The debut of “the world’s largest search engine”, Cuil, (pronounced COOL) is perhaps the biggest Ho Hum of the year.

Boasting three times the number of documents Google searches, I decided to review this bold new search engine to see how its algorithms perform.

On a scale of 1-10, it peaks at about a three. A search for the engine itself (Cuil) generates 721,578 results (after a 15 second response time)…. Not one result on the first page made reference to the search engine! Search for the engine on Google and it generates 2,030,000 results in one quarter of a second, chock full of information on the engine. An embarrassment for Cuil at the very least.

Round two … I searched for my own self. Over the top results numbered 655,971 with a confusing display of irrelevant topics on Cuil …. including my obituary!!!! Google’s results returned a respectable 1,290 listings, all relevant.

The display order for Cuil results read left to right, up or down. It’s not easy on the eye and takes a bit more time to scan than do Google results.

While I am no fan of Google’s over eagerness to control the world’s media inventory and relegate agencies to creative bull pens, I do give them credit for developing useful applications that simply work.

Cuil's founders, Anna Patterson Russell Power and Louis Monier are former Google employees, while Tom Costello has worked for IBM and others. Investors and board members that can kiss their investments farewell include Madrone Capital, Greylock Partners, and Tugboat Ventures. Remember folks ….YAHOO! bowed to Google for search. Cuil is one tugboat that should raise the white flag before it begins to take on water


Is Google courting Donovan Data Systems?

The scenario is very likely given a chain of events going back to April 2007 when Google announced the acquisition of DoubleClick for $3.1 billion.

"Google is the absolute perfect partner for us," said David Rosenblatt, Chief Executive Officer of DoubleClick. "Combining DoubleClick's cutting edge digital solutions for both media buyers and sellers with Google's scale and innovative resources will bring tremendous value to our clients."

Early in 2008, one of Donovan Data’s program managers who had been with the company since 1993, quietly made a move to DoubleClick.

Just last week, DoubleClick announced a new proposal exchange platform built upon application agnostic standards, which will ultimately allow for broader integration with other advertising technology solutions.

Google forked over 20 times the estimated revenue for DoubleClick … it would not be a stretch for the giant to similarly overpay for Donovan Data in its effort to grab a company whose lion’s share of the off-line ad agency market hovers in the 75% plus range. Add into the equation Michael Donovan’s age (66), and an exit strategy can’t be too far off base.

Is Donovan Data the missing puzzle piece for Google and off-line media?

This according to Mark Howe, Google UK, just about a year ago …. "If we can build tools to link information from Donovan Data Systems and plug into other systems to measure the effectiveness of online, then that is the Holy Grail. It won’t happen this year, but that is the Holy Grail."

If not now, when?


Palm Beach Newspapers Inc is owned by privately held Cox Enterprises Inc. just announced 300 job cuts across its publishing ventures.

The company is the latest among several U.S. newspaper publishers to announce job cuts for similar reasons. McClatchy Co which publishes the Miami Herald said earlier this month it would cut about 1,400 jobs, or 10 percent of its work force.

Gannett Co Inc., Tribune Co., New York Times Co. and the Washington Post have also announced layoffs and buyouts. The fallout for the Tribune company today saw the resignation of the L.A. Times publisher, David Hiller, as well as the Chicago Tribune’s editor, Ann Marie Lipinski.
Update 7/15/08 -- Announced today -- Atlanta Journal Constitution cuts 200 jobs, the Wall Street Journal lays off 50, the Oregonian closes three metro bureaus, USA Today June ad sales drop 27%

Carrying a large debt, the papers are forced to cut back on editorial staffers and revamp (shorten) its stories and eliminate sections to service that debt.

The withering of the daily paper has been forecast for years as the Internet picks up on readership. Sadly, publishers and editors refusing to accept a shift in the way consumers consume news, stand fast in defiance of this new breed of consumer.

Newspapers won’t go away anytime soon, but they will live in a very different, scaled down environment, more closely tied to their Internet sisters. Many will see the Internet version of their papers assume the editorial lead.

Editorial integrity and in-depth reportage aside, falling on one’s sword proves little in the face of news ‘”on-demand” via the Internet. Embrace the change and help to manage the conversion so that the integrity of the written word remains intact.


Anheuser Busch has launched a version of a Chelada or Michelada, a popular Mexican alcoholic beverage of a genre known in Spanish as cerveza preparada (prepared beer). There are several variations. In some cases it is similar to a Bloody Mary but containing beer instead of vodka, although a less complicated concoction of Mexican beer with sauces and lime juice added is also referred to as a Michelada.

The drink dates back to the 1940s, when mixing beer with hot sauce or salsa became popular in Mexico. In recent years, the drink has begun to become popular in the United States, and now various ready-made mixes are marketed and sold to US consumers.

Enter Anheuser Busch, rolling out a 20 oz. concoction of beer and clamato juice with a touch of salt and lime. The taste is neither beer nor clamato juice … kinda like a weak Bloody Mary without the spices. Color is a bit off-putting – cloudy orange.

The beer may be targeted for a Spanish speaking market, as its packaging is in both Spanish and English. A-B, however, released the product nationally in January following “tremedous success” in California, Texas, Arizona, Colorado and Nebraska.

Scouring the web, this Bud’s not for you. Most postings for the product are thumbs down, although I believe we’ll find the beer (available in both regular and light versions) will do well in ethnic geo-pockets or perhaps as a novelty. As for me … I’ll add some hot sauce and use it as a marinade or wait till they mix a Bud with a Yoo-Hoo!



What’s behind Google’s curtain?
The quote that follows comes from Google.

Try reading between the lines. I’ll help a bit.

“Google primarily provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. (Hey, isn’t advertising a form of consumer information? Yep …. And we’re gonna make a ton of money doing it.) In addition to its dominant search engine, (we are the God of Search) it offers a plethora of tools and platforms including its more popular products:
Gmail, Maps. and YouTube. (If we don’t get you with search, we’ll get you while you’re e-mailing, looking for directions or viewing videos.) Most of its Web-based products are free because Google makes its money from highly integrated online advertising through its AdWords and AdSense platforms. (Ah-Ha! AdWords and AdSense are just the beginning! Long live Freenomics!) Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing them with a rich source of information.” (Google can do it better than your agency can!)

I admit that I am hooked into a number of Google’s applications. I am, however, not blinded by the obvious.
Google has encroached upon traditional media formats in an “effort” to streamline back-end performance for a better roi as well as provide the industry with financial management tools that will ease the back-office headaches.
I would not be at all surprised to find Google in discussions with Donovan Data Systems, the financial and production giant that caters to ad agencies as a next-step in their quest for dominance.

“Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentis."