Google Farts. Stock up 13%

Google’s doing a great job and putting out some good stuff such as customized search. Earnings for Q3 were better than expected, but that should already be reflected in the stock price.

Since Google already has a huge portion of all internet searches, and given that they just spent 1.6 billion for YouTube with marginal current revenues, and given that we are in a very uncertain time where online revenues could go down or other companies could spring onto the search scene with something great almost overnight and threaten their dominance ….
What exactly is driving this stock price through the roof? It kind of smells like 1999 to me, but what do I know?

Measuring internet “engagement”

Robert Scoble’s asking a great question today about how to measure “engagement” at a website as opposed to just a visit. This issue was recently addressed at some length in the big debate over Comscore metrics for Myspace that Danah Boyd challenged as questionable.

As I suggested in that debate and Scoble is saying now, there’s an important difference between a user who simply loads a page and leaves the site immediately vs a user who engages with the site.

Experiments are needed, since it may be as simple as taking a ratio of total unique visitors to total time online to get a sense of how engaged the visitors are.

Of course that does NOT necessarily translate into somebody who’ll buy from advertisers which is the type of metric that sponsors are most interested in. We wouldn’t see much Golf on network TV if traffic was the metric, but when you count the fact that golf watchers come from a great demographic for big ticket items it works out for the networks who can sell to a key group (e.g. sell Lexuses, Diamondses, and ringses … precious!…..)

Even more complications with metrics are here in the form of RSS syndication, extensive duplication of information (e.g. this blog is auto duplicated over at Facebook), and the new gadgetification of the desktop where mini applications are going to run wild all over the place, making a “page view” less relevant, or irrelevant, for many websites and advertisers and measurers.

Funny – ZeFrank on “Rocketbooming” your metrics
RocketBoom says Zefrank is full of Zeerrors.

Zune Video

Robert Scoble’s got the Zune Scoop direct from Microsoft in the video over at Scobleizer.

Assuming that the Zune is as good or somewhat better than the IPOD, as appears to be the case, this is shaping up to be a very interesting test of whether Microsoft can overcome the branding “momentum” of Apple and IPOD, nothing short of a spectacular success.

I’d think timing will matter a lot.  If Zunes, coming out November 14, sweep into the Christmas scene with a bang and lots of positive press it’ll bode  well for the long term prospects.

If the Zune song sharing  feature takes off it could signal a turning point in how the big players change the way they integrate the consumer into the process of selling to other people.   I predict that the company that most effectively integrates user content and user revenue sharing will be the big winner this decade, and that it’s still anybody’s game.

Kevin Rose to Newscorp: Digg this $150,000,000 price tag?

It now appears that Digg probably won’t be sold to Newscorp and may simply go for another round of financing. If so Rose and Zuckerman over at Facebook may be sharing some pizza in a few years thinking “wow, we turned down HOW MUCH?” One uncertainty with Digg appears to be traffic. Comscore shows a small fraction of what Digg claims and Alexa traffic seems to support. However Alexa is notoriously unreliable, often showing huge swings where none exist and seeming to favor tech sites, probably because the toolbar Alexa uses to count visits is more often on the computers of tech people. For Digg, itself a high page view high tech site, Alexa is a questionable measure.

The Comscore traffic discrepancy is so huge that either Digg or Comscore’s credibility should be at stake. Not so in this new bubbling time where nobody seems to care much about the facts, just the hype. Like YouTube, Digg offers little of substance, a lot of page views, and not much revenue. They are lucky the pockets are so deep and the rationale so thin for these megabuck deals.