January 18, 2007

Myspace’s History

Inside Myspace is a good article detailing how they upgraded their systems over the years, how they were founded by former Friendster employees, and how they beat them at their own game:

At the time, Anderson and DeWolfe were also members of Friendster, an earlier entrant in the category MySpace now dominates, and they decided to create their own social networking site. Their version omitted many of the restrictions Friendster placed on how users could express themselves…
In a recent interview with Fortune magazine, Friendster president Kent Lindstrom admitted his service stumbled at just the wrong time, taking 20 to 30 seconds to deliver a page when MySpace was doing it in 2 or 3 seconds.

As a result, Friendster users began to defect to MySpace, which they saw as more dependable.

Pretty interesting if you’d like to read up on their success and what pitfalls they came across as they rapidly expanded.

As a side note, Myspace is offering spyware for parents to monitor their children to prevent things like this.

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July 5, 2006

Get Paid for Video-Sharing

I’ve mentioned how sites like Revver helped you make money by placing ads in the video (which, even when embedded in other pages, would still be viewed and, therefore, credit your account).

Well, eefoof is offering a revenue share with video uploaders using their site:

When you upload a piece of media for submission to eefoof, your first hit immediately starts generating income. Each month, we measure the amount of individual page views for each item you submit, and then calculate the percentage of hits it accounted for its media type. We then use this number to figure out your share of the sites ad revenue. Once your account exceeds $25, we will send you a Paypal transfer to the email specified at account creation.

effoof accepts video, images, flash, and audio.

This business model has been around for a while. forums like digital point have been doing this type of thing for a while and have been successful in increasing adoption and, therefore revenue (revshare means smaller margins but in greater volumes…if you do it successfully).

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May 16, 2006

New Yahoo Homepage

Yahoo has finally released a preview of their new homepage.

More info and pictures here:

The new yahoo.com marks a significant new look for the most trafficked website in the world. There’s plenty of AJAX magic to make the Yahoo homepage more interactive - and Yahoo has made a big effort to make the user the primary focus of the new homepage. It has a larger search box, in recognition of the big role that the search interface plays in today’s Web. There is also more emphasis on personalization, news content and community - moving away from the 90’s ‘everything under the sun’ portal to a more user-focused homepage for the user. Indeed upon visiting the preview page, you’re greeted with a banner that shows just how important personalization is to this re-design: “Welcome to the all-new Yahoo! It’s made for you.”

In the podcast we also discussed how the yahoo.com homepage has added more multimedia links and content, in line with Yahoo’s status nowadays as a media company. This trend for more video and audio content on the homepage will only increase over time.

From a design point of view, the most noticeable feature is an increased use of AJAX in the new layout. Also the page is wider, recognizing that the average PC monitor size has increased over the past few years (nb: there is an option to switch to a “narrow page”). The visual design employs the famous web 2.0 technique of faded colors - and there is more use of tabs too. In the podcast, VP of Front Doors Tapan Bhat explained some of the scaling challenges of implementing AJAX in a mass market website. He made it clear that the move to a more AJAX-heavy user interface required a lot of testing and optimization before it was ready for prime time. For an example of the AJAX touches, check out the “Personal Assistant” in the top-right corner

My opinion: Appears to have a lot of nice features…but it is very busy and, for some reason, reminds me of news sites. At least all the javascript and AJAX modifications aren’t significantly slow (I’m in the Mai Beta…it looks and operates a lot like MS Outlook…but it, like Zimbra is VERY slow).

