3 posts categorized "Google"

12/10/2009 Go Ogle has Droid Rage

Google launched Droid more than a month ago with a solid male-focused campaign including rockets blasting the earth. Maybe Google leading with machismo was a good idea for capturing some marketing share from Apple's iPhone. But now you have to wonder if Google hasn't gone over the line and is just plain homophobic.

The latest Droid TV spot takes clear aim at the iPhone, labeling it a "princess" phone. See below.

Google and Droid might be taking aim at another product, but they're certainly questioning everyone who uses an iPhone. According to Google, iPhones are for "girly men" (or girly girls for that matter) while real men use Droid. It's interesting to watch them break down the brand attributes as male or female

Can Do

Hmm. Actually these ads feel a lot like the ads for pickup trucks. When one of the truck brands added an extra step on the back, another brand labeled it the "man step." Only sissies use man steps, apparently. That is, when they're not using iPhones.

As Google tries to paint all of us iPhone users as pansies, you wonder if that stretches to iPod users as well. Why wouldn't it? The question is: How many Google engineers have iPods or even iPhones for that matter? It used to be that the challenge was to show that tech people weren't nerds but were kind of cool. Now, cool is for wimps. Now techies eat raw meat!

You kind of wonder what's coming next? Maybe Google/Droid will use Dick Cheney as its macho spokesman. Not only does he shoot old men in the face but also without technology, his heart would stop beating. In some way, he is a droid.

If Dick won't do it, maybe Droid could poach the iMac ads and use Patrick Warburton who played Puddy on Seinfeld. I'm thinking of the episode "The Face Painter" where the guys paint themselves to go to a hockey game. Puddy scares a priest to death by screaming "The Devils! Haaaa!!" Just change it to "Droid! Haaa!" and you may have a winner.


And once Google has manhandled Apple, you know what's coming next, right? Microsoft's Bing. Bing! You can already imagine the hockey metaphor. The LADY Bing Award for sportsmanship in hockey is like the search engine Bing. Tame and soft.  But real hockey, like real search, is about tripping, slashing and elbowing. Real hockey, like Google, is about fighting and losing your teeth! Hockey without violence is, well, it sounds almost European. Ah the possibilities.

Actually, I don't think the TV ads do enough for Droid. After all they're still only TV ads. No, what Droid needs are some real hardware extensions for real men, to really distinguish them from the iPhone girly men. Here are some suggestions.

Bottle Opener - To save Real Men's teeth or eye sockets, Droid should build in a bottle opener into every phone. Then they could do co-promotions with Budweiser. Oops, I meant an American beer.

Weaponize Droid - The Droid is pretty harmless actually. It needs some type of weapon in it. Maybe Google could create the Droid Shiv, with a little stiletto that pops out.  A derringer would be another cool idea. Somehow, both of those ideas seem a little wimpy. Both stiletto and derringer sound too foreign. Google should bring in the NRA into one of the vaunted Google Labs to figure that one out fast.

Inflatable Droid - How about a Droid that inflates to one of those sex dolls? Apparently they now have motors at all of the orifices. If Google could figure out a way to do Droid voice control it would give Droid Men amazing power and control. Things they don't have in real life. It wouldn't do a Droid vibrator though, since there's already an app for that. (Of course!)

With those three things, the Droid becomes more than a phone. It becomes a real man's survival tool! Wimps, sissies and princesses need not apply thank you very much. You can wuss out with your iPhones.

Maybe Google really does have Droid Rage.

06/15/2009 From Your Mouth to Google’s (or Bing’s) Ear

Microsoft launched Bing recently in order to take up the fight against Google’s dominance. However good Google is, search in general is a fairly sorry solution to finding things online. Imagine walking into a store and asking a salesperson where to find something and they gave you 10 various answers of which only one, maybe, was correct.  Personally, I would not want to be that salesperson.

The same is true of search. I use search ALL the time. While I get some good results, I feel like I’m never quite getting what I need. Sometimes I don’t get what I need at all.

The problem is that the question I’m formulating in my head is never the taxonomy and description that companies use to describe products or services. Even when it relates to information, the search results break down.

