Getting outside the frothy bubble

Thanks to Geek and Poke for the cartoon.

When I was eating sushi and chatting with Jeremy Wright, CEO of B5 Media, and Don MacAskill, CEO of SmugMug, Don, at one point, pointed out that SmugMug had 150,000 paying customers and was profitable. I answered back “oh, I guess you aren’t a Web 2.0 company then” and we all had a big laugh.

But that laugh has been bothering me. Comedy works best when it’s reflecting a truth no one wants to admit in public. I’m noticing something in the valley. The newer companies are struggling to get noticed. Are struggling to figure out how to get outside the TechCrunch/TailRank/TechMeme/Reddit/Digg/Slashdot/Om/Scoble bubble.

I’ve been awfully cheery of late, but I’ve been comparing traffic notes with bloggers, journalists, CEOs, and other geeks and there simply isn’t that big a pool of traffic out there unless you can get some hot search term on Google or Yahoo.

Hint: what’s Jeremy’s most profitable blog? It ain’t about Ruby on Rails. It’s about Lindsay Lohan.

The thing I’m noticing is that outside the valley most people use search engines to find things. Google, Yahoo, AOL, MSN, etc.

How strong is that? Well, insiders tell me that one of the top search terms over at Yahoo is actually “Google.” And one of the top search terms at Google is “Yahoo.”

Why is that? Because most people outside the little tech bubble we live in every day don’t know how to use Web browsers. They have been trained to use the search box.

Not many people are talking about how to get outside of our little tech bubble. At least not in public.

But Joe Kraus, CEO of Jotspot, let slip that he’s hired a person who is just analyzing how good their keyword advertising is working. He wouldn’t tell me his favorite Google keyword. Why not? Cause that’s how he’s going to escape the bubble and provide a return on investment for his investors.

I wish we had a conference on “how to find customers outside of the tech bubble?” The entire industry could use some creative thinking there.

Other things that are catching my eye on this topic this morning? Renee Blodgett wrote a post about “Web 2.0 out of control” and Paul Graham, VC behind “Y Combinator,” which is a grouping of companies in the Web 2.0 space pulls out his best Richard Nixon impression in a TechCrunch interview and says “this is not a bubble.”

Of course it’s a bubble, but it’s not bubble 1.0 (actually, I’m agreeing with Paul’s interview, he did say it’s not a financial bubble).

Kraus, again, told me last week that “it’s a bubble.” He should know. He cofounded Excite at Home, which was one of the biggest companies in the last bubble. But, he detailed the differences in bubble 1.0 and this bubble.

First, retail investors are not involved. Translation: your mom and dad can’t buy stock in any of these Web 2.0 companies so they won’t be hurt this time around like they were last time. Web 2.0 companies aren’t going IPO. They aren’t getting big.

Second, the amount of money involved is still small. Yeah, the company I work for got $5.5 million. Digg. A couple of million. And so on. But you aren’t seeing the total pouring in of capital without any oversight like last time around. I disagree with Graham that stupid things aren’t being invested in, I’ve seen a few.

The capital being invested today is being done by professional investors who keep a great deal of oversight on their money, Kraus says. He also points out that these are people with billions under their watch, so $5 million invested is like when you or I go into Las Vegas and put $20 down on a Blackjack table. Yeah, it bothers us when we lose it, but it doesn’t really hurt. Patrick won’t go hungry if I lose $20.

So, what kind of bubble is it if it’s not an investment bubble? It’s a froth bubble. MacAskill has a post titled “Flickr doesn’t suck” where he details some of the froth. The biggest businesses, or the most profitable ones, don’t always get the PR and attention. Heck, working at Microsoft, I learned that in a pretty deep way.

It’s getting harder to pick good ideas out of the froth. Why? Cause there’s so many more things coming at all of us. Look at some of those Web 2.0 lists. They are hundreds of companies long. I remember back when blogging started taking off. The entire industry fit into one coffee house in Mountain View.

So, how do we pop the froth? I don’t know. I’m trying to listen to people outside of Silicon Valley, for one. For two I’m trying to find companies that normal everyday people are interested in (ie, non geeks) and I’m listening to the grapevine to find companies that are making money with the Web 2.0 business models (dating site Plenty of Fish, for instance, is making their payroll with Google ads and doing darn well at it).

How can we detect the difference between real businesses and froth? How do you?

I do like Paul’s point of making things that you want to use yourself. That’s how I come at this too. I try to point out when I actually use something instead of just am pointing to it.

UPDATE: I agree with Dead 2.0, mostly. One thing, though. Web 2.0 is largely funded by advertising. Advertising is an AUDIENCE business. So, when Paul Graham is telling his companies to worry about building audience first, that’s actually a good point of view to take. It’s like building a magazine. If you don’t have any readers you won’t get any advertisers.

Comments

  1. Robert, like JotSpot, we also have someone on staff who’s sole job is working on AdWords/AdSense/Overture/AdCenter keywords.

    Given our small size, that means 6% of our workfoce does nothing else. And truth be told, some of the rest of us also pitch in and help fairly regularly.

    Google keywords (and the rest to a lesser extent) are our 2nd biggest driver for signups. They’re that important.

    If you’re curious, our biggest (at least 60% of our growth, and possibly as high as 80% – there’s a gray area we don’t have enough insight about) driver is easily customer referrals.

    Don

  2. Robert, like JotSpot, we also have someone on staff who’s sole job is working on AdWords/AdSense/Overture/AdCenter keywords.

    Given our small size, that means 6% of our workfoce does nothing else. And truth be told, some of the rest of us also pitch in and help fairly regularly.

    Google keywords (and the rest to a lesser extent) are our 2nd biggest driver for signups. They’re that important.

    If you’re curious, our biggest (at least 60% of our growth, and possibly as high as 80% – there’s a gray area we don’t have enough insight about) driver is easily customer referrals.

    Don

  3. Robert,

    One of the reasons there’s so much froth is because it’s super easy to put a web-based business into motion now compared to 2000.

    Hosting is a commodity, and bandwidth and storage is cheap.
    Development tools are cheap and plentiful, whether Microsoft or LAMP based.

    Many web based businesses are started by people who treat them as a hobby or something that isn’t a make or break thing for them. Start up costs and maintenance costs are so low that it takes a long time, if ever, for a web business to shut down from lack of money.

    Look how Digg, Reddit, and Del.icio.us started. Small teams and low overhead. Good ideas will rise to top eventually, it just will take a bit longer unless the good ideas have people behind them who are good marketers and understand networking (the people kind, not the wires kind).

  4. Robert,

    One of the reasons there’s so much froth is because it’s super easy to put a web-based business into motion now compared to 2000.

    Hosting is a commodity, and bandwidth and storage is cheap.
    Development tools are cheap and plentiful, whether Microsoft or LAMP based.

    Many web based businesses are started by people who treat them as a hobby or something that isn’t a make or break thing for them. Start up costs and maintenance costs are so low that it takes a long time, if ever, for a web business to shut down from lack of money.

    Look how Digg, Reddit, and Del.icio.us started. Small teams and low overhead. Good ideas will rise to top eventually, it just will take a bit longer unless the good ideas have people behind them who are good marketers and understand networking (the people kind, not the wires kind).

  5. Larry: yeah, good ideas do get found pretty quickly even if run by people who don’t understand people networking. The word-of-mouth network is hyper efficient now.

  6. Paul: I don’t and the person who writes it doesn’t even like writing it, but she says it pays her rent so who am I to argue? It’s not the kind of thing I want to read, though.

  7. Paul: I don’t and the person who writes it doesn’t even like writing it, but she says it pays her rent so who am I to argue? It’s not the kind of thing I want to read, though.

  8. The web 2.0 bubble is incredibly apparent in my world – I talk to the people in the bubble, but also those outside (yep, I’m that Lohan blogger). The contrast is amazing. People outside the bubble may not even know what Gmail is (really, I’ve had to explain it).

    We make the assumption inside the bubble that it’s about being tech savvy or not. I really don’t think it is. It’s just the real world. And the needs are different. 99% of the world doesn’t need or want most of the Web 2.0 tools we build. Truth is most of what we build is for ourselves then we wonder why we don’t have the audience.

    You’re right, we need to turn the tables. Think about the audience first. I’ve got a marketing degree and my advice is to listen outside the bubble. Ask real people what frustrates them, what they want, and how you can simplify what they do. If you want a large audience, you have to sit back and realize most of your cool ideas are not for them.

  9. The web 2.0 bubble is incredibly apparent in my world – I talk to the people in the bubble, but also those outside (yep, I’m that Lohan blogger). The contrast is amazing. People outside the bubble may not even know what Gmail is (really, I’ve had to explain it).

    We make the assumption inside the bubble that it’s about being tech savvy or not. I really don’t think it is. It’s just the real world. And the needs are different. 99% of the world doesn’t need or want most of the Web 2.0 tools we build. Truth is most of what we build is for ourselves then we wonder why we don’t have the audience.

    You’re right, we need to turn the tables. Think about the audience first. I’ve got a marketing degree and my advice is to listen outside the bubble. Ask real people what frustrates them, what they want, and how you can simplify what they do. If you want a large audience, you have to sit back and realize most of your cool ideas are not for them.

  10. Yes, I read that on your blog, but do you believe everything people tell you about this crazy internet game?

    How can a blog without passion be successful?

  11. Yes, I read that on your blog, but do you believe everything people tell you about this crazy internet game?

    How can a blog without passion be successful?

  12. And to clear it up, the Lohan Groupie blog that I write has different traffic patterns than what you’d see on a tech blog. The search ranking is steadily increasing on Google, second page and PR 6, but traffic comes to it in ways you would not expect. And lots of it.

    Looking at Alexa and Google for a blog in the Entertainment world is like trying to judge wine based on its color instead of its taste.

