AFTER BLACK FRIDAY, CYBER MONDAY

It’s a bit early to tell for sure, but it appears Black Friday delivered the throngs of shoppers it usually does.

The “two” to the modern-day one-two punch in holiday retailing comes in a couple of days, though. “Cyber Monday” is when people get back to work and, naturally, take advantage of their faster computers and Web conections to shop online.

I’m a little surprised that the from-work option is still so pronounced. Five years ago, when dialup was still the prevalent method of online access from home, it was to be expected that people reserved certain Web activity for the broadband connections available in the office. But today, when DSL and cable modems are more widespread? I’m always mindful (unlike others) that home broadband is far from universal, but still. Add to that the increasing computer surveillance that companies are installing to curb cyberslacking, and it’s hard to believe it’s still a big factor (then again, most people aren’t bright enough to know they’re getting themselves in hot water).

All this underlines a distinct usage trend.

I think commercial searches come to the fore more during this time of year. It’s certainly a big part of everyday use year-round, but just like the rest of the retail industry, holidays bring a healthy rise.

Personally, I’ll be paying attention to the traffic here on Monday. This is far from a shopping site, or even a search engine; but given all the hits that Google sends this way, I have a feeling that I’ll see a good amount of incidental visits. If Answers.com can get the overflow, I’m sure I’ll see some small slice.

SEARCH ENGINE STRATEGIES NYC: DAY ONE

As mentioned, I’m trippin’ the geek fantastic today at the 2006 Search Engine Strategies Conference & Expo.

Well, truthfully, I’m doing just the “& Expo” part. That would be the free portion of this Hilton-sited congregation. It’s one way to kill the day. Besides, it’s freakin’ cold outside.

I’m typing this right now from the complimentary wi-fi lounge, sponsored by meta-search monkey Info.com. As always, I measure the effectiveness of any search service by what it digs up when I input my name into it. The verdict: Looking very Google-ish, with bunches of sponsored links for trips to Costa Rica; no big surprise there.

I’ve been here only an hour; got held up walking down Avenue of the Americas by what some cop said was a “preemptive counterterrorist measure” in front of the News Corp./Fox News building. Must have been a couple dozen police cruisers with their lights flashing, squeezing off traffic. As long as I get through in one piece…

Anyway, things are fairly sedate here in the Hall. I’m about to go wandering around, hitting the more interesting booths. There appears to be one pushing some kind of blogging enterprise a few feet away from where I’m sitting now; worth looking at. And there’s a whole other floor of these things to stroll through. Something’s bound to pique my interest, or lead to a contact, or at least yield some worthwhile trinkets.

I’m hearing a lot of biz jargon flying around me, and it’s striking me as funny that the patter sounds so familiar to me. It’s been something like six years since I’ve been to one of these sort of things, and you’d think the industry/niche would have matured enough that the same nebulous pitches wouldn’t be escaping the same types of mouths. But just from my innocuous little corner, I’m hearing the usual shizz-nit: “Click ratios”, “site optimization”, “keyword seeding”… Circley-jerkely, folks.

Aside from all that: I’m seeing a lot of good-looking women around. Many are definitely on the geeky side, but plenty are very appealing. I really wish I had gotten those damned business cards on time! (Should Better have them tomorrow…)

Off I go. More later and/or tomorrow.