The Bing-Facebook Alliance… Watch Out Google… NOT!

OK, so Bing and Facebook “just made search social”. asks the question, “will your online life ever be the same again” after the Facebook-Bing alliance? Uh, yeah! I don’t care how “social” Facebook and Bing become (as if Facebook could even BE anymore social), they are not taking down the search giant, world dominating Google. Yeah, I said it.

Here are six take aways regarding the Bing-Facebook alliance. After reading this post, Google more on the topic. By the way, when you get to the point where your brand represents the services you offer, i.e. we Xerox when we want to make a copy and we reach for a Kleenex to blow our nose, then you have made it baby. Seriously, go Google it if you don’t believe me… I mean search it :-)

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It’s not too audacious to say that the new Bing search features that Microsoft and Facebook unveiled today are going to upend the search business.

Until now, search algorithms have used machine learning and artificial intelligence to predict which of the billions of pages out on the Internet might be most salient to your search. Now, at least on Bing, they’re going to have access to something even more precious: the knowledge of who your friends are and what they like.

Among the features Bing is rolling out to users in the coming days is a module called “Liked Results” to its search results. Looking for information on that new Tom Cruise movie? On Google, your search engine would serve up the relevant pages it has calculated are the most popular. On Bing, as of now, it serves up the regular Google-style results and a module that shows you pages your friends have liked — including, for example, movie reviews. You no longer have to do the work of trolling through search results to figure out which of the pages might tell you whether the movie’s a hit or a bomb. Trust your friend Sara’s taste? Click on the page she Liked.

So what does this all mean? Here are a few takeaways:

1. Search just reached an inflection point. Google’s great innovation was to figure out how to deliver the most relevant search results, based on the assumption that a webpage that had a large number of other pages linking to it would be more interesting than one with fewer links. Google has built its search algorithms by continuing to troll large sets of data for other attributes that indicate relevance. Now, however, Bing can deliver results based on what your trusted sources of information—your friends and acquaintances—think. This is a giant leap forward. Among other things, it means that…

2. Companies have to focus on creating great customer experiences. Because when their customers go searching online—for a movie, a camera, a travel destination—their friends’ recommendations are going to be front and center. Launched a store that no one “Liked?” you’re not going to show up in the search results.

3. Search is going to look a lot different. Forget the list of blue links. As Qi Lu, the engineering lead for the new changes (and president of Microfsoft’s Online Services Group), said, once you introduce a social dimension to search results, you could actually start representing search results—visually—in new ways. He didn’t say what those might look like, but be prepared to see them soon, because…

4. We’re going to be seeing even more social elements introduced into Bing’s search results. And soon. Both Microsoft and Facebook said that today’s new features were just the beginning. It only took them two months to gin up the ones they released today. Which means more are going to be coming down the pike in the months to come. Which means…

5. Google may have to go back to the drawing board. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg didn’t say they were shutting the search giant out. In fact, he said that, ultimately, the company would like to work with all players in search. But for now, it appears he’s working solely with Microsoft.

6. You must master your Facebook privacy settings. Mindful of earlier criticism of Facebook’s handling of privacy issues, both Microsoft and Facebook went out of their way today to stress that users will retain control over what Facebook shares with Bing. The flip side is that users actually have to exercise the control that Bing and Facebook give them. Don’t want your friends’s friends to know you Liked Justin Beiber’s fan page? Better check those privacy settings now.


Archive Your Tweets Forever!

Ever wonder, “where did that tweet go from so-in-so from three weeks ago”? Or, “where is that link I tweeted last month”? If you didn’t add them to your favorites then the tweet may have disappeared. Here are some tools to make sure that never happens again.

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Did you know that your tweets have an expiration date on them? While they never really disappear from your own Twitter stream, they become unsearchable in only a matter of days. At first, Twitter held onto your tweets for around a month, but as the service grew more popular, this “date limit” has dramatically shortened. According to Twitter’s search documentation, the current date limit on the search index is “around 1.5 weeks but is dynamic and subject to shrink as the number of tweets per day continues to grow.”

What that means is something tweeted prior to a week and a half ago can never be retrieved via That’s bad for users and it’s definitely bad for data-mining. Unless Twitter corrects this issue on its own, we have to find another solution for archiving tweets ourselves. Here are 10 ways to do so.

One of the unfortunate side effects of the FriendFeed acquisition is the very real possibility that the company will eventually shut down its servers. There are many reasons why this is upsetting – the site’s users now have to figure out how to extract everything from their natively posted content to their comment streams – or lose them forever. However, one of the most disappointing losses will be losing FriendFeed’s search feature. Since the service functioned as an aggregator of the social web, most users piped their tweets into FriendFeed, making the site a searchable archive of tweets which were still available no matter how old they were – quite unlike Twitter’s own search. But if FriendFeed is going to disappear, we need to consider some alternatives.

1. The Archivist: A Desktop Tool for Archiving Searches

The Archivist is a Windows desktop software application built by members of Microsoft’s Mix Online team. With this program, you can create Twitter searches which will then be archived to your PC so they can be data-mined by you at a later date. Recently, the program was updated so that it can be minimized to the system tray – especially helpful for when you want to track a Twitter search over a long period of time. They also added a data visualization feature which calculates who’s tweeting the most about your topic.

