Tag Archive: Companies


Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

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A few months ago, I noticed a surge in articles about how Google was cutting down on its special benefits for employees. Even though the level of employee benefits was astronomically out of proportion to working at any other job, it definitely had something going for it.

To these articles (Belt tightening articles about Google) I say:  Cutting perks, how sad.”  I always thought it was cool (as I understood it) that Google took the stance that:

We take care of the employees first and the employees will take care of the customers.

I definitely can see the logic there, and if you have the money to it, then great!  Sounds like they don’t have the money to do it anymore.  But there’s nothing like employee loyalty to really make things work, because having to fight uphill against people who don’t want to be there will always be bad in the end.

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Roomba‘s and apocalypse: former schoolmate Rachel Zylstra…a musician singer-songwriter with a YouTube channel called “Advice Music.”

Roombas, Captchas and the End of the Age

Roomba Eats People. Enter Captcha.

A song entitled “reckoning (rhetorically) with robots” deals an answer to a tongue-in-cheek query:

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Marissa Mayer

Image by jdlasica via Flickr

Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Search Products and User Experience at Google — interviewed by TechCrunch.com about the Google Instant new feature:

Google Instant is the new wave for typing and not-typing as you search.  Apparently, according to Google’s official blog post on Google Instant, there will be no more need to complete queries (hopefully), or, at least you’ll want to keep things cool with this little result… In other words you’ll need to do less typing—and Google will automatically adjust the results as you go along.  Not that you’d search for partial queries (e.g. “baseball m”), you’d search for predictive queries (e.g. “baseball mitt”) while you go along, adjusting the whole screen of result-delivery.

What will this mean for search engine optimization? If partial queries are predicted into full on results, will people abandon longer searches—what will this mean for the market in general?

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

 

In my last post, I challenged users to search for Google on Google, and see what they found.
The answer, the top result (at least when I did it) was actually Google’s official blog. If you want to stay on top of future developments, one might think that you’d start there.

But is that assumption correct?

I just did a search on Google for “Yahoo,” and the requisite reverse search on Yahoo for “Google.” You know what I found? I found that on both search engines, neither one actually gave news about itself, but each one gave news about the other one.

Sounds like the old addage is true—your enemies know more about you than you do…”No news is good news,” must be the rationale.

So if you’re looking for news, search Yahoo or Google (who control most of the search-market share right now)…

except if you’re searching for Yahoo or Google themselves.  (Then use a competitor.)

What do you think about that?  Well, I think it shows how quickly information outdates itself on the internet.  A second search found that Google does have news about itself now—Google does, but Yahoo doesn’t (and now not for Google either.)  It makes me wonder if this has something to do with Google’s slogan: Don’t be evil.  (Did that clue into my post before I wrote it?)

This does beg the question, how much reliable information will you get from someone talking about themself? …or a search engine searching itself?  Would it be better to search for information on one person, from a different point of view?

By the time this goes live (and/or by the time you’re reading this) things may be even more different—even more different than today, or five seconds ago, or whatever—but the basic facts remain the same.  The best source for an unbiased opinion is a disinterested bystander—but where do you find that?

Not to leave us on a solutionless down-note, let’s consider what other possibilities may be out there…maybe a search driven by human agents, but more on that later.  (Or is that what Yahoo and Google really are?)

Image representing Yahoo! as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Speaking of Google…

In all this, I’m wondering if the “scraper” traffic I saw earlier (that picked up my articles) was automatic (I’m assuming) or perhaps some third-world worker in a net-scraping factor (not likely).  Who or what ever it is, it seems to be going along just fine—and picking up mention of keywords—well, mostly “Google.”

So, I’m wondering if my theory is correct, and if a mere mention of the word “Google” will actually attract the attention of visitors.  So here goes: GOOGLE!

I’m assuming that the robots would pick this up, but human aggregators would ignore this.

Google in 1998, showing the original logo

Image via Wikipedia

Well, okay,that wasn’t very nice to actual committed readers of this blog (I know you’re out there—even if you don’t!) and so I’ll give you a little tidbit…

Have you ever Googled Google?  What did that Google search find?  The top Google hit, I found very relevant.

I’ll explain more later: Hint: That’s where developers and developments post and get posted by Google.  Great way to stay abreast of developments there.

Yesterday’s post featured a claim that Google-use had been overtaken by Facebooking time.  In other words, the users who search on Google are spending less time doing that than the users of Facebook are spending on that favorite social-media service.

