Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fun With Post Titles

Recently resolved to rank first for the phrase UGC Viral Loop:

Friday, May 30, 2008

Google Sample robots.txt

I went to this little SEO talk for developers at Google Fremont last night puttogether by Ignition EIR Vanessa Fox. Absolutely the highlight was hearing an anecdote about Google posting a sample robots.txt file for webmasters to use that excluded the MSN crawler - and how, as you can imagine, that same robots.txt file is still in use by a large number of websites to this day.

World's Best How To Become A VC Post

'How to become a VC' is a blog topic that has been around the block more than a few times - but I think Fred Wilson has just now completely put it to rest - this is the best one by far:

I Got Lucky - AVC - Fred Wilson

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

UGC Viral Loop And Social Networks

I just Googled ‘ugc viral loop’ - the first result was this a) new, and b) not especially insightful article - so I figured the topic warranted a post . . .

This post is about a few things: The viral loop of user generated content - ugc, where this fits into the larger virality constellation and the importance of ugc, and seo - its companion, in the user acquisition picture for up and coming social networks outside of the big two.

The three kinds of virality:
1. Straight up word of mouth virality - no additional sharing, invite, embed, or bookmarking mechanism needed - if an article is good enough, or a video funny enough - your friend will drop the link in an email to you - and you’ll do the same for someone else. The takeaway here is great product/content - word of mouth is built in.

2. Engineered virality - this starts with the base case of a generic social network site where the value to any one user goes up with each friend invited, but these days the most interesting developments are happening in Facebook apps on the F8 platform where the metrics-focused discipline from the world of conversion to click/form submission/purchase is being applied to optimizing the user actions of ‘invite 20 friends’ et cetera.

3. UGC viral loop - while Facebook app user-growth rocketship trajectories garner the bulk of conversation, both sycophantic and skeptical - the established, inexorable virtuous cycle of user generated content feeding seo footprint is building sustainable businesses with interesting scale and growth stories. One user contributes a first piece of content, that content gets indexed, shows up on a search results page and brings in a second user organically.

Music social networks provide a great example of the under-appreciated power of ugc and seo compared to F8 as a user acquisition method. Here is the traffic comparison for iLike, a launch partner and poster child for Facebook Platform, and iMeem, a social music site with very strong seo and playlist widget stories - which one looks easier to sell ads on?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

L'Hydroptere - Extreme Sailing

Sailing - it's not all boat shoes, sundowners and bad life decisions, sometimes it's crazy French guys - witness L'Hydroptere - 87.5 km/h:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cellfire: Avoiding Local Fragmentation

Chris posted yesterday about some local online lessons learned, which reminded me of local/coupon company that is finding at least a little momentum. Cellfire delivers coupons to for local stores over your cell phone, and have been plugging away for a few years now. As of summer 2008, they are up to around 30 employees and growing. Cellfire has gotten around two of the principal problems in the local online space - getting to a large inventory, and broad distribution, basically by avoiding them - their coupon inventory is all national chains, and their distribution is all from getting into the fairly limited service stack on wireless carriers. To a great extent, Cellfire has chosen to limit down the scope of their business, but they have definitely avoided intractable nationwide local market fragmentation.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Piecing It Together

Late Friday afternoon in Seattle, we had a glass or two of wine in the office - and the next thing I remember is waking up at 4am in Nevada - on Monday. I'm still trying to piece it all together with the help of a cryptic set of polaroids :)

Friday, May 16, 2008

VC Strategy: Get The Inside Track On A Recap

Because it's Friday afternoon, I was thinking about Jobster's $7M recap news from last month - of course, existing investors participated. Then I free associated Andy's Kefta post series (which is awesome). It might work out pretty well for a seed investor to bring in a large subsequent round from a strategic and then pump more cash into a recap if you were able to cram it down enough. Even if the prior money wasn't spent in the most efficient way possible, there's certainly going to be some amount of value that was created to buy at a strong discount.

