Monthly Archives: August 2006

Experimenting with a few services on this blog

I have always tested a number of tools and services on this blog, to the point of sometimes making the page load time untolerably long (apologies for that – obviously not intended). One of the areas of experimentation is advertising, and you might have noticed sponsored links, banners, both on the blog and on the feed. My motivation is not to make money that way (I would not go very far with the amounts generated), but to figure out how mainstream consumer advertising programs "work" on social media content. The last one – that replaced AdSense – is , Amazon’s new advertising program called Omacaze Links. Initial results aren’t too convincing yet – but we’ll see how that automatic contextual matching combined with behavioral targeting performs. To date, I have received the best results from the FeedBurner advertising network inserting ads in my feeds.

I have also added a pretty cool community building feature called MyBlogLog. My … Read more »


Trends in Venture Financing – 2Q06 Data

The 2Q06 compilation produced by Fenwick and West regarding vc financing trends in Silcon Valley has just been released, and it continues to show strength in activity and valuation. The most notable point, which needs to be confirmed in the next couple of quarters to really be meaningful, is that valuations have grown by a lower factor than in Q106 and Q405. Other data points listed in the report (statistics are provided by Dow Jones VentureOne):

The Fenwick & West Venture Capital Barometer™ showed a 34% average price increase for Silicon Valley companies receiving venture capital in 2Q06 compared to such companies’ previous financing round. Although this was a significant increase, it was less of an increase than in the prior four quarters. The amount invested by venture capitalists in the U.S. in 2Q06 was approximately $6.7 billion, an increase over $6.4 billion in 2Q05 and $6.2 billion in 1Q06. The combined total of $12.9 billion for … Read more »


The revolution of the blog peasants – or who gives a hoot about the A-listers anyway ?

I am not too fond of blogging about blogging, but I could not help noticing (courtesy of this TechMeme’s thread) that Nick Carr was ranting The Great Unread, in which he complains how tough it is for the loneliness of the mundane blogger (the blog peasants, that’s us) and how they struggle to get attention from A-listers (aka the blogging elite – them). That part of Nick’s piece made me smile (I was attending the conference he is referring to):

The best way, by far, to get a link from an A List blogger is to provide a link to the A List blogger. As the blogosphere has become more rigidly hierarchical, not by design but as a natural consequence of hyperlinking patterns, filtering algorithms, aggregation engines, and subscription and syndication technologies, not to mention human nature, it has turned into a grand system of patronage operated – with the best of intentions, mind you – by a … Read more »


Congratulations to Netvibes on their $15M raise

I am late to it (been busy with the aftermath of my own news) but I have to congratulate my friends Tariq Krim, Pierre Chappaz and Freddy Mini for closing Netvibes’ Series B of 12M EUR (or $15M). Per TechCrunch:

NetVibes, a Paris/London based company, will announce a $15 million round of financing on Monday. Existing investor Index Ventures joined new investor Accel to lead the investment, which is one of the largest this year for a European company. The valuation was not disclosed.

I missed the angel financing round that involved Index Ventures, Pierre, Marc Andreessen and Martin Varsavsky but Tariq has since asked me to join his advisory board. The growth of Netvibes in users and traffic has been stunning, and I am delighted to be involved in helping build the company.

Actually, Freddy – the COO and future expat in the Valley to build the co’s business in the US –  is … Read more »


AOL acquires Userplane to expand AIM network

A brief interruption of my holiday schedule to announce a great news: portfolio co Userplane has been acquired by AOL LLC a couple of weeks ago, and I just heard that the official press release is now up there. I started working with the three founders of the company, Mike Jones, Nate Thelen and Jave Hall, over a year ago, and it is really with delight that I am congratulating them, and the whole team, for such a great outcome (that I will not give any detail about, as AOL has elected not to disclose any financial information about the deal). So let’s just say: a great outcome for all involved.

Userplane is in the business of powering online communities with a suite of communication tools: Instant Messaging, Chat rooms, A/V Recorder – on a white label basis. The original model was to license these tools to very large social networking and dating sites (MySpace, Friendster, Date.com,…), … Read more »