UPDATE: Oh my god! I finally changed the damn design!
Damn, that was nerve-wracking. I haven’t had a new design on this blog in almost two years. I was really worried I’d blow up the blog.
Obviously, there are some issues I’ll need to work out over the weekend. Some of the template links are still InsideMicrosoft-specific (where this template has been incubating for months), and I’d like to differentiate the look of the two blogs, but the main thing is that the content is readable. Huzzah!
What’s new? You can see incoming search terms, top commenters, recent comments, MyBlogLog (technically InsideMicrosoft’s MyBlogLog, but I’ll fix that), subscribe to RSS in multiple readers, subscribe to comments, submit to Digg and other social sites, see how many Diggs a digg’d post has, send me a message via a contact form, see how many posts I write in a month (June is the biggest in the last year) and actually see all the categories.
Yeah, no more broken template! People hated the old design, and hopefully we can now move forward and just enjoy the blog.
If you see a problem, or would like to suggest a change or better feature, leave a comment or send me a message. Let me know if you like it.
Okay, here’s the best part of the upgrade: I finally able to import all the old posts from the old Blogger blog. Naturally, it isn’t easy, and the archives aren’t easy to navigate, but the old posts are coming here, and I’ll feature them in a future post.
Google announced this week that Chief Financial Officer George Reyes is retiring and leaving the company later this year. Reyes, who has been with the company five years, is only the second major executive to leave Google, ever, as far back as anyone can remember. Reyes intends to stay with the company while it searches for a new CFO and help with the transition, leaving by the end of the year.
(via Search Engine Land)
Chairman: Eric Schmidt (March 2001-); Sergey Brin (1998-2001)
CEO: Eric Schmidt (August 2001-); Larry Page (1998-2001)
President (sole): Sergey Brin (1998-2001)
President, Products: Larry Page (August 2001-)
President, Technology: Sergey Brin (August 2001-)
CFO: George Reyes (2002-2007)
Chief Legal Officer: David Drummond (December 2006-) [previously General Counsel, February 2002-2006]
SVP, Business Operations: Shona Brown (January 2006-)[previously VP of Business Operation, September 2003-2006]
SVP, Corporate Development: David Drummond (January 2006-) [previously VP of Corporate Development, February 2002-2006]
SVP, Engineering and Research: Alan Eustace (January 2006-)
SVP, Operations: Urs Hölzle
SVP, Global Sales & Business Development: Omid Kordestani
SVP, Product Management and Marketing: Jonathan Rosenberg (February 2002-)
VP, Engineering: Bill Coughran and Jeff Huber; Alan Eustace (July 2003-2006); Urs Hölzle (1999-2003)
VP, Global Communications & Public Affairs: Elliot Schrage (October 2005-)
Anyone want to help fill in the gaps or correct anything, or suggest others I should include in this list?
Google announced a deal to be the exclusive provider of auction-based text advertising on CNN.com. The agreement will last multiple years, though it’s not clear how many. Clint Boulton notes a few other recent web ad exclusives, including Google getting a multi-year for ads and search with Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive last month and Yahoo picking up Philly.com earlier this month.
Every so often, I see a website that tells its users to make sure to click the Google AdSense ads and I just laugh. Actually outright telling your users to click a Google ad is one of the dumbest things you can do, as it can cause your account to be banned and you to lose any money you might have made legitimately. You see it all the time, and now it’s been spotted on Facebook.
Amit Agarwal found one Facebook application that includes AdSense ads (which might even be against Facebook’s Terms of Service), but worse, says you should come by and click the ads. Not just that you should click the ads, but that you should come by once every day and click an ad so that they can get a better server. Yeah, that’s wonderful. This blog reports they’ve already been banned by AdSense and the Facebook application is gone from the directory.
23 days, 1 hour until Google Presentations is officially late.
Some events that have been in the news and have happened since April 17:
April 25 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average gains 135.95 points to close at 13089.89; its first close above 13000 in its history.
May 6 - Nicolas Sarkozy is elected President of the French Republic, defeating Ségolène Royal with 53% of the vote in the French Presidential Election.
