June 2007 Archives
I am writing from the San Jose Marriott where we kicked off the first Web Video Summit. Presently the keynote session is taking place. Our keynote room is filled to capacity and we had to create an overflow room (with a video feed) for joint sessions later in the day.
All in all a very exciting beginning for Jupitermedia's return to the tradeshow business.
More to come...
Wednesday of this week is the first day of our new WebVideoSummit trade show. I have mentioned that this show is "successful" going into the event, but of course I need to see a completed show to actually say "we had a success."
I have also been writing about our new Semantic Web Strategies show coming in the fall. We are gearing up promotion for this show, but in the meantime we launched today one of the more signficant editorial products reporting on the Semantic Web -- the Semantic Web Zone found at our network known as Devx.com.
The combination of our new Semantic Web Strategies shows (fall and spring) and the new Semantic Web Zone makes us a significant source now for all things Semantic Web.
Most readers know that we had discussions with Getty Images a few months ago in which Getty was going to buy our images division for $388 million in cash. We did have a handshake on a deal, but I guess that does not mean much these days? And of course I learned in my old age never to trust anyone outside of my organization ever again.
In the end this exercise cost us $2 million and and a few months of not moving forward on various image and related projects. But we are moving forward with relish now and will soon have several interesting and perhaps significant items to report on.
While the deal did not go forward, Getty certainly liked the business plan as they have been moving rapidly to try to emulate our model. As they say: "copying is the sincerest form of flattery."
Yesterday Getty made the music move. Jonny Klein was quoted in the Wall Street Journal that he had wanted to do music since 1995. But of course Jupitermedia created the final impetus to move forward.
Jonny is going in a bit of a different direction then our music path. We have, as usual, gone after a wholly owned music strategy (which I belive is ultimately the wise way to go) whereas Getty is a distributor.
I still like Jonny a lot. It was interesting skirmishing with him for a few months. And there will be lots more skirmishes to come. All in all there is a bright future for both of our companies as digital content will become increasingly important in all types of mediums.
Finally it is nice to have Getty endorse our theories, concepts and gameplan. Getty is a hugely successful company going back 12 years. In only 3 years we have been able to become the "thought" leader in our industry. So watch us make our next moves which Getty is surely to follow.
Our new tradeshow Web Video Summit runs next week in San Jose at the Marriott (June 27-28). I can report with about one week to go that this is going to be a very good first trade show. We have a strong exhibition floor. We sold out our limited space. We could have sold more booths but we thought it better to be cautious with a first time show so we limited ourselves to a small exhibit hall. Paid registrations are strong and overall attendance should keep the exhibitors happy.
Best of all interest is building for the New York City WVS show in December at the Roosevelt Hotel. Therefore we are eagerly looking forward to WVS next week. Tradeshows are definitely a part of the rebirth of the JupiterOnlineMedia division. And let me add that our new Semantic Web Strategies show in October is getting good exhibitor vibrations. We are very optimistic about this show too.
Many readers know I have been in and around the tradeshow business for many years. It is exciting for me to be back in the tradeshow saddle. I thought I might have forgotten how "to ride" but apparently I can still do it! Recently an analyst mentioned in a report on our company that "times had passed us by" - in other words our OnlineMediaDivision, our efforts at tradeshows etc. were going to be too little too late. While I cannot guarantee anything I would bet against such a prognostication.
Jerry Yang finally decided he could run Yahoo!
I met Jerry back in December 1994 at the Internet World show we ran at the Washington Hilton. Yahoo! had lost its use of the Stanford servers and approached my company (at the time Mecklermedia) to get space on our servers. We struck a deal but very quickly (within 24 hours) Jerry and his partner David Filo decided to place the young Yahoo! on the servers of a rising star called Netscape.
Early on Yahoo! brought in Tim Koogle to be CEO and then, of course, Terry Semel.
I always wondered what Jerry saw in these people. I am sure they were fine business people but I always felt Jerry could have done better than any hired hand. Koogle made a bundle and Semel did even better.
I think Semel got a lot of credit for doing very little. He happened to land at Yahoo! at the time they bought Overture. Overture turned out to be the guts of Yahoo's growth. It was a great time to be CEO as keyword search exploded and any CEO of a search company became brilliant overnight.
Semel should have left about 18 months ago, but it would have been tough to give up the huge option packages he was getting from the Yahoo Board of Directors.
Now it is crunch time for Yahoo! and the new captain is the founder of the company. Perhaps Jerry will be able to pull a "Steve Jobs a la Apple" and bring back the glamor and originality that Yahoo! had from 1994 until 2002.
Chalk up the loss of 200 jobs at CMP Media to the Internet. CMP has been at the center of publishing information about IT and Tech in print and online. In 1999 United Business Media of England spent over a billion dollars to purchase CMP. I wrote a seminal piece in Business 2.0 magazine in the September 26th 2000 issue about the death of trade tech magazines and how the CMP deal would be a bummer for UBM (and also mentioned that the Willis Stein Partners $800 million purchase of Ziff Davis would be similarly impacted). I also followed up this prediction in this blog in 2004 (note links in referenced blogs to the September 26th issue of Business 2.0 no longer link to the article in question.)
Fast forward. CMP pretty much gutted its magazine business based on published news. CMP also awoke to the realities of the past few years that tech news is best delivered online.
