Author Archive

Hulu peeks out from behind the curtain

By October 29, 2007

It’s still several months from officially launching, but Hulu, the long-awaited, oft-maligned, Hollywood-backed video site is finally being trod out in front of the media, and thus far the impressions have been fairly positive. The site is actually eschewing the user-generated content approach for now (although users will able to embed/vote/comment on videos) to focus […]

It’s still several months from officially launching, but Hulu, the long-awaited, oft-maligned, Hollywood-backed video site is finally being trod out in front of the media, and thus far the impressions have been fairly positive.

The site is actually eschewing the user-generated content approach for now (although users will able to embed/vote/comment on videos) to focus on studio-produced content. So even though the service was being considered a YouTube rival, its content will actually put it more in direct competition with premium content services like Itunes. However, its content currently is only viewable in a browser-based environment and is not portable/downloadable like Itunes content. It’ll be interesting to see if/when they make that critical jump.

The site will still be in private beta for several months, but its content is already being rolled out to partner sites at a rapid rate. AOL, MySpace, Yahoo . . . . pretty much all the big players except Google.

Note: Sorry for the overflowing embed, but resizing it messes up the formatting.

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Have your social network spayed or neutered

By October 26, 2007

In a sign of the times, a daytime TV icon is jumping onboard the social networking bandwagon. Price is Right to build new site and social network I guess it’s a good thing Bob Barker is retired as I’d have a hard time seeing an 83-year-old man promote something so Web 2.0. Then again, Bob […]

In a sign of the times, a daytime TV icon is jumping onboard the social networking bandwagon.

Price is Right to build new site and social network

I guess it’s a good thing Bob Barker is retired as I’d have a hard time seeing an 83-year-old man promote something so Web 2.0. Then again, Bob is kind of timeless and the show was still as popular as ever among college kids when he retired.

And for the record, his signature line to “help control the pet population” is apparently still alive and kicking even in his absence.

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Facebooks apps ruled by a few

By October 8, 2007

TechCrunch had a quick summary on something I’ve often wondered about. Facebook is definitely the hot site at the moment with a large and steadily growing userbase. Naturally advertisers and developers are flocking to it to try to promote their products. And given the weak performance of traditional advertising platforms on social media sites the […]

TechCrunch had a quick summary on something I’ve often wondered about.

Facebook is definitely the hot site at the moment with a large and steadily growing userbase. Naturally advertisers and developers are flocking to it to try to promote their products. And given the weak performance of traditional advertising platforms on social media sites the development of ‘apps’ as a way to market yourself has increasingly been seen as a viable new alternative.

But what sort of traction are these apps seeing? Is there really broad-reaching usage across a wide range of apps? Or is this like many situations and the majority of usage is concentrated into a small, select group? Judging by these numbers it seems to be the latter.

That doesn’t mean there’s not value to be had if you’re not one of the top apps. If there’s anything search marketers will tell you, there can often be a lot of value in the long-tail. But it does show the need to plan accordingly, especially in how much you’re willing to allocate toward development. If you’re seeking to hit a very select target it could still be a worthwhile endeavor. But if you’re trying to go after something broader-reaching you definitely have a more daunting task ahead of you.

On a somewhat related note, it also points to the need for more standards for widget-like applications.

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Google controls 40% of online ad dollars in Q1/Q2 of 2007

By October 5, 2007

Online advertising continues to grow at a very strong rate, up 27% over 2006 according to the IAB. But one company is obviously growing a lot faster than most (which is all the more amazing when you consider how large its revenues already were.) HipMojo Article I’m sure these most recent numbers from the IAB […]

Online advertising continues to grow at a very strong rate, up 27% over 2006 according to the IAB. But one company is obviously growing a lot faster than most (which is all the more amazing when you consider how large its revenues already were.)

HipMojo Article

I’m sure these most recent numbers from the IAB will be utilized heavily by Microsoft and others in their battle to try and knock down the proposed Google/Doubleclick merger. Longterm, I personally think Google will be fine with or without Doubleclick. But assuming the merger is approved it will only speed Google’s rush to become the dominant power in online advertising (with 40% marketshare, and growing, it pretty much already is.)

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Dove launches latest video spot

By October 3, 2007

As the father of two little girls this one captured my attention more than some of the strong previous efforts.

As the father of two little girls this one captured my attention more than some of the strong previous efforts.

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Wear Your Website – Scan Tshirts With Mobiles

By October 3, 2007

If you have a company website, this is the ultimate marketing tool—if you don’t mind total strangers scanning you with their camera phones. When a cell phone scans an “Extended Identity” T-shirts, it will visit the coordinating website. The shirts feature a datamatrix barcode, known as a “tag”. Using a mobile phone camera, a person […]

If you have a company website, this is the ultimate marketing tool—if you don’t mind total strangers scanning you with their camera phones. When a cell phone scans an “Extended Identity” T-shirts, it will visit the coordinating website. The shirts feature a datamatrix barcode, known as a “tag”. Using a mobile phone camera, a person can take a photo of the tag which is read by software on the phone. From there, it launches a browser and takes you to the website.
The shirt can be customized to link to any website, social networking page, photo, video or music file. That includes Facebook and MySpace, as well as Augme’s own profiles which are designed with mobile-viewing in mind.

Source: Trendhunter.com
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New email/social networking message aggregation service

By September 27, 2007

Keeping up with email and social networking messages can be hard work for young people leaving their digital footprints all over the Web. Catering to the need for a simplified online presence, a new website called Fuser launched this week. Fuser allows users to organize emails from multiple accounts (including Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook, AOL, Hotmail, […]

Keeping up with email and social networking messages can be hard work for young people leaving their digital footprints all over the Web. Catering to the need for a simplified online presence, a new website called Fuser launched this week. Fuser allows users to organize emails from multiple accounts (including Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook, AOL, Hotmail, and POP), as well as messages from MySpace and Facebook, into one all-encompassing secure inbox, thus eliminating the need to bounce back and forth between multiple addresses and sites.

