Hey You Potter!

For Tyler’s 6th Birthday we didn’t have a big party. He chose instead to redirect the birthday funds into a six disc DVD set of the first three Harry Potter movies. We’ve been reading the Potter books and Tyler has found a new world to explore beyond Thomas the Tank Engine. He picks up every piece of trivia, asks detailed questions, and is now studying the movies as eager as an acolyte.

Because her playmate is now entranced by the spell of Potter, Julia’s picked it up a bit as well. She hasn’t quite gotten the name of the the series down yet so she calls it “Hey You Potter” but she’s got the theme music down and both of them came to our bed this morning and greeted us with their renditions.

Affiliate marketing offline browser

People always ask me how they can make money writing a blog. The question is like someone back in 1870, a few years after the invention of the telephone, asking how someone can make money dialing a telephone call. With apologies to Marshall McLuhan, it’s the message not the medium.

Interactive advertising is playing an dangerous dance with the bloggers with initiatives such as Marqui that blur the independence of the writers. Affiliate marketing is something that is also unique to the internet and has the potential to tempt bloggers looking for a quick buck. Affiliate programs such as Amazon’s Associate Program pay for purchases that originate via a link on your site. It’s an great solution for spiffing someone that sends business your way but it can be abused at the expense of editorial vision.

There is a whole industry that is growing up around the work-at-home industry of affiliate marketing websites and now there is even a blogging client that will help you compose your text while inserting affiliate links as needed to stress your point and boost your revenue. One hopes that the search folks will keep their spiders groomed so that blatantly advertorial posts will fall off the bottom of the Google & Technorati rankings and keep things relevant but I’m afraid that the capitalistic urge to harvest click-throughs will prevail until we raise the cost of such behavior or the public ceases to buy into tangential links. The fact that there are still so many infomercial programs on television doesn’t provide much hope for any change in the public’s support of such behavior.


Yahoo to buy Flickr

In other news this weekend, Yahoo has confirmed that it has purchased online photo collaboration and folksononomy pioneer, Flickr. Major cred points for the folks in Purple and Yellow. Write ups from Jeremey Zawodny at Yahoo and Caterina at Flickr. It’s now really getting interesting!

Current Events

Diller to buy Jeeves says New York Times

Barry Diller’s InterActive Corp is set to buy Ask Jeeves, the 4th largest search engine company (5th according to the WSJ lead) for $1.9 billion (Reuters confirms it’s $1.85 billion) in stock writes the New York Times.

Ask purchased Bloglines, the web-based RSS aggregator, last month. 70% of Ask’s revenues come from advertising served by Google so we might see this change as search results drive traffic to network commerce sites owned by IAC such as Expedia, Ticketmaster, Home Shopping Network, and CitySearch.

No word on the TypePad-powered Ask Jeeves blog at this time.

UPDATE: In a Reuters recap of a conference call, Diller is quoted as saying, “Global search is the gateway to everything.” Sounds like we’re heading back to the portal days of old and that search engines are once again the core to any portal. How many months before people start talking again about search engine lock-in and adding hooks to make a search engine more than just another bookmark?

Still no word from the Ask Jeeves blog or