May 2006 Archives
The other day I posted about the claim of blogger Michael Arrington of Crunchnotes that we at JupiterWeb (comprised of the networks internet.com, earthweb.com, devx.com and graphics.com) were being effected by the growth of tech oriented blogs. I questioned Arrington about his metrics and wanted to compare them to JupiterWeb. Nothing came in from Arrington.
Another blog has done this work. A recent post provides some good details. You can read it but the analysis shows that Crunchnotes is doing fine, but to paraphrase the late Lloyd Bentsen's remarks in his Vice Presidential debate against Dan Quayle in 1998: "Crunchnotes is no Jupiterweb."
In fact Crunchnotes has 3.4 million page views per month - JupiterWeb has 240 million.
Crossnotes also points out that reliance on Alexa rankings (one has to presume that Crunchnotes relies on such rankings) to compare sites is not wise (about 1 in 5000 Net users have downloaded Alexa).
By the way, do check out the Crisscross.com Web site (a companion to the Crossnotes blog. This is put together by an American living in Japan.
Vonage went public today. I care little about how the stock does, but the offering brings back some terrific memories.
I remember the fall 1995 Internet World Trade Show in Boston at the World Trade Center and seeing VOIP discussed for the first time by a small Israeli exhibitor by the name of VocalTec.
Fast forward a year later and I am returning on an airplane from spring Internet World 1996 in San Jose and this guy Jeff Pulver sits next to me. He had been at Internet World. Before long he starts to tell me about what is going to happen with VOIP. I sit in wonderment and think: "This is an interesting fellow."
About a year later I try to buy Jeff's Web site Pulver.com -- we reach a deal, but smartly Jeff decides to go it alone. A few months later Jeff calls me to ask advice about starting a new trade show to be called VON -- the rest is history.
In fact I just found a good post by one Mark Evans from 2005 which tells the Pulver story better than I can. After you read this you will see why Jeff is Mr. VOIP worldwide.
I am pleased to have been around at the creation of the VOIP concept. I never met the SKYPE creators, but I sure am glad to have met Jeff Pulver.
I am finishing a whirlwind trip to Tokyo, Japan and Sydney, Australia.
I do this trip twice per year. Presently Sydney is 14 hours ahead of New York time (during our fall this spread jumps to 16 hours). I sleep only a few hours per day on these trips and to pass the nights I get to spend more time looking at Web sites and blogs. I also try to catch up on comments about my blog.
One in particular caught my attention. The blogger, Michael Arrington, comments on my recent debate with Jason Calacanis on wsj.com. He is entitled to his opinion as are the commenters of the blog in question. Lots of negativity and self-promotion here. I am curious about Arrington's defense of Om Malik (I am accused of being shrill with Malik) and the contention that TechCrunch (Arrington's other blog)have page views that are the equal to certain tech Web sites (this must be taking aim at our JupiterWeb properties). Therefore I ask Michael to tell us what the monthly page views are for TechCrunch? Our numbers at JupiterWeb are public so let's do a comparison.
I still contend that most blogs will not be financially successful, but time will be the final arbiter.
I did love the remark that one commenter made about my post on my experiences with Chris Locke in 1993-1994. It is interesting that there are a few people around that remember those days and that this tiny event continues to spark debate.
It is tough enough to travel around the world, but when you also rely on Cingular to retrieve mobile voice mail, then frustration becomes the order of the day.
Somehow the Cingular system decided to remove my voice mail from my mobile phone. I have no idea how this happened, but now anybody trying to call me on my mobile phone will not be able to leave a message.
Hopefully I will rectify this once I get to Australia because it is an impossibility from Japan (for those who have never traveled to Japan, be warned that international mobile phones do not work in Japan).
Sometimes I wish for the simpler days of business travel before computers and cell phones. I would travel around the world and would make one phone call back to headquarters at the end of each working day. Progress can be wonderful but it can also cause burdens and headaches.
I am posting from Tokyo. I have been here for a day and later today I go to Sydney. We are developing some nice new image services in Japan and we look forward to rolling these out shortly.