Think about what Facebook hosts already, things primarily that used to be available only elsewhere on the internet:

  • Instant Messaging: With Facebook-chat, one can always catch up with friends online
  • E-mail: Facebook Messages allow one to communicate with one another just like you would with (old-fashioned?) e-mail.  User-to-user long-form messaging is what that’s all about.
  • Content: Growing numbers of Facebook pages/groups are starting to be the go-to options for businesses, even before they have their own professional webpages. Having so many users and contacts all right there to plug in to whatever cause, venture or endeavor you’re doing is just too tempting—especially when compared with the work necessary to get a regular website the type of traffic a Facebook page can potentially get with just a few clicks.
  • Advertising:  Sure, you can buy banner ads on the rest of the regular-old internet, but that old dinosaur (I say tongue-in-cheekly, but with an alarming edge of seriousness) is going the way of the…internet.  Why?  What gives Facebook ads a competitive edge?  Immediately available demographic data for pinpoint accuracy and market targetting.
  • Digg-style Media Sharing:  Yup, you can have…really any kind of media shared on Facebook, from video, to pictures, to text and more.
  • Games, games, games:  I’m surprised that this one didn’t blow the rest of them out of the water—or rather, I wouldn’t be surprised if this one wasn’t the number one reason that Facebook is the one-stop shop for everyone and the number one place for spending time.  Facebook games, which always bring in that social attachment, are highly addictive. FarmTown/FarmVille anyone?

I don’t think that there’s a whole lot more that needs to be said here.  I suppose the only thing that Facebook doesn’t have going for it is a good way to search the internet…oops, they have a Google built-in option for that.  I wonder if time spent using the Google plug-in to search the web (while still in the content-frame/shell of Facebook) counts as time for Google?  Probably not.

Basically, you can do anything on Facebook that you can do on the rest of the internet, but with Facebook’s dynamic social-linking engine, you can do it with your friends.

So why would you go anywhere else?

Google, long being the dominant force of seemingly everything web (well, not really, but it sounded cool to say) has been ousted in one arena by another key-player, Facebook.
According to a survey of web-usage times reported in a recent article, people are spending more time online using Facebook, than they are searching on Google.  Not surprising to me, as the Facebook platform is hosting more and more content in-house, almost as a subset, parallel or secondary internet all of its own! 

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Sour Notes: Dark Side of Google

Another view of the south side of the Googlepl...

Image via Wikipedia

Despite the search-engine mogul Google‘s commitment to the aphoristic ideal of “don’t be evil,” there are still those who like to throw stones.   They say that the people who shouldn’t do that are those who live in glass houses, which is probably why the critics always take aim at those whose sins are of scope and scale utterly alien to their own.  Here’s a couple down-point articles I dug up from a recent blog/site—as I did some search on Google or a related term…

1. Google is creepy, because it’s so big. I suppose being big can be creepy, if you’re a giant.  I imagine things are only “creepy” when you’re jealous you don’t get to have all those perks.  On the inside, it’s probably, “angelic,” “blissful,” and “not-creepilly-nice.”

Google has these new news feeds that keeps things up to the minute on various topics, including, apparently, itself.  I wonder how you qualify for this?

More points to follow.

lowercase "g"

Image via Wikipedia

Google.  Ever wondered if there was another way to get there or to modify your experience when you’re using it?  At a recent birthday party, I ran into a young man who shared with me, out of the blue, two seemingly “useless” but interesting applications of web-front/redirect pages.  Here are two of them—plus another one I had in my idea-hopper which also dealt with “how Google looks when you use it.”

Here’s a list of the three.

1. Gewgle.com. This is perhaps the most useless of the three—but did you know you can get to Google.com by typing in Gewgle.com?  That’s web redirection for you.

2. Blackle.com.  What’s that all about?  Well, apparently you can visit this site (or others like it, such as Darkle, which is part of the larger Shikle.com website which offers Google to you in a variety of colors) you get to enter a sombre haunted-house feeling version of the search engine you’re likely to use most often—all I mean by that is that it’s black, instead of eye-searing (though friendly) white.  As of this post, the Blackle.com site claimed that it had saved “2,051,678.337” watt-hours of screen-energy.  I suppose that’s one advantage.

I suppose that there are some accessibility advantages with Blackle.com and Shikle.com, as different color schemes can work for various seeing-impairments and vision eccentricities.  A friend with vision-impairment, actually legally blind, set his laptop to a green on black color scheme for optimal reading capacity, and high contrast.  (He may have also been into the Matrix, but don’t tell him I said that.)

3.  So, getting away from colors a little bit: Goosh.org.  I found about this from a computer repair technician who happened to be doing a temp-job with me—he was using a repair tech site called “tech-nibble.com” which I should probably note later.  Anyways, it’s a sort of funny (sort of sad) portal for Google that allows you to avoid the shame of having to appear to appeal to the commonest-search form for information questing: asking “Dr. Google” but rather appear to be doing some unknown high-tech, back-end computing query… It makes it appear that you are working directly in the “command line” while you area actually searching Google.  In other words, until you actually click through on a site, a client quickly glancing at your screen will think you’re up to some technical wizardry that they couldn’t do yourself.  Not that I’m into deceiving clients—but there may be some other possibilities out there for using this “Google shell.”

So, those are some fun thoughts on how to search — and search engine “shells” you can use.

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