Fuser users respond to emails as they would with a typical webmail application. Facebook members can even view Facebook wall posts and respond either by responding on the friend’s wall or by sending a message to the friend. Fuser also offers users a “map” of their network by ranking friends according to how many times they have sent messages/posted on their wall; these rankings can even be viewed according to specific time periods. As young people value documentation such as this, as well as the site’s primary aggregation service, the site may find an audience.

Post courtesy of Trendcentral.com

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Interesting Cool News of the Day Read

By September 13, 2007

A pair of former Modem Media guys are introducing lemonade.com, which lets people put kiosks of their favorite products on Facebook or MySpace and make money on the clickthroughs, reports Bob Tedeschi in The New York Times (9/10/07). Tim Smith and Thomas R. Zawacki admit that nobody’s going to get rich on this (well, except […]

A pair of former Modem Media guys are introducing lemonade.com, which lets people put kiosks of their favorite products on Facebook or MySpace and make money on the clickthroughs, reports Bob Tedeschi in The New York Times (9/10/07). Tim Smith and Thomas R. Zawacki admit that nobody’s going to get rich on this (well, except hopefully the two of them!), but they believe that the opportunity to make a little bit of pocket change is a good fit for a certain demographic.

“If you talk to 13- to 25-year-olds and tell them they can make $15 to $30 a month doing this, that’s wonderful news for them,” says Thomas.The way it works is, you register at lemonade.com and create your kiosk “by browsing product categories or searching among the roughly two million items on the site.” Once you’ve made your selections, you click and drag your choices into a “lemonade stand,” that “displays a slide show of those goods, along with product headings and item descriptions.” Then you just type in your Facebook or MySpace address and your “lemonade stand” is up and running in a matter of minutes. You get paid just for clicks, but you also earn a commission if somebody actually buys something.

Gene Alvarez, a Gartner consultant, thinks it’s a good idea: “Word-of-mouth referrals tend to close more deals, and when you’re on my Facebook page and I’m selling something, you’ve gotten to know me. You don’t think of me as a dark, evil corporation.” Adrienne Durkin, who beta-tested the service, observes that people like to see what other people are buying, and besides, it takes “something that’s been a way to waste time, and actually turns it into a way to make money.” And Hilary Bowers of Yoox sees a really nifty research tool: “We’ll be able to see this audience … what they like and recommend … that’s an intimate perspective on our catalog and how this demographic reacts to it,” she says.

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Web 2.0 and the Search for Steve Fossett

By September 10, 2007

As both a technologist and a pilot, I am doubly interested in the recent turn of events in the search for millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett. For those not in tune with the events, Fossett took off in a small plane on Monday, September 3, to scout potential locations for his attempt at the land speed […]

As both a technologist and a pilot, I am doubly interested in the recent turn of events in the search for millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett. For those not in tune with the events, Fossett took off in a small plane on Monday, September 3, to scout potential locations for his attempt at the land speed record in western Nevada. When his plane didn’t return a few hours later, search and rescue teams, including the Civil Air Patrol, converged on the area and a conventional search began.

Now, when I first heard the news that Fossett’s good friend and sometimes adventure partner Sir Richard Branson had called on Google to offer help via their mapping programs, I didn’t really give it much thought. Like most Web developers, I knew that Google itself didn’t own any satellites and [probably] didn’t have the capacity to access up-to-the-minute satellite imagery. However, what I did underestimate is Google’s ability to gain access to these things if needed. Over the weekend I got an invitation to participate in the search for Fossett via a special edition of an aviation newsletter I read. As I began to look into it, I was quickly amazed and impressed with what had transpired in a relatively short amount of time.

A few months ago I had read about Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. I remember being intrigued with the simplicity of the idea and had even thought about some tasks that could utilize Amazon’s tool for the benefit of some of our clients. But when I read about how Google had leaned on one of their satellite image providers, DigitalGlobe, to obtain fresh images and then worked with Amazon to allow anyone on the Internet to search the images for signs of Fossett, I was really impressed.

Of course, distributed computing is nothing new. I can remember loading the distributed.net client on spare computers in hopes of cracking 3-DES or even SETI-at-home almost a decade ago. Some of my friends have even used their spare computer cycles for more lofty purposes like searching for a cure for cancer.

Maybe it’s the urgent nature of the search for a missing person, but somehow this seems the beginning of a new chapter in community involvement. We’ve seen public satellite imagery used to help in disasters and rescue efforts, from the tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and even 9/11. I have personally helped a friend try to determine the status of their beach house after Hurricane Ivan, but this new level of organization really elevates the whole thing.

At one point, as I was searching almost 900,000 square meters of Nevada desert I was watching the HITs tick off. At the rate they were going, 30,000,000 square meters or more were being searched each hour. It is truly an impressive thing.

So, if you have a few minutes to spare, or are just curious, check out the Amazon Mechanical Turk, and you too could pitch in to help find adventurer Steve Fossett.

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Web ads best positioned to weather economic slowdown?

By September 4, 2007

WatchMojo is a rather interesting blog I’ve been following for awhile now. I enjoy its big picture take on the world of advertising, technology and economics. While this entry throws around a lot of generalities (not all of which I agree with) he does make a few interesting points along the way. WatchMojo Blog (HipMojo)

WatchMojo is a rather interesting blog I’ve been following for awhile now. I enjoy its big picture take on the world of advertising, technology and economics.

While this entry throws around a lot of generalities (not all of which I agree with) he does make a few interesting points along the way.

WatchMojo Blog (HipMojo)

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