You get to spend a lot of time reading on the longhaul flights out to the Asia-Pacific region. I flew ANA from Los Angeles and they have neat Internet service onboard. I came across an interesting speech from Steve Weitzner, CEO of CMP Media. I found it interesting to read Steve's remarks about Comdex probably not being resurrected (CMP recently purchased the company that previously oversaw the death of Comdex). I agree with this philosophy. Many readers know that our company took on Comdex in 2003 and probably helped cement its death. There is no need to ever see Comdex again. Vertically focused trade shows are the gold standard today and perhaps for years to come.
I also suggest reading the May 1 issue of FORTUNE magazine which has an article by Adam Lashinsky that deals with the new boom in Internet stocks. The article digs up some high flyer names from the late 1990s and compares the fates of those companies with the high flyers of today.
Today came word that Google Health will soon be launched to go along with the previously launched Google Finance.
A few days ago Yahoo launched a vertically focused site devoted to personal tech.
Now the race is on as the Search giants more and more start to resemble media companies.
As these giants get more of a taste for organic media sites it is only a matter of time before one of them grabs a big media company such as Dow Jones. Most likely the first thrust will be a smaller media company, but a huge buy seems to be in the cards.
Is it not interesting to think now about the AOL-Time Warner deal of 2000? The flaw in that deal was that so much of AOL's revenue was (and is) related to the ISP business (which continues to shrink). This time around, Yahoo or Google won't be carrying ISP baggage. Rather they will make any media company more powerful and at the same time either Yahoo or Google will become "out of this world" valuable.
I am sure many readers know of Kurt Andersen. Kurt has been around the publishing world for many years and has edited or written for several significant magazines such as NEW YORK. Kurt even took a whirl at being an Internet pioneer at the turn of the century and burned through $30 million. I also tangled online with Kurt in 2001 in a barrage of online comments.
This brings me to Kurt's interesting essay in a recent issue of NEW YORK magazine comparing Internet investing of the '00s to the late '90s. I suggest you all read this article. I too have questioned the real value of many of the social network sites that are in vogue.
I believe that a very few of the social networks will turn out to be valuable. This is is similar to what happened with the early search engine players of the '90s. Excite, Infoseek, AltaVista and a few others are dead or barely limping along with only Yahoo surviving with great strength. Many bankers and media companies threw millions at the search space, but only one of the pioneer search companies survived (along with Ask.com). This too will happen with most of the social networks. We are in the early innings of social network investing. In 3-5 years time only a handful will be economically successful.
Our announcement of our acquisition of IFA Bilderteam in Germany is very exciting for our company.
IFA is a well recognized commercial image distributor in Germany. It has particular strength in selling Rights Managed images. Jupiterimages already had its own office in Munich which historically had specialized in selling Royalty Free imagery. Fortunately for us our office in Munich is only a few miles from IFA so it will be easy to integrate both operations into the larger IFA office in coming weeks. And more importantly we now have a larger distribution platform in Germany for selling our combined RM and RF image collections. This strategy is very similar to what we have already accomplished in France.
We are also fortunate that within IFA we are hiring some very talented personnel including Chris Walsh. Chris is a transplanted Scotsman who has been living in Germany for many years and has been associated with the stock photo industry for most of his professional career. Chris is now going to head up our creative image operations throughout Europe and report back to Maria Kessler in the United States.
Jupiterimages has been building out its numerous digital asset offerings. These range from the largest wholly owned collection of digitized royalty free images in the world to the largest clipart collection in the world (and more).
Another area we excel in is the building of community sites devoted to all aspects of images, graphics and design. Check out our graphics.com site to get a taste of these offerings.
Another interesting example is our graphicsdesignforum.com.This is a growing community of designers offering all types of information. A growing number of the members as well as our staff are writing blogs. Take a look at the blog from Steve Kapsinow of the Jupiterimages team. Steve recently wrote about an interesting matter that had to do with certain photos from National Geographic.
Also watch for more and more community offerings from Jupiterimages. And by the way perhaps the largest community site worldwide right now is stock.xchng, which is based in Hungary (Jupiterimages has a significant ownership position in this site -- it has nearly 700,000 members and is growing by leaps and bounds).