Posted by: danreich | October 22, 2008

The site has moved to…

www.danreich.com

Advertisements
Posted by: danreich | October 15, 2008

Ski Patrol Show on TruTv

And you thought Flaver Flav was the only reality tv star…

This is a great concept. Then again, I am 110% biased in this matter.

What is Ski Patrol?

Our cameras follow the men and women of ski patrol who risk their lives in the mountains, fighting avalanches, performing daring rescues and keeping unruly skiers and snowboarders from terrorizing the slopes.

 

Posted by: danreich | October 8, 2008

Building a farm, planting a tree.

Runaway Productions, LLC

You can teach someone how to pick an apple from a tree or you can teach someone how to plant an apple tree.

I planted an apple tree about 3 years ago, when I started a college marketing company called Runaway Productions. Although my personal and direct involvement was extensive, educational and rewarding, the greatest reward came thereafter. I had recent conversations with its new owners, and they are now generating more revenue, breaking new ground, and expanding the original business model.

It may be easy to build something for the short term and for self serving purposes. That in itself may be rewarding. But when you can build something and watch it grow even after you’ve left, you can really experience a much deeper sense of gratification and accomplishment.

Try it. What’s the worst that can happen?

Posted by: danreich | October 7, 2008

Well we’re living here in Allentown

As I was driving home the other night from Vermont, I was listening to some Billy Joel. The song Allentown came on, and I could not help but to think how disappointingly appropriate the song is for the current times. Today was a mess.

Well we’re living here in…the United States…

Well we’re living here in Allentown
And they’re closing all the factories down
Out in Bethlehem they’re killing time
Filling out forms
Standing in line.

Well our fathers fought the Second World War
Spent their weekends on the Jersey Shore
Met our mothers at the USO
Asked them to dance
Danced with them slow
And we’re living here in Allentown.

But the restlessness was handed down
And it’s getting very hard to staaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay
aaaaaaah aaahhhhh ooooooooh ooooooh ohhhhhhh.

Well we’re waiting here in Allentown
For the Pennsylvania we never found
For the promises our teachers gave
If we worked hard
If we behaved.

So the graduations hang on the wall
But they never really helped us at all
No they never taught us what was real
Iron and coke,
Chromium steel.

And we’re waiting here in Allentown.
But they’ve taken all the coal from the ground
And the union people crawled awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah aaaaaaaaaaah aaaaaah.

Every child had a pretty good shot
To get at least as far as their old man got.
If something happened on the way to that place
They threw an American flag in our faaaaaaaace, oh oh oh.

Well I’m living here in Allentown
And it’s hard to keep a good man down.
But I won’t be getting up todaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy
aaaaaaaaaaah aaaaaaaaaaah aaaaaaaaah.

GUITAR SOLO

aaaaaaah aaaaaaah aaaaaaah oh oh oh.

And it’s getting very hard to staaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

And we’re living here in Allentown.

Consider this (courtesy of Wikipedia):

  • September 18, 1851 – The New York Times was founded (although originally named New-York Daily Times).Newspaper.
  • 1995 – The Times has a strong web presence and is ranked one of the top sites. The content is generated by the Times staff.
  • March, 2005 – The New York Times Website has 555 Million page views. Content is still generated by Times staff.
  • 2008 – The domain nytimes.com attracts at least 146 million visitors annually according to a Compete.com study. The Times website ranks 59th by number of unique visitors, with over 14 million unique visitors in August 2008. 
  • June, 2008 – New York Times launches a Beta version of TimesPeople allowing users to connect, share, comment, and review items and content within the NYT site. A social network within the content driven site.

From TimesPeople:

“TimesPeople is a new way to discover what other readers find interesting on NYTimes.com — and to make recommendations of your own. With TimesPeople, you can share articles, videos, slideshows, blog posts, reader comments, and ratings and reviews of movies, restaurants and hotels.”

When we say “social media”, we should really be saying the “social internet”. The internet as a whole is beginning to harness the power of profiles, user generated content, and the social graph. Websites that have traditionally been known for publishing content, are now realizing the importance of social interactions and engagement.

The consumers are the content creators. The creators are the consumers. And now, organizations that have built hugely successful businesses with content creation as its core competency, are adapting to the ever increasing demand for social interactions and collective, community based content creation/sharing.

In The Power of Profiles post by Fred Wilson:

While I am sure the people who work at the New York Times think of themselves as a content company first and foremost, what goes on at the New York TImes website is as much about software as it is about content. And slowly but surely the Times online is becoming social softwareThat’s a big deal.

The internet is growing up. We are all adopting and evolving with the changing times. Please welcome The New York Times to Social Media and the Social Internet.

NOTE: This article can also be found @ LotameLearnings

Posted by: danreich | October 1, 2008

Site Redesign

Coming Soon…

Posted by: danreich | September 29, 2008

Google and Social Networking

Until now, Google has been trying to identify efficient advertising solutions for social media.

And rightfully so.

Social media has become the premier medium for communication and media, and over the past few years, Google has arguably become the face of the internet.

So Google figuring out the social networking issue is a logical and expected event. The only question is, what would such a solution look like?

In a recent BusinessWeek article, Heather Green discusses such a solution:

“Say there’s a group of basketball fans who spend a lot of time checking out each other’s pages. Their profiles probably indicate that they enjoy the sport. In addition, some might sign up for a Kobe Bryant fan group or leave remarks on each others’ pages about recent games they played or watched. Using today’s standard advertising methods, a company such as Nike (NKE) would pay Google to place a display ad on a fan’s page or show a “sponsored link” when somebody searches for basketball-related news. With influence-tracking, Google could follow this group of fans’ shared interests more closely, see which other fan communities they interact with, and—most important—learn which members get the most attention when they update profiles or post pictures.”  

