Friday, January 23, 2009

A blurry Window???

In Microsoft's public speeches and press releases, CEO Steve Ballmer has portrayed Windows Vista as nothing short of a wild success, an operating system that has sold millions of copies to adoring fans worldwide.

Alas, reality has finally come into sobering focus: Microsoft's recent earnings report show not just a $900 million revenue shortfall vs. earlier projections, but a serious weakness in one critical part of its business: "Software client revenue" (aka Windows Vista and remnant sales of XP), where sales are down 8 percent vs. last year. In comparison, the company showed growth in some of its other businesses, including the Xbox division (up 3%) and the server business (up a whopping 15%). Also to blame in the poor results: online services (such as Hotmail) and, of course, the Zune, which hemorrhaged $100 million in the last quarter as sales fell off a cliff.

But overall softness aside, all eyes are on Vista, traditionally the source of a massive portion of the company's revenues and profits. The main problem of course is that the sale of Windows is closely tied to the sale of PCs, and with PC sales on the decline due to general economic conditions, sales of Vista have fallen as well.

That begs the question, though, of what degree the poor reception of Vista has been a driver for said decline in PC sales. Gartner has compared Vista to the embarassment of New Coke, noting that many businesses and individuals -- and probably many of you out there -- are skipping Vista and sticking with Windows XP until Windows 7 comes out. With just a year to go until the new OS, there's really no reason to upgrade now, and that bodes poorly for sales in the year ahead.

Of course, none of this is likely to be comforting to the 5,000 Microsoft employees losing their jobs in what is the company's first major layoff in history.

What will Microsoft do? Soldier on, and finish up the glowingly-previewed Windows 7 as quickly as possible, I'd imagine. What should it do? How about offering free XP downgrades for all Vista users (both new buyers and existing ones) in order to salvage what's shaping up to be a grim 2009.

Friday, January 16, 2009


You know often we hope for a quick and easy fix...join this lose weight. Do this make money...partner up and wow the sales will come. I have learned over the years that there is usually no easy fix. In the world of the Internet you must do the basics and set the foundation first. The foundation is a very solid web site. You must make sure the internals of the web site are there so the search engines can find you. You should have a blog. You should collect e-mail addresses for your own e-mail newsletter. Make the e-mail newsletter. Keep updating your web site regularly because it is important to do so. Trust in a company to help you that has experience and knows what they are doing and yes expect to pay a bit but the payoff will or could be huge.

Well off my soap box for now. Take care and have a good weekend!

The power of a blog!

Journalists Use New Media More than PR Pros Think

Getting real-time, 24/7 online access to company news and reaching responsive and efficient PR representatives still rate high on journalists’ wish-lists, but reporters are increasingly sourcing stories from new forms of media as well, according to research from Bulldog Reporter and TEKgroup International, Inc.

The second annual, “2008 Journalist Survey on Media Relations Practices” study examined journalists’ use of new media - including online newsrooms, blogs, RSS and social networks - and found that the greatest change in journalism practices as a result of the internet to is the ability to access corporate news and contact information online 24 hours a day.

Nearly half of journalists report visiting a corporate website or online newsroom at least once a week, while nearly 87% visit at least once a month.

Though a large percentage of journalists said they didn’t like PR representatives “wasting their time” with irrelevant news, nearly all (99%) said it was important for them to be able to get in touch with PR people when they needed more information.


Blogs, Social Media and RSS

* Though approximately 25% of journalists do not cover blogs, more than 29% report regularly reading five or more blogs to research desired topics, compared with about 26% a year ago.


* Nearly 75% follow at least one blog regularly, compared with about 70% a year ago.
* More than 75% of journalists say they use social media to research stories, compared with about 67% last year.
* Nearly 38% of journalists now say they visit a social media site at least once a week as part of their reporting, compared with only 28% last year.
* More than 53% of journalists now say they visit a social media site such as FaceBook or YouTube at least once a month, up from about 44% last year.
* Nearly 19% of journalists receive five or more RSS feeds of news services, blogs, podcasts or videocasts every week, compared with only 16% a year ago.
* About 44% receive at least one regular RSS feed.

Audio and Video Material

* Nearly 23% of journalists say they seek audio and/or video material at least once a month - an increase of three percentage points over last year.
* More than half of journalists say they never seek audio or video material from corporate websites.

Primary News Sources

* More than three-quarters (76.4%) of journalists report that they use local newspapers to follow news.
* In terms of using national media to stay abreast of news, nearly 63% check The New York Times, 51% view Google News, and about 32% use Yahoo News.

