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Circle of Experts

Brain Food Blog
Posts in Events

Tools and resources from the Nitron Advisors team. We tend to blog about investing, leadership, management, career acceleration, personal productivity, securities research, and online networks.

January 3, 2007

E-commerce/Consumer Tech Dinners in Chicago & San Francisco

Posted in General, Events
by David Teten @ 6:51 pm —

I thought that some of our readers might be interested and qualified to attend one of our upcoming private hedge fund dinners.

============================

Seeking Ecommerce/Consumer Tech Experts for Chicago and San Francisco Hedge Fund Dinners
January 2007

============================

Nitron Advisors is organizing a series of dinners for e-commerce and consumer technology experts to talk with major hedge fund investors interested in this sector. These invitation-only events will be taking place in Chicago on January 16 and San Francisco on January 17. We will compensate you for flight expenses, and pay you an honorarium for joining us.

We’re looking for senior industry executives and other experts with the following backgrounds:

Consumer Technology

+ Personal computers (Dell, HP, Lenovo, Apple, etc.)
+ Flash memory (SanDisk, Kingston, Corsair, etc.)
+ MP3 Players (Apple, Creative, Archos, etc.)
+ GPS Systems (Garmin, TomTom, etc.)
+ Mobile telephones (Nokia, Motorola, Palm, Blackberry, etc.)
+ Distributors (Ingram Micro, Arrow Electronics, Synnex Corp, Tech Data Corporation)

Ecommerce areas of interest:
+ Online specialty retail (eBay, Amazon, Blue Nile, Overstock, Audible)
+ Online auctions (power sellers on eBay, other auction sites)
+ Search engine space (Google, Yahoo, MSN)
+ Consumer generated media/free video hosting services (YouTube, MSN Video, Yahoo Video, Google Video)
+ Online advertising/marketing (ValueClick, 24/7 Real Media, aQuantive)
+ Lead generation players (Autobytel Inc, Move Inc, Bankrate, IAC InterActiveCorp, HouseValues, etc.)
+Online media (PRIMEDIA, New York Times/About.com, etc.)

Qualifications: As an expert, you have at least four years senior experience in the eCommerce space or consumer tech space. You have a “big picture” perspective on different firms in the space.

If you are not already a member of our Circle of Experts, please visit http://www.circleofexperts.com/apply-form.html?i=11 and apply to be a member of the Nitron Advisors Circle of Experts. Please contact Mr. Jesse Mandell, 1-212-682-6455, JMandell(AT)nitronadvisors.com, with any questions. Please note that we must review your bio and talk with you before we can accept you for the dinner.

December 7, 2006

AQ Research Future of Research Conference, NYC, Dec. 5

Posted in General, Events
by David Teten @ 9:34 am —

I look forward to speaking at AQ Research’s conference next week on “The Future of Research”, Dec. 5, Grand Hyatt, New York.

Full schedule here.

AGENDA

THE FUTURE OF RESEARCH
MORNING SESSIONS
08.00 Welcome and Introduction: Graham Field, Managing Director,
AQ Research
08.15 Keynote address: Dan Chornous, Chief Investment Officer,
RBC Asset Management

08.45 Major Trends in Research
A review of the main factors influencing the development of research in North
America:
- The aftermath of the global settlement
- The future of independent research
- The impact of unbundling
- The rise of hedge funds
Speakers to include: Stefano Natella, Global Head of Research, Credit
Suisse. Chair: Michael Mayhew, co-CEO, Integrity Research Associates;
Eric Frank, Global Managing Director, Investment Management Division,
Thomson Financial

09.40 Research Performance Measurement
Performance measurement will be a key ingredient in assessing and pricing research.
But who performs well – and which metrics make most sense?
- Quantitative and qualitative tools
- All round performance measurement – integrating the elements
- Implementing organizational change
Speakers to include: Robin Hodgkins, President, Cogent Consulting;William
Russell-Smith, Commercial Director,AQ Research; John Wiseman, Manager,
AlphaMetrics North America. Chair: Michael Mayhew, co-CEO, Integrity
Research Associates

