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Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

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The Power of Social Messaging

December 21, 2008 Leave a comment

Twitter continues to amaze me – especially when you focus on a niche market or region. Thanks to the great stats from Tweetburner I can now record the effectiveness of every Tweet that I publish via @BostonTweet. BostonTweet announces recommendations, happenings & entertainment at local Boston restaurants, bars and venues. Over the last few days my tweets have sent 445 visitors to the websites of these local restaurants – an impressive number in itself but especially considering that most of these websites probably don’t receive more than 10 visitors/day. Twitter is here to stay and will eventually be the most persuasive form of marketing & communication online.

Follow BostonTweet at http://Twitter.com/BostonTweet

Social Messaging? Blogs? Facebook? Twitter!

December 16, 2008 Leave a comment

Over the last couple of months, to the neglect of this blog, I’ve become quite addicted to Twitter. Like I originally did with blogs, I cursed Twitter because I didn’t see the point of it. Well I must admit that I regret not getting on Twitter sooner.

As I eventually learned a blog is an essential business tool and one that generates all my business, well that was until Twitter. Twitter is a social messaging/notification service that allows you to text updates on what you’re doing right now. You know that one little status section of Facebook that asks you what you’re doing right now? That’s Twitter and it’s phenomenal. Twitter only allows you to send 140 characters at a time but it’s amazing how much information you can learn from brevity. 

In my opinion Twitter has become the best tool for networking with people, connecting with information, marketing and most importantly getting people to talk about whatever topic you’re talking about. These days I have two Twitter accounts. My business is @TOKiBiz and the one I’m most amazed by is @BostonTweet.

@BostonTweet, in conjunction with BostonTweet.com, broadcasts real time Twitter updates about what’s happening right now at Boston restaurants, bars and music venues. @BostonTweet is very focused on local Boston business, which  makes people passionate about voicing their Boston restaurant recommendations. What Twitter does, that blogs and Facebook don’t do (or at least as well), is to get people to think about topics and contribute to the discussion in real time. What amazes me about BostonTweet is people are very passionate about their favorite local people, places and things – I know I am! So when you pose a question about what’s your favorite Thai Food restaurant we all immediately chime in with our vote. This puts the restaurant fresh on our mind and for me makes me want to visit that establishment ASAP. I know I’ve already visited a few new spots based on these recommendations and I’m sure (out of 550 followers) I’m not the only one  – businesses need to get in on the Tweet! I’m definitely going to J. Pace & Son in the North End very soon!!

In my opinion Twitter has become more valuable for business than blogs and Facebook. Blogs are terrific for when you want to be verbose on a topic that you’re passionate about but blogs can no longer beat the immediate influence that Twitter has. Maybe it’s that we can no longer process anything more than 140 characters or 30 seconds of video but those are the influencers and if business wants to survive then they need to embrace that. My buddy at EaT in Portland, Oregon just yesterday asked me if he should spend money on having a website for his new restaurant. I said no way! Create a blog, register with Twitter, and then send updates from your cell phone (while at the restaurant) about what’s happening RIGHT NOW at EaT. With a simple line of code you can notify your followers and update your blog & website with fresh content that will immediately be indexed on the search engines. Your typical portfolio, online brochure website is no longer effective in generating business for offline companies. Sure it’s nice to have an online menu but in most cases it’s not going to generate new business and it’s definitely not going to get people talking. Twitter can!

If you’re an offline business (restaurant, bar, cafe, shop) then you know that word of mouth is your most valuable form of marketing – recommendations from loyal customers. This is what Twitter does for your business and you need to get on board to get people talking and thinking about your business. Blogs and websites are you talking to your customers, which is of course important, but Twitter gets your customers talking. 

As for Facebook I use to think that it was good for marketing but I no longer believe that to be true. Facebook is phenomenal for connecting with former classmates and I owe Mark Zuckerberg a lot of thanks for connecting me with my former St. Martin de Porres (Poughkeepsie, NY) classmates – I don’t know how Classmates.com is still in business. However, as a marketing & networking tool Facebook isn’t as effective as Twitter. In my opinion Facebook’s revenues (or lack of) prove that. Of course Twitter is also trying to figure out their revenue model, maybe someday it will be a necessary utility like the telephone, but in the simplest terms Twitter is an advertising model in itself. Not in the form of banners but in the form of valuable information that’s not clogged with a bunch of spam and excessive text. If you don’t like what someone’s dishing then you just un-follow that person – problem solved. Wouldn’t it be nice if email was like this?