While the above excerpt may not be completely reflective of Google’s new, soon to be, patented technology for “ranking the most influential people on social networking sites”, the basic premise can be understood, with the premise being:

Peopleactionsinterests, ENGAGEMENT and INTERACTION are the most important aspects of social networking sites.

Can a company, whose core technology is based on search, truly harness the power of engagement and interaction? Possibly (and if anyone can do it, Google will).

Can a company, whose core technology is based on engagement, truly harness the power of engagement and interaction? Most definitely (and if anyone has been doing it, it has been Lotame).

NOTE: This article can also be found @ the Lotame Blog

Posted by: danreich | September 25, 2008

Free Market Economy

Not in one anymore.

Consider this: This is the first time in my lifetime, as well as the lifetimes of everyone in my generation, that we are experiencing something very, very BIG (financially)…or as Warren Buffet put it…

“We are facing financial Pearl Harbor”

The real effects or magnitude of this situation are still incomprehensible to me.

Once this bailout officially goes through, which it will, the financial industry will never be the same. The private sector will never truly be private (at least not for a while), and a socialist economy will begin to take shape. 

Individuals with real ingenuity and innovation in the financial markets, along with strong ethical and moral values will spark new oppurtunities and blaze a path that will hopefully bring us back to that free market.

These heroes will most likely come from my generation, and hopefully, they will not succumb to exploitation tactics in search of quick riches. 

I hope those heroes come sooner, and I hope those heroes make their way to leadership positions within our government.

I was curious to see what the markets looked like from the year I was born (1985) until today. Below is a snapshot that displays General Motors, S&P 500, Nasdaq, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average from 1999-present day.

No analysis here. Too busy contemplating the future.

Posted by: danreich | September 12, 2008

Something Called Validation

Two years ago I co-founded a website specifically designed for college students. The site:

(Check out my site before continuing to read the rest of the post…or look below. You will understand why)

 

CampusAtlas

CampusAtlas

CampusLive

CampusLive

Today, I see the following article in :

2008 Finalists: America’s Best Young Entrepreneurs

CampusLIVE 

CampusLIVE

Jeff Cassidy, 23; Boris Revsin, 22; Jared Stenquist, 23
www.campuslive.com
Amherst, Mass.

Will college students use a Web site devoted to helping them find campus services and local businesses? CampusLIVE cofounder Jared Stenquist thinks so. About a year and a half ago, the self-taught Web developer started the site as a hobby in his University of Massachusetts Amherst dorm room. When advertisers started to contact him, he took a leave of absence to develop the business.

The site can now be customized for 18 campuses around the country, including the University of Vermont, University of Connecticut, and George Mason University. Stenquist, who isn’t planning on going back to school, says the business, which employs five full-timers as well as interns, had just over $100,000 in revenues in 2007 and is negotiating a $1.25 million seed round with a group of angel investors. He expects it to be profitable by January.

Besides the fact that their site looks exactly like TheCampusAtlas, and besides the fact that they started after TheCampusAtlas did, the fact that BusinessWeek considers the idea worthy, is validation

Validation that our insight into a market need actually existed, and validation that the need could be executed in a successful manner.

While I congratulate the Campus Live team, I also congratulate the other founders of The Campus Atlas

Stay tuned for the future of The Campus Atlas.

Jonathan Zittrain defines Generativity in the following manner:

“Generativity is a system’s capacity to produce unanticipated change through unfiltered contributions from broad and varied audiences”

Jonathan Zittrain, The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It

In reality, this description somewhat defines the nature of a social networking sites. If you look at social networking sites today, users are able to participate in 3 ways, all of which contribute to the generative nature of a social network: Users are able to:

  1. Generate self identifying content (their profile, blog, homepage)
  2. Generate and consume bi-directional content (messaging, statuses)
  3. Generate and consume multi-directional content (groups, discussion boards, forums)

These three methods of participation allow the internet and social networking sites to grow at the staggering rate they are today. However, as these sites grow, keeping the content organized so that it remains relevant and meaningful to the user, becomes increasingly difficult. This issue is more prominent in the third method, as users are able to impact the entire network in a single instance.

Take for example the Groups feature. A single user can create a group made available to the entire network. That’s fine. But what happens when multiple users create the same group? An overlap occurs, and what should have been a single meaningful group, now becomes one group of many just like it.

Today, I joined my University of Wisconsin – Madison group as I am a recent alumni. There were about 3-4 identical groups? Do I join them all? The same scenario applied to many of the groups I wanted to join.

The generative nature of social networks allow for more noise, and enables users to disrupt the very social graph they create, making the networks more complex and less meaningful. Other people recognize the growing occurrence of this noise, and ironically enough, have used the same generative nature of social networks to maintain strong connections, content, and a healthy social graph (see Triiibes).

About six weeks ago, I joined Seth Godin’s social network called Triiibes (which he created using a white-box social network: Ning). The network was only made available to those that made an early purchase for his new book. As a result, the content and communication in the network is much stronger and meaningful then I’ve seen on any other network.

As social networks grow, they must look to sites like Wikipedia for guidance. They must learn how to keep the network connected using only meaningful and unique data points.

(Jonathan Zittrain’s book is a good read for anyone interested in technology and communications, and their inevitable effects on society)

Older Posts »

Categories