Google in Hungary and search as such

How is SEM developing in Hungary?

3 moments at DLD07: Magdalena Böttger, a geek girl’s choices

Posted by Annplugged on January 29, 2007

No 1: That’s easy. Brainstorming with Tariq [Krim, founder and CEO of Netvibes] about cool new features for netvibes. Really funny.

No 2: Ranting with Martin about hip and crazy people. Trying to feel much more morally straight. Kind of failed.

No 3: Anshe Chung real life husband talking about how the character developed and got a life of its own. Cute and amazing at the same time.

[Wow, I would be pretty interested in hearing more about it, Magdalena!]

[And about networking:]

I also felt that newcomers who knew noone would have a hard time. People seemed just to be talking to people they already knew. Fortunately there was a very down-to-earth but equally crowded blogger meeting on sunday evening. There you could really get in touch with new people.

[note: blogger meeting was primarily for German bloggers but anyone could attend the pub-conference. Does anybody have an English summary of the meet-up?]

Posted in Blog, DLD07 | Leave a Comment »

Earn money on YouTube

Posted by Annplugged on January 27, 2007

Goo(g)d news. Soon you will start generating money on YouTube.

How soon? We don’t know. But Chad Hurley announced at World Economic Forum, Davos on 27 Jan that they would reward users for self-generated content, saying “We are getting an audience large enough where we have an opportunity to support creativity, to foster creativity through sharing revenue with our users.”

The idea is great, and I think it is a strong response to video sharing site Metacafé‘s challenge, where revenue sharing already started 3 months ago. Eyal Herzog, co-founder talked about it Digital Life Design conference (DLD07) on Jan 22, so it was only 5 days ago that I aired my criticism “How come YouTube seems to be unresponsive? Can they really be that comfortable in the stregthening competition? Lots of national video sites are mushrooming suddenly. Not only is GooTube lagging behind in building communities, and financially rewarding producers, it is also painfully low-performer regarding technology.”

Of course, it may have been originally timed to be announced at Davos forum, but it may also have been that many of the people at DLD07 in Munich also participated in Davos, and realized that Metacafé is very competitive, and is threatening to take away those precious eyeballs (already boasting 500.000.000 video downloads a month!)

How are they going to define self-generated? What will be the business model?

Will they copy Metacafé in the CPM based earnings? (5 USD/ thousand views) or will it be a more complex calculation including (on top of CPM or CPC)

  • viral effect: loads of inbound links from other blogs, and web pages
  • number of comments
  • number of video responses
  • number of shares (CPA)
  • number of times favorited
  • number of subscriptions, or the monthly growth on it

There are several factors that could be included potentially. How to make it simple?

Metacafé simplified it in the following way:

Metacafé, earned revenue from UGC“Producers get 5 USD/ CPM (a thousand views) if the total number of views go over 20.000 (Are you a producer? Just log in, and see how much you have earned. ” (Eyal Hertzog)

For YouTube, the good news is that Google AdSense payment model makes it easier to switch into the new business model and send money to content providers. Or even better, that they can count on the excellent technology of YouTube, (pardon my French) Google.

PS: the top earner on Metacafé, is not a simple user but a company: Reel Stunts Action Team, with several candidate films, but only one that generated all that 25.000 USD.

Update: Thanks to Philipp Lenssen and Tony Ruscoe for posting it on Google Blogoscoped.

Posted in AdSense, clips, DLD07, Google, Google Video, Metacafé, Monetizing, Video, YouTube | Leave a Comment »

How is Google generating revenue on YouTube?

Posted by Annplugged on January 26, 2007

Marissa Mayer’s answer is ‘we don’t know, we are still experimenting.’ (Digital, Life, Design conference, Munich: DLD07)

On Jan 25 2006 the first step towards actually integrating YouTube into Google’s products was taken: if you make a search query on Google Video, you’ll see loads of YouTube shots.

Liz Gannes on NewTeeVee is asking why is it worth running two video sites? (“why take a sidetrip to a search engine when you’ll end up on YouTube anyway?”)

In my opinion, that’s why:

As for running two sites (one for YouTube and one for Google video search): I think it is totally reasonable and profitable.

  • Reason 1: they have different profiles, roles, images as defined by Google (as Salar Kamangar put it, one for content the other for search – the options in AdWords)
  • Reason 2: with two brands you have more scope for experimenting
  • Reason 3: the combination of the above two

From the user’s point of view:

On YouTube you accidentally ‘stumble upon’ and interact

On Google video search you purposefully search and spend no time on socializing

From the media point of view:

YouTube functions as a content site of Google’s content network with a distinct community and with more scope for applying, testing various ad formats. And these tests, mind you, will be less affecting Google brand, as YouTube is separate. So video shots interrupted by an ad on YouTube will not clash with Google’s aim to ‘enhance user experience,’ because it is not Google. Being intrusive on YouTube while ‘finding out how to reduce being intrusive to the minimum’ works on the YouTube brand better and safer.

