categories ... such as yahoo

Facebook takes on search. A way bigger story than you might realize.

 by John Moe // Posted: 06/25/10 01:12 PM

The seemingly innocuous Like button recently spread from Facebook to sites all over the web as part of Facebook’s Open Graph program. You read something on some site and you have the option to like it and see who else liked it.

That functionality is part of a grander scheme, more details of which emerged today as Facebook introduced Open Graph Search. This is search functionality where the more people Like something, the higher it appears in search results. It’s a whole new form of search engine optimization that places Facebook, and it’s insistence upon the dawning social web, in competition with Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

I think this is huge. It puts the rubber on the road for Mark Zuckerberg’s grand plan of the web being a social place. It posits that opinion and not math will be the fundamental driver of finding things online.

From an immediate “what does it mean for me” angle, it means that everywhere you turn, someone will be urging you, begging you, to Like what they’ve posted online. 

Comments | Filed Under: facebook google yahoo bing

Search engine popularity metrics range from opaque to meaningless

 by John Moe // Posted: 06/11/10 11:01 AM

I’ve been trying to make sense of a couple recent articles about the latest information on the popularity of the major search engines. It seems like Bing and Yahoo had a pretty good gain in market share but were also doing various tricks to display multiple pages, acquire more hit counts, and manipulate the results. So depending on how you look at it, Bing and Yahoo gained ground on Google OR they were both flat while Google dominated even more than before. The write ups on this that I’ve caught seem to agree that it’s increasingly hard to get a read on who’s doing well where. And while that’s just math noise to a degree, remember that search is at the very heart of Google and the place they make the lion’s share of their money. Meanwhile, Bing is the vanguard of Microsoft’s push to be in the cloud, outgrow their desktop model, and SURVIVE. So if there’s no way to really measure who’s doing well, that kind of leaves us in a pickle, doesn’t it?

Comments | Filed Under: google bing microsoft yahoo

Google's home page is all funny looking.

 by John Moe // Posted: 06/10/10 10:08 AM

As promised, Google.com, the big page, the heart of the whole operation, looks different today. The company announced this a while ago. Instead of a plain white background, there is a fancy art photography background and you can also customize it with pictures of your own.

Personally I hate this. I’m going to look for a photograph of plain whiteness so it can go back to how it used to look.

When Google first got big, the dominant search engine was Yahoo and their home page was headache-inducing. Links everywhere, it made the internet seem like a vastly complicated place. You could surf but the waters were choppy. Similarly, Yahoo search results were a mess, presenting you with all these Yahoo groups to join. Ick. Google was a clean smooth alternative to all that. Geez, John, calm down, it’s just a photo on Google. Yeah, I know, but it’s the opposite of what set Google apart.

Update: They took it down.

Comments | Filed Under: google yahoo

If you can’t beat ‘em, integrate ‘em, says Yahoo

 by John Moe // Posted: 06/07/10 11:19 AM

Yahoo is rolling out new features that embed Facebook in the Yahoo user experience. Yahoo and Yahoo mail users will soon be able to see their Facebook news feed while logged in to Yahoo. Yahoo is also tweaking their “Profiles” social networking site, renaming it “Pulse” and featuring tabs for Facebook and other social media sites. So you can stay in Yahoo, they hope, and still get the experience of all those other sites (sounds a bit like AOL in 1995 to me but what do I know). You will also be able to post picturess on Yahoo-owned Flickr and see them pop up on Facebook. What’s in it for Facebook? More sharing, more content, more inventory, more ad opportunities, more ubiquity. It’s interesting to watch Yahoo lately as they roll in functionality from so many other sites.

Comments | Filed Under: facebook yahoo

Tech News In Brief - 5/27/10

 by John Moe // Posted: 05/27/10 11:16 AM

Another suicide at Foxconn . And why stopping it is so hard.

Google goes to war with Germany over collected data.

Yahoo plans to go big on local

Ballmer at WWDC? Will June 7th be upside down bananas day?

Well, looks like I won’t be reading on the bus anymore. I’ll be watching TV.

Americans get cell phone bills. "WHAT THE—?!" say Americans.

"Play videogames, kids!" says lightened up former Supreme Court Justice.

The internet is getting crowded - we’re running out of IP addresses. Also glaciers.

Comments | Filed Under: china apple google yahoo microsoft phones video games

today's show

What will we do with all this "white space"?

09/26/10 11:15 AM

There’s a vote coming up this week in Washington that will have a big impact on how you use the internet, what’s available to you, how much faster you’ll be able to get things online. On Thursday, the FCC is expected to open up unused parts of the broadcast spectrum, a lot of people call it “white space”. This is space that was positioned to be something of a buffer between television stations but such padding is proving less essential since the conversion to digital TV.

On today’s show, we talk to Glenn Fleishman from Wi-Fi Networking News and The Economist about how the spectrum works and what kind of new space we’re talking about. We also check in with Tim Wu from Columbia Law School about the companies that will look to use the space and what it all might mean for you and me as internet consumers.

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