Nike Does Google Maps Runners Mashup

By Nathan Weinberg

Nike has released a Google maps mashup called “Nike+ : Map It” that helps runners track, distribute and share their runs. There are pre-programmed routes all over the country, and tons of runners in the Nike+ program running them with you (all told, 6.7 million miles have been run by the community).

If you don’t like the (or don’t have any) routes in your area, you can draw one right on the map, see how long it is, and track it, as well as share it with the rest of the community. I see some cool (and some difficult) routes in my neighborhood, and it would be cool to run into somebody else trying the same thing I am. I couldn’t get it to login, but it certainly looks cool and useful for getting a good run in… maybe when the weather gets better.
(via Google Maps Mania)

Posted:
February 7, 2007 by Nathan Weinberg in:

A Little Late, Australia Day Google Doodle

By Nathan Weinberg

Google ran this Doodle logo on January 26th, Australia Day, on Google.com.au:

Via Gary, whose also got a logo Yahoo ran that day.

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Holy Crap! SuperProposal Guy Is SEOmoz’s Rand Fishkin!

By Nathan Weinberg

Well, this was a shocker: Many people have no doubt been following the story of the anonymous “JP”, who campaigned to get his marriage proposal aired as a commercial during the Super Bowl, promoting it on his MySuperProposal.com website. The plan fell through, as there wasn’t enough money for the $2.6 million commercial, and CBS couldn’t find extra time in the game to help him out, but he did manage to buy a 30-second spot during last night’s Veronica Mars on the local Seattle affiliate.

So, who was JP? None other than Rand Fishkin, operator of SEOmoz.org. Amazing, I guess the SEO community has its hands in everything!

Anyway, Rand proposed to his girlfriend, Geraldine DeRuiter, at about 9:25 last night. I wish the CW had carried the ad nationally, because I was watching Veronica Mars anyway (great episode, and great choice of proposal venue!). Here’s the commercial, courtesy of iFILM:

And here’s the video of her seeing it, and saying yes:

What an amazing, genuine reaction. I’ll be watching that a few hundred times.

The Seattle PI has a great article about the whole thing. Turns out Rand was the second “JP”, taking over the website months ago when the original secret proposer had to back out. Rand had appeared on Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, MSNBC and Fox News Channel, all with his identity hidden, in the time leading up to the Super Bowl. An AdWeek survey named his commercial as the most anticipated Super Bowl commercial, even though it never aired.

In the end, the ad cost only $3,000, proving how cheap local ad time, especially on the CW, is during prime time. Supposedly, Rand and Geraldine can expect a gift bag from Veronica herself, Kristen Bell. Rand’s Wikipedia article already has all the info. I suspect the notoriety from this will continue for a little while, and Rand will probably get a lot more business, though he may not have time for it (oh, wedding plans can be quite draining).

Oh, another thing: Rand notes he was inspired by Barry Schwartz’s Ask.com proposal. I’m sure even Barry would agree that Rand is now the king, and don’t be surprised if the SEO community starts one-upping themselves over marriage proposals in the future.

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YouTube Blindly Follows Viacom’s Demands, Deletes Legitimate Videos

By Nathan Weinberg

Over the last week, Viacom, reportedly after negotiations went nowhere, demanded YouTube remove 100,000 videos. Now, people are complaining that legitimate videos got swept up in the Great Purge, including this guy who had a video of him and some buddies discussing RSS and OPML, deleted because it occured in a restaurant that shares a name with a CBS personality.

What’s always been ridiculous with YouTube’s copyright enforcement is that the few times it even tries to enforce it, it usually deleted tons of legitimate content, with this incident being the worst. It appears that CBS entered the names of its shows into the search engine, and everything that came up, they demanded it be removed. Jason is trying to build a list of videos that were deleted (it’s obviously in very early stages) and considering a feature for VidMirror that would detect when a video is deleted and replace it with the same video from another service.

This whole debacle goes to the root of what has been driving me nuts about YouTube since I first heard about it. We need to be able to rely on YouTube, not just for stuff that was uploaded yesterday, but down the road videos that are years old and date back to the beginning of YouTube. Google lost a lot of goodwill by not finding an agreement with Viacom, and the users and the service suffered as a result.

When Google bought YouTube, it seemed like there was going to be a flurry of deals fixing the copyright problems and making video available to the masses, as it should be. That hasn’t happened, and I have to blame Google for poor execution. They need to start following through for their users, not just on the promises they’ve actually made, but the promises the community believes them to have made. Since Google doesn’t communicate with its users, we give it expectations that it either can’t meet, fails to meet, or never intended to meet, and it needs to start dealing with that. Somebody’s going to become the next “old Microsoft”, and I don’t think Google wants it to be them.

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