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).

Channel Sponsors

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.

Google Hires Amazon’s Udi Manber

Nice coup for Google. According to SeattlePI, they just lured away Udi Manber, chief executive of Amazon’s A9 subsidiary. Manber will be vice president of engineering for Google – how many do they have in that role?

This is a big set back for Amazon, as far as I can tell. Others tend to agree…

“It could set back their efforts, but A9 was more of a trial to hedge their bets and have a presence in there,” said Safa Rashtchy, a senior Internet analyst for Piper Jaffray & Co. who estimates that 10 percent of Amazon’s tech spending centers on search. “I don’t think they will give up on it that easily, but it hasn’t produced any major advantages for Amazon and it is still experimental.”

Which Super Bowl Ads Engaged Surfers?

SearchViews takes a look at which Super Bowl advertisers realized that many viewers went online looking for the advertised company.