Google, Mobile, and Money: Can We Discern a Pattern, Connect Some Dots

May 31, 2011

I woke up early this morning mostly because the crows decided to have a Post Memorial Day celebration here in the hollow near Harrod’s Creek. Beautiful birds. Often their discourse reminds me of data about the success of Android, the lack of success at RIM, and the slow start Microsoft Phone 7 Windows Mobile edition has had. And Apple? Well, even the crows have iPhones in Kentucky.

What I found interesting was more data about the success/failure of Android and Apple in the mobile game. “Nielsen: Android’s Lead Over iOS May Have Stopped Growing” reports that Android is popular “but no more than it was in March [2011].” You can work through the numbers which are based on Nielsen’s survey results. Note that Nielsen is hedging its bets on its results. My experience is that the results are often driven by the needs of marketing and sales and not so much what I want to know.

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I want to connect the dots, but I am not sure what’s happening. Source: http://corknuts.tumblr.com/

Here’s the passage I noted on my trusty iPad:

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Google Blogger, a Victim of Data Corruption

May 31, 2011

If Google was a victim of data corruption, what happened to the customers of the cloud based online publishing system?

It seemed that Google might be the latest victim of the recent vicious hacks such as those that recently plagued Sony. However, according to The Inquirer article “Google Says Data Corruption Led to Blogger Outage” offered an explanation for the outage. “During scheduled maintenance on Wednesday night Google’s Blogger team encountered data corruption, which caused the service to crash for many, while others encountered severe bugs such as disappearing posts or error pages.”

Users were unable to make posts for a brief time period. Google was able to solve the problem by restoring their software to an earlier version. The majority of Google Blogger is back up and ready for use. Google should actually be applauded for admitting a problem existed, apologizing, taking care of it quickly and even more surprisingly promising to issue a full report. Recent judgment lapses such as those recently made by Sony have some consumers just waiting to hand the guilty “out to dry.”

April Holmes, May 31, 2011

From ArnoldIT.com, your resource for enterprise search information.

OpenText Gets More Social

May 31, 2011

OpenText is dedicated to helping businesses get the most from their content. The company helps clients clearly pave out clear business goals so they can provide them with the enterprise technology services they need to support their various programs and departments. According to the Business Insider article “How OpenText Uses Social Media” Greg Second, vice president of investor relations at OpenText opened up about their new role for social media. He stated that:

“All staff especially management members are encouraged to use social media to ‘reach out’ to their customers and people in the industry.”

The popularity of social media makes it a great tool to communicate with the public but analysts, portfolio managers and others in the field are more interested in the comments of the employees in order to get a better understanding of the industry. Sounds like a great tool but with so few details, one must wonder if it ever lived up to the hype. We are, however, wary of categorical affirmatives. That “all” surely does not mean everyone?

Stephen E Arnold, May 31, 2011

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, the resource for enterprise search information

HighGainBlog Now Available

May 31, 2011

Stephen E Arnold’s “content with intent” service continues to expand. I learned today that the HighGainBlog focuses on Internet investments, including start ups in social media, search, and mobile technology.

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The information service is updated daily with news and critcial commentary.

Advisor to the new information service is investment analyst Michael Onghai, CFA. He told me:

“The High Gain blog news service fills a gap, particularly with regard to social and mobile media. Most of the articles mention a start up, provide commentary on specific features of the software, and then provide a url. The High Gain site attracted my attention and that of the emerging companies ThinkWeb3 and SocialAdMX because of the concise content and their penchant for critical observation. Like many professionals, I do not have the time to read 30 pages of marketing material or consume every story in the financial press. High Gain provides the short content hit I need and want.”

I worked through the backfile of stories. Topics covered ranged from major players to promising start ups like ThinkWeb3 and SocialAdMX.

Operating under the ArnoldIT banner, the common goal sought is to deliver the reader viable information in an abbreviated format. In business information, there is a glut of new content. The new blog tackles important topics in crunchy, compact articles.

ThinkWeb3 and SocialAdMx personify the trend of consumer-centric innovation that is sweeping the tech markets.

The new service does not provide investment advice. The goal is to highlight interesting developments and put them in a context which helps investors minimize risk and maximize value.

From an investment standpoint, the products and services companies like these are developing strike at the core of what one should look for in an opportunity: game changing ideas that are positioned to provide long term returns. You can access the HighGainBlog content at www.highgainblog.com.

Micheal Cory, May 31, 2011

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com

The Web, Blogs, and the Reed Effect

May 31, 2011

There was a blip in the blogosphere about the infusion of capital into the big, firm information arteries of GigaOm, founded by Om Malik. Even the trend tracking Mashable covered the story in “Tech Blog GigaOM Shifts Focus to Premium Content.”

The money apparently flowed from Reed Elsevier Ventures with some other investors betting on the blog news and analysis service. The founder added some cash to the pot as did Alloy Ventures. The funding flies in the face of the well received of the Business Insider’s link to a presentation about how traditional media companies can behave more like start ups.

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Traditional professional publishers push prices to the peak of Mount Tolerance. As long as revenues do not decline, the number of customers is irrelevant. Remember the concept of elasticity in pricing from Econ 100?

This is an interesting development for three reasons:

First, although the Huffington Post hit the jackpot, the GigaOM investment is suggestive. What I see is that the GigaOM content play is interesting, but not yet at the Huffington Post level. Investors hope to reach that benchmark in money magnetism so outfits like AOL will acquire GigaOM for an even more juicy pay day.

Second, the shift signals more trouble for the advertiser supported model of publishing. Google Adsense seems to be losing some steam, and the costs of pitching vendors to support a blog is expensive and time consuming. With more cash, GigaOM can follow in the footsteps of more traditional publishing, consulting, and analysis businesses. Get subscribers, sell reports, and cherry pick other money making opportunities as they come along—Sounds like a plan to me. For outfits like Google, the river of money may behave like Lake Hamoun. The Reed Effect, in my view, is pushing prices to the heights. If customers want the information, those customers can pay.

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Protected: Indexing SharePoint Content through Northern Light

May 31, 2011

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The Android Revenue Rocket and Gravity

May 30, 2011

The Android blast off has been spectacular. In the span of 24 months, Android is everywhere. Poor Apple. Although the company is rolling in dough, its mobile market share has been kicked to the curb by Googzilla. Everything Apple did as an innovator has migrated to the Googleplex. With mobile search accounting for a significant amount of Web traffic, Google is the winner.

Well, that’s what it looks like to some former Web masters, art history major who have become consultants, and poobahs focused on poopahing.

Then there is “Why It’s Harder to Make Money on Android than on Apple’s iOS.” I don’t put much effort into tracking the musings of Time Warner, but I did find this article interesting.

The data in the story came from an outfit called Distimo. I have a healthy skepticism for most sampled data related to anything Webby. You can read the original write up to get the numbers and specific numbers each appears to be.

Here’s the key point in my opinion:

Roughly Drafted’s Dilger, an Apple partisan who clearly has a stick in this fire, suggests that the rapid ascendance of the Android Market is an illusion. Android may be gaining in sheer volume, he says, but not in quality. He quotes the app guidelines Apple issued last September:

“We have over 250,000 apps in the App Store. We don’t need any more Fart apps. If your app doesn’t do something useful or provide some form of lasting entertainment, it may not be accepted.”

Google has no such policy, Dilger writes. “All one has to do is pay a fee and shovel junk into its online listings. Suddenly it’s obvious why Google is ‘beating’ Apple in free titles: 134,342 to 121,845 according to Distimo: they’re only comparing Fart Apps, ringtones and wallpapers. Of course Google is winning in that regard.”

The bottom line on the write up is that Android developers are not exactly rolling in cash–yet. Other observations:

  • “Controlled chaos” has to demonstrate that it works better than Apple’s control method
  • Android needs to produce some vocal, developers who are rolling in dough before the developers look for more lucrative things to do
  • Fragmentation and the telecommunications industry’s penchant for doing proprietary things to benefit themselves reduces Google’s span of control.

Stephen E Arnold, May 30, 2011

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, the resource for enterprise search information

Quote from the Google on UX, Not Advertising

May 30, 2011

Quote to note: I am equally skeptical about pundit pronouncements and big search company explanations. Combine the two and there is an opportunity for mischief and misunderstanding. First, navigate to “Google Denies ‘Freeze’ on Manual Search Controls.” The story reports that a pundit asserted one thing and the giant company counter asserted the opposite.

In the midst of this flummery, a really interesting quote from the giant company appears. Here she be: Google allegedly says:

…manual controls are necessary to improve the user experience in very limited cases, such as security concerns, legal issues and spam.

So algorithms do some of the work using inputs. Then humans make judgments and take actions to improve “user experience.” I wonder if some of those actions are designed to pump up revenues from advertising. Probably not.

Stephen E Arnold, May 30, 2011

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, the resource for enterprise search information and current news about data fusion

The Analytics Path: Search Sits at the Kerb

May 30, 2011

According to the Technology Review article “The Future of Analytics” IBM is working on the next generation of Analytics technology and has set out of develop technology that can handle the massive amounts of data. The team led by Chid Apte:

“is developing algorithms and other techniques that can extract meaning from data, and it is trying to find ways to use these methods to solve business challenges.”

In his interview with Tom Simonite, Apte indicated that the company was trying to take company data as well as social information data and work with clients to see how both sources can be used to handle business problems. The team even helped to develop the popular QA technology that was used on the Watson on Jeopardy and they hope to bridge this QA problem solving technology into their system.

Apte concluded by emphasizing the ever present need for a better way to handle large scale data. If IBM can pull it off they will have hit the jackpot.

IBM has a Tundra truck stuffed with business intelligence, statistics, and analytics tools. IBM has no product. IBM, in my view, has an opportunity to charge big bucks to assemble these components into a system that makes customers wheeze, “No one ever got fired for buying IBM.”

Well, it used to be true. And it is probably true for MIT grads. Today? Maybe. Tomorrow? Maybe not.

April Holmes, May 30, 2011

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, the resource for enterprise search information and current news about data fusion

Protected: Idera Has a New SharePoint Diagnostic Tool

May 30, 2011

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