The MetaSieve Blog

September 18, 2008

Google: Just a mechanical turk

Filed under: Uncategorized — metasieve @ 8:35 am

A mechanical turk is a chess playing “machine” that was “invented” in the 18th Century. Publicly promoted as an automaton and given its common name based on its appearance, the Turk was in fact a mechanical illusion that allowed a human chess master hiding inside to operate the machine.

I always wondered what Google was doing with its collection of the 19.000 college kids. It seems Google is nothing more than a giant mechanical turk. Over 10.000 of the 19.000 Googlers are Human Evaluators, meaning they read through your search data and tweak the engine so next time hopefully it delivers better results.A privacy nightmare worse than I expected. I hope my neighbour is not a Google Human Evaluator.

This explains why Google is a bit better than 10 years ago though their algorithm has not changed a bit in that time. Obviously Page does not let anyone play with his brainchild and is more ready to accept the mechanical turk solution than upgrading the old and tired Google engine.

No wonder Powerset looks a bit neutered: They obviously lack the manpower Google has.

Not only is Google yesterday’ tech: Most of Google is not even tech anymore. Whether you call it mechanical turk or potemkin village, Google is not a technological marvel, just a giant sweat shop.

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September 12, 2008

Microsoft Marketing Madness

Filed under: Uncategorized — metasieve @ 2:37 pm

Finally, after the hilarious Windows Vista Sales Team video and various other marketing stunts Microsoft is at it again:

They hired Jerry Seinfeld and had their founder and former CEO / Chief Software Architect Bill Gates return from retirement for two ads (with more to follow):

Shoe Circus
New Family

These ads gave rise to quite some discussion and confusion in the blogosphere.

As confusing as these ads might seem at the first glimpse, I sense some brilliant piece of marketing. According to Bill Veghte, SVP at Microsoft, the ads are supposed to spark conversation and they definitely achieve this.

Unlike the Apple Mac vs PC ads for example, this campaign obviously is not meant to sell more copies of Windows Vista or Microsoft Office in the first place, but to generate buzz about the Windows brand.

Interestingly, Bill Gates to me makes a much funnier impression than ‘funny man’ Jerry Seinfeld. Maybe, he should start a second career as stand-up comedian?

September 4, 2008

ContentSieve Breaks Down Market Entry Barriers For Small Web Content Providers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Björn Wilmsmann @ 10:15 pm

More and more information providers offer their content on the Web. In order to be successful they have to attract a large number of users to their site. There are two main ways of achieving this. One can either advertise on other sites or once can try to improve the site’s search engine listing through optimisation of site and link structure.

Attaining a reasonably good listing in the usual search engines becomes increasingly difficult. There is intense competition for each search term. Many companies hire professional search engine optimisers for gaining a prominent position in search engine results. Each year millions of euros are spent on this.

Smaller competitors increasingly fail to participate in this market. In the meantime the best search engine optimisers charge up to a whopping 1,000 EUR per month. The prices for creation of content that is considered relevant by search engines keep climbing with no end in sight. Even interesting information frequently is only displayed by search engines if it complies with the complicated rules set up by search engines. This drives up the cost of content creation and creates market entry barriers which hardly any small competitor can handle.

ContentSieve is a new online service helping Web content providers to overcome these barriers.

“As of lately, it has become more difficult to differentiate one’s Web site in order to capitalise on its content.” says Björn Wilmsmann, CEO of MetaSieve, the provider of the new service. “High costs for editorial content, AdWords and search engine optimisation leave the online content business to but a few large competitors.”

With ContentSieve online service providers now can add up-to-date and thematically matching content to their sites. This way, news flashes or search results for a specific topic can be displayed. This content is integrated as widgets into existing sites. Permanently updated content makes a Web site more attractive to users and brings about a better search engine ranking. The content is already optimised so there is no need for expensive search engine optimisation anymore.

“Our goal,” explains Wilmsmann “is to offer access to attractive online marketing opportunities, especially to small content providers.’
ContentSieve is ready for use after just a few clicks. After having registered, the user can create widgets and include them in her own site with a small code snippet. Subsequent editing of this code snippet is not needed anymore as third party content can be delivered through this code as well. Billing works through ordering packages, which contain a certain number of widget views at a fixed price.
ContentSieve immediately begins to deliver relevant content until these widget views are used up. To allow extensive testing each new user will get 5,000 widget views for free as a welcome gift.

ContentSieve currently is available in English and German.

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