Alan’s Angle – Can We Blame Yahoo! for Hoping?

Yahoo! has definitely been the most active player this week and, as far as their announcements are concerned, I’d label one of them as “entertaining”, yet two as “quite interesting”.

I have found their optimism this week to be extremely entertaining since, let’s face it: given the current state of the US economy, one cannot help but be amused when a billion dollar company in their situation claims to be able to double their cash flow in as little as three years. Being optimistic is one thing, but given the current circumstances, their claims are not exactly what one would call realistic.

Linky Goodness, March 21

Happy Friday!! Some links to get you off on your weekend:

Now go have fun. You know, after work.

24% Can’t Find Google

This week, usability guru Jakob Nielsen asks: “How difficult is it to perform a search on Google?

No, really. How hard is it? We know the search box in the upper right hand corner of your screen can get there. We know that in the address bar can get there. But, sadly, Nielsen’s study indicated that at least 24% of Internet users don’t know that. It hurts me just to type it.

A quarter of Internet users said they wanted to search Google for something, but when placed in front of a computer, couldn’t figure it out. “Instead, they either completely failed to get to any search engine or ended up running their query on a different search engine — usually whatever type-in field happened to be at hand.”

Grammys 2.0 – The YouTube Video Awards

YouTube has announced the winners of the YouTube Video Awards, which gives bragging rights and fame to the top user-created videos of 2007. It also notes they’ll be invited to an event later this year – without details of what that will entail.

As an aside I think this could be huge and more fun than the Sundance Film Festival. The un-stars could wear ridiculously normal clothes and walk backwards down a white carpet. And rather than glamour and wealth on display it would be authenticity. Also, why not give internet reporters (like Rocketboom’s Joanne Colan) a chance to emcee the event.

But, back to the winners (which are unknowns and will probably be a whole different crop next year rather than the same old crowd) and time to plan a video party to watch them all.

Google Loses Wireless Auction, But Wins Anyway

While it would have been interesting to see what Google would have done, if it had won some of the new wireless airwaves, the company’s satisfied with it’s role as disrupter.

As Reuters reports

Nevertheless, the auction was seen as a victory for Google, since the bidding was high enough to trigger the “open-platform” rules it requested for the nationwide airwaves eventually won by Verizon.

Google called it a victory for American consumers. “Consumers soon should begin enjoying new, Internet-like freedom to get the most out of their mobile phones and other wireless devices,” said a statement from Google lawyers Richard Whitt and Joseph Faber.

As we reported yesterday, Verizon Wireless, AT&T Inc and Frontier Wireless, took the lion’s share of new airwaves. The auctions raised a record $19.12 billion for the government.

New York Bill Could Cripple Google et al’s Personal Data Collection

By David Snyder

A New York assemblyman has put together a bill that if passed will make it a punishable offense for certain Web companies to collect personal information about their users for advertising purposes without their consent. Richard L. Brodsky, the assemblyman who sponsored the bill, stated, “Should these companies be able to sell or use what’s essentially private data without permission? The easy answer is absolutely not.”

Such a law would be the first of its kind in the United States, setting a precedent that will undoubtedly shake companies such as Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, whose sponsored search platforms rely on such information.

If passed users would have to give explicit permission for companies to be able to utilize their personal data, such as search patterns.

Trackur’s Online Reputation Monitoring Now Just $18

Trackur LogoHaving successful launched Trackur–and watching it withstand 700+ users–it’s time to make it even more affordable to the masses. There’s no reason why every individual or company shouldn’t be monitoring the internet for discussions about their reputation.

So, I’m pleased to announce that you can now monitor your reputation, competition, industry trends, conference news, etc for just $18 a month!

Think about how much you spend to market your company, advertise on Google, or keep investors happy. Now ask yourself how can you not afford to spend sixty cents a day to protect that investment?

Still not convinced? Take Trackur for a test drive for 14 days for free!

Trackur Screenshot