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Showing posts from December, 2008

Vertical search vs. Google

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I have blogged in the past about how Google's PageRank algorithm is providing decreasingly useful search results, and how vertical search is much more targeted and useful. The main issue here is that most searches are context-driven, for example when you type in a word and hit search, are you looking to buy something, a definition, or a review?

The vast majority of my searches are vertical searches from the Firefox search toolbar. I have installed the following search engines into the dropdown:

Amazon
Dictionary.com
EBay
Facebook
Google Maps
IMDb
LinkedIn
MySpace
Songza
TheFind.com
Thesaurus.com
WhoIs Lookup
Wikipedia
Yelp
YouTube
Mycroft (to find more search engines to add!)

For example, if I hear of a new artist on the radio and want to check out more tracks, I select Songza. If I want to check out their fan presence I select MySpace. And if I want to buy tracks or the album, I select Amazon. Picking the search vertical and then typing the search term is much more efficient than typing in th…

An article is to a newspaper as a track is to an album

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A thought occurred to me today while reading Virginia Hefferman's latest The Medium column in the Sunday New York Times, one of the best columns covering transitions in the media industry. Her article Content and Its Discontents laments how old media is becoming decimated. Yes, clearly reading a magazine or newspaper cover-to-cover is very old school, or as Jon Stewart poignantly nailed it with a joke newspaper entitled "Cincinnati Dump Accompaniment".
But does it necessarily mean that content is dead just because newspapers and magazines are effectively dead? A newspaper column is to a newspaper as a track is to an album. The music industry has gone through a very similar transition as newspapers and magazines. Albums are definitely dead. Labels are pretty much dead. But music is flourishing! Fans can purchase tracks for a $1. A band of two like Ghostland Observatory or Trifonic can create amazing music that used to take bands of at least four. 
Distributing a music vide…