Blog Monitoring, Google Australia, Facebook & Fun Finds
Hey, search folk. Here’s a collection of nuggets for you to snack on while I’m still getting caught up on my feeds. I know, it’s Monday and I should be recovered from SES San Jose by now, but I’m not. And this weekend was the annual Bruce Clay, Inc. BBQ (with babies, puppies and jolly jumpers!) so that delayed me even more. And then I spent the rest of the weekend sick.
No, I’m not whining. Stop judging me.
The UK Starts Monitoring Blogs
ResourceShelf had an interesting find last week, pointing out that the UK’s Central Office of Information is going to start monitoring blogs in order to brief government departments on where people sit on current issues. It basically sounds like they’re creating a formal Google Alert system for all those stiff government types.
I like the initial idea, assuming it is used for good (understanding the conversation) and not evil (censoring dissent). It’s vital for officials to be aware of what is being said on blogs and tuned into the conversation in order to better serve those they’re supposed to be speaking on behalf of. You have to wonder why they didn’t start something like this sooner. Have government officials been ignoring the conversation happening online all this time? Surely, this had to have been an issue before? Better late than never, I suppose.
Personalized Ad Program Coming to Facebook
The Wall Street Journal broke the news last week revealing that Facebook will soon feature an ad program that targets ads based on personal preferences (favorite activities, music, religion, family, etc), not just by demographics. In case you’re starting to get a little nervous, the targeting will be done via defined user category groups, not by the individual, so it’s not nearly as scary as you may have feared.
Or, maybe it is.
The article states that Facebook’s long term objective is to perfect the system so that it will be able to "predict what products and services users might be interested in even before they have specifically mentioned an area". How very Google of them.
Seriously, though, a lot of people are getting freaked out over this, but I personally don’t have a problem with Facebook targeting ads based on information I have voluntarily entered into their system. If they want to look at my user groups, or my blog feeds, or the fact that I am a raging New England Patriots fan in order to better serve me ads, then so be it. If you are freaked out about ad targeting, perhaps you shouldn’t be entering your deepest, darkest secrets into your Facebook profile. Actually, maybe you shouldn’t be using social networks in general. Go sit in your closet. The bad people can’t get you there.
Google and Australia Make Nice…For Now
Don’t get too excited but there’s actually a news story today that mentions Google and Australia and it isn’t about a new lawsuit. Huzzah!
Yes, today’s big Aussie news is that Google Australia has signed a multi-year deal with the Australia media conglomerate News Digital Media to put AdSense contextual advertising and paid search AdWords advertising on the NDM’s host of sites, including The Daily Telegraph, The Herald Sun, The Australian and FoxSports.com.au. Under the deal, Google will also replace Yahoo as the search results provider on NDM Web sites. Well played, Google. Well played.
This is more an Awesome Find than a Fun Find, but Andy Beal outlined 26 Free Tools for Buzz Monitoring. I recommend you bookmark that post. Andy maybe buy Andy lunch.
Gemme gets us caught up on what’s been happening in China’s world of search over the past month. Definitely worth a read.
If you find yourself overly bored at work today, practice switching off the colors in the Google logo. No, I don’t know why this is interesting but Google Blogoscoped mentioned it and, darn it, I want to be as cool as Phillipp.