May 2008 Archives
The service is similar in look and feel to the online learning service offered by our Mediabistro division. In September we will launch online learning for readers of Internet.com.
Online education is a fast growth industry in the United States and the world. We are fortunate that all of our online properties attract nearly 20 million unique visitors per month. Offering online learning options is a natural expansion for us.
We have lots of new blogs at Jupitermedia. One particularly interesting blog is written by John Mello who also runs our Megapixel.net Web site. This site has some of the best camera reviews found worldwide. But John goes the extra mile with his blog work.
Megapixel is a neat example of how we are weaving together several of our offerings from our two divisions (Images and online media). Megapixel is of great interest to photographers, designers andpersonal tech buffs). The Megapixel.net site resides in the personal technology area of Internet.com where a reader can find solid information about new computers, mobile devices and of course cameras.
I will be commenting on some of our other blogs shortly.
Just came across an article in which I was interviewed in 2006. The interesting part is the author's reference to my prediction back in 2000 about the future of print BtoB magazines and how online publishing would be the future. Recently The New York Times ran an article praising how print publisher has recently made the big move from print to online. I applaud IDG, but we saw this 10 years ago.
I keep making predictions. I might not get them all correct but if we keep score I would wager I will be correct about 75% of the time. Presently I am predicting great things for our upcoming Jupiter Digital superstore concept, our rapidly developing Mobile Content Today blog (and the future of mobile content), Linked Data, and of course that Facebook and Myspace have nowhere to go but down in value. We shall revisit these predictions in a year and see the results.
Mediabistro Circus opened hot and strong today. Over 300 people crowded into the Skylight Studio on Hudson Street for the opening day. It appears that Jupitermedia has a solid new tradeshow.
The highlight of the day was the keynote by Chris Anderson. Chris is the editor in chief of Wired magazine and famous as well for his best seller The Long Tail.
Chris' theme (as I saw it) was that social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace are not what true social networking is all about. In other words true "community" and "social networking" are at their best when one learns about a person through reading a vertical or specialized site. In other words Facebook and MySpace are destinations and true social networking should be found at what Chris calls "Microsocial Networks" (in other words specialized sites that one goes to learn about a specific topic. Examples can be found at Ning.
Perhaps I liked what Chris had to say so much is because I have long been railing against people flipping out over MySpace and Facebook. I have maintained for several years that both of these monoliths will turn out to be interesting shooting stars in Internet history. The main problem with both of these sites is that there is no subject focus and thus advertising does not seem to work on either property. Anderson points out that his personal Microsocial network on drones has a higher CPM rate than is found on either MySpace or Facebook. The reason for this is that his site has focus and advertisers look for this when deciding where to spend ad dollars
(Inspired by David Letterman of Top 10 Fame)...................
10. Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo to get a cool sounding URL
09. Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo to get a bigger office in Silicon Valley
08. Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo to say it owns Mark Cuban's old Broadcast.com and revive it
07. Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo to say it will never get bigger in Search than number two
06. Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo to say it will never get bigger in Search than number two and number two will continue to be a smaller and smaller percentage of the search market
05. Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo so that it can fire Jerry Yang and David Filo and its silly Board of Directors
04. Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo because Google really wants to own Yahoo
03. Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo so the press will stop writing and speculating about why Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo
02. Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo so that it can once and for all have a good name for the mish mash of Microsoft Internet brands
And the number one reason that Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo .....
01. So that it can rid itself of the problem of what to do with its $55 billion of cash.
I was just reading a neat blog from Tom Dunlap about "the good old days of working at CNET at the end of the last decade." Tom now works for Jupitermedia.
Tom kindly references my previous post on the CNET deal but also links readers to some good analysis from Silicon Alley Insider.
Silicon Alley Insider is a fun read. I check it our everyday. It has a sassy and questioning attitude and reminds me much of some of the top Internet reporting back in the late 1990s through the bubble burst in 2000.
This post also makes me turn to the financial war brewing over Yahoo. Readers probably know that corporate raider Carl Icahn owns about 4 percent of Yahoo's shares. Hedge fund manager John Paulson owns nearly as much. And a few other financiers own about 25 percent of Yahoo, which means close to 35 percent of Yahoo's shares are in the hands of five organizations that want to replace the present Yahoo Board of Directors with a new team that presumably would sell Yahoo to Microsoft. All this presupposes that Microsoft remains interested in buying Yahoo (I think they should do this).
Wouldn't it be interesting if this group wins control of the Yahoo Board and then finds out that Microsoft has no interest in buying Yahoo? This could well be the case. Then we would have a wild situation in which financial types would be stuck with running Yahoo. They would soon find out that they will have a declining investment unless they adopt my media company plan for Yahoo. We have learned recently that Google not only trumps Yahoo in search but now it has more traffic too! Yahoo without Microsoft is not a place to bet a lot of money. The upside is limited unless a radical change takes place in Yahoo's business growth strategy.
