I want to be a (paid) Mad Man

Intuitive Web Tools

Posted in Blogs by jartkin on December 18, 2009

Hi, my name is Jamie Artkin and I want to be a (paid) Mad Man.

A big part of my routine as an intern is using the web tools offered by Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to track website analytics and adword performance. All of these search providers have developed tools to make it as easy as possible for users to intuitively make changes to their campaign or pull reports on web traffic.

Recently in a Canadian Business magazine article, Google was slammed for their idealology of being an innovative company. The magazine cited the examples of Google spending money buying small companies and marketing the tools such as Google Earth or the Android mobile operating system as their own. The premise of this article seemed to be, that despite having all of these ‘developed’ tools, Google was a company vuneruble to a newer more innovative company that could have a more comprehensive revenue stream.

This was immediately puzzling for a few reasons.

1. Google’s stock price is currently hovering around $550 per share

2. No one has ever reported that Google was in danger of being less than the biggest guy on the block

How can a company with stock price around $550 per share have such limited revenue streams? Why has no one, in the major media at least, reported that Google was so vunereble to a change in the market?

The other major search providers, Microsoft and Yahoo have been trying to take a bite out of Google’s monoply for some time now. There were takeover rumors for months and finally a search and revenue sharing agreement was reached. Google has maintained an almost 65% market share with Yahoo coming in second with about a 20% piece of the pie and Bing has made gains since its debut in August with just under a 10% share of the search market.

Can Yahoo or Bing continue to make gains in the search marketplace?

I would say no. Well, at least not major gains.

Yahoo can oust their CEO and reshuffle the board and Steve Balmer can storm around a stage like a Gorilla, but the fact remains that Google provides a far superior product than that of its competitors. What can Yahoo and Microsoft do, separate or in partnership to drive interest in their tools? They need to get back to their original core focuses. Microsoft became successful because they designed software that was better than anyone had ever seen. Today they rely on their windows operating system and office tools for the majority of their revenue. We can say these products are so good because they have woven their way into our everyday lives. I am typing this blog in Microsoft Word on the Windows XP operating system.

Can you name a better word processing program than Microsoft Word? Maybe it hasn’t been developed yet. What is the best application to play your music on your computer? The leader, by a large margin would be Apple’s iTunes. If you asked the same question 5 years ago the answer would have been a mix between say, Windows Media Player and WinAmp. Apple identified a market for a product and designed and developed iTunes to compete and eventually dominate the music application market.

Microsoft and Yahoo need to develop an application to compete with Google’s ad and analytics tools. Apple was able to build an application that was intuitive and made listen to music easier.

The reason that I use and prefer to use the Google tools is as I stated earlier. They are intuitive and they make my job easier. I don’t have to spend time trying to find out how to do something. Everything that I can possibly need is in front of me.

The Microsoft/Yahoo partnership needs to make lives easier with its tools, something that it has so far failed to do.

As always, don’t forget to follow me on twitter: @jamieartkin

60 Minutes Puff Pieces

Posted in Uncategorized by jartkin on October 26, 2009

jamie profileHi. My name is Jamie Artkin and I want to be a (paid) Mad Man.

I am a huge fan of 60 minutes as many people will be able to tell you, and I am all for the occasional puff piece. I know the public can only handle so many exposes by Scott Pelley or bio’s by Byron Pitts, but Katie Couric’s involvement with the show has always baffled me.

Take a look at her last two stories on the show. Sully Sullenberger’s first interview after landing a plane in the Hudson river and last night an informative piece on Epilepsy. You would wonder why they would bring someone of such high esteem to do a segment on Epilepsy, until you find out the principle interviewee was David Axelrod, senior advisor to Barrack Obama.

For what other reason was Couric asked to do those segments besides the publicity she was going to get from it? The Epilepsy segment screamed of Leslie Stahl and ‘Sully’s’ interview should have been with someone like Morley Safer or the hard-hitting, yet compassionate Scott Pelley.

While CBS believes that it is positioning Katie Couric to be a more visible and respected member of the media because she is landing these ‘big’ interviews and stories, in my opinion she looks like more like a hired gun or to quote Adam Carolla, a blow hard. That is what she is, a giant blow hard who will stop at nothing to have her name at the top of the Google rankings.

So, instead of putting Couric in the class of Cronkite or Jennings or Brokaw, lets keep her in the category that she deserves to be in with Paris Hilton and Kate Gosselin.

Again, don’t forget to follow me on twitter @jamieartkin