May 10 - Tony Blair announces he will resign as British Prime Minister on 27th June triggering a Labour Party leadership election.
June 2 - Four people are charged with a terror plot to blow up JFK International Airport in New York.
June 29 - Apple Inc.’s iPhone is released in the United States.
July 1 - Portugal takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from Germany.
July 18 - At the height of rush hour in New York City a major steam pipe bursts, releasing millions of gallons of boiling water and super heated steam. Only one fatality occurred; a pedestrian who went into cardiac arrest.
July 21 - U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney serves as Acting President for two and a half hours, while President George W. Bush undergoes a colonoscopy procedure.
July 21 - The 7th and final Harry Potter novel, entitled Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows is realised at equal time across the globe. Example-Midnight in Australia, 9a.m in Britian etc.
August 1 - The I-35W Mississippi River Bridge on I-35W over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota between University Avenue and Washington Avenue collapses at 6:05 pm during the later part of rush hour, killing 13 people.
August 9 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average loses 387.18 points, its largest single-day drop since February 27.
August 14 - Multiple suicide bombings kill 572 people in Qahtaniya, northern Iraq.
August 27 - United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced his resignation effective September 17.
Google briefly rolled out the Allowed Sites feature for all AdSense users this weeks, then took it back. The feature is a wonderful one, one that lets you list all the sites you are running AdSense ads on and thus prevent any other sites for damaging your account. Sometimes, a competitor or other evil party will run your ads somewhere that can hurt you, perhaps in a way that violates the Terms of Service or commits massive click fraud, and this feature acts as protection.
Earlier this week the feature appeared in all AdSense publisher dashboards, then a day or so later it went away. A Google representative explained that they had to roll back the feature, but it should be available to all account soon.
Why does the world continue to ignore the missteps that Google makes?
I don’t know if I’d go that far, but they do have to stop all the conflicting signals. I have the feature in my account, but that’s probably a Premium AdSense thing, and for all I know, it was there last week, too. Let me know if you start seeing it in your accounts.
Yahoo Mail now has a feature that allows you to send instant messages from your email to mobile phones. The free text messages can be sent to mobiles in the United States, Canada, India and the Philippines. They’ve also added tabbed instant messaging to Yahoo Mail, letting you open a Y!Messenger tab and start chatting away with an IM user, all within the email interface. There are also six customizable themes that have been added.
Video uploads to Blogger have left Blogger In Draft and become a feature of the full-fledged Blogger, meaning users of Blogger can now upload video while writing a post. The videos use Google Video’s player (customized with a Blogger logo and not available in Google Video search, for privacy reasons), and they do not count against your limited free storage space for images.
Videos are also automatically added as enclosures in posts, so every blog using them is also a video podcaster and compatible with most podcatchers. In other words, people can subscribe to your blog in software like iTunes and automatically download the latest video.
The changes: basically everyone reports to Decker now. Greg Coleman is gone as head of global sales. Hilary Schneider, a favorite of Decker according to Swisher, takes over his responsibilities. Jeff Weiner takes over many of Schneider’s groups, including Yahoo Shopping, Travel, Autos, Real Estate and Local. Schneider heads up a new division, called Global Partner Solutions, which takes over:
all ad formats, including search, display, video, mobile, listings, etc.
all online marketing objectives, including brand, performance, promotional, and
all customer types and sizes, including large enterprises, small online businesses, and local brick and mortar companies
Global Sales, the Online Channel, the Yahoo! Publisher Network, Corporate Partnerships and Hot Jobs
Apparently, former Yahoo “Hollywood” exec Lloyd Braun is raiding the company, stealing two of his former lieutenants (Mike Weetman, CFO of the Network division, and Geraldine Martin-Coppola, who worked on original content) recently from Yahoo to his new production company, BermanBraun. Also, Yahoo still has no CTO.
