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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October 25, 2006

Google Customized Search and Yahoo Bookmarks

Google has finally provided people with a Customized Search Engine.

  • Specify the sites you want to include in searches.
  • Place a search box and search results on your website.
  • Customize the look and feel to match your website.
  • Invite your community to contribute to the search engine.
  • Make money from relevant ads in your search results.

You can choose which sites to search through, add your own title, and do much more. This feature is sort of a cross between the customized search that others like MSN’s Macros and Google’s Free Search.

Yahoo has released Yahoo Bookmarks which marks the end of Yahoo’s MyWeb. It’s integration with the Yahoo Toolbar is reminiscent of Clipmarks, a product that sites in your toolbar and, when you find a page you like, you click the button, select only the relevant text, add tags and descriptions, then save it (and choose whether or not to share it) to your section.

So, what does Yahoo plan on doing with del.icio.us? Michael states that it too will run the same platform as a backend.

Rumor is that Digg is up for sale…for the right price. They are seeking $150 million. However, there have many discussions about how it can be misused. Users scrape the site, they pay others for diggs or trade diggs to help each other out (seen it happen on numerous forums), etc. That may be why they are having trouble. They claim large numbers of users and Alexa claims some pretty good traffic for them compared to slashdot. However, these same people trying to seek Diggs out using these methods are often site owners who use the Alexa Toolbar to gauge their (and others’) sites so the number might be artificially inflated (remember, Alexa gauges traffic based on tracking those who have their toolbar installed). Slashdot, on the other hand, seems to have a much larger geek following that don’t like or can’t install such software (I don’t know of a linux-based version of the Alexa Toolbar).

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October 3, 2006

Where Are All The Posts, Google’s Live Search, Local Search Goes Mainstream

Sorry it’s been so long since my last real post. I’ve been really busy working on a million different things. I’ve heard many people asking to hear more both directly from them and from third parties so I am promising to try to increase my posts again. As always, I read emails constantly in case you want to hear from me in the meantime.

So Search Engine Strategies (SES) had their first SES Local. An indication that mainstream webmasters and search engines are paying closer attention to local search (which had shed its “niche search” quite a long time ago)? I wasn’t able to attend but I’m interested in hearing from anyone who attended about what they thought…especially anybody who may have familiarity with other local search conferences (i.e. DDL.

Anyone see the Searchmash search engine by Google. It takes Google’s simplistic design and adds some nice do-hickeys such as an AJAX-based scrolling mechanism similar to Microsoft’s Live Image Search. Obviously, Google’s search will probably stay simplistic for a long time and they may be doing what Microsoft did with Start.com…a testing ground for various concepts.

Did you hear about A9 dropping many features which include not only personalization but also the blockview stuff they had? They were the first to add this but it is fairly expensive to keep up. They want to focus more on core features and capturing users, currently ranked as number 83 last week in the US. A9 has always been about building a UI on top of an existng search engine, originally using Google but now using MSN’s new search engine (they recently relaunched a new improved search engine). Now, with a stripped down interface, no ability to bookmark, add diary entries, view street-level pictures (etc), I don’t see how they expect to draw users in unless they are willing to concede the search engine wars and be satisfied with their position (for which they can expect a big drop).

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April 20, 2006

Overview of Video Sharing Sites

Marketwatch notes that video verticals are cropping up everywhere and will beat out the major search engines’ video search.

To find out about these services and how they compare, check out DV Guru’s evaluation of 10 video services.

As a side note, the Marketwatch article mentions such sites as GrindTV and StupidVideos…these sites are run by PureVideo. For you ex-Citysearchers, check out who works there.

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October 6, 2005

AOL purchases Weblogs, Inc.

Seems like everyone wants to buy content/consumers these days. Whether it’s Yahoo wanting user-generated content or hiring editorial staff in their LA offices, or it’s the NY Times purchasing About.com…they all want the content that brings the users (and, in some cases, help build the content in a never-ending cycle).

Well, AOL has purchased Weblogs, Inc which runs a network of blogging sites such as Autoblog, Hack a Day, Engadget, Blogging Baby, and a ton of others.

They’ve been shopping themselves around to all the big names. They reportedly get $2 million in revenue annually but for some reason, I thought they were making $1 million. They make their money off of Adsense but could make significantly more revenue if they were to fall under AOL’s very beneficial Adsense revenue share terms. This is a great buy for AOL if they do nothing with it other than just incorporate their own deal terms with Google into Weblogs, Inc. Now if only they had their own “Overture”…

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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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October 3, 2005

Online/Offline Email App Convergence

We’re seeing more and more webmail becoming more like outlook.

Yahoo Mail is currently offering improved searching and is beta testing a new desktop-style mail app (probably came from their acquisition of Oddpost).

Google, in addition to their Google Mail application, they have added plenty of features including viewing RSS in the app, auto save so you don’t lose data as you type, and export/import contacts. There are also rumors of a calendaring application which, it is my belief, will be integrated into google mail.

This emphasizes the point that mail is more than just a standalone application. People like the convenience and features of having an entire collaborative suite which includes calendaring, etc. Despite being a Mac & Linux user, I like using RDC to use Outlook at work so I can better collaborate and use the calendaring functions, even if I could connect to the LDAP server to get users’ emails without it.

There are plenty of other applications online which do this. The Zimbra Collaboration Suite is one Jeremy mentioned.

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September 9, 2005

The Fight for Control over Real Estate Listings

Driving around my neighborhood, I’ve been seeing a lot more Help-U-Sell signs. These types of services have been growing dramatically with the hot real estate market. Sellers usually give up 6% of their home’s sale for commissions (usually 3% to each the buying and selling agent, sometimes they are in both roles). Services like these have existed for a while but not until the Internet have they had a great impact since they are more readily accessible to both buyers and sellers.

Then there are the consumer-buying sites that provide MLS listings, where all realtors/services list their homes they have for sale. Here are examples of MLS services to consumers. MLS listing services seem to be regional and some have consumer-facing sites and some don’t.

Well, the National Association of Realtors has been taking actions that seem to be anticompetitive. They wanted to restrict the use of these MLS listings outside of those they have agreements with.

So, the DOJ has taken their own actions due to anticompetitive practices.

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August 8, 2005

Google buys into IM + Local

Google just acquired Meetroduction, a site that allows people to search locally (within a given area) for instant message “buddies” with similar likes that are online.

Technically speaking, Meetro is radius and proximity based software. Untechnically speaking, it finds like-minded people around you instantly. Wherever you are. So whether you’re in-town or out of town, Meetro gets you on the town with old friends or new acquaintances.

Interesting that this would happen on the heels of a Marketwatch article that spoke to the “stickiness” provided by IM services for others such as Yahoo and AOL, which Google is greatly missing out on. Couple that with the fact that they belive in local and you have some good reasons why they bought them.

The next question is…what is the integration? We haven’t seen anything with Dodgeball yet…so what will we see with this?

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July 25, 2005

Miscellaneous Links: Create Buttons, Logos, Phone Mnemonics, & Lat/Long to Address Lookups

Just a bunch of interesting/useful links:

Phonespell.org attempts to find text within your phone number.

Create a logo online.

Create those 80 x 15 buttons online.

Lookup addresses near a lat/long pair by distance. I’ll have to come up with a good maps hack for this one. :-)

JSAN: CPAN for Javascript. Check out Digest::MD5 or HTTP::Cookies for javascript! Javascript goodness for perl geeks. :-D more….

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