10.25 REFRESHMENT BREAK

10.45 Research pricing
Fidelity has already struck hard dollar deals with research providers. How much
further will the research pricing trend go?
- Is hard dollar the way of the future?
- How does the buyside evaluate and price research?
- Should the sellside go down the menu pricing route?
Speakers to Include: Lisa Shallett, Chairman and CEO, Sanford C Bernstein;
Paul Spillane, CEO, Soleil Securities. Chair: Albert Alonzo,AQ Research

11.45 Expert Networks
Expert networks have become a powerful addition to the research proposition.
But how can they be built and where are they most effective?
Speakers to include: Stanton Green, CEO Vista Research
David Teten, CEO, Nitron Advisors, LLC

12.30 LUNCH
Michael Mayhew
Integrity Research Associates
Stefano Natella
Credit Suisse
John Wiseman
FactSet
Lisa Shallett
Sanford C Bernstein
Dan Chornous
RBC Asset Management
William Russell-Smith
AQ Research
Robin Hodgkins
Cogent Consulting

AFTERNOON SESSIONS
13.30 The Global Research Picture
How does the research outlook for North America compare with – and relate to –
what has been happening in Europe (and Asia).
- Does a global offering still make sense?
- What will the impact of MiFID and unbundling be?
- Is outsourcing part of a global solution?
Chair: Sanford (Sandy) Bragg, co-CEO, Integrity Research Associates
Speakers to include: John Lowrey, Head of European Electronic Client
Services, Lehman Brothers; Charles Gepp, Global Head, Research Initiatives,
Reuters

14.30 Equity and Fixed Income Research Convergence
The buyside can see the advantages, but how far can it go in reality?
- Does regulation encourage or discourage convergence?
- Is cooperation the realistic alternative?
Chair: Sanford (Sandy) Bragg, co-CEO, Integrity Research Associates
Speakers to include: Margaret Cannella, Head of Americas Corporate
Research, JPMorgan; Jim Linnehan, Managing Director, Investment Banking
and Research,Thomson Financial

15.15 REFRESHMENT BREAK

15.30 Research Product Management
The creation and delivery of an effective product has to lie at the center of any
research business.
- How can the research product be differentiated?
- What role can RIXML play in improving distribution and utilization of research?
Speakers to include: David Richeson, Global IT Program Manager, Deutsche
Bank; Skye Hauptman, CEO, BlueMatrix

16.30 Making Research Pay
How can research be changed from being a cost center into being a profit center?
- What role can research play in the equities business?
- What organizational structures will deliver the best research product?
- Does research on small and mid cap stocks make economic sense?
Speakers to include: David Weild IV, CEO,The National Research Exchange;
Shubh Saumya and Jai Sinha, Partners, Booz Allen; Scott Lessing, Chief
Operating Officer, Citigroup Investment Research

17.30 COCKTAIL PARTY – Sponsored by BlueMatrix

June 19, 2006

TieCON East: Trends in Investment Research and Due Diligence.

My colleague Scott Lichtman took some detailed notes on the TieCONEast panel last week on “Trends in Investment Research and Due Diligence”.

Podcast is here.

CONFIRMED SPEAKERS

Graham Field, Managing Director, AQ Research (Moderator)
Graham is the Managing Director of AQ Research, which provides quantitative global analysis of the accuracy of sell-side research. Graham established AQ Research in 1998, having worked as a financial journalist since 1987. He was editor of Asiamoney and of the International Tax Review, as well as presenting business programmes on BBC radio and television. Graham’s books include Economic Growth and Political Change in Asia (1995), Japan’s Financial System: Restoration and Reform (1998) and Euroland: The Future of Europe’s Capital Markets (2000). He is a graduate of Cambridge and London Universities in the UK

Susan Oh, Director & Senior Analyst, Merrill Lynch
Susan’s responsibilities include manager research and the analysis of hedge funds. She is also the portfolio manager of the Merrill Lynch Event Driven Fund. Her focus is on invested managers as well as identifying new funds. Prior to joining MLIM, Susan was a Senior Analyst at Tremont Capital Management. At Tremont, she conducted due diligence on hedge funds and strategies to make strategic recommendations to the Investment Committee. Her other experience includes Citco Group Ltd. and Smith Barney, Inc. Susan was a hedge fund analyst for Citco and an Institutional Sales Assistant at Smith Barney in the hedge fund group.

