Here is a summary of the week's Web Tech action on Read/WriteWeb.
This week Read/WriteWeb finally got an interview with Google, something I've been wanting for a long time. Matt Cutts, head of Google's web spam operations, talked to me on the topic of next-generation search. Unfortunately I published it just as news of the $1B Viacom lawsuit against YouTube hit (the Techmeme 'Scrum of the Week'), so my interview with Matt didn't get the attention it deserved. However there is a lot of great info in this interview, so I encourage you to read it - maybe print it out and read it in bed on Sunday morning, along with the Sunday paper :-) Also check out the follow-up post: Video PageRank: Google Searches for The Holy Grail.
The interview post got some good comments, for example Steve said:
"The personalization of search is great for local companies competing in global markets. It will be interesting to see the evolution of natural language in search. If i was google, i would be doing my best to purchase Wikipedia. They are sending them most of their traffic... so why not?"
Why not indeed? Apart from the fact that Wikipedia is non-profit, so there would be a major outcry from people about a commercial company taking it over - especially a company like Google that already controls so much access to information on the Web.
Phill Midwinter commented that he isn't so impressed by Google's search engine strengths:
"It's a nice interview - but again I'm not seeing anything new here beyond what I've been hearing for the past two years. Google is looking increasingly stagnant from my point of view as a search engine developer. If they are truly keeping to release often, release early; then they haven't actually done much of importance for quite some time to improve search."
My feeling is that Google is innovating a lot, but it hasn't necessarily integrated those things into the main search.
Finally, web 2.0 innovations wrote:
"...the site that would potentially undermine Google’s dominance in finding information on web will be anything else but not Google-style search engine."
Indeed! Hence Read/WriteWeb's Alternative Search Engine list.
Alt Search Engine Mashups
Speaking of which... this week a couple of mashups of our Top 100 Alt Search Engine list came up. Check out:
Yahoo Personal Finance review
I recommend reading Sramana Mitra's excellent analysis of Yahoo's new Personal Finance site, from earlier this week. It's a good illustration of where Yahoo's strengths and weaknesses are in its web properties.
Other Analysis Posts
- Open Data Workshop 2007
- Adobe Remix on Photobucket
- Rating the Memetrackers: Redux
- Improving Online Communities: MyBlogLog, Explode, OthersOnline
Early this week the annual SXSWi (South by Southwest Interactive) conference was held in Austin, Texas. This has a reputation for being one of the most fun conferences on the Web tech circuit, so I was sorry to miss it again. Maybe next year! Luckily though, Sean Ammirati was there to cover the event for Read/WriteWeb. I particularly enjoyed his Web App Autopsy report and the follow-up The Figures Behind The Top Web Apps. Here is a list of all Sean's posts from SXSW:
- SXSW: Why Marketers Need To Work With People Media
- SXSW: Scaling Your Community
- SXSW: The Figures Behind The Top Web Apps
- SXSW: Sunday Keynote - Open Source Hardware
- SXSW: Using RSS for Marketing
- SXSW: Web 2.0, Semantic Web & Scientific Publishing
- SXSW: Under 18 Blogs, Wikis & Social Networks
- SXSW: Web App Autopsy
- SXSW: World Domination via Collaboration
Some interesting startups crossed our path this week. I was particularly enamoured with an online video site called We Dig TV. My review: We Dig TV Brings Television Game Shows To The Web. Also I recommend Alex Iskold's review of Summize, a search engine with heatmaps. Lot of innovation in that app.
Other startup posts this week:
- PureVideo and The Rise of Online Video Portals
- Imagini Spikes After Being Dugg - Will It Last?
- Spanning Sync v1.0 Launches - Apple, Google Sync
- blinkx Launches Video Search Engine Optimization Wiki & Guidelines
We actually ran two polls this week. The first asked: How many RSS Remix feeds do you subscribe to?. The results:
I've subscribed to hundreds of remix
feeds 5% (11 votes)
Somewhere between 51 to 100 5% (12 votes)
11 to 50 13% (31 votes)
1 to 10 24% (58 votes)
I haven't subscribed to any remix feeds 44% (106 votes)
I don't know what you're talking about 10% (25 votes)
There was a bit of confusion about what RSS remix feeds are. And it's clear from the results that filtered feeds are still very early in the adoption phase. Only 23% of respondants have subscribed to more than 10 remixed feeds, while 10% of people don't even know what a remix feed is. Lot of work to be done here (including by blogs such as R/WW, to explain them).
Our other poll asked: Why is there no advertising with YouTube videos? The reason for asking this was that Mark Cuban had commented in a previous post that the only reason for no advertising on YouTube is the copyright issues. So we decided to find out if others agreed. The results:
The Mark Cuban choice -- Google is concerned about legal
exposure 37% (57 votes)
The R/WW choice -- Google hasn't cracked digital relevancy 22% (33 votes)
Both -- Google is running scared of big media AND hasn't found a VideoRank formula yet 41% (63 votes)
It looks like a small majority think it's both a technology and copyright issue, but a good percentage agree with Cuban that it's all down to copyright.
That's a wrap for another week! Enjoy your weekend everyone.