eBay, the Search Engine

Is eBay a search engine? Of course it is. eBay is acknowledging as much. As the NY Times reports, “In a conference call, Ms. Whitman also described the importance of improving eBay’s search capability, calling the service as much a…

AOL Advertises on Competitors to Get Traffic to AOL.com

To build traffic for AOL.com, AOL is buying search ads on Google and Yahoo. The article says: “AOL had initially considered spending as much as $50 million on television ads to promote the portal. But that changed after the company…

Do You Want Pictures With That Download?

By John Ottaviani OK, maybe it’s just a slow news day, or maybe it’s because I’m working on a presentation for next week on the implications of open source software for attorneys involved in mergers and acquisitions of software companies,…

Supreme Court on Interstate Shipment of Wine–Granholm v. Heald

Granholm v. Heald, 544 U.S. __ (May 16, 2005). The US Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, has declared that states cannot discriminate between out-of-state wineries and in-state wineries in allowing direct-to-consumer sales. Such discrimination violates the dormant commerce clause….

Economist on the Long Tail

Good article from the Economist explaining the Long Tail in a basic and understandable way. The article even addresses the thorny organizational/marketing problem implicit in the Long Tail. (Thanks to the Long Tail blog for the pointer).

Happy Mother’s Day from Your Loving Son (and Your Friendly FTC Bureaucrat)

Nothing tells your mom that you love her like an e-card with soft piano music, floating butterflies, pretty wildflowers…and some consumer protection tips from the FTC. Thanks to the Washington Post for the pointer.

Self-Publishing and the Long Tail

The New York Times runs a lengthy article on self-publishing books. The emergence of self-publishing shops reinforces the Long Tail theory. By reducing the publishing costs, more niche-oriented content can be produced cost-effectively. Thus, self-publishing houses put real pressure on…

Anti-Spoofing Protocol

A spammer makes unauthorized use of a company’s trademarks in an email promoting the purchase of goods/services. This isn’t a phishing email per se; it’s not trying to disgorge personal statistics for identity theft or outright theft (although it may…

Infomediaries–Where Are They?

I have been thinking a lot about “infomediaries.” If you’re not familiar with the term, John Hagel first described it in a 1997 Harvard Business Review article The Coming Battle for Customer Information (with Rayport) and then fleshed out his…

Rivlin on eBay Fee Increases

Gary Rivlin writes a good in-depth article on the seller community’s response to eBay’s fee increases. The article articulates eBay’s rationales—eBay wanted to restore some balance in the use of certain tools, so price increases were the ways to drive…