Hakia and SENSEnews

January 29, 2011

We noted “Goldman’s Facebook Valuation Challenged by Semantic Technology.” The point of the write up is that technology developed by Hakia, a specialist software firm, suggests that Goldman Sachs may have made some valuation errors. According to the article:

SENSEnews, a tool developed by Dr. Riza Berkan, and the other creators of hakia semantic search technology, weights news from all over the world as a modifier of stock values. Not only that, but the technology suggests with a high degree of correlative value, market actions to be taken. It’s all pretty controversial, as can be expected, but looking at the data these last couple of weeks, the correlative value of SENSEnews’ data does bear scrutiny.

The write up explains where the Facebook valuation may be a bit optimistic.

If you want more information about Hakia, visit the firm’s Web site, www.hakia.com. If you want to be sure of making lots of dough. Get a job at Goldman Sachs. I am not sure that investment valuations bear much, if any, relationship to reality. Perception is important. Hakia may have a way to make “perceptions” more evident.

Stephen E Arnold, January 29, 2011


Search Based Application Book Available

January 29, 2011

We noted a new book Search-Based Applications: At the Confluence of Search and Database Technologies. According to Exalead’s Web log:


Published in the series of Synthesis Lectures on Information Concepts, Retrieval, and Services under the direction of Gary Marchionini University of North Carolina, this book provides students, researchers and professionals, a description of the concept and practice of the SBA. At the same time, the [Greg Grefenstette and Laura Wilber] highlight the increasing convergence of search technologies and databases, presenting the latest developments in the field of search that allow the SBA revolution. [The authors] have also located the phenomenon SBA in a broader context, taking into account current developments in the Web – notions of deep Web (or deep web – invisible), Semantic Web and mobile Web, and their influences on the next generation of SBA.

You can download a sample chapter at www.searchbasedapplications.com or order the book at this link.

Stephen E Arnold, January 29, 2011

Freebie but we know Dr. Grefenstette and expect him to for over a KFC meal the next time we are in France.

Microsoft Out Buzzes Apple?

January 28, 2011

We found “Apple loses Buzz, Microsoft Gains” a mouthful of Granny Smith’s apple hard to swallow. But we are in Kentucky. What do you expect?

CNNMoney.com reported a sentiment media value for some major brands. The method used a formula that aims to balance the good, the bad, and the neutral. The approach sounds like a subjective procedure. Nevertheless, according to its calculations, Microsoft can be said to have out-performed Apple in 2010:

“By [General Sentiment’s] measure, Apple is the No. 1 brand leader for the third quarter in a row, having generated a total of $4.5 billion worth of what the company calls ‘media value’ in 2010.

And the article suggests that the value of Apple’s buzz fell dramatically last quarter, from more than $1.4 billion to $941 million and change.”

By contrast, Microsoft’s buzz increased last year. Though Apple is still on top, Microsoft seems to be gaining ground. Will wonders never cease? In the period of the report, Apple sold more than seven million iPads. Hmm.

Cynthia Murrell January 28, 2011

Publishers Fix Up Metadata

January 28, 2011

Publishers Weekly has posted an article by Nick Ruffilo, of BookSwim.com which caught our attention. The write up describes the advantages of good metadata. Ruffilo also outlines a comparatively painless way to improve the metadata of all your publications.

Though far from new, metadata has recently received more attention in the publishing industry. Better late than never, we suppose. Now more companies understand that better control over your books’ metadata means more guidance over your publication’s path once it’s out of your hands.

Companies are understandably hesitant, however, to commit to a complete metadata-handling overhaul. Ruffilo insists that you can improve sales by making some gradual changes:

“It’s a strategy I like to call the five degrees rule: make your changes five degrees at a time. Focus on very basic metadata practices to start. Encourage both marketing and editorial department input on metadata. Most importantly, get the data right for all your books, and you’ll find that small steps can lead to big gains.”

Following his suggestions now may help generate more money in the future.

