Friday, June 03, 2005

Happy Belated 10th Birthday, Alertbox

I've criticised him, and I've praised him. But, I've also learned a great deal from him.

Dr. Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox turned ten-years-old on June 1st.

If you have a web site, and you haven't looked much at usability, definitely spend some time reading through some of the articles at Alertbox.

It's lasted ten years for a good reason. Its author knows a lot about usability, he shares a lot of it, and he's a great marketer of his services. Happy Birthday, Alertbox.

Make Friday Stress Free

I'm enjoying some of the healthy work related tips at Health-Hack.

Today's timely post is on the subject of Avoiding Stress on Friday Afternoons. Great idea. Many more of them over there.

Google's Pay Per Click Patent Application?

This patent application doesn't have the name Google written on it, but some of the names of the inventors might be familar to people who joined in on Google's Orkut when it first started out:

Using concepts for ad targeting

I'd write more about it, but Lisa at Web Marketing News did an excellent job of cutting to the heart of the patent without any doubletalk:

A New Google PPC's Patent?

My favorite lines from the application are these, which Lisa also points out:

Some Web site hosts have chosen to place advertising revenues over the interests of users. One such Web site is "", which hosts a so-called "search engine" service returning advertisements masquerading as "search results" in response to user queries.

Nice to see some not-so-understated drama in legal documents which can often be pretty dry. I'm going to have to look through the last post I made here to see if there were any digs at Google in retaliation.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Is this Patent Application behind Yahoo's Video Search?

Hard to tell at this point, but this may be part of the method used to help rank results in Yahoo!'s video search. Or maybe an enhancement of Yahoo!'s Image Search.

The inventor of the method described in the patent is John Thrall. The head of media search engineering at Yahoo Search is John Thrall.

Click-through re-ranking of images and other data.

Here's a snippet from the patent application:

The present invention overcomes the deficiencies and limitations of conventional search engines by using feedback obtained by user clicks and the position of the clicked images to determine user preferences for the search results that best satisfy particular queries. While the embodiments described relate to image data, the present invention can also be used for other types of data such as shopping, video, music, and text searches. For example, the present invention can be used with any type of search where a summary of search results provides detailed and representative information on the content that the user will receive when clicking on the result. User click information is tracked to determine which images users click on for particular queries. This information is used to update and improve future query results.

It's difficult to tell, but if I were Yahoo!, the person I would want as the head of media search engineering would write patent applications like this one.

A Cheap Sales Trick; Or Tommorrow's AI Wonder

You go into a store to purchase something. A salesperson comes over and asks you if you need help.

This person seems fairly agreeable. There's something, you're not quite sure what, about them that you like.

Unknown to you, they are imitating your head movements, your gestures, and some of the other body language you display. It's a studied phenomena, often referred to as the Chameleon effect.

Can it help three dimensional and computer generated beings become more successful salesmen? That's what they've been trying to find out at Stanford.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Learning from the Past: Fillmore Posters as Promotion

I wonder if there are any clubs out there doing the type of posters that Bill Graham did for San Francisco's Fillmore back in the sixties.

I'm in awe of the great galleries of Fillmore Posters from 1966 through 1969 that were given out to people to remind them to come to shows at the theatre.