The J Curve

Monday, October 18, 2004

Defining “Don’t be Evil”

Back in 1995, it was easy to rig search engine results. Some search engines would actually tell you how they parsed just the first 100 words on the page. And they would let you submit pages to be crawled for fast feedback on how page content modifications lead to search results. Stacking white keywords on a white background at the top of the page did the trick for a couple years.

Then Overture invented the pay for placement model, which Google disdained as “evil” and then adopted as its primary revenue model. Google got around their own evil epithet by clearly delineating paid search results from unpaid. This has been their holy line in the sand. From the Business Journal: "'Don't be evil' is the corporate mantra around Google…. When their competitors began mixing paid placement listings with actual search results, Google stayed pure, drawing a clear line between search results and advertising.”

So Overture and Google have made search engine results a BIG business, and several “consultants” sell advice on how to spike results, but their tricks are short lived.

So it was with some amusement, that I found a way to easily spike certain Google search results. This has worked for a few months now, and it will be interesting to see how long it lasts after this post… ;-)

A reader of this blog pointed out to me that my Blogger Profile gets the top two Google search results for IL-4 smallpox, a genetically modified bioweapon. This is when my blog had no content whatsoever in this area (it now does). My profile is also number one for genetically modified pathogen policy, over thousands of more relevant pages.

And my profile is number one for several areas of whimsy: Techno downbeat music, and Nanotech core memory boards, and Artificial life with female moths, and Viral marketing with Technorati, among others. (disclosure: we invested in Technorati and Overture). Of course, longer phrases are easier to spike, and not everything works for a top placement, but this still seems way too easy.

Why is this interesting? Well, Google owns Blogger, and they get to decide how to fold blog pages into search results. It’s not obvious how to rank a vapid Blogger profile page versus real content… or a competing blog service for that matter. And as Google offers more services like Blogger and Orkut, it will be interesting to see how they promote them in their own search results.

Every person I have met from Google is fantastic, and I don’t think this quirk is an overt strategy passed down from management (and I presume it will disappear as more people exploit it). On the other hand, this is the kind of product tying you would expect from Microsoft. And it begs the question, can a mantra to not do evil infuse into the corporate DNA and continue to drive culture as a company scales?

There's also the question of internal consistency. Thinking back to the holy line in the sand about disclosing advertising in search results, does it somehow not count if you own it?

Google has taken on the challenge of defining evil, which begs for an operational constitution. Neal Stephenson proposes one meta rule: in a climate of moral relativism the only sin is hypocrisy.

29 Comments:

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Paul B., at 7:38 PM  

  • what we may be observing here is the beginning of the end of the world as we know it. the world is quickly becoming more distributed and more interconnected; this process is accelerating so fast that the sluggish overweight monopolies of power, money, and knowledge just cannot keep controlling it.

    and the same applies for google -- unless they really want to be(come) evil after all, we'll be seeing how they will be one of the igniters of this change.


    // this comment constitutes a "sneak preview" into a more elaborate essay on the subject matter that is yet to be published in my blog (mostly in estonian) -- or elsewhere //

    By Blogger wolli, at 1:53 AM  

  • Hi Steve,
    I make it an experiment; just added "genetically modified pathogen policy" in my Blogger profile, let's see if it will float, and if yes, how long it will be before that happens.

    But this is an old "hack". When I chosen my blog's name, I had to think about it twice. My usual nick at the time was DrDNA, a quite common one, despite the fact that I always have one of the three top position. And nothing to do with the eponym blog at Blogspot.
    Oldcola was my nick when I was 7yo. And a quite unusual word! The result is quite interesting. I you search for oldcola no way to avoid me. People I haven't heard about for a long time made their way to my e-mail googling oldcola!
    But then, is this a hack or a way to use the Google system? And this remains the main keyword used for searches in Google/Yahoo that end to my blog (3.40%).


    Now, for DrDNA, a blog I kept underground, and for just 409 results of which only 82 are displayed, the blogspot isn't there! No preference.
    This probe is invisible for Google. Why? No links!
    That means that you can go both ways (exposed, hidden) as easily. The "black box" seems to be equitable.

    Last example, if you try to promote a cigar community you will need to work hard to get one of the "first page" positions. Now, a smarter solution is "cigare", to get the attention of the french speaking people, first! Then build on that basis.
    "First page" with only two referees, just five outgoing links and a low PageRank (3) is a nice result, over 540000 other pages. [this isn't a complicated phrase we are dealing with, just a single keyword]. Probably it will never get the strength of cigar(e)[dot][com|net|org|biz]. But it became "visible" in less then one week.

