2 Weeks with Google Chrome

Most people are creatures of habit.  Just look at almost any Analytics report now days and you’ll still see that around 20% of most “average” web visitors still use Internet Explorer 6… a browser that was released in 2001 and is EXTREMELY out of date.

So, in an effort to change some of my own habits and try something new, I decided to try setting my default browser from Internet Explorer 8 to Google Chrome.

The following paragraphs are a few of my observations on the browser and how well it performs in everyday environments.

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Bing’s Smoke-In-Mirror Growth

In the month’s since Microsoft’s launch of their new search engine Bing.com, much has been said about it’s amazing market share growth.

Some even proclaiming a 10% market grab since it’s launch. However, much of that is smoke in mirrors and not “real” traffic…

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The Internet Manifesto… A Must Read for ANY Journalist

This has been stirring up some controversy lately in and around the journalism field over the past few days.

The Internet Manifesto – How journalism works today. Seventeen declarations.

What originally started as small declaration by a few German bloggers has recently been translated into English and several other languages and has quickly turned into the front line of the fight between “traditional” journalism and the web.

Since I work in both the print and the web side of this issue, it’s interesting to see how these declarations play out from both perspectives.

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Why Twitter is Significant

Twitter LogoIt seems lately that on almost a weekly basis I get asked or overhear someone talking about how they don’t understand what the all fuss is about Twitter.

At first Glance, this is a rather obvious and understandable statement.  After all, what can you REALLY do with 140 characters?  Just take a look at this article on CNN Money as a perfect example of this mis-understanding.

The problem is that people are viewing Twitter at face value… a free, easy to use service that asks the simple question – “What are you doing?” – in 140 characters or less.

But wait… did you catch that?  Those four little words in the previous sentence:

“What are you doing?”

In other words, what are you doing RIGHT NOW.  What is happening AS WE SPEAK.

You see, Twitter is significant because it’s the first real-world implementation of the Real-Time Web.  It allows people to see what is going on in the world while it is happening.  Not hours later during the evening news, not when the paper comes out tomorrow morning, or even after a blogger writes a story about it… it’s happening right now.

The 140 character limitation actually adds to its success in this field.  It keeps the message short and quick…

“Earthquake in LA… walls are rattling, but it seems like it’s subsiding”

Sure, most “Tweets” are pretty boring… I mean, who really cares what you’re eating for lunch, or what you think of the movie you’re currently watching… or, maybe they do?

If you’re a restaurant owner, you can get instant feedback from people while they’re eating their food.  If you’re in line to buy tickets to a movie, you can find out what other people thought of it while they’re watching.  Or, in more recent current events… View reports of beatings during the Iranian protests.

Twitter as a company itself, like most companies, probably won’t be around forever.  But what it represents is a sea change for the web and how we communicate.  You’ve already begun to see how this is changing the way we communicate and do business.

Not since Google has another company changed the landscape of the web like Twitter has.  So, the question is… What are you doing?

Mr. Internet… Please Kill IE6

Bring Down IE6!I really don’t know who mr. Internet is… or if there really is such a thing. I tend to think of him (at least in my mind) as the wizard behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz.

But, unlike the Wiz’, I’m not asking him for a heart, for courage, or for a brain… I’m asking him to kill, murder, all around X-Out Internet Explorer 6.

It was born in 2001, lived a good live… but it has since been replaced by Internet Explorer 7 and 8.  So, it’s time to put it to pasture or… frankly, just put a bullet in it’s source code and be over with it.

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Is Twitter the Google-Killer we’ve been looking for?

Twitter Replacing GoogleThere are literally hundreds of thousands of articles on, about, or around Twitter.  Most of them have to do with the communication side of things.

It is a change-agent to the way we communicate and consume information from person-to-person.

However, what most people don’t realize is Twitter’s real future, may lie in search… in one form or another.  More info after the jump.

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Amazon gets into the URL shorten biz with amzn.com

a_com_logo_rgbHere’s a nice little tid-bit I found today… Amazon.com has (unofficially) launched a URL shortening service for it’s products.

This really doesn’t come as a huge suprise, considering Jeff Bezos has invested in Twitter and the huge explosion in Twitter’s popularity lately, it only make sense that they would harness this power to integrate with their services.

How it Works:

First, find the product ID of the item you’d like to distribute… in this case, let’s use Amazon’s Kindle eBook reader: B00154JDAI then simply add it to the url http://amzn.com/ like this http://amzn.com/B00154JDAI

This link will bring you directly to to the product’s page on Amazon. 

How Will This Be Integrated?

So, the big question will be, how will they integrate this into their service and interface.  Secondly, how will they integrate this with their affiliate program?

I anticipate two different types of URL short codes will develop… one for the public facing site (as seen above) and a second that will automatically create an additional code for the associate id.  However, with so many associates out there, it will add additional length to the overall URL… but, it sure beats the old ones:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00154JDAI?ie=UTF8&tag=currentevents03-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00154JDAI

Let the Clone Wars Begin!