How they are carrying out video ads is absolutely an exciting question. When Marissa Mayer was asked about it at Digital Life Design conference (DLD07) in Munich, she said they are experimenting and gathering data, feedback, etc. on what works best. See: http://videos.dld-conference.com/ (day: Jan 23, The Billion Dollar Bubble). “There are lots of different business models… Maybe it means the user needs pay directly for the service, maybe it means advertisers will pay more…advertisers are good at valuing those eyeballs.” i.e. Advertisers will say how much it is worth them (even bidding?)

It is baffling though why haven’t they improved the searches (awful results pages, no need to describe them). Also, why haven’t they tried to experiment with dividing YouTube into two main columns as they do on Google search results pages: one column for organic video search and one for sponsored videos with bid management – based on similar principles to search algorithm.

But maybe this division is coming on Google video search – which, as a separate site, is of course worth being kept, if it works as an aggregator, and it will work as an aggregator indexing all sources they can/ are allowed to – with no social networking features, focusing on search, and potentially, with a differentiated method of generating ad revenue. One thing is sure, however, based on Google’s policy, I think it is out of question that Google could afford to be a biased video search engine – users’ trust is their biggest asset (besides lava lamps). So there is no way that they could push YouTube videos ahead of videos hosted on other sites.

 

Posted in AdSense, advertising, Adwords, clips, Google, Google Video, Monetizing, search, Video, YouTube | 3 Comments »

3 moments at DLD07 conference

Posted by Annplugged on January 23, 2007

Back home to Budapest, Hungary, and here comes a quick, subjective assessment on ‘what were the brightest moments at DLD07 conference:’ at least for me, and for Esther Dyson, with whom I was honored to get to Budapest city centre in the cab she generously shared with me.

The top three results:

No. 1

Where Are The Editors? (Tariq Krim, Craig Newmark, Caterina Fake, Arianna Huffington, David Sifry, Jim Spanfeller. Moderation: Jochen Wegner) (definite vote from Esther Dyson) (definite official programme No. 1 from me) As my laptop battery ran down right at this discussion, i.e. the culmination of the conference, I still owe a blogpost on it. Do not miss it.

No. 2

  • Esther’s vote goes for Mr. Hubert Burda.
  • Mine goes for having an intriguing wifi-centred conversation with hacker-makecomputersexy Pablos Holman, and the like.

No. 3

  • Esther’s choice is all the interesting people at DLD07 (probably You), and talking to these people (unfortunately she did not go into details about it).
  • Mine is for another official panel session: in fact 2 of them
  1. Video sites, video communication, vlogging (Miles Beckett, Eyal Hertzog, Gabe McIntyre, Anil de Mello. Moderation: Rupert Schäfer)
  2. Disruptive Connections: on the mobile platform
    (Hjalmar Winbladh, Jeff Pulver, Marko Ahtisaari, Alexander Straub. Moderation: Christoph Braun)

There are lots of sessions that were also worth attending, and I wish to watch (again) on DLD conference 2007 video collection, as it was impossible to absorb everything.

Thank you Hubert Burda Media, and the conference partners. Big thank you from a blogger, believer, and search marketing advisor who had a chance to experience the real vibe of 2007 – physically not simply virtually.

It was an excellent, constructive thinktank meeting in Munich with truly interesting panel discussions, major market players, real stakeholders including business and design guys from big corporations, fantastic food and drink, mostly working wifi (quite a challenge for any conference organizor), professional conference settings/organizational solutions, and almost instantaneous video publication (!).

And what about you, other bloggers, participants? What were your best moments? And what did you miss at the conference?
ps: to provide my own coming out for constructive criticism (with the intention of making sth excellent even better):

a, I missed the opportunity to give feedback on the conference, b, missed some plugs to recharge easily running down laptops – maybe plugs, leads at the three, non-stage sides of the conference rooms would have been really convenient, c, some fresh (organic) food (fruits, salad) on the menu, d, some program points for facilitating networking. Undeniably, there were lots and lots of networking going on (on condition you already knew other people there), but there may be some solution for including newcomers, sort of team-building, and re-shaking oldtimers. e, I have jsut checked out youtube for dld07 tags, only 6 short bits are uploaded: convey the DLD messages, great interviews, keynotes on the central promotional site, please to reach out for more.

