Posts Tagged ‘Digg’

Using Google Suggest as a research tool

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

I am not a huge fan of Digg, but I occasionally watch the online show Diggnation, and I got this idea from a story that they profiled a couple of weeks back. The background to the story is this – when you start typing a term into the search box on Google, a feature called Google Suggest displays suggestions about what you might be trying to type. According to Google, this functionality uses an algorithm to predict the queries that users are most likely to want to see, and does not base the suggestions on a user’s personal search history.

The story that was profiled on Diggnation was about someone who typed in a bunch of terms and took screenshots of the results. What he found was very interesting. To just pick one example – for the expression “Is it safe to…” the results were: look at a lunar eclipse, travel to kenya, reuse the same water bottle over and over, fly when pregnant, paint while pregnant, travel to Israel, travel to Cuba, tan while pregnant, and eat snow. Check out the full list here.

It occurred to me that I could use this tool for research, to help me determine general consumer interest in a topic as well as search term popularity. (The screenshot below is from a search I did to help me gauge interest in various terms for the Orthopedic Product Guide.)

There are other ways to use this tool, as well. The guys on Diggnation did a competition to see how many letters it took for each of their names to be suggested. (They tied.) I played along – but am sad to admit that my name was never even suggested.

Google suggest orthopedic

New online video technology launches; has a viable advertising model

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Online video is already huge and getting bigger all the time. At least 75% of Internet users watch videos online and 8 hours of video content being uploaded to YouTube EVERY MINUTE. But there is a problem with online video because no one has (yet) figured out a long-term viable advertising model that will work with video. Google (which owns YouTube) is certainly working on it, but all the models that have debuted so far – pre-roll, post-roll, sponsorship – have fallen short because none of the formats have taken advantage of the inherent interactivity of the Internet. That is, until now.

I just took a look at what Revision3 and VideoClix have teamed up to put together and it’s great. Not only is the ad format interesting and cool, it’s also fairly unobtrusive and seems tailor-made for the Internet’s interactive format.

The first video to debut with the new technology is Diggnation (although all of Revision3’s videos will have the technology shortly). Watchers are able to interact with the video as it’s playing. When a viewer clicks on an item in the video that has additional information included, an area is displayed to the right of the video that has the details about the item, as well as room for advertising or additional vendor information.

Diggnation screenshot

This is clever. For one thing, the information that was provided was fun and interesting. (For example, I found out that the Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam has rooms that range from 1 to 5 stars and one of the rooms has a shower in the middle of the room.) I wanted to click every link in the video to find out more about the video that I was watching, the clothes that the hosts were wearing, and even to see what computers they were using. Since my clicks didn’t stop the video, I was able to click around when something was happening that I was less interested in watching and I didn’t have to miss anything that I didn’t want to miss.

My prediction – this online advertising format will be viable and long-lasting, particularly in the consumer market. Clickable video is here to stay.