How appropriate. I am in San Francisco, the home of CNET. In fact I walked by the CNET headquarters last night after having dinner with colleagues from Internet.com. Seeing the CNET building made me think of my recent posts in which I suggested that Yahoo should buy CNET. Interestingly I wrote that Yahoo should buy Dow Jones. Dow Jones was sold soon after. Now CNET. I guess I can figure out who will be sold, but I have to work on the buyer part!?
I think this is a good purchase by CBS. However is it not odd that a few years ago CBS sold Marketwatch to Dow Jones? Think of the lineup CBS would have if they had retained Marketwatch, with Sportsline and CNET. This would be very powerful. Too bad somebody blew the Marketwatch decision. Perhaps the same person who now decided to buy CNET?
Quite a premium. 44% over the closing price of yesterday. 4x 2008 revenues and 22x 2008 EBITDA. Based on where CNET has been headed and with the threat of a takeover, CNET has done well with this decision. While the deal metrics are strong, I have long contended that content and traffic are extremely valuable. These values are not always visible in the price of a stock. It is nearly impossible to create a CNET today. Therefore CBS wanted Internet girth and had to pay up. Think of the recent Microsoft-Yahoo dance.
Microsoft would have to pay up too for Yahoo. In order to get girth Microsoft should have paid the extra few dollars to Yahoo. Microsoft cannot obtain that girth without a big payment. Facebook has girth, but I still am a doubter that Facebook will ever be a money machine. The other facet in the equation is the geometry of a deal. In other words, does 2 plus 2 equal 6? 8? More? The CBS + CNET deal yields 6. The Microsoft + Yahoo deal yields 12.
I am now in Chicago on the eve of our ISPCON tradeshow. ISPCON should be a solid and profitable show. Many readers know we have been working on developing more tradeshows. ISPCON goes back many years and is successful. We have a bunch more coming this year and we are hopeful we will have some more winners.
After Chicago I visit our Tucson office. Tucson is at the center of our many subscription offerings. Then on to San Francisco to visit our west coast office for Internet.com. Finally a day in Pasadena where we have a large image operation.
The press continues to speculate on Yahoo's future. Microsoft denies it will pursue Yahoo again. Obviously I do not know about Microsoft's intentions but I would not be surprised if Microsoft returns to its pursuit of Yahoo. Microsoft is way behind Google in the Internet wars. Nothing else out there compares to Yahoo's scale. If Microsoft is serious about competing with Google, it has to own Yahoo.
What about Yahoo's situation? Jerry Yang likes being CEO of a company he founded many years ago. He is extremely wealthy. He is young. What would he do without Yahoo? While I am sure he could keep occupied, I doubt he could achieve the high he gets from running Yahoo. His work is his life. He does not care about his stockholders nor speculators. He honestly believes he can make Yahoo bigger and better so to heck with what anyone thinks.
I am not rooting against Jerry (and David Filo). But if Yahoo is remaining independent, it needs to change its growth strategy. 18 months ago I suggested that Yahoo should purchase Dow Jones. Yahoo needs to be the biggest and best media company. It can never be the biggest and best search company. The mere fact that Yahoo is working with Google to farm out its search shows the world that Yahoo knows it has lost the search wars.
Therefore Yahoo should make a big purchase. And once it makes the big purchase it might very well be the best defense against Microsoft returning to the hunt. Yahoo did not take me up on buying Dow Jones. But now I suggest two acquistions. Yahoo should purchase Cnet and follow that up with buying up all or most of IAC. The cost would be many billions. But Yahoo would then offer an astounding array of Internet content, services and ecommerce offerings. Combined with Yahoo's enormous traffic, this combo would clearly be a winner. And as stated, it would keep Microsoft away forever.
More importantly these acquisitions would make Yahoo the most interesting Internet company in the world. I am not sure that Yahoo has the right management to pull this off. Regardless, this plan should be considered.
When reading this review note the part where the writer mentions that Jupitermedia sent a few people over to the event. Names are given and then he says "and a few other people." I was one of the other people! This actually make me happy that I was not mentioned. In most endeavors in my career I have gotten top billing and in a few cases a fuss has been made about my being at an event.
Things were different in Moscow. I was an observer. I enjoyed watching attendees clamouring to get their photos taken with either Stockxpert founder Peter Hamza or super photographer Ron Chapple. And most importantly I liked the last paragraph of the review. We are getting across the idea that our microstock business and operations are very much a significant part of our entire image operations.
I have been writing about my new Kindle. Inadvertently I purchased a second Kindle by accident. I had to return the extra Kindle and went to the Amazon site to arrange the return. The experience was superb.
Amazon has a terrific interface for returns. The best part of the process was how Amazon interacted with me on each stage of the return process. First I got an email telling me the package was picked up by the delivery service. Four days later I received an email that the return was received and that my payment was being processed. And a day later the final email that the payment was sent to my credit card.
The lesson here is that Amazon won me over for future purchases. The other lesson is how valuable customer service can be as a sales tool. I am certainly going to tell this story over and over again to my colleagues at Jupitermedia. We can all learn from Amazon.