.
To put your map members in Google Earth, BuddyMapping serves your KML file for GE users to download and run. The file links to a data feed on BuddyMapping website, which Google Earth use to gather information about the people on your map. It updates hourly as (if...) people are added to the map. It might be a good idea to publish this KML file with an appropriate explanation in some place people can see it. You can just embed the map in one of your posts and link to it and to the KML file from your side bar.
Important: BuddyMapping is only compatible with GE 4, so you may need to update it if you haven't already (Download Google Earth Version 4 here). Mac users claimed to be able to have the map running on their OSX Dashboard. I don't have an available OSX here but I know someone who does and might agree to register and give it a try. As you can see for yourself I am pretty lonely at the moment in my new digiworld but I am not worried. Maybe I am just an optimistic person but I have many friends and family and coworkers abroad. I am sure as time will fly by some of them will join me on my BuddyMapping page.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Continuing months of speculations, rumors and global buzz, more details of Google's secret plan to dominate the mobile phone industry have been revealed by The New York Times yesterday. While Microsoft charges mobile phone companies a licensing fee for their Windows Mobile system, Google goes for advertising. If this is true, and the NY Times is not usually easy to manipulate, this might indeed be the large scale Google plan to rival Microsoft's Windows Mobile and redefine the mobile media world.
The most significant aspect of gPhone is that, as opposed to Apple's iPhone and countless of other products using the currently in lead mobile operating systems, it not likely to be another "what a bummer" proprietary, closed environment, mobile device. Even though nothing has been official confirmed by Google it is pretty clear that Google has developed their mobile OS based on Linux kernel for the operating system. As of last talks with folks at Google, the gPhone's user interface is still being finalized and the phone reference design will be open source, using the Apache license. This reference design will be an unlocked, neutral environment.
Dozens of references
Earlier this summer reports from India stated Google is "currently in talks with India's first and third largest telecommunications companies, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Essar about the Google phone." It is also believed to be in talks with some Indian companies to offer "data, content and platforms including Instant Messaging (IM) and Search functions".
The buzz around gPhone gains interest for its own making some of us wonder how much of it is planned by Google and how much is out of control. Dozens of references to the gPhone project in both online and traditional media channels collected by Search expert Danny Sullivan of SearchEnglineLand are just a very partial list. Google offer 2,820,000 results for gPhone at their major search and 193 entries in the past month within their news search section. By now Google has refused to confirm any plans for the GPhone.
Monday, October 1, 2007
"Bill Gates is less dangerous than Google. All Bill has ever wanted to do is beat the day lights out of any competition, make billions of dollars and own as much of the techie world as possible". Read more of this fantastic article about Google and its totalitarian tendencies by cool Becky from Just a Girl in short shorts talking about whatever.
On a side note, you might be interested to know that in early 2006 Bill Gates took the effort to stand up for arch-rival Google as he argued that state censorship was no reason for technology companies not to do business in China.
read more | digg story
Monday, September 24, 2007
Soon after the announcement about integrating video feeds in their news services, Google have practically launched a limited version of their new video advertising format branded Google InVideo designed to be used on YouTube. Starting August 21, clicking on an animated overlay area of a Google InVideo ad in some selected YouTube partner videos, launches a deeper interactive video ad defined as relevant and entertaining based on the clip content and while the watched video is temporarily paused. If not clicked within 10 seconds the overlay disappears allowing YouTube users some control over their content/advertising mixed experience.
The world has been talking about a new video advertising format ever since it was clear where high-bandwidth internet deployment is heading to. Both video sharing and casual game websites have been looking for a way to stop forcing their users to watch an ad before pushing the usually very short piece of content they were looking to consume. Yet, even though Google popularized the video overlay advertising format, it seem to have been in use by smaller companies such as VideoEgg, a video advertising start-up in San Francisco that has been serving overlay ads for nearly a year and Adotube and LiveRail who joined the game recently.
According to the NYT, Preroll ads are still the most common form of online video advertising so far. Yet, Eileen Naughton, Google’s director for media platforms, says during their tests, YouTube "users clicked on overlays five to 10 times more frequently than on banner ads that already appear on some YouTube pages". Troy Young, VideoEgg’s chief marketing officer, says both preroll and midroll ads (appearing in the middle of a clip) "may be appropriate for television shows, movies or other long videos but overlays have proven effective at making money with short clips".
