Linky Goodness, February 22

It’s a linky party!

Internet Twice as Popular as TV

A new study from IDC indicates that on average people spend 32.7 hours online a week and only 16.4 hours watching television. Newspapers and magazines get only 3.9 hours of our attention. IDC surveyed 992 Americans aged 15 years and older.

But does this actually mean that the Internet is twice as popular as television? I wouldn’t say that just yet. The total weekly media consumption comes to 70.6 hours in the survey. The press release also doesn’t indicate whether there was simultaneous media consumption.

Barring simultaneous consumption, with seven hours of sleep a night and eight hours of work a day, that leaves about an hour a day for everything other than media consumption. I’d like to think that even I don’t consume that much media in my spare time. The study doesn’t specify whether these hours are only “leisure” time—and I’m gonna bet that most people can’t get away with channel surfing during work.

Will Microsoft Resurrect Natural Language Search?

Could Microsoft’s push toward speech based data entry bring natural language search to the forefront? According to an AP article:

People will increasingly interact with computers using speech or touch screens rather than keyboards, Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates said.

“It’s one of the big bets we’re making,” he said during the final stop of a farewell tour before he withdraws from the company’s daily operations in July.

In five years, Microsoft expects more Internet searches to be done through speech than through typing on a keyboard, Gates told about 1,200 students and faculty members Thursday at Carnegie Mellon University.

Speech based searches may not necessarily mean natural language searches. For example, I could speak the phrase “search: hd tv” into my computer and fulfill the requirements of speech data entry without fulfilling the requirements for a natural language search.

Free Book Signing & Speaking at SMX West

If you’ve made plans to attend Danny Sullivan’s SMX West next week, I hope you’ll join me for an exclusive book signing.

Radically Transparent: Monitoring and Managing Reputations is starting to ship and I’ll have 50 free copies to sign and give away at SMX West.

The book signing is sponsored by Aquent–you can thank them for the free books–and will take place at their booth on Wednesday 27th at 6pm.

As well as the book giveaway, you can catch me speaking on the following panels:

  • Reputation Monitoring & Management Through Search – What do people find when they search for you by name? Is it negative? If so, what do you do? What can you do? Depending on the situation, there are a range of tactics that may help. This session explores the issue.

Linky Goodness, February 21

I don’t know about you, but after the last two days of linky gooey goodness, I’m ready for a diet. But that doesn’t mean skimping on the links!

Yet Another FeedBurner Subscriber Count Glitch

It’s always a sad day for me when one of the first things I see on the Internet is that my personal blog subscriber count has taken a major hit—and today my numbers were down more than 50% off yesterday. I checked around, and while there aren’t too many blogs that I keep tabs on their subscriber numbers, all of the ones that I have a clue about seem to have taken a hit, too. (So I got to feel a little better ;) .)

Luckily, we know that this isn’t the first time that FeedBurner has had this problem. A quick check of yesterday’s and today’s subscriber information reveals that this glitch is the same as the last couple times around in November of last year. The cause: Google Feedfetcher numbers suddenly disappearing. FeedBurner appears to be a bit of an enabler in their explanation last year:

Underdog Ask.com Grows 20% in January

According to comScore data released today, Ask.com had the biggest jump in search queries. By that measurement, Ask had more growth than Google, MSN, or Yahoo last month (January 2008) compared to the prior month’s volume.

Ask has a small piece of search market share but they have been a leader in universal search. That is, they integrate search results for more than web sites – but for images, video, local information, news, blogs, and other media. Ask got further into social media integration with their recently launched social news aggregation site BigNews.

Of course, Ask occupies a tiny sliver of the overall search volume. Here’s the breakdown on the top 4 search engines:

  • Google Sites – 7.7 billion searches (comScore says Google got 58.4% of searches in January)