The New York Times reports that Evan Williams, who doesnâ€™t get the pub that a guy with a cool name like Biz Stone does was speaking to a gr
The following quote from Williamsâ€™ talk Online News Associationâ€™s annual conference tells us quite a bit.
Mr. Williams founded several companies before Twitter, including the Blogger service that he eventually sold to Google. One lesson he has taken from them all: â€œCreate something that you want to see in the world,â€ not what some M.B.A. brandishing a business plan suggests.
Itâ€™s always easy to say for someone who already has one successful sale under his belt and probably not a lot of need to worry about his personal finances. The rest of the world, however, does get measured by those pesky little numbers known as profits and losses.
Admittedly, that sounds like sour grapes and I guess to some degree it is. What is real though, is people getting tired of listening to people who have a lot of money invested in them not seem too concerned about making it back in this decade. The economy right now is pretty rough and having to suffer through another â€œWe donâ€™t need to make money because we are Twitterâ€ deal is getting old.
He said the company is instead focusing on building value, such as through the new Twitter lists, which will allow anyone to create a custom list of Twitter accounts that can be shared publicly or privately. For example, you could compile your 10 favorite Twitterers on the topic of chocolate into an All About Chocolate List that anyone could browse.
Itâ€™s a potentially powerful tool that could empower a new class of Twitter curators that will guide others to the best content on Twitter, and Mr. Williams encouraged journalists â€” already in the business of curating and editing content â€” to jump into the fray.
One thing this does is actually put a more positive light on the folks at Facebook. They are further along in this game than Twitter and they seem to be pretty focused on creating value AND making money as evidenced by aggressive revenue goals and a glimpse at cash flow positive status recently.
But back to the fantasyland that is Twitter. Williams addressed the one area that most are the most interested in, Twitterâ€™s search capabilities, and admitted that they need some work. As a result, they are working on it.
In an interview after his keynote presentation, he acknowledged that the current Twitter search engine is too basic and the company has a â€œsignificant search teamâ€ working on improving it.
The next goal, he said, is to eliminate the duplicates and other â€œnoiseâ€ that come up in most search queries.
Considering the company has somewhere north of 100 employees and a recent round of $100 million invested in it that significant team should be churning out something pretty quickly. Maybe not though. If there is no pressure being felt at the top then why should there be through the ranks?
Now the Dublin based information provider is hitting the news with news that bing has suffered a greater than one percent drop in market share fo
“The trend has been downwards for Bing since mid-August,” said StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen. “The wheels haven’t fallen off but the underlying trend must be a little worrying for Microsoft.” See StatCounter’s chart here.
All in all these monthly reports of search engine market share leaders are getting a bit boring. There has been little or no movement that would truly make even a ripple in the Google Ocean. As we get further into bingâ€™s existence and the idea of Yahoo and bing cohabitating in search over the next few years the shine has worn off and I think we are likely headed back to business as usual.
Why that happens is that Google is constantly in the news for everything other than search so their brand is more often than not getting some kind of lift for no reason other than Google is Google and thatâ€™s it.
So is it a fantasy to think that someday, someone will bring Google down off their search perch? I doubt it will happen in the near term. In the meantime, I think I am going to wait until someone tells me that Google has fallen before I send much time contemplating whether their share being 60 v 70 points higher then the next in line is significant.
After analyzing 3000 tweets from >350 tweeple, the study found that there were two basic types of Twitter users: informers and “meformers”—people who broadcast information centered around themselves, and their thoughts, activities and location. Only 20% of users turned out to be informers—leaving 80% as “meformers.”
Okay, so maybe this really isn’t surprising—40% of Twitter messages answer the microblogging service’s question in the box at the top of the page: what are you doing? Perhaps most interesting is their comparison of the two categories’ profiles on Twitter:
Interesting enough, though, the study also showed that the informers have significantly more friends and followers than their meformer counterparts. The median informer has 131 friends and 112 followers, while the median meformer has just 61 friends and 43 followers.
Again, though, it’s small wonder that people who post links helpful to others have twice as many friends and three times as many followers as people who tend to use the service for navel gazing.
What do you think? Who would you rather follow—a meformer or an informer? Which are you?
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Apparently, while there is a rush to make this announcement it is one of those situations that requires peeling back the onion a little bit more to see what may really be happening. Hereâ€™s a bit of background first
UK advertisers spent Â£1.75bn on internet advertising in the six months to the end of June, a 4.6% year-on-year increase, according to a report by the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers. To put this in perspective, in 1998, when the IAB first measured internet advertising, just Â£19.4m was spent online.
