Google’s Sergey Brin Says “I did not try to buy Twitter”

I know that this video of Google co-founder Sergey Brin at Web 2.0 Summit is widely circulating the interwebz, but not everyone is taking the time to watch it and highlight the interesting sound bites.

Here are some of the choicest quotes from Brin:

"I did not try to buy Twitter"

Admitted that AdWords was "a very lucrative revenue stream" although that wasn’t always the case.

"The internet is disproportionately efficient" as an advertising platform, compared to traditional advertising platforms.

Avoided answering a question about whether Google would build Android hardware.

"Bing has reminded us that search is a very competitive market."

"It’s a shame that Yahoo plans to abdicate" from search.

Doesn’t agree that Google is "stealing" from traditional news outlets such as the Associated Press.

Twitter Responsible for British Economic Woes?

Twitter iconHeadline seem like it’s over the top? Maybe a little but a report has been released making the claim that Twitter costs the British economy 1.38 billion pounds on an annual basis. That’s a boat load of pounds! (We miss you Carol. Please say something outrageous soon, please!).

Regular readers will know how I tend to be a skeptic first on any surveys / research / reports that claim anything because let’s face it, most things are hard to quantify and even harder to draw definitive conclusions from. This one, which was reported in the Telegraph, set off the ‘Research Report Red Light’ quickly but it sounded just silly enough to look into further. The report says

Champagne Pops at Yahoo as Carl Icahn Resigns Board Position

The single biggest PITA for Yahoo has decided to leave his board position.

If you’re not aware of just how disruptive the self-labeled "activist investor" Carl Icahn has been, a quick review of our archives should bring you up to speed.

It appears that Carl Icahn isn’t happy unless he’s getting his way, and for all intents and purposes, he’s had his way with Yahoo. After criticizing the company for not selling to Microsoft, forcing his way onto the board of directors, then dumping a bunch of shares, our prediction that he was about to bail, has come true.

In a parting statement, Icahn appears to offer legitimate praise for Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz:

Is Facebook’s Reconnect a Trick or a Treat?

JOLWith Halloween looming in the very near future one wonders if the ‘reconnect’ feature’s algorithm doesn’t have a little bit of ‘All Hallow’s Eve’ mischief in it or is programmed for the macabre. Either way it is managing to upset more than a few Facebook users with suggestions that border on the, well, bizarre.

Mashable shares with us some of the experiences that have been reported as a result of the Facebook ‘improvement’.

Unfortunately Facebook’s algorithms can’t account for some less desirable scenarios: according to Twitter reports, the site is recommending that users reconnect with ex-girlfriends and ex-boyfriends. It’s recommending they reconnect with their (current) husband or wife. It’s even advising people to reconnect with friends who have died, causing obvious distress. These aren’t isolated cases: there are scores of Twitter reports of these issues.

What Can Brown Do for Social Media?

While this UPS sponsored video at Mashable is slick, I’m scratching my head over it.

Aside from the fact that it’s extremely basic–which is probably UPS’s intent–I’m just not making the connection between a courier service and social media.

Can anyone help me out? Why is UPS sponsoring this?

Cup of Joe: Create Great Content or Hardcore Pornography?

You ever have one of those moments when you say something so crazy and off the wall that it has got to be true? For me this happens without me even giving a second thought about it because, to be honest, most of the time it tends to be exactly how I feel–and being sincere is what this whole thing is about, right? So today’s story is about being sincere and having high standards.

Google Reader Adds More Suggestions and MAGIC!

No, seriously, they added magic.

As you’ve probably noticed today, Google Reader has added a few new features. The first is the Explore section, just below the People you follow section. Here, Google shows off two sources of new feeds: Popular Items and Recommended Sources. As you might guess, the Recommended Sources feature analyzes your feeds (via Reader Trends) and Web History to find feeds you might like. (This is the old Recommendations feature.) Popular Items highlights “top-rising images, videos and pages from anywhere (not just your subscriptions).” It identifies these items algorithmically (how else?) and sorts them in the order they think you’ll like them.

The magic isn’t just in the mind reading, however. It’s also in the feed settings: now we can order items by newest, oldest or . . . magic.