Conspiracy? BFeld, MLund, Bluehat Cold & Dark

Lately, three of my favorite bloggers have been cold & dark: Brad Feld, Morten Lund, and Eli from Bluehatseo - I want to believe that they are all heads down conspiring on some super secret deal together.

In reality, Feldologists (you know, like Kremlinologists) know there are two options: it's either off-the-grid week, or there will be imminent, interesting news. Morten Lund news is the sale of Zyb to Vodaphone today - although no doubt there are all kinds of crazy ideas/deals/news in the pipeline. Bluehatseo tends to humorously manipulate the readership for several reasons, like selling interesting webmaster tools.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Brightqube: Stunning UI + $650K

A little fundraising news from Brightqube yesterday - the video - in addition to having awesome intro music shows how cool the brightqube UI is - coincidentally, I got a demo of the Brightqube UI a couple of days ago and found it very compelling. Right now they are an affiliate pass through for photo agencies that own actual photo inventory, but look for Brightqube to use this as a stepping stone to building their own, proprietary stock photo inventory over time.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

L0ratad1ne Cheap Internet Pharma!

Internet adding real consumer value:

Today/this evening I have been getting a cold or allergies or something. Right about 11pm tonight I decided that I should take some m3ds to clear me up so I would sleep better. I found an unboxed packet of something called Loratadine which I had never heard of - without the Internet, I might hesitate before popping unknown pills, but Wikipedia told me it was the generic name for Claritin - Boom, problem solved.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Ok Fine Sometimes I Tweet

Come Work At blist

And you'll get to send the CEO instant messages like this one:

"wu-tang are pretty cool, foo fighters are a bit lame - although dave grohl was in nirvana and nirvana ruled"


mathew dot johnson at blist dot com

Chamillionaire And Social Media

For some reason I find myself posting rap-related content here on Mattishness more frequently than I would expect. In parallel, my professional interests run strongly towards social media and marketing - so when the twain meets - I can't not post. Here is a Mashable interview with Chamillionaire re: the most downloaded ringtone of all time:

Monday, May 5, 2008

PDT - Please Don't Tell

I went to PDT on Saturday evening - which is a total milestone for me - for years I have wanted to go to a bar with no sign - where you go into a run-of-the-mill basement level hot dog place, walk into the phone booth inside at the back, close the door, pick up the phone, say your name, and then have a hidden door in the back of the phone booth open up and be ushered inside the hidden speakeasy. . .

. . . And now I have!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Used To Not Much

I took the redeye from Seattle to New York last night. I don’t sleep very well on planes and there was a time when this same weekend whirlwind trip came as a shock to the system; I’d show up exhausted at 8am in the city and crash until about 11am before getting up and organized. These days, I am so supremely accustomed to poor sleeping and just generally being ragged that I hardly bat an eye. And no, I’m not sleeping any better on the plane - I just caffeinate and rally. There’s likely an end-of-rope to be reached in this progression, but I haven’t gotten there yet!

Later today I believe I’m going to a Kentucky Derby party, and tonight I’ve invited a bunch of different friends who I know from different stages & places in my life to a birthday party for a friend of a friend whom I don’t know myself - it’s looking like a great success.

If you know me and are around the Lower East Side this weekend - you’ll probably just run into me on the street by complete chance - because that’s the way it always ends up working out.

This stream of consciousness post is courtesy of being offline and misinformed about the availability of unsecured 802.11 networks in and around the vicinity of the Whole Foods on Bowery & Houston, oh wait, there’s one!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I-Booze, Seattle Startups List

I don't subscribe to the Seattle Startups list because I know I'll hear about anyhting particularly interesting that goes around on it from someone else. Case in point: - clicking through on this site is almost like being rickrolled.

Here's a fine sample of pre-launch copywriting from i-booze:

"i-booze is the first instant online alchohol delivery business. is still under development. !!!Any products purchased will not be delivered nor will the customer be billed!!!. Any information seen on these products is to be treated as fictional. Please create an account here and we will notify you promptly when is up and running!"