Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not represented as fact|
Of all the Internet search engines,
Google.com is one of the
few that is actually making a dollar or two.
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
A combination of good ranking strategies, good web-design, non-intrusive
advertising, and licensing its technology to other players has endeared it
to millions of Net users while generating good strong revenues.
After several years spent spidering the Web for material to index, Google now
claims to have a list of some 2,073,418,204 web pages in its database -- something
that must surely be an asset of immense value.
Need Cutting-Edge Copy?|
As NZ's longest-running online commentator, I'm looking for
extra syndication opportunities for this daily publication -- or I'm happy
to write casual or regular material specifically to order for print or
Net-based publications. If you're
interested, drop me a line
However, Google has a problem. How can it leverage that massive asset to
generate more revenue?
I dare say this question has exercised the minds of Google's management and
staff for quite some time -- and it appears that some bright spark has finally
recognised that maybe they need help.
As a result, they're now offering what they call a
with a US$10,000 first prize.
The challenge is to come up with program "that does something interesting with the data".
This is quite a smart move on the part of Google.
Not only do they now have many thousands of bright-sparks thinking hard in
an attempt to come up with clever ideas to better leverage the company's massive
database (for profit) -- but they also get to use any or all of the ideas
submitted without payment of further fees or royalties.
With a really good programmer costing around US$50-$80K a year (plus benefits)
then that US$10,000 first prize starts to look like a really cheap way of
effectively hiring thousands of staff for a pittance.
However, it's not quite as easy or as lucrative as that. Of course someone
(or some small army) with good technical skills is going to have to sort through
the many thousands of submissions that will inevitably result from this competition.
The cost of weeding out the huge percentage of entries that are likely to
be utterly useless won't be insignificant. Never the less -- it will only
take one or two really good ideas to offset that overhead.
Now we keep hearing that NZ's programmers and techies are world-leaders (and
I think this is quite true in many cases) -- so I wonder how many locals
will be submitting an entry. Or could it be that Kiwis are just
a bit too smart to give away an idea that could be worth hundreds of millions
of dollars in return for five minutes of fame and some shiny beads?
If you come up with a good idea to commercially exploit that massive database,
don't enter the Google contest -- just keep it to yourself then approach them
later with a revenue-sharing deal. Forget the shiny beads and blankets --
go for the real money!
No Lighten Up?
Come on folks -- I need more material for the Friday "Lighten Up" section.
As you'll have noticed -- there is no "Lighten Up" today -- because I've been
too busy to find anything and submissions have dried up somewhat.
It's Still Free -- So Pay Up!
Every month, Aardvark scores over half a million hits, at least 150K page views and
delivers more than 6GB of data to visitors.
All this traffic has meant that I've had to shift the site to a new server
to ensure that your daily dose is always fresh and delivered to your
browser with minimal delays.
I also invest over 300 hours per year writing the daily column and compiling
the day's news index -- all for your illumination and entertainment.
If you haven't sent any money to help offset the costs of running this
ad-free, 100% Kiwi, always fresh, often controversial site then you can give
yourself the warm-fuzzies this Christmas by doing so now.
Just drop by, click on the Aardvark, and
hand over your loot.
Add Aardvark To Your Own Website!
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Just add a
to your pages and you can get
a free summary of Aardvark's daily commentary -- automatically updated
each and every week-day.
Aardvark also makes a summary of this daily column available via XML using
the RSS format. More details can be found
Contact me if you decide to use either of these feeds and
have any problems.
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