With many of Amazon’s features, this will surely be adopted by many other retailers out there, offering shortened URL’s to provide quick and easy access to other sites.  Hmm… maybe it’s time I invested in a URL shortening service.

1 Second Ad = Hours of Free Publicity

1 Second AdAs I’m watching the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the second guest tonight is the lead actor in a 1 second SuperBowl commercial for Miller High Life. I had heard about this on CNN, Yahoo! News, and a few other news feeds I subscribe to and really haven’t given it much thought until now. 

However, as I’m watching this, I’m starting to realize that this is actually a genius piece of marketing by Saatchi & Saatchi of New York.

Think about it… they may have only bought a one second spot during the Superbowl, but they’re getting a ridiculous amount of publicity… simply because it’s different. 

After all, this guy isn’t on the tonight show because he delivered a brilliant piece of acting in less than a second.  He’s there because the advertising is new, creative, and therefore causing a buzz.

What will be interesting to watch is if this trend will be copied by thousands of other B-list marketing agencies out there.  Will this lead to more 1 second advertising spots for other products?  Will this become another “Got Milk” campaign?

GOD I HOPE NOT. 

To all those out there looking to copy this… a little word of advice.  This only works the first time.

Below is a video compilation of various 1 second ads they tried or will try.

The Curious Case of JPG Magazine

For those of you following the publishing industry and it’s current growing pains (or death throws if you’re on the other side of the fence), you may have heard of the recent demise of JPG Magazine.

What’s interesting about this and makes it worth following, is it provides us with a real-life test case for the problems (and possible solutions) facing the industry today. 

The Industry Problem

JPG Magazine, Issue 19

JPG Magazine, Issue 19

As is painfully obvious to most people born after 1975, getting your news or magazine content from an actual print magazine may be an archaic way of getting your news.  Everything that is in print is currently out of date and old news on the web.

People are quickly moving towards online magazines, blogs, and other digital media outlets for their news and commentary.

Naturally, the advertisers are following in kind.  Steadily moving from Print to the more less expensive, measurable, and profitable online ads.
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Google Chrome – It’s Not a Browser… It’s a Revolt.

By now, most of you have probably heard of the release of Google’s new Web Browser called Chrome. You may be thinking… big whup, another browser to account for when designing a site. Well, the big picture is actually much larger than that.

The Following paragraphs will demonstrate how this just isn’t a simple new application in the market place – it’s the tip of the spear in an assault on how we view and interact with a computer.

The Revolution Will be Streamed

Before I can talk about the application itself, I first need to discuss a relatively new concept in the industry called “Cloud Computing”.

Cloud computing is essentially a theory that instead of having your applications, files, and documents all housed on your local computer, these services and storage capabilities are all handled by online SaaS (Software as a Service) applications.

A perfect example of this would be Google Docs. Google Docs is a free online office suite that includes a word processor, spreadsheet, and other business applications. So, instead of creating your documents and storing them on your local machine, it’s all done online.

Over the past few years, Google has been slowly gobbling up startups and creating applications associated with productivity and business needs. Examples of this are Gmail, Google Docs, Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager, and many more.

The Browser that will one day become an OS

While Chrome in it’s current release is just another browser… what you may not realize is that it is in fact a new operating system. From the interface design to the back end programming and architecture, everything is set up to run as an operating system.

One can foresee in the not to distant future, hardware created around Google Chrome that consist of essentially a monitor and a modem with limited computing power and local storage.

Essentially, everything you do on a computer would be access through the browser.

OK, But What About Offline Access?

The answer to this question is simple… Google Gears.

Google Gears is an open source application introduced by Google to improve several things:

  1. Provide offline access to applications such as Gmail, WordPress, and Google Docs.
  2. Improve performance by storing certain online components to your local machine.
  3. Running Javascript applications in the background to improve browsing speed.

So, if you’re off-line on say an airplane or camping and don’t have access to the internet, Google Gears will allow you to work on your documents and will automatically upload any changes once it detects an Internet access.

In hindsight, this was one of the building blocks of Google Chrome and a component that will be essential to any online operating system.

Security and Reliability

Security and Reliability are major hurdles to overcome. The security aspect is more of a mental barrier than a technical one, but it’s still a concern when important and sensitive information is stored online.

The privacy and security issue is something Google (and every other major online company) has been fighting for years. Right now, the fight is centered around the government wanting access to anonymous search records. But, imagine of the same laws were used to grant the government access to your documents and files without you knowing? It’s a scary prospect to say the least.

Another concern is reliability, because after all… if one component on the cloud fails, it’s not just your local machine that’s down… it’s everyone using the system. Entire companies and even industries can be affected by a single technical error.

Final

In my opinion, this is a very exciting development and one that may change the way we do business, interact with friends, and go about our daily lives in the very near future.

Many people will probably have an issue with this, however if you think about it… many things you do today are already “in the cloud”. We store our photo’s, write novels, and interact with friends online all the time. This is just one more step in a completely connected world.

Any thoughts, concerns, or observations you have, please feel free to comment below.