Tag Archives: Google

Facebook tears down part of its walled garden

Another thing that Facebook just released is embeddable videos. TechCrunch covers that part.

But they missed how important a change in direction this is for Facebook.

This means that I can embed videos on blogs from Facebook and make those videos available to everyone.

Facebook now is a YouTube competitor and one that has a huge advantage: you know a LOT about the people who publish the videos on Facebook due to their strict rules and the social network — you can click on each person who uploaded video and you can see who their friends are, which is very valuable to knowing whether the person who is publishing video is someone credible and who has authority with other people.

It also means that we no longer have to visit Facebook to interact with an important data type kept there.

To me that’s huge and worth underscoring. Will Facebook continue opening up its walled garden? Interesting to see this in light of Facebook’s other battle with Google over how it’ll open up its social graph data.

Fast Company’s video with Facebook’s Chris Putnam explains the new embedding system along with the new HD video quality they just turned on.

Nice to see Facebook opening up to the Web, though, and tearing down its walls. What do you think?

Our disappearing web

Garret McMahon is right. He looked at the just-put-up “old Google” from 2001 (lots of fun to do searches and see what Google looked like back then, that index was done just a few days after I started blogging) and he noticed that lots of things that were on the Web back then are gone.

My blog, for instance, is gone for the first year and a half.

Funny, just the other night I met Internet Archive’s Brewster Kahle who was flying home on the plane I was on. We talked about this issue and he said it is troubling but that they are trying to catch a lot more now. He invited me over to meet the team, which we’ll do soon. I also visited the Library of Congress a couple of weeks ago and talked with some of their top archivists. They told me story after story of human knowledge and historical documents from our lifetimes that were destroyed. Heck, the Library of Congress itself has been destroyed by fire twice. I visited Thomas Jefferson’s library which was sold to the Library to get it started again after a fire wiped out its collections. Then, later, another fire wiped out a good chunk of his collection again.

I seriously doubt these words will survive 100 years. What about you?

Half an hour of mobile goodness

Last Friday I had Sumit Agarwal, product manager on Google’s mobile team on my show, which is about how the Internet is changing work, WorkFastTV. Damn, that guy knows his mobile!

In half an hour we run through dozens of things you can do with your cell phone. This is my favorite WorkFast show so far, because I learned a ton of stuff that I could do with my cell phone that I didn’t know about. How many of these things are you using?

We didn’t just talk about Google stuff, either. What else do you do with your cell phone that we didn’t talk about?

First hour with Google’s new browser

I’m playing with Google’s new Chrome browser. So far, damn, this is nice.

Pros.

1. Uses less memory. I still need to do some tests on a clean machine, but it looks like it uses dramatically less memory than Firefox or IE8 beta2.
2. Faster. Both on startup and scrolling around. On my tests with Google Reader it’s dramatically faster in places.
3. Simplistic UI. It’s uncluttered. Simple. No links to Google stuff. Great for beginners, but truth be told I love using it too.
4. Larger viewport. I can see more content. Fewer toolbars and taskbars.

Cons.

1. No Firefox extensions. I’ve been playing a lot lately with Greasemonkey and other extensions from Firefox.
2. Unclear compatibility. I’m seeing some reports over on FriendFeed that there’s some Web sites that don’t work with it.

Anyway, it’s being discussed all over the blogosphere right now, so I’m sure there’s a ton of articles about it on TechMeme (I haven’t looked, I just got home from one interview and am headed back out to another one).

But, after first hour? I’m definitely coming back to use it for a second hour. We’ll see if it survives a week. How about for you?

Where Google and Facebook are fighting the next monetization battle

Think about something you’ve purchased recently. How did you decide to buy that thing?

In my buying behavior I find that I can split it up into three phases:

1. Need generation. This is what happens when someone shows you something you didn’t know you wanted, but that you immediately get interested in. It might be a TV show (how many people will visit China over the next few years because of what they are seeing on TV at the Olympics. I bet a ton).
2. Research. You’ve decided to buy something, say a new car, but now you need to figure out which one is best for you. Some of the things you do here are to ask your friends, look online for reviews, read Consumer Reports, etc etc.
3. Purchase. You’ve decided what you want, now you go looking for the best place to complete the transaction.

