Mary Jo Foley details the shuffling of deck chairs on the titanic that is Microsoft Live search.
Summary: a red-shirted* VP named Satya Nadella is now in charge of Live search engineering. Good luck buddy.
My initial cynical reaction: "GREAT - let's give the guy who produced that incredible Microsoft CRM product that everyone uses the SEARCH AND AD PLATFORM"
Marketing and branding seem unaffected - but for how long?
* (in the Star Trek sense)
Henry Blodget, who is not liked by some prominent bloggers, can really pundit-ize when he feels like it. His recent posts are chock-full of gems:
On Viacom v GooTube:
Viacom doesn't really give a damn how many people watch its content on YouTube--they just want to get paid what they view as a less-insulting amount for the use of that content.
The bottom line: If/when Google finally makes a concession or two, Viacom will declare victory, and the lawsuit will disappear. Then, a couple of years later, when every media company in the world has a distribution deal with Google and Viacom's content is even less of a percentage of total views than it already is, the deal will probably get renegotiated on more favorable (to Google) terms.
On AT&T playing hardball with Yahoo:
In Yahoo's case, according to the WSJ, a new AT&T deal could significantly reduce the $200-$250 million in revenue the company earns from the deal (approx 5% of overall revenue). This revenue is probably at least as profitable as the rest of Yahoo's business, so it might feel an even greater impact on the bottom line.
On Microsoft's latest impotent / hypocritical attack on Google:
Today's speech by Thomas Rubin, Microsoft's associate general counsel, to the Association of American Publishers is entitled "Searching for Principles: Online Services and Intellectual Property." Based on what the speech says, however, it might as well have been titled: "How Google Intends to Put You Out of Business, and How Microsoft Can Help."
What Microsoft cares about is Microsoft, and now that Google has officially added "crush Office" to the corporate "To Do" list, Microsoft no longer needs to hold back.
On Internet gambling bans by Congress:
So it is not hard to believe that the law Congress passed last October banning online gambling was, in fact, just an act of protectionism, presumably sponsored by one of our country's most profitable and successful industries.
Do you advertise on MSN AdCenter?
Do you like your ROI?
Do you want to keep your hard-earned money?
Then PAY ATTENTION to Microsoft's upcoming launch of Content Ads.
Microsoft is sending out beta announcements about their launch of contextual ads (i.e. MSN's version of AdSense for Content). Buried in the details is this text:
This week, some of our U.S. advertisers will receive an e-mail notification that their accounts will be upgraded as part of the adCenter Content Ads pilot program. If you receive this notice, your campaigns will automatically be upgraded to include distribution on content pages within the Microsoft network.
AdCenter will set your existing campaigns to run on Content Ads BY DEFAULT!
That's a good way for you to lose a lot of money fast... so make sure you read how to disable Content Ads.
MarketingSherpa's best email campaigns of 2006 contains 35+ examples of email creatives you can copy. These are all top performers, and each one is explained by the team that produced it.
As I learned long ago, creative plagiarism is the basis of good marketing.
This is a great resource if you ever send any email. You probably should download all the examples to peruse at your leisure.
You can go here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/914387/ and read how to change your TimeZone so Windows will have the correct time.
Of course, for people like me that have old computers without automatic updates, the lazy man's method is to just goto to Control Panel -> Settings -> Date / Time, and choose a different timezone - one that's 1 hour closer to GMT than you.
Hey it's better than wasting all morning installing XP SP2 - which is what most of the windows patches seem to want you to do.
PS. here's an easy way to change the timezone correctly on FreeBSD / Linux.
How is value stored on the internet? It's simple.
This is, of course, obvious to any SEO.
For all the intellectual pondering over the attention economy, I am at least sure that links are the currency.
The proof point that inspired this post: Danny Hillis' new project: Freebase. They're building a structured database of free information on the web. Great stuff for splogging, spammers, etc. Might be useful as an alternative to wikipedia someday.
And how does Freebase get compensated?
"We only ask that you link back to us."
Now Google's blogger requires you to enter a 7 letter long CAPTCHA just to submit a post on your own blog! Also you need to pass this CRAPTCHA turing test when you make any edit to your own blog. Can you beleive that?
The over CAPTCHA-ing and the onerous login requirements for posting comments are driving me nuts. Not to mention the total incompetence at trackbacks...
DO NOT USE BLOGGER! It sucks.
Now I'm off to type in "lijvlno" to complete this ranty post... Whoops, wrong letters. Now it's gbtqljfy.
Greg Linden points to this Seattle PI article on executive reshuffling at Microsoft search. Chris Payne, who originally convinced Bill Gates that he could lead the effort to build a "Google-Killer" is leaving.
The Microsoft Corp. executive who led the company's challenge to Google is leaving the company.
Christopher Payne, the corporate vice president for Microsoft's Live Search initiative, plans to launch a Seattle-based technology firm unrelated to the search business
The company on Wednesday announced an executive reshuffling that includes bringing Brad Goldberg, a marketing general manager from the Windows division, into the Windows Live group. Earlier this week, Blake Irving, another Windows Live corporate vice president, told others at the company that he plans to retire later this year.
Linden, in the understatement-of-the-year so far, calls Payne's efforts to build a Google Killer: "largely unsuccessful".
PS. Be sure to put your vote in my death pool on the Live.com name.
When will MSFT dump the "Live" branding? I'm establishing a death pool. Put your answer in the comments - month / year. I'm specifically referring to Microsoft's main search brand - i.e. what is currently at live.com, aka MSN Search.
My guess: Feb. 2008.
Winner will get a lovely prize. Probably an Amazon Gift Certificate.
For your gambling assistance - here's a succint summary from Mary Jo Foley, on the latest set of problems for Microsoft Live (including recent resignation of Blake Irving, a Corporate Vice President in Microsoft's Windows Live Platform):
Microsoft has been struggling to create a cohesive Live story for more than a year. The company is building up a family of Live services designed to complement existing Microsoft software products, as well as accompanying Live development platforms. The Live branding strategy has been in disarray.
Yeah, I'm kinda rooting for it to fail as fast as possible - hopefully sooner than Feb 2008, I must admit. Maybe if they revamp it soon, MSN Search will start to actually be relevant again. I just think the elephant dances very slowly these days.