Saturday, March 17, 2007

Some thoughts on online networks

It's been a busy week so I'm finally sitting down to write a post today. Yesterday I had breakfast with a friend and we started talking about Linkedin and how great it is in some ways (staying in touch, finding leads, jobs, contractors etc) but how limited it still is (no visual interface for seeing networks, no API, no tagging of contacts, no ability to have "degrees of knowing people (i.e. close friend, acquaintance, lead etc.). He then emailed me this post from Readwrite that gives a good summary of Linkedin plus a comparison to Facebook. Personally, I don't think facebook will rival linkedin - it's much more of a self-expression website than a professional site.

My theory would be that most users over time will setup their professional profile (see mine here)on linkedin.

Related to networking and tagging, here's another interesting post about how we're members of multiple interest-based networks at any point in time and what impact that could have on Marketing and positioning. Pretty good forward thinking going on there. I think many people will have one predominant area of interest (e.g. NASCAR) at any one point in their life and identify themselves strongly enough to associate themselves with that interest through community affiliation/sites/products.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Say good-bye to the user-generated-content hype

A search on Youtube for Mentos and Coca Cola comes back with 9,000 search results - welcome to the world of "User-generated-content." Do we really need all these great videos or the 2,320 results for "lonelygirl"? The best content on Youtube et al is still produced professionally by companies like Viacom, NBC, ABC or Fox.
Granted, there's the occasional user-generated success such as Geriatric 1927 but most of the good stuff comes from our favorite big-company producers.
The same applies to journalism - most of the successful blogs have morphed into professional networks or standalone companies - not much "user-generated" anymore. My point is - good content costs money to produce and people are willing to pay for good content (in the form of money or consuming ads). The ease of putting text, audio or video online has definitely led to increased creativity and freedom of expression online - but the day where user-generated takes over the world is still far far away. In the previous boom companies like and Geocities already allowed users to create a ton of content - 99.999% of which is long forgotten.

Starvation looms for New York's Internet scene

Every weekday between 7:30 and 9:30am this is the place where models, actresses and aspiring and established Internet entrepreneurs meet. The latter as clients, the former as employees - with usually mixed results...

New York Internet scene hangout Coffee Shop in Union Square recently failed its annual health inspection as reported here by Eater - after lying about it the day before!

This is not yet reflected on the city's Health department website but should be shortly.

I usually enjoy Coffee Shop except for the actresses' attitude and morning moods. Let's hope they get it back up and running in time for Monday morning!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Not ready to make nice

Just watched this great documentary on the Dixie Chicks and Natalie Maines' famous 2003 Bush quote in London. It's a well-told story about how the right-wing media turned 15 words ("Just so you know, we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas") into a firestorm against the band and what impact that smear campaign subsequently had on the Dixie Chicks. 90 minutes well spent!
Here's the video for their song reaction (produced in 2006):

Marketingsherpa Email Conference 2007

On Monday I spoke at the Marketingsherpa Email Conference in Miami as part of the keynote panel on testing. It was a sold-out conference with about 500 attendees from all over the US and some from Europe and the rest of the world. The quality of the audience overall was very good but some of the presentations could have been less basic and aimed at the more educated Email Marketer. The conference in Chicago last year which I also spoke at was definitely a notch above this year's.
The overall question some of us asked ourselves was whether there should even be a separate conference on Email Marketing or whether Etail etc. wouldn't be more appropriate. We're really working in a multichannel environment now and Email as a standalone won't give you much without a strong website and possible catalogs or stores.

Quick roundup for aspiring entrepreneurs

Just got back from speaking at Marketingsherpa's Email conference in Miami so not much time to blog right now. You can read some summaries here though and I will post more on the conference later.

In the meantime, a few great links about entrepreneurship for the day: Darren Herman writes a great summary of starting up in New York City and IInovate has a podcast with a Kleiner Perkins partner. And to round it all up, Fred Wilson writes a good post about his take on widgets and how he'd like them to evolve.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Could Wall Street end the new .com party?

It's 2007 and there are a bunch of no-revenue, good idea, 2.0 Internet startups out there that haven't really spend too much time thinking about their business model. The secret (or not so secret) hope is still that Google or Yahoo will come in with a bag full of cash. Henry Blodget the famed former analyst who predicted Amazon at $600 has an interesting opinion on how a Wall Stret crash could end the party. It would definitely deflate some of the valuations (Youtube anyone?) but probably not have a major impact. For you startups out there- think about the revenue model, not the Goohoo money.

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