Sony & Gawker Partner to Produce

Thread Title: Sony Endorses Weblogs With Site Integration Sponsorship Thread Url: Thread Description:

Adrants reports in the threadlink above that Sony will become the "exclusive launch sponsor" of (auth req'd) LifeHacker will be a software oriented version of Gawkers Gizmodo, one of the original gadget blogs and will be run by Gina Trapani who currently runs and will focus on all manner of techy software.

Sony have also bought into Gizmodo itself:

Sony's site integration sponsorship of Lifehacker will include the integration of the Sony logo with the Lifehacker masthead, as well as standard IAB ad units. The buy also includes Gizmodo, Gawker Media's gadget title. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Im looking forward to LifeHacker, sounds neat...

The $100 PC - MIT, AMD, Google and Samsung

Thread Title: MIT’s Nicholas Negroponte pushes a cheap PC for the rest of the world. Thread Url: Thread Description:

RedHerrring report in the threadlink above on Nicholas Negroponte's brainchild to develop a $100 PC to be aimed at developing markets. China will be first on the list with the units shipping no less than 1 million orders at a time.

Mr. Negroponte’s idea is to develop educational software and have the portable personal computer replace textbooks in schools in much the same way that France’s Minitel videotext terminal, which was developed by France Telecom in the 1980s, became a substitute for phone books.

AMD, Google, Motorola and Samsung are among those that have pledged support for the project.

Yahoo! Finance kicks Reuters, Provides Direct Feeds

Thread Title: Yahoo to Offer Financial Data Feeds Thread Url: Thread Description:

Yahoo! will be giving Reuters the boot and will be running feeds direct from the stock exchanges and marketing those services to other sites. Forbes will be its first customer.

Craig Forman, vice president, information and finance, said that Yahoo would continue to license data from providers such as Reuters, but said the company wanted have "greater control and flexibility" over the financial data it receives and distributes.

"We're the No. 1 financial Web site on the Internet," Forman said, adding that Yahoo's Finance section -- -- has gained enough recognition as a brand to be sold to other Web outlets.

"Now we're expanding that strategy of syndication to include financial information," Forman said.

The NoFollow Religion?

Thread Title: No NoFollow - Fight Spam, Not Blogs Thread Url: Thread Description:

Seems like bloggers are starting to realize that nofollow is not necessarily a good thing for them - see the wiki threadlinked above.

Mick Stanic agrees with the anti-nofollow site but Scoble disagrees. Interesting to note that many of the evangelic nofollower's are now downplaying the tags effects on comment spam when only a week or two ago it was hailed as the saviour of blogs....

Google as a semantic AI system?

The National Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science in Amsterdam are experimenting with using the Google database to teach meaning extraction to computers according to NewScientist

Quote: To gauge just how closely, Vitanyi and Cilibrasi have developed a statistical indicator based on these hit counts that gives a measure of a logical distance separating a pair of words. They call this the normalised Google distance, or NGD. The lower the NGD, the more closely the words are related.

Google already sort of do it with their ~ function (no it isn't a synonym search whatever they call it, not unless someone redefined synonym while I wasn't paying attention) but in principal it could be interesting if someone can make it work really well - and I wonder if Google will require use of the programme in return for them running it on their database? Now that could open up a lot of possibilities.....

Hyperlinkage - a Budding Competitor to Bloglines?

Thread Title: Hyperlinkage Thread Url: Thread Description:

Hyperlinkage is a little like Bloglines only it has less cool features but a much smarter interface - it's very young though - apparently still under development.

Certainly worth keeping an eye on but some questions that immediately spring to mind:

It gathers feeds when you want them, not every hour like bloglines - if it gets popular that'd be a big bandwidth/load balance concern im guessing. Where's the biz model?

Im not sure if this is just "someones site" or a funded project but it does look like it has potential and i love the way you can simply get all your feeds in order but mixed.. er what i mean is, i subscribed to the threadwatch feed and the library stuff feed and all the stories came up at once but in timestamped order - neat. You can also get them individually.

Apple Edges Google as Top Brand

Thread Title: Apple Edges Google as Top Brand Thread Url: Thread Description:

According to a survey by Brandchannel Google are no longer classed as the top brand worldwide.

