Google Phone is a “Go” for Launch; Yahoo Go Isn’t

It seems that it’s not just search that we see such disparity between Yahoo and Google–there’s a huge chasm between them in the mobile space too!

Google, emboldened by the early success of Droid, is moving forward with plans to build its own phone. While its Android platform is powering new cell phones–such as the Droid–Google doesn’t design the actual hardware.

That’s going to change early next year.

TechCrunch doesn’t have any more details that what we reported a month back, but there’s plenty of speculation and rumor to share:

YouTube Helps YouReport

youtube-logoWhile there is always some information to discuss about how the news will be consumed via the free model online or through a myriad of paywalls another area of the news industry is changing just as rapidly. News reporting is still the domain (for the most part) of the professional journalist but the amateur news reporter is becoming more and more desired. YouTube recognizes this and is offering a service to help get the amateurs and the pros connected.

The New York Times reports

YouTube has signed up NPR, Politico, The Huffington Post and The San Francisco Chronicle for YouTube Direct, a new method for managing video submissions from readers.

Google Image Swirl in Labs Now

Image Swirl LogoGoogle continues to play around in the lab trying to come up with something to create a better end user experiment. They sure seem busy over there in Mountain View because it doesn’t seem that there’s a day that goes by without some new service being announced. Today, it’s the Google labs offering called Image Swirl which is a different way to help group images in a search so they can be more readily sifted through. I think it’s pretty neat. Doesn’t set the world on fire but it’s neat.

The Official Google blog proclaims

The Evolution of Blogging

Oh, how I wish this was a cool YouTube video that could go viral. But it’s not. Instead, it’s some pretty interesting research by PostRank on how reader engagement in blogging has evolved over the last three years.

Not so surprisingly, trackbacks as a means of joining the conversation have dropped off in favor of taking the discussion to Twitter or other social sites. Over the last there years, trackbacks have dropped from 19% of total engagement to 3%, while social networks have soared from <1% to 29%.

This is indicative of the larger trend—the move to engagement off the site itself:
on-vs-offsite-eng
On-site engagement is down 50%, but total engagement engagement is still high—the conversation has just moved onto Facebook, Twitter and other social networks because of the “Share this” phenomenon.

SMBs Abandoning Banners

According to a recent survey by email marketing company VerticalResponse, small and medium businesses are wising up to online marketing. For their 2010 plans, they’re big into SEM, social media and email marketing—but interest in banner ads is quickly waning.

54.2% of SMBs do not plan to use banner ads online next year. Of those that are currently using banner ads, less than 20% of businesses with 11-100 employees reported increasing their banner spend this year (and about 7% of businesses with <10 employees).

A few other advertising media aren’t doing so well. 23.8% of SMBs aren’t looking at paid or natural SEM. Conversely, some 96% plan to use email marketing in 2010, and more than a third of SMBs surveyed are planning to increase their email spending “by a lot” in the coming year. But the big losses come in TV and radio, which has long been a strong seller for local advertising: 79.6% are not planning to use TV, and 72.7% won’t be using radio advertising.

American Airlines Fires Employee for Being Transparent

What is it with airlines?

If they’re not breaking guitars, their pilots are missing airports, or they’re berating people that are trying to help them.

Well, we have one more reputation disaster to add to the list, courtesy of American Airlines.

You may recall the open letter web designer Dusting Curtis wrote to the airline. In it, Curtis suggested that AA was losing millions because of its poorly designed web site. He even went as far as suggesting a new design for the site.

Shortly after, one of AA’s designers took it upon himself to reply and explain the complexities of AA web site design decisions. His reply was open, honest…radically transparent.

American Airlines has allegedly fired him for it!

Things That Should Never Go Together: Pickles & Ice Cream, Time Warner & AOL

Sometimes, what looks like it will be as tasty as chocolate and peanut butter, ends up tasting more like pickles and ice cream. Nothing matches that last culinary disaster better than the merger of AOL and Time Warner.

Well, on December 9th, that union will be no more.

You can read the wordy Time Warner press release, but you’ll probably either fall asleep or your head will explode, before you reach the end. Instead, we’ll turn to trusty Reuters to translate the announcement into plain English:

Time Warner shareholders of record on Nov. 27 will receive an AOL stock dividend for every 11 shares of Time Warner common stock they hold…Based on the closing price of Time Warner’s stock at $32.35 and its 1.17 billion outstanding shares, the ratio would effectively value AOL’s market capitalization at around $3.44 billion…AOL common stock will begin trading on a ‘when-issued’ basis on the New York stock Exchange on Nov. 24 and will start trading under the ‘AOL’ symbol on Dec. 10.