Convergence Connects with Local Search: Spot Runner

I was talkin’ with an old media buddy about the CES show, and our sentiments were echoed in this Sunday’s “Media Frenzy” column in the NYTimes Business section, with this opening line: “Convergence is back…” In fact, it may be more accurate to say it’s finally here. And I’m talking about more than iPod video and related video sales by Google and others.

On another front, those who work in search engine marketing and search engine advertising (like Google AdWords and Yahoo Search advertising) know that local search is hot. Local businesses (from pizza parlors to car repair shops) are benefitting more from local search engine marketing than from those old fashioned and expensive yellow pages ads.
Case in point, a friend’s petsitting business is getting 9 leads from free search engine rankings compared to 1 from a $300/month yellow pages display ad that she’s just discontinued. For those who want to learn more, this is the best e-book I’ve seen on the subject of Local Search. >

What was most kewl in the article referenced above, IMHO, was Spot Runner. This web-based application (“software as service”) uses pre-produced TV spot “templates” and computerized insertion techniques to help small local businesses get on cable TV as painlessly and inexpensively as possible. Impressive stuff. And there’s an opportunity there for video producers as well. At least I think so. I need to get into that service in more detail. Comments and experiences welcome…

Define Web 2.0 & Ajax. Hunh?

Even as one who has blogged (see posts below) about kewl Web 2.0 applications and their Ajax programming, ah, er, platform, or whatever-it-is… I’ve not been the one to articulately define these trends or movements or whatever they are.

So I was pleased to find both a fine technical explanation of Ajax, as well as an illuminating and articulate (although technically sophisticated) social commentary on the development environment and buzz around Web 2.0.

Of course, if you are less technically inclined, it may be sufficient for you for me to say that Web 2.0 and Ajax are used to cook up spritely, user friendly online applications (for example, flickr and Basecamp) that “foster community and collaboration;” but they are more… much more… very much in the same way that open source programmers are so much more than just geeks. Afterall, making the world a place where people can get more connected, form communities, and collaborate even, is, afterall, making the world a better place. 😉

Steve Jobs Pokes Michael Dell as Apple’s Market Cap Tops Dell’s

I remember a Steve Jobs presentation shortly after he took back the reigns at Apple where he projected an image of Michael Dell’s face on the bull’s eye of a target. He took aim and “bingo,” he “made it so.” According to this report in the NY Times, Jobs couldn’t pass up the milestone of Apple’s market cap passing Dell’s (at least for the moment) without a comment to his “team.” Amazing. The drama continues…

Apple’s Influence Increasing Beyond Belief: A Leader Despite a Follower’s Marketshare

The more I think about it, the more amazing Apple’s success is. Eat your heart out, Bill Gates. It’s Apple that is setting the pace now, making the best software and the best hardware, and “owning” the digital music/media business that every media business covets (iTunes is has something like an 84% marketshare.)

I won’t rant on. Suffice it to say that I am amazed and delighted. Perhaps this piece by FORTURE senior editor, Peter Lewis, “Tiny Apple has oversized influence” from says it all. With subheads like: “Setting standards” and “Tiny marketshare, big influence,” you get the idea. Who woulda thunk it, but I agree with Lewis’ assessment that “once again Apple appears to be setting the standards for the rest of the PC and consumer electronics industries.” Congrats! Keep up the good work, Apple.

Steve Jobs MacWorld Keynote Video: Watch It Now

The video of the Steve Jobs keynote is now up on Apple’s website. The quality is quite good, and if you’ve never seen Jobs do one of these presentations, I think it’s not to be missed. If you’ve seen one, you know. Thank God, they are finally getting this video up to watchable quality.

And thank goodness, Apple is doing so well. Mr. Jobs reports record revenue, record iPod sales (14 million last quarter, 42 million total), new videos for sale via the iTunes store, demos of all the new iLife applications (including iMovie with podcasting), and the announcement of the new Intel Macs six months ahead of schedule.

Go, Steve!

New Intel Macs, sure. But Google Earth Mac, YEAH!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m psyched about the new Intel MacBooks and iMacs, but what I’ve really been waiting for is Google Earth for the Mac. Finally, It’s here! It’s like piloting your own aircraft over the earth, or getting a real “birds eye view”…

And while I’m blabbing, eh, I mean blogging, kudos to the Apple marketing folks for the line: “What’s an Intel chip doing in a Mac? A whole lot more than it’s ever done in a PC.” Stay tuned for the Steve Jobs video keynote. A show worthy of your attention, IMHO.

Podcasting eBook

Looks like a good, cost effective ($9.95) resource for those looking for a podcasting manual: Learn more about the 93-page podcasting ebook.