Standing Up Against Clickfraud

In other (possibly) Google related news, the New York Times reports how some major Madison-type clients are standing up against click fraud.  The topic of clickfraud isn’t new, nor is the handwringing that accompanies most articles, but what is interesting is how, with the strength of their purchasing power, are collectively demanding more accountability out of companies that sell click based advertising (read: Google)

A group of large companies, including Kimberly-Clark, Colgate-Palmolive and Ford Motor have said that by the middle of 2007, they will demand that online publishers hire auditors to check their ad and viewer counts. And analysts say they believe that online ad growth over the long haul will depend on the eagerness of large advertisers like these to shift more dollars online.

Particularly with Google’s legal might and their willingness to go to the mat for new legal issues, I think perhaps voting with one’s dollars is the best way to effect change.

Suing For PageRank

I’ve personally bitched complained about pagerank myself, and my rationale was always “no sense in fighting it, Google’s too large, just play by their rules, suck it up and ask for more”.  Well, it turns out I may have had the wrong idea after all.

Kinderstart, a site about parenting and childrearing is cracking the legal whip at Google for demoting it to a pagerank of zero, severely hampering its ability to garner search traffic (and one would presume, earning money).  In fact, its launching a class action lawsuit on behalf of all pagerank zero heroes.

KinderStart argues the site’s sudden demotion in March 2005 to a “zero” ranking in Google’s search system has severely harmed its business. It seeks class action status on behalf of what is says are many other sites that have suffered the same fate as Google regularly fine-tunes its rankings.

“The fact that they (Google) have used a computer shouldn’t affect whether it is defamatory,” KinderStart counsel Gregory Yu said after the hearing … “Using a computer to do that is a smoke screen,” he said.

Now, of course I am not a lawyer, but i’m not sure how this suit has any merit.  Google is still a private company not beholden to the whims of its search engine results (but probably, its shareholders).  Is this another example of frivolity making a mockery of the American legal system — or setting a precedent for more Internet legal work in the future?

Man, maybe I should ask Rob Hyndman what he thinks;)

Dr. Tony Hung also blogs at DeepJiveInterests

Metacafe is making a play at Youtube

They are now paying for top videos, according to this post at the Business 2.0 blog.

He wants to spur a movement beyond simple user-generated content to user-licensed content, and claims that Metacafe has a better way of filtering the best content to the homepage than YouTube does. (Each video is vetted by a few hundred people from an army of 100,000 volunteers, and then is subject to a video-ranking system which looks at more than just self-perpetuating initial views). Czerniak says he is getting about 20 million visitors a month, and 500 million pageviews.

Check out the video interview over at Business 2.0

Problogging Hype or Reality?

There’s an article published courtesy of which highlights the benefits of blogging to one’s career. The article highlights a number of individuals and their blogs, from Jeff Jarvis and BuzzMachine to Hugh McLeod and the Gaping Void, describing how blogging allowed some to quit their jobs, allowed others to extend their own services (such as consulting), or market other products (books).  For example:

Blogs can also lead to full-time conventional employment, particularly for people who work in media. Blogs can provide a talent pool, from which mainstream media outlets recruit staff. In the past month, two bloggers were hired for high-profile positions in mainstream media because they earned reputations for their unique approaches to writing celebrity gossip. Corynne Steindler, editor of the media gossip blog, Jossip, was hired to write for the New York Post‘s Page Six and Gawker‘s Jessica Coen was hired to be deputy online editor for Vanity Fair.

I guess the bigger question is — does the FastCompany article give the false impression about how easy blogging is?

I think it does.

[Read more…]

Giving a Rat’s Patootie about Blogging Free Speech

Regardless of your own political leanings, if you’re reading this blog from this site, you probably read blogs, write a blog, or likely support blogging in general. This is a heads up. The BBC News reports on how Amnesty International wants bloggers to write and bring attention to how, in parts of the world where free speech is a luxury, other bloggers have been jailed, tortured or worse for their writings. It looks like they’re particularly interested in an Iranian blogger:

Mr Ballinger said the case of Iranian blogger Kianoosh Sanjari was just one example of the dangers that some online writers can face. Mr Sanjari was arrested in early October following his blogging about conflicts between the Iranian police and the supporters of Shia cleric Ayatollah Boroujerdi.

The call to action coincides with the first big meeting of the Internet Governance Forum, taking place Oct 30 – Nov 2nd in Athens, where Amnesty International plans to lobby its cause for free speech and bloggers.

Scoble-izing Intel?

Intel may have a blogger in residence — although it remains to be seen if he’ll be allowed as much lattitude as Mr. Scoble was with Microsoft.  Check out, the blog of a Mr. Josh Bancroft.

I want to start some conversation. I’€™m not officially authorized to speak for Intel on any matter (see my ‘€œCaveat Lector’€? disclaimer over there in the sidebar), but there are a ton of things that I can talk about. I’€™m just a guy, a blogger, who works at a very large company that makes the most complex things ever made by humans. It’€™s a fascinating place, and I know there are lots of you that would like to know more about Intel. Or maybe you have something you’€™d like to vent. Or perhaps you just want to say how much you love something Intel has done (wouldn’€™t that be nice?).

Well its some classic corporate blogging action that I’m looking forward to.  Some cultures (read: APPLE) simply do not allow their employees to blog about the company.  Looks like Intel may buck that trend through Tinyscreenfuls.  If its successful, perhaps, like Microsoft, it can generate a sense of goodwill, integrity and trust that ad-dollars just can’t pay for.  Provided, of course, that it sticks to being an honest blog (cough, cough Wal-mart!).

Stammy takes on idiotic A-Listers

Paul Stamatiou posts about idiotic A-listers and other bloggers who don’t take the time to properly research something before they post.

He offers some suggestions on how to retain your blog’s integrity and reputation. The first one is:

Get it right the first time. If you are going to blog about someone or their article, take a few minutes to read other relevant posts on their site and at least the about page.

I just hope that I never become one of those idiotic A-Listers :)