November 30, 2006

Google Checkout Making (Really Small) Strides Against PayPal

Filed as News with 3 comments

So Hitwise presented some data a few days ago on how Google Checkout was faring against PayPal given that they are both trying lure online shoppers this holiday season.  It is claiming that Google’s marketshare rose 158%, while PayPal’s lead dropped in half.  This interpretation is actually misleading, because Google’s Checkout numbers really went from negligible (almost zero) to a little more than negligible (a little more than zero).  For example, when your market share goes from 0.001% to 0.002%, your numbers just went up by 100%, and, of course your competitor’s lead was just cut in half.  The real information is in the absolute numbers, which is plainly visible in the graph, and it clearly shows that the lead from PayPal’s point of view, is still massive.

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Chris Anderson Explains The Long Tail In His Own Words

Filed as Multimedia, News with 1 comment

If online video is your thing and you’re interested in Web2.0 concepts, you may just want to hit up a recent video that was posted of Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired.  In it, he explains in his own words a term he coined, and what is turning out to be one of the defining terms of this post bubble age, “The Long Tail”.

The Long Tail describes a phenomena where “products that are in low demand or have low sales volume can collectively make up a market share that rivals or exceeds the relatively few current bestsellers and blockbusters, if the store or distribution channel is large enough. Examples of such mega-stores include the online retailer Amazon.com and the online video rental service Netflix. ”

As an online video is a bit lengthy at almost an hour and a half; however, it comes with a full and easy to navigate (that opens up automatically according to where the speech is) transcript, along with a few useful links that Mr. Anderson happens to actually mention in his presentation.  If you’re a new media fan, blogger with an interest, or corporate type who needs to know this kind of stuff, and you want to skip the book, dig in.  This one’s a keeper.

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Blogging In The Middle of a Civil War

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So, if you can for a minute, ignore all of the political rhetoric that lines this blog, you ought to pay attention to the stuff right in the middle.  In italics, and on a grey background, is a long series of text that has been lifted from blogs and forums from people in Iraq.  Right now.  In the middle of fighting, violence, and death.  People trying their best to band together and survive — in all its forms.   Puts “live blogging” and our guilty pleasures of celebrity gossip and geek fighting, in a different context altogether.

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Google Helping Geeks Lose Poundage

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In light of Google shedding Google Answers, it was with great interest I read about the multitude of projects Google has its tentacles in — including a small project called “The Google 15″.  Written by Brian Fitzpatrick (aka The Fitz), the Google 15 is a module that you can attach to your Google homepage, and its essentially a weight tracker.  Except it uses a moving average so that you won’t get discouraged with temporary weight gains.  The name “The Google 15″ alludes to the never-confirmed-but-always-believed 15 lbs that Google Engineers gain when they get hired, because of all the free nosh that’s available in the office.

Click here to add it to your Google home page, but for more details head up to The Common Voice. 

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FakeYourSpace: How Losers Become Popular

MySpace and Facebook are great social tools that enable people to socialize, meet up, plan events or just find out about what is happening in their best friends life. But for some being inside a social network is a chance to actually become popular, something that is actually harder to do online than off.

But for those whose vanities exceed the realities of online life, and desire to “look cool,” FakeYourSpace can help you out–for a price.
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Yahoo! Copies Google With Cooler Social (Mobile) Network

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Anomalies are very rare in life, unless of course you’re an online junkie in the web 2.0 field. Apparently it seems that Yahoo!, known recently for missing great opportunities and creating worse ones, seems to have copied an idea from the search engine king’s Dodgeball and taken it to the next level.

What did Yahoo! create you say? Mixd.

(Information Week) Yahoo has quietly launched an experimental site that offers mobile-phone subscribers the ability to send text messages and share videos and pictures among friends. The service follows a trend among Internet portals to offer mobile social-networking services. [...]
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Has Digg peaked, gone out of fashion?

Oliver Ryan seems to think so, over at CNN Money. He points to some prominent bloggers and their statement that Digg just has gotten boring, and picks up BuzzFeed as the possible new King on the Hill.

BuzzFeed, well, it’€™s a site crawler looking for buzz (duh!), but with editorial control. I haven’€™t followed it, but it looks interesting so it’€™ll be another project to my list of promising online stuff.

Anyway, what do you think? Has Digg played its part? Will BuzzFeed take the helm, or is it down to TechMeme and such services? Or something else? Where to turn, where to turn’€¦

Hat tip: Jonny-boy, thanks mate!

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HuffPo starts spending, hires people

I’€™d like to say that I’€™m a regular Huffington Post reader, but being so far from where the political action is, it just don’€™t do it for me. I would love a Swedish, or European, counterpart though. That’€™s an idea, an European Edition, Ms. Arianna Huffington?

Anyway, Huffington Post got $5m in funding from Softbank Capital earlier this year, and now they’€™re starting to spend it. Melinda Henneberger is the first one to come onboard, originating from Newsweek magazine which sure sounds promising. She’€™ll in turn hire more journalists to make sure Huffington Post can cover Congress, the 2008 presidential campaign and so on. We can also expect video coverage, as well as continued syndicated material from other sources.

‘€œNow is the time to generate our own original content,’€? Ms. Huffington said. ‘€œIt was always our intention, once we had the money, to hire people to do reporting.’€?

Read more at The New York Times.

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Yahoo’s brand universe, because niche ads pay more

Filed as General, News with Comments Off

PaidContent let’€™s me know that Yahoo is planning a series of niche websites, you know, where the hot trends are. Apparently we’€™re talking more than 100 new niche sites about things we all think is new and hot.

Like the Nintendo Wii, the first one it would seem. Clean and sober, with a nice Flickr integration-thingy on the front, as well as links from del.icio.us I’€™d reckon. They’€™re using their obvious channels to deliver content to the site, and will most likely do that in the future as well.

This is a good move; Yahoo’€™ll make more money this way. Niche targeted ads pay more, and Yahoo will get the advertisers. ‘€˜Nuff said, really.

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November 29, 2006

Watch those permalinks

Permalinks are great, they clean up the ugly ?id=X structure and makes URL:s easy to read and, if necessary, remember. However, if you put special characters in your title and don’€™t review the permalink before hitting that lovely Publish button, you’€™ll get an URL that’€™s even worse than the default ones.

You see, permalinks are usually converted from the post title automatically, and if you’€™ve got special characters in there it’€™ll either remove them entirely (that’€™s the good solution), or replace them with lots of funny characters (% and such). If the latter is the case, you’€™ll get an extremely long and clunky permalink that looks like shit.

So here’€™s the tip! Check your permalinks and beware of special characters – Microsoft Word will give you tons of those if you copy-paste from there. What’€™s the use of permalinks if they look awful?

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