Non-Domain Related

Online Impact of Writers Guild Strike

When the Writers Guild of America held their first labor strike in 1988, television viewers turned to cable as an alternative to the regular shows they were missing, and they clearly embraced the programming.    That first strike lasted 22 weeks, and the impact of  it can still be seen today in America’s television viewing habits, which continue to rely on cable television as its main source of entertainment.

How will the Writers Guild strike of 2007 impact us in this day and age of the Internet?    If the first strike was indicative of what will happen,  people  will probably  spend more time entertaining themselves online rather than watching reruns on television.    User generated content, which is always  well stocked,  should be in high demand.   Sites such as YouTube will certainly benefit from the strike.

Unique content will be key to turning eyeballs into dollars.  People will be looking to satiate their viewing needs, and if they can get their fix on the Internet, they will certainly be back for more.  This could be a great opportunity for some websites to become more mainstream and capture a new audience of Internet savvy viewers.

I think  Doug Aamoth said it best on Crunch Gear,

“To those of you in the Writers Guild; whether or not I agree with the reason you’re striking, I wish you the best of luck and I hope you consider creating content for the web. And if you do, I hope you’ll realize that you don’t need the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers to get that content onto the Internet.” — Source: Crunch Gear

My Introduction to Google Books

I was browsing Google today and noticed they added a feature at the top of the search results. In addition to the “Web” and “Video” links, they also added a “Books” link. When you do a Google search for a person, Seth Godin for example, you are given the standard results and an opportunity to click on the “Books” link, taking you to a page with all of the books that  author penned.

When you click on  one of the author’s books  “Permission Marketing” as an example (a book I read in graduate school) you are taken to a page that offers reviews, images and content from the book. There is also a box to the right where you can click on your favorite bookseller to buy the book.

This  is a HUGE revenue opportunity in my opinion. I receive 4% commission on certain products as an Amazon affiliate, and I am sure Google has a nice deal worked out with these book industry goliaths. I did encounter a problem when I clicked through on the Amazon.com link for this book – a 404 error page.

Special Thanks to Scott Silver

My brother, Scott Silver, is going to be an incredible attorney. He is currently in his first year at Suffolk Law School in Boston after spending a few years working at two top law firms in Maryland. Over the past year and a half, Scott has been a big help to me. There are always risks in business, and his advice has helped to mitigate many of those risks for me.

I doubt that he will be interested in going into the field of Internet Law once he graduates, but if he does, he will have his first client.

IAC, CollegeHumor.com, Boobs, “Erection Election” & More!

In 2004, CollegeHumor.com was (and still is) a clever up and coming social website targeting college students, skewed towards males. One of the big draws to the site was the photo section, frequently filled with topless girls with naughty notes on their chests expressing their love for College Humor.

During the 2004 presidential election, girls (mostly) started submitting topless, bottomless, headless, and even “Bush”less photos with the name of their preferred presidential candidate. I did my research and saw slogans like “Boobs for Kerry,” “Vote Kerry ’04 – Bush can’t touch this,” and of course “NO MORE BUSH IN 04′ – Election Erection 2004.” These photos were all submitted under the theme, “Election Erection.”

In August of 2006, Barry Diller’s IAC purchased a 51% stake in the company that founded CollegeHumor.com, Connected Ventures, LLC. According to the press release at the time:

“NEW YORK, Aug. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — IAC/InterActiveCorp (Nasdaq: IACI) announced today that it has acquired a 51% stake and full voting control of Connected Ventures, LLC, parent of leading comedy site CollegeHumor.com. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. CollegeHumor is the first site to join IAC Programming, launched earlier this year to buy and build branded online content properties that engage passionate communities.”Source: Gawker

Shortly after the success of “Election Erection,” Connected Ventures, LLC purchased the domain name ElectionErection.com. Thinking it might all link back to CollegeHumor.com and the photo section tagged “Election Erection,” I navigated there and surprisingly found an adult site needing me to certify I was of proper legal age (well, that’s not the surprise). To my surprise, it forwards to a male gay adult site (LikeMyGayPhoto.com) owned by FriendFinder.

My question…. why would a site whose name was founded on the premise of girls flashing the camera be a gay adult site? Shouldn’t they leverage the brand they created and celebrate the 2008 presidential election accordingly? I guess it might be strange to see a topless girl with whose boobs are tagged, “Bush is Gone; Vote Hillary!”

Photo Sites Like Shutterfly Preserving History

Photo sharing websites like Shutterfly, Webshots, Snapfish, and Flickr are doing more than just allowing users to share photos with friends. These popular websites are preserving history by archiving images that could be lost or destroyed if disaster strikes and they are only contained in a physical form.   They are also great if you accidentally misplace your photos.  

Take victims of the recent California wildfires as an example. For some, there wasn’t even an opportunity to gather belongings for safekeeping when the calls for evacuation were made.   Evacuees  quickly grabbed whatever valuables they could, and if they were lucky, their houses would be intact upon return. Unfortunately, this was not the outcome for many wildfire victims.

From an article in the Boston Globe, Robert Sanders was one of the unlucky ones who lost everything:

“The lucky ones will find their homes still standing amid a blackened landscape. Others, like Robert Sanders, are not so fortunate.The 56-year-old photographer returned to a smoldering mound that once was his rented house in the San Diego neighborhood of Rancho Bernardo.

Among the possessions he lost were his transparencies, melted inside a fire-resistant box, and a photograph of his father.

“I’ve lost my history,” Sanders said. “All the work I’ve done for the past 30 years, it’s all destroyed.” — Source: Boston Globe

The lesson here is that people should use the online photo sharing sites as much as possible in an effort to preserve their photo histories. This is an easy way to save your memories in photo form.   It doesn’t cost anything to upload or share photos, and it’s very easy to order prints – just like going to the pharmacy.  

Best US Entrepreneurs 25 and Under

Best U.S. Entrepreneurs 25 and Under
Business Week just released a list of the best US entrepreneurs who are 25 our younger. What do almost all of these entrepreneurs have in common? Nearly all are involved in online ventures – from marketing to customer service solutions to restaurant reservations. It is clear that most of the successful up and coming entrepreneurs are building web-based businesses.

This is where its at folks. The business world is evolving, and the innovative companies in almost every industry utilize the Internet in some fashion.   The smartest young minds see the Internet as their means to achieving success, and I believe the advancements and developments we see will be stunning.

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