Scott Karp an influential digital media blogger and editor of publishing2.com thinks that video advertising is about to cross the Rubicon into a pay-for-performance business model, but at the same time suggests we'll have to wait and see about that for a very simple reason:
"In the traditional TV ad model, it was opt out, i.e. you had to change channels, get up to get a snack or go to the bathroom in order to avoid the ad. Now, it’s opt IN. And now we’re going to find out what people REALLY think of video ads, which Madison Avenue has always known in its heart but has never been able to admit. The ads may be unobstrusive, and YouTube has mountains of videos to insert the teasers into - but if nobody clicks…"
I tend to agree with Scott from publishing2.com about the need for Google/YouTube to prove their new model validity facing reality. Changing the face of the video advertising world is not a simple mission. Have you seen any InVideo advertisements? Allow me to predict you haven't. I am an avid YouTube user myself (check me out here), I researched the subject, read many articles and I still couldn't find even a single working example. If it wasn't for Shawn Collins of blog.affiliatetip.com who posted a live example of the YouTube overlay ads I would have finish writing this post without even getting to see a single InVideo ...
The TV industry has never been forced to the same standards the online video industry now has to face but LiveRail CEO Mark Trefgarne expects Google to be able to obrtain a CTR rate of about 4-5% with a $20 ad spend yielding about 40-50 views, working out at $0.45 per view. Yet, "if your ad gets lower CTRs," predicts Trefgarne "then your PPV will rise rapidly".
I wouldn't worry about Google too much. When it comes to a direct conflict between the old media dinosaurs and the newest dot com evolutionized creatures - who do you think will be taking the pretty girl home? The network blog Last100 published this excellent caparison between tomorrows video advertising languages and yesterday's less intrusive format of promotional animations that run on the bottom of television shows.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Less than five months after announcing their testing group during a summit for the automobile industry and only two days after unlocking the potential of mobile advertising market by launching AdSense for Mobile, Google has just announced a limited release of their Google Gadget Ads a few hours ago.
If you are thinking about running and getting your own Google Gadget Ad right now before even finish reading my post, you better read on because you probably just can't do that: Answering the FAQ of Am I eligible for this program? The friends from Google say that:
Gadget ads require a high level of technical resources to create, and generally also require a high level of support from the AdWords support team. To avoid confusion for users, and to make sure we have appropriate levels of support, gadget ads are currently enabled for a limited number of AdWords advertisers who have created content-rich ads in the past.
Still based on the classic CPC or CPM billing rates, the new Google advertising format is supported by a dedicated editor made by Google for this purpose. I guess this interface is supposed to allow advertisers easier generation of rich media ads, though I am not so sure if it really does that. We'll have to see about that.
Google Gadget Ads editor: requiring "high level of technical resources"...
Not surprisingly, Google picked on a very good timing to launch Gadget Ads. Internet advertising revenues have just reported recently a quarterly all-time record of $4.9 billion for the first quarter of 2007. According to Internet Advertising Bureau, coming after a record year in 2006, this means "marketers are becoming increasingly comfortable with the strength, accountability and effectiveness of the interactive medium".
Friday, September 14, 2007
What will you get if you put some good people from Google and Del.icio.us on a yacht and let them have some drinks together? Perhaps a new hybrid web creature made of Google and my favorite bookmarking/tagging service? I don't have any knowledge of such a yacht cruise ever occurred but deliGoo seems to be exactly such a hybrid.
You remember saved the link in del.icio.us but don't remember under which tag and cannot find it whatever you do. You know you can search the description of the link the tag names on Del.icio.us system but that's not helping. deliGoo now allows you to search the text of the page to which the link you have saved is pointing to. There is no way you can do that without deliGoo. It's like having your own Google.
Another situation has not been answered by the deliGoo guys yet but is claimed to be "in process". deliGoo say they will soon allow search not only on the user bookmarks but also on a certain tag, used by other del.icio.us. users.
I find deliGoo a useful tool and hope for it to develop further. One minor issue: I am not sure if it's me or them but it seems the engine does not support basic deliGoo syntax such as tag1+tag2. Other than this very small problem, thumbs up!
Sunday, September 2, 2007
A few of major events seen on the Internet this August - e.g. the Skype P2P network malfunction and the Google Analytics data blackout - were fine examples of how traditional search engines, namely Google, are far from being able to get their hands on the real-time pulse of the web. Searching Google during the time these problems occurred did not do any help. Yet, following-up on some leading blogs did. But how do you track millions of active blogs? certainly no personal blogroll can do the job well.
Currently tracking 101.8 million blogs and over 250 million pieces of tagged social media Technorati is the undisputed authority on what is happening on the World Live Web, right now. Technorati "search, surface, and organize blogs and the other forms of independent, user-generated content (photos, videos, voting, etc.) increasingly referred to as citizen media".
