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Posts Tagged ‘youtube’

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.

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YouTube Sponsored Videos

November 13, 2008 2 comments

Today Google & YouTube announced the launch of YouTube Sponsored Videos. Sponsored videos work almost exactly like Adwords (except its videos instead of text ads) and they’re along the right hand column of YouTube instead of at Google.com. This is definitely welcome news for non-viral video makers (aka Me!) who could use some additional exposure. The costs are on a CPC basis and like Adwords you can set a maximum daily budget.

While I think it’s good for video makers it might not be as popular with viewers who are use to a relatively ad free YouTube. Also sex videos are already clogging up the advertising space. Perform a search for a popular keyword and you’ll see sponsored results for sex and porn videos. This was bound to happen since they are video ads and not text ads, however YouTube definitely needs to monitor this before a backlash ensues. 

All in all it’s a good start for YouTube and I would imagine it’s an idea that Google has been contemplating releasing for many months. Why?  Because it’s not a new idea and the economy probably forced Google to release sponsored videos sooner than later to make up for a likely decline in online advertising spending.

One additional feature that I would like to see with the YouTube sponsored videos is the ability to also display my video along the Google Adwords column. I think it’s time for Adwords to start integrating videos within their text ads. Text ads were a huge revolution from the ghastly banner ads of the 1990s but now everything is about video and I think it’s time for Adwords to adapt.

It’s All About Execution

November 11, 2008 3 comments

As I wrote previously in “Creating Ideas Into Business” I talked about how TOKiBiz helps entrepreneurs execute their idea into an online application. I receive a lot of idea development requests via this site. Most of them aren’t significantly unique but how the entrepreneur plans to execute the idea is where the creativity comes into play. It’s the combination of this unique perspective coupled with the entrepreneur’s experience that makes the idea a good one! Ideas create new ideas.

Everyone has ideas but how to create those ideas into an internet application is the difficult part. Creating that idea into a solid brand and profitable business is the very difficult part.  

I respect people’s desire to be very protective of their thoughts but the truth is no one can execute it like you can. They way someone else views your idea is totally different than how you see it – plus the idea alone is not new or very complicated. As I wrote in “The Value of a Business Idea“:

For most ideas the initial value doesn’t necessarily come from the idea itself but the team behind that idea.  Many of us have similar ideas but the real value comes in how that idea is executed.  The more experience the team has the more likely they’ll have a successful execution – even if the idea isn’t earth shattering.  For many ideas aren’t earth shattering, however the most successful ones provide a simple solution to a common problem.

As Techcrunch reported there is a “Fourth YouTuber” who is looking to sue the company for stealing his idea. The reasons are given in the article but none of them are all that unique or even ones that didn’t exist before YouTube went live. The idea of posting videos on the web wasn’t a new one when YouTube went live in 2005. Revver, Brightcove, iFilm and others were around before 2005 but YouTube clicked with the masses. This doesn’t however mean YouTube is monetizing better than other sites – especially Hulu who is eating their lunch.

The “Fourth YouTuber” claims that he came up with the ideas for “video uploading, video commenting, agnostic video format, layout of the main video screen, awards and top listings “most watched”, star ratings, viewers, DMCA automation, video and audio fingerprinting.” Maybe he did but none of these ideas (or features) are all that unique. It’s stuff that developers casually talk about every day – if developers weren’t able to create ideas that originated from conversations then nothing would be built. We build upon what we read and hear about – again it’s the way individuals execute these ideas that make them unique. Take a dozen internet startups in twelve different industries and it’s likely that half of them integrate similar “Web 2.0” features.

DJ Burdick, founder of One Season, says “business is 5% idea, 95% execution” in “Ideas are Cheap.” One excellent point that DJ makes is “a lot of entrepreneurs are afraid to share their ideas”: 

“We’re in stealth mode” you’ll hear people say. I think that this approach in general is more harmful than good. Let’s throw all morals out the window for a second and assume that people are bad and won’t have any aversion to stealing your idea. Talented and smart people have better things going on than waiting around to steal your idea. Untalented and unoriginal people who may try to steal your idea won’t be able to execute it.

