Microsoft Launches HealthVault

Two months after after the initial coverage, Microsoft launched a health web site recently called HealthVault. The site has a library of information, like a health information search engine. You can store your medical history, immunizations and records from doctor and hospital visits. You can also store information about such as measurements from a heart rate monitor.

You can then email people secure access to the information. You can send health data to your doctor, members of your family, or anyone you choose. On a basic level it’s a repository of information about your health that is easy to share.

However, Microsoft wants to involve health care providers and others in the health care field to create custom applications for the site. Already the American Heart Association and American Lung Association are creating applications. Johnson & Johnson is developing a blood glucose monitoring system. Other companies are providing services for patients as well.

eBay and Yahoo Fight Phishing

Yahoo and eBay are working along with Paypal to fight phishing on their sites. Phishing has been a problem for both. If you’ve been on eBay or Paypal you’ve probably received a phishing attempt. It’s a way people attempt to pose as a trusted company and send emails that ask for usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers.

The main ways phishing is accomplished is to make the email look as if it came from the company. They misspell URLs and use subdomains to look like they are legit. The sites often look like the real site.

To slow phishing EBay and PayPal have added a new technology to their sites called DomainKeys. Yahoo developed the technology that will authenticate that the e-mail sender is who they say they are. If it’s not authenticated, it will be automatically blocked. It will be integrated worldwide over the next several weeks. This is ideal because the customer never even sees the email.

30% Increase in Online Advertising in 2008

As I noted in a previous post, forecasts say holiday spending will be down, except online. The US housing market is affecting advertising spend too. But again, online advertising is the bright spot. This is according to ZenithOptimedia. They downgraded its 2007 forecast for offline advertising which was already in the single digits. Online advertising is projected to rise 30% in 2008.

The upside is TV advertising sales globally should be at a record high next year because of the Olympic Games in China. You can see how markets outside the US are still growing, especially Central & Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Here are some other findings:

  • The drop in ad prices isn’t a freefall, but it has been downgraded to 2.5 percent growth in 2007. It was estimated to 3.3 percent, before the housing market woes.

Gluing the Web Together with FriendFeed

I just wrote about how YouTube was started by former PayPal employees. There’s a new social media site called FriendFeed, written about in Gigaom today. It was started by former Google employees. It’s another site to keep track of but never actually see your friends. Then when they see you they will know everything about you, including why you look so tired today.

I’m a Twitter fan because the setup time and effort to track my friends is pretty low. One picture. Short bursts of information. Still, I don’t keep posting as much as I did at first.

UC Berkeley Posts Lectures on YouTube

The always-progressive UC Berkeley is claiming to be the first university to post classes on YouTube. They have over 200 videos added so far. The school says they are the first to do this. The videos are at The site starts a video that’s an advertisement for the school and the page is in UC Berkeley colors.

They plan to continue to add videos of classes on the site. So far there are plenty of science courses: chemistry, physics, and biology. There are a few search-engine technology courses. That is where I’ll spend my time! One was given in 2005 by Google co-founder Sergey Brin. He spoke about how he is surprised that Wikipedia works so well and then about the transition to when search rankings started to matter to people.

Average Internet User Watches Two YouTube Videos a Day

How many hours on average does a person watch online in a month? comScore Video Metrix says almost 75 percent watched an average of three hours. Those numbers are for July. Where are people going to watch online video? Mainly on Google’s YouTube. Google was both the highest in unique watchers and for the most videos watched.

YouTube was started in 2005 by former Paypal employees. In just two years its become part of our culture. Google bought it just last year – a search engine company – and like everyone is looking for ways to cash in on the traffic. They’ve tried AdSense on and off. I haven’t seen reports on profitability but it certainly has market share as this research shows.

Googlism – Worshipping the Google god

When in extreme profound adoration or reverence to something, people are known devote a lot of time and attention to it. Religion is one of those areas. And if you’re wondering what this has to do with online marketing I’ll get to the point. Some people worship Google and one has started a church about it called The Google Church.

Is Google God? It asks. Is God female? I ask. I’m not going to take that on, but in the Church of Google she is. She organizes the world’s information. She is everywhere. She is always expanding. She doesn’t forget either (a trait I love mostly and hate sometimes). We turn to her when we are in need or want answers.