The New TechAddress is live – Check it out!

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March 1, 2007 at 8:45 pm 8 comments

New TechAddress Launching Soon!

We are excited to announce that we will be releasing the new TechAddress website very soon (any day now we hope!). We are finishing the final touches on the new system and website and will be flipping the switch shortly. While you wait for the new TechAddress to appear we wanted to share a couple screen shots and explanations of new features to come.

The new TechAddress will be a user-generated news, blogging and community website that is built on WordPress’ personal publishing platform with some extra bells and whistles. It has been developed to empower maximum communication and exposure for a company’s product or service while providing a feedback, voting and opinion environment for users. If you want to post your company’s latest news, or perhaps save, comment, vote on, or share an article with a friend, then TechAddress is the place for you. Last but not least, TechAddress is 100% FREE!

Homepage
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Private email

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Hotposts
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Profile
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Press Page
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TechAddress allows corporate users and invited bloggers to:

- Write and manage articles that are posted to the homepage and their dedicated profile page
- Easily edit and update articles
- Assign tags/categories to your articles
- Upload images and embed YouTube, Google or Grouper videos to your articles
- Preview your article before posting live
- Save your article as a draft and come back to finish later
- Allow or forbid comments to be posted on your articles
- Manage all previously posted articles in a dedicated area
- Display your corporate profile or blog overview in a dedicated personal link
- Display various types of information on your dedicated profile page
- Allow or forbid users to privately email you about your articles (note: email will be within your TechAddress account, not via your personal email) – Decide whether or not to receive email notifications when your articles are commented on
- Upload a personal image as well as a corporate logo to your dedicated profile page

TechAddress allows regular users to:

- Comment on articles
- Email author of article (note: authors have the ability to decline incoming emails)
- Add authors or articles to your hotlist (note: hotlist is a destination in your account that displays specific articles you have saved or authors you are tracking) – Vote for or against posted articles
- Share an article with a friend of a non-TechAddress user
- Sort articles on homepage by most recent or most popular
- Search for articles by keyword or tag/category label
- Search for comments by keyword, URL, or author
- View all comments posted against all articles
- View only your comments posted against articles
- Privately email authors of articles

We look forward to your feedback and thank you for visiting and participating in TechAddress!

February 13, 2007 at 12:01 am 5 comments

Walmart in bed with Microsoft? Walmart says NO to Firefox, Mac, Apple

Excellent article posted by

Last week, Walmart launched their online video download service. Immediately there were posts that the service did not work with the Firefox or Safari browsers.

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There was a collective, “WTF” when this happened as this is 2007, not 1997. Back then it was “accepted” for applications to work with only a specific browser or platform. Now it appears that reports are out that Walmart has turned off the ability to get into the application at all by Firefox, Safari or any other browser it does not like.

And I can confirm that I cannot access the site via Firefox. So I ask, is this because of bad coding or because Walmart is working with Microsoft? Jonathan asks the same question. I certainly hope it is bad coding. But for the largest company in the world to not test their applications is just piss poor. In addition, with the requirements for SOX, who signed off on this going live? I can only imagine that in my past corporate life, heads would have rolled. (It appears some of the issues might be due to the DRM they are using is IE only)

With the “early adopters” generally using non-ie browsers, this will certainly hurt their ability for this to succeed. I hope this is only temporary. I am sure Netflix and iTunes must be loving this. Today any “f-up” is immediately spread across the web in mere minutes. I would have liked to see a message from Walmart that says this:

We understand that there are some issues using our download service in browsers other than Internet Explorer. We are quickly working on resolving the issues and appreciate your patience. Enter your email address and we will notify you once the service is functional in the other browsers and we will include a free download coupon for the trouble. Thank you for your interest in Walmart.

Updated 5pm: appears they are blocking apple completely — from walmart customer service:
And Walmart video download service does not support the Macintosh Operating Systems as the video that you download requires Digital Rights Management 10 (DRM 10) software, which is not compatible with the Macintosh operating system.

February 11, 2007 at 11:21 am Leave a comment

Wikipedia could shut within 3-4 months

wikipedia.jpg In a rather extraordinary example of begging for money, Florence Devouard, Chairwoman of the Wikimedia foundation has told an audience at the Lift07 conference that Wikipedia has the financial resources to run its servers for another 3-4 months, and that without further funding Wikipedia “might disappear”.Could Wikipedia shut it’s doors? Tthe site alone would be worth at least $xxx million, if not a billion, after all, there’s literally no better property out there when it comes to traffic and authority than Wikipedia. And whoever bought it would not only have an amazing marketing tool, they could even control the truth, at least as most of us know it. Indeed, the likes of Microsoft wouldn’t need to hire people to edit entries, they could simply pay the new owner. Text Link sales alone across the site would more than pay for the servers the site uses, tens of thousands of times over. I smell a begging bluff on this one, but Devouard did make the claim.

(via Via Digitalis/ SEO Black Hat)

February 10, 2007 at 11:33 am 2 comments

Can Google score with in-game ads?