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April 28, 2006

Friday Notes for April 28, 2006

Well, it’s been a while. I’ve been pretty busy with various things lately so I have decided to roll up all my updates and summarize them in one post:

  • Congrats to Brian Pike for making CTO of Ticketmaster
  • Google is providing Sketchup for free (with a paid pro version). It will allow you to create 3D models to integrate with Google Earth. It’ll be interesting to see where they go with this. Here are some ideas
  • Ask’s presentation on MySQL is available for download. It includes lots of the stuff we learned over the years but I told him I don’t like binary data like images in the DB (store the paths to them instead) ;-)
  • Renkoo is in a closed beta. It, like Skobee, is another Evite clone that plans on doing it better. (more on skobee)
  • Yahoo launched what appears to be a fixed placement ad product. source…note that this is a posting by Matt Booth. FYI, Citysearch utilized that business model before Matt pushed for the CPC route for CS (a good idea he should get credit for).
  • TrueLocal is offering a local traffic estimator tool to advertisers. I’ll try to get around to trying it out and seeing if it provides any real value and post results here. a user can type in shoes in 60612 and the local traffic estimator determines the three most popular categories for this search and the five nearest zip codes to 60612. This allows businesses to accurately asses which categories and zip for which they should bid.…Might be useful to use this tool for all your local marketing campaigns (assuming they get enough traffic for your area where you get a good, representative sample size).
  • Microsoft is gearing up for an attack against its search engine rivals….but regular readers here already know that ;-)
  • I just came across the first mainstream news source article on the v7ndotcom elursrebmem SEO contest. I first came across this one when my blog started getting continually referer and comment spammed with “v7ndotcom elursrebmem.” I didn’t understand why they were trying to optimize those words by spamming me but googling it turned up the reason (hard to find the reason now since everyone is optimizing for those words in the contest):

    Searching on “v7ndotcom elursrebmem” on Google yesterday yielded more than 6 million matching pages. My favorite is the site ranked No. 2, which purports to be the official site for “The Grand V7ndotcom Elursrebmem Hotel,” a nonexistent hotel in London, complete with photos and a virtual tour.

  • I wonder if the CIA is reading this blog
  • We’re sellingWe’re not selling. We cater to students, we cater to business people…either way, possibly good for local advertising. Perhaps this is a way to increase their potential audience to get more subscriptions and to capture an audience that isn’t quite so fickle so they don’t become the next Friendster but, instead, tap into revenue from businesses and business networking that hangs around (and may even increase when times get rough as they may be searching for business leads).
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April 20, 2006

Overview of Video Sharing Sites

Marketwatch notes that video verticals are cropping up everywhere and will beat out the major search engines’ video search.

To find out about these services and how they compare, check out DV Guru’s evaluation of 10 video services.

As a side note, the Marketwatch article mentions such sites as GrindTV and StupidVideos…these sites are run by PureVideo. For you ex-Citysearchers, check out who works there.

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April 19, 2006

Bubble 2.0

I’ve been in discussions about Web 2.0 and its origins…I don’t like the term but it seems to be going mainstream.

Anyway, check out this impressive list of web 2.0 companies. Just take a look at the enormous list then search online for some of them to find out how much some of them have received in VC funding.

I’m inclined to agree with others on their viability.

I don’t think that we’re in an Internet Bubble (as the title implies) but money seems to be flowing a bit more freely since the bubble burst.

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April 6, 2006

Online Video Editors

There have been plenty of online image editors for a while now.

Now I’m seeing more online video editors cropping up.

Both Eyespot and Jumpcut allow you to upload your video or “remix” somebody else (funny they should both use the same term). Then, you can share them with other users.

They limit file sizes and because of performance (network and software), these services seem to be best for short clips (eyespot, for example, allows you to MMS your mobile phone video clip to them and have it show up in your account).

They both have all sorts of audio/video editing features along with using others’ videos and sharing your videos.

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April 5, 2006

So You Think You’re an Origami Expert

…then check out this guy.

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March 30, 2006

.com Domain Name Availability

There’s a writeup of an analysis of available .com domain names that reviews availability of popular domains, including those based on length of the domain and those based on popular name in the US.

…there’s a reason why you’re reading this on fano.us and not [fanous].com :-)

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March 29, 2006

AjaxSketch - draw an SVG using AJAX

From the people who brought you AJAX Write, comes AJAX Sketch.

Great for diagramming, flow charts, free hand drawing, and more. With a similar look and feel to popular drawing programs, you don’t need to learn a new interface. Based on AJAX programming techniques, it is a completely web-based program with the quick response of conventional software.

Output is in SVG format.

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