client login
Username
Remember Me
Forgot Password
Password
CATEGORIES
 
Local Media Blog [ 885 ]  RSS ATOM


Blog Home

Contact Kelsey

Bookmark this page



SEARCH
 


previous month  FEBRUARY 2006  next month
s m t w t f s
4
5 11
12 18
19 21 25
26


BLOG ARCHIVE
 
RSS ATOM  Full archive
 
current month



RECENT ENTRIES
 
 
RSS ATOM


BLOGGERS
 
admin [ 0 ]  RSS ATOM
Carlotta Mast [ 0 ]  RSS ATOM
Greg Sterling [ 725 ]  RSS ATOM
John Kelsey [ 52 ]  RSS ATOM
Matt Booth [ 0 ]  RSS ATOM
Mike Boland [ 80 ]  RSS ATOM
Neal Polachek [ 27 ]  RSS ATOM


COUNTER
 
Visitors    276757
Online users 105
 



Feb 17 2006
More on the Olympics and Online
There are a few interesting posts on the Lost Remote blog today that relate to our post yesterday about online vs. traditional broadcasting of the Olympic games. Read them here and here.
Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Mike Boland at  16:34 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Feb 17 2006
Broadband: Growing but Slowing?
Here's a roundup of data by aggregator eMarketer on broadband adoption � now pegged at 61 percent of U.S. households, according to Ipsos. eMarketer summarizes that price is the major barrier to continued penetration in the U.S. market:

According to a new survey from the Yankee Group, the most common reason US consumers don't subscribe to broadband is that it's too expensive. Despite promotional price cuts for DSL (which often cover slower connection speeds and eventually expire, shooting the price up), broadband is more costly than dial-up, especially for truly high speeds. Presumably, dial-up consumers have little need for tasks beyond e-mail, IM and simple Web browsing, which are doable through broadband, and want to keep their monthly expenses low. Price isn't the only factor. More than 30% of consumers say that they just don't want broadband, and about 14% say they feel dial-up is adequate for their needs. Less than 10% are not able to get broadband access in their area.

However, municipal Wi-Fi efforts aim to provide no- or low-cost high-speed access to urban areas throughout the country. According to this article about municipal Wi-Fi in Boston:

In its 40-page report, the Boston Foundation further said: "Respected technology companies like Earthlink, Google, and Hewlett-Packard are extremely interested in partnering with local government to come to Boston to build a low-cost or no-cost system capable of providing affordable and reliable service." ... The question is no longer whether Boston is going to build a citywide Wi-Fi network, but rather how and when," the report, released Wednesday, stated.

And here's information on Chicago's new effort.

All the Internet consumer trends that TKG studies and writes about are tied to broadband adoption in one way or another (local search, the impact of online on newspaper and directory usage, VoIP adoption, etc.). That's why this question of how much more deeply BB will penetrate (and when) is of critical interest and importance. Companies such as Earthlink and search engines such as Yahoo! and Google recognize that they benefit from increased penetration and so are interested in facilitating access. (Yahoo! has DSL relationships with almost all the major telcos.)

For all these reasons, the first panel of our Drilling Down event is:

The Broadband Juggernaut: Slowing Down or Speeding Up?
High-speed Internet access is the backbone of the new consumer paradigm. It took a decade for broadband to reach �critical mass� in the U.S. Now we are witnessing the disruptive effects for traditional media and potentially for some newer technologies as well. While some predict broadband is slowing, others believe competition and new initiatives (e.g., municipal Wi-Fi) and technologies could drive high-speed access to nearly 100 percent penetration in the next several years. Which version of the future is correct? This panel will debate the potential scenarios and look outside the U.S. to higher-speed markets to see what the future might hold.

On that panel will be:

  • Chuck Haas, CEO, Metrofi
  • Om Malik, Senior Writer, Business 2.0 Magazine
  • David Payne, Director of Development, Earthlink Municipal Networks
  • Brian Jurutka, Director of Marketing Solutions, comScore
Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Greg Sterling at  10:19 | permalink | comments [1] | trackbacks [1]



Feb 17 2006
Women.com: Taking Verticals Too Far?
When people have asked me about "vertical search" and the associated opportunity, I've argued that there is an opportunity but it's mixed. Because the general search market is locked up right now we're seeing a ton of companies offering a more specialized content experience with search as the hook or angle. It's also the case that some sites can offer something richer and deeper to users, as well as potentially more qualified leads to advertisers than come from traditional search engines.

Fundamentally, however, people cannot remember all these sites and don't want to have to. That's why search engines remain popular; they're the "front door" or gateway to all this content.

Some sites, such as the recently launched Healthline.com, are a mix of structured, proprietary content and broader Web search in a category specific area. Simply Hired and Indeed are examples of vertical search in the Jobs category. By contrast, I wouldn't call Cars.com a vertical search site. It's a vertical directory site with highly structured fields and content and it doesn't offer anything from the broader Internet. I would also not call TheKnot.com a vertical search site, though it uses search-based navigation.

Confused? Have another cup of coffee. Let's get away from all this semantic mumbo jumbo for a moment.

According to this blurb in PaidContent, iVillage plans to soon relaunch and rebrand as Women.com (a site/URL it bought for many many millions some time ago). According to quoted remarks from the earnings call:

"We anticipate launching the new search at the end of the second quarter 2006. Our objective with Search for Women is to enhance and further customize our users and advertisers experience by participating in the so-called vertical search marketplace ... this new product will allow us to promote iVillage brand by blanketing the Internet with add campaign promoting Search for the Women's Intuition."

PaidContent questions the move: "It will be branded 'Search for Women,' whatever that means."

Precisely: What does that mean? It might effectively mean nothing and be a dismal failure. It might simply be a branding/marketing ploy.

However, let's assume that this isn't simply a marketing ploy and that the new Women.com is going to try to provide a better Web-search experience for women in general � a daunting task given how broad a category "women" is. And calling "search for women" vertical search almost renders the term "vertical search" meaningless. (I make the same argument when people say Local is a vertical.)

Yet women are arguably the most important constituency online. They are driving e-commerce and online shopping and they're the ones writing the reviews on Judy's Book and InsiderPages and engaging in the "social networking" activities, much more so than men.

So trying to grab the attention � and some of the wallet � of this group is wise. But what will Women.com provide (assuming again that it's Web search for women) that Google, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Ask or InfoSpace/DogPile cannot?

I believe iVillage is working on that with Eurekster (I'm not 100 percent certain). After my meeting with Eurekster CEO Steven Marder, I recently wrote about about the company here:

They're really an enterprise search B2B play that offers site search and more contextually relevant Web search. "Contextual" here means relevant to the user population of the site (teens, moms, sports fans, etc.). They do that with clickstream analysis of aggregate user query behavior. Initially Web search is weighted according to specific business rules, but the engine learns what the group thinks is relevant to particular queries. It's a different relevance paradigm that gets "smarter" over time.

Women.com, using Eurekster's engine/algorithm, at least in theory does offer a potentially differentiated search experience � one that is hypothetically more relevant because it's less "generic� and based on aggregated user behavior. So there is at least a potential value proposition here with some meaning (assuming I'm right about the relationship).

But whether Women.com could become something like the "Google for Women" is another story entirely. (My words not theirs.) That's a hugely ambitious proposition. Let's see when iVillage relaunches in the second quarter.
Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Greg Sterling at  08:40 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]










The Kelsey Group, 600 Executive Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540-1528
Tel: (609) 921-7200 Fax: (609) 921-2112 EMail: [email protected]
Copyright© 2005 The Kelsey Group. All Rights Reserved.