In the survey of almost 2,000 ad executives, brand managers and academics by online magazine Brandchannel, Apple ousted search engine Google from last year's top spot, but the surprise to many will be Al Jazeera's entry into the top five.

interesting that neither Apple nor Google appear in the Europe and Africa top 5, but Nokia (mobile manufacturer) are, the North America tops are mostly tech while the S. America tops are almost entirely food and drink related with no tech at all.

Google Advertising Mark Jen's Blog?

Thread Title: Was The Mark Jen Flap A Publicity Stunt? Thread Url: Thread Description:

Last week there was much fun and mayhem with Google's rather unfortunate new employee Mark Jen - we had a field day here at Threadwatch (or i did at least heh...) with these threads:

Google Gag Rogue Blogger - But Yahoo! Tells the Story The FULL Mark Jen Google Blog - The Blog Google tried to Gag Mark Jen #2 - Google's Idiot Blogger Returns

In the last one i mentioned a few suspicions i couldn't quite shake off about the whole thing:

You know, there's a nasty, cynical little voice inside my head that keeps crying "Setup! it's a setup!" - this voice argues that PR is a funny old game and messin' with the blogosphere is *easy* - it's no real bad press for Google - but it's a hell of a lot of attention for them on a day when GOOG stock is downgraded

and now it seems that those suspicions may not have been so far fetched at all. From the blogoscoped post threadlinked above of an original post at dirson:

Mark has no reason for it, so either Google is publicizing him, or someone is trying to make Google look bad by purchasing this ad. Of course, there is little chance of the second theory, since, as Dirson shows, the very text of the ad is rejected by AdWords, since you cannot use the word "Google" in an ad!

Now, why would google do this?

They need a scoble? Making the best of a bad situation It was all a setup from the start for publicity?

Let the conspiracy theories reign! heh...

Eric Sachs of Google on Digital Identity and Social Networks

Thread Title: Digital identity event at Future Salon Thread Url: Thread Description:

Nial Kennedy has some nice recordings of a presentation at Future Salon on Digital Identity including Eric Sachs of Google who talked about Orkut and Gmail and some of the issues surrounding digital identity and what G feel users want and need.

It's a worthy listen though their is little of surprise in the talk...

Search Engines, Illegal Content, Responsibility & the Law

Thread Title: Did Norway Just Outlaw Google? Thread Url: Thread Description:

Mike at techdirt raises an interesting point about illegal content and the law. In a recently publicized case Norway have fined a student who published a community site that pointed to Mp3's - some of which where obviously illegal.

The guy didn't host the Mp3's, his users just posted links to them, Norway ruled that this was "abetting an illegal act" and have fined him the equivalent of £8000

Where does this leave Search Engines?

Scandinavian countries are particularly anal about Search - just a couple of years ago one News service was told that it could not even link to a newspapers stories - for the most part (at least here in Denmark) they seem not to get it. So, where do Search engines stand on illegal content now?

The ruling did state that the website in questions actins where "premedotated" but it's only a hop skip and a jump from fining someone for linking to mp3 files, prohibiting a site from linking to news stories to taking legal issue with a major search engine over what's available in the index.

The mind boggles at lunacy, but it could happen.

Content Discovery - New Models for Revenue

Thread Title: 10 Predictions for the Year Thread Url: Thread Description:

Some interesting predictions for content revenue, no.2 particularly caught my eye in light of Googles recent moves with Scholar and Library - it's clear as day when you read it but i'd certainly not given it much thought so i think some of you will find it interesting aswell:

To achieve much broader penetration, the information industry needs to change the process by which people find and buy the information they need. Two conditions are necessary and both will start to take hold in earnest this year. First, premium content will become discoverable though the major search engines. In seeking information, users often do not know the likely sources and therefore rely on search engines. While search engines are relatively effective in finding relevant content on the free web, they have as yet little content indexed from premium collections. As a result, search engines currently do not find relevant articles from The New York Times archive, Thomson’s Investext library of Wall Street research reports, Hoover’s company reports, or reports from market research firms, among other premium sources. An important example of change, however, is Google’s plan to index content from hundreds of academic journal publishers (with their permission). This move will enable users to discover content that previously was not visible to search engines. The second condition for broadening content sales is the packaging of information for pay-per-view purchasing as an alternative to subscriptions, so that users can purchase content once they find it. Pay-per-view packaging is not new. A variety of publishers and distributors, ranging from The New York Times to Factiva to Forrester Research, have been selling content “by the drink” as a complement to subscriptions. Now, however, the combination of discovery and pay-per-view packaging will set the stage for a much larger content market.