Bizak Auction

December 12, 2008 Leave a comment

Bizak is currently up for auction on SitePoint. Any interested parties can bid directly on the site or contact me (617-947-8071 or email) for additional information.

Auction URL:  http://marketplace.sitepoint.com/auctions/53150

Web 2.No More? From Web 2.0 to Web 3.0

November 16, 2008 3 comments

The recent market fiasco has everyone wondering whether Web 2.0 is alive or dead? The technology is indeed still alive (and advancing) but the focus is changing towards Web 3.0.

When the internet bubble burst in the early 2000s it acted as the dividing line between Web 1.0 (the original web) and Web 2.0. Web 2.0 didn’t commence the day after the bubble burst but rather it evolved over time with the rise of search, social networking, blogs, online videos and user generated content. Whereas Web 1.0 was about putting offline information (books, news, brochures) online, Web 2.0 is about sharing that information via social networks, blogs, online video, social messaging, etc. Web 3.0 will evolve with the integration of all this information into deeper analytical studies of online (and human) interaction, consumption behaviors & consumer data. A move more towards the semantic web.

Not only do I think that Web 3.0 will be about the quantifying of Web 2.0’s user generated data but I believe the focus (of web applications) will change.

In business, they’ll take a more active role in utilizing social networks and messaging platforms to communication with clients. This online interaction is efficient, effective and measurable, which provides corporations with analytical interaction to quantify and measure customer feedback like never before. The web has been evolving in this direction but the recent economic mess will force firms to embrace this technology now. The need to cut costs and be more accountable will propel the web towards Web 3.0 much faster than anticipated. 

The second main change from Web 2.0 to 3.0 will be about focus. This past month has seen two monumental events. The financial collapse of the world economy and a historical election that broke centuries of racial inequality in the United States. Obama’s message was all about change and not only will there be change at home but also a movement towards changing the world’s perception of us. This means instead of meaningless applications that rate whether you’re hot or not there will be a movement towards uniting the online industrial western world with developing nations. Online video has already opened up our eyes to injustice around the world but it’s only the start. The tools of Web 2.0 will evolve to help all nations be self sufficient, energy independent (via new energy technology) and environmentally friendly.

Web 2.0 gave us the technology to test the effectiveness, success and power of online interaction. Global information, worldwide interaction & third world participation opens up a world of possibilities to both developing and industrialized nations. I already see the global need for western medical information with infoMedMD. Many of our visitors come from developing nations that likely don’t have access to quality medical care. With infoMeds, developing nations (with online access) can receive Western medical advice almost as if they specifically asked a doctor for a diagnosis.

Health 2.0 applications like Sermo, infoMedMD & PatientsLikeMe are in their infancy but they’re quickly providing patients all over the world with medical research, information and patient outreach – services that previously were only available via costly doctor visits. Online medical applications were definitely slow to adapt Web 2.0 technologies, but I think they’re some of the first players in Web 3.0. Interactive medical data applications used not for online enjoyment (or making friends) but rather to educate people in an attempt to make their lives better and healthier. 

Whatever the third phase of the web is called it’s very likely that it has just begun. The current economic conditions have forced technology companies (and the venture capitalists funding them) to rethink their business models, focus their ideas and think of the next big thing. The third phase of the web will take everything that we’ve learned during Web 1.0 & 2.0 and make it better.

Internet Earnings

November 7, 2008 Leave a comment

Below is a chart of the current (October 2008) average benchmarks for websites who contribute to Bizak. Numbers are averages for Visitors, Revenues, Revenues per Visitor (RPV), Costs, Earnings, Earnings per Visitor (RPV) and Valuation. Bizak is categorized into industry, website type and revenue source. The chart below lists the averages for website type and revenue source.   

Internet Statistics

Bizak’s Revenue & Business Model

September 11, 2008 Leave a comment

Here is another slide from Vencorp’s Mashable Startup Showdown.  This video is a bit longer at 2:49 and this time around I’m discussing (in detail) Bizak’s current revenue model.  The discussion also talks about our plans to syndicate our data via XML (available soon for $4,000/month) and the integration of professional consulting services for both startups and investors.

For the high quality version of this video please click here.