YouTube Video Rentals on Tap

YouTube is always on the prowl to find ways to make money off the gazillion gaziggawatts of video that it already has and is always collecting. As with most online services this quest for revenue is an ongoing battle that requires considerable creativity as well as a lot of experimentation. On Friday YouTube will roll out its online video rental option as one of those attempts to add to Google’s coffers.

The Wall Street Journal tells us

Google Inc.’s YouTube said it will begin testing a new online video service on Friday, entering the rental turf of other technology giants such as Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc.

Boing Boing Bing: Was Bing Up or Down for Dec?

Two out of three online measurement firms agree: Bing lost ground in December. Experian Hitwise and Nielsen saw Bing’s search share decrease from November, while comScore saw it grow.

comScore saw Bing grow 4% from 10.3% to 10.7% (and Yahoo, Ask & the rest lost some). Hitwise, however, reported that Bing saw a 4% decrease in December (0.42 percentage points, coming in at 8.92%), as did Yahoo (0.56 percentage points, now 14.83%) and Ask (0.11 percentage points, now 2.54%). Google, naturally, grew 1% (0.68 percentage points, 72.25%). Nielsen reported an 8% drop in Bing’s share (0.8 percentage points, 9.9%), while Yahoo saw a 6% drop (0.9 percentage points, 14.4%).

New York Times Announces Pay Meter for 2011

After a long debate, the New York Times has officially settled on an online pay model and and implementation timeline. The meter system will be introduced at the beginning of next year.

The model will allow users to access a certain number of articles free each month. After the set viewing threshold, users will be required to pay. Print subscribers will have free access online. Says the Times:

This will enable NYTimes.com to create a second revenue stream and preserve its robust advertising business. It will also provide the necessary flexibility to keep an appropriate ratio between free and paid content and stay connected to a search-driven Web.

Bing! Is That Apple Calling?

Yesterday I looked at the idea that Microsoft was playing the nice corporate citizen to a European group by agreeing to purge data from their search engine after 6 months and then asking for their competitors to do the same. How chivalrous. Well, today there are reports that Microsoft is just fine with letting others drive the Internet car for them because they are being viewed as a pawn in the growing battle between Google and Apple.

How is that you ask? There are discussions underway to replace Google as the default search for the iPhone with bing. Gee, I wonder where that came from? Could it be this little scuffle about the whole mobile market and this Nexus One / Android / moving in on the iPhone territory approach that Google is taking? Boy, once Eric Schmidt left the board of Apple it looks like the stuff has hit the fan.

No Twitter IPO Until Whale Season Ends

"We’ve raised all this money. We’ve created this global brand…Now we have to go build the business that lives up to that valuation."

Twitter COO, Dick Costolo, January 20, 2010

And that, my friend, is why we won’t see a Twitter IPO this year. That, and this really obscure New Yorker reference:

“My view of our financial future is like that old New Yorker cover where the New Yorker looks at the view of the United States and the IPO is way out west somewhere,” Costolo said yesterday during a panel discussion at Bloomberg’s San Francisco bureau. “Bronx and Queens are our 2010 financial plan, and that’s what we’re focused on right now.”

You Say Potato, Google Says Starchy Tuberous Crop

My mind went numb, digesting Google’s lengthy explanation on how it’s improved its understanding of synonyms.

I’ll spare you the minutes–and brain cells–with my summary of the announcement:

Google knows when two words are semantically connected–such as "pictures" and "photos." It now plans to bold those synonyms in its search results, if it believes it’s pertinent to the search you just conducted.

If Google’s explanation of its code is anything like its actual code, it must be very bloated! ;-)

Kidding aside, it’s actually a pretty smart piece of technology. Take "gm" for example. Google knows that, depending on the accompanying search queries, gm can mean different things. This screenshot explains it best:

Unfortunately, despite my witty post title, a search for "starchy tuberous crop" did not reveal any results for potato. :-(

Posterous Has a Coke Zero and a Smile

When I saw this ‘announcement’ I really wanted to check into what was going on because it involved a brand I have been a lifelong fanatic of (Coca Cola) and one that I have recently started to really enjoy, Posterous.

While I sometimes wonder why people get so attached to brands and think it’s a little weird, I have to admit that I am almost over the top with my Coke addiction (go ahead and snicker and insert silly drug reference here). I actually refuse to drink other soda products unless there is literally no other choice. Also, I just like the logo and the sense of Americana it carries. Of course, with the amount of aspartame I have ingested drinking Diet Coke for years I will likely prove those lab rats correct but, hey, everyone has to check out of here for some reason, right?