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Archive: Sara Goo

Posted at 1:55 PM ET, 06/14/2007

And They Say We Newsies Don't Have Fun

Since they're too shy to point this out themselves, I feel obligated to brag about two of our Post I.T. members who helped bring the Business section to victory in our first-ever Guitar Hero contest at The Washington Post newsroom. The battle of the virtual bands happened last week, when we hooked up two guitars from the game in our conference room and battled a combined team from Metro and Food sections. (With all those Metro reporters, they still didn't have enough people who knew how to play.) Needless to say, it was no contest.

Post I.T. blogger Sam Diaz during the Guitar Hero competition.

Check out this photo of Sam Diaz. Sorry, but I couldn't find one of Mike Musgrove rockin' out, but he was our secret weapon. Yesterday, we got our reward: fancy chocolates from Metro Editor Robert McCartney and homemade salty oat cookies from Food Editor Joe Yonan. Next, we're thinking about challenging those crazy reporters over on the national desk. What do you think? You got a team ready for us?

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Posted at 9:57 AM ET, 06/ 4/2007

Check Out Our New Online Project: Teens

I hate to get all promotional on you but I wanted to make sure you saw our very cool Teen Shopping project, an ambitious effort to get inside the heads of teens and understand what they buy and why. It was retail reporter Ylan Mui's baby, but it ended up being a very cool interactive project (you can tour our local Tysons Corner Center online), which we did with a lot of help from our Web guru Rob Curley and

I helped out on the big shopping day, a recent Saturday at Tysons, and was particularly interested to see that so many teens shop with their phones, iPods and other gadgets. Some would confer with friends via cell phone as they were trying on clothes in the dressing room and others were constantly texting one another whenever they had downtime, like waiting in line at the cash register. One teen, Charlotte Zoll, listed all of the latest gadgets she wanted to get for her birthday, including an iTunes gift certificates and a digital camera. She already had received a new Samsung phone, one that was ideal for texting. When asked whether she liked shopping for technology, her response was, "I'm not much of a technology person." You see, we adults think of all this stuff as technology, but to teens, this is just part of their lives and part of the way they communicate. Duh.

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Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 05/24/2007, the Search Underdog's chief executive Jim Lanzone stopped by The Post yesterday to give us an update on his search site. A year ago, Ask ditched its well-known butler mascot, Jeeves, remade its site and started running commercials with some kind of animal--I think monkeys. CEO Jim Lanzone and The Post's Sara Goo record the weekly Tech podcast in the newsroom radio studio.

In the past year, Ask surpassed AOL to become the fourth-largest online search site. Though this is progress for Ask, it's still a tough road ahead when your competition has become the verb for search.

Jim joined me and Sam Diaz on our weekly podcast. Listen to it here or subscribe to it via XML or iTunes.

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Posted at 2:49 PM ET, 04/24/2007

Report: More Than One-Third of American Adults Consult Wikipedia

In case you haven't seen it, there's a new study out by the folks at Pew Internet & American Life Project, who took a look at how often people consult Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia. Although there are many questions about the accuracy of entries on Wikipedia, the survey shows that 50 percent of adult Internet users who are college graduates look up information on the site, compared to 22 percent of those who say they have a high school diploma.

Here's a link to the full study.

Another interesting tidbit that won't come as a surprise to those who are familiar with search engine optimization: Wikipedia gets 70 percent of its traffic from search engines such as Google. As an Internet user, you've probably noticed that Wikipedia entries usually come up high in the search results. That's because Wikipedia is full of links to other Web sites and the number of links on a Web site is one factor that Google's search engine uses to rank the popularity of a site. Not surprising that Wikipedia always tops the list of the most visited sites on the Web.

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Posted at 4:45 PM ET, 04/ 4/2007

Week Two for the New Tech Podcast

Hey there. We've done it again. We've got a second-ever podcast up a little early this week. Sam Diaz is on vacation so I'm hosting this week's edition. Mike Musgrove joins me to talk about the future of digital music, off the news earlier this week that EMI plans to release thousands of songs on the MP3 format, which will give music fans more options than iTunes. And Fast Forward columnist Rob Pegoraro chats about his column out tomorrow, in which he complains about Microsoft's Windows Vista and the anti-piracy technology that comes with it.

We'd love to hear what you think so far about our new project. Our goal is to bring readers up to date on technology once a week in a new format with the expertise of Post tech writers. So, good or bad, we'd like to hear from you so we can improve.

Listen to it here or you can subscribe to it via the XML feed or on iTunes.

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YouTube Turns On The Camera

Since I started following YouTube about a year ago, I've always wondered who decides which videos get featured on the homepage. As many YouTubers know, getting your video placed on the homepage can catapult one videomaker from obscurity into the user-generated hall of fame (which mostly translates to bragging rights...

By Sara Goo | March 26, 2007; 06:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

Google's Got a New Ad Strategy

Today, Google announced that they are testing out a new ad model called pay-per-action. Advertisers who now sign up with Google to place their tiny text ads on thousands of Web sites (labeled as "Ads by Google" at the bottom, top or margins of the page) currently pay Google for...

