Archive for September, 2007

Is BlogRush The Most Viral Start-Up Ever?

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

BlogRush logoIt’s been less than two weeks since launch and already BlogRush has vaulted into the Alexa top 1,000 (weekly average). It takes most start-ups, even the most viral, a year or two to crack this barrier, but BlogRush has managed to do it in less than half a month. This must mean something. This company is for REAL. This surge makes Twitter‘s success look like a lifetime achievement.

So what is BlogRush? What’s all the fuss about?

To be honest, it’s a very simple concept. That’s why it works. People understand it and can see the value. The basic premise is this: you paste an embed code onto your blog. BlogRush displays a widget with the titles of 5 blog posts from blogs similar to yours. In other words, for every page loaded, 5 other blogs are gaining potential exposure and awareness via your site. In return for every page load your blog creates, one of your headlines appears on BlogRush widget on a different blog that is similar to yours. This ensures that nobody gets ripped off or cheated.

Now here’s the kicker: for every person that you refer to BlogRush (or that signs up below you), you will receive an additional headline view for every one of your referral’s page views. This works 10 levels down. So basically, the more people you get to sign up, the more traffic you can generate for your blog. Very smart concept. In essence, this idea is very similar to many web 1.0 concepts around traffic-sharing. However, I prefer to think of this idea as the ‘link exchange of the web 2.0 world’, as it harnesses the power of widgets.

Finally, is there a revenue model? Most widgets have a hard time implementing any sort of monetization. But I think BlogRush is different. Think of this… for any and all leftover inventory, BlogRush can sell the space to potential advertisers, looking to access relevant content and blogs. Furthermore, they may even be able to add network ads to fill in the holes.

Who knows… I may soon have to ‘rush’ out and add this widget. And perhaps you may want to sign up below me? 😉

What do you think? Is BlogRush the most viral start-up we’ve seen thus far?

Facebook IM Client Coming Soon – Like, This Friday

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Facebook new logoAccording to Blognation UK, an unofficial Facebook IM app will be going into BETA this Friday. Emphasis is being placed on the fact that no registration, installation, or download is needed to use the chat program. All Facebook users can instantly access the system. Although this application (Friendvox) is not a company-owned property, it will likely provide any and all functionality that an in-house system would. In other words, this app may be a prime takeover target for Facebook if they aren’t already developing a client of their own.

To be honest, I think we all knew that it was only a matter of time before a Facebook IM client came to fruition. I guess that time is now. Whether it provides any level of competition against MSN Messenger, AIM, Yahoo Messenger, and/or Google Talk is yet to be determined.

Here are some screenshots of the new IM (courtesy of Blognation UK): 

I wasn’t overly impressed by the chat interface – I thought it was rather ugly when compared to the rest of Facebook. The traditional clean look has been replaced by a web 1.0 feel. Then again though, the system was not created by Facebook itself.

It will be interested to see what the company’s next step is in the space. It will also be interested to see what other applications and spaces the company plans to enter in the coming months. If I were any kind of social app, I’d be scared to death if there was a chance Facebook might enter my realm. These companies will need to erect barriers quickly if they planning on surviving the initial Facebook tsunami.

Microsoft Wants A Piece of Facebook?

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Facebook new logoOnce again, Facebook rumours are all the talk in the blogosphere. The newest gossip, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal, states that Microsoft is in talks to buy a 5% stake in Facebook for a reported $300-500 million. But the plot thickens… The article goes on to say that Google may also be interested in buying a stake of its own, further upping the ante.

Surprisingly, we’re not hearing about any full-blown acquisition rumours anymore. Why not? No-one can afford the damn company anymore. Apparently, Microsoft is pegging the social network at a current valuation of $10 billion. Are you kidding me? The company is only slated to pull in $150 million in revenues this year. Now, I’m not a financial analyst, but I can tell you that such an amount is rather ridiculous based on historical valuation methods. Furthermore, previous acquisition talks this year started at $1 billion and escalated to a seemingly preposturous $6 billion.

And get this… Facebook may be turning down the high profile deal in hopes of attaining a $15 billion valuation. Yes, you heard me right. The bubble may be closer than we think. Either that or Zuckerberg’s ego has ballooned to Donald Trump-like proportions.

Yahoo Mash Invitations

Monday, September 24th, 2007

A friend sent me an invite to Yahoo Mash, so now I have some Yahoo Mash invitations to Yahoo Mash logogive out. The service is fairly simple (and similar to Facebook). If you want to check it out, link to my blog or give me a shout-out and I’ll do my best to send you an invitation as soon as possible.

I wrote an initial analysis of Yahoo Mash here: Yahoo Mash review.

How The Internet Will Change Sports History Forever

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

Rawlings BaseballWhen Barry Bonds hit his record-breaking 756th home run, the world stopped for a moment. The milestone is truly remarkable. Another remarkable consideration was how much the ball was sold for at auction – an astonishing $752,467. Whether this athletic feat can be considered legitimate or not is another story. As we all know, the record has been overshadowed by scandal and allegations of steroid use.

So who paid $752,467 for a frickin baseball? None other than fashion designer Marc Ecko. Why did he pay such a large price for such a small item? Some believe it to be a publicity stunt. I can believe it. But what he plans to do with the ball is even more of a mystery – and you are a part of it.

Ecko created a website, http://www.vote756.com/, that anyone can visit and vote to determine the fate of the baseball. Here are the options (as stated on the site):

A)  Bestow it. Give the ball to Cooperstown. The ball that broke Hank Aaron’s career home run record belongs in the Hall of Fame.

B) Brand it. Burn an asterisk into the ball with a branding iron, adding a permanent footnote to the record. Then, send it to Cooperstown.

C) Banish it. Put the ball on a rocket ship and launch it into orbit, a moon shot for the ages. Out of sight, out of mind.

Visitors to the site are highly encouraged to vote, an indirect way of voicing your opinion. So what does this mean? Anyone that visits the site can be a part of sports history. I think that what Ecko is doing is truly the most perfect ending to this ongoing fiasco. Harnessing the power of the Internet and social media, and letting the people decide what to do with the ball is a brilliant concept. Such an idea would not have been possible 20 years ago. Once again, the advent of the Internet has changed the game forever. Oh, and by the way, all voting results will be audited and certified by an independent, third-party auditor, Promosis.

And yes, I voted… but I will not reveal my choice, as this may influence your decision. Having said that, I encourage all readers to visit the site, vote, and be a part of sports history. A chance like this doesn’t come along every day.

Note: Voting ends on September 25th, 2007.


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