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Interview with with Ronen Shilo, CEO of Conduit
Below is an interview with Ronen Shilo, CEO of Conduit. We hope you find the interview informative and useful. Please visit their website and check it out!

TechAddress: Tell me a bit about your company, what it does and what’s your value proposition?

Conduit: Conduit is the inventor of the community toolbar concept. Community toolbars are a great new way to engage users and drive loyalty as they put the best of any website directly on the users’ browser. Today’s Web savvy organizations are looking for new ways to connect and engage their users, beyond the boundaries of their Web site.

As an example, Major League Baseball launched a ‘Conduit’ for each team in the league so the fans can stay connected with scores, plays, team information, tickets and breaking news on their favorite team, straight from the browser.

Bottom line, a Conduit community toolbar delivers:

  • More Traffic: Drive higher traffic through unprecedented face time, resulting in an average increase of two extra clicks per user, per day
  • Brand Presence: Conduit allows publishers to put their brand directly on the user’s browser
  • Lower Attrition: Retain customers through engaging content, community chat, contests, and more
  • More Revenue per Customer: Monetizing users beyond the boundaries of the Web site. Drive higher spending with more targeted offers and more relevant services delivered via a ‘Conduit’


TechAddress: What makes your company stand apart from your competitors?

Conduit: There are several things, but most importantly there are three:

1. Hosted turnkey service approach which eliminates all the challenges of traditional software offerings.

Typical off-the-shelf toolbar building software requires technical resources, constant maintenance staff, and presents issues in regard to user support and security, not to mention their limited component offerings. In the past, these challenges have prevented the majority of smaller websites from building and launching their own branded toolbars.

Conduit dramatically changed the model from traditional software to a hosted, global, turnkey service that is very easy to use, and requires no maintenance or technical skills. This has resulted in Conduit’s community toolbars exploding in less than 18 months to over 5 million users in 112 countries, 125k publishers in 22 languages, and over 30,000 downloads a day. For more details, see our recent milestone news release here.

2. Conduit’s business model is powered by search, which enables us to be completely free to the publisher and yet empower the toolbar with the most required functionality – search.

Conduit monetizes user searches via its Google search partnership, thereby delivering superior user experience despite being a free service for organizations.

3. Conduit supports its customers with a full suite of solutions that walks the user through the entire toolbar creation process:

  • Building (Conduit provides easy to use Toolbar Wizards that make building a snap)
  • Promotion (Pre-made templates for toolbar promotion include banners and download pages)
  • Maintenance (Changes made to the toolbar in the hosted environment are automatically reflected in the toolbar field)
  • Analysis (Reports to help optimize the solution for maximum value to publishers and users)

TechAddress: What are some of the main features?

Conduit: Conduit is free, hosted, extremely easy-to-use, completely customizable, ready in minutes, guaranteed to be secure, and available in 22 languages. The Toolbar Wizard is easy to use tool for any publisher, despite their level of programming expertise.

There are several key features that have contributed to our explosive adoption:

  • Pre-defined components including customizable menus, news ticker, RSS reader, radio, chatroom, NEW video window, email notifier, weather button, and more
  • Open environment that allows publishers to develop their own custom components using standard web development technologies
  • A set of customizable search tools, powered by Google
  • Cross-platform solution enabling publishers to provide instant availability in IE & Firefox
  • Pre-packaged marketing templates for deployment and promotion
  • Analytics and reports for management of the community toolbar
  • Hosted solution enables seamless and dynamic updates of content, components, and updates
  • 24/7 free support for publishers and users via email
  • Fully localized by supporting 22 languages for the toolbar and its peripheral pages

TechAddress: Who is your target customer or audience?

Conduit: Any website with a passionate community of online users can benefit from a Conduit community toolbar. Our range of customers represents every industry including entertainment, event planning, music, gaming, non profits, libraries, business, news portals, forums, real-estate, legal enterprise and more. While we have leading brands such as Greenpeace, Major League Baseball and REMAX, the largest segment of Conduit customers are “Long Tail” publishers that come from a diverse cross section.

