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Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Ask Launches Improved UK Maps

Yesterday Ask launched an improved version of UK Maps in a bid to get more users of the utility in the UK.

I am not too familiar with the pitfalls of version 1.0 but according to Ask’s press release the new system accounts for the US-english vs UK-english language barrier (i.e. an ‘exit’ on a motorway is considered a ‘junction’ in the UK). The other improvements included:

  • Receive driving directions for up to ten different destinations at one time. In other words, plan your driving route for an entire day of errands – pretty cool.
  • It now includes walking directions.
  • “Landmark Assistance” is included which, I presume, allows you to find your way to particularly popular points of interest; this would be quite handy on a holiday!
  • Subway stations are marked for those who wish to get around a little quicker.
  • Curious about how everything might look in a particular location? Try the satellite view which will give you a decent photo view of the surroundings.
  • Satellite shots are available for purchase on the fly… odd but okay.
  • If you search for any UK city within Ask Search you will be presented with a myriad of city details including hot spots, links to maps, tips, etc. Read more…

Here is a list of some articles that my staff and I came across today and thought worthy of sharing. Enjoy!

  • I, Cringely wrote an excellent article today describing Google’s plans to host all of our applications. Cringely’s insights are well founded in my opinion. This one is definitely well worth the read.
  • According to a mobile study released by Portio Research over half the worlds population will have a cell phone by 2009 and 75% of the population will have one by 2011.
  • “The Senate on Thursday night approved a seven-year extension of a moratorium on state and local taxes on Internet access.” Honestly it is amazing to me that such a tax is even being considered – damn politicians!
  • “Google Inc. is confident that its $3.1 billion bid for online ad tracker DoubleClick will win over European and U.S. regulators.” Personally I hope it doesn’t go through simply because it has a very real possibility of giving Google a very damaging advantage over other search engines. I am still holding out hope that another player will steal more market share from Google because I prefer a more level playing field but I am well aware that is unlikely anytime soon.

And since we are approaching Halloween, here is something a little frightening for your day. A Zogby/463 Internet Attitudes poll states that 1 in 4 Americans feel the Internet is a decent substitute for a significant other for a period of time. Yikes. Oh and some other very interesting and occasionally boggling data was collected in the same poll so check it out for a laugh or two.

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

dotMobi Domains Sell for Half Million

Congratulations to the gang at dotMobi for their successful Moniker auction in Miami last Friday. I am extremely impressed with how much they made on these domains. – $150,000 – $145,000 – $110,000 – $55,000 – $50,000 – $32,500 – $25,000 – $12,500 – $8,000 – $8,000 Read more…

On Wednesday the news lines were afire as Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs announced a $200 price slash on the iPhone. Ever since the announcement there has been rampant speculation on Job’s move…

Why, why, why?

Well I came across a fantastic character profile on Bill Gates and Steve Jobs by Robert X. Cringely; a man with abnormally deep insight into both men. The article is fascinating and I strongly recommend the read. After all, these are two people who have serious influence over the technological world we live in.

I enjoyed a fantastic overview of a press conference presented by Steve Jobs today. Among other cool news such as a new line of iPods Steve Jobs announced huge price slashes on the iPhone (sorry those who already bought it!) and added a particularly cool product called the iPod Touch which looks identical to the iPhone but lacks the phone capabilities.

Complete with WiFi I expect the iPod Touch to be a new rage… I want one badly! I also expect the iPhone Touch will vastly increase the frequency of mobile search since it uses the far less expensive (or free) WiFi networks that seem ever-present in the big cities.

Check out the excellent coverage of this news event by Ryan Block of Engadget

In a post today dotMobi CEO, Neil Edwards announced that dotMobi would be releasing approximately 500 premium domain names to auction in the next few months. And yes, that includes Sex.Mobi.

Neil goes on to explain why dotMobi waited over a year to release these highly sought after domains: “We are a well funded company who has a long term view on dotMobi. The content publishing tools were not available last year to build good mobile content sites. It was not in the best interest of the consumer or the company to release names for sale when buyers would have had no good way to produce content.”

As an added note Neil Edwards should have quieted a few naysayers out there who believe dotMobi is going nowhere; in a period of only 3 months, Google’s index for .mobi pages has increased five times from 1 million pages to 5 million pages. Not bad for a relatively fresh domain in a emerging marketplace!

Congratulations dotMobi! I hope you guys make a killing on those premium domain names.

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.
Celebrating 10 Years of Web Marketing Excellence
Monday, August 27th, 2007

The Gphone Hype

News of the potential Google Phone (gPhone) has been slowly but surely taking over the net over the past 6 months or so. As of late, however, the hype is louder than ever since recent (supposedly more concrete) evidence has appeared of its existence. At this point there is simply too much hearsay to really know what the heck is going on but a bit part of my gut says this may just be the biggest bad rumor ever. Unfortunately the other half of my gut wonders why Google’s Marissa Mayer never actually denied the existence of the gPhone at the latest Search Engine Strategies conference. Read more…

Friday, August 10th, 2007

Recommended Reading this Friday

Here are a few articles I came across today that I felt would add some richness to your Friday:

  • Interview with Google’s Sep Kamvar, Lead Software Engineer for Personalization
    Are you curious how Google’s drive toward personalization might affect your privacy or the quality of search results? This short interview might answer some questions you have.
    >> thanks for the tip from the blog “Geeking With Greg
  • doMobi: Growth in the .mobi mobile web is undisputed in this post. Skip to the bottom if you just want that facts ma’am.Huge kudos to James Pearce and the gang; I am a big fan of the .mobi concept and frankly the great support and awareness the .mobi squad brings to the mobile revolution.
  • Matt Cutts published a blog posting with Whitehat SEO Tips for Bloggers. I haven’t read it all yet but by nature these posts are often interesting.
  • Listen Up (Why your customer’s native tongue matters)“: Marketer Drew McLellan explains that for sales content to be effective you need to make sure your content is written in a fashion similar to how your customers speak.

All the best and I hope you all have a great weekend wherever you are. – Ross Dunn

The Mobile Web is undoubtedly going to grow and grow until a mega industry takes shape; after all, there are simply too many people getting more and more addicted to instant information gratification. This fact is not lost on any country with a mobile network and Canada is no exception. Unfortunately for Canadians we are being suffocated by mobile data rates that are exceedingly more expensive than even a third world country like Rwanda. Unless our data rates come down you can bet that Canada will be left in the dust while the world of mobile commerce skyrockets. Read more…

This morning I came across a great article by Sujan Patel at Search Engine Journal called “5 Quick Ways to Optimize for Local Search“. I highly recommend reading this article! Read more…