April 2004 Archives
Someone should start a Google barometer. It is obvious that "as goes Google, so goes the market for Internet stocks (Jupitermedia included)." Recent days have brought us a down market. But as we get closer to the Google IPO, I believe we will see Internet stocks taking off in relation to this fictional Google barometer.
The other trend sure to happen is a slew of VC investments in SEO (search engine optimization) organizations and of course, SEO IPO's.
We are in for exciting times in the Internet marketing and information areas.
GOOGLE, GOOGLE, GOOGLE. Everyday we have stories about the purported IPO. A reporter from a major paper in the USA called me yesterday to discuss Google and the future growth of search. One insight I had was the trajectory of Jupitermedia's Search Engine Strategy trade shows (three in the USA and editions in five other countries annually with more to come). I gave the example of our inaugural SES show slated for Toronto in two weeks. This show will be significantly profitable from the start - a rare accomplishment for first-time trade shows these days! We expect the same for the launch in Sweden and we had a profitable first show in Tokyo last week. SES is an amazing franchise and I am not aware of any other shows in the world today that have such a trajectory (other than perhaps the Pulver VoiP shows).
I am in Europe visiting various Jupitermedia offices including our newest in Luxembourg where Comstock Images resides.
Prior to the trip I decided to test two Internet services: Netflix and Real Networks' music download service.
I am impressed! Enrolling in Netflix was a breeze. My Netflix titles arrived in two working days. The return process includes a unique mailing envelope which will alleviate the pain of returning the titles.
I have only the highest praise for the Real Networks music download service. The registration process is very easy. And downloading selections is a delight.
When I travel in Europe I try to stay awake until 3:00 AM (and arise by 7:00 AM) so that I remain on New York time as much as possible thus negating jet lag when returning home. A cheap way to kill those early morning hours is to play around with the Real music service.
Nothing I have written here is news to readers. I have been slow to try these services, but now I am a zealot. And of course all of this means that I am an example of how the Internet is growing business and businesses in many ways and directions.
Even after all this time, the power of our broad JupiterWeb network can still amaze me.
Earlier today, a soldier stationed in Iraq used the message board we operate
at Wi-FiPlanet to help solve a technical problem he was having with his
wireless network. Within a couple of hours, one of the forum members wrote
back with a detailed answer. As I write this, the forum member and soldier
are writing back and forth, trying to figure out the best way to solve the
problem. Simply amazing.
Mary Meeker, star analyst from Morgan Stanley, recently was mentioned in an article in the WALL STREET JOURNAL as "pushing" China-based Internet stocks. Based on her track record 1996 to 2001 (in the Internet space) I would suggest that Meeker's interest in China means it is time to sell Chinese Internet stocks ASAP.
Buying Chinese Internet stocks was a great idea about a year ago, but not now.
Meeker was known as the "Queen of the Net." Just about every idea she had in the 1990s proved to be wrong. She was fortunate not to get rapped by the government a la Henry Blodgett of Merrill Lynch fame. I am still not sure how she escaped the government's wrath.
China and the Internet have a future. Just be careful as a stock investor.
AMAZON LAUNCHES A9 SEARCH ENGINE
I have stated several times that "search" is the killer application of the Internet. And there is lots of money to be made in the search field. Now we have Amazon jumping into the pot with its own search operation (based on Google technology). I would bet that if early tests score well for Amazon, we can someday see Amazon breaking away from Google as other large organizations have done in this area.
DIGITAL RIGHTS MANAGEMENT
Based on the success Jupitermedia (the company I work for) had at its inaugural DRM Strategies trade show this week in New York City, I can tell readers that the digital rights area is going to be a growth sector for both the intellectual rights side of the topic as well as the enterprise. Chair person Bill Rosenblatt brought together a terrific group of speakers over three days (Bill edits our Web site dealing with DRM and is an independent consultant). Microsoft ran a cocktail reception that was well attended. Based on this successful launch, Jupitermedia is planning a larger version of the show in Los Angeles in late September.
ISPCON IS BACK!
ISPCON was once a huge trade show that at one time was owned by my former company, Mecklermedia. Mecklermedia was sold to Penton Media in 1998. Ultimately ISPCON declined under the Penton watch and it was sold to its former head of sales, Jon Price. Last year Jon sold a large interest in the show to us at Jupitermedia. And now the show is thriving once again. It is running in Washington, DC at the Washington Hilton. It is great to see a terrific show like ISPCON making a comeback in an age in which most tech shows are declining or dying.
INTERNET PLANET REPORT
This new show recently picked up several exhibitors including Overture. Registrations are looking strong. The theme of the show is "growing business online." I think the hook for registrants (they are signing up nicely) is the presence of the powerful Jupiter Research team that dominates the seminar program and the added benefit of allowing paid attendees to get 20 minute "one on one consulting sessions" with most of the Jupiter analysts. This is going to be an interesting and exciting experiment and I will keep you posted.
Do you remeber the hot concept of "push" circa 1996? Push was best exemplified by a company called Pointcast. Pointcast got hot over push and the founders, Chris and Greg Hassett, turned down a reported cash offer of $450 million from the Murdochs of News Corporation. When push became "shove" a few years later, the Pointcast assets were sold for about $1 million!
Social Websites such as Friendster, Tribe Networks, and LinkedIn have alot of the push sizzle. The media is excited. Colleagues ask me to join. I tried LinkedIn for a month and ultimately got bothered by too many people asking me to be "linkedin." Therefore I dropped out --- or tried to, but that is not an easy task.
Regardless of my lack of interest in being part of these networks, I continue to question how they ever make money. Time will tell.
I am not rooting against Social Computing as a money-maker, but history often repeats itself. And I cannot help wondering if Social Computing is the push of 2004.
I have been expounding on the future of local search as a great growth engine for Internet business. We are seeing a load of articles on the topic, but perhaps none is better than one I read by JupiterWeb editor-in-chief Gus Venditto. I suggest you read it and try the local Google service that is being tested.
I live in New York City and presumed it might not be as accurate for NYC as it was for Gus' test in the suburbs of New York City. But every test I ran was superb.
Now I need Wi-Fi for my Treo 600 (which is supposed to be forthcoming) and I will be able to use this Google feature on my various voyages around the Big Apple.
PalmOne's stock has been rising rapidly and I presume part of the reason is the terrific Treo 600. I have had some problems, but even when slightly broken, this is a terrific smartphone.
Many of you know that I have had some problems with my Treo 600, but yesterday a replacement arrived and I am back in business. I am hopeful that "the third time around will be a charm."
Several readers have written to me about having similar problems with their Treo 600's. Of course I have told them what I know. But a good place to find out more information is on Jupitermedia's chat and discussion sites dealing with pdas of all stripes.
I will keep you current on the Treo front.