Also, Cammie Dunaway, Chief Market Officer, now reports directly to Decker, as does her Customer Experience group. That puts under Decker’s control:
Hilary Schneider — EVP of Global Partner Solutions
Jeff Weiner - EVP of the Yahoo! Network Division
Marco Boerries - EVP, Connected Life
Toby Coppel - Head of Yahoo! Europe
Keith Nilsson - Head of Emerging Markets
Rose Tsou - Head of the Asia Region
a soon to be hired EVP — Marketing Products Division
Cammie Dunaway — CMO
Jeff McCombs - Decker’s Chief of Staff and VP, Business Management
Greg Coleman, until he leaves in February
Sue Decker is in charge now. This is her company to save or sink at this point, and while no one’s sure if they’re on the right path, or if they know what path to switch to, I think most people are rooting for Yahoo. Even if you want Google to be number one, it isn’t healthy for the industry to lose such a big company or for that many jobs to be in jeopardy.
Check out this cool Google Maps mashup, MapTheCandidates.com. It shows you where the 2008 Presidential candidates are campaigning, with links to news stories, as well as YouTube videos embedded in the map. You can limit the map to campaign stop by any group of candidates, or click to view a page showing a seperate mashup for specific candidates, along with all the news stories for that candidate, like this one for Rudy Giuliani.
Jeez, 53 out of Rudy’s 75 campaign stops in the last six weeks have been in Iowa or New Hampshire, but none of the others have been in New York. He came to New Jersey, but not New York?
I always try to link to products I mention here on Amazon, in order to earn a small referral fee if one of you guys buys something. However, if you click an Amazon link here, then go buy something else entirely, I get credit for that too, which results in me getting referral fees for some strange items.
So now, I want to know, who bought the “Mr. Beer Deluxe Edition Home Microbrewery System”? On August 23, last Thursday, someone bought this $30 home brewery thing after following one of my links, and I want to know who it was.
Also, I’d like some of that beer.
Seriously, if one of you guys bought a home beer kit from here, I’d love to see the final product. Let me know.
CBS affiliate WBZ in Boston has a story about a couple just South of Boston who mowed a message of protest against U.S. President George W. Bush into their field, a message that has only now been spotted in Google Earth. The couple made the statement about three years ago, around the time of the last Presidential election, but Google Earth’s old satellite photos still show it, and now it’s made some headlines.
According to Wikipedia, Orkut currently has 67 million users, most of them outside the US, especially Brazil. According to comScore, Orkut currently has more pageviews than Facebook, 38.2 billion to 30.4 billion, but Facebook’s current growth should take it past Orkut within less than six months.
YouTube shipped a bunch of updates last week. Included in them is a thumbs up/thumbs down system for comments, letting you say which comments you like or hate, and then anyone can filter the comments section to see only the better comments. Also, a section in your channel can now show the latest videos you’ve rated, so visitors to your channel will be able to see which videos you gave five stars, and they should check out, and which you gave one star, and they should stay the hell away from.
Another thing: In-channel video search. If a channel has more than nine videos, a search box will appear so that users can search within that channel for specific videos. This is very useful for big accounts that upload a ton of stuff, like finding that episode of lonelygirl15 where the show jumped the shark. Finally, the Video Toolbox section of the site has been revamped with videos and articles giving tips on how to make better videos.
This video should give you an idea of the new features, in case you don’t like reading:
Also, YouTube is running a strange new look on certain videos, apparently on their advertising partner videos. Take a look at it, with the different player and the big advertisement:
Last Thursday was Blogger’s eighth birthday, with the world’s first real blogging service surviving for an amazing number of years. This months is also the one-year anniversary of when we found out a new version of Blogger was coming, and thank god for that. If you’d told me before then that Blogger would last ten years, I’d call you crazy, but they’ve done a real good job the last year, guaranteeing the service survives at least a few more.
Can Blogger ever become number one again? I doubt it. Windows Live Spaces proved that users like their blogging as part of more of a social networking experience, so unless Google plans on making Blogger more of a communications platform than a publishing one, Blogger will be successful, but never have the place it used to.
Google said that on April 17 about Google’s presentations product, the third leg in its Docs family that would make the suite that much closer to being ready for real businesses. In 25 days, 17 hours, they will have officially missed that target.
I intend to count down every day from now until September 23, 9:51 am, the moment of the autumn equinox, at which point the product is delayed. Does anyone think Google will ship before then?