Finally, a daring dream: what about a DLD conference which juggles with 1 more day including workshops? Tough job, but very worthwhile, I think.

Thank you for the invitation, and the tons of food for thought, DLD. 🙂

UPDATE: DLD07 post-survey form has been sent to every participant. Thanks.

Posted in Criticism, DLD07, reception | 3 Comments »

Lonelygirl15 from Miles Beckett at DLD07 conference

Posted by Annplugged on January 23, 2007

Part 3 of the Vlogging program at DLD07 is about the creator of lonelygirl15: Miles Beckett (a surgeon turned vlog-director, a remark in brackets no journalist would forget to add, neither blogger).

If you do not know what lonelygirl15 is, go to youtube and you will find more uploads about her than about JFK, Tony Blair etc. The main point is that for quite a long time viewers thought that she was a real person sharing her thoughts with the great public, asking for help, talking about her relationship with her boyfriend, etc. She turned out to be a fictional character springing out of Miles Beckett’s head. Or is it the main point? Or is it more important that

  • Miles checked out what was popular on youtube and chose his theme accordingly (OK, could have been lonelypet2month if you ask me, but Miles hasn’t contacted me for ideas)
  • The mini soap opera series started on June 12 2006, already on July 4 a lonelygirl15 monolog attracted half a million users within 24 hours. So the time for success was there within 3 weeks. Was it coming free? Not in a sense of free time: lonelygirl15 was acting as a real member of the community, actively participating in youtube life, like commenting on other people’s videos, thus calling attention to herself and her problematic life. Miles did not talk about it, but there must have been certain preferences for picking the hubs in youtube. How many hours per day have they spent on it in those 3 weeks is another question. Finally, what sort of contribution was it? I guess more than a ‘nice post, thank you XY’ which is so typical of linkhunters merely placing their linktraps for cathcing eyeballs. etc.
  • They also have their own website now – so they have an independent site to monetize in addition to youtube.
  • (and here comes the most important bit): Miles does not intend to go ahead simply with the lonelygirl tributes, he is actually trying to mash up the video series with social networking. He is trying to discover what online video communication is capable of. How? For instance, they are encouraging viewers, or rather, fans to contribute to the story with their own ideas, whether it is on the forum, or in a video response format. There are four characters now, and one of them was announced to check out the chatroom at, let’s say, 6 o’clock Pacific time. ‘Was announced’ is not a good wording though: what in fact happened was that the fictional character acting as a real person, plagued by real problems wrote to the visitors of lonelygrillgirl15 site that ‘I dunno what to do, but at 6 o’clock Pacific time I will go to the chat room.” So (s)he was asking for advice, and fans were eager to share: “servers crashed in fact…,” says Miles.
  • Anyway, the fan-base is very-very interactive, there are 500-1000 comments per shot. Soap opera fans react very emotionally, e.g. they warn the characters what not to do (that reminds me of kids shouting to Little Red Riding Hood ‘the wolf is behind the bush’, and of moments when fans are actually raising money to save fictional lives. The good news is that we can get closer to a fictional existence to raise money for non-fictional people – like the guy who raised money for a new apple powerbook (!). Maybe the hundred dollar laptop campaign could use such fictional elements? Where is the limit?
  • LG15 is still the number one on youtube, states Miles. There are about 1-1.5 million users/week: continuously. Despite the fact, that it turned out that lonelygirl15 is an invented, edited teenager. In fact, as it usually goes with publicity, the number of viewers, and more importantly, the number of ardent fans has increased manifold. A question for Miles: have they ever used product placement in the monologs? How exactly are they monetizing this endless program of heartfelt bedroom intimacy while preserving its ‘authenticity’?
  • No copyright problems, no lurking litigation. Fans are actually encouraged to download the sequel, and make their own versions (Why not encouraged by other soap operas from TV companies? Can they react really so slowly? Have you heard about other TV series/serials building on viewers participation?)

Recommended article on the project in Wired magazine.

Posted in DLD07, Video | Leave a Comment »

Video abundance, Mobuzz goes for mobile snippets (DLD07 conference)

Posted by Annplugged on January 23, 2007

(Great, laptop battery is vigorous again.)

