Google and Yahoo! have had a fun year, we've seem all manner of innovations in technology and services from both companies. What's coming for 2005?
The AP story threadlinked above looks at just that:
Mountain View-based Google devotes significantly more of its budget to research and development, with more than $300 million — about 30 percent of its operating cash flow — earmarked for capital expenditures this past year. Meanwhile, Sunnyvale-based Yahoo is expected to spend $215 million to $235 million on capital expenditures, or about 20 percent of its operating cash flow.
Schachter believes the capital expenditure gap will widen in 2005 when he projects Google will spend $450 million while Yahoo allots about $250 million. If those estimates pan out, Google's capital expenditures, broken down as a percentage of operating cash flow, will be similar to such technology leaders as Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp.
link via gary
So, what will we see in 2005, and more importantly, how will affect marketers?
Why Are 'Net Execs Buying Super Bowl Spots?
Fox is charging a rumored $2.4 million per 30-second spot for the Super Bowl this year. Two Internet companies, CareerBuilder.com and GoDaddy.com, bought a piece of that game, casting their lots in with Budweiser, Ford, Visa and the other usual suspects.
Brand Ads Will Change Look of Internet
eMarketer report in the threadlink above that CPG's (Consumer Packaged Goods) are to spend a whole bucket load of cash on internet marketing next year in a bid to balance flagging effects offline.
Significant online advertising growth can be found in those campaigns with a branding objective — the classic province of CPG marketers. According to eMarketer projections, online ad spending for branding will increase by 22.4% in 2005, compared to a 19.8% boost for direct response advertising. In each of the three years following, spending growth for branding goals will match or outstrip direct response growth.
Funny, from what I've been reading lately (a LOT), brand ads are having less and less impact daily, what would make online any different to off?
The Accidental Guru
A pretty facinating read at FC threadlinked above detailing Malcom Gladwell's past present and future - Gladwell is author of "The Tipping Point" - i've not read it but you'd have to have had your head in a bucket since 2000 not to have heard of it right?
But nowhere is Gladwell's influence being felt more than in business. Starbucks' Howard Schultz publicly attributed his company's success to the tipping-point phenomenon. The public- relations agency Ketchum created what it infelicitously named an "Influencer Relationship Management" database that emulates Gladwell's model of connectors, mavens, and salesmen. One tech company even named itself TippingPoint Technologies Inc. The mere mention of his name to creative directors or product developers results in nouns not typically associated with business thinkers: He's a rock star, a spiritual leader, a stud.
This story really makes me want to go out and buy his books (inc. the new one "Blick"), for those that have read him, are they really that good?
Movable Type 3.14 released
SixApart have just released MT 3.14 which addresses some of the server load issues relating to comment spam.
They appear to have made no progress toward solving the root problem though. Over the weekend I wrote about The Solution to Blog Spam where a number of folks talked about how to actually deal with the problem head on.
Some of the folks in that thread (but certainly not all!) have experience with comment spamming from the spammers end. Although i didn't go much past the testing phase, i cobbled together a relatively sophisticated bot myself for just that purpose. Many issues conspired to stop me from embarking on a blog bothering mission of awesome proportion but the point is, many spammers would be quite happy to talk about ways to solve the problem.
Home of the Social Networking Services Meta List
Judith Meskill has a wonderfully comprehensive list of social networking sites and services over at the threadlink above. If you're looking into this area (and i'd argue that any future looking web dev should be) then it's a great way to scope out the scene.
Knoppix To Split Into 'Light,' 'Maximum' Versions
Slashdot report in the threadlink above the news that Knoppix is to split into lite and maximum branches.
If you're not familiar with knoppix, let me get you up to speed fast: It's a Linux distrobution based on Debian that comes in the shape of a "live cd" - this means that you can burn a copy, pop it in your cd tray and reboot directly into a fully functional linux system - no messing with hard disks etc, it runs straight off the cd and is an excellent way to mess with Linux if your unsure of it.
Currently only one version of the Live CD is produced, on both CD and DVD. It is based on the Debian distribution and contains more than 2,000 executable applications and utilities. But Knoppix developer Klaus Knopper says that users will soon be able to choose between a fully featured version and a slimmed-down version of the CD.
"We will split the mainstream edition of Knoppix into two versions: a 'maximum' DVD edition with a complete Debian installation, and a 'light' edition on CD that contains the most popular desktop and server software only, for older computers or smaller systems that don't have a bootable DVD drive yet," said Knopper.
How can I trust Firefox?
Peter Torr of Microsoft attacks Firefox over, would you beleive, security issues...
In Peters blog post threadlinked above he talks mainly from a point of code signing - meaning that the way you download and install firefox is insecure and is open to maliciious exploits. It's a long post with screenshots, so here's just a small snippet to give you an idea of the tone. Check out the complete post for the real deal.
