Why Yahoo is Like a Box of Chocolates

Quite simply? You never know what you’re going to get with Yahoo these days.

Yesterday, the search engine web portal tried to jump on the Google interface redesign with a pitiful attempt to point out all the cool features it has in common with the new design. Unfortunately, Yahoo gave up on search when it handed the keys over to Microsoft, so no one really cares what it does in search anymore.

Then today, Yahoo launches a new ad blitz–aimed at distancing itself from the blandness of Google. Really, Yahoo? Either you’re in the game or not. As the famous Yoda once said: “Do, or do not, there is no try!”

Anyway, back to the new ad campaign. Apparently Yahoo plans to spend boatloads of cash on promoting its new slogan: “Your favorite stuff all in one place. Make Yahoo your home page.”

More Groups “Like” Targeting Facebook on Privacy Concerns

As I watch more news come out daily about another group that is attacking Facebook for privacy issues or how Facebook has another privacy gaffe I can’t help but wonder. Did Facebook expect this kind of furious backlash and figured it would take time before people just forgot about it or are they genuinely surprised at just how pissed people are around their apparent lack of concern for users privacy?

Maybe this wouldn’t be nearly as bad if Facebook had done what Chief Facebooker Mark Zuckerberg thought would’ve been better from the start which was to have no privacy measures in place. Of course, maybe Facebook wouldn’t have become so wildly popular if it wasn’t “private” at least at one point in time.

Alert! Google Loses a Deal Like a Normal Company!

Well, maybe this signals the beginning of the end. Maybe this is the sign of the end times. Maybe, just maybe, there is a chance that things like losing deals happen for Google just like, gulp, the rest of the business world.

Despite big wins in the past year like the city of Los Angeles moving to Google Apps for e-mail and more it appears that Google is not just gonna steamroll their way into enterprise accounts normally reserved for Microsoft.

Mashable reports

The University of California – Davis has stopped using Gmail for its 30,000-member staff and faculty body. The university was trying Gmail for faculty and staff with plans to roll out service to the entire campus. But school officials say this email system isn’t secure or private enough to meet their standards.

Google to Sell eBooks As Soon As Next Month

It’s no secret: Google’s been working toward selling eBooks for over a year (with their intentions public since BEA last May). And now it looks like they’re almost there, according to the Wall Street Journal. The search giant could enter the battle against Amazon, Apple, et al., in late June or July.

Despite rumors to the contrary, Google isn’t looking to fight the Kindle, however (or yet?). Although they partnered with the makers of the COOL-ER e-reader in September, Google plans to offer a bookstore that’s platform-independent, the WSJ reports. But no proprietary devices isn’t the only departure from the Amazon/Kindle model:

Google says users will be able to buy digital copies of books they discover through its book-search service. It will also allow book retailers—even independent shops—to sell Google Editions on their own sites, giving partners the bulk of the revenue.

Google Analytics Gets Apps

All the cool kids have apps these days, and Google Analytics doesn’t want to be the last to the party. Yesterday at the eMetrics Summit (and on the Google Analytics blog), Google announced several additions to its Analytics offerings, including better integration with AdWords and a Google Analytics App Gallery.

The App Gallery premieres with almost 40 apps, targeting everything from phone call tracking, to widgets, to enhanced reporting tools. Google’s examples include “tools like Excellent Analytics, which lets you work with your Analytics data in an Excel spreadsheet, and the Analyticator for WordPress, which automatically implements Google Analytics across your entire WordPress site.”

Expanding Google Analytics and its features, of course, can be a great way to enhance the offerings, and maybe make it more competitive with paid packages.

It Has to Be Said: New Google Interface Looks Just Like Bing’s

Welcome to the newly designed Bing.com search engine:

OK, I’m teasing. The above is a screenshot of the much rumored–and now officially launched–new interface for Google.

Look, I know. Google didn’t just roll out this new design because of the interface Bing uses. I know this is not in response to Bing gaining market-share. I know that Google has been testing this interface for a while.

But, that’s not the story I’d be telling the media, if I were Bing. Nooooo!

I’d be on the phone, sending email, and doing just about everything and anything to ensure that the media makes the–somewhat tenuous–connection between Google’s new interface and the one Bing launched last year.

Why not?

Invidi Takes Google’s Money; Avoids Being Stripped for Parts

They Don't Make Trucks Like This Anymore!What do you do when you want to invest in alternative advertising models for television but haven’t exactly seen a lot of success in that channel?

The answer?

Don’t buy a risky start-up, when you can invest in it and share some of that risk with other venture capital firms. If it succeeds–and you happen to be Google–you can sweep-in and acquire the company. If it fails, you don’t have to put up with the press giving you a hard time about yet another failure.

And, that’s exactly the approach Google has taken with Invidi–a start-up that’s hoping to find a better TV ad model: