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Google Base now in beta

The new beta service lets you post "all types of online and offline information and images" searchable on Google Base, writes Deepak Mankar.

india Updated: Nov 27, 2005 17:59 IST

I found something fascinating and intriguing at mediacenter.org. It’s called Digital Think. Explains Andrew Nachison, Media Center Director: “Digital Think is about the art of the possible, and a nod to thinkers around the globe who see in those possibilities a variety of pathways to more enriching forms of communication.” Another way to describe Digital Think is this: “an anthology of short essays by an eclectic array of digital media designers, editors, artists and producers from the fields of journalism, art, activism, and design, who share their ideas on conceptualizing digital content.”The project headed by Nora Paul, Director, New Media Studies, University of Minnesota and executed by designer Mauricio Arango has several distinguished but mainly Western contributors (Laurence Brickner, Co-Founder & VP of Strategy and Experience Design, Popular Front; Scott Horner, Journalist, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel; Margot Lovejoy, Professor of Visual Arts, State University of New York in Purchase; Jonathan Mandell, Journalist, Gotham Gazette; Bart Marable, Multimedia Producer, Terra Incognita; Regina McCombs, Journalist, Star-Tribune; Chuck Olson, Blogger, Blogumentary; Anne Jin Soo Preston, Multimedia Artist; Boris Razon, Journalist, LeMonde, France; Rex Sorgatz, Journalist, Blogger, Internet Broadcasting System; Brian Storm, President, MediaStorm; Alberto Cairo Tourino, Journalist, El Mundo, Spain; and Tuomo Väliaho, Writer, Helsingin Sanomat, Finland).Do have a look if digital communication interests you.

COPS TARGETED. Did blogs incite Paris riots?

In her 11 November 2005 E-Media Tidbits post poynter.ord Amy Gahran cites an International Herald-Tribune reportiht.com.This story hints at young bloggers at skyblog.com, owned by the nationwide Skyrock radio station (daily listenership: 4 million; “the largest audience of any radio station among 13-to-24-year-olds”), inciting their peers to arson against Parisian cops. Notable quote from the IH-T report: "Those prosecuted for inciting violence in their postings this week included a 14-year-old from Aix-en-Provence who called on rioters to attack police stations, according to Justice Minister Pascal Clément. Blog entries of those arrested also included … [stuff like]… 'Unite, Ile-de-France, and burn the cops,' … 'Go to the nearest police station and burn it.' … Under French law, such calls to violence can result in sentences of one to seven years in prison."Well, don’t blame blogs. It could have been done by e-mail, SMS, cellphone or even paper fliers.

COVERING ALL BASES. Google Base now in beta.

About the new Google Base now in betabase.google.comAndrew Orlowski (‘Beyond the web, Google opens Base’) channelregister.co.uk makes a very pertinent point. “Google Base significantly expands the Google index beyond web pages: allowing businesses to upload their product catalogs and listings, and users to detail products for sale, all for no fee.” I refer to the first part of his statement, folks. I mean the new beta service lets you post "all types of online and offline information and images" searchable on Google Base and, depending on their relevance, on Google Search, Froogle and Google Local, as the company claims. "If you have information you want to share with others, but aren't sure how to go about gaining an audience, Google Base is for you," as its FAQ says. But nobody is willing to believe that Google Base is not an invasion into the classified ad space. What used to happen once upon a time to Microsoft is now happening to Google. Because it’s so successful, everyone uses a green-tinted lens to see dark ulterior – even base – motives in everything they do. For instance, read the 17 November 2005E-Media Tidbits post by Steve Outingpoynter.orgthe story at techrepublic.com. P.S.: I’m surprised to note, though, that Peter M. Zollman in his E-Media Tidbits post (18 November) cautiously describes it as “a user-input system for all sorts of content to Google” and “really a way for anyone to post almost anything to Google”.

TRUE OR FALSE? 89% corporates blogging just now.

