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Why is it that when one search engine does something, every other search engine jumps on the bandwagon? From the introduction of similar new products and features to the coincidental timing of product introductions, the major search engines frequently tend to trip over each other’s feet. This tendency is getting mention in the mainstream media with an article from tech-writer Seth Hansell in today’s New York Times noting “Search Sites Play a Game of Constant Catch-Up“. Read more…

Daniel Brandt knows a lot about what Google knows about you. Having spent the past three years studying Google and the ways Google collects personal information, Brandt is the self-appointed “voice of reason” behind the Google-Watch website. In an email yesterday, Brandt expressed his continuing concerns about Google’s data collection and personal privacy. Brandt’s concerns have been exasperated by Google’s recent mission to digitalize the collections of as many libraries as possible. Read more…

Recently, a friend of mine bought a new car. Buying a car can be extremely stressful with an enormous array of important numbers, specifications and comparative measurements to consider before purchase. Now I was raised in the downtown core of Toronto which is a megalopolis stretching around the northwestern quarter of Lake Ontario. Growing up with a highly efficient public transit system and a decidedly urban lifestyle, I never even considered the need for a vehicle until I was in my mid 20’s. Ten years later I am still at the “this moves me where?” stage in my relationship with vehicles. Taking me to a car-dealership is sort of like asking another city-kid which mushrooms are safe to eat in the forest. “Hey that one looks cool…” Things can get pretty Mickey Mouse from here eh? Read more…

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Wednesday, June 16th, 2004

Old News is Good News

British history students and researchers will be pleased to find their favourite 19th century newspapers are being scanned and put online by the British Library in a £2,000,000 project. The Library has set a goal of putting over 1Million pages from the last century of news publishing online within 18-months. Currently anyone wishing to see this material has to visit the Newspaper Library in North London.

Once online, the Newspaper Library will provide access to articles written by icons of English literature including works by Charles Dickens, W.M. Thackeray, Samuel Coleridge and William Wordsworth.

This collection is particularly important as the time period spans several social eras, including England’s transition from being an agricultural economy to a modern, industrial economy. Anyone interested in England’s history and by extension our own should look forward to the completion of this site.

In a dramatic election year about-face, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson recently stated he would recommend President Bush endorse a congressional bill making the importation of Canadian pharmaceuticals legal. Due to many factors, including public sponsorship of Medicare, Canadian drug prices average 44% to 78% lower than American prices for the exact same medicines. While the shift in the U.S. administration’s attitude is good for American consumers and Canadian online pharmacies, it could have a surprising effect on stocks of drugs north of the boarder. According to today’s Globe and Mail, “A recent study at the University of Texas at Austin found that if all U.S. residents bought their prescription drugs north of the border, Canada’s drug supply would be exhausted in 38 days.”

There have been a great deal of news since last week’s issue on the advent of Google’s controversial Gmail system created to compete with Yahoo! Mail and MSN’s Hotmail. The news can be summarized quickly; upheaval.

Here are some examples of what has occurred since our last newsletter (April 7):
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MSN has released new information on its forthcoming search technology.

MSN Blogbot & Newsbot

MSN product manager, Karen Redezki told Matt Hicks of eWeek that MSN will be launching a blog and news service to the public before its new algorithmic search engine is released. Read more…

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Thursday, February 26th, 2004

Marketing in Discussion Forums

When you’re working with a limited budget and need to increase your visibility with minimal expense, then forums are a great place to start. The effect of posting information and opinions on forums are two-fold:

When you post to forums you are posting information to a targeted readership that is interested in the forum topic. Provided that you have chosen a forum related to the topic of your website you are, in posting interesting and insightful information, promoting your own knowledge of the area and people are likely to visit your website based on this. Read more…

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Thursday, February 12th, 2004

Lycos No Longer A Search Engine!

By Rebecca LiebInternet News.Com

In two dramatic announcements this week, Lycos U.S. said it will shed its portal strategy to become a vast social network; the company also inked a 5-year deal with 24/7 Real Media to outsource display ad sales, ad serving and analytics for its Internet properties.

“This is totally an untapped space. We’ll enter the market already in the leadership position because of where we’ve been,” said Mark Stoever, executive vice president of Terra Lycos, U.S., of the company’s new direction.

He stressed the new business model capitalizes on the company’s experience in online publishing, dating and search. “Lycos will be the first to bring together the entire spectrum of ways people connect online,” he noted.

Lycos says the revenue potential for its new model lies in subscriptions and contextually targeted ads. Google provides contextual ads for Lycos through a deal with its parent, Terra Lycos (Quote, Chart).

The company plans to relaunch its homepage in two weeks as a “hub for personal connections.” That’s step one in a phased rollout with a corresponding national advertising campaign. Lycos search will emphasize enabling users to navigate between various professional, personal, family, business and affinity sites.

Some watch the Super Bowl for the excitement of a winner-take-all battle of gladiators. Some people watch the Super Bowl for the commercials. As almost everyone knows, those of us who watched the Super Bowl this year got to see something a little more revealing than the lingerie bowl. During the MTV organized half-time show, singer Justin Timberlake tore Janet Jackson’s top off, exposing her right breast on live TV. Read more…