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June 13, 2008 - Spotting things you'll want to see today.

Your brain on Google?

The frenzied attention span of the average web user has driven Nicholas Carr to ask the question: Has Google Made Us Stupid? His 4,000 word Atlantic Monthly article asks if our brains are constantly driven to distraction by web pages to the point where readers now skim through life (as point of reference 4,000 words is roughly equivalent to 150 Twitter Tweets). John Batelle (a former magazine editor at Wired) was quick to differ, posting 516 words in his blog making the point that web reading may be different, but not necessarily worse than the old fashioned style. Matthew Ingram defended skimming as a time proven method that probably dates back to the days when information came on papyrus. A few blogs, such as Lies, Damned Lies... acknowledged Carr's point that web publishers have an incentive to quickly shuttle readers to the next ad bearing page. There may be a middle ground as Carr himself points out in his own blog, working around the hyperlinks in a quick 285 words.
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Is Viewzi worth a look?

This week's Google killer search engine is Viewzi, a visually impressive product that attempts to semantically parse your search request and deliver appropriate 'views' from a variety of aggregated sources. Jason Kincaid gave it a test drive for TechCrunch and was impressed, despite the fact that some of the more striking views actually had little to offer in regard to his original search. WebMarketCentral declared that "Google's Got company" while waiting for the promised ability to cumstomize views.

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  Reading habits worth considering

If you've ever used Yahoo Finance for a stock quote or to find a press release you probably have Jeremy Zawodny to thank for the timely delivery of your information. The software developer has been Yahoo's MySQL guru and a strong advocate for open source architecture. On Thursday Zawodny announced in his blog that he is leaving Yahoo for an unspecified new opportunity with a much smaller company. Acknowledging a large number of Yahoo departures, he was quick to state that neither the Microsoft or Carl Icahn dealings had anything to do with his leaving. Zawodny's blogging style is also open source, having taken on Google and Slashdot for using antiquated procedures but also turning a critical eye inward at a Yahoo software installation that altered user preferences. His blog will remain active, hopefully providing additional insights to enlightened system designs in his new job.

The 3g iPhone and what it says

Last week's highly anticipated announcement of the 3g iPhone seems to be a defining moment for mobile communication and computing. The breakthrough was marketing related, not technical as carrier subsidies will make an 8G iPhone available at a $199 price point. Mark Sigal noted that this pricing structure could result in the iPhone becoming the platform for mobile. Gigaom compiled a long list of promising new applications including mid-call switching to VOIP, location based social networks and eBay auctions. Mashable highlighted the GPS potential. The iPhone's push technology will be enterprise friendly and could cut into Blackberry's 2-1 existing dominance, according to mocoNews.

The iPhone's rush to dominance over Blackberry will also have to go through Google's Android phone. The Apple iPhone Review points out that the iPhone is merely open to 3rd party apps and not 100% open source like the Android. This might allow the Android platform to actually out-cool Apple. Do you really want to go to a dinner party and pull out the same phone as everyone else?
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Tools: New and/or improved

  • 7 Split Tests You Can Implement Today (Aweber)
  • Tools to Analyze Backlink Anchor Text (SEO Roundtable)
  • 18 Super Useful Ways To Use Twitter (Ian Cowley)
  • 3 Email Content Tips to Get Readers Back (Email Marketing Journal)
  • Make Your Web Site Sticky - 10 Ideas (Conversation Agent)
  • 5 Black Hat SEO Terms You Need Know (All Things SEM)

Radar Screen: Startup shares salary data for online jobs was launched this week by industry veterans including Rich Barton (Expedia, Zillow and AVVO). It is a social employment site where it is not considered impolite to talk salaries. In fact, it is basically required.

  • Find out just how underpaid you are with Glassdoor (Download Squad)
  • Lays Bare Coworkers' Salaries (eCommerce Times)
  • Bartonís Newest Vertical: Recruitment Site (Kelsey Group)
  • Glassdoor Brings Web 2.0 to Jobs (Screenwerk)
  • Looking through the Glassdoor into a company's internals (ars technica)


Off Topic: The tunnel from London to New York

London's Tower and New York's Brooklyn bridges have both earned the right to be suspicious of any newcomer that claims the ability to connect people across a great divide. It is hard to believe, however, that they aren't also a bit curious about the Jules Vernesque portals that suddenly appeared at the base of both historic structures. Immense Knowledge blogs about The Telectroscope, a recently competed tunnel that allows New Yorkers and Londoners to wave and hold up silly signs for each other, just for trans-Atlantic giggles. Skeptics may point out that a high speed video connection is involved. For those who are not imagination challenged a detailed history and construction photos of the actual tunnel are available at the Telectroscope's website.


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