Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The fragmentation of Google's +1

It’s pretty clear that Google’s +1 is going to be significant. Google is making it clear it is a ranking factor. The twist seems to be that there are many different types of +1

The content +1

The content +1 may be how most people think of the button. It’s present either as a button on a web page or as a Chrome extension.
In this scenario it seems easy to use the button as Google suggests; as a vote of confidence, as a way of saying that the content appeals to you and you want to give it some recognition.

The search +1

You can tap the +1 button while in the search results and before you examine any content. In this scenario the implied context is that you are +1ing a site in response to the search and in apparent recognition to the worthiness of the URL in relation to its position. You can also +1 PPC ads.

Of course, it’s possible that some searchers will click through into the content and then back again in order to +1 the results. Some might call that a bounce. Google may even show PPC ads again, adding one more impression, when people ‘re-search’ like that. There’s no suggestion that people are doing this in volume and if the content +1 takes off then it seems unlikely this behaviour will ever develop but it is certainly one to watch.

The share +1

In Google+ users are able to share URLs, drawing attention to the site and encouraging traffic and reshares. It is also possible to +1 those shares.
In this case it is not yet clear as to whether those +1s relate to the URL being shared or whether they relate to the share itself – perhaps encouraging the contribution to rise to the top of other Google+ users Streams.

It may well be the case that the share +1 becomes a little unpopular; viewed as the +1 ranking signal that very nearly landed on content but was snatched away by Google+ at the last minute... perhaps not but certainly another one to watch.

The surfaced +1

There are tools that help surface content and encourage users to +1 the suggestions then and there. One example is Google’s own Google Related bottom bar. It suggests news, images and sometimes video based on the content a user is currently on and reveals the +1 data associated with it.

In this scenario it seems almost certain that the +1 signal will be attributed to the suggested content but users are being asked, once again, to vote before they visit and study that content. As a result most users will +1 in the context of the recommendation rather than judging the content in isolation.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The £10,000 Twitter bet made and won by @poultrykeeper thanks to you

When I first saw PoultryKeeper as a retweet in my timeline I joined in the fun. I hit the retweet button too. I knew nothing about the count, suspected it might have been some obscure specialist retailer but it turns out to be a hobby site.

I've seen the tweet re-entire my timeline on a few more occassions. Here's the original.

It's safe to say that the boss is not going to collect on his £10. In fact, I wonder if he'll honour the bet at all. Twitter says more than 100+ people have retweeted the deal. gives us some extra insight. Some 386 "influential people" joined in the retweet messaging. The total number of retweets? Topsy estimates that at 20k.

What can we say? How about: well done.

Don't be one of those bosses.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Eric Schmidt's MacTaggart summary and stats

Eric Schmidt visited my home town to talk to the Edinburgh International Television Festival. It's an hour long lecture that starts at about 35m55s.

There are some interesting stats and trends from the presentation.


  • Globally 40% of Google Maps usage is mobile
  • 2 hours of YT video footage uploaded every minute from mobile devices
  • 48 hours uploaded every minute
  • 15% of searches are unique; every day
  • Average copyright removal time; 4 hours


  • Mobile, local and social - Google's trends
  • On demand
  • Recommendation engines

  • Social layer - such as Hangouts Google+, mutual watching
  • Will always be demand for realtime TV
  • Personalised ad models for TV - applying the first time air premium to indivual audience members rather than broadcasts

UK Insight

  • UK is the per capita ecommerce capital of the world
  • UK struggles to grow large companies

The video

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Not a hurricane, but a real person and @irene's Klout has soared

I feel sorry for @irene. It's cool that she has a Twitter handle that matches her first name. Right now, though, people like me are blogging and tweeting using her name in reference to the hurricane.

I thought it might be interesting to see what all this attention will do to @irene's social metrics. I logged into Klout so I could access her Klout over time graph. Irene's the blue line. No prizes for working out when the world started tweeting about her.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bottom bar wars

Once there was a toolbar battle. Companies like Yahoo paid companies like Dell big bugs in order to ensure that their toolbar was pre-loaded on Internet Explorer.

That battle as moved to the bottom of the screen. Right now you've social sites like Meboo that provide code for bloggers to enhance the very bottom of their screen with a bar, that remains on the bottom of the web page as users scroll down, with a host of social functions. Meboo is just one of many.

While checking out the new Digg Newswire I encountered yet another bottom bar clash. This is happening more and more. You'll have seen it for yourself. Digg's own bar is covered up by the Google Related bar.

Yes, Google is suggested that Bollywood videos and Hindi Movie web results are a good match for the news feed from Digg. It needs so much work.

Also in the corner, on the left, is OneTrueFan's bar - this appears due to the OneTrueFan widget I have installed. Once OneTrueFan had a bar that stretched across the bottom of the web page too but the agile startup took the wise decision of moving it to an unfolding, left-handside roll out, that retracts into the green flag. The green flag is smart enough to position itself above most bottom bar wars.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

No real-time BBC Tripoli search

This is yet another example of why real-time search was such a big deal. I only noticed how much of a big a deal it was once it was gone.

It's an important night in Libya and Tripoli. We've reports that the most important battle of the war so far is being fought. This could be the last battle. I've seen Twitter reports that Gaddafi is dead. In fact, tonight is a night to think about more important things than Search and Social - but I can't help my digital DNA.