Interestingly Ziff Davis (mentioned above) is rumored to be sold this week for a pittance of what Willis Stein paid for it in 2000. The acquirer (I believe it is a New York City based private equity firm) will be buying some solid online properties but will probably one day go into shock for also buying several print tech magazines that have seen their better days.
And while on the topic of print tech magazines. TechTarget which went public a few weeks ago has terrific online numbers. However their tech magazines are not winners and I would not be surprised if they do not dump these titles within a year or so. Interestingly magazines represented about $12 million of some $80 million of TechTarget's annual revenue.
To the 200 CMP employees that will unfortunately be terminated, please let us know your skill sets as we have lots of employment opportunities at Jupitermedia. We are always looking for solid sales people and good writers.
I am taking a two days vacation here in Italy. However I am never too far from my 8300 BlackBerry or my trusty X41 IBM computer. I just read the first sane news from the United States Congress about online gambling. Readers know that I have railed against the various actions taken by Congress against online betting.
Check out the report from reporter Roy Mark of our Internet.Com which discusses the good works of Representatives Barney Frank of Massachussets Robert Wexler of Florida and Jim McDermott of Washington to bring some sanity to American laws in relation to online gambling.
Here I am in Florence, Italy. I arrived today just in time for our late afternoon annual recpetion for our 300 image distributors at the annual CEPIC trade show.
It was interesting to be with so many that might have been effected by the Getty Images deal that was discussed a few months ago. Overall the consensus was "thank goodness such a deal did not take place." It was nice to be "loved" and of course I hope we can continue pleasing these colleagues.
Several more days of meetings here before I return to New York City. I have been on the road a lot lately. I will have a few days off from travel on my return and then back to California for our first Web Video Summit the last week of June.
I have never added up my annual air miles, but I guess I fly about 200,000 miles per year. I make the NY-West Coast trip quite often not to mention longhaul flights around the world.
WiFi was available for a "few seconds" on ANA and Lufthansa, but they both dropped the service this year. This service was marvelous. It was flawless and it did not bother fellow passengers. Supposedly these two airlines and Boeing dropped out of the business for cost reasons.
I recently flew JetBlue. JetBlue has about 30 live TV channels as well as XM radio. I am not a tech person, but while watching everyone using the TV on JetBlue for free, I pondered about WiFi again. I figured there must be a way to have inflight WiFi at a reasonable cost for both the passenger and the airline. I could not believe that the WiFi problem could not be solved economically.
Then yesterday I saw an article in The Wall Street Journal entitled "Rockwell Collins to Offer The Web for More Fliers." Terrific news. Rockwell Collins and its partner Airinc have successfully implemented WiFi on private jets around the world. Now they are going to do this for commercial flight.
Lo and behold the first airline to go for the service, according the article, will be low fare carrier Southwest. It figures that Southwest would be first. They make money every year even when most airlines are losing their shirts. They are efficient and think outside the envelope (which is probably why they make money).
Southwest says in the article that they are getting WiFi to keep their business travelers content. Leave it to a low cost carrier to be the first to grasp the value of having inflight WiFi.
I presume that this foray by Southwest will get the ball rolling so that all airlines will have WiFi in coming years?
Today we announced that we acquired some very exciting user-generated content sites that are related to many of the businesses we operate.
Some history. These sites are babies - only a few months old. Yet they are growing rapidly in terms of unique visitors and monthly page views. They now have about 1 million unique visitors per month and this was achieved in a short time. It is interesting to contemplate how much they can grow in coming months and years.
This acquisition is all part of several other moves that Jupitermedia has made and will possibly make in coming weeks and months to further build out our plan to be the number one company in the world for selling all types of digital content for creatives and designers. We believe we own more digitized content (in a variety of fields) than any of our competitors and we hope to add to this distinction.
As mentioned yesterday, we have some interesting plans coming along in both of our divisions. It is an exciting time to be a creative Internet company. Stay tuned.
On the road again. This time back to San Francisco for a series of meetings and then to Europe for the CEPIC trade show in Florence, Italy.
I see that Corbis is going to launch a microstock site (by the way it is interesting how these sites are now called "microstock" by the press, but up until a few months ago they were known as "micropayment" sites). It will be interesting to see how Corbis does since it appears this will be offered as part of Corbis.com. I am not sure about this; I would think this is not the way to go. But to each his own.
We have a few new things coming along in images that will be interesting to report on. Hopefully we can unleash them in a few weeks. As for our Online Media group - we are getting closer to launching our SSO or single sign on service which will allow us to provide a large database of registered users for our advertisers. This ought to launch this month. And of course the overall redesign comes in July. We have a team of developers and designers that have been working hard to bring these new services to fruition. I take my hat off to all of them.
I have often posted about PDAs and cell phones. Over the years I have thought I had the best. For example: the second generation Treo and then the BlackBerry 8700.
Throw these devices away. I just got the "Curve" or BlackBerry 8300. Obviously I am no Walter Mossberg so I will not attempt to describe the features nor will I try to analyze the 8300.
All I can tell you is the following:
Size - amazingly smaller than the 8700
Weight - I would say one-third lighter than the 8700
Features - What more could anyone want (other than WiFi)?
A little bit more. While I was buying my 8300 in Manhattan today, I was amazed how people were swarming into this little Wireless store to grab these $500 devices. I know that the sage of Omaha - Warren Buffet - does a lot of market research by observing buying patterns etc. Based on today, consider buying RIM which owns BlackBerry (I do not own the stock).
Sorry for this digression from my normal posts. Back to normal on the next post.