About the survey: The survey was conducted September 11-23, 2008 and reflects the practices of 2,386 respondents, of which approximately 48% were editors or editorial staff and 34% were reporters or writers.

Google goes on a diet!

Google Terminates Six Services

The company's ax is falling on Dodgeball, Google Catalog Search, Google Mashup Editor, Google Notebook, Jaiku, and Google Video.

By Thomas Claburn
January 15, 2009 02:15 PM

The ax fell on Wednesday at Google (NSDQ: GOOG), not just for some of the company's employees but for six of its services, too.

In addition to Google's announcements about the elimination of 100 recruiting positions and the shutdown of offices in Austin, Texas; Trondheim, Norway; and Lulea, Sweden, the company said it would close Dodgeball, Google Catalog Search, Google Mashup Editor, Google Notebook, and Jaiku. It also said it's discontinuing the ability to upload videos to Google Video.

Gary Mueller, CEO of Digital Now, talks about the company's secure document communications service, which helps small businesses, consumers, and service providers exchange confidential documentation. Boing Boing's co-editor reviews ETech Conference highlights on global warming, social networking and privacy threats. Quickbase Database as a Service Is Being Exposed For Rich Application Developers For Some Surprising New Apps
Quickbase Database as a Service Is Being Exposed For Rich Application Developers For Some Surprising New Apps
Vic Gundotra, VP of engineering at Google, said in a blog post that Dodgeball, a mobile social networking service that lets users share their locations with friends, would be closing in the next few months and that further details would be forthcoming.

Jaiku, however, will live on as an open source project. Gundotra said that Google engineers have been porting the microblogging service to Google App Engine and that when the migration is completed, the company plans to make the code available under the Apache license.

"With the open source Jaiku Engine project, organizations, groups, and individuals will be able to roll-their-own microblogging services and deploy them on Google App Engine," he said. "The new Jaiku Engine will include support for OAuth, and we're excited about developers using this proven code as a starting point in creating a freely available and federated, open source microblogging platform."

He also said that Google would be shutting Google Mashup editor, a tool for making Web service mashups that has been in closed beta testing. Much, if not all, of the functionality of Google Mashup Editor is available through Google App Engine, and Gundotra is encouraging users to transition their applications to Google App Engine.

In a separate blog post, Punit Soni, a Google product manager, said that Google Catalog Search is scheduled to close Thursday. The service, launched in 2001, provided the ability to search the full text of thousands of product catalogs for the few who used it. The technology developed for Google Catalog Search went on to provide the foundation of Google Book Search.

The cessation of the ability to upload videos to Google Video in a few months is unlikely to affect many video makers, apart from those seeking to upload videos longer than 10 minutes. YouTube limits videos to 10 minutes, with some exceptions, in part as a way to keep storage costs down and to prevent the unauthorized uploading of complete half-hour TV shows and longer-format, professionally produced content.

Friday, January 9, 2009

DTV might be postponed..YEA

I hope the digital change for TV will be postponed and here is an article that might show that there will be a postponment:

Digital TV transition hits another snag
By Matt Kapko
« Latest News

With the digital TV transition little more than a month away, support is growing for a delay with a key congressman and the Consumers Union both urging Congress and the White House to push back the Feb. 17 switch, Ad Age reports.

Just hours after the Consumers Union asked for a delay, Rep. Ed Markey, who heads the House Energy and Commerce Committee's telecom committee, added his voice to the cause. Citing problems with the government coupon program for DTV converter boxes, the Consumers Union said the government isn't prepared to handle the potential backlash that could ensue when analog signals go dark.

Making matters worse is the impending transition to a new administration and a not-yet-defined leadership team for the Federal Communications Commission, which will be heralding the switch to all-digital broadcast.

"With Feb. 17 only 40 days away, we are concerned that millions of at-risk consumers, including rural, low-income and elderly citizens across the country, could be left with blank television screens. Consumers have fewer resources than ever to buy the necessary equipment to regain access to essential news, information and emergency broadcasts," Joel Kelsey and Christopher Murray, senior policy analysts for Consumers Union, wrote in a letter to the outgoing and incoming presidents along with key legislators.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What is site optimization?

What does "optimize" mean? It simply means to focus the text and tags of a page around one or two keyword phrases only and to use strategies designed to help you boost your chances at a top ranking in the engines.

I am often asked what or why do I need it and the bottom line is that without it your chances fade on getting into the search engines top pages.