Donny Deutsch


Donny Deutsch has an excellent show called Donny Deutsch “The Big Idea”.  The show is on MSNBC and features interviews with Deutsch and business heavyweights like Bill Gates as well as young entrepreneurs who have had breakthrough ideas that led to successful companies.    It is a lively, intelligent look at clever folks in business like the early Donny Deutsch himself, whose innovative approaches to advertising build a small family business into a billion-dollar advertising empire. 

Here’s an article about Donny in New York Magazine.  It is an excellent piece about Donny Deustch that notes his humble beginnings helping his father the advertising executive, then rising to prominence as the top Madison Avenue advertising executive with a net worth of some $200,000,000 and a billion dollar agency empire.    His strategies have been somewhat unorthodox and he seemed to use bravado, good pay, and outrageous behavior to keep the troops producing, though the article suggests his partners were not happy with their relatively low stakes after the sale of his advertising empire that made Donny Deutsch a megamillionaire.

Donny Deutsch is now hosting a series of shows leading up to CES Las Vegas featuring technology people and ideas.

I’m noticing the poor search engine tuning done for his website here: http://www.cnbc.com/id/22206030/site/14081545/ and his new CES blog here: 

http://www.cnbc.com/id/22274025/site/14081545/ 

So, wouldn’t it be fun to see if I can get ranked in the top spots for the term ” Donny Deutsch ” over the next couple of weeks heading into CES?   Sure it would Mr. Donny Deutsch!     This is my target Deutsch post (not to be confused with the German Postal Empire Deutsche Post).   This page should legitimately rank fairly high since I’m providing a lot of information about Donny Deutsch, but in theory should probably rank *below* Donny’s own blog and TV show website.   Let’s see how Google does with this task given MSNBCs lack of search optimizing for their man, Donny Deutsch.

Hey, here’s a Wikipedia Article about Deutsch and his company, Deutsch Inc.

So, this is another in my series of search engine experiments Mr. Donny Deutsch.  Hope to see you at CES!

Are you biased?


My friend Marvin dropped in today on his way down to California and we were discussing artificial intelligence.    Like most of my programming pals he’s much more skeptical than I am about how soon we’ll have conscious computing, but they are also far more knowlegeable about the difficulty of programming complex routines, let alone consciousness.    Of course, they are not nearly as pretty as Google uber-Engineer Marissa Mayer who estimated 10-15 years, so I’m going with her estimate.  

I’m still trying to decide if programmers are viewing things too narrowly by generally assuming that the circumstances required for conscious thought are so very profoundly complex that engineering for them will be nearly impossible.   I prefer the idea that simply having brain-equivalent speedy and massive computational power is going to push machines very close to consciousness after (relatively) simple routines are developed that will create conversations within those systems.  

When I noted that many in the AI community are now wildly optimistic about the prospects for strong AI within 10-20 years, Marvin correctly noted that people in the AI community were predicting strong AI a *long* time ago.   This led to the interesting question of “prediction bias”.    How often in history are predictions  reasonably accurate, and how do the time estimates on those accurate predictions hold up?   This would be a fun mini-research project to do sometime though obviously it would itself be subject to a lot of bias depending on how you picked the criteria, the predictors, and the predictions.

Along those bias lines this great Wikipedia article popped up showing a huge number of cognitive biases.    All of us should take a look at these and reflect on how often we fall into these irrational traps.

Weave -ing the twisted path to browser enlightenment?


Mozilla is announcing Weave, an application that will enhance the browsing experience in various ways.   I’m somewhat confused about what this means to users, but my early understanding is that this is a Flock-like approach, trying to make the browser environment a better one for socializing,  multitasking, and customized uses.

Generally I think this is a positive thing.   For reasons I don’t understand few of us really take the time to use and configure the many applications that allow us to customize our desktops in more functional ways.    Google desktop, My Yahoo, Flock , and many more tools would allow us to build a great “control panel” for our online needs, but this appears to be a fairly low priority for most of us.    I think it is analogous to how rarely people use even the simplest extra commands at Google search to refine their search.    For reasons that escape me we don’t like to improve on design or functionality even when doing so is easy and does not take much time.     Some do, most don’t.  Why?

You are killing people in your Social Network?


Massive multiplayer online gaming is increasingly becoming a mainstream social activity.     Leaving aside for the moment many interesting questions about how this affects the offline behavior and psychology of those who are playing these games many hours each day, there are a lot of practical business issues of great interest as well.

Daya over at Webguild suggested recently that the next generation of social networks may be inspired by these multiplayer online video games.     This is a really interesting idea for game developers – could you maintain the excitement of the game play but have players socialize after the game was over in the same way they socialize on Myspace or Facebook?     I think it’s a tall order.    There is limited socializing in the game space to set up games, play, collect a team, yell at your teammates or opponents, etc, but from a business and social perspective this is probably not significant as social activity outside of the (highly relevant) gaming activity.  

An amazing killer application – pun intended – would harvest the motivation, intellect, and creative thought that goes into playing online games and use this for more practical applications – perhaps in real time as tens of millions play the games.      Unfortunately the most viable applications for the current crop of mostly violent games would be military, leading to a very sinister vision of teenagers around the world unwittingly (or even volunteering?!) to help direct battle in real places.    But I’m thinking more along the lines of some fuzzy logic applications where problem solving at the game level could be used for problem solving in some business applications.      Probably not practical – especially as computers become better equipped to create content and analyze opportunities.     