TechAddress: Any new things in particular that you’re working on right now?

Conduit: Our technology teams are working on exciting product releases that will transform user engagement and communication.

The first is the ability for a publisher to extend their presence beyond the current real estate of the toolbar. With an upcoming version, Conduit will transform toolbars from being a single story house to a skyscraper.

The second will empower a user to benefit from multiple toolbars without sacrificing the browser real-estate typically required, and by eliminating the need of multiple downloads. Users will be able to easily manage and control their toolbar library through this new product.

We are also looking to launch a “smart wizard” that will automatically detect community information and will build it into a community toolbar simply from a website URL. This is part of our commitment to making it easier to build and launch a toolbar.

Stay tuned for these and other exciting announcements coming soon.

TechAddress: Where do you see your company heading in the future?

Conduit: We envision Conduit evolving into a global leader in marketing platforms for building user-centric applications that drive engagement and loyalty. To that end, we are focused on forging content and product partnerships to deliver the broadest array of content and components to our publishers. From a product perspective, we are focused on being an innovation leader with breakthrough new features regularly added to the roadmap.

TechAddress: Any negative feedback or criticism regarding technology and services?

Conduit: Historically, toolbars were perceived as a search device associated with search companies, and as such they raised the question of “Who needs another toolbar?” In addition many have a bad reputation for opening up users to outside threats from adware, spyware and malware. Conduit community toolbars are strongly associated with the communities they serve (vs. being a search device only) and address a wider cross-section of information needs which goes beyond the simple search function. In addition, Conduit, delivers a safe and secure user experience.

TechAddress: So what would you say is the guiding principle behind your company?

Conduit: Publisher-focused value creation. If we help our publishers be more successful, then we will be successful. So whether it’s product development, marketing, or support, the company is completely focused on what drives a positive outcome for our publishers. We believe that publishers know what’s best for their users and they want to be able to offer them the very best solutions. Conduit provides them with the full-service solution they need to achieve that. As an example, we worked very hard to secure a partnership with Google, as we wanted to provide the ultimate search experience for our publishers’ end users while still enabling our publisher customers with the ability to embed their own site search into the community toolbar and the search page.

Outside of our dedication to products, our overall guiding principles are fairness and integrity. These are the cornerstones of Conduit. We treat everyone who interacts with the company with highest level of integrity.

TechAddress: What is the mission of your company and what are you bringing to the market that is innovative?

Conduit: Our mission is to democratize the building of connected communities, and to enable traditional Web 1.0 companies to become Web 2.0. We aim to provide every publisher with the solutions they need to connect, engage and build online communities quickly and cost effectively.

In terms of innovation, we are the first, completely free service for building a community toolbar, powered by Search. This is a significant value proposition for the market in general but more importantly, for the long tail of the Internet. Conduit is putting a powerful, free marketing platform, previously only available to large companies, in the hands of organizations of every size and capability. This is revolutionary – we are leveling the playing field and doing it with a free, secure service that is backed by a solid business model.

TechAddress: Where are you in terms of funding and your lifecycle?

Conduit: Conduit is currently fully funded and has no plans to raise additional capital at this time.

TechAddress: If your technology or service is not formally launched yet, when’s the launch date? If you have already launched, when was your launch date?

Conduit: The company was founded in 2005; however, we just recently launched an official marketing campaign in November, 2006. Incredibly, Conduit has grown virally from 0 to 125,000 website publisher customers and 5,000,000 users in less than two years.




January 31, 2007 at 5:41 pm 18 comments

Google beats fourth quarter estimates

Google‘s fourth-quarter revenue rose 67 percent on continued strength in its cash-cow paid search business, beating analyst estimates.

Click image for more detailsgoogle1.JPG

Net earnings for the quarter ended December 31 were $1.03 billion, or $3.29 a share, including one-time items such as stock-based compensation, compared with $372 million, or $1.22 a share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Excluding those items, earnings were $997 million, or $3.18 a share.