Not only does this software come from a completely random university server, but I have no way of checking if it is the authentic Firefox install or some maliciously altered copy. (I sure hope those 10 million people who have downloaded Firefox so far haven't all download backdoors into their system...). Since "You should only run software from publishers you trust" and since the publisher cannot be verified, I should click Don't Run (which is, thankfully, the default).
As Slashdot point out, some of this stuff could actually bear looking into...
The largest publishing house in the US, Random House has voiced plans to enter the retail market and sell books directly to the public online.
Barnes and Noble are not happy, and I shouldn't imagine Amazon are either. From the NYT story threadlinked above:
Last week, Peter W. Olson, the chief executive of Random House Inc., the nation's largest publisher, disclosed the company's tentative plans to sell books directly to consumers through its own Web site. On Friday, Stephen Riggio, the chief executive of Barnes & Noble Inc., the country's largest bookseller, said that he was "deeply concerned" by Random House's plans to enter into his business, raising the possibility of a growing rift between the publishing companies.
Could be quite a mess if B&N/Amazon dont bully them out of the idea...
EyeWonder Debuts New Video Ad Format
Clickz have the details of EyeWonders new full video banner format - you can grab the press release pdf here
Four clients have used the format so far in their campaigns -- SBC Communications, CBS Television, Red Bull and Pacific Broadband. The video content fills the entire length and width of most standard IAB banner sizes. Original video can be shot specifically for the ads, as SBC did with its campaign; or TV spots can be repurposed, either using the conventional 4:3 aspect ratio, or edited to fit another banner size, as Red Bull chose to do.
I've been using linux exclusively for 3 or more years now, for web development and all that that entails it rocks - there are many benefits but rather than spend 3 days listing them i wanted to draw your attention to the threadlink above - a cnet story detailing how Wal-Mart have teamed up with Linspire to produce a Sub $500 Laptop.
Now, even if you cant/wont try to install Linux a deal like that, for less than a good night out (ok, a very good one..) has got to be tempting right?
Personally I'd sooner stick my hand in a mincer than use something like linspire, im a die-hard power-using Gentoo enthusiast but, my wife uses RedHat Fedora and i've messed with a few other distros and can tell you that if you can just take a little time to get used to a new system, it's well worth the effort.
Mrs Nick W sneers at Windows users and she wouldnt know a command line from adam :-)
So, anyone planning on taking the plunge? Or have you already?
How Web Site Eyeball Studies Work & What You Can Learn From Them
Fascinating article on how website eyeball studies work including usability tips from the folks who put the studies together.
Say you have 100,000 visitors in a day, and your analytics program tells you that 3% clicked on a specific link. You're still faced with a question: Given that people won't click on something they don’t see, what percentage of those 100,000 visitors even saw that link?
Elvis Presley Themed Advertising to Explode
Heaven help us all, the rights to Elvis Presley's name and image have been sold to SFX Entertainment - Get ready for brand mayhem...
The Elvis estate, along with rights to his the rock legend's name and image, has been sold for $100 million to SFX Entertainment. Lisa Marie Presley agreed last Thursday to sell 85 percent of the estate's assets. Presley will receive $53 million cash, be absolved of $20 million indebt and get shares in the new company expected to be worth $25 million.
More details at the threadlink above and this ABC News Story
Netimperitive report on a new beta search engine specific to the UK - they're making some fairly large claims, not least of which is the following:
Seekport Internet Technologies’ managing director Joachim Kreibich said: “We can remove material from our index within half an hour of receiving a request. For European users this is a key issue, particularly as deletion requests from US search vendors typically have to be routed back through the US and it can take weeks for anything to happen.”
Only search engine to support its technology with local index teams in each country
They will show only 1 in 10 US results as opposed to an average of 1 in 3 for US engines promoting UK specific searches
It's german site (also has a french one .de and .fr) says it's one of Espotting's largest customers
It's in Beta now, so go have a play and tell us what you make of it...
Threadwatch member Anthony has added an RSS feed to his superb DirectoryList.org - you can grab the feed here.
If you want to keep up with the seemingly thousands of new directories that pop up on an almost daily basis then that's one tool you'll most likely enjoy. You can find a discussion of the RSS addition at the seozip post threadlinked above.
Rice University Computer Scientists Find a Flaw in Google's New Desktop Search Program
New York Times reports of a security flaw found in the Google Desktop Search tool which already has a fix.
The glitch, which could permit an attacker to secretly search the contents of a personal computer via the Internet
In a statement over the weekend, the company said that it had been notified of the flaw by the computer researchers in late November and had begun distributing a new version of the desktop search engine that repairs the potential security hole
Will news like this damage Google’s reputation like it has with MS and IE?