Whats big for search in 2009?

It’s time to think about the next web trends for 2009. In particular, how the various changes in web technology and user consumption and how it will affect digital marketing [in general] and more specifically search.

Here are my current thoughts which need expansion, discussion and challenging. What do you think will be big next year?

Personalisation

Alan Rothstein said it will be like BK, ‘Have it your way‘ with personalised news feeds etc. but I feel we have already got there [or has the average joe not yet hooked onto personalisation?] and we have seen the new Google voting functions trialled in various places. Will this actively make a difference in 2009?

Semantics

Will 2009 see the search engines able to understand what is being said? I wrote before that 3.0 will be swimming in the content rather than surfing on top of the content [and not understanding] – will that really take hold in 2009? Who or what will lead this understanding? Is Gaudi the way forward?

Platforms

Mobile web consumption rocketed this year. Google launches ‘proper’ apps for iphone, Blackberry and N96. Google launches Android today. Will this force us to really look at mobile search as a seperate business channel?

Players

Will Google be the only news in 2009? What about Cuil? I was slated for my opinions of Cuil being the future and I still stand by this argument. My argument is that Cuil is so radically different that it might just work. And if it doesn’t will it be the trojan horse for a new way to index the web and search the results. Or are we done for good? Is the Google index and results layout nirvana?

A Google Yahoo tie up? What about a Google Yahoo tie up? Apart from centralised buying, greater monetisation of search results and healthier balance sheets for Yahoo or Micrsoft, will t his really have an impact on the search landscape?

Peer Group

Twitter in particular has seen massive growth in the past 12 months. Brands are using Twitter as a means to connect with their audience [or are they?] – should we be looking at Twitter [and Jaiku, Identi.ca, seesmic etc.] ? Can brands actively harness this audience and define it as search?

What have I missed? I suspect I will be back to add to this in due course. What do you think?

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The opinions expressed on Innovation Station are those of their authors and may not endorsed by, nor representative of associated companies or employers.

Google can hear you…

There were two announcements last week, both [I believe] centred around technology listening.

Google announces GAUDI [blog | site][Google Audio Indexing] which works on listening to words in Youtube videos, and indexing the results. Showcased for the presidential election videos, it claims to be able to listen to the video content and index accordingly, with current examples showing where in the video context the requested term appears.

This has quite massive implications for natural search moving forward. Traditionally, the wave of video content has mainly meant a boost in traffic and eyeballs but with little understanding of ‘what’ the content was actually about. This new indexing will start to open up the whole mass of online videos for potential indexing which could in turn boost the search databases of Google.

But it’s not just words Google is listening to. A recent short video posting to YouTube I made included a commercial song from ‘Bachman Turner Overdrive’ . The song ‘taking care of business’ was recognised by YouTube within half an hour of uploading and I was sent an automated email stating,

Your video “Lotus Elise, on Suffolk country roads” has been identified by YouTube‘s Content Identification program as containing copyrighted content which UMG claims is theirs.

Your video “Lotus Elise, on Suffolk country roads” is still available because UMG does not object to this content appearing on YouTube at this time. As long as UMG has a claim on your video, they will receive public statistics about your video, such as number of views. Viewers may also see advertising on your video’s page.

I would suggest to be able to spot the track within 30 minutes must take some serious firepower.

The other audio indexing was the launch of itunes Genius Bar with the release of itunes 8. The Genius bar I suspect listens to the audio content of the song and matches similar tracks. So, ‘She’s Waiting‘ by Eric Clapton’ is followed by ‘Inside Out‘ by Phil Collins. Both songs work well together. Another example, Pink Floyd’s ‘What do you want from me’ was coupled next to David Gilmour’s ‘Raise my Rent‘ – both sounding shockingly similar.

The Genius bar needs some more investigation as I may be way off the mark. What I am hoping is that Genius is indeed listening so we have a new form of recommendation not based purely on the law of numbers utilized by Last FM et. al.

I mentioned before that web 3.0 will be the listening and and understanding of content [see from Google to Goggles and ‘if 2.0 was surfing, 3.0 is swimming

So is this the first significant bastion of web 3.0?

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The opinions expressed on Innovation Station are those of their authors and may not endorsed by, nor representative of associated companies or employers.

3 steps to downloading BBC iplayer programmes on a mac

Mac users always seem to be bottom of the pile for new software developments. The new Google Chrome software [blog, download]has yet to be released for the mac and the wonderful BBC iPlayer service does not allow you to download programmes on the mac, instead you have to settle for streaming content.