Total revenue for the third quarter rose 67 percent to $3.2 billion, compared with $1.92 billion a year ago. Excluding traffic acquisition costs, or commission paid to content partners, revenue was $2.23 billion, slightly higher than estimates. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting Google to post earnings per share of $2.92 excluding items, and revenue of $2.19 billion, excluding traffic acquisition costs.

Posted by Elinor Mills

January 31, 2007 at 5:14 pm Leave a comment

A look ahead at Google Video and YouTube

googleyoutubelogo.jpg  In November, we officially closed our acquisition of YouTube, and since then we’ve received a number of questions about what will happen next. The summary is that Google Video and YouTube will continue to play to their respective strengths. But here’s a bit more detail:

Google’s strength — and its history — is grounded in search and in innovating technologies to make more information more available and accessible. YouTube, meanwhile, excels at being a leading content destination with a dynamic community of users who create, watch and share videos worldwide.

Google search results already include links to content that’s hosted on YouTube. Starting today, YouTube video results will appear in the Google Video search index: when you click on YouTube thumbnails, you will be taken to to experience the videos. Over time, Google Video will become even more comprehensive as it evolves into a service where you can search for the world’s online video content, irrespective of where it may be hosted.

This is part of Google’s overall goal to give you the highest quality search results possible. For example, some users who do a Google search for Martin Luther King, Jr. may want to find websites about him. Others may want to see images of him. And others may want to watch video footage…

YouTube, as we’ve stated previously, will remain an independent subsidiary of Google, and will continue to operate separately. Google will support YouTube by providing access to search and monetization platforms and, when/where YouTube launches internationally, to international resources. YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen and the rest of the YouTube team will continue to innovate exciting new ways for people to “broadcast themselves.”

Earlier this week, we announced one example of innovation in monetization and distribution with a new AdSense video test. We’ll be working with a wide set of content providers, grouping together high quality video content from providers with high quality ads and offering them as playlists which publishers can select from and display on their AdSense sites. (There’s more about the test on the AdSense blog.)

Today represents just the first step in our plan to bring you a comprehensive video search and content platform. We’ll provide ongoing updates as they unfold.

January 25, 2007 at 10:25 am 16 comments

Interview with Steven Wakita from Decipho

Below is an interview with Steven Wakita from Decipho. We hope you find the interview informative and useful. Please visit their website and check it out!

TechAddress: Tell me a bit about your company, what it does and what’s your value proposition?

Decipho: Decipho filters our search results by user preferences and breaks them into categories so it’s easier for our users to search the web. It is able to do this by allowing users to categorize the results – shopping, info & bookmarks – and then storing them by the domain name.

This is done so that whenever a website shows up in a keyword search, its category breakdown will be displayed even if this website was ranked for a different URL string. If the users voted a tie and think a website matches two or three categories, then it will show the tie. Another unique feature we offer is the “My Results” section. While logged into your account, when a website you have already ranked appears in another keyword search, the system will pull out that search listing to the top right side (next to general results) even if it is listing number 50. This allows our users to find sites they already know and trust. Users also have the option to search by a specific category rather than displaying all results. This will help our users narrow their searches by category and only display results that match a particular category voted by our users.

Some final features include the “Dots,” which appear next to each voted-result and indicate the overall category-voting by all users for all keywords; and the “Search Analysis” link, which breaks down user-votes by categories for each keyword that a site is ranked under, and displays them in percentages.

TechAddress: What makes your company stand apart from your competitors?

Decipho: Basically what makes us different is that we allow our users to break the search results into categories and provide our users with more data, such as voting patterns of our users for specific keyword searches, that allow them enough info to make a decision on whether to visit the site or not.

TechAddress: Who’s your target customer or audience?

Decipho: Our target audience is anyone that searches the web. We want the novice and expert web searchers to use Decipho.

TechAddress: Any new things in particular that you’re working on right now?

Decipho: Yes we are. We plan to unveil them later next week hopefully. These new features will be focusing on providing our users another way to filter the search results and provide more info about the results content.

TechAddress: Where do you see your company heading in the future?

Decipho: I see Decipho growing as a company with attracting more users and building more tools that will make it easier to search the web.

