29.11.09

Ready To Ride The Google Wave?





Photo Credit: thelastminute

The Wave Effect has yet to take the Internet by storm. Yes, we are talking about the Google Wave experience which until now is limited to invited web users to have a go at the new system.

At the same time, Google has been running an online survey via email, Twitter and a link in its Help Center, and gathering random samples of people who volunteered to provide some feedback on the Google Wave experience.

Google released its latest findings last Friday in a blog post which revealed a mixed reaction from users.

The pioneering Google Wavers, according to Google, had given some positive responses even though the system is not quite the finished product. There were some dislikes as well which Google will address.

But for many web users who have yet to experience Google Wave, they are still blurred. What the heck is Google Wave?

According to Google, the Wave concept is something akin to a central place on the Internet where users can communicate and collaborate with each other such as integrating messages and documents. In fact, there is a plethora of tools and methods in Google Wave which makes you wonder if this is something like a 'Swiss Army Knife'.

Based on its findings, Google has pledged to organize its team around the core issues that are important to making waving better.

"We're working hard to scale our systems so you can invite your friends and colleagues to wave with you. We're also thinking about how to integrate with existing communication and collaboration tools. And since we all know that fast is better than slow, a large portion of the team is working to make Google Wave faster."

Google said it would launch Google Wave next year which is just around the corner. Well, Big G's Wave team will have to work overtime to meet the deadline. Or could it be delayed? As mentioned earlier, a lot of us are still fuzzy. - Markk

*Image credit:  More great pix by Duncan Rawlinson at TheLastMinuteBlog.com

The Complete Guide to Google Wave  Google Wave: Up and Running   Google Wave Preview Explained: A plain language guide to Google's real-time collaboration and communication web application. (Volume 1)

25.11.09

Is Microsoft Taking the Bite as Murdoch Comes A-Wooing?

Does the news that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp is courting Microsoft to enter into a 'marriage of convenience' bother Google?
Google, as we all know, controls the major bulk of search engine traffic on the Internet.

According to a Reuters report, Berstein analyst Jeffrey Lindsay estimated that 14 percent of incoming traffic go to News Corp's news websites in the US.

Google controls 65 percent of the US search market, according to data analyst firm comScore.

If Murdoch went ahead to block Google from indexing news content on News Corp's websites, it could be detrimental to the media czar's news organizations.

That is the general opinion of most web analysts. They believe Google is too well entrenched as "master of the search universe" to feel threatened by Murdoch's sabre-rattling.

Nevertheless, it appears that Murdoch is adamant to carry out his "contain Google" strategy.

His attempt to woo Microsoft is raising some eyebrows.

Microsoft-News Corp Alliance

Talks are believed to be going on between News Corp and Microsoft to form an alliance that would sideline Google. Really? We'll just have to wait and see.

The idea, as widely suggested, is that News Corp will exclusively have its news content listed with Microsoft's Bing search engine after dumping Google.

Ouch, if that could hurt the Mountain View search behemoth!

Here's the rub. To have exclusivity of News Corp's news content, Microsoft would have to pay for the privilege, sources told Reuters. Now I'm just wondering who is doing who the favour?

With this partnership, one pertinent question is: Would Microsoft be throwing a lot of money to News Corp?

There are some concern that Microsoft might be paying more money than what it's worth if it takes the plunge.

Industry watchers acknowledged that the arrangement could increase Bing's share of the lucrative search advertising market at Google's expense.

According to comScore's September data, Microsoft has 10 percent share of the US search market.

Speculation is rife, but it seems Microsoft is not saying anything that's concrete yet.

Still, all the discussions are like snow flakes drifting down slowly as Yuletide draws near.

Newspaper doldrums

These are desperate times for news publishers as they face dropping circulation, subscriptions and ad revenue.

News Corp is no exception, and radical moves are seen as a way out of the newspaper doldrums.

Would it help Murdoch's cause if other US publishers jump on his bandwagon?