Joe Duck – Chinese Edition


Click HERE for my Chinese Edition.    Cool?

Actually, any web page can be auto-translated in this fashion by Google.  It’s a really cool feature though I’m guessing the translations must leave something to be desired.    My understanding is that you still need humans to pull quality meaning from one language to another.    Still, this is a huge step forward and the advent of hand held translation units, online translation, and a lot more global travel is breaking down one of the barriers to international understanding – language.

China is expected to be the world’s top travel destination by 2020 and I don’t doubt that estimate.  It is one of the reasons I’m anxious to get over there to SES China in Xiamen, the Xianglu Grand Hotel (though I’m not clear if this is the SES China venue or not), The Great Wall of China, Beijing and the Forbidden City, Hong Kong Harbor, Hong Kong, Kowloon, and much more of the amazing China Travel landscape. I want to start exploring and understanding the nation and culture that may eventually eclipse the USA in terms of global influence  (I’m not predicting that – just noting it is a possibility.  What is a certainty is that China will continue to be one of the most influential nations for some time to come).      One of the most interesting graphs I have ever seen showed the global GDP of about 1850, noting that India+China were over half the global totals, and the USA was not even in the same league.    The USA’s remarkable industrial rise since that time led us to the global economic dominance we now enjoy, but things could change … again.   I don’t see this shift in Economic dominance as a negative, rather more an inevitable balancing and levelling of an increasingly globalized playing field – the world Tom Friedman has described so well in his book “The World is Flat”. 

Kayak about to buy Sidestep, raises about 200 million as part of the deal.


Kayak is a great travel site and as I’ve noted before several times I think it is the best place to start your comparisons on flight and hotel prices, though it won’t necessarily deliver the cheapest results every time.    In fact my China flight results seem to be much better at other consolidator sights that specialize in Asia travel.

But never mind that – Kayak is about to buy Sidestep and will become an even bigger fish in the travel site sea.

TechCrunch Reports

CES 2008 – The Hollywood Track and Donny Deutsch’s “The Road to CES”.


Entertainment Technology will be big at CES 2008 in Las Vegas, and there is a website devoted to keeping you posted on that aspect of the show.    The website is HERE – Digital Hollywood.

Another fun CES preSpinoff is Donny Deutsch’s website.  He’s an Advertising guru and host of the excellent TV show “The Big Idea” on MSNBC.    His CES efforts are online here.    Donny’s CES blog is here.

Yikes MSNBC you *really* need a content optimizer over there!   The URL for this major project is  this!    http://www.cnbc.com/id/22206030/site/14081545/

Xianglu Grand, Xiamen China


I’m hoping that SES China in Xiamen is going to be at the same venue as last year, the Xianglu Grand Hotel.  This hotel looks fantastic and elegant with beautiful rooms and several restaurants.    Food is one of the things I’m really looking forward to in China and I’m sure the Xianglu Grand Hotel won’t disappoint in this area.    I am a little concerned that it’s bad form not to try everything offered by a guest, so if I’m eating with folks who offer me fried canaries or something like that I better be sure to have the pepto bismol tablets handy.    The Xianglu Grand website still suffers from almost bizarre optimizing problems, but the hotel is splendid and I’m really looking forward to the stay.  Current special rates appear to be very low so I’m tempted to book very soon because the rack rates are more than double.   About $80 vs $200 per night with the nice garden suites at an especially large discount.

I missed that conference but this year I will be in Xiamen for SES China April 18-19.     The current plan is to fly in and out of Hong Kong, which is somewhat south of Xiamen, and then make our way up from Hong Kong to Xiamen to Beijing and possibly also Shanghai.

Hong Kong is on the sea in the South, Shanghai on the sea hundreds of miles north, and Beijing inland and somewhat north of Shanghai.    Another very popular destination we’ll probably miss this trip is X’ian, home to the amazing ancient Terra Cotta army – hundreds  of life sized clay soldier statues.

Search Ranking Factors


Rand Fishkin’s SEOMOZ has been doing some of the best work collecting data from prominent SEO folks and groups of experts and then analyzing that data.     Back in April I missed this report about SEO ranking factors but it’s a great read, especially for those who have little idea about how to optimize a website and web pages for better placement in search engines.    Note that experts do not agree.    Also, my fairly extensive experiences have convinced me that Google changes the ranking rules regularly simply to make it impossible to reverse engineer them.   But it’s still important to follow these basic recommendations which include what I’d argue are now the “prime directives” for optimizing websites:

Create pages that are of high and unique content quality.

Use URLs and Titles that are highly relevant to the queries you wish to rank for.

In bound links are still very important – seek external links and create internal incoming links using your desired keywords as anchor text.

Tend to exaggerate the keywords you are targeting.   ie the best writing will NOT result in the best optimization due to defects in the way machines process word information.     

CES 2008


Click HERE for the latest on my CES Experience

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas I’ll be blogging as much as possible, liveblogging the Bill Gates keynote on Sunday and trying to get a grasp on the big picture at this huge conference.    I’m really looking forward to seeing the latest gadgets and trends in technology.     One of the gadget themes I’ll explore are language translators.   These are important in travel and I’ll hope to test a few during the China trip this April.

Franklin has a translator device that looks like one of the best offerings out there – a twelve language translator where you type in the word and it speaks it back to you.

Google’s got an interesting new language translation “bot” for the Blackberry that Google is blogging about here.   Maybe they’ll have a Treo version later?