MoBuzz TV was founded 2 years ago, with the aim to provide good video content for mobile devices. 2 years ago, however, the bunch of operators in Europe weren’t ready with 3G, so Anil de Mello, CEO & producer of MobuzzTV, decided to put their video spots on the web. Today they attract 4.5 million viewers on a monthly basis. They have had major campaigns with Levi’s, Adidas, Disney etc. So it seems they are a lot more profit-oriented vlog (video blog) than RocketBoom, which is not only enjoying viral hype, but also features somewhat poor content. I am eager to check out more stuff on MoBuzz as the scenes with Karin (show hostess, so to say) were truly enjoyable (sharing statistics like ‘Apple is for the geriatric of tech geeks’).

So what do they cover? Several areas for young/ youngish/ still youngish consumers interested in technology, business trends and entertainment, and not only in English and Spanish, but soon in German, Dutch and French, too. The blog posts a new 2-4 minute video every day (recorded in Madrid, Spain), which you can download directly from MoBuzz, from itunes, etc. So far they have produced some 1200 shows (multiplied by 2 minutes, you get 2400 min, i.e. 40 hour content).

Do they take on training their audience how to make video content? Well, there is no training but they do encourage viewers to send in their material (mind you, no financial award for that unlike at Metacafe). Anil’s example: make an interview with your neighbour what he/she thinks about PlayStation. 🙂

Posted in DLD07, Video | Leave a Comment »

Video abundance, Metacafe envisioning quality in it (DLD07 conference)

Posted by Annplugged on January 22, 2007

Metacafe is a video portal, however the mission is more than that: Eyal Hertzog, co-founder of Metacafe, nurtures the “vision to become the highest-quality video destination site on the Internet” At the moment they have 500.000.000 video views per month, and 20.000 new downloads every day. Ant there are numerous uploads as well. No wonder, after all, producers get 5 USD/ CPM (a thousand views) if the total number of views go over 20.000 (Are you a producer? Just log in, and see how much you have earned).
How come YouTube seems to be unresponsive? Can they really be that comfortable in the stregthening competition? Lots of national video sites are mushrooming suddenly. Not only is GooTube lagging behind in building communities, and financially rewarding producers, it is also painfully low-performer regarding technology: video ranking is awful, search results are many times unsuable, if you watch a tween peaks spot, say 4/4 you are not offered 4/5 as the next bit, simply the technology is not behind that.

But back to Metacafe, and its future:
Eyal is saying that they definitely expect growth. That is, continue to grow. They are talking to a lot of people in the industry (there have been rumors on Microsoft’s intentions for a Metacafe buy-up, which must have been encouraged by such industry talks). But, according to Eyal, “they wish to grow as an independent company.” They just started the rewarding program 3 months ago (paying for the UGC) and it is thrilling, “there is a huge growth.”

I guess the future is also about developing what metacafe has been unable to offer so far. OK, they are popular and international. But are they also in national languages? Not yet? Can they offer vertically specializing channels like cooking programs, natural films etc. ? Not yet. As Eyal points out, they should have a reply to the needs he calls the ‘interests, tastes, and soap,’ which is the next step once the site has become popular and international, and localized at the same time (localized is the future). So there is ample space to spear ahead into for all video platforms.

Update: on Jan 27 when Chad Hurley announced to start revenue sharing on YoTube.

Posted in Emerging markets, Metacafé, YouTube | 4 Comments »

Aenne Burda Award is now going to…

Posted by Annplugged on January 22, 2007

…Flickr site co-founder, Caterina Fake.

Practically Marissa Mayer (the first lady awarded with the award) has said these few words so far. She will speak more tomorrow.

Posted in DLD07 | Leave a Comment »

Social networking panel discussion at DLD07: Facebook, Xing, aSmallWorld, and Mr Oetker

Posted by Annplugged on January 22, 2007

That was a very interesting bit about social networking sites, and I would like to give credit to the moderator also (Oliver Samwer), as such multifaceted conversations depend a lot on the quality of moderation. I think, this time it was pretty good. Instead of giving a summary on the panel discussion, the full video shot of which is available on Digital Life Design conference page I will only pick the thoughts on social networking sites I found most interesting.

All kinds of social networking sites, and changing
Probably the most important conclusion of the panel speakers was that there can be several types of social networking sites, serving different purposes, like specializing in different age groups, contents (note: potentially lucrative investment in energy/ green networking!), etc. One lady of the audience asked the panel how these sites are catering for the changing behavioral patterns, needs, interests of individual users? She cited Facebook and Linkedin as an example. If you are finished with student lifestyle and start working, will switch from Facebook student site to Linkedin professional site? I have found this a really exciting question. What will happen to ex-myspace users when they get over the ‘any moment in my life is worth being recorded’ period? Will myspace grow up with them or will the older ones find their new networking sites?