Dave Furneaux, Founder & Managing General Partner, Kodiak Venture Partners
Prior to Kodiak, in 1996, he co-founded Furneaux & Company, LLC, a seed stage high technology venture investment company. He was the founding investor and active Chairman of the Board of Extreme Packet Devices (acquired by PMC-Sierra) and Philsar (acquired by Conexant). He also was a founding investor, Vice President of Business Development, and member of the board of Skystone Systems (acquired by Cisco Systems), a founding investor in Solidum Systems (acquired by IDT) and an early investor in Telica Systems (acquired by Lucent). At Kodiak, he was an active early investor in AuroraNetics (acquired by Cisco Systems), Watchfire and Raza Microelectronics.

Gregory Locraft, Vice President, MFS Investment Management
Gregory Locraft is the Vice President of MFS Investment Management and a Portfolio Manager of the $2billion MFS Capital Opportunities Fund and related portfolios. Mr. Locraft joined MFS in 1998 as a research analyst. He became a member of the Large Cap Growth Portfolio Management team in October 2003 and was named Portfolio Manager of MFS Capital Opportunities Fund in December 2005. Previously, he was a Senior Consultant for Kaiser Associates, Inc. Prior to that, he was a Financial Consultant for Smith, Barney, Inc. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from Williams College and an M.B.A. from Harvard University.

David Teten, CEO, Nitron Advisors

Bio…

Scott Lichtman’s notes:

Furneaux: $700M under management. 8 partners. investing throughout the northeast, and also some emerging markets. 50% of investments are with people we invested in before.

As a Private Equity firm, we are constantly communicating to our managers to find depth in companies. The average time from startup to IPO is 8 years, from IPO to acquisition is 6 years. To pick the right companies, combine analyst inteligence (awareness and insight) with due diligence.

Locraft: Good researchers are leaving sell-side and traditional buy-side & going where there’s a piece of the action.

Teten: Gave overview of Nitron Advisors’ business model. Quoted prominent industry CEO, who said, “If you’ve been in research > 5 years, you’re not a good stock picker.”

Locraft has 45 analysts. Average hold on a stock in the market is 11 months. 40% of trading volume is from proprietary desks. They compensate staff to think long-term, which they define as 3 years. They usually only invest in companies with >$500M in assets. MFS is a $170B firm with $2B in Greg’s fund. “The level of scrutiny we’ve undergone at MFS has made us take a whiteboard approach to the P&L.” MFS is concerned about raw trading costs.

Susan Oh: Our area invests in all major strategies: long-short equity, relative value driven, CTAs, global macro. She focuses on event-driven. Due diligence starts with an on-site visit. We look at management, firm, infrastructure, risk management, operations. red flag: concentrated investor base. Such investors may have preferential rights…which could hurt smaller investors.

Field:
What is the quality of sellside analysis information? Do you compare internal analysts with sell-side?

Locraft: Yes – analyst compensation is based on stock picking results vs. sell-side recommendations. We use AQ’s competitor, Starmine.

Field: What if your analysts aren’t that good?

Locraft says there are certainly cases where some analysts are better than others, and therefore some of our analysts by definition aren’t top of field. MFS will pay accordingly for specific sell-side analysis in these cases. But we recognize the disadvantage of information being disseminated to all parties at the same time via FD.

David Teten: How do you measure ROI of research?

Oh: One hedge trader I knowwill only buy research when it’s contrarian to the general street consensus.

Locraft: ROI on a good analyst’s picks is enormous – so massive it’s not worth measuring.

Dave Furneaux: the early stage challenge for PE/VC investors these days is that there is more money than opportunities. This means for any evident investing opportunity the returns are lower due to increased competition for investment dollars. So the key is to find an investment idea others don’t know about or appreciate.

June 14, 2006

Senior Media Entrepreneurs/ Executives Manhattan Lunch, 6/27

Posted in General, Events, Personal Productivity, Career Acceleration
by David Teten @ 10:26 am —

Senior Media Entrepreneurs/ Executives Manhattan Lunch

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

If you are investigating new businesses to grow; have sold your business and are looking for your next move; or perhaps have just exited a senior level executive position; please join us at our lunch for Media Entrepreneurs and Senior Executives Seeking New Business Growth. Participants typically had C-level responsibility for at least a $50M budget in the media industry (broadly defined).

Due to the overwhelming interest in our topic and limited space, we can only accommodate individuals whom the event is addressing directly. We welcome referrals.

Location:
1345 Avenue of the Americas, 49th Floor
(Between 54th and 55th Streets)
Date: Tuesday, June 27, 2006, Noon sharp until 2pm
Cost: complimentary

Your Hosts:

+ David Teten, CEO, Nitron Advisors
+ John Adelman, CIMA and Paul Lewis, CFM, Wittenstein Adelman Group
+ Allan Grafman, President, All Media Ventures; Operating Partner, Mercury Capital (formerly President, Archie Comics Entertainment; CFO, Hallmark Entertainment; Tribune; Cap Cities/ABC)
+ Claire Delong, Accolo

Please RSVP with your one-page text biography to Avi Mally, AMally(at)Nitronadvisors.com , 1-212-682-5874 . Pre-registration is required; we will distribute your one-page biography to all the attendees. Please make sure to include your contact information on your biography, and ideally, your photo. Also, please indicate any dietary preferences (vegetarian, kosher, halal, etc.)

(Our thanks to Jeff Meshel of Mercury Capital for inspiring this event.)

Seeking E-Commerce / Internet Experts for Boston Hedge Fund Dinner, June 22, 2006


Seeking E-Commerce / Internet Experts for Boston Hedge Fund Dinner, June 22, 2006

We are organizing a hedge fund dinner for E-Commerce / Internet Experts in Boston on June 22, 6:30pm. This is a chance for you to talk with and learn from some of the major hedge fund investors in this sector.

We’re looking for people with the following backgrounds, preferably with strong international background:

+ Search-engine-optimization expert (e.g., Reprise Media, competitors)

+ Large eBay power-seller, or someone knowledgeable about the eBay drop-off franchise business (e.g., Auctiondrop, iSoldit, QuickDrop, etc.)

+ Voice-over-IP executive/expert (e.g., Skype, Vonage, etc.)

+ Online travel industry – possibly with experience at a meta-search travel site (e.g., SideStep, Farechase, Kayak, Mobissimo, etc.)

+ Executive or expert familiar with the job search or jobs classified business (e.g., Monster.com, Craigslist.org, HotJobs.com, Careerbuilder.com, Dice.com, Indeed.com)

+ Paid search (or general online) marketing from the perspective of an ecommerce business

+ People familiar with the competitive environments of the following companies: Audible.com, Amazon, Ebay, Monster, Netflix, Blockbuster Online, Overstock, Red Envelope, Bluenile, CNet, Google, Infospace, iVillage, Microsoft online, Yahoo, Orbitz, Ctrip, Expedia, Travelzoo, Skype, etc…

Qualifications: As an expert, you have at least four years senior experience in the Internet/e-commerce space. You have a “big picture” perspective on different firms in the space.

If you are not already a member of our Circle of Experts, please visit http://www.circleofexperts.com/apply-form.html?i=11 and apply to be a member of the Nitron Advisors Circle of Experts. Otherwise, please contact Mr. Avi Mally, [1] (212) 682-5874, amally(@)nitronadvisors.com, with any further questions. Please note that we must review your biography and talk with you before we can accept you for the dinner.

April 16, 2006

Invitation: TiECON East, June 15-17, Boston, MA

I hope that some of our readers will join me at TiECON East, June 15-17, in Boston, MA. With over 1,200 expected attendees, TiECON East plans to become the largest Global Innovation conference on the East Coast. The sponsoring organization is TiE, whose members receive roughly 5% of the venture capital investment in the United States.