TechAddress: Any negative feedback or criticism regarding technology and services?

Decipho: Currently right now there hasn’t been any, but we know everyone won’t like what we’re doing because by no means is Decipho perfect.

TechAddress: So what would you say is the guiding principle behind your company?

Decipho: Decipho’s guiding principle is to innovate and create while focusing on providing enough tools to help our users in their searches.

TechAddress: What is the mission of your company and what are you bringing to the market that is innovative?

Decipho: The mission for Decipho is to provide tools to our users that will give them as much info as possible about a website so they can decide one whether they want to visit the result or not.

TechAddress: Where are you in terms of funding and your lifecycle?

Decipho: Decipho is self-funded. We are currently not looking to raise money because we currently don’t need it. I’m 24 years old; I don’t need a bloated salary because all I know is being poor.

TechAddress: If your technology or service is not formally launched yet, when’s the launch date?

Decipho: Launched last week.


November 1, 2006 at 4:49 pm 3 comments

Interview with Chase Norlin – CEO of Pixsy Corporation


Below is an interview with Chase Norlin – CEO of Pixsy Corporation. We hope you find the interview informative and useful. Please visit their website and check it out!

TechAddress: Tell me a bit about your company, what it does and what’s your value proposition?

Pixsy: Pixsy is a media search portal and media search syndication platform. is building the largest photo and video index on the web (think “visual Google”). Pixsy acts as a meta-aggregator of photo and video content in the form of thumbnail images. These images are then indexed and made searchable and browseable for users. PixsyPower is a media search platform that enables any website or application to run their own branded image and video search engine. PixsyPower provides medium and large publishers with unique search technology, a hosted service, engaging content, and advertising monetization. Pixsy provides this service to publishers on a 50/50 ad revenue share or monthly license fee. Pixsy is currently developing a mass-market solution for the blogger/myspace market that automates the creation of photo and video search engines.


TechAddress: What makes your company stand apart from your competitors?

Pixsy: The biggest competitive differentiator is that we’ve built a flexible media search platform that puts anybody in the online photo and video search business.

TechAddress: What are some of the main features?

Pixsy: Pixsy collects visual material from thousands of providers across the web, resulting in millions of photos and videos for you to search and browse. Traditional image search engines take a mathematical approach to search, with the focus entirely on relevancy. With Pixsy, you can search for both photos and videos by “relevance”, “category”, “provider”, or “freshness”.

As a meta-aggregator of visual material you can explore content from multiple providers with just one search query. Additionally, our visual search technology extracts photo and video content from RSS feeds, enabling us to deliver the freshest photos and videos to our users (browse the latest news photos, the latest sports photos, the latest celebrity photos, the latest funny videos, etc). We update our index to the minute so you can discover new material every time you visit.

TechAddress: Who’s your target customer or audience?

Pixsy: All websites and applications looking to run their own photo and video search engine. End users that are interested in searching for photos and videos.

TechAddress: Any new things in particular that you’re working on right now?

Pixsy: Yes, PixsyPower, to be launched in Monaco on October 19. Mass market solution for the blogger/myspace market.

TechAddress: Where do you see your company heading in the future?

Pixsy: To become the largest photo and video thumbnail index on the web with the strongest distribution platform.

TechAddress: Any negative feedback or criticism regarding technology and services?

Pixsy: Sometimes people say we don’t have enough content, but that’s changing very soon.

TechAddress: So what would you say is the guiding principle behind your company?

Pixsy: Innovation and determination.

TechAddress: What is the mission of your company and what are you bringing to the market that is innovative?

Pixsy: We’ve built a new model around the fastest growing search verticals.

TechAddress: Where are you in terms of funding and your lifecycle

Pixsy: Angel round in May, 2006.

TechAddress: If your technology or service is not formally launched yet, when’s the launch date?

Pixsy: Already launched. PixsyPower to launch on Oct 19.


