January 2007 Archives
Today we announced that we are back again as a significant trade show company.
I guess trade shows are in my blood. I ran my first trade show in 1975. It was called the Library Microform Conference and was run in New York City at the old Biltmore Hotel near Grand Central Station. Interestingly the show did well financially and received extensive coverage in "The Talk of the Town" section of the THE NEW YORKER magazine - not bad for a first ever trade show.
Over the years I was involved with the trade show Internet World and most recently with the well known show Search Engine Strategies. I started shows in the 1980s on HDTV (way ahead of my time) and in the early 1990s had a hot show called Virtual Reality World.
The new trade show concepts are exciting. I cannot go into complete details yet, but I do have high hopes that one of our three new shows launching this year will become a hit. Of course I cannot guarantee that any show will be financially successful, but I do have a track record of picking some winners. Trade shows are like new restaurants - many are started but few become profitable and long lived.
The trade show business has not changed much since the launch of my first show back in 1975. Other than Internet marketing innovations, everything is pretty much as it has always been. The basics in running an event are the same. Overall there is only one ingredient that is important - and that is a good idea.
This blog has a hard time staying away from commenting on Sarbanes Oxley. Note this post by an executive who probably would go the IPO route one day, but will certainly think twice about it due to Sarbanes Oxley.
We have nearly 700 employees at Jupitermedia. From time to time I mention some of our colleagues. Today I want to brag about our community sites and our colleagues who run them.
Long before Web 2.0 became a buzzword, we were running thriving communities and today we have more than 1.5 million members. This month Microsoft recognized more than a doszen of these community members by rewarding them with the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) citation. While a number of Microsoft MVPs write original feature articles in our sites, it is great to see a number of additional people recognized for their contributions in forums such as Codeguru.com and Vbforums.com. Their contributions are just one of the many reasons we have some of the best discussion forums anywhere on the Net! We are especially proud that our executive editor in charge of development content, Brad Jones, is one of these Microsoft honorees. Congratulations to all.
Yahoo reported its financials for the latest quarter. Wall Street was not impressed.
I still contend that Search is not going to change Yahoo's fortunes. Yahoo should deal from strength. And one of those strengths is its financial coverage. One of our terrific editors at our online media division, Brad Jones, passed along a very interesting article about what Yahoo is doing to keep a big position in financial news coverage.
These moves are all well and good. Now Yahoo should go out and buy Dow Jones to cement its position on the Web (and in print) as a dominant player in the coverage of all things financial.
And while on the topic of Yahoo, check out this interesting report about Yahoo found by another staffer (Luis Orellana) and its lost opportunity to purchase Google back in 2002.
I have spent the last few days visiting our offices in Peoria, Sioux Falls, Pasadena and Tucson.
One thing they all had in common was snow! It would not be odd for Peoria and Sioux Falls to have snow at this time of year, but it is amazing to find snow in Tucson or the Los Angeles area.
Parts of Los Angeles had snow on Friday morning.
Tucson had several of inches of snow last night - the first snow there in 10 years. Another oddity: New York City, where I live, has had no snow this year.
One of the more august brands worldwide is the BBC. Recently the BBC launched a new "motion" or footage Web site that among other services offers HD stock footage.
For the uninitiated, HD is state of the art stock footage shot with HD broadcast standards. Our Thinkstock footage team is one of the leading producers of this type of footage.
The BBC team searched around for one solid RF brand to rep on their new site. After lots of thought the "winner" was Jupiterimages' HD footage from Thinkstock.
We are very proud and pleased that our Thinkstock footage is now the only independent brand found on the new BBC site.
We announced on Thursday another acquisition in the music field. The deal for StudioCutz and its various music assets takes Jupitermedia to another level in providing a world-class Royalty Free Music library. We added another 2,600 tracks to the over 5,000 that we previously owned. We also added 5,500 wholly owned sound effects, making Jupitermedia a significant player in yet another area of digitized content. Finally we added a Rights Managed Music library as part of this deal which expands the scope of our music offerings.
Our move into music will culminate with a new subscription offering in coming months. The RF music market place will soon have the first large-scale subscription offering to go with our present business of offering tracks on a pay-per-download basis or on CDs.
We have now built out a wide ranging offering of world class photos, clipart, animations, flash movies and music. We are now busily working on melding all of these offerings together into a powerful portal where designers will be able to conveniently purchase all of these digitized assets regardless of budget. This takes a huge effort but the Jupitermedia team is up to the task.
I recently posted about Jim Clark resigning as Chairman of the Board of Shutterfly. BusinessWeek interviewed Clark for more details about his decision. Nice insights here.
One of the interesting aspects of writing this blog is the comments that are sent to me about various ideas, concepts, and Web sites.
I have had acquistion proposals, investment requests and alerts to helpful finding aids.
One such finding aid came in the other day from Michael Fagan. I do not know Michael but believe that anyone interested in searching image resources should check out his search directory.
Photos.com was one of the first acquisitions we made in the image space back in June 2003. Recently we launched a new home page. But my reason behind this post is some of the community offerings we have on the home page. I have stated frequently that Jupiterimages "thinks" community a lot more than our competitors.
One feature is the new Designers Showcase that allows designers to show how they are using images from Photos.com in their design work.
A second feature is our blog area. Here we accept all types of examples of how images are used in different fields.
One of the recurring themes of this blog is the power of the vertical market. We see over and over again how a powerful business model becomes dominant and then new ventures soon appear offering "vertical" tangents of the business model. eBAY's move on Stub Hub is a perfect example.
eBAY was created and became a sensation. Then hundreds of vertical offshoots of the eBAY business model were created to specialize in focused areas. Stub Hub of course chose tickets. And Stub Hub succeeded wildly as the founders in a few short years were able to sell the business for over $300 million.
