Thursday, October 22, 2009

Right Now Searches: Twitter teams up with Google and Bing

Right Now Searches: Twitter teams up with Google and Bing
Anyone who uses it for a period of time knows that news breaks instantly on Twitter. Major news corporations often seem too slow, and by the time they get a link up on their site, the news that broke on twitter has already been an hour old and people are moving on. Many people that don't use twitter regularly don't think to check the search when looking for information on breaking news, while pundits and journalists are often tweeting when in meetings with the President, tech news is received direct from top level CEOs and sports news direct from the athletes.

The deal between Twitter and the two major search engines hasn't been disclosed but it's apparent that Twitter's public feed is of great value to both. It could be a real way for Twitter to earn some money and for Bing and Google's search results to be more realtime relevant.

The process is a bit complicated but what the search engines will do with the Twitter feed is index the tweets as they are popping up and scan them to check for patterns and spikes in keywords. This will help them get a better grasp on what people on the web are paying attention to and talking about. If a certain link is particularly popular, Google and Bing can take note and move the link or topic higher up on the results page.

The most daunting task for the search engines is that tweets will show up in the search results, but when there are millions of tweets coming in at once how do you rank them in the results? Twitter is apparently attempting to solve this issue, as are a few others to come up with a "pagerank" style of operating. But until that gets figured out by everyone involved I wouldn't expect a crisp and clear operation.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Actors Banned From Twitter

Actors Banned From Twitter

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that a number of Hollywood studios are putting "no social media" clauses in the contracts of actors, executives and other employees, in an attempt to prevent the leaking of information. A Dreamworks writer's deal warns against preempting a studio press release with a "social networking site..." while another talent deal prevents bashing a production with social media. At Disney, a recent contract states that confidentiality breaches via "media such as Facebook, Twitter or any other interactive social network or personal blog" is forbidden. Viacom goes as far as to enforce online confidentiality for a year after a production is finished.

In recent months, many celebrities have taken to various media sites, usually Twitter, taking their PR into their own hands. This is true of everyone from NFL players to American Idol judges, and the self-made announcements have left the people they work for wondering what they can do to prevent potential leaks of confidential or disparaging information.

A top talent lawyer told The Hollywood Reporter, "This is just the beginning. Hollywood has a long history of controlling what talent says in the media. This is just a new area of media that hasn’t been controlled yet.”

But still, some studios are encouraging their talent to use Twitter and enjoying the extra publicity that comes along with it. At ABC, actors' tweets are posted on the network's website and they are encouraging actors to post regularly. Of course, the encouragement is not without guidelines that included a list of things not to do, such as revealing spoilers or bashing the network's shows.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Google Caffeine Coming Soon

Google Caffeine Coming Soon

Google is getting ready to release a new, improved version of its search engine. Nicknamed "Caffeine," Google claims the upgraded version will be faster, more accurate, bigger, and more comprehensive than the original Google search. The current version is a pre-beta release but tech websites across the internet are already chattering about Caffeine and putting it to the test. At the social media-oriented website, Mashable, they set out to judge the speed, accuracy, temporal relevancy and index size of the new search engine.

To measure speed, they looked at how fast the search engine loaded results compared to the original version. Whether the search word was "dog" or a longer phrase, the new Google won with every test. As a matter of fact, with "dog," Caffeine more than cut search time in half - coming in at 0.12 seconds vs the old Google's 0.25 seconds.

When it came to accuracy, it wasn't as easy to judge but Caffeine was declared the winner. The new version of Google appeared to consider more of the key words in searched phrases. One difference was that Caffeine didn't integrate image and news results into its searches like Google's current search engine does, but it's possible that will be added before the finalized product is released.

As for Temporal Relevancy, neither version really outshines the other. Bing (Microsoft's new search engine) actually appeared to be just as good, if not better than both versions of Google. The newer version did seem to change news article results faster as they became more up-to-date, but Mashable calls this one a draw.

As for index size, another search of the word "dog" showed that the new Google surpassed the old with a total of 359,000,000 matches to 51,900,000. But other, more complicated searches showed that Microsoft's Bing surpassed both versions.

Based on these few, short tests, it appears as though the new Google is much better than the old and will only get better before the final version is finished. It also appears that Google is starting to feel some competition from Bing.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Google Video Views Up

Google Video Views Up

comScore's Video Metrix service has released data concerning online video viewing for August 2009 and as it turns out, online video received its biggest audience ever! Over 161 million internet users watched online video at some point in August and the average viewer watched almost ten hours of video during the month (or an average of 157 videos). Over 25 billion videos were viewed with Google-owned sites accounting for at least ten billion of those.

Of course, one reason the top honors went to Google sites is because the company owns what is probably the most popular website for viewing online video: YouTube. 99% of Google's ten billion videos viewed were viewed at Microsoft came in at a very distant second with about 547 million videos viewed, followed by Viacom with 540 million and Hulu with 489,000.

As for unique viewers, 121 million Google visitors watched an average of 83 videos during August, with Microsoft, again, coming in at second with almost 55 million viewers watching about ten videos all month, and Yahoo! coming in third with just over 51 million viewers watching just seven videos.

comScore also measured data relating to the top online video ad networks by comparing potential of unique viewers to viewer penetration. In August, Tremor media was number one, reaching 42% of the potential viewing audience with YuMe Video ranked second with about 37% and ScanScout coming in at a close third with 36%.

So what else did comScore find? Well, 81.6% of the entire United States internet audience viewed an online video in August and the duration of the average online video viewing was about four minutes. Read more at comScore, Inc