Unless you are watching college hoops, playing with the kids, waxing the vintage auto, balancing the checkbook, vacuuming the rug, fly fishing, playing fetch with the dog, sharing a beautiful mountain sunset with a loved one, smoking a fine cigar, taking a backcountry hike, reading a classic novel, [UPDATE INSERTED AT THE REQUEST OF A VIP: 'mapping with your GPS'] or any of the other useless stuff you might do instead of absorbing the following…
Social networking is purportedly now more popular than email. I read the report, and it felt mostly like (yet another) Facebook sales pitch. Of course, if Nielson can’t sell the most popular social network on earth, I’ll bet Oprah can.
Google sales chief Tim Armstrong is leaving for the CEO post at AOL, and the move is generally being hailed as a good one (at least for AOL). There’s even speculation Mr. Armstrong will have his choice regarding keeping AOL under the Time Warner umbrella, or spinning it out. Either way, I believe one of Tim’s first moves is to find a growing property to rejuvenate AOL’s tired ship – I think that engine should be network of social networksNing (logic to follow…later…maybe).
One trillion dollars is a heck of a lot of money, and it’ll seem that way to just about everyone except a government official writing checks against other people’s accounts that are already long overdrawn. Yep, one-thousand billion bucks, on double stacked pallets covering an area bigger than a football field. Visualize it here.
Bryan Gregson’s 15+ pound pig got a mention in Fly Rod & Reel – I say it’s about time. I was kind of surprised the Madison beast hadn’t generated a little more press, until I read the recent article. See…much as Bryan lives for the outdoors (i.e. he respects the streams, and fish he chases – and conveys it openly), that grand Madison brown died after the catch. It wasn’t bleeding at the gills, or beat with a bat and then slung on a grill. It fought the good fight, but simply couldn’t be revived. For that reason (death) publications shunned the story.
And my take…
I’m beginning to notice a pattern: skilled anglers who just so happen to grasp the notion that fly fishing is a sport grounded in “the hunt” are putting up trophies, while a pack of panda-food-slinging, latte-sipping nancy boys jump to high-browed conclusions under cover of their keyboards. It is no wonder kids would rather play shoot-em-up video games than go outdoors – it’s genuine, unlike than the flavor of fly fishing the overzealous Gucci-elite would like to cram down their throats. The player gets a chance to comprehend finality, which is, in fact, reality.
AOL is not having a good summer, so maybe it is good that summer is coming to an end. The company released a slew of search data into the open, then decided to “go free” because it’s subscriber base was disappearing. Ad revenue was the new name of the game, with ad ons like cheap music as a balancing act. Now they get to dance around the fact their free software might be associated with spyware/adware, as StopBadware.org has called them out for funky install/uninstall procedures.
AOL replied, noting that these issues were not such a big deal, and should be fixed forthwith. I agree with the first premise, and am hoping they hold to their word on the second.
AOL released a pack of search data for researchers, somebody found it, everyone is sharing it, marketers are drooling, and a couple of numbskulls are calling for AOL boycotts.
Ok, folks, quit your pissing. AOL might have made a dumb move here, but this is hardly grounds for a privacy-related lawsuit. The data doesn’t contain personally identifiable information, per se – search identifiers are denoted by numbers, not your name and street address. Yes, there are a lot of search results in there that the average joe might not want out in public, but I just have to say that if you are so bleeping stupid that you are going to open up you browser, and in a single session search for:
1) “child porn”
2) “local cocaine dealers – mytown, USA”
3) “how to kill your ex and not get caught”
4) your name
5) your social security number, and
6) your phone number
AOL blindly released a “noc-list” of sorts, a set of history files on their search results spanning several months, which was freely available on their site for several hours. Now the files are floating around on the internet. People are crunching the data, and some are shouting eureka for the SEOs and PPC arbitrage critters.
Stop and think. While everyone is perusing this data on their MySQL enabled laptops, Google has this stuff too, and a heck of a lot more processing capability to boot. It wouldn’t surprise me if the use of the data isn’t already primed to set off alarm bells in Mountain View the moment some search engine spammer/Adsense junkie starts getting greedy.
The talk is 30 million queries and 20 million click throughs on search terms, from 650,000 AOL users. That’s a heck of a good sample size, if you want to trust the opinion of someone who got a “B-” in Fundamentals of Business Statistics (ok, I partied my ass off that semester).
Yep, someone will get greedy, and I’ll bet they pay for it.
AOL is now pitching it’s Total Care security protection for PC users. Everyone is pitching something like this, so you need a bold statement to wake people up. It would be nice if a marketing statement had some truth to it as well.
“The Internet is a confusing hostile place for anyone using a PC today,” says Andrew Weinstein, an AOL spokesperson.
You go figure. I say it is just free markets at work, and everyone should get off their ass and figure out how to stay competitive in a increasingly complex world, and quit their bitching while they are at it.
I am not sure what is up with that, but I’ll bet if AOL just said “here’s the keys – you run the place,” folks would still be bitching. Maybe they should consider beating up on AOL’s ubiquitous instant messaging platform instead. Uh oh! AOL is already giving that away, and (now) then some. Continue reading →
The next few days reaction to AOL’s move will tell everyone whether folks like MoveOn really care about an open internet, or just want free access themselves. Watch for spin if the DearAOL group splinters.