Yahoo! Tells Google to Diversify…?!

April 30th, 2010 |
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Yahoo.LogoYahoo! suggesting business strategies to Google is like Goldman Sachs advising Warren Buffet (Berkshire Hathaway) on how to invest successfully. Not only is Yahoo! behind Google in nearly every category (email, search engine capabilities, online apps, etc.), but even their name sounds like a joke when compared to competitors.

Don’t get me wrong. I think that Yahoo! has some great offerings; their small business site hosting is fantastic, and their analytics are simple to understand and use. Yet, other than those two products, I don’t tend to use Yahoo! very often. Google, for me, has pretty much invaded my online world.

GOOGLE.LOGLThus, when I read that Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz has spurned Google for their “lack of diversity,” I was a bit taken aback. I then thought that maybe Bartz was just being tricky, trying to throw Google off their game. The reason I say this is because the criticism stemmed from her opinion that the search engine giant was too focused on search. Huh? Read the rest of this entry »

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Jeff Louis

SXSW Text!! Group Text from Brightkite, Oh Yes

March 17th, 2010 |
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Local Texans in Austin are either grumbling about the slew of youths and db’s about to infiltrate their fair city, or rubbing their palms together for the tourist payday as the 24th Annual Music & Media Conference, South By Southwest, gets going (or should I say, growing). With social media, networking, technology, branding power, and everything else expanding faster than child obesity, so does SXSW and the amount of attendees.

The Interactive and Film portion kicked off on March 12th with trade shows, conferences, discussion panels, celebrity interviews, and film screenings, industry parties, etc. The big balls officially drop on the 17th, as bands from far and wide will melodically mount and rotate the 80-plus stages in downtown Austin. It’s hard to imagine the scope of planning that goes into the non-stop schedule, and if you think you have your itinerary all mapped out, think again. It’s going to get messy once the texts start pouring in – “Go see this show”, “Come to such-and-such film” – and your days become 90% planning, totally souring what should be a liberating mood.

So, we can all count our blessings for phones with email and the “what-the-f*ck did we do before” invention of text…but, like the dearly departed Corey Haim, everything has its limits. For example, if you’re at SXSW, you might text a group of friends, and then you get a text back, you respond, you get one from someone else and you fill them in on what you already heard back, and thus begins the chaotic cycle of simply trying to meet up with your goddamned friends. Sucks to be popular, don’t it?!?

Well, for you high-in-social-demand types, scratch the above time-consuming malarkey. With the new Brightkite Group Text, you can hit all your loyal buddies at once and start a big old text-versation – including pics.  You can use it from your computer, iPhone, iPhone touch, even if you’re not a member of Brightkite. With it, you can still text back from your phone and it will go to everyone on the list in the Group Text. It’s like the “Reply All” of texting. But the awesome thread is still saved with Brightkite, if – unthinkable as it seems – you can’t remember last night.

But for those of you looking to downsize your phone bill, you can cancel that bastard and use Brightkite’s Group Text for all your texting needs. Then meet up with your friends and borrow their phone!  Bite me, Verizon – can you hear me now, bitch?

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Rocky Mills

Privacy vs. Access: Seven Tips for Practicing Safe Search

January 13th, 2010 |
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Search engines have evolved, make no mistake about it. Where once a search engine did nothing but look for stuff, they now incorporate apps that are moving closer to the realm occupied by social media. Likewise, social media sites are fighting to capture their share of the search market by introducing real-time results. In the not-so-distant future, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if Facebook (the biggest kid on the social media block) squared off against Google, undoubtedly the search engine king for the past decade. Unfortunately for us little people, this collision of search and social will lead to serious online privacy concerns.

Which is not to say that users aren’t already concerned about online security. We’ve come to an intersection, and it’s a Catch-22 because we have to give up privacy to gain access. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Lately, many of the privacy issues have focused upon social media sites, their associated apps, and the numerous security fumbles that nearly every social media site’s committed. However, the real “information” is being stored by your favorite search engine.

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Jeff Louis