Google fires a shot at Yelp; brings Hotpot recommendations to Maps

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Throwing caution to the wind and firing a shot over the bow of Yelp, Google has just announced that it has implemented Hotpot recommendations into Google Maps for your desktop. While it’s not yet perfect, according to the Google Lat Long Blog, “we’ll be building it out over time, making it even easier for you to keep track of your friends’ activities”.

Where will this get really interesting? Look at Google’s near-field communication that it has embedded into the Nexus S. Imagine going into a local venue and having your phone recognize where you are. You’re then given the chance to put a Hotpot recommendation into the system and your friends can immediately see what you think of the place.

Of course, that part is somewhat in the future. For now, it’s still a great recommendation system (and better in some ways than Yelp, even, by our standards) and well worth a try. Want to give it a shot, just head over to Google Hotpot and sign yourself up.

What do we want? A newly-updated version of Google Maps with Hotpot overlays, please.

This is HUGE. Ask me why… 😀


Most Say No to Government Regulation of Search Engines

a chart to describe the search engine market

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Most Americans give high marks to Internet search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing and don’t think the government needs to regulate their responses.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 77% of Adults say there is no need for government regulation of the way that search engines select the recommendations they provide in response to search inquiries. Just 11% believe such regulation is necessary, while just as many (12%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here).

The most frequent Internet users are the least likely to think regulation is needed for search engine recommendations.


Obama Eyeing Internet ID for Americans

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President Obama is planning to hand the U.S. Commerce Department authority over a forthcoming cybersecurity effort to create an Internet ID for Americans, a White House official said here today.


It’s “the absolute perfect spot in the U.S. government” to centralize efforts toward creating an “identity ecosystem” for the Internet, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt said.


That news, first reported by CNET, effectively pushes the department to the forefront of the issue, beating out other potential candidates including the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. The move also is likely to please privacy and civil liberties groups that have raised concerns in the past over the dual roles of police and intelligence agencies.


The announcement came at an event today at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, where U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Schmidt spoke.


The Obama administration is currently drafting what it’s calling the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, which Locke said will be released by the president in the next few months. (An early version was publicly released last summer.)

Looks like more government interference in our personal liberties is coming our way. Can we count on the new congress to kill this?


2011 Trends Driving Rural Small Business

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Two of my favorite points? “Small town people are carrying smartphones, playing location based games, and using Facebook even while out of the house. Visitors and travelers are using Google Local to find businesses in even the smallest of towns. Travelers and locals review small town businesses on sites like Yelp and Urban Spoon. All of this is happening now. Smart small town businesses are taking advantage of this, and 2011 should see more businesses in small towns offering coupons and deals through the established players like Google and Facebook. Mobile-friendly information and QR Codes will pop up, even in remote locations.” and “The wave of global outsourcing may have crested, and small town business can benefit by capturing more of these jobs through ruralsourcing. Rural service firms claim a number of advantages over global firms: shorter supply chains, better data security, intellectual property protection, cultural compatibility, and convenient time zones. Costs are lower than traditional urban firms, reflecting the lower rural cost of living. Those small town companies capable of partnering with large corporate clients stand to gain new business throughout 2011.” Smart rural economic development corporations, government leaders and business owners will pay heed…

A Turnaround for the Industry

Newspaper vendor, Paddington, London, February...

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The trends that were remaking the industry before 2008 appear to be picking up where they left off. That means this year is likely to bring rapid growth for spending on ads in new media, resumed growth for spending on television advertising and struggles for print media, particularly newspapers.

According to data from Kantar Media, advertising expenditures for all media for the first half of 2010 increased 5.7 percent from 2009 to about $63.6 billion. Television advertising led the pack in spending because of an increase in demand from the automotive and retail markets, and political advertising.

Spending on advertising in local newspapers showed a significant decline over the last 19 quarters, with a 4.6 percent decrease for the first half of 2010 compared with the same period in 2009, according to data from Kantar Media.

For the first time, advertisers are projected to have spent more on online ads than on newspaper ads in 2010, according to data by eMarketer.

“The bad economy has actually accelerated the shift to digital advertising,” Geoff Ramsey, the chief executive of eMarketer, said in a statement. “Online ads, especially search ads, are increasingly seen by many marketers as a more reliable bet than print ads, which are often difficult to tie to a measurable financial result.”

Go to the source to read the whole article: Comment or ‘connect with me’ to learn more about how this applies to your organization…