By Sara Goo | March 20, 2007; 04:34 PM ET | Comments (1)

Google reveals a little more on click fraud

Google has always claimed that click fraud is not a problem, at least for Google. Yet it never really provided any numbers indicating the volume of click fraud the company detected or how much money Google refunded to advertisers because of the problem. So it was anyone's guess as to...

By Sara Goo | March 1, 2007; 06:54 AM ET | Comments (0)

Steve Case 2.0

Steve Case stopped by The Post for lunch today and spent much of it talking about his new Revolution Health company and Web site. There's been a lot of buzz about this D.C. company and it's been confusing to understand exactly what Revolution Health is: A search engine/social networking Web...

By Sara Goo | February 28, 2007; 03:53 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Web's Most Consumer-Friendly Sites

Which companies and industries have the best Web sites? According to a new study out today by the University of Michigan's American Consumer Satisfaction Index, the browsing public loves e-commerce sites like but is less pleased with the offerings from the travel industry, like Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz. The...

By Sara Goo | February 20, 2007; 06:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Now starring on YouTube: Google

Google has developed dozens of products that it famously does not promote. So it was a little surprising to see that Google came out with its first commercial, or rather, series of commercials, on YouTube earlier this week promoting Google's free email accounts called GMail. GMail has been around for...

By Sara Goo | February 16, 2007; 01:45 PM ET | Comments (0)

Reviewing video, YouTube style

I was watching the latest video from one of my favorite YouTube producers, HappySlip and came across a clip from another guy claiming to be the "YT reviewer." [YT = YouTube for the uninitiated] He goes just by "James" under the screen name thecruelworld, and produces slick, Siskel &...

By Sara Goo | February 6, 2007; 06:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Yes, even your teen can become a millionaire

We were a little floored to get the news yesterday afternoon that a 17-year-old high school student from New Jersey received $4.1 million in venture funding for the Web site she co-founded, The site lets teens create their own digital yearbook, post pictures and connect with each other. There...

By Sara Goo | January 26, 2007; 05:00 AM ET | Comments (3)

Blogging Around The District

You may have heard about a new Web site that launched earlier this week, called The whole idea is to organize blogs by location of the bloggers. Another site, called Outside In, is trying to do something similar. So I went to placeblogger and went to see how many...

By Sara Goo | January 12, 2007; 01:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

New Year, new calendar debate

Every year, during the first week of January, I walk down to my nearest Borders and buy a new day planner for the new year. I know, this is terribly non-techie of me. But it started years ago when I got one of those Palm devices for Christmas. Shortly after,...

By Sara Goo | January 4, 2007; 12:10 PM ET | Comments (2)

Does Your Presidental Candidate Have a Vlog?

Will video blogs become the next big tech breakthrough to help voters connect with their candidates for the '08 Presidential campaign? Some politicians hope so. Last month, while we were all preparing for our long string of holiday parties and trips to visit families, Democratic candidate Tom Vilsack quietly launched...

By Sara Goo | January 3, 2007; 01:41 PM ET | Comments (4)

The Viral Videos of 2006

2006 was all about online video. Imagine, just a year ago, there was no Lonelygirl or Lazydork or widespread backyard experiments with Diet Coke and Mentos. So, it seems like a good time to come up with a list of the year's most popular user-generated videos, which, thanks to YouTube...

By Sara Goo | December 15, 2006; 05:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

Tech Postcard from Asia

I recently returned from a three-week vacation in Asia. It's funny how you can gain a fresh perspective in that amount of time. My first reaction: Google is not everywhere. I was pleasantly suprised to find Internet access everywhere and available for free, whether we were in Siem Reap, Cambodia,...

By Sara Goo | December 14, 2006; 02:27 PM ET | Comments (1)

How Ted Leonsis Became Web 2.0

For today's paper I wrote up what really is a long anecdote from AOL vice chairman Ted Leonsis, who shared his personal quest to manipulate Google search results of his own name. What I enjoyed is the pure honesty of it all. Everyone does the vanity Google search, but few...

By Sara Goo | November 13, 2006; 01:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

YouTube sued by UTube

Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment Corp., of Perrysburg, Ohio, sued YouTube Inc. earlier this week, claiming that millions of people confused its Web site,, for the online video site where people watch entertaining home-made videos. UTube said it is now receiving 70,000 visitors to its site per day, a...

By Sara Goo | November 1, 2006; 06:49 PM ET | Comments (13)

Private blogging--an oxymoron?

For a long time now, I've really wanted to blog. (Aside from our little team here, I'm talking about a more personal, singular effort.) A few of my friends have blogs where they discuss the most intimate details of their lives and post photos of themselves and friends and family....

By Sara Goo | October 26, 2006; 10:16 AM ET | Comments (6)

Google Gets Political

If you're like me, you haven't used Google Earth for much more than checking out what your own backyard looks like from a satellite. The thrill of zooming in on your house is equally creepy and just plain cool. But when it comes down to it, I'm not going to...

By Sara Goo | October 22, 2006; 11:01 PM ET | Comments (0)

Blogger Profile: Sara Goo

Sara Goo writes about Internet companies such as Google, AOL and Microsoft, as well as start-ups like YouTube. (Yes, this means she gets paid to watch YouTube!) Before that, she covered the totally unrelated topic of airline security and plane crashes for The Washington Post....

By Editors | October 18, 2006; 12:46 PM ET | Comments (0)


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