Speakers include:
- Howard Anderson, Founder Battery Ventures and The Yankee Group
- Nikesh Arora, VP & GM Europe, Google
- Clayton M. Christensen, Professor, Harvard Business School, Author, The Innovator’s Dilemma
- Rajat Gupta, Senior Partner Worldwide, McKinsey & Co.
- Ray Kurzweil, Author & Pioneer in Artificial Intelligence
- Venkat Ramaswamy, Ross School of Business at University of Michigan
- Paul Sagan, CEO, Akamai
- Mohanbir Sawhney, Professor, Kellogg School of Management
- Howard H. Stevenson, Professor, Harvard Business School
- Hatim Tyabji, Executive Chairman, Bytemobile Inc.

I’ll be participating in two panels, one on innovation in social software and online networks, and one on innovation in investment research.

The keynote speaker is Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations (although I somehow doubt he will be talking about innovation, given that’s not the UN’s strength.)

With prices starting at $269 for TiE Members and $100 for student members, the conference isn’t expensive. For more information or to register, contact the TiE-Boston office at (781) 272-3875 or visit www.tieconeast.com .

March 20, 2006

Relaunch/New Location for Brain Food Blog

I am happy to report that we are relaunching the Nitron Advisors Circle of Experts Brain Food blog from a new home on the Web, http://www.CircleOfExperts.com/blog . Please tell your friends! From that link, you can subscribe with your favorite blog reader (Bloglines, Newsgator, etc.) or get every posting via email.

If you would like to change your subscription, unsubscribe, or make other changes, just visit http://lists.circleofexperts.com/mailman/listinfo/brain-food .

We will continue to write on Brain Food about career acceleration, business acceleration, consulting opportunities for industry experts, investment research, and online networks. We always welcome suggestions from people with good content.
We have several sister blogs and mailing lists we recommend:
http://www.nitronadvisors.com/mailing-list.html – two mailing lists for businesspeople interested in independent consulting assignments and new full-time jobs

http://www.circleofexperts.com/nyc : worthwhile business conferences, panels, and other events in the New York area

http://www.TheVirtualHandshake.com : how to sign new clients, raise capital, or even find your dream job with blogs, social network sites, and other online networks. You can also download there a complimentary copy of my new book, The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online.
To make sure that this email gets through to you, please add brain-food-blog-do-not-reply@circleofexperts.com to your address book or trusted sender list.Thanks for reading, and if you like this blog, please tell your friends!

January 25, 2006

New Media, Blogging, & Entertainment Summit

Posted in Social Software, Events
by David Teten @ 10:44 am —

Back in October, I blogged my contribution to Oxford & York’s New Media & Entertainment Summit. Christopher Clark just sent me the official executive summary of the program. If you’re interested in the impact of blogging on the media industry, and vice-versa, this is well worth reading.

Executive Summary here.

Here are the panels that are summarized:

Evolving Revenue Models in Media and Entertainment
John Nendick, Ernst & Young LLP
Chris Ahearn, Reuters Media
Robin Johnson, The Financial Times
Thomas V. Ryan, EMI Music, North America
Thomas Gewecke, Sony BMG Music Entertainment

Technology and Social Change
Anthony Hopwood, Saïd Business School, Oxford University
Sandy Pentland, MIT, The Media Laboratory
Howard Bass, Ernst & Young LLP

New Media Meets Old Media
Josh Manchester, AdventuresOfChester.com
Jay Rosen, PressThink
Evan Williams, Odeo
Roger L. Simon, Pajamas Media
Jeremy D. Zawodny, Yahoo! Inc.

The Big 3: Media Piracy, Fraud, and Music Licensing
Bob Kohn, RoyaltyShare
David Teten, Nitron Advisors

Instinct and Promoting Entrepreneurship!