  13. And to clear it up, the Lohan Groupie blog that I write has different traffic patterns than what you’d see on a tech blog. The search ranking is steadily increasing on Google, second page and PR 6, but traffic comes to it in ways you would not expect. And lots of it.

    Looking at Alexa and Google for a blog in the Entertainment world is like trying to judge wine based on its color instead of its taste.

  14. Everyone that went to college knows that to “pop” froth, you wipe your thumb on this side of your nose and put said thumb in the middle of your keg cup. Its pops a lot of the little bubbles in the middle and the rest start to pop after that.

    So I guess thats like Google sticking its big thumb on top of all the Calendar startups or web office offerings (or something bigger down the road that we haven’t thought of yet). Once group of little bubbles pop, others will pop along with it.

    …of course thats only if the “new” internet works the same as beer. Not sure if thats 100% the case, but I have seen a few people that looked quite drunk off of Web 2.0 lately.

  15. Everyone that went to college knows that to “pop” froth, you wipe your thumb on this side of your nose and put said thumb in the middle of your keg cup. Its pops a lot of the little bubbles in the middle and the rest start to pop after that.

    So I guess thats like Google sticking its big thumb on top of all the Calendar startups or web office offerings (or something bigger down the road that we haven’t thought of yet). Once group of little bubbles pop, others will pop along with it.

    …of course thats only if the “new” internet works the same as beer. Not sure if thats 100% the case, but I have seen a few people that looked quite drunk off of Web 2.0 lately.

  16. Arieanna: that’s a good point. The word of mouth network is really where the action is. Even for Smugmug (see Don’s comment above).

    Condor: a good blog (to me) is both passionate and authoritative, but getting a large audience doesn’t require either. Having good food isn’t a requirement for building a restaurant chain either, unfortunately. MacDonalds comes to mind.

  17. Arieanna: that’s a good point. The word of mouth network is really where the action is. Even for Smugmug (see Don’s comment above).

    Condor: a good blog (to me) is both passionate and authoritative, but getting a large audience doesn’t require either. Having good food isn’t a requirement for building a restaurant chain either, unfortunately. MacDonalds comes to mind.

  18. Mike: the drunkeness comes from Stormhoek. No bubbles in its wine. But they were serving a variety of beers at the TechCrunch party where there were a few drunk people. Luckily I was kept busy working at that party with my video camera.

  19. Mike: the drunkeness comes from Stormhoek. No bubbles in its wine. But they were serving a variety of beers at the TechCrunch party where there were a few drunk people. Luckily I was kept busy working at that party with my video camera.

  20. If bursting the Web 2.0 bubble does not have a negative impact on mainstream investors or the economy as a whole then how do we tell if and when the bubble has popped? Will small tech firms just decide to stop innovating because some analyst says it’s not worth the effort? I don’t think so. In fact a frothy tech economy might be a good thing. We might just need an enterprise to establish a system for identifying the best Web 2.0 feature providers as Amazon.com did with the long tail of books.

  21. If bursting the Web 2.0 bubble does not have a negative impact on mainstream investors or the economy as a whole then how do we tell if and when the bubble has popped? Will small tech firms just decide to stop innovating because some analyst says it’s not worth the effort? I don’t think so. In fact a frothy tech economy might be a good thing. We might just need an enterprise to establish a system for identifying the best Web 2.0 feature providers as Amazon.com did with the long tail of books.

  22. 1998: eyeballs, eyeballs, eyeballs…
    2006: AJAX, AJAX, AJAX…

    More “masterpieces”:
    - create AJAX-enabled podcasts
    - incentivize blogging network effects
    - integrate user-centred ad delivery
    - undefined citizen-media widgets
    - integrate rich-client tagclouds
    - post Cluetrain synergies
    - share standards-compliant folksonomies
    - beta-test A-list life-hacks
    - remix data-driven web services
    - post blogging blogospheres
    http://www.emptybottle.org/bullshit/

    Stop this madness! Solve real problems! There are lots of them… Create useful services!

  23. 1998: eyeballs, eyeballs, eyeballs…
    2006: AJAX, AJAX, AJAX…

    More “masterpieces”:
    - create AJAX-enabled podcasts
    - incentivize blogging network effects
    - integrate user-centred ad delivery
    - undefined citizen-media widgets
    - integrate rich-client tagclouds
    - post Cluetrain synergies
    - share standards-compliant folksonomies
    - beta-test A-list life-hacks
    - remix data-driven web services
    - post blogging blogospheres
    http://www.emptybottle.org/bullshit/

    Stop this madness! Solve real problems! There are lots of them… Create useful services!

  24. Sifting The Real Businesses From The Froth

    Today, Scoble has a post about what he is calling the “Froth Bubble“. Scoble points out that there’s a huge number of start-ups around at the moment, most of which will amount to nothing; and it’s a challenge to identify the re…

  25. “How can we detect the difference between real businesses and froth? How do you?”

    You who? Was that question directed at venture capitalists?

    Because the rest of us don’t care all that much. If someone wants to give me a free online word processor and spreadsheet and it serves all my needs, saves me from having to buy a server for my small company etc., then why should I care how or if they finance it all?

    Now I’ll answer that question: Because I want the free service to be around for a while and not shut down one day with all my data in it.

    The reality is that even when these companies fail, they don’t fail over night. Usually you have some warning signs, including outright notification that the free stuff is going to end soon. That’s a move they always make as a last ditch effort to pay the rent. Time enough for you to make other arrangements. “Hey they’re about to charge for the service. Abandon ship!”

    I don’t think end-users of web technology get burned all that bad, if at all during these bubble bursts. The people left holding the bag are creditors… office buildings with unpaid rent, CBS, NBC,ABC,etc that have run expensive ads for a company now working out of a PO box (again), credit card companies, and so on. Couldn’t happen to nicer folks by the way.

    One of the few forms of free entertainment us underclass long taaaaaaailers have is watching the big guys club each other to death. We hope it never ends, and if it does we’ll just go back to watching TV for a while.

  26. “How can we detect the difference between real businesses and froth? How do you?”

    You who? Was that question directed at venture capitalists?

    Because the rest of us don’t care all that much. If someone wants to give me a free online word processor and spreadsheet and it serves all my needs, saves me from having to buy a server for my small company etc., then why should I care how or if they finance it all?

    Now I’ll answer that question: Because I want the free service to be around for a while and not shut down one day with all my data in it.

    The reality is that even when these companies fail, they don’t fail over night. Usually you have some warning signs, including outright notification that the free stuff is going to end soon. That’s a move they always make as a last ditch effort to pay the rent. Time enough for you to make other arrangements. “Hey they’re about to charge for the service. Abandon ship!”

    I don’t think end-users of web technology get burned all that bad, if at all during these bubble bursts. The people left holding the bag are creditors… office buildings with unpaid rent, CBS, NBC,ABC,etc that have run expensive ads for a company now working out of a PO box (again), credit card companies, and so on. Couldn’t happen to nicer folks by the way.

    One of the few forms of free entertainment us underclass long taaaaaaailers have is watching the big guys club each other to death. We hope it never ends, and if it does we’ll just go back to watching TV for a while.

  27. Even if it isn’t a bubble for the credible reasons you outline, that doesn’t mean web 2.0 isn’t over-hyped. Too many people are talking about audiences and business models and not about meeting consumer needs and it is only from the latter that you can expect cashflow to follow.

  28. Even if it isn’t a bubble for the credible reasons you outline, that doesn’t mean web 2.0 isn’t over-hyped. Too many people are talking about audiences and business models and not about meeting consumer needs and it is only from the latter that you can expect cashflow to follow.

  29. Heh. Need to focus on getting eyeballs. Advertising-based revenue models.

    Sounds eerily familiar to web 1.0. Yet you’re convinced it’s different this time. Goodbye.

  30. Heh. Need to focus on getting eyeballs. Advertising-based revenue models.

    Sounds eerily familiar to web 1.0. Yet you’re convinced it’s different this time. Goodbye.

  31. Robert

    Good post. really.

    one point: I believe that Web 2.0 is driven by advertising because that’s the path of least resistance. There’s no need to sit down and actually figure out how to sell a product to customers or relate revenues to the product in anyway – just generate “buzz” and get money from Google.

    In an advertising driven model, the product *is* the associated marketing, hence the requirement for parties, a-listers, groupies, etc. It’s strangely much like how I perceive the process to value “products” (actors, directors, etc) in the movie and TV industry ….

    Booger

  32. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest the froth is because there is too much me too. Ajax is not the problem. Creativity is not the problem. Doing cool for cool sake is the problem. Understanding the size of a market, the potential customers, existing solutions and possible new products – those are the things that a person should ask before venturing out on a new company/product. Look at the list of Dead2.0 and the other web2.0 lists and give an honest assessment as to which ones make you say “oh, that’s a problem I have.”

    Napster is great for this. Before Napster, it was a total pain to find and get MP3s. Flickr too solves a problem in that is makes is remarkably easier to put your photos out for other people. Many of the others out there…honestly, what are the real problems that some of these other companies are solving?

    The one thing from the last bubble (and I had a spectacular set of seats for that implosion) that I hated hearing was “you just don’t get it.” I’m starting to hear more and more of that when I hear new business ideas and suggest that perhaps there’s nothing interesting there. That, to me anyway, is a sign of that we are in a bubble.

    What is the problem you are solving? Ask the neighbor of your parents if they have that problem. Then ask some kids at a movie theater. Then some of your college/grad school friends who did not major in a technology field. If they say you will be solving a problem for them, you are on to something.

  33. Robert

    Good post. really.

    one point: I believe that Web 2.0 is driven by advertising because that’s the path of least resistance. There’s no need to sit down and actually figure out how to sell a product to customers or relate revenues to the product in anyway – just generate “buzz” and get money from Google.

    In an advertising driven model, the product *is* the associated marketing, hence the requirement for parties, a-listers, groupies, etc. It’s strangely much like how I perceive the process to value “products” (actors, directors, etc) in the movie and TV industry ….

