Keynote - The Search, by John Battelle

Jun 21, 2005 • 10:50 am | comments (0) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under WebmasterWorld 2005 New Orleans
 

Brett Tabke started off with an introduction to the conference. He explains that they re-scoped all the sessions and discussed some of the popular ones coming up. Next WMW conference will be in Las Vegas, Nov 15 - 17 and Pub Conference 9 will be in London in September 30th, one day only. He then introduced John Battelle (damn famous search blog, ran Wired, and wrote The Search (to be out soon)). He said John is the man who knows where our industry is going. He then brought up the reason why WMW doesn't link to blogs and he said John's blog is the exception to the rule.

John Battelle thanked Brett for the warm introduction. He describes who he is, with a who is this guy slide. Schooled at Berkeley, helped to found Wired, then started HotWired (remember that), he thinks he started first banner ad model with prodigy, then he left Wired and went to the Industry Standard (thestandard.com) (my all time favorite magazine until it closed), he then spent 6 million dollars on a CRM system that reversed engineered AdWords (before AdWords was around), he then went back to Berkeley after thestandard "blew up". At Berkeley he did lots of research on search and saw that Google and Overture were ripping it up (not blowing up), and he describes how his new book "The Search" talks about that. He then talks about his blog, Searchblog (100,000 readers). He then started a conference named Web 2.0 (lots of discussion on that like 6 months ago). He then brought up boingboing.com (most popular blog in the world) and described how he mad money from it for them. He then announced his brand new company FM company.

Web 2.0: He describes the version1 of the net versus the version 2 of the net (lose money versus make money). The rise of Web 2.0; Mod-late 90s, we thought whomever one the browser war wont he internet, but its not that, its more about the content services. Web is a robust development platform. The architecture of participation; businesses are leveraging user-generated content & the force of many to create advantage and value. HE says that innovation is in "Assembly", i.e. Dell, Feedster, etc. Lightweight business models are in and smart. He describes "the power of the tail"; where he says they should change the name of this "meet the google engineers" to "the google engineers meet the tail." He said "Search Rules", its the driver of Web 2.0, search heralds the new Web OS, its a cultural point, a new reality for all forms of business and artifact of a new culture and its just the beginning. He shows some money slides on why search rules (cant type that fast). He shows slides of the "length of the query" and as you have a long query, the higher the CTR is (the tail of CTR). There is much more usage of the Internet then ad dollars in Internet (huge potential growth). New media was not that new he says. He realizes now that in the past, they were using old model publishing (print) in a new medium (Web). Search blew this old model up; he describes "intent before content." He said publishers are just realizing this now and they are freaking out. Ad models are shifting to intent. We have search, RSS, blogging are all redefining the model. The rise of the "point to" economy. He asks, "what about branding?" The reaction of mainstream media business is to save the old model, they fight search and what makes it work (they call Google a killer). He describes how his new company will help other companies work with the new media. He feels the blog is a publication, it innovates in assembly, its low cost, good blogger is a good editor/filter, deep-linked and conversational, author is a leader in community, for now, mainly non commercial, there is a direct relationship between author and audience (so true). Blogs are for real, he showed some stats (10+ million blogs, 35 million readers in 2004, people are clearly reading). John's theory of publication is that there are three elements to a great publication; publisher, marketer, and audience. He describes that the marketer adds to the publication (some ads are so sweet and tells you the health in the market). He believes the best publications are those that use the communication between these three. The reality is that the publisher and the marketer are talking direct. The audience is there, out there, the authors talk somewhat to the authors and the authors somewhat talk to the publisher. But the marketer is out of the loop, its not balanced. Blogs have a great convo going between author and audience, but its missing the marketer (except for the AdSense). He said we can do better, he said AdSense doesn't really work (its only keyword based and not marketing driven). What that means is the marketer needs to be smarter then a keyword algorithm search. The problem is there are too many blogs, how do you stay focused. AdBright, WeblogsInc, and FMPublishing are solving this issue. These companies connect the blogs to the marketing aspect they are missing. Basically he will bundle these blogs together, in marketing terms. He then sums up.

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