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Web Watch by Leslie Walker

Gallup Poll Moves Online With Webcast

By Leslie Walker
The Washington Post
Sunday, October 10, 2004; Page F07

Move over, Dan Rather: Gallup pollster Frank Newport wants to be your daily news anchor.

The Gallup Poll (www.gallup.com) has launched a free daily Web newscast, an eight-minute video featuring pollster-in-chief Frank Newport as a stand-up anchor talking about the firm's latest polling data and what it reveals about current events. The Webcast goes online at 6 a.m. Monday through Friday.

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Last Friday's Webcast tackled such topics as the "gender gap" in presidential politics, how teens view the Iraq war, public ratings for the vice presidential candidates and workaholism.

"Our mission is to be the one place you can go, after what reporters have told you what's happening, to find out what the people are actually thinking," said Jim Clifton, chief executive of the poll's parent company, the Gallup Organization.

Gallup sees the Web as a place to directly publish its polling insights to more people than it has reached in the past. "This really changes our business," Clifton said.

So far, he added, several thousand people have subscribed to Gallup's $95-a-year "Gallup Poll on Demand" Web service, which features election polling data, daily and weekly analyses of public opinion and access to Gallup's archive of more than 60 years of survey data.

Gallup opted to make its new daily videocast free to attract an even wider Web audience; roughly 1 million people visited Gallup.com last month, Clifton said.

Press '2' for Madonna

Now you can order music downloads on your AT&T cell phone and get them delivered to your personal computer, using a service AT&T Wireless debuted Tuesday.

Why would anyone do that? AT&T believes that when customers hear a catchy new tune at a bar or in their car, they might want to buy it on the spot. The carrier -- soon to be bought by competitor Cingular Wireless -- has linked its new music store to its existing phone-based music-identification service.

Here's how it works: Customers hold their phones near a speaker for 15 seconds to let the service identify a song (they can also browse the service's 750,000-song library directly from their phones). AT&T then sends a text message to each phone, identifying the song title and artist; consumers who buy the song will have its 99-cent price added to their cell phone bill, while the song is delivered to a designated Windows computer.

www.attwireless.com/music

Phoning It In to Google

Google rolled out a trial service last week -- Google SMS, a free service that lets people use cell phones to send quick search queries via Short Message Service (SMS) to Google and get back Web search results on their phones' screens. Among other items, Google SMS can deliver product prices, dictionary definitions and phone numbers. Although it's free, people may have to pay their carriers extra for messaging.

Also last week, Google expanded its year-old "Google Print" service, which lets people search the full text of hundreds of thousands of books. Any publisher can now submit digital images of their book pages to Google, which the site will scan and make searchable for free. Users will see book results appear before Web search results; each hit links to images of several pages of a book.

sms.google.com

print.google.com

E-mail Leslie Walker at walkerl@washpost.com.


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