J.P. Donlon, Directorship
Thomas L. Harrison, Diversified Agency Services
Paul Maidment, Forbes.com

October 27, 2005

Media Piracy, Litigation & Internet Liability Risks

Posted in Social Software, Events, Public Markets Investing
by David Teten @ 9:48 am —

I’m speaking today at Oxford & York’s New Media & Entertainment Summit. The organizer, Chris Clark, generously sent me some of the questions which he thought would come up, and I have added them below. I want to thank some of my colleagues for their quick and insightful comments, which are reflected below: Scott Lichtman, Ken Yarmosh, Scott Allen, www.PaidContent.org .

The panel is 2:15 EST today, so if you have any feedback, please add it to the Comments section, below. Thanks!

I. How big is the piracy problem on the Internet? How much does it cost distributors and content creators in terms of revenue?

Recording industry AA says they lose about $4.2 billion annually per year (globally).

Source: www.riaa.com/issues/piracy/default.asp

MPAA states they lose ~ $3 billion

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/film/4737233.stm

From a moral point of view, there’s a difference between committing a crime yourself, and leading others to a crime. For example, piracy for personal use is less of a crime than piracy for profit, in which you (a) lead others to crime and (b) exponentially reduce the vendor’s sales by much more than if only you personally stole.

Yarmosh: "Of course, these figures measure total piracy, but the Internet plays a large part in it. It is extremely difficult to gauge how much of the pie the Internet takes up because of the anonymity. Also, be weary that those numbers come from the producer side of the equation."

Allen: "Big enough to be a real problem, but not nearly as big as some (i.e., RIAA) would have you believe. The missing factor when they provide these numbers about the billions of dollars in lost revenue is that it’s only lost revenue if someone would have actually paid for it. And someone may download 100 songs a month from P2P file-sharing, but they would never spend $100-$200 a month on buying music at $1-$2 a track. I might read the New York Times editorials if I had free access to them, but that doesn’t mean I perceive enough incremental value from them compared to everything that’s freely available that I want to pay for it."

II. Are there ways to stop, or at least slow, criminal behavior on the Web that is both effective and proper? How should content providers handle enforcement?

+ Think of alternative revenue streams. Cf. Grateful Dead earning much of their revenues from concerts, not recordings.

+ Provide a legal alternative: e.g., 99c high quality downloads from iTunes - no need to search all over creation and verified ‘virus free’.

+ Charge lower rates for content and bet on volume rising.

+ Focus on the people who are pirating for profit vs. personal use. It will have a bigger pay-off and create less consumer ill-will.

+ Education (cf. stop-smoking ads)

+ Plant fake tracks, or even virus-laden tracks, in the P2P networks.

Scott Lichtman: "A large portion of copyright infringement is in developing countries. One could debate whether inappropriate but low-cost/free access to western content will make these markets and revenue-streams grow faster over time than otherwise (just as email, Skype or portions of the web were no-charge services). But I think as these countries democratize and become information providers in their own right they will come into line."

III. How do we reduce Web crime, while at the same time protecting free speech and preserving the "commons"?

See above.

+ Educate people about fair use.

+ We need to convince people that the "digital world" is the same as the "real world" - prosecution and enforcement of regulations is a good start.

Lichtman: "The Commons is quite robust right now. Its an amazing thing that open source, and the human traits that drive it like intellectual curiosity and greater good sharing, are so robust. The process the western world has, including mandates for free speech and a political legal system to work out the details work as well as anything."

IV. Users don’t really believe they should have to pay for content. Where does this attitude come from?

"Information Wants to be Free …" is usually attributed to Stewart Brand , who confirmed he originated this on Tue, 29 Jun 1999 07:00:58 -0700 in an email to TBTF (thanks Eric Scheid, Keith Dawson and Kragen Sitaker). Stewart wrote:

"In fall 1984, at the first Hackers’ Conference, I said in one discussion session: "On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other." That was printed in a report/transcript from the conference in the May 1985 *Whole Earth Review*, p. 49. (Source: http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/II/IWtbF.html )

Why?

+ Economics 101 – People are more likely to be moral if it’s not too expensive. the perceived incremental value has to be worth the cost. When comparable, if slightly inferior, content is freely available, most people will take the slightly inferior free stuff. Consumers have considered a lot of content prices to be too high. Cf. Gary Becker and economics of crime.

