Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Another Google Gift to Publishers: Slideshow-Ready Stats!

See, Google really does want to help publishers!

Here’s the latest evidence, via Search Engine Land: An “Internet stats” page, distributed via the search giant’s U.K. arm.

What’s the point? Google (GOOG) says it will help those looking for “killer stats for a presentation or maybe just looking to keep abreast of key trends in the digital space.”

But it’s easy to tell what Google is really up to: This is perfect fodder for content farmers, or “content object makers,” casting about for data points to fill up slideshows. And if those slideshows are stuffed with AdSense units, everyone makes (some) money. A virtuous cycle!

True, many of the stats are U.K.-specific, and it’s hard to establish the truthiness level for any given data point. But whatever. People love stats. And many of them are sort of useful, in a hard-to-define way. For instance: Did you know the average Android user who watches YouTube sees 10 clips a day?


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik