Friday, December 12, 2008

LeWeb08-Google's Mayer tips Local Search as key opportunity for 2009

PARIS-Marissa Mayer, VP of Search Product & User Experience at Google, gave an insightful view on various challenges facing both Google and its competitors in terms of Search.

Marissa pointed out that there is still some way to go to improve search (harking back to a previous interview she had given where she had stated that 90% of the work on search has been completed but that the last 10% was the tricky part).

One area where Google is looking to improve its game is in personalised search, with the recent launch of the Google Search Wiki seeking to test the waters in this area.

Another area, is search through devices other than the PC, notably through a mobile phone and, linked to this,voice-activated search.

Loic le Meur asked Marissa whether she thought any improvements in video search were in the pipeline. She answered that improvements are imminent in detecting voice within video and searching on this. However, graphic recognition (e.g.of a face in a video) is still a few years away partly due to YouTube's success and the proliferation of video content on the web.

Finally, and critically for companies in the LBS space, Marissa stated that "local search is one of the big opportunities in 2009".

Thursday, December 11, 2008

LeWeb 08 Paris-Prologue and Photos

Add ImagePARIS-LeWeb08 managed to pull off a great event in a time of economic uncertainty, and despite the heavy atmosphere associated with the global financial system, it offered rays of hope as well as advice on how to weather the storm.
Many industry heavy hitters, from Marissa Mayer at Google to Marc Simoncini of Meetic, Maurice Levy of Publicis and Martin Varsavsky, serial entrepreneur, gave their take on future plans and opportunities in the market.
Marc Simoncini gave a very entertaining talk on different dating habits he had to consider when launching his service in different countries in Europe.
For example, in Italy, women were not overt in their dating habits as they normally 'had to ask permission from their brother to date' while in Sweden, the Meetic offer of free membership for women was met with a 'why should it be free for us' reaction.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New Nokia N97..but not for Christmas

Nokia used the opportunity of the Nokia World Event in Barcelona on Tuesday 2nd December to announce the release of the much anticipated N97 -the second touchscreen phone by the manufacturer, but this time, unlike the XpressMusic, it comes with an inbuilt QWERTY keyboard. It also has sufficient new features to pack a punch and looks set to carve out its own cult following.

The N97 features integrated A-GPS sensors and an electronic compass, which the vendor says will make it easy to update social networks automatically with real-time information, giving approved friends the ability to update their status and share their 'social location' as well as related pictures or videos. The device supports up to 48GB of storage, including 32GB of on-board memory, expandable with a 16GB microSD card.

Sadly for Nokia-philes, the N97 is only expected to begin shipping in the first half of 2009 (at an estimated retail price of €550 before taxes) at which point demand is anticipated to have built up dramatically.