Daily history charts of any keyword activity from Technorati can be easily embedded into any website or blog as seen below. Interested? Check Technorati's blogwidgets section for more.
Posts that contain Sudoku per day for the last 180 days
Get your own chart!
Posts that contain Puzzles per day for the last 180 days
Get your own chart!
Posts that contain Logic puzzle per day for the last 180 days
Get your own chart!
Posts that contain Pic-a-Pix per day for the last 180 days
Get your own chart!
Posts that contain Conceptis per day for the last 180 days
Get your own chart!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Google Analytics is back in business but the 3 days hole in my data is still there. I can live with it but I am not sure what others who use this to make their living think about this missing part in their data. Anyway, using my GA this morning I discovered my post about 'Google Analytics in data blackout' was quoted and referenced on ZDNet's Googling Google, Garett Rogers' famed blog keeping track of Google activities.
Check it out below. Apparently Mr. Vint Cerf , vice-president and “chief internet evangelist” at Google, has recently said some things he shouldn't have considering the amount of problems Google seem to experience recently.
Vint Cerf warns about reliability and security on the web by ZDNet's Garett Rogers -- It’s a bit ironic that Vint Cerf is touting Google’s infrastructure and warning users about unreliable software and poor security when both Blogger and Google Analytics were reported unavailable this week. To top it off, Google also recently pulled the plug on their paid video content services — causing users to “lose” their purchased [...]
Saturday, August 25, 2007
The option to preform a drill down search into particular data segments (similar as its done with Sawmill), the elegant Flash user interface, the easy installation and of course - another one of Google's great services provided for free.
Since about two days ago, however, it started to look like my blog has been banned from the Internet by some cyber punk police as there are almost no visitors there anymore (there was one to be exact but it just made me more suspicious), not at least according to Google Analytics. Could it be that the great Google is not doing its job properly??! naaa... this is Google, not Skype.
Searching in Google didn't do any help and even going over the official Google Analytics blog only brought up some old report from almost one month ago about some problem they used to have on Monday, July 30, 2007. Its not about the problem I though I might be having here but It drove me to search the blogospher for some more updated stuff.
Well, according to FeedComputer, the Google Analytics service completely stopped delivering data to users a week ago and, in accordance to what I read, this glitch is another one in "a series of recent performance and availability problems affecting this popular Web site traffic-monitoring service". Also according to FeedComputer, "the latest problem remains unsolved and is apparently affecting all Google Analytics accounts, according to a message posted Monday afternoon by a Google employee in the official Google Analytics blog".
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Wesley Chan, Product Manager at Google Inc. posted the announcement in the official Google blog saying GrandCentral's technology "fits well into Google's efforts to provide services that enhance the collaborative exchange of information between our users".
GrandCentral's features complement the phone services you already use. If you have multiple phone numbers (e.g., home, work, cell), you get one phone number that you can set to ring all, some, or none of your phones, based on who's calling. This way, your phone number is tied to you, and not your location or job. The service also gives you one central voice mailbox. You can listen to your voicemails online or from any phone, forward them to anybody, add the caller to your address book, block a caller as spam, and a lot more. You can even listen in on voicemail messages from your phone while they are being recorded, or switch a call from your cell phone to your desk phone and back again. All in all, Google say, you'll have a lot more control over your phones.
Google also announced a limited number of invitations available to register for a GrandCentral beta account so if you happen to have a U.S. telephone number, you can sign up for an invitation at www.grandcentral.com.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
As part of this initiative, Google.org awarded $1 million in grants and announced plans for a $10 million request for proposals (RFP) to fund development, adoption and commercialization of plug-ins, fully electric cars and related vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.
These guys at Google are really something. Isn't that great?
This installation is projected to produce enough electricity for approximately 1,000 California homes or 30% of Google's peak electricity demand in our solar powered buildings at our Mountain View, CA headquarters. This page on Google website monitors and shares the day to day production of clean, renewable energy from our very own rooftops.
read more | digg story
Saturday, June 9, 2007
I didn't know Google also take some of their features OFF sometimes.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
The New York Times published an article saying "Google Photos Stir a Debate Over Privacy" (Google Zooms In Too Close for Some). Kevin Bankston, a staff lawyer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group says he “think that this product illustrates a tension between our First Amendment right to document public spaces around us, and the privacy interests people have as they go about their day” and that "Google could have avoided privacy concerns by blurring people’s faces".
I always thought that the whole world should be photographed all the time and be seen by everyone. people should learn how to close their curtains. please don't limit my freedom for information to allow you enjoying a better view.