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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Marissa Mayer Leaving Google? Don't Laugh

There are reports that Marissa Mayer is leaving Google. Barry Schwartz commented briefly about it today on SearchEngineLand and he points to a report coming from Valleywag yesterday. I've heard Mayer speak at Search Engine Strategies (SES) San Jose in August of 2007 where I took a few photographs of her conversation with Danny Sullivan, below. (Click the image for more photos)


She seemed personable and intelligent there as she discussed Google search and displayed the iPhone interface on her phone. I've briefly mentioned her comments in a post on "previous Query Refinement" but don't recall hearing much from her elsewhere.

To get a better idea of what google is losing if she does indeed depart, I took a look at a video of her presentations at Google I/O Developer conference 2008. Here's that hour long presentation if you have time for it:

It's often odd to see executives leave successful companies, knowing that they have made major, substantial contributions to the shape of that success. The video above is a great way to become familiar with what Google is losing.

Gawker apparently wants to poke with the sharpest stick and they focus on her personal fortune as the 19th employee of the startup, fresh out of Stanford and her laugh! The laugh does surface a time or two in her I/O conference presentation above, but seems endearing and humanizing there.

Google is apparently about to lose a big talent. I've often wondered why people leave startups after they go public - those who help to build the vision over time. Sergei and Larry are clearly not serial entrepreneurs. They are staying. Is Mayer on the way out?

UPDATE: Turns out she isn't leaving. Still there as of April 1st. Maybe it was an early April fools joke played on Google by Valleywag?

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Friday, December 12, 2008

eHow Wins Mashable's "How To" Open Web Award Category won the Bloggers Choice for the "How To" category of the Mashable Open Web Awards! Rich Noguchi, community manager for eHow, announced the win this morning on the eHow Blog.

This comes on the heels of getting a bit of Television love from New York Fox Affiliate WNYW where eHow GM Greg Boudewijn along with eHow Food expert Bethany Frankel were both featured in a "How to Make Money from Home in a Tough Economy" news spot. How-To is an expanding category of content and to dominate for what are normally "Stop Words" is quite an achievement.

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

YouTube offers Search From ALL Embedded Videos

Today I was reviewing my blog after adding a TwitPic widget to the shoulder (left side) and coincidently moved the cursor over an embedded YouTube video on the Google iPhone App when I noticed a search box appear under my cursor!

Wow, that is pretty incredible and according to the YouTube blog, they just recently added the functionality - I love it when I hear about new stuff when it's still new. Searching YouTube from all embedded YouTube videos, wherever they are in blogs and web sites all over the webIs pretty impressive!

I've often been watching an embedded video on a blog here or there, wanted to see a related video that wasn't shown in the "Related" videos they incorporate into the scrolling strip at the bottom of each video after completion of the clip you just finished watching. I always think, "Nah, I'm busy right now - I'll go later" (I never do that) but now I'm in danger of actually getting distracted immediately - NOW - because I can search YouTube from the video I've just watched, on the site I'm already on.

This is a great offering from YouTube and may result in many of us who formerly resisted wasting our time watching too much YouTube stuff to start wasting too much time watching more YouTube stuff. Because we can now search for it from every existing YouTube player across the web.

Below is an example from the YouTube blog explaining the search feature. Take a look at other new features while you are at it, like the ability to see closed captioning, translations of those closed caption subtitles, and all included video annotations from the author. Those features are basically available from the button in the lower right corner of the video player.

Impressive stuff guys! I hope I can resist the temptation to use the search feature and stop myself from looking at foreign language closed captions

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