Cynthia Murrell January 28, 2011

Google and Customer Support

January 28, 2011

Matt Rosoff at Business Insider has a bone to pick with Google. No, not spam- filled search results, but poor customer service. You can get the full scoop in “One Area Where Google Is Way Behind Microsoft.

Eager to try out Google’s new Cloud Print service, Rosoff had some trouble getting it to work. Unfortunately, this free, beta-version product is not supported to his satisfaction. To that we say: hey, figure it out yourself. If you can’t, you are not Googley.

He compares his experience to working with Microsoft products:

“Microsoft has made a lot of ugly software that doesn’t work as expected. But at least it TRIES to offer useful documentation. At least it TRIES to provide real user help with wizards and troubleshooting apps when you have a problem — and often, the help actually works. At least it TRIES to focus on the user experience, and there are noticeable improvements with every release.

Maybe some people should just stick with Microsoft products? Of course, then they’d have to pay for them. As Google works to create a new version of itself under the firm hand of Larry Page, the new top gun, customer support may find its way to the management agenda.

Cynthia Murrell January 28, 2011

Microsoft and Its Compete with Google Playbook

January 28, 2011

I was poking around the labyrinthine Microsoft Web site. Sad to say that neither Bing.com’s system nor the Google.com Microsoft service makes it easy to find information about Fast Search & Transfer’s system. The name “fast” does not help, nor do the weird acronyms that Microsoft uses; for instance, MFSS. MF! Wow. King’s Speech misstep, anyone?

What I found by clicking and scanning was “Selling Microsoft Online Services against Google Apps.” You can access this page at https://partner.microsoft.com/Italy/40029528/ Among the goodies available is a big fat download button and a number of links to such content objects as:

We looked at some of these documents and found them mildly amusing but pretty much what one would expect from a giant corporation fighting yesterday’s upstart. Now that Google and Microsoft are increasingly alike–maybe fraternal twins?—we  did not spot too much new.

You may, however, be like a field of newly driven snow. Tromp on through. If you work at Google, you probably don’t care about Microsoft. My advice? Don’t read this blog and don’t learn what Microsoft is telling its partners to say about Google’s enterprise offerings.

Stephen E Arnold, January 28, 2011


Android Apps

January 27, 2011

At lunch yesterday, the goslings and I had a spirited discussion. The topic was Android, Google’s open source mobile operating system. There were three points of view and none of us agreed on which point of view was likely to the “correct” one. We had heard what was reported in “Unhappy with Slow Growth of Android App Purchases , Google Talks 2011 Roadmap.” Here are the points of view:

First, Google is going to get its act together now what Larry Page is in charge. The counter to this argument is that Larry Page has to demonstrate to Wall Street, customers and competitors that Google is more than a one trick pony. After a decade of trying, Google is ads only when it comes to revenue.

Second, Google is learning and adapting. The slow start of its new products and services gives the company time to look at click streams and make adjustments. Maybe the approach is not as spectacular as an iPad product, but Google’s approach is the best one for the company. Google is not in a hurry and can evolve, crushing rivals as it moves forward.

Third, Google is struggling because it hit a home run with search and then another one with advertising. Since those two lead off game winners, Google has bogged down. The company is emulating Microsoft’s trajectory, just on an accelerated time cycle. The Android play is a good example of an idea that has not delivered, although it may. Like the Xbox, the costs of the “win” are not likely to be added up.

So which point of view is correct? I think that the Google has its work cut out for it. Legal hassles, staff turnover, brand erosion, Apple, and Facebook—big job.

Stephen E Arnold, January 27, 2011


Twitter Timeline App

January 27, 2011

Twitter App in Two Days

Diego Buthay, a developer for IndexTank, had the mad skills to quickly make a Twitter application says, “How I Wrote a Twitter Timeline Search App in Two Days” via the IndexTank blog. While the title explains the story’s exciting part, Buthay explains how he created the FriendTweets app.

