Archive for February, 2008

A Plug for the Plugg Conference

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

Plugg logoOn March 19th, entrepreneurs and technology enthusiasts will converge on Brussels, Belgium for the Plugg Conference. This one-day event has been designed to provide much needed exposure for European start-ups in the web 2.0 and mobile spaces. An attractive list of speakers will voice their thoughts throughout the day. These impressive speakers include CEOs, venture capitalists, strategists, bloggers, analysts, and more. In addition, a “Start-ups Rally“ will take place. Twenty start-ups will showcase their business ideas and voting will ensue. Only one will emerge with the coveted “Plugg Start-Up of the Year Award”.

MappingTheWeb readers can purchase tickets at 25% off using the discount code: MAPPINGTHEWEB. Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend this conference due to logistical circumstances, but I encourage all European readers (and those willing to travel) to check out this exciting event.

Is The Widget Gold Rush Over?

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

In my mind, widgets have never been a business model. They are a marketing tool that provide exposure and funnel traffic back to a parent property. This is where a business model and subsequent monetization emerge. I think that companies (and VCs) are starting to realize this, and widget fever is nearing an end.

For clarification purposes, I believe widgets will be around forever. However, pure-play widget start-ups won’t be. The funding of these initiatives will die off as potential investors realize the risks.

Up until recently, it seemed like everyone and their dog was launching a widget-based start-up or a web 2.0 company that served up widgets. The hope was that these widgets would spur viral distribution, creating widespread exposure. In many cases, this did occur. But now what? Where is the monetization? How can revenue be generated via these eyeballs? Most held on to the hope that eyeballs would attract potential acquisitors. In other words, their revenue model was an exit strategy in disguise - the infamous “web 2.0 revenue model”.

VCs just don’t seems to be funding these start-ups like they used to - and for good measure. Without revenues, these companies are unable to sustain themselves. At this point, it becomes a time game. Will the cash run out before an acquisitor comes along? I would bet on it.

Ask Me A Question

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Question MarkFor this post, I’m asking readers to pose me a question in the comments. It can pertain to web trends, new technologies, predictions, or even a specific company. It will be an opportunity to get my opinion on a certain topic or matter. This will create an interactive form of content.

The benefit for the reader posing the question is this: if I find the question interesting and post about it, I will provide exposure and a back-link to your blog or website. I likely won’t answer all questions, so be sure that yours is interesting and thought-provoking. I eagerly await what people would like me to post about.

So… I encourage you all to develop meaningful questions and add them to the comments :)

Salary Transparency

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

SalaryWages and salaries have traditionally been a taboo water cooler topic around the workplace. It’s almost as if people have something to hide. In large big corporations, bureaucracy and politics play a big role. But in smaller firms and start-ups this isn’t usually the case. Therefore, I see no reason why secrecy is such a big issue around money. Transparency would remove any doubt and provide a new motivation tool.

Salary transparency would flatten the hierarchy and create a whole new sense of culture. I think any small organization could benefit greatly from this. The ability to view co-worker salaries would force companies to compensate properly - based on experience, education, and performance - rather than politics and executive judgment.

Seriously though, why shouldn’t it be like this? Obviously, a 45-year old worker is likely to be making a lot more than a 25-year old based on knowledge and experience. But this provides motivation for the younger worker - something to strive toward. Performance should definitely be taken into consideration.

I bring up this point because it is one of the few examples of politics and bureaucracy in many small firms. So why not eliminate it? I think that all companies should post salaries on the wall, in clear view, for everyone to see. Revolutionary idea? Not really, but it would motivate employees to work harder and put the slack asses out of a job.

Northern Voice 2008

Monday, February 4th, 2008

Northern Voice 2008It’s almost that time of year again. On February 22 and 23, Northern Voice will take center stage in Vancouver. Known as Canada’s blogging conference, the annual event has been bringing bloggers and technology enthusiasts together since 2005. 

Though marketed as a “conference”, participants prefer to refer to it as an “un-conference” - where accessibility and open discussions encouraged. Well-known former attendees include the likes of Robert Scoble, Anil Dash, and Tim Bray.

I had the pleasure of attending this wonderful event last year and it was a blast. I met many new faces and reconnected with some old ones. Plus, you can’t beat the price. Registration is only $40 per day, or $60 for both - a steal in the world of conferences. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend this year, as I have a family reunion happening at the same time.

In any case, I highly encourage anyone and everyone who is interested in blogging, web 2.0, social media, and technology in general to register for this event. Did I mention there is a pre-conference party on the 21st?… ;)