The less experienced someone is at turning a concept into a business, the more they seem to feel like the idea is everything.

If you stay in “stealth mode” as an entrepreneur you’re really only hurting yourself.

NDAs are thrown around so often. It seems like every conversation is prefaced with a mutual NDA. VCs won’t sign them for good reason. And I think in general they are really pointless. Source:  Ideas are Cheap

We’re all influenced by the same technology, which in return stimulates ideas that are similar to others. Someone with a financial background is going to execute the idea differently than someone with a retail background. It’s the experience that one has within the industry that he/she is executing in that increases the likelihood of success for that idea. As I wrote in “Getting An Idea Off the Ground“: 

I use to think that at some point ideas would eventually run dry.  Now I know this is definitely not the case for there are millions of ways to make our lives better.  Ways that we never thought of before and ways that couldn’t exist without the idea launched previous to ours.  For ideas keep building on the ideas of those who came before us.

President Barack Obama has Gone Viral

November 6, 2008 2 comments

If you’ve visited YouTube in the last two days you’ll see that Barack Obama is very popular.  Out of the top twenty most popular videos on YouTube,  Barack’s acceptance speech takes up seven of those slots – or 35% of the total.  In addition to the actual speech there are three additional videos about Barack Obama which means half of the 20 most popular videos on YouTube are about President Obama.  

According to Visible Measures (of Boston) there are currently over 500 versions of Obama’s speech on YouTube with views totaling 6.8 million times and counting.  

Obama Video Growth Chart

However, the actual online viewership of Obama’s speech is much greater than 6.8 million since these numbers don’t include views from news sites like CNN, ABC News and MSNBC – all of which have seen a massive spike in traffic since election day.  CNN.com alone had 27 million unique visitors on election night with 276 million page views.

Whether you like Obama or not you have to agree that he has sparked a massive interest in American politics that hasn’t been seen in decades, arguable not since JFK! At the very least this renewed interest in America is a very good thing.

YouTube Video Your Vote

November 3, 2008 Leave a comment

Thanks to PBS & YouTube, voters will be able to share their voting experience like never before.  Via Video Your Vote voters are encouraged to share a video of their voting experience and upload it to the special page on YouTube. Visitors to the site can view videos according to region and sort by Early Voting, Notable Voter, Voting Perspectives, Voter Intimidation, Polling Place Problems and Registration Problems. Also, “some of the most compelling videos will be included in PBS’s election coverage.”

This is citizen media like its never been seen before.  Combine Video Your Vote with Twitter Vote Report, Twitter’s Election 2008, blogs, online video and of course television and voters have a perspective (and participation) like never before.

Obama Wins (the Online Campaign)

November 3, 2008 1 comment

Back in June I wrote an article called the Political Web which compared Barack Obama’s web analytics to that of John McCain’s.  Back then Barack Obama and his supporters were clearly more adept at using the web to his advantage. Today Obama is still the clear winner, but McCain has made a large leap ahead of Barack in the number of Google results. My guess is Sarah Palin helped raise McCain’s Google results, especially considering she is searched for 41,327 times per day – more than Obama and McCain combined.    

The web analytics of Barack Obama & John McCain on June 24, 2008

Web Comparison of Barack Obama vs. John McCain

Web Comparison of Barack Obama vs. John McCain

The above numbers have changed a lot since June with Obama the winner in every field except for the Google Results.  Given that tomorrow is election day I would expect some of these numbers to more than double in one day alone – that shows you the power of the web in Election 2008. Twitter has Election 2008 providing a live feed of everything presidential. YouTube has Video Your Vote which encourages voters to upload videos of their voting experience.

More than ever the internet will be providing immediate feedback (both visually and textually) on the election. Who the new President is will be decided tomorrow but when it comes to who won the online campaign, Barack Obama is the clear winner.  Whether that translates into the presidency will be decided tomorrow night.

The web analytics of Barack Obama & John McCain on November 3, 2008

* The Blog Search results for both candidates are less than what they were in June. I would suspect this is more of a change in Google’s indexing rather than people deleting their postings.