+ Consumer expectations. Lichtman: "much of the web model has been free, or free trial, or limited edition, whatever… Whether web browsers, or free short clips of baseball games on MLB.com or 1-user salesforce.com free licenses, we have created our own expectations for free content. This has changed since 2001 somewhat, as more services are pay to play, but it will continue to be a basic part of how services create buzz online."

+ Lack of enforcement.

+ Little opportunity for empathy. The victim of your theft is invisible, so the personal hurt is hard to relate to.

+ Peer pressure. Everyone else is doing it.

+ Fundamental immorality of human beings. Ken Yarmosh: "Recounting “The Ring of Gyges” from Plato’s Republic, the argument goes that if two men, one just and the other not, were given rings of power that allow invisibility, both would perform equally as unjust. The reasoning eventually follows from a simple thought - take away the fear of punishment and no one can resist acting immorally. Both eventually would steal and use the ring to their advantage because, as Plato writes, “men believe in their hearts that injustice is far more profitable…than justice.”"

V. There seems to be a race between technologies— technologies of the criminals vs. the technologies of the providers. Any predictions on who will win?

They will leap-frog forever. I think it’s a basic truism that if you create a system that is unhackable, it will be too cumbersome and/or expensive for general consumers to use. Compare Gary Becker’s argument that society chooses an optimum level of mugging, and other crimes.

Scott Allen: “Consider the analog world. Grocery stores, for example, lose millions and millions of dollars a year to shoplifters. There are all kinds of measures they could take to curb shoplifting more, but they don’t. Why? Because the cost of prevention would be greater than the cost of loss. There’s an equilibrium point of “acceptable loss” that they’ve found after years and years of studying it very closely. …Content providers would do well to observe and learn from this. You can’t stop everything. What you want to do is find the optimum balance that maximizes the difference between the cost of prevention and your real loss (not some imaginary number of what the content would have sold for if people had paid for it, but what people would really be willing to pay, plus real lost advertising dollars from diverted traffic).”

June 21, 2005

Marketing and Media Opportunities in Social Networking and Online Communities

Posted in Social Software, Events, Leadership and Management
by David Teten @ 9:59 am —

I had the chance to participate in the IRTS Foundation’s panel last night on: “Marketing and Media Opportunities in Social Networking and Online Communities”. Other panelists:

Manon Bone, Director, Sales, Friendster
Scott Heiferman, Co-Founder and CEO, MEETUP
Cem Sertoglu, Co-Founder and Former CEO, SelectMinds
Laurel Touby, Founder, CEO, & Cyberhostess, Mediabistro.com

Moderator
Jack Myers, Editor, Publisher, Jack Myers Report and MediaVillage.com

My notes:

Bone: friendster revenue is ad driven, not membership driven.

heiferman: Meetup has few ads. We get money from our users: $19 per month per group. For that $, you’re buying an easy way to find others.

Touby: mediabistro is a community for media professionals. Tv, books. No one is a direct competitor to them. Now have blogs, e.g. Tvnewser.com . only word of mouth marketing.
350,000 users today.

Sertoglu. Corp. Alumni like their former coworkers, even if they dislike their firm.

Teten: gave overview of social software industry structure.

Myers. How get ad agencies excited about social networking?

Heiferman. we don’t want them!

myers. myspace secret sparkle deodorant deal. When teen girls checked out the musicians who had signed up as brand promoters , they were invited to sign up to enter contest for new ipod. 30,000 did it.

myers. What’s the problem if a needle company Advertises to a meetup of knitters?

heiferman. 100000 people go to a meetup every month….there’s huge market potential.

cem. 80 companies run formal organized communities for their alums, many of them served by SelectMinds, which is an ASP. (DT: that’s a tiny percentage of the total market.)

Teten. The future is bottom up , ‘open source’ marketing, not top down. What if marketing materials were published with a Creative Commons license,
encouraging, rather than prohibiting, derivative works?

Social software facilitates the participation of the market; people communicate/market to one another, instead of receiving a top down message. E.g., george masters’ ipod ad.