October 27, 2008

My Latest Project: Local Search Canada

In case you’ve been wondering what I’ve been working on, it’s a Canadian local search company called weblocal.ca.

It is based on the YellowBot platform and I’m really excited about it’s launch. There is a contest there so make sure to go an enter the contest and review locations!

In any case, I’ll be traveling this week to Montreal. If you think you’d like to meet up or there is some sort of tech/startup meetup, make sure to let me know!

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October 16, 2008

Remembering Jon Postel

Vint Cerf wrote about Jon Postel a decade after he passed.

I worked with Jon at USC/ISI and he was a great man with lots to teach. I was still working there when he passed away and there was not one person in the entire office with a dry eye.

Anyway, check out the article. Many people know who Vint is but Jon insisted on working in the background and keeping his privacy so you probably don’t know a lot about him.

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November 27, 2007

ILM 2007

I’ll be seeing some of the regular readers of this blog at The Kelsey Group’s Interactive Local Media 2007 conference, which, for the first year, will be 1) in association with Search Engine Strategies Local and 2) in Los Angeles.

I’ll be a speaker on the Convergence of Local Media and Directories panel.

If you’re going, send me an email so we can meet up! :-)

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October 12, 2007

Los Angeles Tech Events

The LA tech community has been working on putting together various events such as Twiistup and Lunch 2.0.

Today, YellowBot is hosting Lunch 2.0.

Vani & Ask, after getting the idea from Erik and Chad, started a new blog to talk specifically about Los Angeles tech events.

I also created a public Google Calendar that you can subscribe to in order to track these events and have added all for them as publishers to that calendar:

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October 14, 2005

CPAN with Annotations = AnnoCPAN

AnnoCPAN allows you to register and annotate the modules.

annocpan

Cool & convenient!

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October 5, 2005

Revolution Health Group has all-star cast

I found it very unfortunate that John left ticketmaster.

I knew he was going to a startup but I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of startup would attract that kind of talent…but I’ve been press releases like these about employees and directors and have I’ve found the list of names to be very impressive.

So now I see why he joined them…this is a company I’ll have to keep an eye on.

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August 22, 2005

IAC to make more large purchases?

Forbes covered the Eight Masters Of Information in which Barry Diller, chairman of the parent company for which I work, was listed as one of them.

Many people may have heard about IAC’s purchase of Ask Jeeves but I found this comment interesting from the forbes article:

Now many Diller-watchers believe he is about to complete his transformation from TV titan to Web mogul by peddling off Home Shopping Network, which IAC still owns, to archrival QVC, controlled by John Malone’s Liberty Media. Home Shopping could be worth $4.5 billion–a nice windfall for buying still more Web sites.

If these “watchers” were right, it kinda makes your mind start to wander and think about what he would want to purchase with that kind of money…lots of medium-to-small sites, a few larger properties, or one very big one…and why?

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August 1, 2005

Ask Jeeves Launches Paid Search

There have been lots of rumors floating around for a while about Ask Jeeves Launching their own CPC bid-based engine. Diller even said as much to the press.

Well, after a reorg and some development, it looks like it is happening sooner than people anticipated.

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July 26, 2005

Why are they focusing on Maps & Local Search?

I was discussing Virtual Earth at work today and then we got onto the topic of why everyone is putting so much effort (read: $$Money$$) into Maps.

Coincidentally, I came across this post shortly afterwards which seemed to cover many of our discussion points. I’ve seen and run numbers similar to this such as at Kelsey Conferences and some may even call the numbers conservative.

Here’s what the article may imply but doesn’t say: the advertisers simply represent one side of the equation. You need eyeballs looking and clicking on the ads…you need traffic. Building compelling products helps gain that traffic…even if it is at a loss (for now). It’s all about capturing market share and/or building a killer app that increases overall usage (increase total market size). Yahoo!, MSN, and Google have all provided developer APIs which allows their maps to be utilized on others’ sites. Check out what Google states:

Google reserves the right to put ads on the map in the future, and you may not alter or obscure these either.

…and Yahoo’s API basically works by providing them an XML page and they host the end-user page on their own site (which means they control everything surrounding the map as well…including ad placements.

Think about how many sites you visit that are not (at least overtly) local (standard web search, dictionaries, product review sites, and other online/virtual sites). Now think about how many of them are local (especially before these maps products were created) such as maps/driving directions, movie times, etc. How often do you visit each. In my opinion, they are much more heavily weighted towards non-local sites. More traffic needs to be captured by local ad engines in order to deliver locally-targetted ads.

There are many sites out there choosing to accomplish this in different ways. In this case, they want to do this with killer map applications. There is also the possibility of trying to decipher non-local traffic into local traffic…if you search for “chicago weather” in Google, for example, although you have gone to a web search, you have added a location modifier. This could, however, prove to be challenging since location modifiers can be almost anything: cities, postal codes, landmarks, “quasi-cities” (a term I am using to signify a non-official place name such as “west side”), etc. Most search engines have already begun doing this by deciphering city names and providing you weather, for example, in the “chicago weather” search.

This lack of consumer traffic is why you see things like this.

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July 19, 2005

IAC changes in divisions

It was brought to my attention that IAC has changed their divisions…I no longer see Local Services. Instead, those local divisions have been split up into other divisions. Citysearch and Evite, along with Ask Jeeves, now falls under media and advertising.

Also of note is Ask Jeeves Interactive listed under Media & Advertising which people noticed quietly launched not too long ago (which may be tied to this).

This could also be house cleaning related to the upcoming EXPE/IACI spinoff.

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