Posts Tagged ‘long tail’

Making $470m with a Bunch of Comments

Friday, December 18th, 2009

yelp-googleBack in 2004 Yelp started a web site that listed local businesses, and encouraged people to contribute ratings and comments. Take a look at Pandora’s Jewelry store for an example of a page that is content-rich thanks to the crowd contribution. I have a ratings plug-in on some of my web sites, but what you need to make these things work is the critical mass because people need to see comments before they make comments. Reaching this tipping point is the secret sauce that converts a simple idea into a valuable web property.

Yelp had the benefit of $31m in venture funding to invest in developing a great interface and generating traffic, and now TechCruch is reporting that they may cash in to Google for $500m.  It’s not a bad return for the founders, who are former PayPal execs.

In an earliet post I reported how Google has started suffocating organic search results by pushing them down below the fold. A big part of this is the interactive local maps with ads popping out of them. If the Yelp acquisition goes ahead we can expect more of this. If you are an internet marketer targeting the long tail, then it might be time to start thinking about investing in an authority domain, or raising $31m for that great idea you have.

Right now you can make a few thousand bucks a month from information and affiliate sites, but my sense is that this is going to get harder and harder. With people accusing Demand Media and its eHow site of polluting the internet, then mini sites of lower quality will get taken down with it if there is a clean up.

I welcome your comments below – it’s my $470m strategy.

Good Godin He’s Done it Again!

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Nobody works a crowd like Seth Godin, especially if it’s his own.

This week, marketing’s answer to Alain de Botton launched the free presentation ‘What Matters now.’ You can download it here. The project gathered some of the smartest digital thinkers and asked them each to contribute a slide on what we should be focused on right now. Then boom – it’s launch time, and each one of the contributors announces it on their blogs, and the download becomes a Twitter trending topic for seven hours.

On the first slide of the download our guru informs us that ‘In a digital world, the gift I give you almost always benefits me more than it costs’ and at the same time lets us know that his new book Linchpin is coming out in January. Aha.

The presentation itself is a mash-up where the contributors fuse their personal styles with Godin-like sage and concise advice. It’s pretty good, but I just wish they’d asked Scott H. Greenfield to contribute – there’s a man who’ll get internet marketers thinking. One of my highlights was the Long Tail’s Chris Anderson, ‘Peer production, open source, crowdsourcing, DIY and UGC—all these digital phenomena are starting to play out in the world of atoms, too. The Web was just the proof of concept. Now the revolution gets real.’ My, it sounds exciting! The diagram below is a good one too.

source: http://thisisindexed.com/

source: http://thisisindexed.com/

This is the second wave of Seth’s book launch strategy, following on from him sending a pre-release copy of Linchpin to the first 3,000 people who made a donation of at least $30 to the Acumen Fund. This latest effort is twofold. First he has accessed the tribes of the contributors, and secondly he has brought these contributors further into his inner circle. No doubt we will see Aaron Wall and others reviewing Linchpin in January.

If as Guy Kawasaki says on his slide ‘the future belongs to people who can spread ideas’ then Godin is sitting pretty good, and  I need a few more readers, so why not hit my RSS button? Oh yes, I’m supposed to give you something first.