    I think that cautious choice of simple keywords may do it, if the targeting is narrow enough, as narrow as a subject defined by a phrase.

    By Blogger OldCola, at 2:02 AM  

  • Dynamic change of its algorithm (the formula by which the search engine crawls and values the relevancy of what it finds) is the Key point that keeps Google on top of search engines and still congruent with their Mantra.

    Orkut will never have relevancy in search results since it is a private community and has a "no-index" request for search engines in its source code.

    Blogger´s profiles and blogs started to be indexed since they represented a more "true" way of finding results than ordinary commercial pages that are mostly optimized (altered manually and conciously) for search engines and directories. Now that blogs and profiles are being ALSO altered to bring faked search results, Google will move forward to change this. For example, it used to follow links from blogs to webpages freely (helping those webpages enhance their pagerank) and now it doesn´t follow links that way anymore.

    The constant change of rules at Google keeps us webmasters with a constant headache, but certainly it is the only way they have of avoiding "evil" behavour from internet users, designers and programmers. This may be of your interest:

    º Google, the anatomy of a search engineº Extract from the guidelines google give to webmasters:
    "Quality Guidelines - Basic principles: Complete text here.

    Make pages for users, not for search engines. Don't deceive your users, or present different content to search engines than you display to users.

    Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you'd feel comfortable explaining what you've done to a website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask, "Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn't exist?"

    Don't participate in link schemes designed to increase your site's ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or "bad neighborhoods" on the web as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links."

    Long live to Google!
    A follower of their mantra and a true fan. =)

    By Blogger Gisela Giardino, at 7:55 AM  

  • To be clear, I am also a fan of the Google products and people. I also don’t waste time trying to rig search results (the Blogger trick was discovered by serendipity and pointed out to me my a reader of this blog). My commentary about rigging results was for history and background.

    The two questions that I wanted to emphasize:

    1) Are Google-owned properties ranked higher in search results than non-Google owned equivalents? (and, if so, is Blogger a foretaste of what we might come to expect from Google in the future?)

    2) Independent of how Google-owned properties are ranked, should they be treated with the same transparency as advertising? Is there an inconsistency in saying that unmarked paid results are “evil” but unmarked Google results are not? Imagine a world in the near future where Google offers a variety of profitable services, and funneling traffic to them is just as valuable as paid advertising.

    If you have no concern with 1) and 2) for Google as we know it, would your thinking change if Google was owned by Microsoft?

    If so, consider the future; the search interface to web services has similarities to the Windows interface to applications.

    By Blogger Steve Jurvetson, at 11:49 AM  

  • Anil Dash won the Search Engine Optimization contest with a single post, on Moveable Type: http://www.dashes.com/anil/2004/06/04/nigritude-ultramarine

    Blogs get good Google Juice because they feed the web. What's fascinating is how your profile and posts make you part of the language stream. I just realized that Halloween was approaching because of "squirrel pumpkin carving."

    btw, Steve, headed back to Estonia next month, camera in tow.

    By Blogger Ross, at 1:00 PM  

  • My thinking would change of course if Google was owned by microsoft. Simply because Sergey Brin and Larry Page are definitely NOT Bill gates.

    Are you refering to the similarities of interface between windows and google as for their new beta desktop application (search utility like the toolbar for the internet browser)?

    Or is it similar to Windows from the beginning and I am such a windows user that I don´t realize this? (I am truly asking with no ironny neither parciality on this)

    I don´t think Google makes preferences over their owned places over non-Google ones. As they don´t make websites that pay to be in the Adwords program (the results that appear at the right on the screen) appear on better possition at the main non-paid results´ thread. I can testify this.

    Maybe this is a question of friendliness between the Googlebot that crawls and the people of Pyralabs who program Blogger. Guess the make the Blog system "google compatible" first of all. And that may be the reason of a certain predominancy of blogger results over another blogs and sites... if it exists.

    Watcha think? =)

    Btw... just got this from WebProWorld, a forum I belong to and thought about you.

    By Blogger Gisela Giardino, at 2:56 PM  

  • Me again, sorry! I forgot this link, too, which is the most topical within here of the two. Aur revoir!

