Mapping The Web

October 21, 2006

MappingTheWeb Exposure

Tags: off topic — Aidan @ 9:57 pm

Since launching the blog a couple weeks, MappingTheWeb has generated a considerable amount of traffic and visits. I have received a warm welcome from readers and I appreciate the insightful comments.

Noted Canadian blogger, former National Post senior technology reporter, and current b5 Media VP of Operations Mark Evans posted positive words about MappingTheWeb on his blog. His heart-warming welcome and introduction to the blogging world is much appreciated and I am humbled by his thoughtfulness. I highly recommend his personal blog to all readers. He is also the behind Maple Leaf 2.0 - a highly informative blog focused around the world of Canadian web 2.0.

In addition, several readers have e-mailed me and added me to their IM list. This is the reason I blog and what I believe to be the biggest advantage of blogs over traditional media - the two-way conversations and communication. I am able to get closer to my readers and learn from them. Thank you all for your thoughts, opinions, and comments. They are much appreciated.

Key point to note: Please feel free to post about MappingTheWeb on your blog or website as I don’t mind exposure (and back-links) ;) Exposure digg:MappingTheWeb Exposure reddit:MappingTheWeb Exposure

October 20, 2006

SEO Contingent Business Models

Tags: marketing, strategy, off topic, SEO — Aidan @ 1:14 pm

Several business models rely on SEO to operate. These include diversified Internet marketing firms, as well as search engine optimization specialists. However, outside these obvious examples, there are several other types of firms that depend on SEO that may not be so apparent.

Certain Internet websites and web business models, most notably song lyric sites, are nearly 100% reliant on SEO as their number one way to drive traffic. Other similar examples include male enhancement products and home-based business opportunities (although these two examples are more illegitimate and shady). In the case of the song lyric sites, someone searches for say, ‘michael jackson thriller lyrics’, on Google. The searcher will then follow a search result to the desired lyrics without any attachment to brand loyalty. This is the key point I’m trying to make. Any Internet service or site that depends on SEO, usually lacks brand loyalty, awareness, and recognition. Quick… name 5 song lyric sites. I know I can’t. When I’m searching for song lyrics, I just want to find the text - I don’t care about the site itself. I have no attachment, nor do I feel there needs to be one.

Song lyric sites drive revenue strictly from ads. No-one is going to sign up for a subscription-based lyric site when the next site has the lyrics for free. They are simply looking to accumulate as many page views as possible - and cram each page with as many ads as possible.

In other cases, a product (male enhancement pills) or a service (paid e-book dowload) is the end goal. But because there is so much competition, market share is tight and wiggle room is scarce. Achieving a placement among the top organic searches is highly critical in these instances, as search traffic for these terms is enormous. And once again, brand loyalty and recognition is low.

Other popular sites that rely on SEO a great deal, but do harness a certain level of brand loyalty, include Wikipedia (I think we all know this), IMDB, and Also, the YellowPages and other local directories and listings benefit immensely from the strategy.

My conclusion - any site with a strong hierarchical structure or directory-like listing system will benefit greatly from strong SEO techniques and a well-rounded optimization process. Contingent Business Models digg:SEO Contingent Business Models reddit:SEO Contingent Business Models

October 19, 2006

One Man Army

Tags: off topic — Aidan @ 12:49 pm

Who’s the king of the net? You can argue for any number of individuals from Tim Berners-Lee to Michael Arrington to Sergey Brin and Larry Page, but let’s get down to the facts. Who runs the single most successful website (in terms of page views) on the Internet as a one-man operation? Markus Frind.

Say what? Who on earth is that? I mean let’s be honest - he’s not exactly a household name.

Markus Frind is a one-man wrecking machine. He has single-handedly disrupted the world of online dating with a super-easy-to-use, free dating site - PlentyOfFish. Don’t be deterred by the simple interface and lackPlentyOfFish logo of colourful graphics. This dating site packs a mean punch and more importantly, a huge user base. The main differentiating factor of the site over other competitors (i.e.,, LavaLife) is that the service is entirely free and revenue is driven through ads. This lowers the barriers to entry for anyone looking to sign up.

Now let’s talk about what everyone cares about: PlentyOfFish averages 20 million page views per day or 600 million per month. With Google Adsense running on the site, Frind averages approximately $10,000 a day in revenue from ads alone. Pretty incredible considering he averages a dismal .50 CPM. If he were to somehow increase the relevance of the ads to the page or topic AND/OR place one or more ads per page, the man would be a ridiculously filty rich man. As it stands, he already makes a pretty penny and traffic shows no signs of slowing.

