Here are some samples from Larry Page's talk at Google Zeitgeist that jibe well with what I've been writing about, and the stuff Robert Cringely has been predicting in relation to Google's grand scheme:
[Meanwhile], people have a lot of choices about how to spend their time. One of the things that I’ve always been confused about when I watch television is that I see the same commercial maybe 20 or 30 times. And you know, it’ll be really polished and it’ll be kind of cool the first three or four times. And then, after the 20th time you get pretty sick of it. In fact, we learned today that 70 percent of the people with a TiVo skip the commercials, which I thought is a really interesting statistic. (I assume the other 30 percent are like in the bathroom or whatever.) That’s my own experience using TiVo. And I don’t think the solution is to make fast-forward buttons illegal or impossible – it's really to make the commercials better integrated with the shows and in a way that actually serves people’s interests. That’s what we try to do very hard [in our business].
Now one thing I wanted to bring up, I know a lot of you guys are big advertisers and partners of ours, as we’re really sending you customers. Imagine we send you a customer and they look at some low margin item – an MP3 player, say, and then they decide they really want to look at a diamond ring. And they don’t actually buy that ring, but they just look at the ring. Now the fact that they’ve done that is probably worth money to your business. Currently we don’t collect that kind of information – we only collect information really on who clicks on ads, and occasionally we get from you when people buy things, which is very useful. The thing is, people think about buying things a lot more often than they actually buy them. And that’s very useful data for us to do the optimization, to send you better customers.
So I think you’re going to see much, much more data of this type. Maybe you have too many of a particular item, or maybe you have some extra guys standing around in the shipping department that don’t have anything to do, so maybe it makes sense to lower the prices a little bit while they’re sitting idle. I think you’ll see there are very sophisticated online companies like Amazon starting to do things like this with us – they have programs that talk to our ad system. You’ll see much, much more like that in the future.
These presentations are available in audio format on Google Podium - and are a great resource for all Google watchers.