    Booger

  34. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest the froth is because there is too much me too. Ajax is not the problem. Creativity is not the problem. Doing cool for cool sake is the problem. Understanding the size of a market, the potential customers, existing solutions and possible new products – those are the things that a person should ask before venturing out on a new company/product. Look at the list of Dead2.0 and the other web2.0 lists and give an honest assessment as to which ones make you say “oh, that’s a problem I have.”

    Napster is great for this. Before Napster, it was a total pain to find and get MP3s. Flickr too solves a problem in that is makes is remarkably easier to put your photos out for other people. Many of the others out there…honestly, what are the real problems that some of these other companies are solving?

    The one thing from the last bubble (and I had a spectacular set of seats for that implosion) that I hated hearing was “you just don’t get it.” I’m starting to hear more and more of that when I hear new business ideas and suggest that perhaps there’s nothing interesting there. That, to me anyway, is a sign of that we are in a bubble.

    What is the problem you are solving? Ask the neighbor of your parents if they have that problem. Then ask some kids at a movie theater. Then some of your college/grad school friends who did not major in a technology field. If they say you will be solving a problem for them, you are on to something.

  35. Robert – you’ve said on many an occasion that you’re a geek. Why then should it be a surprise if you don’t reach the non-geek audience? This I think is where Hugh McLeod scores in spades. He reaches out to a geek audience to detect a buzz but that’s not where his ultimate focus lays. And he’s playing with ideas that are ripe for innovation. Tech is intrinsically innovative but there’s always been the ‘oh that’s geek stuff’ image. Changing the perception, concentrating on the UI, making it all intuitive has to go a long way.

    I think the industry can learn a great deal from the work being done at FreshBooks, where a simple problem, which has, traditionally been difficult to solve, is chugging along very nicely. It was conceived and directed by users. Not geeks or, god forbid, accountants (of which, as you know, I’m one)

    That’s where the geek learning, if I can use that term, comes in. IMO.

  36. Robert – you’ve said on many an occasion that you’re a geek. Why then should it be a surprise if you don’t reach the non-geek audience? This I think is where Hugh McLeod scores in spades. He reaches out to a geek audience to detect a buzz but that’s not where his ultimate focus lays. And he’s playing with ideas that are ripe for innovation. Tech is intrinsically innovative but there’s always been the ‘oh that’s geek stuff’ image. Changing the perception, concentrating on the UI, making it all intuitive has to go a long way.

    I think the industry can learn a great deal from the work being done at FreshBooks, where a simple problem, which has, traditionally been difficult to solve, is chugging along very nicely. It was conceived and directed by users. Not geeks or, god forbid, accountants (of which, as you know, I’m one)

    That’s where the geek learning, if I can use that term, comes in. IMO.

  37. Differentiate between froth and businesses? Businesses have a business plan, marketing plan, products, customers, revenue, traffic, etc.

    Froth says “I just need 1% of X” and “It’s like Flickr + YouTube” and “we’re planning to do Office, but online” and “our search will revolutionize the Y industry”…

    Without the core tenets of business, any idea or feature is just that – an idea or a feature.

  38. Differentiate between froth and businesses? Businesses have a business plan, marketing plan, products, customers, revenue, traffic, etc.

    Froth says “I just need 1% of X” and “It’s like Flickr + YouTube” and “we’re planning to do Office, but online” and “our search will revolutionize the Y industry”…

    Without the core tenets of business, any idea or feature is just that – an idea or a feature.

  39. I’m sure that most Web 2.0 companies have yet to get anywhere near critical mass because they assume that the average Joe knows how to use all the stuff on offer. Even the best assume too much – so progress will be slow. Which is disappointing for a market segment that offer lots of services cheaply to occasional users but hasn’t a clue on how to build mutually beneficial relationships – must use services in return for payment.

    So they will either remain in ‘beta-land’ or die.

  40. I’m sure that most Web 2.0 companies have yet to get anywhere near critical mass because they assume that the average Joe knows how to use all the stuff on offer. Even the best assume too much – so progress will be slow. Which is disappointing for a market segment that offer lots of services cheaply to occasional users but hasn’t a clue on how to build mutually beneficial relationships – must use services in return for payment.

    So they will either remain in ‘beta-land’ or die.

  41. “… Are struggling to figure out how to get outside the TechCrunch/TailRank/TechMeme/Reddit/Digg/Slashdot/Om/Scoble bubble.”

    Whoah…… Tailrank is part of the bubble! Sweet! :-P

  42. “… Are struggling to figure out how to get outside the TechCrunch/TailRank/TechMeme/Reddit/Digg/Slashdot/Om/Scoble bubble.”

    Whoah…… Tailrank is part of the bubble! Sweet! :-P

  43. Ah, Scoble, I love this post. For months I’ve been thinking that it must’ve been the fact that I’m not in the valley, or in America, or even anywhere near the tech epicenter that caused me not to get why this ‘web 2.0′ (to pick a name) thing was important. Because apart from me, and I’m a geek and I love these things, noone else around me is giving a shit.

    But it’s not that I’m weird, it’s that all the other people who’se blogs I read are stuck in the bubble. Okay, I can live with that :)

    I really don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, but I’m a fish out of water. I study communications (the oldfashioned kind, where you talk to each other _without_ the cellphone) and as such all my friends are serious non-geeks. They don’t understand blogs, or AJAX, or social content, or what not. They don’t understand the things I like on the ‘net. They get Hyves (the dutch MySpace equivelant), some of them get Flickr. But that’s about as far as it goes. So until a fellow student of mine comes up to me ranting on about a web 2.0 company he just got MSN’d about, I’ll just mellow out a bit. Things aren’t happening as rapidly as I thought they were, after all.

  44. Ah, Scoble, I love this post. For months I’ve been thinking that it must’ve been the fact that I’m not in the valley, or in America, or even anywhere near the tech epicenter that caused me not to get why this ‘web 2.0′ (to pick a name) thing was important. Because apart from me, and I’m a geek and I love these things, noone else around me is giving a shit.

    But it’s not that I’m weird, it’s that all the other people who’se blogs I read are stuck in the bubble. Okay, I can live with that :)

    I really don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, but I’m a fish out of water. I study communications (the oldfashioned kind, where you talk to each other _without_ the cellphone) and as such all my friends are serious non-geeks. They don’t understand blogs, or AJAX, or social content, or what not. They don’t understand the things I like on the ‘net. They get Hyves (the dutch MySpace equivelant), some of them get Flickr. But that’s about as far as it goes. So until a fellow student of mine comes up to me ranting on about a web 2.0 company he just got MSN’d about, I’ll just mellow out a bit. Things aren’t happening as rapidly as I thought they were, after all.

  45. “How can we detect the difference between real businesses and froth? How do you?””
    ———-
    Instead of hangin with geeks, stop in on commoners. As expressed earlier, most don’t know about Google apps, all they know is search.
    —–
    Next time you take a road trip, instead of calling ahead for a geek get together, just roll into town and hit their local coffee/bars/clubs and strike up conversations. When you go to Montana, don’t meet with the local geeks, meet with “real, every-day” people.
    —-
    It’s not real hard to determine if there’s a bubble. Look at the last one, ask the locals about which ones they have heard of, discard the other thousand.

  46. “How can we detect the difference between real businesses and froth? How do you?””
    ———-
    Instead of hangin with geeks, stop in on commoners. As expressed earlier, most don’t know about Google apps, all they know is search.
    —–
    Next time you take a road trip, instead of calling ahead for a geek get together, just roll into town and hit their local coffee/bars/clubs and strike up conversations. When you go to Montana, don’t meet with the local geeks, meet with “real, every-day” people.
    —-
    It’s not real hard to determine if there’s a bubble. Look at the last one, ask the locals about which ones they have heard of, discard the other thousand.

  47. Robert, as usual, I write to you with tough love.

    The cognitive dissonance of your posts is getting hard to ignore.

    You revisit Channel 9. (As do I.) You lust after Vista RC1. (Me too.)

    And it’s somehow a joke to you that no Web 2.0 company makes any money.

    But you work for one of them.

    Microsoft makes more money — earnings as a percent of operating cost — than any other company on the planet.

    You need to get your ass back up to Seattle while they still remember who you are.

  48. Robert, as usual, I write to you with tough love.

    The cognitive dissonance of your posts is getting hard to ignore.

    You revisit Channel 9. (As do I.) You lust after Vista RC1. (Me too.)

    And it’s somehow a joke to you that no Web 2.0 company makes any money.

    But you work for one of them.

    Microsoft makes more money — earnings as a percent of operating cost — than any other company on the planet.

    You need to get your ass back up to Seattle while they still remember who you are.

  49. Last week, Guy Kawasaki linked to a Google video of a panel discussion he moderated. On it was the Carmen San Diego guy, Lauren Elliott, now of Personal News Network. PNN is trying to market to mom, dad and grandma. This excited me. I thought finally, someone is going to address the folks outside the teen (MySpace) crowd and the early adopters. A group that may not even use Google or Yahoo.

    Unfortunately, Elliott revealed nothing or is frustrated by the process of reaching this group outside of running USA Today spreads and advertising on the big four networks. For all I know, that is PNN’s plan.

    Let’s take the small business owner who doesn’t have a web site, which there are many of in western Michigan. How do you reach this group? Google adwords won’t help. Chances are if they don’t even have a one page brochure-styled web page, they’re not browsing the web much. Door-to-door?

    Or, do you write-off this group and say, ‘Hey, maybe you don’t get it but your kids will.’ And, with luck, you can pass your business on before it is margilized by Wal-Mart or Starbucks or some large regional player.

    Do web and web-related businesses geared to help these types of companies simply die?

    Hugh McLeod had a great line in his interview with Seth Godin: “The best ideas are always last to reach the people who need them the most.”

