Google in the Web Analytics Field — Web Benchmarks

Ouch. I thought this one was worthy of some analysis. Google acquire Urchin. [and here]
Why does this make sense? As one of the comments to the link above states, the link between search algorithms makes some sense, as you will be able quickly isolate and identify trends within the reams of visitor data that is collected daily.
This makes linking business performance and visitor traffic that much easier for large enterprise firms. If they can link visitor traffic quickly to revenue and cost data with a simple and powerful search tool, the sale becomes that much easier.
I am working on a project to re-define Web performance benchmarks, and this type of tool would be crucial in that process. Web Benchmarking as it is currently stands is broken and outdated. Attempts are being made on all sides to try and re-define how businesses measure and benchmark their Web performance so that it can fit into a larger business context.
Is a faster site more profitable? Or simply more costly? Does increased traffic improve or reduce revenue?
A tool that allow companies to quickly link performance and analytics data gets firms that much closer to a holistic view of Web performance.

iPod Headphones

BL Ochman comments on her iPod Headphones. [here]
I’m not sure where she got her Sony headphones, but I have had mine for a couple of years and they are so much better than the ear-buds that came with my iPod Shuffle. I keep thinking that the Pod earbuds should go in the trash…errr, garbage. [I hate it when Americanisms slip into my writing/speaking!]
If you have a hundred bucks burning a hole in your pocket, go with the Etymotic Isolators. I don’t, so the Sony Fontopia’s (in black) work just fine.

Dave Winer on Silicon Valley, and a Rant on California Education Funding

Dave Winer notes that Silicon Valley isn’t what it used to be. [here]
Now, with Yahoo getting its mojo back [here and here], and a few other happenings in the Valley, there are some signs of life.
But there is still a lot of vacant real-estate. The office buildings that housed Webvan are still vacant after 3 years, and they have a great view of the Bay and the San Mateo bridge. There is still a vacuum there.
I can’t speak of the lap dogs, as I am a mere prole.
However, I do disagree with the comment Dave W. makes about schools. If he is referring to Colleges and Universities, ok, I agree. But the public school system in the Bay area, and in California in general, is one of the reasons why I was not too upset to move to Massachusetts.
My kids were going into the highly underfunded, if not malnourished and dying, system of non-education in California that resulted from one of the greatest breeders of inequity in the modern world — Proposition 13.
I love this statement from Warren Buffett:

Buffett cited the inequity of property taxes he pays on his homes in Omaha, Neb., and Laguna Beach, Calif., and said the California cap on property taxes imposed by Prop. 13 “makes no sense.”
His $500,000 house in Omaha has a tax bill of $14,401. His $4 million house in Laguna Beach has a tax bill of $2,264. The taxes on his Omaha home increased $1,920 this year, compared with $23 on the Laguna Beach home, he said.

Complain about the other taxes; then remember that your kids are going to schools that are 40th in the US by funding.
I miss the great garden we had. But my kids are learning more by not being in California Public Schools.

Heard this on NPR on the way home tonight. very relevant to this discussion.

Zawodny: WordPress v. MT

Jeremy Zawodny weighs in with some comments on the growing differences in the WordPress and MT user groups. [here]
I agree with his comments, as I use b2evolution, which is effectively a branch in the WordPress family. It is all native PHP with a simple MySQL backend that I can run on a relatively underpowered server in my basement, and still look like I know what I am doing.
Heck, the app even survived a Scobelization last week.
Why b2evo over MT? I took a look a MT when I was shopping around for blog software to do self-hosting with when I wanted to move off TypePad, and when I read the MT user manual, I walked away. Sure, it may be richly featured and extremely powerful, but this is a hobby, not my life.
b2evo was so simple I neary cried. I unpacked the tarball, made some minor changes and I was blogging.
So, I thing that JZ is right on when he differentiates the two user populations. They will both be wildly successful, but WP will be for self-startes and maintainers, while MT will rely on highly-skilled IT teams for implementation and maintenance.
There is no good or bad; just different.

If you are hiring me because of where I went to school…

…then I don’t want to work for you. [here]
Fred Wilson nails this one. I am someone who has a degree from a good Canadian University, a technical certificate that allowed me to get a job, and then 6 years of very intensive work experience to get where I am right now.
I consider that my six years of on the job training better than any degree program I could have gone through, as I was able to focus on the key topics that affect my specialty as a part of real-world scenarios. A sterile, controlled academic environment could not have given me that experience, or even prepared me for it.
If someone tells me they went to an “prestigious” university, I say “So, what can you do?”. I have learned that you get your “street cred” by doing, not being.
So, Mr./Ms. MBA from an Ivy League/”Prestigious” university — what can you do to make my customers want to work with us? What will you do to make my company “remarkable”?
Do it; don’t be it.