There's much more at the threadlinked post above so check it out.

Linux Smartphones gain Traction with Motorola Rollouts

Thread Title: Motorola set for Linux smartphone barage in 2005 Thread Url: Thread Description:

The Linux Smartphone is, by the look of it, about to happen in a large way - Motorola have just announced thier intention to put out 8-10 linux Smartphones this year - although no linux based phones are available in the US right now, it's sure to follow as the light slowly dawns that linux = cheap and linux = good

According to the DigiTimes, Linux smartphones already account for more than 10 percent of Motorola's sales in China. China is the world's largest market for mobile phones, and Motorola is a top mobile phone vendor there.

Motorola Linux smartphones available in China today include the E680, A768i, and A780. Jim Ready, the CEO of MontaVista, which supplies the Linux-based OS used in smartphones from Motorola, NEC, and Panasonic, said in an interview in May, "[Motorola's] ability to pop out three phones based on the same OS is making people in the industry say 'Oh sh*t, how'd they do that?'"

Nice. Being a linux enthusiast it warms my cold black heart to think that by the time i get round to actually getting some kind of decent phone i might be able to get a decent OS on it heh..

thanks om

Negotiating the Affiliate Deal

So you have prooved to your merchant or affiliate company that you can deliver the goods and sales, what do you do now:

Forget it and move onto the next project Give the affiliate manager grief and tell him if he doesn't pay you more then he get go and jump Plead for more money Ask the aff manager what he would be prepared to do if you could do more volume.

I knwo most affiliates just move on to the next project, but is that the right way?


The iPlop - New Mp3 Playing Toilet

Thread Title: Toto's MP3 Playing Toilet Thread Url: Thread Description:

Sheesh! Now i've seen it all, Gizmodo report on the new Toto Mp3 playing toilet heh...

So, what songs would be appropriate for an mp3 playing bog eh?

Mr Hankie the Xmas Poo ~ SouthPark Golden brown ~ Stranglers Plop around the clock

Groan.... i can't think of any more, anyone? - go on, it's Friday!

Google using - Now that's cool...

Thread Title: Google Completes Definition Move To Thread Url: Thread Description:

SEW reports that Google have moved to using for their definitions - the links you find for your keywords at the very top of the page after querying.

This is cool. Yesterday i posted about and expressed a wish to see a tab or some kind of integration into a major SE - now i have it! Danny S had reported previously on this but i missed it, sometimes the headlines fly by to quickly to catch everything on any given day...

Im going to enjoy having that on Google, i only used for the first time yesterday and was much impressed :)

Is your ISP a Spy for AlmondNet Behavioral Ad Network?

Thread Title: AlmondNet Debuts "Post-Search" Search Behavioral Ad Network Thread Url: Thread Description:

Searchday reports on AlmondNet's new behavioral ad network that tracks search queries users have made across pretty much anything, including Google and the other major SE's.

The "Post-Search" service gathers data on what people search for through partnerships it has established with web sites and ISPs. It then shows web surfers targeted ads if they visit sites taking part in its Post-Search advertising network.

ISPs, in particular, are how the company will know what people may be searching on at places like Google, where it doesn't have a data gathering partnership. The ISP sees all the traffic going between its customers and search engines, making that data trackable.

Privacy Concerns

Now, i know i won't be the only one that's not happy at the thought of some company building a database of my search preferences - but what really, really worries me is that clearly some ISP's think it's perfectly ok to sell that data to AlmondNet - My data.

Apart from the general creepiness - what if you work in an open office and have in the past searched for "big boy rubber <imagine the rest>" and suddenly your screen, tuned to a nice work related pages is showing ads you would rather not be associated with publically? - it doesn't bear thinking about heh...