    By Blogger Gisela Giardino, at 3:01 PM  

  • thanks for the links.
    Ross: enjoy the homeland!
    Gisela: I meant the Windows-Google analogy in the abstract, as a position of power that could be abused. In a web services world, Google could be the directory and gateway and more over time. And developers would hope for equal access and a level playing field.... as they perennially hope for with Windows... ;-)

    By Blogger Steve Jurvetson, at 3:42 PM  

  • Steve - this is quite interesting. I wrote a related blog "Google + blogs = power" a couple of months back with a slightly different angle. My main point at the time was that blogs are having a potentially disproportionate influence on Google rankings given the prevalence of linkbacks in the blogosphere (and the presumption that linkbacks are a key part of Google's search results algorithms).

    In my example, if you type "Plaxo enterprise" into Google, my blog (powered by Typepad, not Blogger) comes up at the top of the results, even though I only wrote a small snippet on the topic once. The second result is Om Malik's blog (linking to my blog) and the third result is Plaxo itself. Google's system just happens to think my blog is a particularly useful result based on quantity of linkbacks.

    The J-Curve, for example, has 58 inbound links according to Technorati which is a huge amount compared to any average company Web site.

    I do, however, think the fact that Google is listing your (and now OldCola's) Blogger Profile at the top of the results and not your actual blog discussing that topic suggests they are deliberately tweaking the system to drive Blogspot traffic (which Six Apart should definitely be concerned about as Blogspot search exposure could be a competitive advantage to attracting new bloggers).

    By Blogger Steve, at 3:56 PM  

  • Got it now. K.

    Abuse is not given by a position, but resides in the moral and/or heart of who occupies it. We are all potential abusers. Some become so... some don´t, even when the have been abused before...

    Do you abuse people or situations when you have some power over them? I answer: No. Definitely no. 3 times no. On the contrary, you try to help from where you are, sharing what you can, how you can. And I am talking about you, me and million of people who are not abusers.

    Google abusive behaviors, IMHO, won´t be unfolded suddenly because and inevitable "search engine monopoly" they may owe finally in the near future. I tend to believe that while Sergey and Larry (the "heart and moral" of the Co.) still have weight in the company´s decision making, Google will still keep his healthy and pure nature. Shall the change to IPO doesn´t tear all apart, bringing to the directory board people with weaked intentions...

    By Blogger Gisela Giardino, at 4:14 PM  

  • The idea of culturally ingrained practices or ingrained considerations of ethical design depends on many variables.

    As the systems architect for most of our systems, I challenge the developers and analysts on the teams to always do better than they had planned - to make the product easier to use, faster, simpler to maintain, and more secure.

    The latter part - security also includes the idea of privacy for the customer. I always ask how would the customer view our efforts and how would they view how we protect and use their data. The flip side of this, is how to make things secure, but allow normal customer service efforts to occur seamlessly - ie. resetting customer passwords or updating financial and payment methods. This tradeoff mindset that places the customers' perceptions first has become ingrained in our design and development practices.

    Architecturally, a design can lock in the security and privacy from the get go and make it part of the product, or it can be an ad hoc reaction to a particular problem. Architecture can also lead the product down a path that prevents misuse. In order for developers to add to and improve the system they must first model it in their mind and understand it - thus the architecture itself becomes an ethical instruction. The architecture has ingrained checks and balances..

    By Blogger PureData, at 9:00 PM  

  • Mr. Jurvetson would you please create a God Box on the internet? It's a box where people can send a message to God.

    Perhaps, you could find a way to have the God box listed with Google for free, with good placement, and for people to use for free. Of course, privacy is of the utmost importance.

    Having a B.A. in American Studies/Literature, i'm clueless about creating an Internet based God Box. Graphics are easy to envision.

    Also, please visit my open-mindmovement blog page or e-mail: erin_kelly@hotmail.com

    By Blogger erin marie kelly, at 9:18 AM  

  • Whoa.... I guess it's free association hour here! Anything goes. =)

    (and thanks for the updates Steve H.)

    By Blogger Steve Jurvetson, at 6:04 PM  

  • LOL!

    Free association #1:
    "A child of five can understand this... Send someone fetch a child of five, soon!" -Groucho Marx

    Free association #2:
    Excellent Dad´s bday dinner. I was in such a happy mood. Prozac does wonders in me. :-)

    (ps: you have my complete allowance to delete this comment, g´night) =)

    By Blogger Gisela Giardino, at 1:00 AM  

  • I noticed this google search paradox some time ago, when soon after I set up my first blogger page I was receiving traffic based on search result keywords in random strings in my blogger profile. I never bothered playing with it much, but keenly watched my internet traffic pour in from all over the world from Contemporary Architecture websites (presumably based on Google web serches performed from within their pages via Google's search API). I can't tell you how many hits I received from gizmodo and mocoloco {dot} coms as well. With a few typed words I became a part of the internet conscious. The traffic has largely slowed down, but my weekly checks into my traffic referrals still shows about a 1/2 to 2/3 Google search referral.