    How do we reach them, Hugh? Robert? Lauren Elliott?

  50. Last week, Guy Kawasaki linked to a Google video of a panel discussion he moderated. On it was the Carmen San Diego guy, Lauren Elliott, now of Personal News Network. PNN is trying to market to mom, dad and grandma. This excited me. I thought finally, someone is going to address the folks outside the teen (MySpace) crowd and the early adopters. A group that may not even use Google or Yahoo.

    Unfortunately, Elliott revealed nothing or is frustrated by the process of reaching this group outside of running USA Today spreads and advertising on the big four networks. For all I know, that is PNN’s plan.

    Let’s take the small business owner who doesn’t have a web site, which there are many of in western Michigan. How do you reach this group? Google adwords won’t help. Chances are if they don’t even have a one page brochure-styled web page, they’re not browsing the web much. Door-to-door?

    Or, do you write-off this group and say, ‘Hey, maybe you don’t get it but your kids will.’ And, with luck, you can pass your business on before it is margilized by Wal-Mart or Starbucks or some large regional player.

    Do web and web-related businesses geared to help these types of companies simply die?

    Hugh McLeod had a great line in his interview with Seth Godin: “The best ideas are always last to reach the people who need them the most.”

    How do we reach them, Hugh? Robert? Lauren Elliott?

  51. Robert,

    I feel uncomfortable about your use of the word “froth” here and in the last post. They are very different things – the previous post was a conference on how existing companies should adopt Web 2.0 strategies, and here you use it to describe Web 2.0 companies.

    Secondly, I think you are either not very ambitious about PodTech, or else don’t understand the nature of a bubble. Yes, the money is small, but if PodTech gets 5 million and gets quadruples that in their share of the market, someone else will come along and say “we can outdo PodTech, but need 20 million” and so on and so on. A company making a profit in a market sector will attract other companies and the amount of money to enter that market or continue to grow in that market will grow and grow and grow. That’s the nature of bubbles – they are great and resilient when small but they grow and grow until they pop.

  52. Thanks for the shout-out Robert. I must agree with going to Joe Kraus for good insight, he’s a bright fella. I just can’t figure out what he’s doing with the whole wiki thing…

    I will tell you this, the secret keyword?

    Rosebud.

  53. Thanks for the shout-out Robert. I must agree with going to Joe Kraus for good insight, he’s a bright fella. I just can’t figure out what he’s doing with the whole wiki thing…

    I will tell you this, the secret keyword?

    Rosebud.

  54. Robert,

    I feel uncomfortable about your use of the word “froth” here and in the last post. They are very different things – the previous post was a conference on how existing companies should adopt Web 2.0 strategies, and here you use it to describe Web 2.0 companies.

    Secondly, I think you are either not very ambitious about PodTech, or else don’t understand the nature of a bubble. Yes, the money is small, but if PodTech gets 5 million and gets quadruples that in their share of the market, someone else will come along and say “we can outdo PodTech, but need 20 million” and so on and so on. A company making a profit in a market sector will attract other companies and the amount of money to enter that market or continue to grow in that market will grow and grow and grow. That’s the nature of bubbles – they are great and resilient when small but they grow and grow until they pop.

  55. [...] I’d note Scoble also made a comparison to the gambling side of things, you’re right about that Robert, Web 2.0 can be like playing blackjack (and yes, the amount being invested in Web 2.0 is a lot smaller than Web 1.0, so the crash won’t be as big nor deep), although I’d think given YCombinator’s investments, Craps or Two Up would be better comparisons, given that both games don’t necessarily rely on skill, they are more games of luck, and betting on a Web 2.0 company without a business plan is a game of luck. [...]

  56. Kudos to Hugh MacLeod’s GapingVoid for pointing to your excellent post. I’m one reasonable example of those millions of non-technologically advanced users of the Internet.

    Web 2.0 is a label, possibly meaning to suggest something to some potentially much smaller audience group. As a contrast, “beer” is another label, meaning something to a much greater audience.

    In March of this year, I began researching the net in an effort to understand the social phenomena giving rise to Blogs (circa 1995), YouTube (much more recent and faster acceptance), up-to-the-minute TechCrunch news of new tech offerings, Digg as a participatory Tech News aggregator et al.

    The “froth” is not important to me whereas innovation/fresh original ideas (that work are very important. There also exists so much copying of ideas… Yuk! And yet, copying is rather to be expected.

    At the same time, there exists so much of use to so many people. For example: Hugh MacLeod is truly creative and original. Tara Hunt is so passionate and enthusiastic (even if you disagree). YouTube is used by so many people to share and connect with others, all with their specific interests. PBWiki, Blogger, GoogleVideo, GooglePages, Gmail et al… Mostly all free to users (excepting the presence of ads).

    Peter Drucker observed that it is difficult if not impossible to appropriately evaluate societal changes in real time, rather it takes time to see the picture and to reasonably understand the impacts on and for society (nationally and on a global scale). Nonetheless I feel a sense of optimism because of the the tremendous amount of creativity and effort being expended by millions of people around the work (and facilitated by the World Wide Web).

    Business models and the economic impacts for people and organizations. Although I think that companies are many times spending foolishly on advertising (including Internet advertising spend), various individuals and people are earning a little money (sometimes not so little). Hugh MacLeod and the Global Micro Brand concept as evidenced through his efforts on behalf of Stormhoek may hold great potential for the future. The young fellow who came up with the Million Dollar Homepage was truly original and creative… Imagine selling pixels! What fun! And, he made a million dollars in less than six months!

    I empathize with your angst in attempting to find the meaning amongst all this creativity and effort. Somehow I sense that you will find an answer, although it is unlikely that the answer will come from VC’s or the copycats. Keep reaching out, as I for one (of many) appreciate and applaud your efforts.

  57. Kudos to Hugh MacLeod’s GapingVoid for pointing to your excellent post. I’m one reasonable example of those millions of non-technologically advanced users of the Internet.

    Web 2.0 is a label, possibly meaning to suggest something to some potentially much smaller audience group. As a contrast, “beer” is another label, meaning something to a much greater audience.

    In March of this year, I began researching the net in an effort to understand the social phenomena giving rise to Blogs (circa 1995), YouTube (much more recent and faster acceptance), up-to-the-minute TechCrunch news of new tech offerings, Digg as a participatory Tech News aggregator et al.

    The “froth” is not important to me whereas innovation/fresh original ideas (that work are very important. There also exists so much copying of ideas… Yuk! And yet, copying is rather to be expected.

    At the same time, there exists so much of use to so many people. For example: Hugh MacLeod is truly creative and original. Tara Hunt is so passionate and enthusiastic (even if you disagree). YouTube is used by so many people to share and connect with others, all with their specific interests. PBWiki, Blogger, GoogleVideo, GooglePages, Gmail et al… Mostly all free to users (excepting the presence of ads).

    Peter Drucker observed that it is difficult if not impossible to appropriately evaluate societal changes in real time, rather it takes time to see the picture and to reasonably understand the impacts on and for society (nationally and on a global scale). Nonetheless I feel a sense of optimism because of the the tremendous amount of creativity and effort being expended by millions of people around the work (and facilitated by the World Wide Web).

    Business models and the economic impacts for people and organizations. Although I think that companies are many times spending foolishly on advertising (including Internet advertising spend), various individuals and people are earning a little money (sometimes not so little). Hugh MacLeod and the Global Micro Brand concept as evidenced through his efforts on behalf of Stormhoek may hold great potential for the future. The young fellow who came up with the Million Dollar Homepage was truly original and creative… Imagine selling pixels! What fun! And, he made a million dollars in less than six months!

    I empathize with your angst in attempting to find the meaning amongst all this creativity and effort. Somehow I sense that you will find an answer, although it is unlikely that the answer will come from VC’s or the copycats. Keep reaching out, as I for one (of many) appreciate and applaud your efforts.

  58. Robert:

    Any time you use phrases like:

    “Because most people outside the little tech bubble we live in every day don’t know how to use Web browsers. They have been trained to use the search box”

    You’ve lost me in what you are talking about. If you make assumptions like that you are destined to be sucked into the collapse of the next bubble. Stop making generalization and start making product. There is a market out there but beware it may be somewhere in the long tail.

  59. Robert:

    Any time you use phrases like:

    “Because most people outside the little tech bubble we live in every day don’t know how to use Web browsers. They have been trained to use the search box”

    You’ve lost me in what you are talking about. If you make assumptions like that you are destined to be sucked into the collapse of the next bubble. Stop making generalization and start making product. There is a market out there but beware it may be somewhere in the long tail.

  60. How long was Mosaic around before anyone that wasn’t a supergeek used it? How long was Google around before Joe Average started using it instead of AOL or Yahoo? How long was web-based mail around before typical users started using it instead of Outlook?

    These things are always embraced by the geeks and tech-savy first. The products that rise to the top in the geekosphere then get a chance to filter out to the mundanosphere. It’s a slow process. Plenty of people out there still don’t really understand how to use a computer. It’s a bit much to expect them to embrace wikis and RSS.

  61. How long was Mosaic around before anyone that wasn’t a supergeek used it? How long was Google around before Joe Average started using it instead of AOL or Yahoo? How long was web-based mail around before typical users started using it instead of Outlook?

    These things are always embraced by the geeks and tech-savy first. The products that rise to the top in the geekosphere then get a chance to filter out to the mundanosphere. It’s a slow process. Plenty of people out there still don’t really understand how to use a computer. It’s a bit much to expect them to embrace wikis and RSS.

  62. Business has always gone through a boom/bust cylcle. What is different now is the Internet and related technologies lowered the barrier to starting a company, resulting in a higher ratio of attempts to successes.

    When we were in the midst of the last bubble I don’t think anyone could see where we’d end up. We crashed and were left with a handful of really useful businesses (google, ebay, amazon, expedia, craigslist, itunes, and the like). Now the second time around we’ll have another bubble which may burst depending on how well it is managed and financed, and a few years from now there’ll be another handful of really useful businesses and a lot of dead ones.

