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Schotts-Miscellany Yet again I have to apologize for not posting more frequently. In lieu of a proper, substantive post about a weighty topic, here’s a collection of tidbits from the industry and blogosphere:

Another civilized spat has broken out about the merits (or otherwise) of Technorati rankings for assessing a blog’s popularity, spurred by Avinash’s latest semi-annual Top 10 Web Analytics Blogs post (I’m in at #8, thanks principally to the large number of inbound links I get every time I post anything about Gatineau). Eric Peterson and Gary Angel weigh in on the side of the humans. Me? I’m happy for Avinash to continue to rely on Technorati rankings until my RSS subscribers (the other component of Avinash’s new ranking algorithm) pick up.

We’ve been putting our hands in our pockets again  – this time to buy adECN, an online ad exchange based in Santa Barbara, California (horrible place full of reprobates, I hear). This acquisition, though small (especially compared to our recent splurge), is central to our strategy of building an efficient marketplace where buyers and sellers of online ads can find each other and do business efficiently. Unclear as to exactly what an ad exchange is? You need to read this excellent article by my colleague Eric Picard (he’s not as mean as he looks in his by-line photo).

Visual Sciences is continuing its quest to find a buyer. This news isn’t super-fresh, but it seems that Visual Sciences (formerly WebSideStory) is looking for a buyer, and has appointed an advisor. They have also announced revised Q2 earnings expectations, down a couple of million dollars from their previous estimate. So the question is, who would be interested in buying VS? By all accounts they’ve faced some challenges integrating Visual Sciences into the main company (with the rename, the have a Visual Sciences division within Visual Sciences Inc – too confusing), as Rand Schulman explains in a recent interview with Eric Enge. They have some very strong technology, but I’m having trouble imagining which single company would want both the VS and HBX sides of the business. Perhaps someone will buy up the whole thing and then sell off half of the business/technology? Or is the company too integrated to do this now?

There’s been plenty of comment out there in the blogosphere about the pre-beta screenshots of our “Gatineau” analytics tool that leaked a couple of weeks ago. Much of the comment has centered around the demographic segmentation functionality that will be a central feature of the tool. It’s interesting to observe the gap between what we consider to be acceptable use of anonymized data and what (some of) the rest of the world thinks. I’m still hoping to post a little more detail about the systems we use to ensure complete separation between the PII data we collect from our Live ID users and the demographic data that turns up in Gatineau, but I still need to check with PR/Legal, and I haven’t had the time.

That’s it – turns out I probably had enough content for a couple of posts, but then I would forget to get to the second one, so you get it all in a lump. ‘Til next time…

1 thought on “Miscellany”

  1. a couple things…. on the above references to Visual Sciences….
    – VS is not looking for a buyer. They hired Goldman Sachs to review unsolicited offers and help determine if its best to be acquired at this point…per the linked article on your page.
    – Rand’s assessment of ‘challenges’ integrating WSS and VS are a bit off base. When you merge two Executive teams, someone is not going to be happy and will be left on the sidelines. Rand happened to be one of the casualties it seems.
    What company would want both technologies, you ask? I can name you about 100 of the Fortune 200 that current require both and/or are currently using both apps. I can name another 100 Omniture, WT, and Coremetrics clients that are evaluating a switch to the VS platform. Why? Because the multi-channel analysts require a multi-channel analytics technology and their online marketing and web departments require a simpler tool like HBX. One without the other in a multi-channel organization does not suit all skill levels of data end-users. It will be a year or more before any of the web-centric analytics companies catch up, as they are now beginning to put online and offline datasets side by side, but not actually correlating them.

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