Below is Compete’s graph on the comparison of the candidate’s site traffic.

Election Day Internet Traffic

Bootstrapped

October 13, 2008 1 comment

Well, last week was one heck of a week. Wall Street saw one of its worst weeks ever – actually the worst since 1933. After 8 consecutive days of decline the Dow lost 2,400 points, a 22.1% decrease in just 8 days.   Both the Dow 30 and the S&P 500 reached their all time high on October 9, 2007 closing at 14,164.53 and 1,565.15, respectively. The Dow is down 40% to 8451.19 and the S&P 500 is down 42.5 to 899.22, since October 9, 2007.  (Numbers as of October 10, 2008 close.)

Back in 2000 it was technology that drove the market down and this time around it’s the financials.  It will be interesting to see how much technology will be affected by this massive decline. The internet boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s was spurred by massive internet IPOs that saw stock prices skyrocket for companies with shaky foundations. Over the last 5 years there has been some massive internet valuations but most of them never went public – this could work to the internet’s advantage this time around. During the Web 2.0 era many of these startups were acquired or financed by established companies.  Of course some of these valuations were exorbitant, YouTube bought at $1.65 billion & Facebook valued at $15 billion, but they never IPOed.  Facebook has been flirting with an IPO over the last couple of years but given the current market they’re definitely not thinking about it now. One benefit of remaining in private hands is the ability to steer your company the way you see fit – not the way stockholders see fit which is often influenced by emotion.

One benefit of downturns is a startups ability (or need) to bootstrap operations, be creative and run a more efficient business model. Based on Bizak’s startup statistics over 40% of websites rely on advertising to generate revenues. Today is a good day in the markets but it will likely take years to get back to the levels we saw just weeks ago. The first department to feel this pinch will no doubt be the marketing department. Advertising across the web will decline affecting not only startups but also Google. For startups this will hopefully result in new & creative business models – hopefully more startups will generate product sales, services and subscription models. If a website can’t monetize their free content (advertising, Google Adsense) then they might be forced to charge (micro-payments maybe) for it. Adsense was already becoming worthless and these recent events will likely make it worse. 

Other startups will need to lower their burn rate to weather the uncertainty. I don’t think VC money will dry up as much as it did during the first half of the 2000s but it will probably take pause to access the trickle down effect. Right now the markets are running on a lot of emotion so we need time to pass before accessing the situation. Tough times tend to generate some of the most creative ideas – ideas that capitalize on the situation. Think of all the major web apps that you use today – Google, Myspace, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn.  All of these apps were post “internet bubble” products that were launched during a time when many thought the web was dead. They helped bring the tech sector back in force. This time around it’s the financials struggling and maybe it will be tech that pulls them out? 

All in all it’s a time to conserve and take the necessary steps to ensure the longevity of your application. According to Ron Conway, startups should heed the same advice he gave in 2000 which includes: 

  • If you are in a funding cycle, you should raise your funding as soon as possible and raise as much as possible.
  • You must aggressively examine and pursue M&A opportunities (unless you have over 12 months of cash reserves!) ro insure you have critical mass (including funding, customers, rolodex power, market
    share, cash, synergy, etc.).
  • Be realistic on valuations – they will fall so be ready and willing to co-operate.
  • Look for corporate partners to invest so you can raise more money. You should also consider a sale of your company to your corporate partners.
  • While it’s safe to say entrepreneurs have had negotiating leverage with the “down draft” in the market, the VC community will start exercising their leverage.

For me I have two startups and three more on the way. None of these applications are funded and all of my “salary” is in equity which will require me to wait another 1-3 years. During this time I’ll continue to launch new and exciting applications but I also need to prepare for the unexpected. To accomplish this I’ll likely join/partner with a well funded startup/company where we can equally benefit during this exciting time. Interested?  My resume and my bio.

It’s an exciting time because social and economic events create a snow ball of technological innovation. Innovation that can grow quickly and adapt efficiently. Whether this is the end of Web 2.0 or not doesn’t matter since no matter how you define it the next wave of innovation has just begun.