Here it is. Hot off the press, so to say, from ‘Blogging in the Enterprise’, a September 2005 study by GuideWireGroup for iUpload. The encouraging news is, as many as 89 percent of US companies (140 respondents from aerospace, banking, communications, consumer package goods, education, energy, and insurance) “...currently blog or plan to start in the near future,” writes Enid Burns (‘Corporate Blog Adoption, Stronger in Small Business’). In short, blogs are “fast becoming a channel for corporations to communicate with an audience, either internally or externally.” Last year, almost half the respondents launched their blogs. Ten per cent, though, were veterans of three years’ standing. The adoption rate was higher among smaller companies. Fifty-eight percent of corporate blogs belonged to companies withfewer than 100 employees; those with over 1,000 accounted for16 percent. Companies earning less than $100 million owned 45 percent of corporate blogs.Sixty-three percent of respondents said they used an internal blog for knowledge sharing; 44 per cent for internal communications; 30 per cent for project management; 23 per cent for sharing personal knowledge management; 23 per cent for event logging; and 20 per cent for team management. Coming to external blogs, 61 percent used them for PR and marketing; 61 per cent for thought leadership; 35 percent for regular customer and partner communications; more than 30 percent haveCEO blogs.Greater transparency to customers and staff and a channel of daily communication were the typical reasons cited.clickz.com

MORE ON CEO BLOGS. New research findings.

On the other hand, another recent survey, this time by Millward Brownfor Burson-Marsteller and PRWeek, found that many CEOs sawthe benefits of a blog but few were actually blogging. Of 131 CEOs surveyed, about 7% had a blog; only 8.4% said their company had a blog. 18% said they may have a company blog over the next two years. About two-thirds of those surveyed were at least somewhat familiar with blogs. More than 40% agreed that blogs allowed for quick communication of new ideas and recent news; almost as many valued them as an informal way to communicate; only 16% were skeptical about blogs and saw no benefits.Burson-Marsteller's Leslie Gaines-Ross said that "most CEOs are still in a wait-and-see mode when it comes to blogs mainly due to time limitations and concerns about what they can say publicly."
emarketer.com

A ‘MONSTER’ FIND. Official Google blogs.

Tara Calishain wrote as follows in her post of 1 November 2005: “Google is a monster about launching official blogs. They've got over half-a-dozen and seem to be launching more constantly! Let's see what we're up to so far: Official Google Blog –googleblog.blogspot.comAPI – adwordsapi.blogspot.com Blogger – buzz.blogger.com Google Video – googlevideo.blogspot.com Google Reader – googlereader.blogspot.com Google Adsense –adsense.blogspot.comGoogle Adwords –adwords.blogspot.comGoogle Desktop – googledesktop.blogspot.com Google Sitemaps – sitemaps.blogspot.com”. researchbuzz.org. Maybe they’ve got the right idea about how to use the power of blogging to channel public perceptions in their favour. She also shows you what happens when you put all those blogs in a TagCloud. “Just for giggles”. So she claims. Have a look.tagcloud.comIn case you’re wondering what a TagCloud is, here is a definition. “…an automated Folksonomyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folksonomy tool ...[that] … searches any number of RSS feeds you specify, extracts keywords from the content and lists them according to prevalence within the RSS feeds.”http://www.tagcloud.com/.

OLD STILL GOLD? Ask Mary Ellen Bates.

What she’s recommendingwww.batesinfo.com/tip.htmlis a visit to ”a couple of librarian-built web directories that I've used for years”, viz., Internet Public Library (1995) ipl.org and Librarians' Internet Index (1993)lii.orgThe former, she says, is a combo of a hierarchical subject directory; ‘Ready Reference’ (encyclopedias, dictionaries, almanacs, etc); a Reading Room (links to web sites providing access to the full text of books, magazines and newspapers); KidSpace and TeenSpace (resources for kindergarten through high school); a collection of ’Pathfinders’ – guides to print and online sources (topics ranging from heart disease to Greek mythology), a far smaller collection of high quality websites than Open Directory Projectdirectory.google.comor Yahoo! Directorydir.yahoo.comand an ‘Ask A Question’ service ipl.org supported by students in graduate library science and information classes, professional librarian volunteers and IPL contributors. The latter, “sometimes California-
and Washington-centric”, maintained by a small staff of librarians supported by funds from the California State Library system and the Washington State Library as well as several dozen volunteer contributors from public, university or school libraries. It has organized broad categories and then subcategories as with most other web directories. “The summaries of the web sites included in the LII are more detailed than most directories, and includes useful cross-reference information,” she points out.

That's all for now though there's plenty more out there. Join me again next week, same place.

Copyright (c) 2001- 2005 by Deepak Mankar. All rights reserved. Deepak Mankar, an advertising practitioner on the creative side since 1965, is also intensely passionate about the web and web content creation. Read his online articles athttp://www.asiaondemand.com/. Website:http://www.addgandhi.com/original/. You may e-mail him at dmankar@bom8.vsnl.net.in.