The Gmail Autosave Feature

    October 12, 2005

Geez, make that Wednesday. A tribute to a few worthwhile causes. Small kindnesses: The Gmail “autosave” feature.

Oh my did I type a long email about the ins and outs of business to my friend John K… but I decided to install a critical update to Firefox at the same time (duh). That wanted me to shut down Firefox… the very browser I was using to type the email! That’s perfect irony! Now that’s interesting writing, Elaine!

Big kindness: CNN story about a school started by Texas educators for displaced kids from New Orleans.

Nothing to sneeze at:’s free tools, including a keyword concatenator and tracking code generator that makes a seemingly difficult task easy. I cling to my dream of a world where many businesses can rely on low-cost, unbiased, third-party web analytics. I’d link to the tools but it appears you have to be a client, and logged in, to access the gizmos. They also offer fun stuff like email address encryptors for people who get spammed too much but would like to publish their email on their web pages.

Trademark, schmademark…: A useful post on Mac Observer about Apple apparently loosening (slightly yet nearly imperceptibly) their stance on advertisers’ use of trademarked terms like “Mac” and “Macintosh.” Clearly, they want their retailers to be able to offer their products by advertising on Google (!) , but they still maintain a long list of banned terms. Google typically upholds requests from such large companies to block advertisers from using those terms in their AdWords accounts. Google’s partial policing of trademark is not so much a matter of law as a matter of practical seat-of-the-pants management of a complex set of business relationships. The fact remains that phrases containing trademarked terms often provide excellent and interesting organic search results, and a perfect backdrop for relevant, but not confusing, ads. Trademark holders tend not to agree. None of this’ll be resolved very soon, unfortunately for people who love clarity.

“Mashup fun”: Speaking of my friend John K., and legal issues, and tidbits… remember when everyone used to debate whether metasearch is legal? Is that, too, a matter that has proven to be more a matter of compromise amongst interests as opposed to one that gets solved in court? And how about all the metasearch tools that have come and gone? Some of them came and went due to lack of consumer interest. Some of them went away because they did indeed get threatened by the sources they were metasearching. So what happened to, anyway? Why did acquire them in the first place way back in the day? Who knows. The site now redirects to our good friends at, which means there’s probably a long story there, which I hope someone else will research. :) So anyway, John K. has created, which is in beta but will give you a comparative look at items available on Amazon vs. the same on eBay. Will legal threats be forthcoming? Will the story make it into the WSJ? Will John parlay his bad boy image into fame and riches of Napster-like proportions? It was just Canadian Thanksgiving, and we have leftovers. I’m pulling the wishbone for you, John.

Andrew Goodman is Principal of Page Zero Media, a marketing consultancy which focuses on maximizing clients’ paid search marketing campaigns.

In 1999 Andrew co-founded, an acclaimed “guide to portals” which foresaw the rise of trends such as paid search and semantic analysis.