Google's Firefox referral program now also available outside the US

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Google enabled Explorer Destroyer. Only drawback: by then it was unfortunately just available for Adsense partners in the US. But guess what - good news: yesterday I received an email from Google announcing the Firefox referral program for other countries - including Germany... Btw, to give it a try, I also installed the Explorer Destroyer Script. But I am not sure if it works, because I have no MSIE anywhere near my Powerbook. So, if you visit this page with MSIE and see the "gentle encouragement" on the top, please let me know and leave a comment... Thanks !
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Here comes the Explorer Destroyer... enabled by Google...

Last week Google updated their AdSense referral program and started to pay 1 dollar for each referral that leads to a Firefox download with the Google Toolbar installed. Nice idea ! Today I discovered a site called Explorer Destroyer - their matra:
Get this tool for switching people from IE to Firefox. For each person you switch, Google gives you $1, Microsoft loses marketshare, and an angel gets its wings. (...)
They want to help bloggers et al. to earn a lot of these 1 dollars. To achieve this they offer a simple java script code that discovers site visitors using the IE and sets up a speed bump for them...

Screenshot.

These little reminders come in three flavors: "Gentle Encouragement", "Semi-serious" and finally "Dead serious", which locks out IE user for good. Not sure how many people will actually use these scripts. But money is always a good motivator, I guess. I wanted to try it. But I couldn't find the Firefox program on the German Adsense site, so perhaps this program is US only !? Too bad ! Btw, talking about killing MSIE, here is another new anti explorer site with a nice viral touch...

Kill Bill's Browser

I wish both endeavours good luck for their noble cause... (via Digg.com)
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How to identify yourself on Web 2.0 ?

During his keynote at O'Reilly's Open Source Convention back in August, Dick Hardt, CEO of Sxip, explained why we need a new identification system for Web 2.0 and what this "Identity 2.0" should be able to do...
Link to the website
Great content, but also a nice presentation style... it's probably the best company presentation I've ever seen... (via Presentation Zen)
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How to earn Money with Google Maps

For me, one of the most exciting things Google is doing right now is Google Maps. Especially the way Google has opened up the whole platform for others, who can now build their own services on top - applications like Housingmaps.com or Plazes.com. But the fact that Google is providing this fine service for free certainly doesn't mean, they don't want earm millions with it. And just in case anybody is wondering how Google is going to pull this off, an Article from Business 2.0 has the answer:
The Web is the new operating system. And, in software, the more people who build on top of your platform, the more influential and indispensable your technology becomes. Once you've established dominance, you can figure out how to use your platform to make money. If local ads become the next large growth market in search, wouldn't maps be a great place to show them? Google's AdSense places text ads on other websites; the same thing could be done with maps. The company could call it MapSense.
Link: Article from Business 2.0
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Google isn't building a Building

Robert Scoble on what Google is up to:
I doubt Google is building what everyone is thinking they are building. Here's what I'm hearing: don't look for them to build a building. Look for them to build bricks. Once they have a bunch of bricks, then they'll look to put those bricks together in an interesting way. If you are thinking they are building a building, like a house, then you'll be frustrated with their "strategy." If you are, though, like me, and are watching them build bricks and other construction pieces, then you can really see their strategy (or, lack of strategy) evolve.
I couldn't agree more. And until now every little brick looks pretty nice ! Btw, what's up with these pageranks going AWOL ?
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Make Love not Spam - Viral Marketing from Lycos Europe

Small applications can make nice viral agents. Deloitte Consulting proved that last year with their Bullfighter campaign. Now Lycos Europe is trying a similar approach. lycos-mlns.gifSince last week, people can download a special screen saver from the Make Love not Spam website. The whole thing looks a little bit like the SETI screen saver. But instead of searching for intelligent life outside our solar system, the Lycos program was created to eradicate the dumbest life form here on Earth: spammers ! Once it is installed, the screen saver starts to bombard webservers from spammers with tons of traffic (from The Register):
Lycos believes the program will eventually hurt spammers. 'Spamvirtised' sites typically don't sell advertising, so they have to pay for bandwidth. Therefore more requests means higher bills, Lycos argues. A spokesman for Lycos in Germany told The Register he believed that the tool could generate 3.4MB in traffic on a daily basis. When 10m screensavers are downloaded and used, the numbers quickly add up, to 33TB of 'useless' IP traffic.
Interesting idea. But let's hope it doesn't backfire, when all the useless traffic starts clogging up the internet... (via adland) Update (03.12.2004)- Well, it did backfire: Freeze on anti-spam campaign
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Yahoo uses Weblog for Corporate Communications

Six months ago, Yahoo dumped Google and uses its own search technology since then. Now the department which is responsible for the search business, has started the...
Yahoo! Search Blog - A look inside the world of search from the people of Yahoo!
It's a real, 100% MovableType Blog - even with comments and trackbacks ! Jeremy Zawodny provides some background info on the project. It will be quite interesting to see if Yahoo is able to use this weblog as an effective tool for corporate communications - while their Google counterpart still looks a little bit dull and empty...
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How to turn Conferences into a new kind of Rendezvous

Attending Blogtalk last week was great! Not only because there were many interesting people to meet and things to see. But also because it gave me the opportunity to experience first-hand what Apple's Rendezvous Technology is capable of ! Apple introduced Rendezvous two years ago with the Jaguar Update of Mac OS X (Tech Brief as PDF):
"Rendezvous is an open, standards-based networking technology that automatically connects electronic devices on a network, allowing them to interoperate seamlessly without any user configuration. It simplifies traditional networking activities like file sharing and printing. It also enables innovative solutions such as music playlist sharing with iTunes and automatic buddy discovery with iChat AV—just two examples of the exciting new ways for devices to communicate with one another. (...)"
I always thought it was great concept. But I had my doubts about how useful it will be, because where I work, I usually am the only Mac user around. But Blogtalk was different. It was full of Macs! I realized that right on the first day when more than a dozen previously unknown fellow Mac users suddenly showed up in my iChat Window. Using the WLAN, Rendezvous had automatically scanned the Blogtalk venue for other Macs and after a few seconds I was able to see everyone in the hall, who also used iChat - most of them with their names and pictures! Clearly a killer app at any conference, where you don't know most of the people. But that was just the start! The system had also created some kind of instant peer-to-peer-network between every Mac, which we could then use as an infrastructure for collaboration during the whole conference. We used for example...
  • iChat to say hi to fellow attendees.
  • iPhoto to share pictures taken during Blogtalk in realtime.
  • SubEthaEdit to take notes - with ten people working together on a single document!
I am pretty sure some also shared their MP3s with others using iTunes when a presentation got a little too academic... ;-) All these programs are Mac-only, so the poor Windows users felt a bit excluded sometimes. But there were also more traditional tools used, accessible for everyone: a live video stream was available to people not present at the conference, during the presentations lively discussions took place in an special IRC-Channel and the notes from SubEthaEdit, documenting what was said, were posted on a Wiki as soon as the speaker left the podium. And of course many people blogged in realtime about the whole event. At times, it became pretty crowded on my screen... Screenshot Detailed Screenshot ...and there were also some problems: for example I realized that todays computers are much more able to multitask than their users. But all in all, it was really an exciting experience and I really would like to see, how this technology could be used for example in universities, where collective note taking and instant chat feedback probably could create interesting opportunities... If you want to read more about Collaborating at Blogtalk, here some articles from fellow bloggers...
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