Monthly Archives: August 2005

On this day, my birthday

Isn’t it a bit goofy to mention your birthday on your blog ? Well, I’ll do it anyway but will also point you to what (other more interesting things) happened on an Aug 29th (via the BBC), and to a list of celebrities and luminaries who were born on that “glorious” date (via Wikipedia):

1619Jean-Baptiste Colbert, French minister of finance (d. 1683) 1632John Locke, English philosopher (d. 1704) 1862 – Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgian writer (d. 1949) 1915Ingrid Bergman, Swedish actress (d. 1982) 1920Charlie Parker, American jazz saxophonist and composer (d. 1955) 1923The Lord Attenborough, English film director 1936John McCain, American politician Read more »

Categories and Players in Contextual Advertising

As the growing number of Web 2.0 rely on advertising as their main source of revenues, I read with interest a great summary published by SearchViews, on the four types of contextual advertising.

Search-based Contextual: serves ads matching the content of a site/page as precisely as possible.Google AdSense and Yahoo Publisher Network are by far the two largest players, with AskJeeves having recently launched their own network. Channel-Based Contextual: serves ads largely based on the targets/demographics of the channel (site or portion of a site).Value Click is the largest player in the space. Behaviorally-Based Contextual: tracks users across a network of affiliated sites in order to build a profile, that is then used to target the user with relevant ads, as well as generate off-line sales leads.Tacoda and Blue Lithium are mentioned, and I would add Revenue Science. In-Line Advertising: these are the big, annoying, roll-over ads that pop-up if you get too close to them on certain site, … Read more »

Legitimate trackbacks and monitoring conversations

I was reading with a bit of amusement the exchange between Steve Rubel and Jeremy Pepper on what constitutes a “kosher” trackback or not. At issue is whether a five-months old post (Jeremy’s) can legitimately trackback a brand new one (Steve’s). In my book, if the old post is modified to include an update, and point to the new one as a relevant addition, then that’s fine. What does not work here (at least for me) is that Jeremy did not link to Steve’s post, but still trackbacked it. I would have done like Steve: check the post that sent the trackback, see that there was no link to my post, and delete the trackback.

Note that I am not saying that Steve is right and Jeremy is wrong in their particular context, but that it is also my policy: I only accept trackbacks that include a link to my post. Why ? Because trackbacks are a way to … Read more »

Bar Camp: Thoughts, Pictures and Thanks

Spent time with BarCampers on Friday and Sunday. Awesome crowd, great discussions, superb atmosphere. It was the will and the interest of the people that brought BarCamp together, in a construct that is hard to plan for or replicate. “I am interested, I attend, I contribute (and yo, I am a bozo :-)” they said.

There were a lot of great moments over the week-end, but the best  were the “3 words” rounds of introductions, the long chats I had with Mike Arrington from TechCrunch fame, the beercasting session on Friday night with Steve Gillmor, John Furrier and Chris Pirillo, private demos of Flock by Chris Messina, and WordPress 1.6 by Photomatt, and hanging out with so many cool people. I also enjoyed leading a discussion on Venture Capital and early stage financing – more on it later.

Thanks to Chris Messina, my buddy Andy Smith, Ross Mayfield and all the people who helped, … Read more »

Fracking comment and trackback spam

Like anyone maintaining one or more blogs, I really, genuinely, hate trackback and comment spam. Ever since I have turned on moderation on this blog, I have been inundated by hundreds of comments and trackbacks, a large percentage with the same format – related to porn sites. Since they are coming from a large pool of different IP addresses, they can’t be blocked, etc. So I have to spend time cleaning up my trackbacks every now and then. If some of your trackbacks get deleted as well, apologies in advance, but I don’t have much time to deal with this crap with nuance and finesse.

Every now and then, I also get the random, strange, stupid (?) spam like this one, coming from an IP address in Canada. Tres bizarre.

Actually, since the number of spam messages has grown so much, I wonder if the folks at SixApart still maintain all the spam filters that they had put in place … Read more »

Stop! You Shouldn’t Blog ? Pffhhh

I was on vacation when David Beisel posted this piece: Stop! You Shouldn’t Blog. The Risks of Professional Blogging, in which he related a discussion he had had with another VC about the negative implications of blogging (as/for a VC). The main points of contention were:

Blogging is viewed by many as a fad. Whether or not this ultimately bears to be true, the viewpoint is a real one. Should one associate their career and personal brand with a trend that perhaps may fall by the wayside? What will be the reputational effect if/when one stops blogging? Bloggers are sometimes perceived to have many negative attributes. Some believe that bloggers are overly-bearing “used-car salesman-types” in selling themselves or the extremely ego-centric people who speak the loudest but don’t really know what they are talking about. Professionals (especially VCs) should have a network already to leverage; blogging could signal … Read more »

In memory of the dot-com era

A good Sunday read from that features its Top 10 dot-com flops:


Not too sure how the list was compiled, since some of these companies did not go down the hole after spending “that much” money, but they were certainly icons of the bubble era: shutting down within a few weeks of launch, or that became famous through the feature film

They might also have done a top 50 including the likes of [email protected] (though one could argue that it was an ISP), – which raised about $100M – and sold its assets to eVineyard,  NetCentives ($130M VC/IPO – Chapter 11), ($120M VC/IPO – Chapter 11), ($100M VC – Chapter 11), etc.

Even though they were not dot-com themselves, I would also mention two firms that were closely involved with these companies, and had the same fate: lawfirm Brobeck Phleger and Harrison, and merchant bank Comdisco. Just to complete the … Read more »

My next phone ? Might be a Treo 670…

Whenever I meet with my friend Andrew Carton, the founder of Treonauts, he tries to convince me to switch from my SMT 5600 to a Treo.

After almost a year of using it, I like that phone and I *really* like Windows Mobile. Synchronizing emails and contacts, downloading podcasts automatically and listening them on the go, taking pictures and uploading them, it just works.

Oh yeah, and the phone part (dialing, answering calls, etc. – you know) also works great. So no reason to change, but for the VGA camera which snaps pictures of limited quality.

Well, looks like I can get in line for this one: Andrew posted that after a lot of false rumors and photoshopped pictures, the Treo 670 is “announced”, running Windows Mobile 5.

I just wish the camera was a 2 Megapixels. To anyone from Palm marketing listening: I am happy to be a beta tester!

SpaceStation to Houston: what are those BIDU shares that have shot up into the stratosphere ?

Note: When I came back from lunch, the stock had shot up again to close at $122.54. What’s above the stratosphere ? (BIDU) just made its debuts on Nasdaq, and went from an original IPO pricing of $14 to an pre-open price of  $27 to an open of $66 to $99 $122.54 in a couple of few hours. This chinese search engine, which is set to earn $12M on $30M of revenues, was awarded a $3.6B market cap – representing a 300x (forward) earnings multiple.

Bambi Francisco wrote in a note before the stock opened:

Due to healthy demand for the 4 million shares available — Baidu had intended to sell 3.7 million shares at $20 apiece — it’s hard to imagine this stock not trading at $30 or $40 some time in the near future, if not today.

Then a few minutes ago, in Baidu feels like Netcape redux, but where’s Meeker:

To the amazement … Read more »