Google Backlash Makes Front Page News

Google Backlash The Independent Front Page

Every week it seems more people are criticizing Google, whether its inevitable given their meteoric rise or a real shift in the internal culture of the company is debatable, however I had thought the backlash was limited to people kicked off Adsense for spamming, privacy nuts and Ask advertising campaigns. This seems to have changed. The Independent has featured a first page splash calling out Google as ‘Orwellian’.

It’s not the most imaginative criticism, but front page story on a UK national newspaper is stinging criticism for Google. There argument goes than the huge popularity of the search engine, personalized search and even their recent investment in genome mapping 23andMe is an unprecedented step towards a Big Brother Society. To those of us who slavishly follow everything Google the argument is nothing new but it might be a worrying first indication of a changing attitude in the mainstream press to everyone’s favourite search engine. They still have an enviable mindshare of the most influential sections of society but if I were at google I’d be slightly worried, it wouldn’t take too many stories like this to start losing market share.

3 Million User Generated Comments On Guardian Website

Neil McIntosh, the Editorial Director of Guardian Unlimited, has announced the website of popular UK broadsheet newspaper is expecting to receive their 3 millionth comment on their blogs in the next month.

Speaking at an industry event in London, McIntosh claimed they had seen great growth in the blogs and they now made significant up ten percent of the newspapers traffic.

Rather than encourage users to create their own blogs like some of their competitors, the Guardian has put their blogs in the hands of experienced journalists but tried to create the feedback loop that have helped make blogs so popular elsewhere.

Given the reputation of Guardian readers as opinionated political activists it’s not hugely surprising to see the comments sections doing well but given it’s popularity, I imagine it can’t be long before user generated content becomes more central to the papers digital offering.

Five Flaws Which Spoils Facebook’s Classified Market Place

It just over a week now since Facebook classified marketplace launched and I’ve had a little bit of a play and while it has real potential to shake up the online classified market there are still a few problems which aren’t helping the user experience.

Viewing Ads by Network – Every network has its own marketplace, which is a good idea it makes sure you only see the most relevant ads, however this causes a few I live in place with at least three big educational institutions plus the city’s own individual network. Does this mean I have to browse four different networks to look for a car?

Signal to Noise Ratio – One of the best things about Facebook is the amusingly named groups you can join; most of them are pranks just to make an amusing message appear on everyone’s news feed. The problem is this seems to have infected the marketplace; at the moment some bloke called Tom’s soiled pants are available up for sale for a bargain price on my marketplace. If the Signal to Noise ratio gets too bad it will do the classifieds will end up being useless.

Channel 4 Radio Station for Second Life

By Kelvin Newman

Channel 4, one of the UK’s biggest terrestrial television channels, is the latest company to dive headfirst into the world of second life.  They have set up a virtual radio station to promote their fledgling online radio business in every new media firms’ favourite MMPORG.

They are proudly announcing that they are the first UK radio station with a presence in virtual world; and it seems they have a more developed Second Life strategy than the purely-press-release-fodder favoured by many companies. As a whole, Channel 4 seem to have made a real effort to add some web 2.0 functionality, their radio service is in podcast chunks rather than simulcasts and voting on each shows quality does a good jobs of create a feedback loop compares pretty well to some UK old media companies efforts.

5 Ways Twitter Can Make You an Industry Expert

…and 5 ways it can screw it up for you.

By Kelvin Newman

The fuss about twitter has died down a little over the last couple of weeks and people either seem to think it’s the best thing since sliced bread or an indication of everything that’s rubbish about web 2.0. Personally I’m more of the former than the latter.

I think it’s a really interesting tool and offers some excellent opportunities for people who would like to expand the reach of their personal brand and are willing to experiment. But it’s risky too and easy to cock up.

The Good