However, with the help of three little steps, you can be enjoying the best BBC content on the mac. The steps below are all published elsewhere online so I am not taking credit [or responsibility!] for this method. I can say, however that it works a treat and now means, as a UK TV licence payer, I can enjoy the best of the BBC iplayer on my mac. In fact, this tool downloads the file in .mov file meaning I can watch it from my Apple TV – even better!

So..

1. Change your browser. The iplayer page sniffs your browser to identify which platform you are surfing from. As a mac user, you fall at the first hurdle, unless you have the right Firefox plug in. Called the ‘User Agent Switcher‘ this handy little plug in allows you to emulate different browser/operating system combinations. Install this and change the setting to Internet Explorer 7/Windows Vista [find it in the tools menu]. This will change the iplayer options from streaming to downloading.

2. However, clicking on the download link will only bring up the iplayer installer window which is no use. So we need a piece of software to help this. The iplayer downloader from Lawrence Dudley is what you need. Download the software here. Install the software and fire it up.

3. Visit the iPlayer site and select the show you wish to watch. Now watch the url at the top. Each show has a dedicated url, e.g. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00dlr2j/ – copy this link and paste it into the iplayer download. Hit download and watch the file come down. Once it is downloaded, it is yours to watch as a .mov file.

I am not sure how well known this little workaround is. I found it by following a thread on Boing Boing.

You can also keep up to date with changes at Beebhack while we wait for BBC engineers to catch up and deliver the official iplayer for mac.

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The opinions expressed on Innovation Station are those of their authors and may not endorsed by, nor representative of associated companies or employers.

Windows Mobile seems so dated…

Its been a while since I bought a gadget, so the Friday sales at Expansys have been catching my eye. If you haven’t seen them, every Friday between 11 and 4 Expansys sell one product line at crazy prices.

Two weeks ago it was Slingbox, last week it was the turn of the UBiQUiO pocket PC. To be honest, I hadn’t heard of the brand before but it runs Windows Mobile so I thought it can’t be too bad. The price was pretty special as well, £85, down from the £250.

It came unlocked so I can easily slip in a sim card and off we go. I have got as far as firing it up and thinking, ‘wow, that interface looks tired’. From my untrained eye, it looks as if the windows mobile interface hasn’t moved on in ten years.

I have plans to road test it this evening so I am hoping for good things…

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The opinions expressed on Innovation Station are those of their authors and may not endorsed by, nor representative of Cheeze Ltd. Cheeze Ltd. is not liable for the opinions expressed on this blog.

Initial Video from a Lotus Elise

Matt & I went for a drive on Friday night to the Lotus garage. We went in Matt’s Elise so I used the opportunity to trial some video footage. This results [below] was my first attempt using hand held N95 and some quick and basic editing.

I am also using this as a trial for tubemogul.com which I am very impressed with. More on Tubemogul.com as the week progresses.

The opinions expressed on Innovation Station are those of their authors and may not endorsed by, nor representative of Cheeze Ltd. Cheeze Ltd. is not liable for the opinions expressed on this blog.

Microsoft launches ‘softer’ ad… misses point

In Microsoft’s latest attempt to ‘bring sexy back’ to the computing world [or at least get an Apple level of brand love] involves hiring Jerry Seinfeld to produce some new ads.

Check out the first one. It just seems to miss the point completely.. and I thought Bill Gates had left?

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The opinions expressed on Innovation Station are those of their authors and may not endorsed by, nor representative of Cheeze Ltd. Cheeze Ltd. is not liable for the opinions expressed on this blog.

Browser Wars Reignite

Official Google Blog: A fresh take on the browser

Looking forward to seeing the new Chrome browser. Whilst I love Firefox and always worry [slightly] about Google’s power, they do produce some good stuff.

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The opinions expressed on Innovation Station are those of their authors and may not endorsed by, nor representative of Cheeze Ltd. Cheeze Ltd. is not liable for the opinions expressed on this blog.

Index Tools gets aquired, stops taking sign ups

Yahoo demonstrate, yet again, their total inability to integrate quickly. Index Tools – an industry leading web analytics tool & bid management suite was acquired by Yahoo back in April. Since then, Index Tools has had greater press and interest than ever before but Yahoo decided to close access to new subscribers, whilst they watch the purchase value plumment.

Regrettably this is another example of Yahoo completely fail at integration.

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Inserting tracking code into blogger

Dusting off Blogger yet again, I needed to implement the new Analytics code from Google. But despite best efforts, I cannot find nor remember how to implement the code. I have checked the blogger guides and the analytics guides, both to no end.

I had a look at the plug ins which seem to be littered with spam and little else.

Can anyone help?

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The opinions expressed on Innovation Station are those of their authors and may not endorsed by, nor representative of Cheeze Ltd. Cheeze Ltd. is not liable for the opinions expressed on this blog.