    The big difference with this Web 2.0 cylcle is it seems limited to a few thousand people who seem desparate to be part of the next big thing, even if it’s just the next little thing. I’ve been in the software industry many years and I really don’t understand most of what you talk about any more. Maybe that’s okay – you can figure it out and then I’ll use what comes out the other end. But don’t fool yourself that what’s there now is important to anyone outside your small circle right now.

  63. Business has always gone through a boom/bust cylcle. What is different now is the Internet and related technologies lowered the barrier to starting a company, resulting in a higher ratio of attempts to successes.

    When we were in the midst of the last bubble I don’t think anyone could see where we’d end up. We crashed and were left with a handful of really useful businesses (google, ebay, amazon, expedia, craigslist, itunes, and the like). Now the second time around we’ll have another bubble which may burst depending on how well it is managed and financed, and a few years from now there’ll be another handful of really useful businesses and a lot of dead ones.

    The big difference with this Web 2.0 cylcle is it seems limited to a few thousand people who seem desparate to be part of the next big thing, even if it’s just the next little thing. I’ve been in the software industry many years and I really don’t understand most of what you talk about any more. Maybe that’s okay – you can figure it out and then I’ll use what comes out the other end. But don’t fool yourself that what’s there now is important to anyone outside your small circle right now.

  64. Saul into Paul, eh? Aboutdarnedtime. ;) Wave to us snarky toads, that have been here all along. You know it’s pretty bad when even the hypester-bobbleheads can’t dismiss reality away.

  65. Saul into Paul, eh? Aboutdarnedtime. ;) Wave to us snarky toads, that have been here all along. You know it’s pretty bad when even the hypester-bobbleheads can’t dismiss reality away.

  66. We crashed and were left with a handful of really useful businesses

    Never mind that whole, GREATEST LOSS OF WEALTH in human history part, all hail the Oligarchies. And then the thousands of Enronish companies playing the new economy for a fraud racket, add that to the bill.

  67. We crashed and were left with a handful of really useful businesses

    Never mind that whole, GREATEST LOSS OF WEALTH in human history part, all hail the Oligarchies. And then the thousands of Enronish companies playing the new economy for a fraud racket, add that to the bill.

  68. [...] Robert would like the froth about Web 2.0 to be over.  Does this mean everyone just start aiming to hit the main stream blogging topics?  Hmmm – Technorati seems to be recommending pinky as one of the top 5 things everyone’s searching about right now – but I’m sure Technorati’s user base isn’t main stream.   What are the top 10 searches on google right now? [...]

  69. [...] Now I have to ask WHAT IN THE HELL IS WEB 2.0 ?????? You know Robert comments on it like daily but you never know what in the hell he is talking about. We hear all this crap about how Web 2.0 is coming and that its going to change everything or how Web 2.0 is here and we need to work at becoming part of the Web 2.0 experience. Still what the hell is the Web 2.0 ? When I hear about it, it’s like I get this feeling that I missing something, that everything in the room is talking about this Web 2.0 and I am in the corner going WTF. Based on what I can gather from the community Web 2.0 is just bring the web to a more friendly standard, now I have to ask; How is that different from Web 1.0 ? So what we have things like AJAXS and better communication and maybe more web applications but that’s something that’s been going on long before this Web 2.0 garbage. So I have to agree with my lackluster open source fow here in that Robert needs to lay off the Web 2.0 crack… People with your sort of addiction can get help. Web 2.0 offers NOTHING to the internet that has not already been a vision of Web 1.0 the fact that you continue to rid the smoke and mirrors of this garbage just makes me sick. I will continue to read Robert’s blog but the level of respect I have for him is down near NIL and maybe someday he will see that his so called Web 2.0 vision is not thing but Smoke and Mirrors that is shading out the corporate world that is trying to make a good buck which I always believed Robert was watching about for the little guy. Filed under: Life — @ 5:36 pm | Permalink [...]

  70. About Rentalio

    Rentalio is something that reminds me on childhood when my family packed suitcases and started journary to the south looking for place to stay next week or two. Those are one of the best memories I have. But as a child I have noticed how stressful was for my parents to find decent place for rent.

    Rentalio is there to make trip planning easier. With Rentalio we want to give you an insight into places you plan to visit and directs you to web resources where you can actually rent properties or contact vacation rentals owners. Whole world is in front of you. Do not be affright to research. Dream your next vacation at Rentalio.

    Rentalio use modern technologies like XML to getter data for experience on site. Many friends told us that Rentalio is nice web 2.0 site. Rentalio is not started to get on front pages of TechCrunch, TailRank, TechMeme, Reddit, Digg, Slashdot or famous bloggers like Scoble. We did not raise any venture capital, running whole project from our pocket money.

    Rentalio do not need buzz and army of bloggers saying it rocks or it sucks. We need feedback from people who actually use it. If you are going to say that we should put some AJAX on our site or integrate a maps API, weather API, local news RSS feeds, Flickr images or put social elements on Rentalio you can keep your oppionion for yourself. We know about all of that but what is the point?

    As a rule of thumb if you do not understand 80% of previous paragraph, or really understand 100%, please contact us and tell us your oppinion.

    Rentalio Team


    OK Here it is now published at our site. Thank you Robert for great insight!

  71. About Rentalio

    Rentalio is something that reminds me on childhood when my family packed suitcases and started journary to the south looking for place to stay next week or two. Those are one of the best memories I have. But as a child I have noticed how stressful was for my parents to find decent place for rent.

    Rentalio is there to make trip planning easier. With Rentalio we want to give you an insight into places you plan to visit and directs you to web resources where you can actually rent properties or contact vacation rentals owners. Whole world is in front of you. Do not be affright to research. Dream your next vacation at Rentalio.

    Rentalio use modern technologies like XML to getter data for experience on site. Many friends told us that Rentalio is nice web 2.0 site. Rentalio is not started to get on front pages of TechCrunch, TailRank, TechMeme, Reddit, Digg, Slashdot or famous bloggers like Scoble. We did not raise any venture capital, running whole project from our pocket money.

    Rentalio do not need buzz and army of bloggers saying it rocks or it sucks. We need feedback from people who actually use it. If you are going to say that we should put some AJAX on our site or integrate a maps API, weather API, local news RSS feeds, Flickr images or put social elements on Rentalio you can keep your oppionion for yourself. We know about all of that but what is the point?

    As a rule of thumb if you do not understand 80% of previous paragraph, or really understand 100%, please contact us and tell us your oppinion.

    Rentalio Team


    OK Here it is now published at our site. Thank you Robert for great insight!

  72. Good points. We are also now in a media bubble. It captures the spirit to show two kids on the cover of a magazine and say they are now worth millions just months after starting a website. Suddenly, every other kid in the country wants to hop on board. And to your point, there does seem to be an ‘insiders’ bubble forming, perhaps it is simply the echo chamber effect.

    But there is nothing wrong with that. When people talked about the real estate bubble in 2005, it was because fundamentals were seriously out of whack. Large institutions to small investors were setting themselves up for finanacial ruin. That bubble represented a danger to society – not only financially, but socially. As much as I want to see housing prices become more reasonable, I have not desire to see a small family lose their home because they took out a mortgage they couldn’t handle on a house they couldn’t afford. These stats start colliding with divorce rates, and other things that you wouldn’t think are related.

    The tech bubble, while fun to talk about, is not like this for the reason’s you mentioned. There is a landgrab going on, there is some sensationalism going on, and people are captured in a spirit of success.

  73. Good points. We are also now in a media bubble. It captures the spirit to show two kids on the cover of a magazine and say they are now worth millions just months after starting a website. Suddenly, every other kid in the country wants to hop on board. And to your point, there does seem to be an ‘insiders’ bubble forming, perhaps it is simply the echo chamber effect.

    But there is nothing wrong with that. When people talked about the real estate bubble in 2005, it was because fundamentals were seriously out of whack. Large institutions to small investors were setting themselves up for finanacial ruin. That bubble represented a danger to society – not only financially, but socially. As much as I want to see housing prices become more reasonable, I have not desire to see a small family lose their home because they took out a mortgage they couldn’t handle on a house they couldn’t afford. These stats start colliding with divorce rates, and other things that you wouldn’t think are related.

    The tech bubble, while fun to talk about, is not like this for the reason’s you mentioned. There is a landgrab going on, there is some sensationalism going on, and people are captured in a spirit of success.

  74. How to tell a real business from the froth. Determine of the service solves a business (or consumer) problem. If the service fills a need, makes something simpiler, or is entertaining people will continue to use it. There are so many web sites/services that keep popping up, most people will use them for a short while when they are first discovered either by media, linking, blog article, etc. If the site doesn’t have meet the need of the new user, the user will go somewere else which does. There are so many new sites pooping up that a person doesn’t have time to use them all, or the site doesn’t stand out enough to be remembered over a longer term by the user.

    Remember Protopage? I would like to see how many people are still using it compared to when it was first discovered and covered by blogs, podcasts, etc. That’s a site that really appeals to the tech crowd, and I bet the majority barely remember it.

  75. How to tell a real business from the froth. Determine of the service solves a business (or consumer) problem. If the service fills a need, makes something simpiler, or is entertaining people will continue to use it. There are so many web sites/services that keep popping up, most people will use them for a short while when they are first discovered either by media, linking, blog article, etc. If the site doesn’t have meet the need of the new user, the user will go somewere else which does. There are so many new sites pooping up that a person doesn’t have time to use them all, or the site doesn’t stand out enough to be remembered over a longer term by the user.

    Remember Protopage? I would like to see how many people are still using it compared to when it was first discovered and covered by blogs, podcasts, etc. That’s a site that really appeals to the tech crowd, and I bet the majority barely remember it.