October 24, 2006 at 9:01 pm Leave a comment and Yahoo! bulk up for local search brawl – TechCrunch

By Marshall Kirkpatrick of TechCrunch:

A hefty list of new features were added to Microsoft’s Live Local Search yesterday and just tonight to Yahoo! Local. As both rivals get stronger, you can’t help but wonder what’s going to come after coupons for Google’s local search. Both Yahoo! and Live Local are looking good.

Yahoo! Local
Yahoo! Local now lets search users build personal collections of search results, tag locations, write reviews, see recommendations, upload pictures and build sideshows all in a dashboard based service called “my local.” Photos you tie to a particular location and mark public are visible to other users when they look at the location’s profile page on Yahoo! Local search.

I haven’t been able to tell yet whether there’s any Flickr integration with Yahoo! Local Search, but that would be a very logical step. Given that there were 1.2 million Flickr photos geotagged in the first 24 hours that the feature was available, you can imagine how powerful integration of public, geotagged photos with local search could be.

This upgraded Yahoo! Local is impressive. It’s a lot like Yahoo! TripPlanner, but I foresee it being much more useful. Google’s local search is pretty good, and I appreciate the reviews they pull in, but Yahoo! functionality appears to have taken the lead. I use Google local search every time I go to a new restaurant, for example, but I think I’m going to be trying Yahoo! and Live first for awhile. That said, integration of the several related domains on Yahoo! is still quite awkward and I hope that will change. Local
Microsoft’s Live Local Search added new features yesterday as well. Those include a white-pages style people search, the ability to draw on and annotate maps and a cool feature to have any business’s details sent by text message to your mobile phone so you’ll have them without going online. Live Local already offered a service to simultaneously connect your phone and a business’s phone with one click.

This Live Local upgrade also extended to more than 100 the list of cities you can get a Virtual Earth powered “bird’s eye view” of. The Live Local team says that there are now hundreds of thousands of new WiFi access points that Live uses for its “locate me” feature – determining your physical location on its map.

It’s been clear that local search has always had a lot of potential; it’s exciting to see these two major players innovating and making it a much richer experience. As the usefulness of local search grows, so does the business that can go on there. I love many Google services, but its local search is looking pretty sparse now compared to Yahoo! and Live.’s local search and Plazes are worth a look as well. There’s a whole lot going on in local search these days.

September 13, 2006 at 11:49 pm 2 comments

Microsoft rebuilds its search engine – CNNMoney reports:

September 12 2006: 6:44 AM EDT

Company will officially launch its Windows Live Search Tuesday, replacing MSN Search, in effort to steal ad dollars from rivals Google and Yahoo.

SEATTLE (Reuters) — Microsoft Corp. plans Tuesday to officially launch its new Windows Live Search engine, a pillar in its strategy to topple market leader Google and wrestle away billions of dollars worth of online advertising. Windows Live Search will replace MSN Search, Microsoft’s current search engine, in 47 markets worldwide and 23 languages after being available for months in a test version.Microsoft (Charts)’s market share in Web search is on the slide, ranking third behind Google (Charts) and Yahoo Inc. (Charts) with a 9.6 percent share in July, down from 11 percent in January, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. By comparison, Google and Yahoo picked up market share during that period. “I feel confident that we can gain share,” said Derrick Connell, general manager of Microsoft’s Search Business Unit. Microsoft said it aims to improve the search experience by allowing for refined queries and presenting results on a new user-friendly interface.

A few years ago, Microsoft had no search engine of its own and no clear strategy regarding Web advertising, while Google and Yahoo have made multibillion-dollar businesses of search-related advertising. Since then, Microsoft has become serious about grabbing a larger piece of the $15 billion U.S. market for Internet advertising with an overhauled Web presence under its new Windows Live brand.

A main component of the Internet revamp is Windows Live Search with a new look and features such as easier browsing of searched images, suggestions of related links and a scratch pad to allow users to store pictures and information. Microsoft also said it will launch its site, a Web page that users can customize with news from various sources, weather and links to e-mail.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company also said it will offer Windows Live Local Search, a mapping service, in the United States and Britain. Shares of Microsoft closed up 31 cents at $25.91 on the Nasdaq prior to the announcement.

September 12, 2006 at 10:41 am Leave a comment

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