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They've lost their Sensis


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#1 sanity

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 01:17 AM

There's an interesting piece on Sensis in The Age today: They've lost their Sensis

Over Christmas I tried livening up conversations by dropping in Sensis. The most common response I received was "who?" Try as I might, I haven't come across anyone admitting being a regular Sensis search engine user. The latest Roy Morgan Internet Monitor results make the bleak picture official.


Sensis should have been able to integrate White Pages, Yellow Pages, Whereis, Trading Post, CitySearch and phone services into my search. This could have brought up an address, phone number, Whereis map reference, suggested route from my place and an opportunity to push the button and be connected by phone. Sensis also could have used CitySearch to show me the nearest coffee shop and checked the Trading Post for any Liberal Party memorabilia for sale. Such a service would lead to Australians dropping search engines Google and Yahoo! in a flash.


and

Sensis sites have the raw information to be creatively integrated to provide consumers with an internet experience. Either technological creativity is being quashed by traditional management that just doesn't understand the new world, or the company has a culture devoid of innovation.


Great points. With the White Pages, Yellow Pages, Whereis, CitySearch and the Trading Post you'd really have expected better integration.

Has anyone tried Sensis either as an advertiser or a user? I've occassilally tried it as a user to leave fustrated. As an advertiser in the past year or so I've mainly been working with OS sites and have not had a need for it. I'm working with more local companies now and am interested to see what other's are finding. So far I've not seen much value.

#2 BillSlawski

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 01:36 AM

I think I needed this background information for your post, Sophie:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telstra

That's an interesting history. According to the wikipedia article, the government still owns 51% of the company.

From the article you pointed to Sophie, it's when Sensis is compared to Google that they really seem to fall down. The types of integration described probably would make a difference. How likely is it that will happen?

#3 Tim

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 02:16 AM

I used Sensis as a user once. It just didn't offer anything that enticed me to come back and use it again, and was nothing more than a normal old search engine. I also generally don't like Telstra, so that was even more of a reason for me not to use it. :)

Bill, I think the government still own the majority of Telstra at the moment, but it is certainly in the process of being sold off. Actually, I just realised that's in the Wikipedia article - there's a bit more on it on the discussion page as well.

#4 projectphp

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 02:55 AM

They bought LooKSmart tech. Checkmate on why they are no good!

Also, they are motivated by greed far too much. Nothing I have ever seen from Sensis has ever been in the advertiser's opr user's best interest. The SE, as case in point, was just a knee jerk, poorly thought out reaction to the rise and Rise of Google that took absolutely no lead nor hint from Google on what consumers, on both sides of the fence, demand, and instead tried to use $$ to hoodwink people with a service that is inferior in too many ways to make its USP, local results, worth much of anything.

And it is a real crying shame, because it could and should have been brilliant. Instead, it is an example of what you get when you throw enough money and buzzwords, which Search engine still is in many parts, together.

#5 travis

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 05:13 AM

I used Sensis as a user once


I can relate to that. Thats the same level of usage we have had.

They are marketing it as the search engine for Australians but I think the Google.com.au "Australia" option already owns that tag.

People will just think "A poor copy of Google 5 years too late."

The robot from Sensis is starting to work harder, but GoogleBot is far healthier in terms of the number of pages it crawls.

the company has a culture devoid of innovation


That is so common in large Australian companies.

I remember my large company experience well.

Being a hansom tall male with a catchy name really helped.

At one stage at my previous employer, every manager above me all the way to the CEO had a one syllable first name, and a two syllable last name.

It was:

Kim Hutchings
Jon Hronsky
Jens Balkau
Dave Miller
Jack Parry
Hugh Morgan

The company was taken over by BHP. Their CEO :

Chip Goodyear

I wanted to change my name to Buzz Lightyear, but it was already taken.

If you are in your twenties in a large corporation, you dont know squat, and even if you did, its probably not necessary that you express it.

If you look at Einstein, Pauli, Faraday and Heisenberg, 4 famous physicists of the 1800-1900's who brought us Electromagnetism, General and Special Relativity, Quantum Mechanics and the birth of the Nuclear age, all of their major work was published whilst they were 24-27.

After about 30, the male brain turns to porridge, and they are placed in positions of management in large companies.

Edited by travis, 14 February 2006 - 05:53 AM.


#6 sanity

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 04:00 PM

The types of integration described probably would make a difference.  How likely is it that will happen?

In one word Bill, buckleys.