Markus, who lives in Burnaby (a suburb of Vancouver), is in his late 20s and enjoying life. He has no intention of maximizing his ad dollars as he is comfortable where he stands. He is a great man and I’ve had the opportunity to chat with him on a few occasions. He is very humble and thankful. To get a glimpse into the life of this online dating mogul, watch this Global News exclusive. Mark Evans also provides a great profile of Frind at Maple Leaf 2.0.

He is the true image of entrepreneurship as he handles everything from tech support, to marketing, to server issues, to graphics, and so on. However, it has been said that his girlfriend does give him a hand with some things and a few volunteers have helped out as forum moderators. Click here for more information about the company from Wikipedia.

The evolution of the site will be interested to watch. I wish this Canadian Internet guru all the best. Man Army digg:One Man Army reddit:One Man Army

October 18, 2006

The Mystery of Dead 2.0

Tags: off topic — Aidan @ 1:06 pm

Nearly four months ago, an anonymous blogger launched Dead 2.0, a blog aimed at ‘anti-hyping’ web 2.0. He/she assumed the alias “Web 2.0 Skeptic” or simply “Skeptic”. The blog instantly developed a cult-like following with droves of web 2.0 nay-sayers flocking to the site to read up on quirky, yet insightful posts.

The blog’s niche is focused around removing the hype and fluff from the new web and concentrating on actual business models, revenues, and long-term sustainability. The edgy and sometimes controversial commentary is highly entertaining and well sought-out.

Controversy erupted in the blogosphere as Skeptic ripped companies apart and expressed numerous criticisms, albeit backed by research and due diligence. The corporate world is not usually amused by the negative views. Nonetheless, this is the reason I love the world of blogs, as opposed to news sites and organizations. Inidividuals can express opinions and thoughts, without fear of company repercussions or the possibility of losing their job.

And the story continues… up until a few weeks ago…

As I check my RSS feeds on a daily basis, I noticed, or failed to notice new posts coming from Dead 2.0. I figured Skeptic may have taken some time off or got busy. A week passed and still no posts. Now, a couple weeks later, the blog has still not been updated. In addition, the site itself was down for a couple of weeks.

What was the cause of this site failure/outage? Some say Skeptic exceeded the hosting bandwidth limits due to excessive traffic, while others argue his/her employer found out about the ordeal and threatened sanctions.

There is now a graphical landing page that greets visitor, which reads: “We’ll be back”. I guess for now, we will just have to wait and see. I, for one, am hoping Skeptic makes a return to the blogosphere as I really enjoyed his/her posts.

There were rumours circulating that Skeptic’s identity had been discovered and traced back to a certain executive in the Valley, but these were never confirmed. Someone was threatening to expose the unknown blogger to the world. This never did end up happening, but it did cause a great deal of commotion.

I’ve spoken with Skeptic on GoogleTalk a few times, but he/she is very unwilling to reveal any background information, even age. Although I’m curious as to discover the identity of the mysterious blogger, a part of me wants the enigma to live on as we are all interested in the unknown. Mystery of Dead 2.0 digg:The Mystery of Dead 2.0 reddit:The Mystery of Dead 2.0

October 17, 2006

Google Job Board

Tags: strategy, trends — Aidan @ 10:08 am

No, there is no such thing as Google Job Board, although there is a free job section in Google Base (I think this is a relatively weak offering). So why am I bringing up the topic? I think this would be a great idea for Google to drive additional revenues.

A paid job board is great for both parties. For Google, obviously it generates revenues it wouldn’t otherwise receive. For potential employers, it offers vast exposure, better quality Google Job Board logo?postings, and a diverse array of job candidates. In addition, Google could charge a low nominal fee, which would make it very competitive with the big guns (Monster, HotJobs, CareerBuilder) and affordable for even small businesses. I’m picturing an interface similar to Craiglist, but branded Google. The idea itself takes very little resources to launch and very little bandwidth to run - so why not?

Famous bloggers Mike Arrington (TechCrunch) and Om Malik (GigaOm) have each launched their own job boards with considerable success (CrunchBoard and GigaOm Jobs). 37 Signals was probably the first to undertake such an initiative. ProBlogger has also recently launched a ‘blogging’ job board. The simplicity and scalability of the idea makes it possible for anyone with a large, engaged audience to implement.

Moreover, Google itself could leverage the board to recruit potential job candidates internally, allowing the Internet giant the ability to hand pick top-quality candidates without ever having to advertise. I’m not saying the company doesn’t already get top-quality applicants signing up, but a job board may help in this process - especially in the case of niche positions.

Weird - a revenue channel for Google that doesn’t rely on AdWords. Who would have thought? Job Board digg:Google Job Board reddit:Google Job Board
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