As Google expands its lucrative ad network to new markets, industry watchers increasingly believe the search giant will buy its way into the nascent market for advertising inside video games.

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Google has reportedly looked at acquiring AdScape Media, a small company, founded in Ontario and now based in San Francisco, that specializes in so-called in-game ads. Google did not return calls seeking comment, and an AdScape spokeswoman declined to comment on the talks.

Though an industry insider who asked to remain anonymous said negotiations had stalled, such an acquisition would allow Google to take on old foe Microsoft, which last year acquired a similar but larger company called Massive. In-game ads, however, are one place where Microsoft would have a rare advertising advantage over Google thanks to thriving sales of its Xbox 360 gaming console and a long list of gaming titles.

“Google would be playing catch-up against some significant entrenched providers,” said Michael Goodman, a program manager at research firm Yankee Group Research. “The biggest challenge for them is they might see themselves closed out of the Xbox as a platform to serve ads to.”

In-game ads may sound like a niche, but it’s a growing one that reaches a choice demographic for advertisers. A recent Nielsen Entertainment study found that men aged 18 to 34 are spending more time playing video games (12.5 hours on average per week) and less time watching television (9.8 hours per week). About 6 million U.S. households have at least one “power gamer,” someone who spends as much as 20 hours per week and $50 per month on games, and there are more than 15 million active players of casual games, which are free ad-supported games such as Tetris or cards, said Michael Cai, director of broadband and gaming for Parks Associates.

“It’s not a pimply faced teenage kid playing video games in the basement anymore. It’s people with a lot of disposable income,” said Jeff Berg, content editor at the Interpublic Emerging Media Lab think tank. “It’s a natural space for Google to move into if they can do it effectively.”

The dollar value of this market isn’t nearly as small as many people would think. Parks Associates predicts that game advertising revenue will grow from $120 million in 2006 to $200 million this year and $300 million in 2008. Yankee Group forecasts in-game ad revenue to reach $732 million by 2010. Buying AdScape wouldn’t get Google a lot of new customers, but it would get the company technology, Goodman said. “Google already has significant relationships with advertisers, but they would have to build up relationships with game publishers,” he said.

“Google is the king of search ads, but they aren’t that dominant in brand advertising.”

–Michael Cai, director, Parks Associates

Over the last 18 months, the search giant has been rapidly moving into new ad markets such as print and radio, using its automated online ad-delivery system to provide a way for advertisers to reach new customers via offline mediums. Google purchased radio advertising provider dMarc Broadcasting for just over $100 million a year ago and has been conducting radio ad delivery tests.

While it’s hard to imagine virtual world games like World of Warcraft being a great advertising vehicle for Coke or Pepsi, plenty of games could be ideal, such as sporting titles.

“For example, we take Nike’s (ads) they’ve used for print or television and implement that straight into the games across our sports titles,” said Justin Townsend, chief executive of in-game advertising firm IGA Worldwide. The ad is delivered over the Internet and can be changed depending on which advertiser has purchased the ad rights, he said. The ads are targeted geographically, so players in Germany, for example, will see a German version of the ad. Because Google’s greatest success has been in contextually targeted ads rather than display ads, it might be better suited serving ads that appear alongside casual games, which are sold over the Web, Cai said.

“The question is whether Google is interested in getting into a new media form–gaming, and whether they are looking beyond search and trying to address a new ad business–display advertising,” he said. “Google is the king of search ads, but they aren’t that dominant in brand advertising.” But is the gaming industry ready for Google’s automated kind of advertising?

“It’s not clear,” said Jonathan Epstein, chief executive of Double Fusion, a competitor to AdScape, IGA and Massive. “It doesn’t mean it can’t get there, but when you look at how markets evolve it’s always the specialists that drive innovation and focus in the market.” Eva Woo, vice president of marketing at AdScape, said her company has a technology that allows advertisers to interact with consumers without interrupting the game, something that could appeal to Google. If a gamer opts in, AdScape’s Real World Virtual World Gateway will deliver messages via SMS or e-mail from the advertiser, Woo said.

When the game detects that a player has reached a certain level in the game or that a player is having problems getting beyond an obstacle in the game, for example, the advertiser could offer hints, rewards or coupons. “We’ve been developing this (advertising) technology for five years,” she said. “We have one patent issued and 15 patents pending.”

A risk for Google, of course, is getting shut out of Microsoft’s growing Xbox market, and the question remains whether gamers will rebel against publishers who allow advertisers into their gaming worlds.

“Male gamers playing core games don’t mind ads if they help make the gaming experience more realistic rather than disrupting their gaming activity,” Cai said.

Copyright ©1995-2007 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved.By Elinor Mills Staff Writer, CNET News.com

February 10, 2007 at 2:30 am 11 comments

Jane Fonda meets the Web

By Paul Sloan, Business 2.0 Magazine editor-at-large

Homemade instructional videos like SalsaBootCamp are booming online – and almost anyone can cash in.