The internet now accounts for 23.5% of all advertising money spent in the UK, while TV ad spend accounts for 21.9% of marketing budgets.
Well done, chaps! (Please note: As a nod to Andy Bealâ€™s British pedigree I fully acknowledge that any attempt to sound like him will come off as lame so save your breath). Interestingly enough, the IAB had predicted this to happen by the end of this year but the worldwide economic climate has sped the process as companies look to spend less and get more, at least theoretically.
As you might expect the TV side of the house is putting their 2 cents (or is that pence?) in on the subject.
Thinkbox, the UK TV marketing body, has taken exception to the IAB’s figures, arguing that the internet is now mature and diverse and it is inaccurate to collate all the figures as if it is one single medium.
“It is interesting but meaningless to sweep all the money spent on every aspect of online marketing into one big figure and celebrate it,” said Lindsey Clay, marketing director at Thinkbox. “Online marketing spend is made up of many things, including email, classified ads, display ads (including online TV advertising) and, overwhelmingly, search marketing. They should be judged individually.”
In all honesty, I canâ€™t say I completely disagree on that assessment. Online advertising as a whole is much more diverse than the option that TV presents. Maybe thatâ€™s TVâ€™s trouble moving forward though. Itâ€™s a one trick pony that has just enough mileage on it that people are looking for a new ride.
So before the online ad world pops the cork on the champagne there are some sobering numbers that were reported in addition to some thoughts about the direction of online ad spend.
Despite the seemingly inexorable rise of internet ad spend, a closer examination of the IAB’s figures show that the recession has had an impact. In the first quarter Â£920m was spent on online advertising, representing 8.6% year-on-year growth. However, in the second quarter, spend fell almost Â£100m to Â£832m, representing only a 1.1% increase on the amount spent in the same period last year.
Not exactly setting the world on fire but not a negative number either. Hey folks, letâ€™s face, this world economy sucks right now. If there is any expectation of big numbers then you should have your head examined. Even Microsoft reported its first sales decrease EVER in its history so go no further for evidence that we are far from being out of the woods.
So while interesting, we will need to sit tight to see any trend in this shift of ad dollars. The online space is struggling in another way right now as social media is overtaking the time that Internet users spend online but it has yet to show that it is a strong advertising play. How that turns out could affect the rest of the Internet advertising world in an adverse fashion. As you already know, that scenario is just starting to be played out so weâ€™ll have to see. As a final note:
Adam Smith, futures director at WPP’s combined media operation Group M, argued that the internet’s share of total UK ad spend could be close to its peak.
“This day was bound to arrive, as the internet has been attracting a huge long tail of advertisers that have not advertised before doing completely new things,” he said. “It is a memorable event. However, it is a bit simplistic to make this comparison [and] it is always possible that internet’s share [of total UK ad spend] could go backwards if TV has a good year.”
So what is it Pilgrims? Is this the start of a trend or a blip on the radar for now?
And then I watched the
eWeek.com reports that the test will reach consumer and business users. Danny Sullivan also points out that this test may also include the capability to invite others—because, hey, what good is a communications platform if you don’t have anyone to communicate with? Read Write Web clarifies that each person invited will have the opportunity to nominate eight people to join, and Google will continue to exercise its final discretion.
As a refresher, some of the cool features of Wave include:
- Online/offline chat
- One-on-one or group chat
- In-line replies within chats (”waves”)
- Photo sharing, events and link sharing
- (Eventually) integration with email (Right, guys?)
More features are to come—some of which are pretty vital, such as privacy and permissions features, the ability to remove people from waves, etc.
RWW reports the invites will be coming to select people from developers currently working on their sandbox server, people who’ve signed up on the Google Wave site and some Google Apps enterprise users. IE users will be prompted to add Google Chrome Frame to their browser.
As the back-end support for the system grows, more invites will be issued—some to those so graciously nominated by their friends who are already testing. If none of your friends are on Wave yet, RWW says you can always play with the robots—no seriously, developers have already created bots for Google Wave. (These are the good kind, not the evil ones. I hope.)
What do you think? Are you looking forward to Wave? Is an invitation waiting in your inbox? (If so—please! Tell us whether it’s all we dreamed it would be!)
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