Here's a new way to make money: register names that are close, but are misspellings of popular sites.
What's fueling this? The new advertising craze, the Washington Post is saying.
In other news Henry Blodgett says Microsoft is losing in the Advertising game and gets very close to counting us out forever.
He's right. As long as Microsoft copies others and doesn't do anything radically different this game will be over.
Why? Because we're in an audience business. Blodgett assumes this is about search. It's not. Or about Web. It's not that either. It's about building audiences that advertisers want to pay money to be in front of.
Advertisers want a few things:
1) Eyeballs. Don't believe me? Go to Times Square in New York. Why are those signs (er, advertising) there (they cost millions of dollars each)? Eyeballs. Hundreds of thousands of them every day.
2) Purchasers. Every Sunday there's a "homes" section in the local newspaper. Why? Cause the newspaper industry has trained us that if we're looking to buy a home, we should get the Sunday newspaper, throw away all that news crud, and start circling homes we're going to look at that day.
This is a simple business. It's all about figuring out how to get an audience.
Now, Google, Yahoo, and MSN are just like the music industry in that regard. We're trying to figure out what the next big audience pleasing thing will be.
Let's be honest. Google signed the metaphorical equivilent of the Beatles.
So, is the way to build a world-class business to just copy the Beatles?
If Microsoft and Yahoo want to grow, we must build the next big thing. Not copy yesterday's big thing.
On the other hand. Search is not done. That's where it's different from a music act. With services you can take what used to exist and make something new.
Look at A9.com. Here, search for Scoble. What do you notice? First, that it shows you a bunch of stuff that the other engines don't.
Another thing I notice? They are using Microsoft's search engine now instead of Google's. Take THAT Henry! Chris Overd is the one to notice that.
Or, look at Gada.be. Here, search for Scoble there. It uses all kinds of search engines.
This week RawSugar is going to turn on a new improved search engine based on tags. I got a look last week at what they are gonna turn on and it's really great. That small company has done something innovative that the big boys haven't even tried to do yet.
Oh, and if Google has done such a great job in search, why can't I find Sony's site when I do a search for Sony HDTV SD (I'm looking at buying a Sony SD-series HDTV). Nah, search is finished.
Microsoft is finished. Yahoo is finished. This job is done. There's nothing left to improve. Nothing left to do.
Hmmm, I've heard this before. Hell, in 1989 I even was one of those counting Microsoft out (the just released Apple Mac II back then was so superior to anything Microsoft had that I thought Microsoft should just close up shop and go home).
One thing: I like being the underdog. The one all the experts are counting out. The one that the stock market has no confidence in. It's motivating.
We got nowhere to go but up.
Brandon Paddock, lead us out of here.