“My goal was to find a way to search tweets from the users I follow.  I also didn’t want to spend too much time on it. This quick ramp up is what IndexTank is all about.”

He started with Sinatra, hacked the program, and then used IndexTank as a search backend. He had a rudimentary app, but it worked. He tweaked the app a bit more using Heroku and within twelve hours had the app he wanted. It’s amazing how easy it is to make a program from scratch and then release it to the Internet wilds. Will this trend of apps being made by individuals continue for years to come? Another thing, this app is useful in the fading of free real time search.

Whitney Grace, February 27, 2011


SEO Baloney Stripped of Its Plastic Wrap

January 27, 2011

Navigate to “4 Reasons Why SEO Is Underfunded.” The audience is a marketing person, a Web master, or an SEO expert. The message is that search engine optimization could get more money if certain things were different. The write up points out that those buying SEO or funding SEO want results. No kidding. In addition, the people with cash want silver bullets. Making matters worse is the word smithing that goes on to explain the methods to get a better PageRank. Since Google does not reveal its methods in particularly useful detail, the chatter and jargon cover up the fact that outsiders are often clueless. And, the article suggests, is that some folks in need of traffic don’t dig the value of “organic traffic.”

When I read this write up, I drew several hypotheses:

  1. SEO is mostly on point, original content with appropriate word use. Lacking the base of high value or magnetic content, traffic for most Web sites is going to suck. Don’t believe me. Navigate to Compete.com, get a free account, and look at the reported site traffic of Coveo.com or BA-Insight.com versus a gasper like Yahoo.com. What do you see? Lousy traffic and zero traffic. Why? Nothing pulls the traffic and no amount of SEO puffery will change the traffic for these successful companies’ Web sites.
  2. A Web site is no longer a high tech adventure. A Web site is the potential Sir Gawain for the organization. Traditional marketing is disappointing in today’s market. The answer? The Web. Now the fast talkers who pushed content free, brochureware Web sites are at risk. Termination? Litigation? Whatever. Organizations need Web sites to perform, and, believe me, that’s tough to do with some SEO “sauces.”
  3. Long term value! Give me a break. I can name a dozen companies within a five minute drive of the goose pond that could go out of business next week. The local bank is not going to pump dough into an outfit unless it doers not need the money. You can’t talk long term to an organization unable to meet payroll and pay the utility bills.

It is time to focus on SEO as a set of practices that complement broader marketing goals. SEO won’t generate sales. Even the magic of Groupon.com or LivingSocial.com works in certain use cases. Telling 20 million people that ArnoldIT.com can do a $100,000 chunk of work. Think that will sell in Farmington, Illinois?

I loved the source write up. It strips bare the weaknesses of selling a tool that can do only part of the marketing job needed today. Honk.

Stephen E Arnold, January 27, 2011


Oracle Targets SharePoint

January 27, 2011

Maybe Oracle knows that search in SharePoint is a secondary consideration. Oracle has a couple of different search solutions. SES11g is the flagship, but I don’t think of the system as a user friendly, SharePoint snap it. Nevertheless, Oracle senses weakness in the SharePoint ranks, and it is going to go for the kill. Navigate to “Oracle Makes a Fresh Run at SharePoint.” The main point of the write up in my opinion is:

But Oracle is positioning WebCenter Suite as something more robust than “purely ad-hoc” SharePoint installations that mostly play the role of file servers, MacMillan said. “What we’re talking about is how you are collaborating around key business processes,” he said.

If this is indeed true, Oracle is going to have to find a solution to the “findability” challenge that this type of portal play presents. We continue to hear rumors about tire kicking, management change, and new investments in search at Oracle. What is clear to me is that talk has not translated into action. If Oracle does snag former SharePoint customers, Oracle is going to have to get with the search and content program quickly. We think this opens some opportunities for vendors who play well with SharePoint and who have smiled and hugged Oracle in the last couple of years. Good news for some search vendors. Not such good news for Microsoft?

Stephen E Arnold, January 27, 2011


« Previous PageNext Page »

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta