March 8, 2013
Just got off a wonderful flight from Hannover, Germany. You can check out a 60 second snapshot of the search challenges I addressed in my invited lecture. Click here for the YouTube video. An audio abstract of the talk is available as well. Click here for the MP3.
Stephen E Arnold, March 9, 2013
December 6, 2012
The question is, “Is search up for a new challenge?” I think of basic search like the high school athlete who was a star as a senior. In college, the person rode the bench. In the pros, the individual has an opportunity to attend a game.
In “Time Spent In Mobile Apps Is Starting To Challenge Television, Flurry Says”, the grim future of information retrieval becomes apparent. The article points out that fiddling with Web apps is getting into TV couch potato territory.
How does one find a TV show? I still watch folks channel flip. When I attend meetings with 20 somethings, the hook is a particular show regardless of format. Well, there is one format which is rarely mentioned—reading a book.
Search of text is not too slick. Now with the shift to digital media, can search make digital content findable? How about finding an app via iTunes? What about nailing down a new documentary? What about finding a video snippet displayed within an app on a mobile phone?
There is a growing need. Perhaps rich media search will work in a more useful manner than text search.
Stephen E Arnold, December 6, 2012
September 26, 2012
I read “Brazilian Judge Orders Arrest of Local Google President over Negative Election Ads on YouTube.” According to the story:
Judge Flavio Peren ordered Google to remove the offending videos last week, but Google refused, leading Peren to issue a warrant for the arrest of local president Fabio Jose Silva Coelho and order YouTube and other Google services blocked for 24 hours. Google is reportedly appealing the decision, saying that it’s not responsible for content posted on its site.
Then one of the ArnoldIT goslings alerted me to this YouTube video. When the Gangnam parody played, an ad for Attivio and ad for the Attivio unified information access technology appeared. That is an interesting method of marketing enterprise content processing. We did not click on the link, and we did watch the somewhat offensive video.
Automated content and smart software can deliver some surprises. Google’s ad matching system knows context. The relationship between unified information access and a Gangnam parody did not make sense to me. Getting old I guess. I don’t like surprises.
Stephen E Arnold, September 26, 2012
Sponsored by Augmentext
August 26, 2012
Move over ABC, CBS, and NBC: YouTube is doubling down on original content. We’ve written before about Google‘s push to infuse more premium media content into YouTube. Now, ReadWriteWeb informs us that “YouTube Premium Channel SourceFed Racks Up 500,000 Subscribers.”
The ad-supported SourceFed is the first of YouTube’s Original Channel Initiative projects to reach such success. It and other shows that demonstrate potential were produced by folks with experience building audiences through the site. SourceFed, for example, is the creation of six-year YouTube veteran Philip Defranco. The article relates:
“James Haffner, SourceFed’s producer, believes the channel’s success lies in a couple of factors: First, the channel provides ‘easily consumable’ content that’s also accessible on mobile devices (accounting for 50% of views). ‘We get to have fun every day, but at the same time, we inform people,’ Haffner said. And because each video is short, people can pick and choose among segments. Second, the way the four SourceFed show hosts interact with fans is key, because it fosters a sense of online community. ‘Our viewers treat us like we’re their best friends,’ Haffner explained.”
This relationship with viewers is exemplified by SourceFed’s self-congratulatory video, which features fans describing why they love the channel. It’s Experimental Theatre for the Internet world. Interesting.
Cynthia Murrell, August 26, 2012
August 25, 2012
It seems that content tailored to the iPad is not the panacea media outfits hoped it would be. Gigaom examines the (lack of a) trend in “HuffPo, The Daily and the Flawed iPad Content Model.”
It has been just over a month since The Huffington Post launched their paid iPad content service, and already the site announces it is reducing the price. To zero. Meanwhile, News Corporation‘s dedicated iPad division The Daily has sharply reduced its staff and, it is rumored, may be on its way out altogether. What’s happening? Is the iPad not the savior of news organizations?
Writer Matthew Ingram suspects the culprit is the very way users have come to access media online. He explains:
“Whether media companies like it or not (and they mostly don’t), much of the news and other content we consume now comes via links shared through Twitter and Facebook and other networks, or through old-fashioned aggregators — such as Yahoo News or Google News — and newer ones like Flipboard and Zite and Prismatic that are tailored to mobile devices and a socially-driven news experience. Compared to that kind of model, a dedicated app from a magazine or a newspaper looks much less interesting, since by design it contains content from only a single outlet, and it usually doesn’t contain helpful things like links.”
This viewpoint, though probably correct, seems to leave little hope for traditional publishers who strive to make it in today’s media landscape. Ingram acknowledges that a couple of organizations who already had a very strong brand, like the New York Times, and some that target niche audiences are doing well. For the field as a whole, though, fresh ideas are desperately needed.
Cynthia Murrell, August 25, 2012
August 20, 2012
Go, go Google gadget Nexus Q! The software, math and physics wizards may be modern day Professor Gadgets, but even the good professor had issues from time to time.
The Q is crucial in Google’s efforts to connect home devices to the Internet and compete with Apple, but it will not be joining the competition anytime soon. The NYTimes’ article “Google Delays the Nexus Q After Poor Reviews” says the Nexus Q is back on the design table to improve functionality and answer consumer demands.
Google’s new gadget is similar to Apple TV and Roku because it can be plugged into televisions or speakers and be used for music or games. However, it still lacks when compared to the other devices:
“At $299, the Nexus Q is much more expensive than those products and does less. It only plays music, movies and TV shows from Google Play’s limited collection and YouTube, and can be controlled only from Android devices. Google promoted the Q’s ability to make listening to music social because people could change songs from their own Android devices, but early users said the process was cumbersome and it isn’t clear that people have a burning desire to do that.”
Google eventually plans on creating software that can handle mundane tasks like ordering eggs when needed, but we’d probably end up with cracked eggs. Yep, software, math, and physics wizards know how to do great hardware, but they need to know when to say “go, go Google gadget goodbye.”
Jennifer Shockley, August 20, 2012
August 17, 2012
Why just read advice when you can watch it? According to MSN Money’s article “blinkx Partners with Kiplinger for Personal Finance Wisdom” Kiplinger wants to go viral with their well-respected advice.
Most people think YouTube when they hear video, but blinkx has more than 35 million hours of audio and video content available with a customized search platform. Now they are combining with a company that holds the prestige of a well preserved antique in the world of finance wisdom.
Kiplinger is broadening blinkx’s financial horizon in hopes of expanding their viewer range:
“Kiplinger’s is one of the most trusted and well-respected sources for consumers seeking financial advice. Whether you’re a recent graduate coping with student loans or a parent looking for tips on tax breaks, our video library has helpful personal finance advice for you. We’re pleased to partner with blinkx to increase our exposure to new audiences and to make our video reports easily searchable for consumers around the world.”
Will video inject new revenue into the venerable Kiplinger? This noble company publishes the longest running newsletter in the US and is only one decade from the century mark. The print newsletters are not what they use to be and more presses collect dust every year.
This gosling does not think Kiplinger will receive any monumental renown via blinkx, but we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, Kiplinger does deserve a 12 Honk salute for reaching antique status.
Jennifer Shockley, August 17, 2012
August 6, 2012
Over the years, I have worked for different telcos. There was AT&T in my early days. Then Bell Communications Research, Bell Labs, and USWest. (Anyone remember USDEX? Goose tracks on that one, gentle reader.)
I am not too bright, a fact which I document in this blog with each post I write or cause to appear.However, I did figure one thing out, and it was not that the Young Pioneers sold T Shirts and candy. AT&T and other telcos infected with the monopolistic DNA of Ma Bell try to charge for everything. The fact that the companies don’t do this particularly well is not the issue. One way or another, telcos find a way to bill. It’s genetics passed from Bell Head to Bell Head.
I read “Al Franken says AT&T shouldn’t charge for FaceTime” and wondered, “Hmm. Does the Honorable Mr. Franken know about some weird mutation in the telco DNA?” Shifting carriers is not an option for many people in my opinion. It costs money and once people form a habit, it is tough to break that habit. Banks know that most customers will tolerate getting the proverbial ingot of gold dropped on their toes three, maybe four times before a new banking relationship will be sought.
With government yapping about business and the GSA paying unreported bonuses and “lost” referrals about financial tap dancing, I wonder if the government might invest a little time in their own back yard?
Stephen E Arnold, August 6, 2012
Sponsored by Augmentext
August 3, 2012
Creative Commons has brought “free” video to millions, and now The Next Web reports, “With 4 Million Videos, YouTube Now Has the Largest Collection of Creative Commons Videos in the World.” What a surprise.
The write up by Drew Olanoff notes that YouTube began building its Creative Commons video library one year ago, and has quickly captured the lead, at least in terms of quantity. Flickr, by the way has amassed the most Creative Commons-licensed photos.
Cathy Casserly, the Creative Commons CEO, recently blogged about her project’s YouTube-hosted library. She promotes:
“Do you need a professional opening for your San Francisco vacation video? Perhaps some gorgeous footage of the moon for your science project? How about a squirrel eating a walnut to accompany your hot new dubstep track? All of this and more is available to inspire and add to your unique creation. Thanks to CC BY [the Creative Commons Attribution license], it’s easy to borrow footage from other people’s videos and insert it into your own, because the license grants you the specific permissions to do so as long as you give credit to the original creator.”
Founded in 2001, Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization. Designed to counter the inability of bureaucratic systems to adapt to rapid technological changes, the organization provides a suite of licenses that works within copyright law’s “all rights reserved” realm. The goal is to empower folks to share and build on each other’s’ creative work online without the risk of some commercial entity snapping it up for profit.
Cynthia Murrell, August 3, 2012
July 18, 2012
According to the article, there are a few reasons off the bat for why GTV will not succeed and it all has to do with the fact that Google will not be able to win over television broadcasters. The second point to note is that no one really understands the goal for smart TVs.
When discussing the former issue, the article states:
“First, television broadcasters don’t want to work with anyone who aims to make money off their content. Sure they’ll sell a program here or there, but unless the set-top in your home is streaming out the unadulterated streams coming out of their satellites, they don’t want any part of it. By co-opting search and discovery, Google looks to the broadcasters like a parasitic organism rather than a money maker. TiVo (barely) survives because it acts as a smart VCR. Apple TV and GTV are slow to spread because they are, at best, glorified media players and they will never be anything more without real broadcaster buy-in.”
Perhaps Google will surprise us and turn GTV into a money making machine. However, it seems to me that, a company trying to conquer every inch of the tech landscape is going to fail more times than not. Stick to what you are good at Google.
Jasmine Ashton, July 18, 2012
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