  76. Scoble, I’m impressed. Some lucidity for once. Great post that asks a lot of insightful questions. Isn’t a bit ironic, however, that you work for company smack in the middle of this supposed bubble? What are PodTech’s plans to avoid the bubble? What happens if the ad revenue never materializes? Will the quality of your content be something good enough people will actually PAY for? Do you plan to have PodTech lead by example?

  77. Scoble, I’m impressed. Some lucidity for once. Great post that asks a lot of insightful questions. Isn’t a bit ironic, however, that you work for company smack in the middle of this supposed bubble? What are PodTech’s plans to avoid the bubble? What happens if the ad revenue never materializes? Will the quality of your content be something good enough people will actually PAY for? Do you plan to have PodTech lead by example?

  78. I would suggest that while we are transitioning over the next few years, most of the mainstream does not use the computer to the extent we all do. In other-words, beyond scouring for a picture of Suri, the MSM audiences are not out there yet taking action.

    I can’t tell you how amazed I am regularly when people I talk to have never heard of BoingBoing.

    Though this is ok. Froth is made up of lots of little bubbles. You don’t really need VC money to make it and you don’t need for it to grow into a million dollar business, ever.

    So there is no need to bring it all together into Google and Yahoo, you just need an original idea that people respond to.

    If I didn’t have greater aspirations, I could run Rocketboom off of t-shirt sales.

    Micro-payment is the new macro.

  79. I would suggest that while we are transitioning over the next few years, most of the mainstream does not use the computer to the extent we all do. In other-words, beyond scouring for a picture of Suri, the MSM audiences are not out there yet taking action.

    I can’t tell you how amazed I am regularly when people I talk to have never heard of BoingBoing.

    Though this is ok. Froth is made up of lots of little bubbles. You don’t really need VC money to make it and you don’t need for it to grow into a million dollar business, ever.

    So there is no need to bring it all together into Google and Yahoo, you just need an original idea that people respond to.

    If I didn’t have greater aspirations, I could run Rocketboom off of t-shirt sales.

    Micro-payment is the new macro.

  80. Key to success is to look past the bubble hype. Of course we are in a bubble there is a massive shift in the economics and wealth of the ‘netarchitecture’ going on right now.

    There will always be ad revenue in user or audience based models. The issue is that the ad model doesn’t and will not translate from what it is today to the new market environment that is developing.

    Keys to avoid the bubble is to enter the market with a clear sustainable plan: build a great team and execute a business/revenue model that generates cash flow and market position. From that point on competing on value will determine who stays around.

  81. Key to success is to look past the bubble hype. Of course we are in a bubble there is a massive shift in the economics and wealth of the ‘netarchitecture’ going on right now.

    There will always be ad revenue in user or audience based models. The issue is that the ad model doesn’t and will not translate from what it is today to the new market environment that is developing.

    Keys to avoid the bubble is to enter the market with a clear sustainable plan: build a great team and execute a business/revenue model that generates cash flow and market position. From that point on competing on value will determine who stays around.

  82. [...] Robert has a great post today on the froth of the bubble.  Dead 2.0 also has a clear view (which I agree with) on the interview on Techcrunch.  Yes we are in a bubble and it is avoidable.  To many people in Silicon Valley have lived through the past bubble so I don’t see the irrational behavior being as distructive as it was in 1998-2000. [...]

  83. The business model is somewhat proved for web advertsing: if one can get a lot of traffic with reasonable cost, you can make money. The baseline cost for most web-based companies increase very slowly vs traffic. The difficult part is to generate traffic (without costing too much).

    I have compiled a list of websites and their effective CPMs (monthly revenue vs pageviews) based on public information.

    http://lifeisaventure.wordpress.com/2006/08/28/how-much-money-do-you-generate-per-pageview/

  84. The business model is somewhat proved for web advertsing: if one can get a lot of traffic with reasonable cost, you can make money. The baseline cost for most web-based companies increase very slowly vs traffic. The difficult part is to generate traffic (without costing too much).

    I have compiled a list of websites and their effective CPMs (monthly revenue vs pageviews) based on public information.

    http://lifeisaventure.wordpress.com/2006/08/28/how-much-money-do-you-generate-per-pageview/

  85. I do love to read your big picture take on all things soap related, Robert. Listen why don’t you tell me what in web 2.0 (apps, ideas, services….)corporations can benefit from–Fortune 500 to less that 10 employees. A laundry list please–I want YOUR take. Let’s get real with no froth and bring the worthy developers and ideologues to the stage, to the table, this May–face-to-face with real customers with deep wallets eager to get it and use it. I wait.

  86. I do love to read your big picture take on all things soap related, Robert. Listen why don’t you tell me what in web 2.0 (apps, ideas, services….)corporations can benefit from–Fortune 500 to less that 10 employees. A laundry list please–I want YOUR take. Let’s get real with no froth and bring the worthy developers and ideologues to the stage, to the table, this May–face-to-face with real customers with deep wallets eager to get it and use it. I wait.

  87. LayZ: we already have, gasp, real revenues and real clients. They are on the “Corporate” bar on our home page. So, no need to worry about us. At least not short term. Now, if the entire world blows up again like it did in March 2000 and everyone cuts their budgets way back? Then we’ll definitely feel pain. But I’m working on diversifying our revenue streams outside the tech world so that we can ride that out.

  88. LayZ: we already have, gasp, real revenues and real clients. They are on the “Corporate” bar on our home page. So, no need to worry about us. At least not short term. Now, if the entire world blows up again like it did in March 2000 and everyone cuts their budgets way back? Then we’ll definitely feel pain. But I’m working on diversifying our revenue streams outside the tech world so that we can ride that out.

  89. Robert, in your update, you talk about the Paul Graham’s approach to “worry about building audience first” and that “that’s actually a good point of view to take.”

    Doesn’t that sound like the last few internet bubbles in the Valley? :)

    I still maintain that “grow big and” [insert GET ACQUIRED BY GOOGLE or SLAP GOOGLE ADS ON MY PAGES] is still a poor business model (if you can call it that).

    Let’s not forget that Yahoo had “won” because their portal and search got more eyeballs than anyone. Only what happened? Someone with better innovation and execution (Google) came along and suddenly that vast audience switched. Why? Because the product was better.

    Audiences are fickle and they vanish. Better businesses, with better products, can come along and take them away.

  90. Robert, in your update, you talk about the Paul Graham’s approach to “worry about building audience first” and that “that’s actually a good point of view to take.”

    Doesn’t that sound like the last few internet bubbles in the Valley? :)

    I still maintain that “grow big and” [insert GET ACQUIRED BY GOOGLE or SLAP GOOGLE ADS ON MY PAGES] is still a poor business model (if you can call it that).

    Let’s not forget that Yahoo had “won” because their portal and search got more eyeballs than anyone. Only what happened? Someone with better innovation and execution (Google) came along and suddenly that vast audience switched. Why? Because the product was better.

    Audiences are fickle and they vanish. Better businesses, with better products, can come along and take them away.

  91. Don: I don’t think that many of the 1999 businesses actually had audiences of any real size or depth. And, if they did they certainly didn’t have a way to monetize those audiences. Today we do.

    But, yeah, you’re right. I’d rather own Printing for Less than Digg, for instance. But that’s just me.

  92. Don: I don’t think that many of the 1999 businesses actually had audiences of any real size or depth. And, if they did they certainly didn’t have a way to monetize those audiences. Today we do.

    But, yeah, you’re right. I’d rather own Printing for Less than Digg, for instance. But that’s just me.

  93. Yes Don, some folks improve on others but why are you techies (I am not one) persistently fixated on who leads and who’s got something better at the expense of another. There is so much room in the sandbox. Yahoo and Google are good. Microsoft and Apple are good. Tehnorati and Wiki are good. And not to tout oligopolies there’s plenty of room for also rans. There is such an appetite. But I will tell you this: you have to reach the mainstream to succeed. You must end the esoteric edge. Adopt the user POV. At our web 2.0 conference (corproate audience) this May we will limit techie vitriol–for everyone’s beneficial engagement and to actually galvanize them. It will be a lovefest not a hatefest so common in tech blogs. You see it’s about resonating with one user. We cause self-destruction somewhat like the Republicans and Democrats cause America to be seen in the wrong light around the world day-by-day in their “conversations”. Let’s call on the carpet those who do wrong–this is the power of our beneficial transparency. But let’s encourage everyone too. I am fan of every lab, every creator–they will empower our future. Remember almost all including Bill G. and Sergei B. started virtually alone. I don’t think Sergei can even accept his own accomplishments in his persistent reference to “luck” for his success. C’mon guys let’s celebrate and let’s reach out to the non-techs, the masses of users yet to be born. Where your riches are. Graham is right to the extent that you have to give audiences something they want. Contrary to some bloggers cynical view it is not pornography and free videos they seek. Who have they been talking to? People want ease, speed, knowledge, help, functionality, ubiquity, pleasure… C’mon. Let’s get real. Navel gazing won’t generate revenue. Applaud Paul for believing in “three guys” and putting money behind them. There’s plenty of room for all.

  94. Yes Don, some folks improve on others but why are you techies (I am not one) persistently fixated on who leads and who’s got something better at the expense of another. There is so much room in the sandbox. Yahoo and Google are good. Microsoft and Apple are good. Tehnorati and Wiki are good. And not to tout oligopolies there’s plenty of room for also rans. There is such an appetite. But I will tell you this: you have to reach the mainstream to succeed. You must end the esoteric edge. Adopt the user POV. At our web 2.0 conference (corproate audience) this May we will limit techie vitriol–for everyone’s beneficial engagement and to actually galvanize them. It will be a lovefest not a hatefest so common in tech blogs. You see it’s about resonating with one user. We cause self-destruction somewhat like the Republicans and Democrats cause America to be seen in the wrong light around the world day-by-day in their “conversations”. Let’s call on the carpet those who do wrong–this is the power of our beneficial transparency. But let’s encourage everyone too. I am fan of every lab, every creator–they will empower our future. Remember almost all including Bill G. and Sergei B. started virtually alone. I don’t think Sergei can even accept his own accomplishments in his persistent reference to “luck” for his success. C’mon guys let’s celebrate and let’s reach out to the non-techs, the masses of users yet to be born. Where your riches are. Graham is right to the extent that you have to give audiences something they want. Contrary to some bloggers cynical view it is not pornography and free videos they seek. Who have they been talking to? People want ease, speed, knowledge, help, functionality, ubiquity, pleasure… C’mon. Let’s get real. Navel gazing won’t generate revenue. Applaud Paul for believing in “three guys” and putting money behind them. There’s plenty of room for all.