Here’s a simple example from my life as a yard-taker-care-of-er. I need something to spray my new fruit trees so that bugs don’t eat up all the leaves. I could just go up to Ace Hardware or Home Depot, ask anyone that question, and get a good answer. I’ve tried every variation possible online and I never get a good answer to what product I should buy. It’s amazing that it’s still this hard.

BingLogo I thought with Bing would improve this, but not so. Bing provides categories to narrow down your search. It does, however, allow you to see part of the page you’re going to click on so you, hopefully, don’t waste so much time browsing through page results that don’t work for you.

Adding human intelligence doesn’t seem to work very well either; older search engines tried having editorial boards rank things, to little avail.

Nope, unless someone develops a chip to embed in our brains that takes our ideas and concepts and translates them into something search engines can understand I think we’re stuck with what we have for a while. Because what we’re really trying to do is to translate concepts into a common language. Without getting into Wittgenstein, that’s a human problem that not even Google can even solve.

My answer is to go to the social Web, ask the question, and hope that some one answers. Or better yet, I think I’ll just hop in the car and go to the store and ask. I’m lucky to have the Gardeners Supply outlet store nearby as well.At the very least someone will say, “I don’t know” and point me in the right direction.

Or maybe I should just Tweet it…

04/09/2009 Intellectual Property or Intellectual Constipation

The Associated Press is out to protect its intellectual property. Sadly, it reminds me of the silly things going on at my kids’ grade school.

AP took direct aim at Google and Web 2.0 this week when it announced, in best “Network” style that they’re “mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore.”

What they’re mad at hell at are Web sites like Google (The Huffington Post and the Drudge Report among others) that aggregate AP news headlines and send readers to newspaper sites when they click on those links. AP sees this as violating copyright law and AP’s intellectual property. What it really means is that AP wants more money.

So AP is thinking of shutting off access to all news aggregators online and, instead, forcing people to go to it’s own news portal online. They’ll take the money they make on the new portal and spread it around to the publishers.

It sounds like AP doesn’t like losing control with all this new media stuff. That's too bad, because it’s only going to get worse.

Now AP has every right to make money from its news product. It needs to pay journalists and photographers all over the world. It’s interesting that AP’s offline stringer model is perfect for online journalism too, but that, somehow, hasn’t made it into the discussion. Moreover, according to a 2006 report, Google already pays AP for proprietary stories and pictures.

Constipation.sm AP’s intellectual constipation comes in to play when it tries to shut down the spread of its news stories rather than encouraging them. The fact that people have lots of ways to get to AP stories on newspaper sites seems a generous strategy that AP should reap benefits from. Instead of looking at new ways of encouraging the spread of those stories, and looking at new, not old, models of monetizing this spread, AP could turn this into a win/win for everyone.

The risk is that online stringer news goes to the CNN type amateur journalists via places like iReport. While there’s a huge value to citizen journalism, society benefits from reading great journalists. You’d think that AP would want to let people read these journalists as much as possible instead of limiting access. It seems like AP is chasing the same doomed model as the record industry did when faced with its own online challenge. AP needs an intellectual ExLax.

It’s the same thing that’s happening with my daughters play at her grade school. The grades 3-5 kids were supposed to put on “Mary Poppins” or “Peter Pan” but it turned out that they couldn’t get the music rights for the Broadway music without paying thousands of dollars.  Yes it’s a good thing that artists make money for things they create and don’t allow people to make money from their work without sharing the profit. But this is a school play. Schools don’t make money, and they don’t have a lot of money to spend. Thank god they’re even doing drama at this level!

So the school ditched “Mary Poppins” and is doing something else that doesn’t cost anything. And what does this do for the artists and producers? Well, think of the money they lose when families and friends don’t buy the music and DVDs. More importantly, they miss a chance to spread and imprint this music into every kid’s head (and the families they’re practicing for nightly). That’s an imprint that doesn’t go away. Talk about lifetime value of a customer!

Surely there’s a fairer way to assess the value of ideas. The one size fits all model is simply arcane.

When intellectual constipation gets in the way of intellectual property things just stop. I can’t see how that helps anyone.

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