Does Gaming Teach Business Skills?

A few days ago, if someone had asked me whether gaming makes a person more business-savvy, I would have been inclined to laugh and say, “No way.”

However, a study released this week by computer giant IBM and enterprise software company Seriosity, Inc., might prove that the old phrase “life is just a game” is more accurate than previously thought. The study (.pdf file) indicates that the skills learned through playing online games actually could develop strengths used for success in the business world.

Jim Spohrer, Director of Services Research at IBM’s Almaden, California location, had this to stay:

”What we’ve found is that success as a business leader may depend on skills as a gamer. … Smart organizations are recognizing valued employees who play online games and apply their skills and experiences as virtual leaders to their ‘real world’ jobs.”

Google Gives ‘Sicko’ Two Thumbs Down

Readers of Google’s Health Advertising Blog awoke this morning to a post that has stirred up both confusion and controversy. Lauren Turner, Account Planner for Google Health, has boldly gone where no Google blog has gone before by putting on some movie critic shoes and attacking Michael Moore’s “Sicko.”

Several Google Blogoscoped readers were shocked by Turner’s blog post – to the point that some of them became suspicious that the post was a phony created by a hacker. It didn’t help that the email address in the post – googlehealthadvertisingblog google.com – doesn’t seem to exist. (I tried sending them an email myself and received an error.) Additionally, there is no way for readers to leave comments on the site itself.

German Gmail Users, Achtung!

If you live in Germany and you are a Gmail user, it might be time to start considering backing up any important emails. A post over at Google Blogoscoped reported yesterday that Google is threatening to discontinue Gmail due to a recently passed German law.

The Blogoscoped article states:

”According to this law, email services [in Germany] will be forced to maintain personally identifiable records attached to email accounts. What exactly this might mean for Google I don’t know, but perhaps it would result in Gmail having to start requiring full addresses (and perhaps even having to verify an address by sending a snail mail to the user).”

The news was originally reported by the German news source Heise Online. The Heise article, which is written completely in German, can be found here.

Is It the End of the eCommerce World as We Know It?

By Brittany Thompson

The New York Times stirred up a bit of controversy today by publishing an article claiming that the eCommerce industry is slowing down. Referring to the current state of online sales as “the Dot Calm Era,” the article uses current trends, research statistics and even word-of-mouth to back this theory.

“Growth in online sales has also dropped dramatically in diverse categories like health and beauty products, computer peripherals and pet supplies,” the article states. “Analysts say it is a turning point and growth will continue to slow through the decade.”

YouTube Gets Remixed and Goes Mobile

By Brittany Thompson

Yesterday, YouTube visitors were greeted with a message hinting that a new mobile feature was “Coming Soon.” Today, YouTube unveiled not one but TWO new features: YouTube Mobile and YouTube Remixer.

The new services were first noticed in two separate forum discussions over at Google Blogoscoped. The first post highlights the new YouTube Mobile technology, which is available at m.youtube.com. I hopped over there to check it out and was greeted by an ominous warning page, which cautions users to “upgrade to an unlimited data plan” with their cellular companies before using YouTube Mobile. (While the YouTube service itself is free, cellular companies usually charge for the data transfers.)

Google CEO Discusses Criticism & Google’s Future

By Brittany Thompson

Dr. Eric Schmidt received a warm welcome at the Paley Center in Mountain View, CA, where the Google CEO made at appearance at the World Economic Forum on Wednesday. Pat Mitchell, President and CEO of the Paley Center for Media, took some time to talk to Schmidt. A video of the interview has been posted on Google’s YouTube Channel.

“It’s Google’s world, and we’re all living in it.” This statement, which gained a few chuckles from the audience (and Schmidt himself), was overheard by Mitchell just before the interview while she was eating lunch at a local diner. Readers of this blog already know how eerily that statement mirrors the search industry.

Metasearch Offers Best Results, Study Shows

By Brittany Thompson

Those looking for the most accurate search engine results pages should stick to metasearch – at least according to a study that was released on May 31st by InfoSpace.

Different Engines, Different Results was the title of the study (word doc), which was a cross-continental collaboration examining overlap and differences in rankings between industry leaders including Google, Yahoo!, Windows Live and Ask.

Some of the information contained in the study echoes what we’ve known for years. The fact that searchers still don’t always find what they are looking for online is more of a burden (both to searchers and to e-business owners) than a surprise.