    By Blogger Rob, at 9:09 PM  

  • Now, That's quite fast!

    My 'Blogger profile' is on top of the search for GMP policy already, along with yours, the link to Blogger's being Blogger: Browse profiles.

    I haven't notice the power of the 'Interests' field in Blogger's profiles. It is a very interesting one. I'll have to spend some time to see how that affects Google's searches in a more general way, and adjust my profile to more closely fit to my preferred topics.

    By Blogger OldCola, at 11:22 PM  

  • By Blogger OldCola, at 2:00 AM  

  • OldCola: You will see stronger results for word pairs and triples. That's where the Blogger Profile stands out. For single words like "blogs" or for common searches, this bias we have been discussing is in the noise.

    All: I don't recall a discussion on the second point - should Google owned properties be flagged in the same way as advertising?

    (Imagine Google offers a broad suite of web services in the future; "Blogger" is perhaps not the best one to focus on)

    By Blogger Steve Jurvetson, at 2:36 PM  

  • I think that there is a main, though subtle, difference between a marketing strategy (to spread a message or a company´s name + its products / services) and adverstising. To me, advertising necessarily implies that what it is being displayed (a product or a service) is charged, it has a cost.

    I think that everytime, even here, when we say "google" this is a form of marketing... (I said nothing new, right? :-) Google with its services is spreading its brand name everywhere like spam. Now, since google services are free of charge, is it fair to say that their marketing campaign should be "flagged" as advertising? (that term "flagged" has some air of something that is being done in the dark and should be unveiled) Up to date, we already have a lot of web services googles offers. And free of charge. They have not become a suite, but they will in the near future, probably. They offer:

    * a search engine
    * inclusion (index) of your website in their database
    * a tool bar for your browser with several applications
    * a email client with 1 gb of storage
    * pay per click advertising (sponsored results)
    * ad sense advertising (they pay you for having their box with ads in your site)
    * weblog service with indexing of its contents - blogger
    * hosting service... since you can host your blog for free at blogspot.
    * an internet browser. Let me explain: Opera browser is still free because you have a small banner on top with "adds by google". Also there are rumors that goolgle is building its own browser though the company have said this is not true. But you know that these kind of rumors always have some truth to feed them.
    * search tool for websites (so you can put a search bar that crawls your website contents).
    * a private social network. Orkut runs on Google servers.
    * their last release: a desktop application.

    Surely I am missing something... All this is free, except for the Adwords (sponsored links) service that it is clearly marked as such. Why then should Google services be "flagged" as advertising?

    Now, if tomorrow google puts all this together and do the "Great Microsoft" trick -start to charge for the web services suite-, my friend Steve, then I agree that everywhere the word Google appear standing for one of its services, it will be plain advertising. The Yahoo case, I think.

    All this takes us back to the beginning: everything is a question of ethics. If they want to follow and keep their tantra, they will, no matter they become the biggest corp in the galaxy. If they are not planning to doing so and all this "do no evil" followed up to date is a hoax, a trap to "catch" us, then, what can we do? How could we stop it? I don´t think so, but maybe because I don´t want to. =) ...this is just one vision on the subject. Tk u. G´night.

    By Blogger Gisela Giardino, at 11:22 PM  

  • They don’t have to charge for a service for it to be of strategic importance to them. If they spike search results for Google-owned Picasa over Yahoo-owned flickr, then I think it would be hypocritical for them to say that it’s evil to include commercially sponsored links in search results. (I have no idea if they do that; it’s just a hypothetical example to try to make the point). And again, think of the future of web services, where Google is more powerful than Microsoft. Microsoft’s bundling the browser for free did not excuse the damage done by product tying.

    Meanwhile, I’m just happy that the blog is now second only to Wolfram on a search for computational equivalence. He coined the term. ;-)

    By Blogger Steve Jurvetson, at 6:50 PM  

  • Well, two minutes of clear thinking suggests an easy way to test the hypothesis of whether or not Google favors Blogger results over other sites.

