Apr 17

Ryan Stewart

Ryan Stewart

Live Blogging the Expo Day 2 Keynote (Part 2) - Google announcing Power Point feature

I'm updating this as Eric talks, but the big news is that Google is announcing slide show features for Google Docs and Spreadsheets.

Bill Tancer of Hitwise and David L. Sifry of Technorati talked about tracking the web and sifting through the data to find trends. Bill started by showing a chart of "Web 2.0" growth by tracking the participatory sites; growth was 686% over the past year. An interesting stat is that participation isn't huge on web 2.0. Only .16% of visits to YouTube, .2% of visits to Flickr and 4.59% of visits to Wikipedia are "participation visits". Wikipedia numbers break down to show that older users are the ones doing the editing. Very interesting and lots of good stats. Dave Sifry then took the mic and talked about the living web and how the audience is participating and sharing. There is one new blog being created every second somewhere in the world. Posting volume has also gone way up with 1.5 million posts per day. Dave said that 21% of tracked blogs are active down from 36% in May of last year. He gave us a rundown of things the top bloggers do: Post frequently, stay at it and don't be intimidated. Japanese is the largest language in the blogosphere with 37% of posts in Japanese. Dave gave us some new data on tagging. Tagging has taken off in the past couple of years and Technorati has 230 million objects tagged in their database during the past two years.

The final part of the keynote is the good stuff John Battelle sat down with Eric Schmidt of Google. Eric says they're announcing something, but he's giving us a choice of what to announce. A bunch of joke announcements, but the real announcement is a presentation feature for Google Docs and Spreadsheets. Google is focusing on collaboration and tying the new presentation feature into those features with Docs and Spreadsheets. John said this "completes the office suite". Eric dodged the question about this being a big competitor to Microsoft Office, but John made sure to get an answer.

The next topic was the DoubleClick acquisition. John told the story of how Sergey didn't like DoubleClick's ads because they weren't targeted. He said most people saw DoubleClick as the opposite of Google's advertising methodology. Eric said that Google decided they wanted to offer the full set of advertising products. This includes video ads with YouTube and now DoubleClick's advertising. Eric also mentioned that DoubleClick has gotten better over the years and has become more targeted and gained the trust of a lot of happy customers. Advertising was described as an art and a science, and Google can provide the science so that artists can delve into the creative.

A couple of bits. John wanted to know what the plan is for Performics (acquired as part of the DoubleClick deal) and whether or not they were going to spin it off. No comment by Eric. John also noted that an application in Google Pack actually deletes cookies from DoubleClick, so will that still be included? Eric said they think that they like the application, so they're looking at it. Some jabs at Microsoft and AT&T for raising anti-trust concerns at Google. Eric handled it pretty well and said that basically, they are wrong. He said advertising is a gigantic business, lots of different companies and lots of user choices out there.

There was also a discussion about copyrights on YouTube and how Google handles those. He made very clear that they abide by the DMCA law when they get takedown requests. He said that Google is bringing out a tool called CYC (Claim Your Content) which would automate the process of figuring out who owns the content and whether or not they are allowed to upload it. John asked about Amazon's S3 and Eric descried it as a "very good start". He said Google wouldn't do anything like S3; that they're leveraging the web platform in a different way (things like actual web applications).

Ryan Stewart is a Rich Internet Application developer and analyst. He blogs for ZDNet on the Universal Desktop as well as a personal blog, Digital Backcountry.

tags: web 2.0  | comments: 5   | Sphere It

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Comments: 5

  Kevin Farnham [04.18.07 12:53 AM]

An interesting bit of information that David Sifry's graphs show is that the blogosphere has stopped growing exponentially and has begun to grow linearly instead. That is, in the past 6 months or so, the actual growth rate of the blogosphere has declined.

Through April 2006, the blogosphere was doubling in size every six months, according to a report David Sifry released a year ago. This doubling every 6 months is no longer happening (since that's exponential growth).

So, in a sense, David's Web 2.0 Expo graphs show that we've already started bumping into a kind saturation impedance where the blogosphere is concerned. This is quite a surprising development, since the blogosphere is so young.

  Antonella Pastore [04.18.07 03:31 AM]

Interesting point on participation visits being low. But how was a participation visit defined? For example, tagging-writing-commenting vs viewing only?

  eas [04.18.07 09:46 AM]

Interesting data from Hitwise. I'm curious about how often contributors contribute to youtube and Flickr. I doubt it's every visit. Is it every other visit? Every 10th visit? This may not be something that Hitwise can extract from their dataset, but I'm curious.

  Phil McRae [04.18.07 10:12 AM]

This might not be as surprising if you break down the cultural participation within the blogosphere. If Japan currently represents the greatest bloggers, then we would also have to look at saturation of broadband penetration and activity within Japan. Once you do this, you can see that broadband penetration and access has levelled off, along with a decline in demographics (older population). Without the demographics supporting the 'largest' user group, there is going to be a drop in the blogosphere's growth...until another culture aquires this spaces as their online dialogic preference.

Phil McRae, PhD Candidate University of Alberta.

  Doug Hughes [04.25.07 09:37 AM]

It seems logical that periods of participation(like other things) will fluctuate.

I think Phil made an interesting point with the statement, "there is going to be a drop in the blogosphere's growth...until another culture aquires this spaces as their online dialogic preference."

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