Advertising Feed back Loop: Facebook and Adwords

In Systems design a feedback loop is something that measures the difference between expected and actual output and adds it back to the system to enhance it’s performance

For a better more accurate definition see

Here is how Facebook measures the satisfaction whether I got for an ad on my page- note fraudelent or systematic cheaters would be eliminated by the law of averages.

It places a very small thumbs up or thumbs down on an ad on right hand corner.

When I place a thumbs down on an ad ( note it shows only graphical ads)-it asks me why i didnt like the ad

Was it

1) Misleading
2) Offensive
3) Uninteresting
4) Irrelevant
5) Repetitive
6) Other- allows text mining of free form allowing subjective feedback.

However if I type say Business Intelligence on Google – I get the following

Open Source Ad on Pentaho at prime spot just above the results. Makes me wonder how much open source will spend.

Search Results-
Wikepedia entry usually at the top ( but no ads there*)

Search Optimization means SAS Business Intelligence is now fifth from top- which is the first mention of a BI vendor there ( Note cost to SAS is zero as you can see below). In the remaining top 4, two are similar and as the title page tag remains more important than sheer consumer behaviour to Pagerank.

Right Column Sponsored Links ( These guys spend more money than SAS to be on the sponsored links and still end up in a less favourable ad page than in top vendor on search results page)-


(Note from Ajay*- A senior IIM Alumnus CK Prahlad (the first batch in fact) – first expounded the concept of core competence-

Now-what is Google’s core competence.
I believe that Google should simply donate all its information on wikipedia, and offer Google Knol to it- rather than just wallow in sunk cost theory or expect an immediate return from this transaction. It will get lots of goodwill- and maybe the Google Wikipedia Knol will take off.

Similarly sell Orkut to Facebook and just take the advertising and search functions to be combined in a seperate spin off called Google Search before Microsoft forces the Europeans and Justice department to do so.

Or continue to moon the giant.)

I didnt like the Adwords ads or the order they were in. But there is no way in Adwords for me to give feedback to it. Facebook listens. Will Adwords listen.

Windows Live (Writer and Maps)

This post is being written using the offline blogging tool by Microsoft called Windows Live Writer. How good is it…? Its pretty near, no messy edges here.The ability to copy and past from the clipboard also makes it a welcome edition rather than waiting for the WP upload .And the formatting is really nicely done ,as by now we are more used to Win Word typing than anything else.

image Continue reading “Windows Live (Writer and Maps)”

The Empire Strikes Back- MS Products in the wings

MS Products in the wings can be accessed on

They are extensive, and Steve (Ballmer not Jobs) is using most of the 44 Billion he saved (thanks to Jerry ‘s merry ways) to create savvy tools to match Google in anything they make and more.

Yes the tools are that good.And No, they are only limited to the US as of now.

Cloud Computing (Cooler and Lower)

The changes in Google Docs means that cloud computing now enables you to imbed web like objects in mundane spreadsheets (for free) and also allows you to backup your Google Docs using the Google Gears application.The Google gadgets are also nifty like displaying Gannt charts.

You can collaborate on a spreadsheet on the internet also

With these changes- Google Docs is more than a big alternative to Windows Office- especially thanks to much lower initial  costs, and zero maintainace costs. Also with the offline Google Gears backup,you do have access to your data even without the internet, it allows you to de facto create a cloud version of Windows OS -My Briefcase .

Not 100 % of the data or office documents within an organization need to reside locally. Yet System administrators continue to resist Google docs (because well you don’t need system administrators once you totally get into this cloud computing business).

Of course, Google will need to address privacy and ownership issues, which given its battles with retail data will cast a cloud on it’s cloud for the corporate version of the retail services.

Google :Protocol Buffers and Lively

1) An Alternative to XML. This is quite a cool initiative as long as it doesnot lead to more skirmishes with the guys from redmond.

“”For example, let’s say you want to model a person with a name and an email. In XML, you need to do:
John Doe

while the corresponding protocol buffer message definition (in protocol buffer text format) is:

# Textual representation of a protocol buffer.
# This is *not* the binary format used on the wire.
person {
name: “John Doe”
email: “”

In binary format, this message would probably be 28 bytes long and take around 100-200 nanoseconds to parse. The XML version is at least 69 bytes (if you remove whitespace) and would take around 5,000-10,000 nanoseconds to parse.

Also, manipulating a protocol buffer is much easier:

cout << “Name: ” << << endl;
cout << “E-mail: ” << << endl;

Whereas with XML you would have to do something like:

cout << “Name: ”
<< person.getElementsByTagName(“name”)->item(0)->innerText()
<< endl;
cout << “E-mail: ”
<< person.getElementsByTagName(“email”)->item(0)->innerText()
<< endl;

However, protocol buffers are not always a better solution than XML – for instance, protocol buffers would not be a good way to model a text-based document with markup (e.g. HTML), since you cannot easily interleave structure with text. In addition, XML is human-readable and human-editable; protocol buffers, at least in their native format, are not. XML is also – to some extent – self-describing. A protocol buffer is only meaningful if you have the message definition (the .proto file).””

We think it is one more Google googly at Microsoft (!). But if its faster for consumers so be it.


This one is like Yahoo Avatars or a crude Second Life. We downloaded  it, the app was quite small, but running it was slow ,and  bandwidth heavy (I tested Eve online on the same bandwidth)As more developers pile on, it should get bigger inevitably. Its a fun project but yes you can prompted to click remember chat history ( so as Google can tie up more behavioral ad- targeting to your IP address). Ouch !

Some nostalgic Yahoo features

1) Music Launch cast is the best free Radio on Yahoo messenger

2) My Yahoo is much better than iGoogle

3) Yahoo Groups were the first and still leading e-groups.

4) Yahoo messenger lost out to Skype and Gtalk but its now interchangeable with MSN contacts. The add-ins are great and the avatars are still unmatched. Plus add-ins that are twitter compatible, facebook reachable for status changes.Open Social should ensure some Facebook Games /Apps reach there too

5) The new Email look is a cross between Outlook and Gmail…but its cool.And better than hotmail/livemail.

6) Yahoo Buzz, Yahoo Answers are  good.So is Yahoo pictures.

7) The search engine ads are better left to Google.Thats underway taking out the last bottleneck.

8) Yahoo finance is still one of the best financial data sites.

9) Its still an old fashioned cluttered site…for nostalgia this is the best. Also has a host of options .Especially like Pipes.

No wonder Jerry Yang is squeezing Ballsmer of Micro-Soft for more money .

i-google.GIF       my-yahoo.GIF

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