2. Twapper Keeper: Archive Tweets Based on Hashtags

Twapper Keeper is an online tool which archives tweets based on a given hashtag. Once you set up a query, Twapper Keeper will periodically scan Twitter for that tag and then archive the tweets it finds on its own servers. Tweets are scanned approximately every 5 minutes but that can vary based on the velocity of the incoming tweets. Once archived, you can then organize the tweets into categories of your choosing which show up on the right-hand side of the archived page.

3. Twitter Tools: Archive Tweets in WordPress

Twitter Tools is a WordPress blog plugin which integrates your blog and Twitter account. Once installed and configured, the plugin can be used to both Twitter links to your blog and to create posts which contain your recent tweets. While this is handy for the WordPress blog owner, keep in mind that post after post of “Today’s Tweets” isn’t all that appealing to blog readers. You may want to create a separate blog for this if you intend to use WordPress as your own personal Twitter archive.


Bing Overtook Yahoo in Search Share but Google is still KING

Did Microsoft’s Bing just overtake Yahoo as the second-largest search engine? And after the two are integrated this fall, does that really matter?

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On the heels of a $100 million branding campaign, Bing actually overtook Yahoo in August with a 13.9% share in the U.S. search market, compared to Yahoo’s 13.1%, according to data released today by Nielsen Co. Bing gained 2% from July to August, while Yahoo lost 8%. Google gained a percentage point and rose to a 65.1% share.Read more at

Google CEO Suggests You Change Your Name to Escape His Permanent Record

Schmidt thinks teenagers should be able to change their names once they reach adulthood in order to erase their youthful shenanigans from Google’s records. OK, but are some grown but childish adults going to get a get out of jail free card as well? Fair is fair…

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Google CEO Eric Schmidt has a great way of making public statements that are at once frank, unorthodox, thought provoking – and a little frightening. This weekend The Wall St. Journal ran an interview with Schmidt that offered tidbits like that on a wide range of topics. One statement in particular, that Schmidt thinks teenagers should be entitled to change their names upon reaching adulthood in order to separate themselves from the Google record of their youthful indiscretions, is something worth stopping to take note of.

Earlier this month we ran our own original coverage of Schmidt statements at a conference where he said that “people aren’t ready for the technology revolution that’s going to happen to them” and that absolute privacy would prove too-unsafe in the future. His latest comments seem both more and less reasonable.

On What Comes After the Search Era

First, Schmidt believes that the dominance of search will give way to recommendation technology. That’s something we’ve argued for years as well: that recommendation has the potential to outgrow search because it’s like the search you didn’t even know you wanted to perform, offered to you automatically. That requires a lot of targeting and artificial intelligence, both Google sweet spots.

“He predicts, apparently seriously, that every young person one day will be entitled automatically to change his or her name on reaching adulthood in order to disown youthful hijinks stored on their friends’ social media sites.”

“We’re still happy to be in search, believe me,” Schmidt told the Journal. “But one idea is that more and more searches are done on your behalf without you needing to type….I actually think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions. They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.”

Google and Your Permanent Record

record“I don’t believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time,” Schmidt said again in this interview.

Holman Jenkins, Jr., a member of The Wall St. Journal editorial board and the author of a strong opinion piece last week in support of Google’s alleged backing away from Net Neutrality, summarizes the key Schmidt statement in this week’s write-up:

He predicts, apparently seriously, that every young person one day will be entitled automatically to change his or her name on reaching adulthood in order to disown youthful hijinks stored on their friends’ social media sites.


Foursquare Positioned To Partner With Google, Yahoo, Bing And Other Search Players

Well, now… this is getting interesting. Seems like the guys from foursquare have found a way to make expand on their business model. By the way, last week, Foursquare reported it had registered over 2 million users for 5.6 million venues on the platform, and around 1 million daily check-ins. The company is valued at around $100 million. So now I wonder, what’s in if for ME to continue to check in? Things that make you go… hmmmm

Foursquare, the location-based social media site, is aware of the value of its data for searches and has started talking to “a lot of different potential partners,” including industry majors such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft in order to clinch data deals.


Data Power
Speaking to The Telegraph in an interview, Foursquare’s co-founder, Dennis Crowley, said: “Our data generates hugely interesting trends which would enrich search.” “We can anonymise data and use it to show venues which are trending at that moment,” he explained.
In Talks

“Twitter helped the world and the search engines know what people are talking about. Foursquare would allow people to search for the types of place people are going to – and where is trending – not what,” Crowley added. Recently, the company integrated its data to Twitter ‘Places’, giving the chirpy platform its ticket to paid search.

‘Historical’ Ties
Crowley himself has ties with Google, to whom he sold Foursquare’s text-message version called Dodgeball back in 2005. The Telegraph further quoted him as saying that he now employs “former Googlers.” However, none of the search engines commented on the state of the Foursquare partnership talks.

Ironically, Yahoo had expressed interest in the company in April. But not for teaming up with Foursquare. The intention of the search engine now turned content provider was to buy Foursquare. Now with the Search Alliance integrating Yahoo Search into Bing, who knows if Foursquare will not be dealing with both – one as a content partner and the other as search engine?