So, the issues here for me are:

This is "icky" and invasive Is my ISP selling my data, and how can i find out? How profitable is this going to be? (well, everyone has his price heh..)

Thoughts on AlmondNet, ISP's and privacy?

Branding Trends Watchlist

Thread Title: Hottest Branding Trends for 2005 Thread Url: Thread Description:

Nick Wreden has posted his branding trends predictions for this year, they include:

Performance-based compensation - a la P&G in 2000 Enhanced customer connectivity Social Branding Universe is the brand - like product placement Blogs, wikis and RSS

Good reading on each point on Nick's post linked above...

Anyone care to make bold and or wild predictions for the future?

LookSmart Spin $1.5M Failure

Thread Title: LookSmart Details What Went Wrong Thread Url: Thread Description:

..and clickz give them a platform to do it on.

Search engine marketing firm LookSmart blamed its disappointing fourth-quarter results on its failure to pursue advertisers for keyword categories that generated high query volumes.

LookSmart reported a loss of $1.5 million for the quarter, on revenues of $16.5 million. Both figures kept with revised guidance the company issued earlier this month.

"Our sales effort wasn't deep enough or effective enough," said CEO Dave Hills, speaking on the company's conference call announcing earnings. "We didn't focus on the categories that would drive the business forward."

This was due to a failure to track query volume in a detailed enough manner, said Hills. As a result, the sales staff wasn't aware of categories with underutilized inventory.

Since when were they an SEM?

Schafer Gets it - The danger of hyping a good thing into the ground

Thread Title: Blog Overkill - The danger of hyping a good thing into the ground. Thread Url: Thread Description:

Well, im happy at least, half the blogosphincter want his blood for pointing out the patently obvious but it's made my day to see that someone actually sees through all the ridiculous hype and ego preening nonsense about blogs out there.

Dont get me wrong, i do think blogs are important, it's just that they are NOT going to overthrow regular media and they are NOT going to give "power to the people" in the ways that some self aggrandizing, preening peacocks think they will.

I's an amazing read if you've been following the citizen journalism marlarky, the post is based on the recent blogging and journalism credibility conference.

In language only slightly less fervent than Shamberg's, conference participants declared blogs the destroyers of mainstream media. (See this page and this page for a real-time transcription of the conference.) Others prescribed blogs as the medicine the newspaper industry should take to reclaim its lost readers: Publishers should support reader blogs and encourage their reporters to blog in addition to writing stories. Podcasts would undermine the radio network empires. "Open source" journalism, in which readers and bloggers help set the news agenda for newspapers, was promoted as a tonic for what ails the press. Reporters were encouraged to regain the lost trust of readers by blogging drafts of their stories, their notes, and even their taped interviews so other bloggers could dissect and analyze them for fairness.

Winer discounted any chance that the clueless media would adapt to the blogofuture, saying publishers were as blind as the mainframe computer manufacturers of early 1980s who refused to believe PCs would replace their big iron.

Folksonomies and Tagging hit the Mainstream Press

Thread Title: Tagging the Internet Thread Url: Thread Description:

Earlier this week i wrote a "folksonomies 101": Tags & Folksonomies - What they are and why should you care? - now the WSJ have picked up on this fast moving trend in grass roots classification. Jermemy Wagstaff again uses Flickr and as examples - he has too, there's not much else out there right now, but i did list a few more in above linked post.

Now, all this remains small-scale, and fragile. First off, how can we be sure everyone is adding the same tags to things -- marzipan, and not almond paste, say? Second: This is just two Web sites, a tiny fraction of the whole Web. True, but this is just the beginning. This month, a search engine called Technorati started using tags from Flickr and to categorize the millions of blogs, or online journals, that it indexes. That turns Technorati into a kind of homepage of every conceivable topic you can imagine people writing about: Check out, for example, its Web page on the notebooks I wrote about in the "Loose Wire" column a few weeks back, at

Most important, this social tagging thing, if it takes off, could make finding information much easier. Instead of relying on search engines, we can rely on other surfers submitting interesting sites as they find them. A bit like having some seriously fast, smart speed-readers running around the Internet on our behalf armed with piles of index cards.