Now that eBAY has purchased Stub Hub I would imagine that they will buy more and more vertical auction sites covering many focused topics.
On the technology side we have been watching this practice over and over again. Cisco is a perfect example in this space. Cisco has been buying up vertical technology businesses (successfully) for years. And Google and Yahoo have been grabbing verticals as well.
I have linked to my various entries about Stub Hub - note particularly my first reference to it on 1 July 2004.
I have railed against Sarbanes Oxley on several occasions. I realize there are fierce defenders of this moronic legislation, but take a look at the recent SEC filing by the public company Shutterfly as to why their Chairman is resigning: Below is Jim Clark's resignation from Shutterfly. His observations are painfully true and almost funny.
Please forward this to the other board members, as I do not have their addresses with me.
After considerable thought over the holidays, Iâ€™ve decided effective today, January 1, 2007, to resign from the Board of Directors of Shutterfly. My reasons are twofold: 1) as a technologist, I feel there is little that I can offer to guide what has become a manufacturing company, and 2) because of the constraints imposed by Sarbanes-Oxley on my having any significant role on the board.
As I understand it, Sarbox dictates that I not Chair any committee due to the size of my holdings, not be on the compensation committee because of the loan I once made to the company, not be on the governance committee, and it even dictates that some other board member must carry out the perfunctory duties of the Chairman. Whatâ€™s left is liability and constraints on stock transactions, neither of which excite me.
It seems pretty clear to me that lawmakers have gone too far in considering a large shareholder to be inappropriate in the roles, but it is equally clear that I have no ability to change this in the near term. My only solution is to become an outsider. I wish to be treated as such effective immediately.
I want to congratulate you and the team for what you have accomplished. You are doing a great job in a very competitive market, and I have no doubt that Shutterfly will continue to do well under your leadership. I will continue to recommend your service to all.
Chairman of the Board
I do not subscribe to WIRED magazine but occasionally I do buy issues on my travels. I am not a big fan of the magazine as I find the graphics take away from reading the articles. Nonetheless WIRED is a winner. Recent issues have had the girth found in issues pre-2001.
Most readers today probably are unfamiliar with the hype and publicity that surrounded WIRED in the late 1990s. WIRED represented the glory of the early commercial Internet. Founder Louis Rossetto was a rock star. And of course many of the editors associated with Louis have become important commentators and writers today.
It would be great to hear from Rossetto again now that his vision has been more than validated? I won't bore readers with the financial history of the magazine and companion Web site.
Now that RED HERRING is back in print and WIRED is thriving, perhaps we will see the relaunch of the INDUSTRY STANDARD?
I rarely use this space to discuss anything but business. However living in New York City and doing a bit of travel annually, I thought I would mention a few observations about culture and travel.
Airlines: I have found Air France to have superb service and food. JetBlue has great service and you cannot beat their live TV service that offers about 35 channels. And take a look at EOS Airlines (flights only to London's Stansted Airport and JFK New York). EOS is a new discount all business class airline. The layout of the cabin is brillant and the service and food are superb. Also the price is quite reasonable compared to other airline business class rates. I would take EOS over Brtish Airways or Virgin Atlantic any day for price and service. Stansted is not that difficult to get to.
Movies: My wife belongs to the Writers Guild (she used to write soap opera scripts for ABC TV). Thus she gets privileges to see previews of movies. Recently I saw two fabulous foreign films.
1. An Algerian film - DAYS OF GLORY
2. A German film - LIVES OF OTHERS
The German film is particularly great. I would rate it one of the best 10 films I have ever viewed.
Now back to business.
In the maize of round ups at the end of 2006 there was a stock photo industry comment that deserves mention. For those who follow the stock photo industry the Stock Asylum round-up is a good read. It shows the depth and breadth of what happened in this industry and illustrates that while many think the industry is Corbis, Getty and Jupiterimages, that the industry does have lots of other vibrant players.
Workbook Stock is a Rights Managed collection that Jupiterimages purchased in June 2006. It is considered by many in the stock photo industry to be the finest general interest RM collection in the world. It had been distributed through Getty Images, but now is found exclusively through Jupiterimages and select distributors worldwide. Combined with our acquisition of Picture Arts' RM collections (FoodPix, Botanica, NonStock) in 2005, we now have one of the better RM collections in the world backed by many superb career professionals and photographers.
My colleague at Jupiterimages, Luis Orellana, is constantly sending me interesting items from the Web. He found a terrific bit of Internet history posted on slashdot yesterday.
In turn the article was mentioned in a blog and the blogger gave some interesting commentary.
The article itself came from a magazine I published for many years called INTERNET WORLD. Mike Neubarth was the editor at the time and he ran an annual "Best and Worst" for particular years.
Take a bit of time to read these interesting thoughts from almost 12 years ago.
We finished last year with a flourish by purchasing JustTechJobs.com. This is our first acquisition in several years for our online media division. I alluded to such a move(s) several weeks ago when I stated that Jupitermedia was very commited to building and investing in this division. Recently we added bITaPlanet.com and its companion trade show bITaUSA. And much more will be forthcoming.
One more interesting factor to note: type in the term "tech jobs" on Google and you will quickly see that the two of the top three "free" listings belong to Jupitermedia -- jobs.internet.com and justtechjobs.com. Obviously we have lots of plans for the tech job site business.