Facebook vs. MySpace
While MySpace is investing heavily in being ‘Cool!’ and also in technology, and the focus is on monetizing the site with all kinds of solutions, Facebook is concentrating more on offering an increasing number of useful functions, plus remaining a tightly-knit community where people actually meet in real life and only after then do they establish a new connection in the network. As for making money with Facebook, they are more into branding, as the way they see young students really find it important to express themselves though brands (Matt Cohler is VP Strategy & Business Operations at Facebook, and the DLD page forgot to mention that Matt resembles Agent Cooper in TweenPeaks (maybe the association was strengthened by the black suit image too)).

Protecting the network profile
Erik Wachtmeister is the founder of social networking aSmallWorld (150.000 members from 150 countries), where currently 6 webmasters decide on what is considered inappropriate behavior on aSmallWorld i.e. what to get rid of (yes, sth like ‘police’). He cited Orkut as an example of a social networking site that developed organically but changed direction so much that it actually got taken over by Brazilian teenagers communicating in Portuguese rather than English – instead of remaining a Silicon Valley community place. So putting together his words, it sounded like the 6 webmasters also ensure that aSmall World is not barbarically taken over and transformed into a chaotic monster pen. Matt Cohler from Facework said that they prefer to have the sub-communities of the whole network establish their own social norms. He also added that a million PVs per day makes it impossible to use human editors on the site (they have some technology for flagging).

Will Mr Oetker invest in any of these sites?
I think Dr Arend Oetker gave a reasonable reply, although being challenged in front of a bunch of digital-minded and tech-savvy people. His answer was ‘No’ and I suppose the reaction among the audience may have been ‘He does not know what he is missing out on.’ Mr Oetker was saying that he would rather “stick to his roots and his knowledge base, although the site representatives sounded intriguing.” I think it is a wise reaction, and not a flat refusal. He added “if you wanted to diversify, you would have to have partners, and very few partners, and only such ones that you can really trust. Try to choose different characters for partners and show respect for each other.” So he gave his personal advice, and I think it is sth to be appreciated (also to accept the challenge of DLD). The conclusion is that if he was approached with the idea of diversifying into social networking media he should be approached through one of his trusted partners. 🙂 The question is which of his trusted partners can be approached in a different way (different from Mr Oetker’s), which of them has more expertise in marketing, media, is more risk-taking etc. If none of them, other investors are needed. That’s all.

Xing vs. Linkedin?

“Lars Hinrichs is co-founder and Managing Director of Xing, formally known as OpenBC… With his broad spectrum of activities and high level memberships in various organizations, e.g. the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), Lars has an excellent network of contacts worldwide. The idea of enabling networking between his contacts has inspired him to build up openBC.” (excerpt from the official DLD site). So as you can see it is sth like Linkedin based on business connections. Its business model is not based upon featuring targeted ads for users: its only source of income is subscriptions. Personally I do not believe in subscription fee, I expect to have some changes in the system (like headhunters being heavily charged in Linkedin). Lars encouraged everyone with a viable digital idea and a strong sense of entrepreneurship to stick to their ideas and go ahead with realization. He says there is money out there, they are only waiting for you to ask for it.

Let it be. And let that lucrative green social networking site be launched, truly crossing the borders, financed by giant corporate networks showing their responsibility.

Posted in DLD07, Social network | Leave a Comment »

Hacking session at DLD07: Pablos Holman

Posted by Annplugged on January 22, 2007

If you are interested in hacking, unlocking, peeping etc., and you wish to encourage kids to be more daring in experimenting with the ever increasing number of digital devices surrounding them, then you should definitely check out Pablos Holman’s sparking ideas from ‘Hackers Inc.’ or Komposite.com (pablos@komposite.com)
Fun is guaranteed.
He talked about the usual hacks of remote controlling your hotel TV set with your laptop, and checking what others are doing on their laptops in the hotel if you are bored. There was a few words about the MySpace friend-making machine (embedded java script), the project called ‘samy is my hero’, using keys (physical) keys to get through unnecessary obstacles, like doors, gates, building a sharkwhatever, and a lot of other hairraising things (other whatevers).

But who is Pablos Holman?

“Pablos is a futurist, IT security expert, and a notorious hacker… At Komposite, he consults on bizarre invention and design projects that assimilate new technologies. Previously, Pablos created thigh holsters for cell phones at Tsaya; helped build the world’s smallest PC at OQO; spaceships at Blue Origin; and AI agent systems at Xigo. He is a member of The Shmoo Group of information security professionals, and helped create the Hackerbot, a WiFi-seeking robot.” (DLD07)

Watch his presentation on the video page of DLD07.

Posted in DLD07 | Leave a Comment »