YouAre.TV is For Sale… on eBay

December 11th, 2007 | Categories: acquisitions, blogs, marketing, markets, social media, strategy, trends

Once again, the eBay M&A machine continues to churn out potential takeover candidates. YouAre.TV has put itself up for sale on the popular auction site. This isn’t the first time a company has done such a thing, and it definitely won’t be the last.

The company doesn’t go into much detail about the sale on their blog. However, in the auction description, the founders go on to say, “We are only selling b/c we have moved on to new a project, and we don’t quite have the resources to support both anymore.” I’m not a cynic and I hate to jump to conclusions, but it sounds like this project didn’t pan out. If the site is indeed growing like they say, then they should still be hammering away at it.

One big downfall of the site, in my opinion, is its close semblance to YouTube. Both share the term “you” in their names. Both share a similar TV-like logo. Both compete in the ‘video community’ space. I’d wager that many new visitors immediately come to the conclusion that YouAre.TV is simply another YouTube clone. It’s sad, but true.

Kiko was one of the first small start-ups (that I can remember) to put itself up for sale on eBay. It received a huge amount of PR and press, and was eventually sold to Tucows for over $200,000. Not bad. My guess is that YouAre.TV is trying to capitalize on the same type of PR scenario. The difference is that the novelty is gone - it’s been done before. A new way to sell your online business is via Sitepoint Marketplace. This is how TechCrunch bought InviteShare.

What’s most interesting of all is that the company claims to have received a $100,000 offer for the domain itself by a major media firm. The company says they refused that offer. That seems like a ridiculously high offer for a mediocre domain. If indeed the offer were legitimate though, why would the company turn it down?

Currently, the whole package is up for sale on eBay at a starting price of $25,000 and there are NO bids thus far. Perhaps they should have just taken the $100,000 and cut their losses…

Do you think eBay is a legitimate, respectable way to sell a company? Or do you think that such a strategy takes away from the brand value and perception?

How YouTube Has Harnessed The Network Effect

December 10th, 2007 | Categories: acquisitions, networks, social media, trends

YouTube logo

Initially, it may not seem apparent how YouTube could harness the Network Effect. But upon further inspection, it becomes quite clear. The basic premise is this: I know that no matter what video I’m looking for, YouTube will have it 99.99% of the time. In other words:

“With every user added and video uploaded, the whole network becomes more valuable to all.”

It will be extremely hard for any other video sharing site(s) to play catch-up at this point. YouTube is just so far ahead. The amount of content almost seems insurmountable. Much in the same as eBay, as YouTube grows, the whole network becomes more powerful.

I believe this to be the biggest reason why YouTube has become the leading video sharing site on the net and continues to grow at a phenomenal rate.

Disappointment in Big Blogs

December 7th, 2007 | Categories: blogs, marketing, networks, off topic, social media, trends

BlogsI’ve been extremely disappointed with some of the big blogs recently. Their lack of interesting content and regurgitated material is uninspiring to say the least. I’m not going to name any blogs in particular, but you can come to your own conclusions.

My biggest concern revolves around blog owners, formerly known as the original blog publishers. I say this because most have given up writing (to some extent) to focus on management. These big blogs usually employ several full-time writers, as well as an assortment of part-time and guest publishers. Add to that the fact that ad sales and management take up a considerable chunk of time. This leaves little, if any, time for writing.

Another criticism I have for many big blogs is their habit of going off topic. Instead of focusing on the content that formed the basis for the blog, the author(s) choose to venture in a new direction - one that is often focused on gaining new readers rather than saitsfying the current ones.

Generally, it just seems that the priority has shifted from the content to the marketing and business processes. I’m not saying this is true for all big blogs, but it is definitely apparent on a couple.

All the above issues point to one thing: many big blogs are beginning to look like magazines or newspapers. Wait… Weren’t blogs supposed to be the medium that destroys these traditional media outlets? Yes, but it seems this argument has turned full circle. With less opinion and more conservatives views, these blogs are toning down the content in an attempt to appeal to a larger market. It also seems like they are trying to churn out quantity rather than quality. This may come back to bite them in end.

What is your take on this matter? Do you think that some big blogs are “selling out”?

Did The Technorati Search Box Just Get Smaller?

December 6th, 2007 | Categories: blogs, launch, networks, search, strategy

Technorati logoYou gotta be kidding me. It used to be a joke, and now it’s just plain ridiculous. Obviously, I’m referring to the new Technorati site re-launch. Techcrunch seems to like the new offering. Don’t ask me why. I’m completely baffled by the new direction of the company.

To me (and many others), search is CORE to Technorati. It is their primary offering. But it seems that the focus is shifting. The new site looks more like a news portal than a search engine. Features such as the “percolator” and tag cloud are being emphasized. I believe these to be secondary/supporting features. In other words, they shouldn’t be showcased. As search is the core offering, SEARCH should be emphasized. And for some insane reason that’s beyond me, they’ve shrunk the search box - it’s tiny. I implore everyone to visit the Technorati home page and take a look at the size of this box. It’s comparable to a regular (small) search box on any given website. This is ridiculous for a so-called “blog search engine”. It’s unacceptable.

I wish I could talk to the new CEO and say, “What the heck are you doing?” The guy is off to a bad start already. I’m genuinely upset about this new company shift. It’s illogical and irresponsible. If less concentration is going to be placed on search and more on content and discovery, then rebrand the company. Otherwise, focus on your core competency and let the rest take care of itself. Like I say, any new visitor to Technorati would assume that the site is more focused on current blog content rather than search.

Let me go on to criticize the home page a bit more…

First of all, way too much space has been allocated for advertising. I can spot one leaderboard, one giant square, and three text ads above the fold. Personally, I think they diminish the overall experience. I understand that they are part of the revenue model, but I still think they can be integrated in a more appropriate manner. Currently, they are completely ruining the experience.

I’ve criticized the company in the past, but this is a whole new ball game. Here is my advice for the company (free of charge): throw out the new stories, tags, some of the ads, and just gimme a big friggin search box. There… I saved the company thousands in consulting fees. Thank me later.

Once again, I encourage everyone to hit the Technorati home page and try to spot the search box. It’s like “Where’s Waldo 2.0?”… I’m sure you’ll be unpleasantly surprised.

Who Are My Readers?

December 5th, 2007 | Categories: blogs, marketing, networks, off topic

ConfusedGood question. Apart from MyBlogLog users, I have no idea who reads my blog. Having said that, I am very keen on getting to know my readers. I truly appreciate all the comments, trackbacks, links, and e-mails. Nevertheless, there are still those who like to hang around the periphery and watch from a distance. I have no problem with that, but for this one post…

I would like all regular readers, as well as new visitors, to introduce themselves with a simple comment below. Just mention your name, how long you’ve been reading the blog, and what you do for a living. Heck, you can even mention your company or your pet’s name.

This is simple experiment to help us all get to know one another. It may also provide some added exposure for yourself or your company. So please be sure to drop a comment - even if it is very short. Thanks guys.