Bringing Standards to Online Classifieds

The team at classified search engine Oodle have just proposed a new microformat for classified ads.

A few people (myself, Rohit Khare, Assaf Arikin) recently proposed a microformat called hListing that would faciliate this. Microformats are a set of simple open data format standards used to implement structured blogging or web microcontent publishing. Part of the idea behind microformats is to “pave cowpaths� – i.e., “standardize and codify emergent, popular behavior on the Web.�

You can see their full proposal here.

Video Guides for Microsoft Professionals

Not exactly marketing related, but Brian Tucker did ask (very politely) if I would take a look at The Blogcast Repository.

He’s put together more than 160 free “how-to” videos for just about anything connected with Microsoft’s products. I’ve been keeping an eye open for blogs that are putting video to good use, The Blogcast Repository is definitely one of them.

Channel Sponsors

One in Five Americans Read Blogs

Battelle extracts a useful snippet from a recent Gallup poll on internet usage.

…blogs barely existed until recently and now fully one in five Americans say they consult blogs “frequently” or at least “occasionally.”…in terms of blog activity, there is a slight gender gap (24% of men and 17% of women read them), and of course a generation gap, with 28% of those 18 to 29 using them and only 17% of those over 50.

Unfortunately, almost 60% say they “never” look at blogs. How do they know? Most Americans wouldn’t know a blog if it jumped on their table during breakfast shouting “I’m a blog, I’m blog, look at me, I’m a blog”. ;-)

New Google Desktop Released

Nathan has detailed screenshots of the new features offered in Google Desktop 3.

Features include…

* Undock panels: any panel can be removed from the sidebar and placed anywhere on the desktop. Windows Vista’s sidebar can do this, so it was almost a requirement. Panels can be made to be always on top, in a per-panel setting, so you can pick a specific one to just show it over everything else if its really convenient.

* Send to friend: you can right click on any information in the sidebar to send it to one of your contacts instantly. You can send it to their email (any email address), Google Talk, or to the same panel on their sidebar (with a “Sent from Joe� message).

Yahoo Bribing Searchers to Switch from Google?

It appears Yahoo is resorting to bribing users of other search engines to switch to Yahoo Search. They’ve sent out a survey that suggests a whole host of rewards you can select, if you switch you primary search activity to Yahoo.

Agency.com CEO Don Scales Resigns

Fresh from ClickZ comes news that Agency.com’s CEO Don Scales has resigned due to “strategic differences” – I wonder if that’s the same as “philosophical differences“. ;-)

Hey Don, why not connect up with Sara Holoubek and start a new agency? – on second thoughts, that would be too much competition, maybe take up gardening instead. ;-)

UPDATE: An “undisclosed source” tells us that Don is joining iCrossing.

Big Problem with Google Adwords in Print

ClickZ has details of Google’s efforts to bring an AdWords-style process to print ads.

AdWords advertisers can now bid for 1 page, 1/2 page and 1/4 page ads in nearly 30 different lifestyle and technology magazines…advertisers who wish to participate must submit bids by February 20, and may have their ads included in issues appearing over the summer and fall of 2006.

One of the biggest problems I see with this comes from the lack of instant placement. When you use an auction style process online, you can change your bid based upon real-time demand, day-parts, inventory, competition etc. With a print ad, you often have to submit your creative and state your “bid” months in advance. Demand could reduce, your product could be out of stock, you may have a new product launch – all in the time it takes to submit your ad and then see it published.