  95. This class is worth attending. Robert posed THE question–and because his blog powers remain strong he induced wise participation from the commentarium. Thanks all. Keep it coming. I’m taking notes.

    What’s a product? Something that attracts customers. What’s a good show? Something that puts asses in seats. What’s a leader? Someone with followers. What’s a good web 2.0 service? Something that attracts clicks.

    At the end of the day, it isn’t the inventers, entrepreneurs or VCs who can define success: it’s the audience. They either click or they don’t.

    So what’s the recipe for success? I don’t have it, but I can tell you where to look

    An unsolved problem is a product opportunity. A customer pain-point is a product opportunity. But a solved problem is also an opportunity–provided you can offer a substantially easier, faster, and/or cheaper solution.

    When you play the feature war on a small scale, the best you an hope for is to trade some of your audience with your competitors. But the big win is not to seduce customers away from competitors (though that’s always fun), the big win is to pull non-customers into the circle.

    Anyone who wants to break out of the froth can find hugely valuable clues and tools in “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. Their subtitle captures their premise very well. “How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant.”

    Enough with thinking outside the box. “Blue Ocean Strategy” can teach you how to think outside the bubble.

  96. This class is worth attending. Robert posed THE question–and because his blog powers remain strong he induced wise participation from the commentarium. Thanks all. Keep it coming. I’m taking notes.

    What’s a product? Something that attracts customers. What’s a good show? Something that puts asses in seats. What’s a leader? Someone with followers. What’s a good web 2.0 service? Something that attracts clicks.

    At the end of the day, it isn’t the inventers, entrepreneurs or VCs who can define success: it’s the audience. They either click or they don’t.

    So what’s the recipe for success? I don’t have it, but I can tell you where to look

    An unsolved problem is a product opportunity. A customer pain-point is a product opportunity. But a solved problem is also an opportunity–provided you can offer a substantially easier, faster, and/or cheaper solution.

    When you play the feature war on a small scale, the best you an hope for is to trade some of your audience with your competitors. But the big win is not to seduce customers away from competitors (though that’s always fun), the big win is to pull non-customers into the circle.

    Anyone who wants to break out of the froth can find hugely valuable clues and tools in “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. Their subtitle captures their premise very well. “How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant.”

    Enough with thinking outside the box. “Blue Ocean Strategy” can teach you how to think outside the bubble.

  97. @marie germain:

    I think you’re misunderstanding me. If you read my linked blog entries and such, you’ll find that I’m an advocate of lots of competition. I’m a Flickr competitor, in some sense of the word, yet I blogged about ‘Flickr doesn’t suck’.

    I could care less who has more market share than I do, because I don’t want to be the market leader. It’s part of our corporate strategy to NOT go for market share but rather for ecstatic customers who drive profit. I’m sure we could have offered free accounts away and grown like a rocket, too (we were on the scene years before Flickr), but that wasn’t our target.

    Ask anyone who knows me and my company – we’re fixated on the customer experience and customer service, not on who’s in the lead. I have to have ready answers, because everyone I meet says “But how are you different than Flickr?”, but that’s life. :)

    Don

  98. @marie germain:

    I think you’re misunderstanding me. If you read my linked blog entries and such, you’ll find that I’m an advocate of lots of competition. I’m a Flickr competitor, in some sense of the word, yet I blogged about ‘Flickr doesn’t suck’.

    I could care less who has more market share than I do, because I don’t want to be the market leader. It’s part of our corporate strategy to NOT go for market share but rather for ecstatic customers who drive profit. I’m sure we could have offered free accounts away and grown like a rocket, too (we were on the scene years before Flickr), but that wasn’t our target.

    Ask anyone who knows me and my company – we’re fixated on the customer experience and customer service, not on who’s in the lead. I have to have ready answers, because everyone I meet says “But how are you different than Flickr?”, but that’s life. :)

    Don

  99. Success in web 2.0? Both the idea AND the execution make you smile. Often you get the first but not the second (Riya springs to mind). Wikipedia has both (though is it 1.0 or 2.0?), as does Flickr.

  100. Success in web 2.0? Both the idea AND the execution make you smile. Often you get the first but not the second (Riya springs to mind). Wikipedia has both (though is it 1.0 or 2.0?), as does Flickr.

  101. [...] A few days ago Robert Scoble indicated that the most searched term on Google was Yahoo. And even Yahoo searchers were looking for emm… Google. And now Niall Kennedy who is running a series on personalized home pages and their history, points out that… The most downloaded Microsoft gadget is a Google search box.Makes you wonder, if Google is now the default for search. Their increasing market share seems to reflect that. Not to mention the anecdotal evidence. [...]

  102. Hey Don: Nice web services powered by Smugmug. I promise to look into it more. Sounds like you have great service there. Hope you find ways to get that to the masses. It’s nice that it’s not an advertising model. People are slowly learning that great things are worth $$ from the web–not just off the shelf. I cannot tell you how behind the photo shops are!! I have a client (a big retail chain–I am a markerter) that still has a guy hiding in a backroom printing photos at a snail’s pace for a price per photo that is not competitive–and the customers have to doddle in the mall for an hour+ while they wait. SmugMug is a print service killer. Everybody these days in the photo print biz: grocers, Walmart, pharmacies. It is all so archaic. You just have to induce trial. I will celebrate you and SmugMug too.

  103. Hey Don: Nice web services powered by Smugmug. I promise to look into it more. Sounds like you have great service there. Hope you find ways to get that to the masses. It’s nice that it’s not an advertising model. People are slowly learning that great things are worth $$ from the web–not just off the shelf. I cannot tell you how behind the photo shops are!! I have a client (a big retail chain–I am a markerter) that still has a guy hiding in a backroom printing photos at a snail’s pace for a price per photo that is not competitive–and the customers have to doddle in the mall for an hour+ while they wait. SmugMug is a print service killer. Everybody these days in the photo print biz: grocers, Walmart, pharmacies. It is all so archaic. You just have to induce trial. I will celebrate you and SmugMug too.

  104. What a great post. What a great topic. I couldn’t agree more. And on top of that, I like the way the thought’s put. The thing is, I think, that there’s so much pathos involved, so much money tied up and ultimately, by those who are really in it, so much uncertainty, that the issue’s hard to get to. Hopefully this is only one of many posts like this, by Robert and the rest of the blogosphere. I do think it’s coming. The anti-froth. The see-it-as-it-is kinda folks and consequently their posts and the repercussions of them. Well, maybe that’s just wishful thinking, but we’ll see.
    The most important thing I gather from your point, and what I’ve been thinking about in much the same way is the concept of perspective. For example, the now famous 53,651 Kopelman post is a great example of how even while being a VC but just out of the Valley one can get a more accurate perspective (he’s from Philly).
    Another example, now that I think about it, is my own. I follow the industry closely, very closely, I know my startups, my big players and the top bloggers, but I still have the luxury of seeing it from the outside. I’m in high school still. Yep, I said it, high school. I guess I have a way different perspective for that matter then. And well, I couldn’t agree with you more, like I said. I love this stuff, I really do, but I want more and I want it better and I think it’s going to take some pretty major changes. Not to self promote, but I just wrote a post on this myself at joshwais.blogspot.com .

  105. What a great post. What a great topic. I couldn’t agree more. And on top of that, I like the way the thought’s put. The thing is, I think, that there’s so much pathos involved, so much money tied up and ultimately, by those who are really in it, so much uncertainty, that the issue’s hard to get to. Hopefully this is only one of many posts like this, by Robert and the rest of the blogosphere. I do think it’s coming. The anti-froth. The see-it-as-it-is kinda folks and consequently their posts and the repercussions of them. Well, maybe that’s just wishful thinking, but we’ll see.
    The most important thing I gather from your point, and what I’ve been thinking about in much the same way is the concept of perspective. For example, the now famous 53,651 Kopelman post is a great example of how even while being a VC but just out of the Valley one can get a more accurate perspective (he’s from Philly).
    Another example, now that I think about it, is my own. I follow the industry closely, very closely, I know my startups, my big players and the top bloggers, but I still have the luxury of seeing it from the outside. I’m in high school still. Yep, I said it, high school. I guess I have a way different perspective for that matter then. And well, I couldn’t agree with you more, like I said. I love this stuff, I really do, but I want more and I want it better and I think it’s going to take some pretty major changes. Not to self promote, but I just wrote a post on this myself at joshwais.blogspot.com .

  106. Well – I’m not in the valley and I’ve been saying for some time my website stats reflect far more the influence of start pages than search engines. So me no valley boy but life’s a changing – just that netvibes is a techcrunch boost so not exactly outside the bubble.

  107. Well – I’m not in the valley and I’ve been saying for some time my website stats reflect far more the influence of start pages than search engines. So me no valley boy but life’s a changing – just that netvibes is a techcrunch boost so not exactly outside the bubble.

  108. All We Got Was Web 1.0, When Tim Berners-Lee Actually Gave Us We

    The blogosphere flew into its usual uproar a few days ago when the inventor of the World Wide Web himself, the venerated Tim Berners-Lee, was recently recorded in a podcast calling Web 2.0 nothing more than a piece of jargon. There is little lo

  109. In your article, you mention that people “outside the bubble” just know how to “search” when they are looking for something. I consider myself to be very technically savvy. However, I must admit that “search” is my main means of finding things on the web as well. For those of us in the “great unwashed” outside the bubble, what should we be doing besides using Google or Yahoo?

