Friday, December 30, 2005

43 People

Been out the last couple of weeks for some special people who are in town. Sure wish it wasn't over....oh well.

Today, I got a 43 People connect through David Weekly of PB Wiki. Looks like the guys at Robo-Coop (aka Amazon) are up to something interesting - another brand/product extension of their 43 services (they have 43 Things and 43 Places).

At first instance, its seems that 43 People is YASN service (YASN = Yet Another Social Network). Give it a go and you'll realize that it flips the entire paradox around. This is more about people you'd like to know than who you are and your relationships with others. Thus, a person who's not in the system can get a profile, whether he likes it or not.

I like the idea behind it. Soon people who own these profiles will be attracted to them, and probably claim ownership (check out this example on Steve Jobs). Good way to increase user base; use the people from 43 Things and 43 People....

Friday, December 09, 2005

Yahoo! Tags = Flickr + Delicious

Just saw this today - Yahoo! acquires Delicious. As you know, Y! owns picture-tagging site Flickr. So the additions of puts Y! 2.0 as the king of social search. Yahoo! is getting scarier each day.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Protopage = Google IG

Found this new service today c/o the Social Software Blog. Protopage is an AJAX-driven personal homepage. You can easily add RSS feeds from new sites that update automatically, create yellow post-it notes that you can move around without page refresh, and even create your customized wallpaper. Pretty sweet - its a version 1.5 of Google IG. Speaking of IG - can somebody tell me what that means?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Digging Digg

I've been playing around with Digg these last few days, and I've finally figured it out. If you're a fan of 'discovery' through, then you'll totally dig Digg. At first impression, Digg seems to bring articles that its users find interesting to the top. Yet a close look at these links show that its not just news/headlines but also interesting random stuff. Consider what I've seen recently: a Lego execution of Grand Theft Auto, the new X-men 3 website, and the release of Fasterfox for Firefox 1.5.

It totally reminds me of my experience as I go through's popular links (I usually hit humor). Digg is like the best of the popular links. Somewhat random, but totally cool information.

Get The Whole Thing

Check out this great video: I tell you this will spread, and will be a big hit for the sponsor company.

I'm itching to talk more about it, but you'll figure it out yourself. The execution is flawless - gets attention and communicates one_simple_message.

Perplex City Funded

Wow - saw this article today. Seems that UK-based Mind Candy, the creators of Perplex City, has received $3M in (probably) Series A funding from Index Ventures. Nice.

For those who do not know, Perplex City is an Alternate Reality Game (ARG). Think of an Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG - geez, what's with the acronyms) but off the Internet. Essentially, its a bunch of game cards/puzzles in different levels. What makes it different is that its built around a storyline with multiple characters, each with their own plots. You can follow the game through Perplex City blogs and websites (some of these urls are hidden in Perplex City websites and game cards; most are update daily). More than that, the answers to these puzzles are part of a larger puzzle that when solved will lead to a real location somewhere on Earth. What's in that location? $200,000 in cold, hard cash baby! Woohoo!

Obviously, this an interesting way to market a product. It also makes great PR.

I said that Perplex City is like an MMORPG; its an interactive game. Sure, you can hide in a hole somewhere and solve the riddles yourself, but part of the enjoyment is hitting the forums, going to special events, etc. to solve the clues and get to the big prize. (Oh yeah, I found Google makes a good friend who can solve the hardest puzzles....)

You should definitely give it a look. Its distribution is pretty limited but if you want to get cards (6 or so cards for $5) , Games of Berkeley in the SF Bay Area has them. As you can tell, I'm kinda hooked on Perplex City.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Thoughts on Marketing & Marketing with a Virus

So far, the entries in this blog have been focused on the start-up environment - new companies/services, my market opinions, and events. Yet, I am not doing my background due justice. See, I'm a marketing guy. I think its high-time that I talk about interesting marketing campaigns that I've seen. Since this blog is dedicated to the Internet, I'll focus on online marketing.

Perhaps one of the coolest marketing activities out there is viral marketing. I'm we all agree on this. If you think about it, this is simply a super-charged word-of-mouth campaign. And, I don't think its the way it is now until the Internet came around.

Viral marketing campaigns are more effective as everybody gets connected and uses DSL. Consider this interesting video campaign by SimplyHired (through its SimplyFired website); wouldn't happen without a fast connection. Dave McClure sure knows what he's doing - the use of another website is pretty slick, and the team-up with YouTube is great.

(Speaking of YouTube - you should check out these two funny Korean girls. It's HILARIOUS.)

You probably know about other viral marketing campaigns: there's Burger King's Subservient Chicken. This just blows me away (although its a bit creepy). I blog about the interesting ones in the next entries.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Brain Jamming

I got this from Hong Qu - BrainJams is happening tomorrow at the SRI offices in Menlo Park. Like BarCamp and TagCamp, BrainJams aims to be an 'unconference' where smart-people get together without formality (and without having to pay) and just discuss/learn from one another. Dunno about you, but I think its cool.

More than that, this is Silicon Valley and the people here are blazing the technology way. If this is similar to the past events I've attended, then it promises to be a rich experience.

Hong and I will be there. If you happen to read my blog and want to meet up, send me a message.

Also on the event track - the next Wiki Wed is happening on 7 Dec 2005. Yup, its at SocialText HQ.