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When Evan Margolin launched SalsaBootCamp to sell instructional video clips online, everyone he knew told him it was a crazy idea. Why would people offer up their credit cards to him – a dance teacher known only to his students in San Francisco – when they could watch thousands of dance videos for free on sites like YouTube?

Yet aspiring salsa dancers have signed up in droves, even as Margolin has raised the monthly subscription price from $9 to $37. Four months after its launch, SalsaBootCamp.com is making $20,000 a month.

“If I wasn’t watching the money roll in,” Margolin says, “I wouldn’t believe it myself.”

Big media companies have largely stopped selling subscriptions for their online content, opting instead to build traffic and cram their sites with ads. Yet the subscription model has become a shrewd way for smaller players to make money, especially among the super-niche sites of the Net. There are subscription sites for everything from online soccer lessons for kids to becoming a personal fitness trainer.

Making a go at this, in fact, takes zero technical knowledge and not much up-front money. The key requirement is having a subject about which you can offer some know-how, so you can create a service that people will willingly pay for month after month.

Margolin, 36, found his niche a decade ago, when his big brother dragged him to a salsa club. He eventually became a dance teacher, although his main income has come from various Internet marketing jobs. Margolin says he had toyed with the idea of creating a subscription dance site off and on since 2001 but never did it because the technology wasn’t good enough: The video was cumbersome and slow.

Then last summer one of his students began recording the dance class on a camera phone, burning it to a CD, and asking him to post it on a website. “I thought, ‘Damn, maybe the time is right,’” Margolin says.

So he got started. A number of online software tools now exist to run a subscription business, and Margolin chose one called Membergate. It costs a few thousand dollars, but it handles everything: video support, hosting, payment methods, and so on. He then paid a student $11 an hour to videotape his dance moves. The quality is raw; no fancy film-editing software needed here.

Next, Margolin spent $1,000 or so to give the site some useful Web cred, which he says people too often mistakenly scrimp on.

He posted the Better Business Bureau’s online seal, allowing users to file complaints, and the TRUSTe seal, which verifies that an e-commerce site is secure. He also added testimonials from students. Some are written comments; others are video clips – cheesy-looking interviews attesting to Margolin’s skills. “Hokey works if it’s real,” the instructor says.(If you’re starting from scratch, Margolin suggests, offer your product for free at first and ask people who like it to post comments.)

After a few weeks, the site was ready to go. Margolin drove traffic by buying paid search ads on Google (Charts) and Yahoo (Charts) and by spreading the word in online dance communities. “If you’re really passionate about the topic,” he says, “you’ll know most of the resources to turn to.”

He currently has 1,000 members and is adding a few every day. The trick now is to keep it up: keep marketing, keep adding content. It’s not a do-nothing path to riches. But if you can land even a few hundred subscribers, you can make some sweet, and profitable, moves.

February 9, 2007 at 2:07 pm 6 comments

YouTube founders split $650M payout

Two of YouTube‘s founders stand to divide shares of stock now valued at around $650 million, Web search leader Google Inc. said in a regulatory filing Wednesday detailing the payout from its $1.65 billion acquisition.

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Chad Hurley, chief executive of the online video sharing phenomenon YouTube, received 694,087 shares of Google (Charts) common stock worth around $326 million, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Co-founder Steve Chen received Google common stock valued at a similar amount, including 625,366 shares directly owned and another 68,721 shares held in a trust.

Sequoia Capital, the sole venture capital backer of YouTube, stands to receive around $442 million in Google shares based on the $470.01 closing price of the Web search leader Wednesday.

At least two dozen YouTube employees received lesser share amounts. For example, Julie Supan, YouTube’s principal spokeswoman, received 10,308 shares worth around $4.8 million.

Most of the remaining shares were divided up among dozens of limited partner investors in Sequoia Capital.

Elite backers

These include a who’s who of the endowments of Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia, Oxford and other elite colleges, and the investment vehicles of the families behind the Getty (Charts), Hewlett-Packard (Charts) and Intel (Charts) fortunes, among other beneficiaries.

The third co-founder, Jawed Karim, received stock valued at around $64.6 million. After starting the company in early 2005, he backed out and returned to Stanford University to work on a graduate degree in computer science.

The three co-founders had met while working together at online payments company PayPal, which was later acquired by Web auction company eBay Inc (Charts).

Google, of Mountain View, Calif., acquired YouTube, which is now located in Brisbane, near San Francisco, in November of last year.

YouTube enjoyed explosive growth during 2006 among viewers eager to watch short-form comic sketches created by other users. But its also has faced mounting legal threats from big media companies angry that the site has become a popular means of pirating their television shows.

Google had said at the time of the deal’s closing three months ago that one-eighth of the equity, or around $200 million, would be held in escrow as security on unspecified indemnification obligations.

Last week, Viacom Inc. (Charts) , owner of MTV Networks and several popular comedy programs often pirated by YouTube fans, demanded that the Google unit take down some 100,000 video clips of Viacom programming.

Originally posted by Reuters.

February 9, 2007 at 9:31 am 1 comment

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