    Step 1 - Create a Blog on blogger, preferably including rare words and phrases to minimise clutter

    Step 2 - Copy the entire blog to another hosting location

    Step 3 - Make sure that inbound links and mentioning of the blog and the mirror site respectively are identical. Especially make sure that your mirror site is submitted to Google. (assuming that a newly created blog on blogger will be submitted automatically)

    Step 4 - Search Google for one or more of the rare words or phrases included in your blog, and see which of the sites receives the highest ranking.

    Step 5 - Repeat step 4 with regular intervals

    Step 6 - plot a graph showing the results, and post it to your blog, Assess whether or not Google is evil, and write about it.

    :-)

    If anybody is actually going to perform this experiment, please throw me a mail

    Oh by the way, noticing that this thread has gone way off topic anyway, some smart VC(hint hint..) should set up shop in Denmark. It is filled with smart people, with an exceptional knack for design, usability and good ideas, and the ability to deliver products at a fraction of the cost (see this post). And the capital markets, especially seed and preseed are way underdeveloped.

    By Blogger Max, at 11:11 AM  

  • I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico and you should know of a special group that is based at Los Alamos National Labs that today, continues to work with recombinant DNA and is developing some rather interesting genetic weapons for the future.

    Los Alamos is only 30 miles to the north of Santa Fe New Mexico. 80% of the Labs is known to the public.

    This story is about the other 20% of the Lab that is above top secret. Like Groom Lake (Dreamland, Area 51) Los Alamos National Labs is home to a handful of secret research labs buried in the Jemez Mountains that the public has no knowledge of.

    This blog, this story is about one of these groups.

    Since the engineers up there are no longer developing nuclear weapons, I guess this kind of work keeps them employed.

    My source, who claims to work at a secret group there have come up with a cure for eradicating the West Nile Virus using recombinant DNA.

    A rather unique use for a genetically engineered bioweapon used at insects, rather than targeted at humans for the time being.

    According to my source, the government will not condone it's use as it is projected within six months after it's release, to completely wipe out of the all mosquito population in the United States.

    The delivery mechanism would be aerosols, laced with an airborne bacteria that attacks only the mosquito and it's larvae. The ideal delivery vehicle of the gene-spliced aerosols would be via crop duster aircraft and foggers pulled by trucks.

    It is interesting to note that most of the privately owned crop dusters in America (some 300,000 of them) have been grounded by the government since 9/11

    I had thought this to be an excellent idea (wiping out mosquitos) but I did not give much thought to the potential impact on the ecosystem that actually feeds on the mosquitos and mosquito larvae.

    However, the group expressed that the consumption by various fish, frogs, bats and birds is something that no computer simulation can predict with any degree of accuracy.

    Wipe out the mosquito... but what is the impact on the other species that depend on eating mosquitoes or mosquito larvae to survive? In light that many Americans die every every from West Nile Virus, I say wipe all the mosquitos out, but keep some either frozen or alive, to be bred in controlled lab environments and re-introduce them only if you have to (if you see a noticable impact on the ecosystem with other species.)

    It's a real paradox. Kill one species to wipe out West Nile Virus sure, but what happens to the ecosystem? By making mosquitos extinct in one part of the World (the United States) will this set into a motion a domino effect that wipes out another species? No one seems to have any concrete answers on this question.

    So, it appears the group will have to deal with the elimination of the West Nile virus in another way.

    Further, the same group had discovered how to release a new strain of biting flies, common to the areas of Iraq. I think you will find this one a bit shocking as I did.

    The purpose here, being that the flies could be released into what is known terrorist cells (areas). The genetically (altered) engineered flies will bite people, delivering any viral pathogen the scientists want to engineer such as bubonic plague, smallpox, AIDS or as they have suggested, a new viral pathogen that works much like a nerve agent.

    Once bitten, the nervous system will begin to shut down much like it would if exposed to a dose of nerve agent in larger quantities (such as an air burst with a chemical warhead). The bite will induce the same effects (they claim) but just be much slower, more difficult to diagnose, and will wipe out more people. Even when discovered, a cure will be far from reach as this new gene-spliced pathogen is resistant to conventional nerve agent treatments. Which means even if you do manage to get diagnosed properly, death is still certain.

    The shocking parts of this new form of genetic warfare are this: You can safely release these new weapons in mixed populations, as the weapons are engineered to target specific genes that are common to a specific race that make your skin brown, your hair black, or your eyes... well, I think you get the idea.

    For example, I have green eyes and I am American. I am eating dinner with a friend who is sitting across the table from me. This person is dark skinned, has brown eyes and is obviously of middle eastern decent. We could be both be bitten by the same fly, but I will live while my friend, who is of middle eastern decent, will die a horrible death.

