Musicblogocide 2010: Google shuts ’em down

When Public Enemy released their classic hit Shut ’em down, they were criticizing authorities. Yet recently, Google has given the track’s title a completely new meaning: without any prior warning, the company shut down at least six renowned music blogs hosted on Blogger/Blogspot. Or, as puts, it, “wiped them from the internet”: Read more

How to impress a French girl

I’m not a big fan of Google in general: there services are not that great, but there’s no alternative. But it regularly frightens me how this machine works. Today, European director Steve Rogers told an Austrian newspaper: “When a company gets bigger, it is seen as intransparent. But we try to be as transparent as possible.” Right after that Mr. Rogers showed what he really means when he answered the next two questions about Google’s situation in China: “I’m not allowed to comment on this.” (Kleine Zeitung, February 9th 2010, page 29). Temper, temper! Read more

No bright future for Google Wave?

When Google launched their latest gadget “Wave”, everybody was so keen on getting an invitation – I’ve sent out about 60 invites via my blogs, yet I haven’t been using Wave a lot. Neither in the beginning nor lately: it’s lame (even when used with Chrome, large multimedia Waves are basically unusable on netbooks), it lacks a lot of important features and – most important of all – it’s generally quite unsexy, According to Silicon Alley Insider, I’m not alone with this opinion.

Their Chart of the Day clearly shows a rapidly decreasing number of users, even geeks seem to have abandonned the ship for now. It won’t probably sink any time soon, but it definitely won’t replace e-mail (that’s on of Google’s idea behind the system) in the near future.

This kind of launch scenario is pretty unusual for the big G: usually, when a new service gets launched, an immediate success story follows. Just remember Gmail or Analytics – those products basically took existing services like web statistics or web mail inboxes, improved them in a major way and gave them away for free: Gmail offers nearly unlimited storage, Analytics is a mighty tracking tool (I still prefer Clicky by far though – it’s all about the realtime), but Wave is actually the first genuinely new service which Google has ever offered.

So I wonder if we’re just witnessing a temporary decrease in usage numbers, or if Wave just offers the wrong bells and whistles. Because this might be the first #fail in the company’s history… So what’s your opinion on the future of Google Wave?

T-Mobile G1: Android Insights

T-Mobile G1 Android Google PhoneLuckily, I’m a member of the selected few bloggers who got one of the first T-Mobile G1 phones here Austria. While the device is already available in Great Britain and the UK, the market launch in Austria will take place in 2009, but there’s no specific date yet. During the next weeks I’ll blog about my experiences with this new geek toy – for starters, here’s an unboxing-video:

The first thing that comes to mind is a comparison with the iPhone – but I must say quite frankly that I could never use this phone, as it the lacks the keyboard I need though badly. That’s why I’m currently using a T-Mobile HTC MDA, which suits my mobile e-mailing needs much better. Luckily, the G1 has a built-in keyboard as well (the hardware is actually manufactured by HTC) which works quite well. Google doesn’t focus on entertainment, there’s only 256MB of built-in memory – it’s all about the operating system: Android is open source software. Instead of implementing a “single-point-of-software-sale” model (hello iStore), big G is relying on the creativity of the developer community. The number of available apps is quite low, since the device is so new – but this will probably change rapidly. I’m positively surprised on first impression, but I have yet do sync the device with my pc and try some apps.

One phone to bind them all will go online soon – all postings will be aggregated on this site, and while most bloggers run German sites, there will also be some English reviews. Max, Michi, Luca, Peter, Helge, Robert, Martin, Georg and me got our phones yesterday. The official Feature-PDF is available on at T-Mobile US, I’m looking forwarding to testing the G1 under real live conditions – of course I’ll keep you updated.

Weekly Blogistan Round-Up no. 47/2008

Blogistan-PanoptikumThe last election parties have ended by now, the USA are looking forward to a new era of fairness and social improvement. Will the new president be able to live up to his promises in times of an economic crisis? Looks like Barrack Obama has got to deal with a difficult situation, as the crisis is now spreading from the finance sector to old economy and car manufacturers start facing serious troubles. Of course advertising budgets will be cut, which will eventually lead to more and more online-money being spent for performance based marketing. A rather bleak scenario for traditional advertiser, but definitely not the worst news for affiliates.

Going against Wikipedia: In Germany, left-wing politician Lutz Heilmann started a massive discussion among bloggers: the genius sued Wikipedia and had them remove the German article which contained among other biographical data on his history with the infamous Stasi. This is the perfect example of new media misunderstood: while Heilmann obviously tried to obfuscate facts, he provoked a flood of articles that give him a worse name than any Wikipedia page ever could have. The net is changing politics faster than anybody expected ten years ago…

Movement vs. Change: I love Seth Godins simple yet very illustrative examples of “the power of the net”. And I’m not a fan of Starbucks:

Simple example: the Starbucks in Larchmont, NY keeps their thermostat at 64 degrees. And the stores in Breckenridge, Colorado keep their doors wide open all winter. If you’re raging mad about energy waste, you could say something. And nothing would happen. But if customers organized and ten people said something or a hundred people said something… boom, new rules. The system doesn’t know what to do with a movement.