I've turned to Google to search for [bbc tripoli] and the results are interesting.

There's an onebox with nearly 10,000 news results. I've never seen so many. In a few hours we may well be on the 10,000 mark.

The next result is another onebox with a link to news from the past 24 hours. This is good. This is news embedding - but it's not real time. It's 23 hours old.

What's next? Google gives me the BBC's weather report for Tripoli. What? Really? Amazing.

While real-time search was working I'd have a ticker of Twitter and other updates below those news results and I'd know what the BBC was reporting about Tripoli. Without it Google's not managed to satisify my search.

Monday, August 15, 2011

There is no Motorola

A Victor V phonograph, ca. 1907Image via WikipediaThe Galvin Manufacturing Corporation was born in 1928. The Victrola was the brand name for a range of phonographs, with a turntable and amplifying horn, which launched in 1906.

It seems both appropriate and spooky that it was the acquisition of patents that made Motorola possible. Paul Galvin, of the Galvin Manufacturing Corporation, picked up patents to the automotive radio and bought the rights to use the trade name Motorola - motor plus Victrola.

The trademark "Motorola" has been used since 1930.

The famous quote below was spoken over a Motorola Radio;

"... one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind."

Despite its fantastic history, Motorola has had to battle hard in recent years. At the start of 2011, Motorola, Inc, split itself in two. The successor to Motorola, Inc. was a company called Motorola Solutions. The spinoff half was known as Motorola Mobility.

It's Motorola Mobility that Google has said it is willing - and will try to buy - for $12.5bn. There are substantial "talks" with US regulators to go through first.

It's understandable that today's news is causing a buzz. People are speculating whether this buy is all about the patents. Certainly, in Larry Page's blog post he says;

Motorola has a history of over 80 years of innovation in communications technology and products, and in the development of intellectual property, which have helped drive the remarkable revolution in mobile computing we are all enjoying today.

(My emphasis)

It's certainly likely that patents played a significant role in this. I do wonder just which patents Motorola Solutions owned compared to the spin-off Motorola Mobility, though.

Could this be about the devices? Perhaps. I'm an Android fan and one of the frustrations I have with vendors is that they insist on putting their own touch to the software on the phones. It doesn't create an attractive USP for them. It just slows down, sometimes stops, the rollout of OS upgrades.

I wonder whether this determination to skin Android software that has been one of the biggest challenges in the development of Android Tablets.

So, Google's not bought Motorola; they've announced the intention to buy spin-off Motorola Mobility. It'll be exciting to find out what the real plans are.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Google pushing Facebook connections

This is an interesting SERP result from Google. Below the listing for Guava is a note that Facebook friend, Edward Cowell, shared the URL. He works for the agency.

I hadn't connected Facebook to my Google Profile. Google noticed and prompted. Can you imagine the impact of all those Google searches generating prompts like this will have on Google+ adoption, Profile growth and Google's ability to collect social data?

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Did Facebook do enough to stop Glasgow riots - or was it the community?

I was pointed at a Facebook group called Glasgow Riot FRIDAY 12TH AUGUST 2011 last night by a horrified colleague.

As you can see; that group is still there.

Last night it was easy to track down the Group’s creator. He had been busy adding people and was given a credit on the Group’s wall. His Facebook name was “first name surname (hang Neil Lennon). I’m not sure why I’m censoring the idiot’s name; but I am. This morning his Facebook page was gone. He is, however, back already with another account, using his full first name and a sectarian violence image as a profile picture.

So, what happened? Did Facebook finally spot the incitement to murder on the original Facebook page and decide to take the profile down. I don’t think so.

It worked too. The second account of our Glasgow idiot returned to say;

The thing to keep in mind is that Facebook’s Groups are stupid. The system is broken. You don’t join a Group. The Group joins you. All it takes is for one football idiot to add you to a riot group and you’re there.

Rather pleasingly, some people seem to have misjudged the reaction from their friends who they added to the group, perhaps, as a joke. The community is in conflict, not everyone thinks it’s a “laugh”.

I’m not sure Facebook took action on the original account at all. I think it was burnt by the owner once the police were involved. I’m sure plenty of people are reporting the group and perhaps some individuals as I blog so, hopefully, Facebook will act.

Let’s be clear. This is not a social media encourages riots post.

Watching the dramatic TV footage yesterday showed me just how many of these misguided kids were using bikes to zip about. Indeed, I heard at least one call to the BBC News which made mention of how the gangs were using bikes to move around quickly.

I’ve yet to see any tabloid suggest that bikes encourage or enable riots.

I also heard at least one call into BBC News, from a journalist on the ground, who described gangs of youths with mobile phones and “Facebook apps” coordinating the attacks. All I can say is that he must have been awfully close to recognise the Facebook app on the tiny mobile screen held by the rioter. I suspect he was generalising, or perhaps misunderstanding, but either scenario leads public opinion down the path of inaccuracy.

Monday, August 08, 2011

The evolution of the Hipster

I'm not fashionable enough to be a Hipster nor do I have the artistic skill that they all seem to possess. That said; I don't mind admitting to some empathy for the look. I've plenty of empathy for nonconformist sub-cultures even if the concept is essentially a self defeating spiral into irony.

The Hipster seems to be ever present in, near and around certain types of marketing agencies. As a result I found my attention drawn by Glove and Boots' "Evolution of the Hispter".