Early stage startup marketing & community management + the great outdoors.

Catching Up & November Summary

As much as I enjoy it I’ve been horrible about posting to my blog lately, and I’m blaming Twitter.

I find that I’m spending a lot more time on Twitter these days and the speed (of information transfer and to post) and audience size just blow away my blog.  On average, I get more comments and conversation from any single Tweet than I’ve received from all blog posts combined.  I’m certain this has quite a bit to do with the lack of attention I’ve ever paid this blog but I think it speaks to the future of search – live search and conversations are going to be much more relevant.  This should be evident by Google’s recent deal with Twitter, as well.

Anyway, as Twitter is becoming more of my primary form of online communication, I’ve moved the Twitter feed on the right menu above the “recent blog posts”.  Originally I was looking to drive traffic from Twitter to my blog but it’s pretty close to the other way around at this point.  Pretty soon I’ll be passing out business cards with nothing but “@MattSolar” written on them.

As for some more important news items from the month, here are some of my favorites:

  • Google and Twitter Deal (officially October 21st) – I think this is really exciting.  I’ve been looking forward to live search for a while now and I think this is a strong indication that it’s going to increase in relevancy.  I’m curious to see what Google does with all the additional data.  They have the “Database of Intentions” (via John Battelle) but now they can capture an even larger range of items – conversations, not simply search queries.
  • Amazon’s Affiliate Twitter Feed – This alone isn’t all that revelation but I think it’s a good example of a company embracing Twitter and looking for a way to monetize on it.  The next step is to incorporate auto-linking your affiliate code to products on Twitter.  For example, if I mention a product for sale on Twitter (which I do often), Amazon should automatically insert a link in my Tweet to the product that incorporates my affiliate code.
  • eBay’s Black Friday Heat Mapping (from @JimStorer) – This is just an example of a nice display of data, but it’s interesting to see that the mapping is not even across the country. Embedded below.
  • Red Laser iPhone App – I love this concept and it’s great for price shoppers.  I’ve been using it for a little over a week now and have found a few weak spots but overall I’m a fan.  I’ve found it can only read the bar code about 60-70% of the time due to, I assume, poor lighting or reflections.  It also doesn’t find search results for quite a few products, namely items like CVS brand name products.
  • Microsoft- New Corp Deal – Microsoft is trying to pay media companies to “de-index” themselves from Google.  This is certainly good news for the media companies as they now have a buyer for all of their content but it seems like a very short term solution to the issue, and one that Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer seems to repeat.  Rather than building a better product, MSN is simply trying to price out the competition… only the competition has a significant amount of cash.  It will also introduce concerns of bias in Bing’s search results – will they alter their results based on the deal?  Overall: Bad news.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


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