May 31, 2007

Snap Names Acquired By

A number of developers (mostly Perl developers) I have worked with have been recruited by in downtown Los Angeles. predominantly started by registering domains (sometimes tasting them) and using them to make money off of clicks. They have since used some of their premium domains to host various sites and services, building them out with content and tools.

Jeff was one of the first employees. They have since exploded to hundreds of people and now they are expanding.

From an email I have received from Snap Names, a domain drop catching service:

To SnapNames Customers:

I’m writing to inform you that SnapNames has agreed to be acquired by Oversee, a company already familiar to many in the domain name industry, is a technology-driven online marketing solutions company that offers an impressive array of services to domain name owners. You can learn more about the company at

It’s important that you understand there will be no changes to the way SnapNames provides its services. This is a combination of two industry leaders with outstanding reputations for serving domain name investors and customers at all levels.

We were attracted to Oversee for many reasons, including the opportunity to offer SnapNames customers a greater breadth of service offerings. Together, the two companies can provide services that support our customers’ needs throughout the entire life cycle of a domain name, including procurement, monetization and sales.

This transaction is expected to close in mid-June. There is more information available on our Web site at Of course, we’re always available to assist you in any way we can, and encourage your questions and comments. Our support team is available to you here:

On the Web:
By e-mail:

At SnapNames, you will continue to find the world’s largest selection of expired domain names. You’ll find no changes to your account or the way you do business with us. We value you as a customer and thank you for your continued business.


Sudhir Bhagwan
Chief Executive Officer

Hopefully they don’t keep the best domains for themselves and continue allowing others to use their service to bid for some of those domains. :-)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

May 30, 2007

Preview Google Mapplets

Google is allowing you to preview mapplets.

Here is how Google descibes mapplets:

Mapplets are mini-webpages that are served inside an IFrame within the Google Maps site. You can put anything inside this mini-webpage that you can put into a normal webpage, including HTML, Javascript, and Flash. Google provides a Javascript API that gives the Mapplet access to services such as manipulating the map, fetching remote content, and storing user preferences.

When a Mapplet is enabled by the user, Google’s servers will fetch the Mapplet source code from your web server, and then serve it to the user from To reduce the load on your server, will cache your source code for several hours.

There are lots of mapplets already available or you can make your own. Some existing ones include statistical information, trends around an area, movie times, and real estate information for a given location.

Publish your own to get people utilizing your site/data.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 1 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

May 29, 2007

Google Blockview

Google has announced their own version of A9’s Blockview (now dropped, along with a bunch of other A9 features).

Google added their twist to it by making pictures at certain points and having them be a bit offset (at an angle). So you don’t quite walk down the street as with Amazon’s A9 product but it does give you a nice perspective of the street.

The nice thing about their application is that it allows you to click and drag the picture to pan and tilt (the same way you would in those real estate virtual tours). Additionally, you can click on an area in the picture to move in that direction. Really cool stuff!

This was announced at the Where 2.0 conference.

UPDATE: Some users are voicing privacy concerns

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

Google People Search

Google has added a feature that allows you to constrain your image search by face.

This feature allows you to search for people by searching for their names and constraining on imgtype=face

Now that Google can identify a picture is of a face, will they do something with facial recognition?

The results aren’t perfect and use names on a page to try to associate a picture with those names. For example, my cousin (who I’ll keep anonymous) works for a law firm so you can find his name on the firm’s website. However, instead of showing his picture, you can see a picture of a partner with the firm. Clicking through on the page shows a page with this partners picture as the only picture on the page along with a number of names, including my cousin’s. There are also pictures in the search results of various University of Pennsylvania professors who have their pictures (along with multiple other pictures) on the same page as my cousin’s name. It seems as if all pictures identified as a “face” on that single page ended up matching his name.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

Microsoft Launches 3D Maps

Microsoft’s Live Search Maps launched more 3D imagery. This time, for New York with many cities to follow, including:

  • Austin, TX
  • Cape Coral, FL
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Northampton, England
  • Ottawa
  • Savannah, GA
  • Tampa, FL

Although there is a firefox plugin to view the maps in 3D, the firefox plugin is only available to Windows-based systems so I am unable to view and test on my Mac. :-(

There are some pictures here and a video here

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

May 25, 2007

Using SEO for Reputation Management

I’ve known about this for a long time…but most of the time it was corporate entities monitoring blogs to gauge customer satisfaction and the likes. Now, people are using SEO tactics to hide negative comments about them by pushing their content higher in Google’s results.

