Posted on January 18, 2008
Filed Under Web 2.0 Kool Aid |

I’ve never been a huge fan of Google. Beyond the fact that there’s something about Larry Page’s face that just disgusts me, I’ve never bought into the “do no evil” bullshit. The and I’ve always found the founders’ philanthropic interests quite humorous given that they had the company purchase a 747 “party plane.”

So the company’s announcement that, its philanthropic arm, plans to launch InSTEDD (Innovative Support to Emergencies, Diseases and Disaster) to “save lives in the event of natural disasters or public health threats” didn’t pique my interest. Until I read how it plans to do it: using Twitter and Facebook.

Posted on January 17, 2008
Filed Under Marketing 2.0 |

Tom Arrix, VP, media sales east at Facebook, and Jamie Byrne, head of client solutions and ad programs for YouTube, participated in a panel discussion on social marketing at Argyle’s CMO Leadership Forum in New York. The PaidContent made me smile.

ROI and social nets: “Return on investment” is probably the wrong thing to be looking for. Instead, the acronym should stand for “return on involvement,” Arrix said. The usual standard of audience “reach” is too limited when it comes to social media and “things like click-through rates don’t cut it. Return on ‘involvement’ looks at what users are saying about your brand. For example, are users taking your message and sharing it with their friends? Every client we do business with, we tell them, ‘You have to divorce yourself from what you’ve done before.’”

Where is Your Money Now?

Posted on January 17, 2008
Filed Under Bubble Watch | 2 Comments

Time Warner shareholders might be asking themselves that question if the rumors around AOL’s possible $200 million acquisition of Where Are You Now? (WAYN), a UK-based social network for travelers, are valid. With $4.5 million in annual revenues and 3.6 million unique visitors in November according to comScore, a nine-figure acquisition of WAYN would seem to provide a disappointing answer: the shitter.

What is a Startup?

Posted on January 16, 2008
Filed Under Culture & Technology | 7 Comments

My efriend Allen Stern over at Center Networks asked something interesting today: how do you define “startup”? It’s a good question. Not only because everybody seems to have his or her own “startup” these days and there’s a whole pop culture symbology built around the concept of the “startup,” but because we throw the term around so much that it has almost become as nebulous as the “Web 2.0″ moniker.

Allen suggests some possible criteria:

I Love Web 2.0

Posted on January 16, 2008
Filed Under Web 2.0 Kool Aid | 1 Comment

As I sat down at the computer this evening after an unusually long day of putting out fires, I realized something: I secretly love Web 2.0.

How did I finally come to realize that the phenomenon I thought I despised was really a phenomenon I loved? It was quite simple. The United States economy is collapsing. Okay, that might be a little strong (for now) - it’s receding faster than . The Dow dropped nearly 280 points. Citigroup wrote down $18.1 billion as part of “Mortgages Gone Wild.” It and Merrill Lynch sold hefty chunks of themselves to foreign investors to raise capital. Consumer spending plunged in December and Intel got hammered by the market after announcing disappointing fourth-quarter results.

Freeloaders to Help Create an Orwellian Internet?

Posted on January 15, 2008
Filed Under OMG! Old Media is Dying! | 4 Comments

While some have celebrated the death of DRM, DRM has been little more than a battle in a larger war. The war pits consumers, many of whom believe the theft of creative works is acceptable, against the owners of intellectual property.

Wired is reporting that the music industry is now experimenting with digital watermarking solutions as an alternative to DRM:

Watermarking offers copyright protection by letting a company track music that finds its way to illegal peer-to-peer networks. At its most precise, a watermark could encode a unique serial number that a music company could match to the original purchaser. So far, though, labels say they won’t do that: Warner and EMI have not embraced watermarking at all, while Sony’s and Universal’s DRM-free lineups contain “anonymous” watermarks that won’t trace to an individual.

Zuckerberg’s Painful 60 Minutes Interview

Posted on January 14, 2008
Filed Under Web 2.0 Kool Aid | 9 Comments

Despite the fact that Drama 2.0 is currently fighting some sort of cold bug, I found the energy to get out of bed tonight and watch the . The word that best describes the interview: painful. It was so horrid that couldn’t help but note how bad it was.

Obviously, to give Zuckerberg the benefit of the doubt, he’s young and this is new territory for him. But the interview was revealing nonetheless. The things that stood out most to me:

Are the Most Ignorant People Involved in Web 2.0 or Is Everybody Just Stupid These Days?

Posted on January 12, 2008
Filed Under Web 2.0 Kool Aid | 3 Comments

Fortune writer Josh Quittner “Is Hasbro just a stupid Potato Head?” The maker of the popular board game Scrabble has taken action against Scrabulous, a popular Facebook application written by two brothers in India that allows Facebook users to play the game online.

Scrabulous is a blatant violation of Hasbro’s trademark rights. Copyright is a little more nuanced, however an analysis of the court’s decision in Allen v. Academic Games League of America, Inc. seems to indicate that Scrabulous is likely in a problematic position:

Drama’s Roundup - January 11, 2008

Posted on January 11, 2008
Filed Under Drama's Roundup | 1 Comment

Today’s episode of Drama’s Roundup will focus on the United States “economy.”

U.S. stocks sink on write-downs in financials
Why It’s Interesting: The central bank’s increasingly futile attempts to save the US economy are becoming more apparent. Although stocks jumped Thursday on the back of Ben Bernanke’s comments about “substantive additional action” and Bank of America’s buyout of tattered mortgage lender Countrywide (which you’ll be helping them finance), they were down again sharply on Friday on the back of more write-downs (including a possible $15 billion Merrill Lynch loss), signs of slowed consumer spending, a trade deficit and increasing predictions that a recession is going to occur.

Social Network for Language Learners Raises $6 Million

Posted on January 10, 2008
Filed Under Bubble Watch | 1 Comment

In my new column, Bubble Watch, I will highlight what I see as signs of the growing bubble commonly called Web 2.0.

Washington-based LiveMocha has raised $6 million in a first round of funding led by Maveron Equity Partners. by PaidContent:

The site offers lessons that users can sign up for, as well as the ability to converse with other users for practice. Members can also offer tutoring services using the site. The site, which launched in September, is hoping to offer an alternative to traditional at-home language learning packages that come on CDs or CD-ROMs.

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