    Thanks for your help.

  110. In your article, you mention that people “outside the bubble” just know how to “search” when they are looking for something. I consider myself to be very technically savvy. However, I must admit that “search” is my main means of finding things on the web as well. For those of us in the “great unwashed” outside the bubble, what should we be doing besides using Google or Yahoo?

    Thanks for your help.

  111. Greg: if you’re a geek you probably can name a few other Web sites as well. What’s your favorite travel site? Mine isn’t Google. What’s your favorite real estate site? Mine isn’t Google. What’s your favorite mobile site? Mine isn’t Google. What’s your favorite news site? Mine isn’t Google’s search engine. What’s your favorite blog? Mine isn’t on Google.

    People outside of the tech world usually have trouble naming all these things. Then I watch how they use the computer and they mainly use the main search page they got used to.

  112. Greg: if you’re a geek you probably can name a few other Web sites as well. What’s your favorite travel site? Mine isn’t Google. What’s your favorite real estate site? Mine isn’t Google. What’s your favorite mobile site? Mine isn’t Google. What’s your favorite news site? Mine isn’t Google’s search engine. What’s your favorite blog? Mine isn’t on Google.

    People outside of the tech world usually have trouble naming all these things. Then I watch how they use the computer and they mainly use the main search page they got used to.

  113. Q. insiders tell me that one of the top search terms over at Yahoo is actually “Google.” And one of the top search terms at Google is “Yahoo.” Why is that?

    A. One reason is because ordinary people know it’s “Yahoo!” but they don’t know whether it’s dotNET, dotCOM, dotORG, dotGOV or something else entirely. Worse, with some sites, if you guess the extension wrong you get a NSFW squatter page. So it’s easier to search.

  114. Q. insiders tell me that one of the top search terms over at Yahoo is actually “Google.” And one of the top search terms at Google is “Yahoo.” Why is that?

    A. One reason is because ordinary people know it’s “Yahoo!” but they don’t know whether it’s dotNET, dotCOM, dotORG, dotGOV or something else entirely. Worse, with some sites, if you guess the extension wrong you get a NSFW squatter page. So it’s easier to search.

  115. SEO is not dead

    SEO is far from dead; in fact it is still one of the best ways to drive targeted traffic to a website. Normal people don’t read technology blogs so they aren’t going to hear about your company that way. You need to find a way to get in front of them …

  116. >I wish we had a conference on “how to find customers outside of the tech bubble?

    robert, you’re invited to seoroadshow (this is a test, see if you can find the details all by yourself, hhh)

  117. >I wish we had a conference on “how to find customers outside of the tech bubble?

    robert, you’re invited to seoroadshow (this is a test, see if you can find the details all by yourself, hhh)

  118. > Q. insiders tell me that one of the top search terms over at Yahoo is actually “Google.” And one of the top search terms at Google is “Yahoo.” Why is that?

    As a long time web designer/SEO/marketer who talks to non-Web people on a constant basis, I’d say that this statistic is due to the fact that most people don’t understand how browsers work (heck, they don’t even know what a “browser” is and have never heard the word). Either their browser’s home page is a search engine page and all they know is how to *search* for something (e.g., “Google” at Yahoo) or they simply don’t know that they can type a domain name into their browser address bar — and this goes for most people, be they living in remote mountain areas or CEOs of billion-dollar corporations. What you’ll hear is this:

    Me: go to my website, blahblah.com
    Them: Don’t worry — I’ll find it!

    Find it? What’s to find? But that statement is your first clue, and the reason why Web marketing *must* take the search engines into consideration. It’s not like paper advertising, which you must somehow place into the hands of the consumer. Nor like TV, which is another medium altogether. Different medium; different delivery solution.

    As to the other questions here, I’d say that sorting out a business plan comes immediately after any “bright idea” … that is, how you’ll make money from it. Yes, it’s exciting to build an audience. Even more exciting is making a living from something you like/love.

  119. > Q. insiders tell me that one of the top search terms over at Yahoo is actually “Google.” And one of the top search terms at Google is “Yahoo.” Why is that?

    As a long time web designer/SEO/marketer who talks to non-Web people on a constant basis, I’d say that this statistic is due to the fact that most people don’t understand how browsers work (heck, they don’t even know what a “browser” is and have never heard the word). Either their browser’s home page is a search engine page and all they know is how to *search* for something (e.g., “Google” at Yahoo) or they simply don’t know that they can type a domain name into their browser address bar — and this goes for most people, be they living in remote mountain areas or CEOs of billion-dollar corporations. What you’ll hear is this:

    Me: go to my website, blahblah.com
    Them: Don’t worry — I’ll find it!

    Find it? What’s to find? But that statement is your first clue, and the reason why Web marketing *must* take the search engines into consideration. It’s not like paper advertising, which you must somehow place into the hands of the consumer. Nor like TV, which is another medium altogether. Different medium; different delivery solution.

    As to the other questions here, I’d say that sorting out a business plan comes immediately after any “bright idea” … that is, how you’ll make money from it. Yes, it’s exciting to build an audience. Even more exciting is making a living from something you like/love.

  120. Ok, that makes some sense. Yes, there are lots of sites I use to look for specific items. However, I do spend a great deal of time at Google looking up things that I don’t already have committed to memory.

  121. Ok, that makes some sense. Yes, there are lots of sites I use to look for specific items. However, I do spend a great deal of time at Google looking up things that I don’t already have committed to memory.

  122. Ain’t technology grand

    Nice to see that maybe, just maybe the Valley tech geeks (whom I love and have been adopted by as half-geek) are starting to realize that people who don’t get it, actually may not get it, because they really don’t

  123. [...] When I’m explaining CPC and SEM to clients, or anything for that matter, I like to use analogies to help describe technical terms and new ideas that they normally wouldn’t hear in their non-”tech bubble” environment. Likewise I explain that a dollar or two for certain keywords isn’t uncommon and like to throw out the funny numbers that some people actually pay for each click. Normally I speak of lawyers and car insurance keywords, but now thanks to TheProGuy, I now know the top 50 most expensive adwords. [...]

  124. I am working with a professional online IT community that’s been in business since 98 and have been looking for other successful, professional communities in other verticals. Know of any?

  125. I am working with a professional online IT community that’s been in business since 98 and have been looking for other successful, professional communities in other verticals. Know of any?

  126. [...] Robert Scoble is a Silicon-Valley-bubble insider–so we’ve never met–but I read his blog religiously because I believe he’s an indicator of where the web is going. Scoble is an early adopter of emerging web-related technologies and searches for what is useful and relevant–and he has great access to those technologies. So, it’s interesting to me that Scoble read’s blogs on his cell phone and chafes at the lack of online content in HDTV format. Is he a fluke? I don’t think so. After all, look at the money in tech convergence. [...]

  127. [...] Scoble tried to describe the difference between bubbles I and II in a recent post on the Frothy Bubble. The breakthrough now seems to be – investors money is at stake through Google stock and the valuation switch just got flicked to High. Interestingly, he isn’t too hard on the deal, restricting himself to playing a What If… with Microsoft/YouTube – must be to do with being in a (hopefully) take-over target – clever lad. [...]

  128. [...] J’écris souvent que nous, industriels de l’Internet, redécouvrons régulièrement les mêmes problématiques, à la jonction des gens et des applications. Nous trouvons des solutions dejà utilisées, les reconditionnons au point de ne pouvoir plus les reconnaitre quelques temps après. Les volumes et le ‘temps Internet’ déforment nos visions classiques des applications communicantes et des communautés en ligne. Au point de croire que nous contrôlons largement ce qui advient quand des masses d’utilisateurs interconnectés se réunissent et collaborent. Nous ne contrôlons rien. Une grande porte s’ouvre, et tout le monde s’affaire à deviner ce qu’il y a derrière et où elle mène. Mais quoi de neuf ici ? J’ai mentionné quelques exemples, voici une liste plus complète : – Il y a plus d’un milliard d’utilisateurs du Net aujourd’hui. Les effets de réseau apparaissent maintenant même dans les zones moins fréquentées de l’Internet, puisqu’une zone moins fréquentée, ca peut être parfois juste une centaine de milliers d’internautes. – Beaucoup de ces utilisateurs sont habitués au Web [’Web-fluent’]. Robert Scoble a observé récemment que, si beaucoup d’internautes ne sont pas des experts, tous savent rechercher, envoyer du courrier, éditer un Wiki, et la plupart savent déplacer un widget ou configurer une application Web. Ils ont le volant dans les mains. – Les nouvelles pratiques du Web se répandent. Les meilleurs sites et les plus réussis ont réalisé qu’il fallait intégrer ce que Tim O’Reilly appelle l’émulation de l’intelligence collective dans le fonctionnement de leurs services. Et cet aspect collaboratif du Web est encore en retard sur les deux premières tendances. Je suis toujours surpris d’entendre les gens citer Ajax comme le signe principal du Web 2.0, plutot que la puissance des communautés et des effets du réseau. Il y a encore une bonne marge de progression, et j’espère continuer à voir des innovations majeurs dans la conception des services Web 2.0. – Conséquence logique, le pouvoir et le contrôle se déplacent vers ces nouveaux créateurs. Puisque les utilisateurs du Web produisent une part croissante du contenu, ils en prennent le contrôle. Ce basculement de puissance a des conséquences immenses sur le long terme, puisque le Net se déplace naturellement vers les points principaux de puissance. Les implications pour les organisations traditionnelles sont fascinantes et vont s’accroître en même temps que la génération MySpace entre en masse sur le marché du travail. [...]

  129. Only for community scobleizer.com! HOT!
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