MyEdge’s success is based not only in creating reputation-boosting pages but also in convincing Google to float those sites to the first few pages of results, the only results that most Web users ever see. But gaming Google can be tricky. The search giant, which declined to comment on Reputation Defender’s service, spends significant resources trying to prevent Web site owners from pushing up their ranking artificially. And it will punish sites it thinks are cheating by pushing them into the back pages of search results.

Prices mentioned include $10/month for monitoring, $30 per incident to send out a take down request (and cease and desist letters, if needed), and fees starting at $10,000 to push your content above other, not quite as positive comments.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 4.5 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

Sometimes the Best SEO/SEM Won’t Be Enough

You may have heard suggestions to name your business with your targeted keywords/categories to get better ranking for SEO purposes.

However, sometimes, no matter how much effort you put into SEO, SEM, or any other marketing methods out there, it just isn’t enough.

What do you do if you’re on a new street (even if that street has existed for 4 years already), not yet in the US Postal Service’s database (which supplies data to Navteq and other maps and navigation data suppliers)? People would love to go to your business…they just don’t know how to get there!

Terri Godwin took matters into her own hands:

“We’ve had new patients come in here completely frustrated 45 minutes after their appointment time saying, ‘I’ve been running around all over,’” Godwin said. “My first thoughts are like, well, somebody’s running these satellites. Who do you call? NAVTEQ was the name that I was given that does most of the maps.”

She filled out a request on NAVTEQ’s Web site and even attached a county map as proof. After no response, she called 5 on Your Side.

NAVTEQ spokeswoman Kelly Smith told WRAL that Pine State Street isn’t listed in the U.S. Postal Service database. That’s where they get the bulk of the information they provide to mapping companies.

Smith said they get about 80,000 requests a day for corrections or additions, so it takes time for new information to get to the public - perhaps a year or more. But she offered to try to “escalate" Godwin’s request.

That, of course doesn’t mean the navigation systems are updated since they will have to go to their dealers and get updated discs (should they have a DVD-based navigation system).

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

May 24, 2007

Real Estate API for Home Values, Sales Data, etc

Yahoo is providing an impressive set of APIs for developers.

The Yahoo Real estate folks show us how they use a total of 5 APIs available to the public on their Home Values page.

Launched this morning, the new page combines three APIs available right here on the Developer Network with two more from Zillow, to provide a 360-degree view of what homes are worth in the neighborhood of your choice.

Yahoo! APIs In Use:

  • AJAX Maps - finds the home you’re searching for, recently sold comparables, and nearby similar homes for sale.
  • Local Search - finds and displays local appraisers and customer ratings.
  • Answers Question Search - finds and displays questions and answers for the query “home value.”

Zillow APIs In Use:

It’s a nice feature Yahoo has put together…but for developers out there who didn’t know these APIs were available (I know you’re out there…many of you send me emails with your questions), lets see what you can do with them! :-)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

Google To Bring Local To Mobile Device

Google has filed a patent that outlines similar features to Google Local on a mobile device.

The UI and design (pictures available) show maps with pushpins that open up more information about the business when you press the corresponding number of the result (like clicking the pushpin on Google Local).

Some minor modifications would exist to accommodate the smaller screens in mobile devices such as possibly using circles instead of pushpins, representational markers signifying mroe results may exist off screen, etc.

Directions would be provided automatically in GPS-enabled devices and a click to talk feature would be available.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

May 23, 2007

Technorati’s Product Shift

Former blog-search Technorati has chifted their product (and possibly their business model in the process). They are no longer simply a blog search…their homepage includes video, pictures, and more.

Technorati’s CEO, Dave Sifry, posted about the change:

Whereas folks using Technorati a couple of years ago were predominantly coming to us to search the blogosphere to surface the conversations that were most interesting to them, today they are increasingly coming to our site to get the 360 degree context of the Live Web - blogs of course, but also user-generated video, photos, podcasts, music, games and more. They want all the good stuff out there, all in real-time, and we’re using the power of 80 million bloggers to help organize it and make it fun to browse; using the wisdom of crowds as a mirror on ourselves. Have a look at the new homepage

They’ve also streamlined their UI to KISS by removing unnecessary links and not distinguishing between different search types.

Mike is correct, in my opinion, when he states:

This is also a clear move by Technorati away from blog search, although many of the media search features have been around for a while. It may be an acknowledgment that they can’t beat Google Blogsearch over the long run, or it may be a strategy to go after a larger potential market for time sensitive content. Or both.

My opinion is that blogsearch is getting crowded thanks to Google so Technorati will leverage its high pagerank and all those links to /tag/something to push more of their new pages into Google’s index to get more traffic. They can choose to stay with blog search where they ahd the lion’s share of the pie and have slowly been losing that marketshare…or they can own a smaller share of a larger pie by expanding.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...
« Previous entries