    Essentially, a way to deal with terrorists and how to eliminate them on a whole new scale has already been invented. The problem is that the solution means potential genocide, or the elimination of an entire race of people just so the military can wipe out the terrorist factions.

    I know warfare means technology advances. I know we cannot go back to fighting with sticks and stones, but just because we CAN do something like this doesn't mean we SHOULD.

    If enough people knew this kind of weapon exists, how can we ban its development? Can we drag this kind of thing into the harsh light of day?

    Can we scream at our congressman that we have to take measures to not only ban this kind of development but we will need to create watchdog groups and task groups to ensure we do not (ever) develop these kinds of weapons.

    I took a bit of chemistry and biology in school. It doesn't take much education to create and grow smallpox or anthrax in a petri dish.

    You take an airplane and drop just 100 pounds of anthrax powder into the air above Chicgao, and there goes 1 million plus people.

    It only takes one disgruntled worker at a lab like the one in Los Alamos to take home a capful of genetically engineered germs and sell this to some terrorist on the street for a few thousand dollars.

    The selling of something like this, is NOT like the selling of secret government spy plane blueprints to the Russian KGB in the 1970's. In my opinion, we need to ensure that no one has access to genetically engineered weapons of mass destruction.

    We all know that terrorists are well funded. A well funded group can take these weapons and create a few hundred pounds of something that could wipe out a few million people before we ever knew what hit us. Genetically designed weapons can be easily hid in any aerosol can.

    I was shown the delivery mechanism that this lab used to help wipe out the bark beetle infestation last year in New Mexico. Perhaps you heard of the destruction of thousands of juniper trees? The bark beetle wiped out thousands of acres of healthy juniper trees. But the bark beetle is practically wiped out now, thanks to recombinant DNA research.

    This was their first practical use of a genetically engineered weapon, and it looked like an ordinary can of generic (brand) hair spray.

    This lab was going to release another weapon to wipe out mosquitos i order to eliminate the West Nile Virus in America, but the government said no.

    This lab now has a plan in place to release biting flies into the middle east to wipe out terrorist cells, and as far as I know, our government is considering the idea as I write this.

    For these reasons, we need to ban the development of these weapons and we need the ability and the means to ensure that no lab is allowed to create them. Ever.
    ........

    This scares me more than nuclear warfare. How do we ban together to stop genetic bio-weapons of mass destruction from being developed?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:03 PM  

  • Wow. A lot of material here. Would you be willing to post it again on the Genetically Modified Pathogen thread. I think you'll find that discussion to be spot on these topics. thanks!

    This thread is mostly about Google, and per their Master Plan, it will be a while before Google biotech leads to cattle mutilations and a clone army.... =)

    By Blogger Steve Jurvetson, at 9:40 AM  

  • Nice , this was cool.

    Thanks

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:53 AM  

  • Hey, This is really great . nice one.



    Thanks

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:17 PM  

  • Hi Steve:

    Thanks for the post.

    As a nascent blogger, I've had to learn about all the various ways to put together web pieces into a blog over the last few months. Blogger doesn't always easily fit with Flickr displays (although you do it on yours quite effectively) versus Wordpress and Typepad.

    If these various blogsites do all become controlled by Fox, Viacom, Yahoo, Google, etc., it will be interesting to see if they migrate to more walled gardens in some respects.

    Thanks for the interesting posts. I had one recently that I think you might find interesting. With Dartmouth Prof Syd Finkelstein, we studied 30 VC-backed firms to find the major leadership, strategy, and process predictors of annual sales growth. Here is the link: http://breakoutperformance.blogspot.com/2006/10/predictors-of-significant-vc-backed.html . Syd's presenting it tomorrow in Boston to the FSVCA group out there.

    Best wishes,

    Eric

    By Blogger Eric Jackson, at 8:06 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:08 AM  

  • And it continues today...

    "The primary goal of the Don’t Be Evil tool is to provide searchers with the most relevant social results for their given search query but at the same time it may shame Google into creating a social search that doesn't give preference to its own social network.

    “This is a tool meant to directly expose Google’s recent moves with Google+ as biased, hardcoded, and against Google’s core philosophy (which besides ‘don’t be evil,’ has always been about ‘focusing on the user’),” writes John Battelle on John Battelle’s Searchblog."

    from http://news.yahoo.com/don-t-evil-tool-feeds-facebook-twitter-results-104015969.html

    By Blogger Steve Jurvetson, at 9:12 AM  

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