Archive for the ‘off topic’ Category

Web 2.0 Bubble?

Sunday, November 5th, 2006

Time and time again, people ask me, “Are we in a web 2.0 bubble?” And my answer has Web 2.0 Bubble?remained ‘no’ for quite some time now. Many are making comparisons to the bubble that burst in 2000, but I’m not convinced that the environment and conditions are the same.

Let me re-iterate that I am not living in the web 2.0 echo-chamber - or so I think. Every once in awhile, I try to step outside the boundaries of the online world to see the web from a non-techie perspective. It is very tough, to be honest. To me, sites like Flickr and Craigslist seem like household names that everyone knows about. But I’ve been surprised to learn that many of my friends and family had never heard of them. Nonetheless, I still do not believe we are in a bubble… yet.

I have taken several key factors into consideration before formulating my decision. These factors were present in the last bubble. Should these factors change, we may very well move into a bubble. They are:

  1. Less IPOs - straight up, we are seeing less companies going public. The IPO hype and hoopla of the late 90s is gone. Companies are listing only if the decision makes sense from a strategy perspective. However, we are starting to see more and more tech/Internet IPOs in recent times. Should this trend continue, especially with small web start-ups, we may be in trouble.
  2. Smaller Rounds of Financing - companies are raising much smaller equity rounds. Nowadays, a new venture can be started and operated on a much smaller budget than in the past. During the last bubble, anyone with an idea and a great Powerpoint could raise upward of $5, $10, or $20 million with relative ease.
  3. Revenue Models - it would seem like a revenue model is essential for any start-up. However, the previous bubble indicated that this was not the case, especially on the Internet. Any site that could garner considerable traffic assumed that a revenue model or, at worst, an advertising model would fuel company growth.

As I mentioned earlier, I do not believe we are in a full-blown bubble. Having said that, if we continue to see flashbacks from the late 90s or the key factors listed above change, then hold on to your RSS reader and wiki as we may be in for a rough ride.

MappingTheWeb Adds New Feature

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

Today, MappingTheWeb added a new feature which should help spread the word about the blog. At first, it may not seem apparent, but upon further scrutiny you will notice that at the end of each post there are three little icons. To some, these are industry standard. To blog newbies, you may need a bit more of an explanation.

The first icon (let’s call it four squares in a box) allows you to add an online social bookmark at The second icon (man with shovel) allows you to Digg a post quickly and easily. Finally, the third box (cute alien being) allows you to vote ‘up’ the post on Reddit, which was recently bought by Conde-Nast and is similar to Digg.

Hopefully readers and users will click on these icons on a regular basis to help spread the word about the blog :). At least, that is my hope.

Many bloggers uses this strategy and some quite successfully. It is a very simple way to market a blog with little effort. In the blogosphere, other popular marketing tools include RSS and blog search engines. If you can find a way to diversify your traffic stream, you don’t have to rely on one stream or another.

Anyways, I just really want more people to learn about and read MappingTheWeb. I put a lot of time and effort into the blog, but I love it. So next time you read a post you like, be sure to Digg it!

MappingTheWeb Applies for 9Rules

Saturday, October 28th, 2006

In an attempt to gain added exposure and recognition within the web 2.0 world, 9Rules logoMappingTheWeb applied to the 9Rules network on Wednesday. Results of the submissions should be posted within the next week or two. Other notable blogs in the 9Rules web 2.0 category include Mashable, SolutionWatch, and Postbubble. Because very few blogs are accepted into the prestigious network, it will be a real honour indeed if MappingTheWeb does get approved.

For more information about the network itself, visit 9Rules.

For more information about Round 5 of submissions, visit the 9Rules blog.

MappingTheWeb Exposure

Saturday, October 21st, 2006

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) ;)

SEO Contingent Business Models

Friday, October 20th, 2006

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.