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Wednesday, September 14th, 2005

Vint Cerf Talks Google

Last week Google hired a net-god, Vinton Cerf, as its “chief Internet evangelist”. Google’s hiring of Cerf has set off a wide range of speculation among Internet watchers. Vint Cerf is not what many would consider a “normal” person and is no where near a “normal” employee. Cerf has been called the Father of the Internet and the most important person alive. Read more…

Vint Cerf is one of the original pioneers of the Web. Cerf is the guy who developed the TCP/IP communications protocol that directs all packets of information from servers to users. He is also Google’s newest employee. Cerf joins the search giant as its “chief Internet evangelist” on October 3rd having defected from MCI Inc. where he served for 11 years as the Sr. Vice President of Technology Standards. Read more…

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Thursday, September 8th, 2005

Magna Relief

Earlier this week, Fortune magazine editor John Huey wrote a call to action editorial to American businesses and corporations telling them to put their vast resources to good use in this national emergency. On Monday, Toronto based automotive parts magnate Frank Stronach showed how it should be done. Read more…

Along with our colleagues in other parts of the tech sector, the search engine community is starting to respond to the devastation Hurricane Katrina left along the northern Gulf coast. Several blogs, forums and search tools have been redesigned, rewritten or refocused to aid in relief efforts. Google, MSN, Yahoo, and Lycos have all announced the development and implementation of tools to assist disaster victims and those who want to help. Read more…

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Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

New Orleans Relief

By now everyone with electricity has seen images and video of the devestation that befell New Orleans and the surrounding areas yesterday. 80% of the city has been destroyed. Over 100 people have been killed, tens of thousands injured and hundreds of thousands left homeless. The magnitude of the disaster is impossible to express in simple words. When words fail, all we have are deeds. Now is the time to help in any way we can. Read more…

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Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

School Kids Search Too

One week left. That’s it. One week from the time this piece is being written the school doors open and the dog-days come to a close. Summer is over in seven days for tens of millions of students across North America . Going back to school is both exciting and anti-climactic, at least if I remember correctly. It has been quite a few years since I sat on the students’ side of the lecture podium. Today, my only experience with schooling is as an infrequent guest lecturer at the University of Victoria or at one of the local technical colleges. My career as a student ended long before the advent of the commercial Internet. Read more…

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Friday, August 19th, 2005

Going on vacation next week

I am taking a two-week vacation starting next Friday. That is a good thing too because the past four days have almost turned me off this amazing industry. A break from the silliness of the search engines and the pettiness of practitioner politics will do me a world of good. I’m also sure that the absense of my frantic presence for few weeks will provide a much needed break for the rest of the StepForth crew as well. ;) Read more…

Search marketers were surprised this morning by the announcement that three of the most influential publications in the search marketing sector had quietly been sold to new owners. Jupitermedia, publisher of Search Engine Watch and ClickZ Magazine, announced plans to sell its research, publishing and trade show divisions to UK-based publisher Incisive Media PLC for approximately $43million in cash. The timing of the announcement is interesting as it falls on the eve of the largest annual Search Engine Strategies conference, SES San Jose which opens next Monday (August 8th).

In 2004, Jupitermedia reported nearly $40million in revenues which translated into $23.6million in gross profits from its online media and search event divisions. It also reported revenues of $21.5million in the first half of this year.

Jupitermedia chair and CEO, Alan Meckler, who is interested in expanding the digital images and photography divisions of Jupiter, said the sale would help strengthen Jupitermedia’s finances, making additional acquisitions possible. Currently, the digital image and photography market is dominated by Bill Gates’ Corbis Images and Getty Images.

The sale is said to demonstrate the continued strength of the B2B publishing sector, at least as it relates to search marketing. Incisive Media says it will finance the purchase by releasing new shares to institutional investors and through increased debt facilities. It also says it wants to expand the number of SES tradeshows while expanding its reach in the North American search marketplace.

“The acquisition will allow Incisive Media to strengthen its footprint in the US and to roll-out the SES model across the territories in which the company currently operates,” Incisive said in a media release.

Search Engine Watch is the home of search journalism pioneer, Danny Sullivan and his team of bloggers, journalists and SES organizers which includes Gary Price, Chris Sherman, and Elisabeth Osmeloski. In a post to the SEW forum, Danny expressed optimism over the sale stating that he and his team, “… are carrying on with our regular work as part of the deal. While the owners are changing, the quality content we aim to deliver to you is not. Overall, it’s a good thing. Jupitermedia is concentrating on its images businesses, and the deal puts us with a new owner looking to expand the work we do.”

Expansion of SEW’s work seems to be in the works for Incisive as well. Incisive has announced it plans to organize a larger number of SES conferences in the future with a focus on the European and Asian markets as well as the North American market.

Microsoft was successful in obtaining a temporary injunction preventing Dr. Kai-Fu Lee from taking over as the head of Google’s new research center in China. The ruling, issued by Kings County Superior Court Judge Steven Gonzalez forbids Lee from working on Google projects or research relating to search technologies, natural language processing or speech technologies, and business strategies that would be “competitive” with fields he studied while at Microsoft. Part of Gonzalez’s ruling also prohibits Dr. Lee from disclosing trade secrets or proprietary information learned while he was employed at Microsoft. It also forbade Google from “attempting to induce” Microsoft employees to work for Google. Read more…

Yahoo Search made two important announcements this week, both of which involve exclusive rights to provide search results in interesting venues.

On Tuesday, Yahoo announced it was teaming up with cell phone maker Motorola to provide Yahoo’s online products and search results over Motorola Linux-based mobile devices, including Motorola’s upcoming iRadio product. IRadio will allow users to listen to online radio over their portable devices, or access their own digital music collections. Read more…