Think through to the best businesses on the Internet. Most that I can think of fit into one or several of these three phases.

Google, for instance, makes billions of dollars from advertisers who want to help you complete a transaction. Do a search for digital cameras, for instance, and there you’ll see ads.

But competing with Google is not really possible, even for a huge multi-billion dollar company like Microsoft.

So, since Google has pretty much locked up the last phase, where is the next Internet monetization battle taking place?

Both Facebook and Google are beating each other up to lock up the next phase: social recommendation and participation.

Google calls this FriendConnect.

Facebook calls this “Facebook Connect.”

Yesterday I visited Facebook to get an up close look at Facebook Connect. I had previously attended the Google FriendConnect launch and even videoed that with my cell phone.

It’s interesting, though, that both of these systems haven’t gotten widespread use yet. It’s also interesting that the teams both struggle to explain why a normal business would use these technologies in their own business’ sites. At least in language that a normal person who isn’t a Facebook addict would understand.

So, let me simplify into a single sentence. Adding social networking features to your corporate sites helps your users through the research phase of the buying process.

These will get widespread use over the next few years as stories come out about successes.

But let’s look at one site that’s very close to what I’m talking about.

Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine Library.TV.

Now, Gary owns a wine store in New Jersey that is selling about $50 million per year in wine. That means he has the third phase of the buying process nailed down. He’s the Google of the New Jersey wine market.

So, how is he changing his business? (He calls it bringing thunder to the wine industry).

His website and show are TOTALLY about extending his reach into the other phases of the buying process.

His video show creates the need in your head to try more wine. Today’s show gets me to try out some Italian sparkling wine. I had no idea before I watched that show that I needed to try that wine.

Now, notice what happens next. Look at the comments. 136 of them when I wrote this post. You can see the research phase of the buying process happening there. People are recommending different wines than Gary did, or backing up what Gary said, etc.

Now, Gary is WAY AHEAD of most other wine stores. I went to Google and searched for “Wine store” and found wine.com.

But notice that they don’t even get close to creating the need in my head for different kinds of wine that Gary does. Video is unparalleled for creating need for new things.

And, also notice that if you wanted to research Wine that they don’t have the same kind of research community that Gary is building.

Now, could wine.com go past winelibrary.tv in the research phase? Yes. They already are tracking top contributors to their reviews. But using Facebook’s Connect they could go way further: they could tie their contributors into Facebook itself and add all sorts of interesting interactive features. I know that if a friend of mine, like Loic Le Meur, CEO of Seesmic, buys a paticular wine that it’ll be good (Loic has great taste in wine).

By making the site more personal and bringing my friend’s choices into a site like this it’ll convert me to more wine sales at a far higher rate than it does today.

But imagine if Gary’s site did that. He already is 90% there (he’s always on Twitter interacting with people and his video show is just so much more of a personal experience than reading the reviews on wine.com).

If I were a marketer I’d be trying to figure out how to stay up with Gary. Why? Well, do you think his viewers are going to price shop Gary? Hell no. How do you stay up with Gary’s concept? Google and Facebook’s new APIs are the way to do that.

What do you think? Are you thinking of using more social features on your website?

The most important Google Tool for businesses (that you probably have never used)

Yesterday, when I spoke at the New Media Expo I showed off the Google AdWords Keyword tool. Then I asked how many people had used this tool before. At least 1/3rd of the audience didn’t raise their hands. Now this is an audience of professional online content developers. People who SHOULD know how to use tools to find better ways to market their content.

If 1/3rd of this audience isn’t using this tool, the chances that most businesses are using it are between zero and none.

What does this tool do? It helps you see the searches that people are actually doing on Google. Let’s say you had a quilting store. Do you really know what searches people are actually doing to find information about quilting? If you haven’t used this tool, no, you don’t.

This tool also is important to figure out how many people are searching for a particular topic. This helps you test your assumptions of how many people are really searching for something. This will help you choose your title tags, and, even, your content.

It’s not the only tool that online marketers should be using, either. In this video Avinash Kaushik, who is one of the world’s top analytics experts, and now works at Google, gives you other tips for how to use tools like this one, along with measurement tools to refactor your Web site’s content.

Are you doing this stuff? Why/why not?

For those of you who do use this tool, do you have any advice for people who are discovering what this tool does for the first time?