Name: Andrew Goodman, Founder And Principal
Company: Page Zero Media
In Bloglist, we ask ecommerce professionals to identify their favorite blogs. For this installment, we asked Andrew Goodman, founder and principal of Page Zero Media, a Toronto-based paid search marketing agency. He’s also the author of Winning Results with Google AdWords, as well as conference chairman for Search Engine Strategies Toronto 2008.
Fred Wilson’s Blog (A VC)
Reading venture investors’ blogs can give you incredible insights from successful investors and overseers of online growth businesses. They’ve seen what works, and what hasn’t. It’s a great way to stay on top of trends, but also, to assess whether the VC Echo Chamber is missing important points or overemphasizing others. I also enjoy Rick Segal’s and Paul Kedrosky’s insights. It’s rarefied territory, considering which pure business models and new ideas make sense economically. Most people suck at debating these things, which is why they’re not professional investors. Wilson is the king of the VC bloggers. And I’m not just buttering him up. Really.
Steve Yegge’s “Blog Rants”
Steve Yegge is a computer programmer who currently works for Google. Previously, he was with Amazon. In his lengthy discourses on some aspect of programming, Yegge reveals much. (One of his posts, “Good Agile, Bad Agile,” gets a lot of attention. You suddenly realize that many observers in the tech world are perfectly happy to float on buzzwords – Yegge won’t let it pass.) He’s an entertaining writer, so even if you don’t know the first thing about the technology, you can get a nice glimpse of how life works in Silicon Valley and inside the geek mind. Among other things, I learned from Yegge that in spite of occasional outward appearances, there is still not much that uber-geeks share in common with the general public. They are, for starters, much, much smarter. I remarked recently to a friend that after reading Yegge (looking as far back in his oeuvre as his Amazon days), I suddenly felt that “many of us should be thankful that we’re employed at all.” Among other things, I also learned from Yegge that there is virtually no chance that a layperson might be good at judging programming talent, and a technically inclined person is not going to be much farther ahead. Top programmers ask new hires very specific questions and have them solve very specific problems – and that’s only in the first round. Have I met Yegge? No. Do I intend to? No, he scares the bejeesus out of me.
Grok Dot Com (Future Now)
Bryan and Jeff Eisenberg, and their associates Jeff Sexton, Robert Gorell, Holly Buchanan, John Q, and Howard Kaplan, post regularly about vital issues in online retail. This group is not one for simplified debates, going with a nice mix of art and science to map out new ways of understanding and addressing online customer behavior. While there are “no right answers” and no doubt they aren’t right 100 percent of the time (whatever right means), this group are far ahead of the pack in initiating and leading debates about online navigation and commercial activity online. Without this blog there would be a lot of white space out there in online retail contemplation land. Rather than sitting around wondering “What Would Paco Underhill Think?” I’d rather just keep this one on my feed reader.
For a real tech journalist’s perspective. A plugged-in, sought-after voice who worked for Business 2.0 for several years, Om Malik now has his own venture and co-bloggers. A full-time focus really shows through here as GigaOM has its pulse on the latest happenings with top companies like Yahoo and Google, as well as startups, wireless technology, local search, and other hobby horses Malik has ridden over the years. A clue to Malik’s cantankerousness and sense of humor come through in the full name of his new company: GigaOmniMedia, Inc.