The ugliest thing of the week: it’s a mixture between a car and motorcycle, and it combines the disadvantages of both concepts in perfection. I have no clue why Time Magazine has voted the Peravces Monotracer one of the best inventions of 2008. C’mon guys, you can’t be serious – even the description sounds like a joke, but it’s not:

You really need the mind of a Swiss engineer to come up with a vehicle that combines the lithe maneuverability of a motorcycle with the not-getting-rained-on-ability of a conventional automobile.

This week in Online Marketing: Google started rolling out a Digg-like feature where users can “like” or “dislike” search results. It seems they are currently running a few tests – I’m wondering if this social component will be used for the general index or for tailoring SERPs to the logged-in user’s needs. And Twitter still is the new hot sh*t – even though the fail-whale returned today and SMS functionality is not avaible in most European countries, users still love their microblogging service #1. One of the reasons is the large number of mash-ups: the latest one even allows you to tweet from beyond: using, it’s possbible to schedule tweets – so if you already know what you’re going to do next week or next year, twuffer might be just for you. And if not you might still be able to use the service for marketing purposes :mrgreen:

Video of the week

How do you visualize a car that doesn’t even exist yet? Infinity has invested a great deal of time and money to build a flexible and impressive 3D surroundig – this video explains the whole idea:

So much for this week – I wish you great Sunday, see you soon.

Xsara, SEO dog #7: The day after the pagerank update

Yup, there was a pagerank update this weekend which showed a couple of very interesting tendencies: Google is putting even more focus on the update cycles of a given page, gets stricter with domain pagerank but gives away a lot more juice for deeplinks. Incoming links are of course still the most important factor, but sadly Xsara has been relying too much on good reputation…

Xsara, diaries of a SEO dog #7

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I quit my job at Google

Google quitterYup, it’s true. Of course a lot of my friends asked me, why I’m leaving such a great opportunity behind: Big G gives me everything I need free of charge. Unfortunately, I do not work at the headquarters, I’m just a simple member of the data collection department, and I’m working from home.

And that’s where all the trouble began: I was working part-time, and I did a lot of projects besides my Google job. And when the money started rolling in, the trouble began: soon I found out, that G is a pretty greedy employer. They’re generous with the freebies and all that, but in return they ask a lot back. I know I run just a tiny business compared to this multi-national corporation, but I still feel very uncomfortoble about giving them insight into every single one of my projects. There are a couple of sites I run for my customers, and there are even more domains which I run for my own purposes, which are quite diversified but all end up in the idea of bringing some cash home. My business techniques proved quite succesfull so far, and I’m not willing to lose income streams by offering Google full insight into what I use as an alternative for Adwords, to name just one example.

Neither am I too happy about the idea of sharing all my linkbuilding techniques with Google or even all my customer data – this would even conflict with my standard NDA by the way. So there’s only one happy end to this relation.

I’m leaving. We spent some fun times together, now it’s time to move on: no more Google Analytics on datadirt.

If you considering doing the same, you should definitely take a look at John Andrews great posting on this topic!

Image Credits: Kndigung by balzer matthias /


The Gina Lisa Google bomb

Gina Lisa was a contestant in the hugely succesful tv-series “Germany’s next top model”. Even though she had to leave the show after the first rounds, she won a lot of fans during that period. Gina Lisa is blond, has pretty impressive eyes and a lot of people – especially women – claim that she looks the tyical porn star. Her favourable sexy looks and clothes were not quite contradicting this judgement.

When Germany’s biggest newspaper, the Bildzeitung, published an article about an online clip that supposedly showed Gina Lisa indulging into various kinds of lovemaking with an ex boyfriend, a huge amount of users eager to see their favorite topmodel undressed started to search for the video online: et voil, the Gina Lisa Googlebomb was born.

Amazingly, the search for Gina Lisa was the most popular search term in Germany for a couple of days, which proves the old rule: sex sells!

Google Knol: know how to place your backlinks

Big G is firing up new half-ready services by the week: first lively, now Knol – a beast arising fromt the deepest darkest places where no wikipedia-user ever dwelled. Because Google is allowing follow-backlinks, so Knol will be spammed faster than a spam factory.

Unless the reviewer system actually starts to work. And unless Google goes for multi-langual support. Otherwise, quick SEOs will soon start posting “guides” on how to moderate blogs or explain the basics of SMO – social media optimization. And that’s most likely the reason why the don’t dare to put up “latest knols” on their front page.

monochrom and the BLF take over Big G

Austrian art group monochrom recently joined forces with the BLF (Billboard Liberation Front). Their Target: the Google Campus. Their mission: to set up a critical installation called “the great firewall of China”. It’s art, so no one went to jail – the BLF knows the US law system like their vest pocket. What neither the monos nor the BLF knew though was that their action took place just on the day of a Google shareholder meeting – great coincidences still do occur in our wonder-less age! ‘njoy the vid: