the political geek

because all politics is online

The People Who Click

A bit more about clicking patterns online. The datais parallel to that in the eNonprofit Benchmarks Study, indicating that these insights are important for not just nonprofit organizations but anyone trying to get attention online. Hat tip.

Linking for Women’s Empowerment

In India, New Seat of Power for Women – Washington Post
Women in India, where sex-selective abortion has made men disproportionately more common in the population, women are leveraging their relative scarcity and making suitors pay for a toilet in their homes, thus preventing disease and improving health in rural and poor communities. The government-supported initiative has been far more successful than other programs, including one run by the World Bank.

one nickel at a time

This was a revolutionary idea, and it’s related to Chris Anderson’s core idea in Free, that of attention as a scarce commodity in the internet age. Gross figured out that you can make millions (or billions) of dollars with thousands or millions of transactions that net you a few cents each. The other important piece of Gross’s work with GoTo was a new business model where advertisers only paid when someone clicked through to their site, instead of paying for the basic advertising space, like you do in a newspaper or on TV.

what about bing?

The point of the Database of Intentions (Battelle points out, and I should too, that this isn’t a real thing- just a concept he named) is that the subset of the entire world’s population that’s on the internet is making the decisions for you. This was the revolution of Google: from search engines that made decisions about information to engines that used the decisions that people made to provide search results.

it’s all about search

The policy implications of all of this stuff are vast. Battelle mentions some examples of situations in which the Database of Intentions can give us a clearer picture of anything from local to global policy issues, and we touched on this idea briefly in class. Recently, Google teamed up with the CDC for Flu Trends, which puts to work nascent Google ideas about tracking the Database of Intentions with the hope of curtailing the spread of H1N1 in particular and infectious disease in general. More broadly, Google Trends allows anyone to see and interpret data about what people are searching for, or have searched for, at any given time on Google. The CDC could use Google Trends to find out, as Battelle suggests, where suburban moms get answers about cancer, and create a targeted public education campaign based on that information.