Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Gavin O'Malley, June 28, 2011, 11:38 AM
Google Launches wdl.comTechCrunch

What do you love? Google wants to know, so it just soft-launched wdyl.com with the hope of creating a "unified [user interface] to search in multiple channels." "While it seems to be more of a cute gimmick at this time, the idea is to return users a single page of relevant results across many of Google's products for whatever query is typed into the wdyl search box," TechCrunch explains. "The ‘search' button is even a heart. Cute."

"Over the years, Google has continued to add new products, services, portals, and features to their portfolio," Search Engine Land writes. "Keeping up on all that Google has to offer has been hard."

"While WDYL is reminiscent of iGoogle's layout, it still seems peculiar to us that Google would allow its employees [to spend time creating] something that's so surprisingly unhelpful," remarks Digital Trends. "But perhaps that's not its purpose. In fact, the only reason we can think that WDYL exists, really, is to showcase the many ways Google allows you to find the particular kind of information you're looking for."

So, "Is it a curiosity, the product of one of Google's 20% initiatives, or a promotional toy Google is going to use?" Fast Company asks. "Who cares when Goog [sic] does good design work!?"  Indeed, as TechCrunch adds, "The most striking thing about the new site is that it seems pretty well designed -- not always a given with Google."

"The whole thing is nice and social, too," writes Web Pro News. "You can share using all kinds of services like Gmail, Google Buzz, and...oh wait, that's all." That said, "The quality of the results ... indicates that Google should probably work a bit more to add some diversity, since the results become predictable after a few terms," according to Softpedia.

Read the whole story...
  • Gavin O'Malley, June 28, 2011, 11:38 AM
  • Skype is reportedly about ready to release an iPad-friendly video chat app. As a result, Computerworld notes, Microsoft -- which recently agreed to buy Skype for $8.5 billion -- is "indirectly ingratiating" itself with Apple. Similarly, it's been widely reported that the Skype app will debut on iTunes, this week.

    "It's interesting that this app puts Microsoft on the iPad --- potentially," Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates, tells Computerworld. "MicroSkype takes a bite of the Apple."

    By itself, the Skype video chat app for iPad might not be a big concern for Apple, though it does give Microsoft a foot into the Apple door, according to Gold. "In fact, the app could mean that Apple, in effect, will become a component of the Microsoft Windows Live suite that includes everything from IM to email," Computerworld writes. "Live is directly competitive to what Apple is doing," Gold added. "A further irony," Computerworld adds, "is that the Skype for iPad app would compete with Apple's own FaceTime video chat product, which works in Wi-Fi only. " Read the whole story...
  • Tumblr president John Maloney just pointed out that the blogging platform is now doing north of 8.4 billion monthly pageviews. As TechCrunch's MG Siegler notes, that number was around 7 billion just a month ago. What explains the huge jump? Well, "It turns out, there was a bit of a bug in Tumblr's data previously -- one that led Quantcast to undercount pageview data. "Last week we noticed a growing discrepancy between our Google Analytics and Quantcast numbers," company founder David Karp tells Siegler.

    "It turns out that we broke our Quantcast tracking code a few weeks ago and were no longer reporting any impressions past page one of the Dashboard." With the new data, Tumblr is now one of the top 25 sites in the U.S. according to the data Quancast tracks. According to Siegler, Karp credits international growth and faster response times to Tumblr's amazing trajectory.

    Says Maloney: "Tumblr's growth the last few months has been remarkable, overshadowing everything in the past. It's coming from all over the globe and across all demos, in particular teenagers." Meanwhile, both Karp and Maloney credit the Tumblr engineering team, which has been handling the load after downtime problems earlier in the year. Read the whole story...
  • Google is now activating half a million Android mobile devices every day, reports The Next Web, citing a new tweet from Google's Android chief Andy Rubin. That's up from the roughly 400,000 Android devices Google says it was activating back in May. In his tweet, Rubin also revealed that Android activations are now growing at 4.4% week-over-week.

    "Google's huge rise will have been helped by the launch of Honeycomb-powered tablets as Motorola, Samsung and HTC, with its Gingerbread tablet, try to make inroads into Apple's iPad dominance," The Next Web writes. Google previously announced that it had already activated 100 million Android devices from 36 OEMS and 215 carriers. Hugo Barra, Google's Product Management Director of Android also said that there were 450,000 Android developers and 200,000 apps available to consumers.

    "At the time," The Next Web write, "there were 310 Android devices in 112 countries, which has increased significantly in the month since the announcement." Read the whole story...
  • Already a shadow if its former self, MySpace reportedly plans to layoff nearly 40% of its remaining staff -- or about 150 employees -- this week. Since confirmed by TechCrunch, the news was first reported by Gawker's Ryan Tate. How bad have things gotten at the once reigning social network?

    Well, "Scary as [the massacre] sounds, some employees are apparently looking forward to the layoffs," one source tells Tate. "Apparently, everyone is expecting it, and actually hoping for it," the "MySpace veteran" said. "I think the management owes the employees severance because of the terrible management mistakes they presided over." According to Tate, however, "MySpace's parent company is likely to be motivated more by self-interest than mercy, which has fueled speculation in hallways and in MySpace's virtual Campfire chat rooms that MySpace is being slimmed down to make it more attractive to a potential buyer -- lower costs and all that."

    Largely perceived as an effort to gussy up the company, MySpace laid off 47% of its staff -- or 500 people -- in January. "The slimming and a relaunch as a content portal didn't make MySpace attractive to buyers," according to Tate. "News Corp. ended up with just one potential bidder for the site after six months on the market, and even that company wasn't willing to pay anywhere near the stated minimum price." Read the whole story...