Industry watchers are doubtful they would all come together and even if they do, Reuters quoted Jeff Jarvis, media blogger and author of the book "What Would Google Do?", as saying: "It would be a mosquito bite on the elephant's butt." - Markk

21.11.09

Show's Over For Oprah Winfrey Come 2011


The new year is just days away. And 2011 is still out of sight.

But the woman who is ranked among the world's most powerful women, celebrities and media personalities has announced that her iconic TV talk show "The Oprah Winfrey Show" will be taken off the air come 2011.

The news spread like wildfire.

An emotional Oprah Winfrey said her show, currently syndicated in 145 countries, will end on its 25th season in 2011. The show was first broadcast in 1985.

Viewers were transfixed when she told them at the end of her live broadcast on Friday:
"I love this show. This show has been my life and I love it enough to know when it's time to say goodbye."
"Twenty five years feels right in my bones and it feels right in my spirit. It's the perfect number, the exact right time."

Winfrey, 55, was born into a life of poverty in Mississippi, but today, she is estimated to be worth US$2.7 billion, thanks to her talk show that transformed her in a cultural phenomenon.

She told her audience:
"These moments with you, our viewers, have enriched my life beyond measure...I certainly never could have imagined the yellow brick road of blessing that have led me to this moment with you."
Out of her many achievements, Winfrey is also credited with breaking down barriers as both a woman and an African-American.

The Oprah Winfrey Empire

Her own production company was launched in 1988. Winfrey named it Harpo -- her name spelt backwards.

She never looked back, her rise to fame and celebrity status was beyond doubt. Forbes magazine declared her the first female African-American billionaire in 2003.

"The Oprah Winfrey Show" show became the foundation that saw her empire grow. It spans radio, books, magazines and the Internet.

Other TV celebrities, including popular counselor Dr Phil and chef Rachel Ray, saw their own careers launched, thanks to the Midas Touch of Oprah Winfrey.

The countdown to end the "Oprah Winfrey Show" starts now, according to the queen of daytime talk show. - Markk

Up Close: Oprah Winfrey  The Oprah Winfrey Show: 20th Anniversary Collection  Oprah Winfrey: "I Don't Believe In Failure" (African-American Biography Library)

10.11.09

Will Google Blink When Murdoch Gives The Finger?


Who'll blink first? If there's anyone who can give Google the finger with a defiant look, it has to be media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

In an interview on Nov 9, Monday, with Sky News political editor David Speers, the News Corporation supremo said he plans to take his media sites off the radar of search engines.


That's right. He has suggested that News Corp is likely to make its content invisible to users on search engines like Google when it launches its paid content strategy.

At a recent media meeting in Beijing, it was reported that Mr Murdoch told Internet search engines that they should pay for news content and claimed that they were "stealing" from news sites such as Sky News and Fox News which are under the umbrella of News Corp.

We know he has been talking about making people pay for online news but this is the first time Mr Murdoch actually mentioned it in the interview that he is slamming the door on free news.

Would that hurt online news readers? Don't think so. There are so many other news sources on the Internet. Traditional print media looks like a sunset industry.

Funny thing is for a guy in his position, Mr Murdoch appears to be astonishingly out of touch with the industry he's in and shows little knowledge about the Internet.

If you listen closely to what he's saying in the interview, you might feel flabbergasted by the way he's rambling about his new plans to capture "quality audience" who are willing to pay for online news from his media sites.



The Empire Strikes Back

Makes you wonder whether he has lost it or is he dead serious that his empire is gonna strike back at Google. Would that make any difference to Big G?

And for the rest of us, we can go fly a kite! That's how it sounds like in his rambling.

Mr Murdoch has claimed that readers who randomly reach a page via search have little value to advertisers.

When it comes to making piles of moolah, who are we to question Mr Murdoch?

But. as we all know, newspaper revenues have crumbled and the recession has hit hard at the online ad market. Mr Murdoch's media empire, notwithstanding, is also taking some hard knocks revenue-wise.

What do you think? Will Mr Murdoch reach the end of the tunnel where there's light or is he heading in the wrong direction? - Markk

> What's eating the Associated Press?