Tm, Michael and Travis pretty much said what I expected. On principle a lot of people will avoid Telstra like the plague. (They're nickname around here is Telescum). Having said that if they had a good offering and delivered quality traffic we'd all be using it.

Nothing I have ever seen from Sensis has ever been in the advertiser's opr user's best interest.

True. And same for the online Yellow Pages. Apart from the search engine being totally useless the prices they charge for such a ridiculous business model is tragic.

But really, would any of you expect it to be any different? :rofl:

#7 rossio

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 04:57 PM

the company has a culture devoid of innovation


That is so common in large Australian companies.


both of those statements are so, so true.

im working at MBF at the moment and have been here for about 10 months and you couldnt be more spot on.

If you are in your twenties in a large corporation, you dont know squat, and even if you did, its probably not necessary that you express it.


lol, also very true. it seems you progress by getting older, not by being smarter.

back on topic - from what i understand there is a real sense of disdain in australia towards anything telstra owned. I certainly havent heard anyone say a good thing about them since I have been here...

#8 sanity

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 05:17 PM

back on topic - from what i understand there is a real sense of disdain in australia towards anything telstra owned.  I certainly havent heard anyone say a good thing about them since I have been here...

Nope I've never heard anyone say anything positive about them.

They had a wonderful slogan a few years back "Making Life Easier". Talk about setting yourself up for ridicule.

#9 BillSlawski

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 06:05 PM

In one word Bill, buckleys.


I had to break out my English to English translator on that one. :P

So, what did Buckleys and Nunn sell, and are they still in business?

If you look at Einstein, Pauli, Faraday and Heisenberg, 4 famous physicists of the 1800-1900's who brought us Electromagnetism, General and Special Relativity, Quantum Mechanics and the birth of the Nuclear age, all of their major work was published whilst they were 24-27


I see that mentioned often when it comes to maths, but other disciplines seem different. For instance, when it comes to writing things like fiction, or legal opinions, older writers seem to do fairly well. Maybe it has something to do with accumulating life experiences.

I was going to use an "offtopic" tag for my reply to the point Travis made when I realized that my whole post so far was offtopic.

Do any of you think that once the company is more privatized that it will improve, or will that lead to some areas getting a lot less attention?

Search engines in Korea seem to have a step up on Google because they are finding ways to create and index User Created Content relevant to the people in Korea. See:

Why Is Google Struggling in Korea?

Would an approach like that work for an Australian search engine? The type of integration of services that Sophie points to would be an advantage that Google doesn't have at this stage. Any hopes?

#10 stinhambo

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 11:49 PM

I find the fact that Yellow Pages online doesn't rotate their advertisers but instead has a first come first serve mentality so you cannot hope to be seen by as many people just by virtue of the fact that someone got there before you.

Very sucky indeed!

Yes I was stupid enough to sign up but I've asked them to give me an exit strategy as it's not living up to expectations.

#11 travis

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 02:00 AM

This is the version I got when I was a child at primary school.

Paraphrased from the Australian National University Archives.......

William Buckley was a British convict transported to Australia who escaped into the wild.

His chances of survival were slim, but he survived. Hence the term Buckley's Chance.

He lived with the Wathawurung people near Geelong for thirty-two years, becoming so much a member of the tribe that when he was found by John Batman in 1835 he could no longer speak a word of English.

He was known popularly as ‘the wild white man’: and this popular perception is caught in an engraving which depicts him as heavily bearded, with hair long and unkempt, dressed in skins, and carrying a club and spears.

He received a pardon on condition that he acted as a liaison between settlers and local Aboriginal groups.



#12 BillSlawski

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 02:15 PM

Great story, Travis.

I found more on Buckley here:

http://www.visitgeel...iambuckley.asp#

That's a much better explanation for the idiom than the rhyming slang reference I came across in an Australian to American dictionary. :)

By the way, here's the first result in Google for a search on "Buckley's chance" (without the quotation marks.)

http://www.anu.edu.au/andc/ozwords/Oct%202...kley's.html

The "world sources" column in Sensis provides a couple of very good results at the top:

http://www.sensis.co.....kley's chance

But, the results on the "Australian Sources" side don't seem to be very good, and the first result leads to a dead page.

#13 projectphp

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 05:48 PM

The p[roblem for Sensis is two fold:
1. They want to make more money first, rather than serve their custopmers.
2. They chose to run their own crawler, rather than build upon an existing DB.

Yellow pages etc on top of Google would be unstoppable. YP ontop of a crap DB crawled infrequently is as usful as tits on a bull!



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