Mobile Battles, Monetization of the Social Web, and Risk Taking

November 14, 2008

Economists and writers are still stuck in the bad news area. And why shouldn’t they be? Look at the stats that keep rolling in. They are not good.

But here’s something to think about. As more and more of the traditional companies that dominated the old economy (pre-internet) struggle and go under, the new economy companies are finding new ways to develop. In fact, this whole meltdown could in fact be the final transition between the old and new economy, where new technologies win out over dried up 20th century business.

Michael Baxter points out that risk taking has been the thing that has led to many of the great innovations of91052290-ce47-36c5-6628f34fc51e972c_1 the past. Companies, scientists, economists, advertisers all took risks, made mistakes, and stumbled upon the next great idea or invention. And those “inventions” carried us to the next level. New companies form, old companies die, but the economy as a while continues to move forward.

But in this economy, it seems that all of those companies are scared for their lives. And because they are so scared, they seem to be pulling out the risk taking business. In an effort to save cash, they cut marketing, they cut R&D, and they cut people. I have said it before, but it bears repeating, the companies that will succeed are those that find the opportunities in this mess and exploit them.

blackberry_2_430So who is taking advantage? Look at the Technology sector, look at the web. Social Media seems to be moving forward at the speed of light, and looking for the right way to make money and develop into valuable commodities. Youtube and other online video platforms continue to experiment with advertisements and partnerships to find revenue. The more people that watch videos online, the more traditional marketers try to enter the market, the more important a revenue stream will become.

Social Networks are starting to see the dollar signs. A week after MySpace announced $1 Billion in ad revenue, Open Social discussed how they will monetize their applications. The valuations of companies that connect people online used to be based on the idea of monetization, and now we are seeing the first real signs of those possibilities in action.

And let’s not forget about the Mobile Web. With the popularity of the iPhone as high as ever, here comes Google’s G1, and the new Blackberry Storm. The battle is on to connect more people to the web from a touch-screen phone. This means new opportunities for mobile service providers, platform developers, and third party applications. This is a battle that is sure to be waged for years.iphone_3g

Am I saying that traditional companies are dead in the water, of course not. But I am saying that it is time to wake up and see that online strategies are paying off. Technology is moving forward far faster than any other sector of the economy. They are the ones taking all the risks, and it appears that all the rewards are falling in their direction. So are we on the verge of a major transformation? That is for you to decide.

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Innovations in Shopping Make Your Life Easier

November 6, 2008

Are you ready to change the way you shop? The answer is yes for more people every year. And this year, we are guaranteed to see a higher percentage of people doing their holiday shopping online than ever before. Why?

Well, there are many reasons. It obviously helps most people avoid the stress of the shopping experience. It is easy, less time consuming, and can be more fun.

Innovations by companies that have taken shopping online are making it easier still to find what you are looking for at the right price. And in this economy, we will all be looking to save a little money during the holiday season. Here are a few things that are going on that more people should be aware of:

  1. Social Shopping:,, and are a few of the websites that have defined this new category. Social shopping combines wish lists and popular trends with the ideals of social networking. Users have individual profiles and can communicate with one another. The site tracks what its users desire, feature the most popular products, and offer specials for gift giving. They have been growing in popularity recently and are sure to pick up steam heading into the coming months.
  2. Gift Finders: Websites like FindGift have made it easier than ever to get ideas for gifts. Simply go to the website, and follow the steps. They will ask you who the gift is for, what the occasion is, and then they will show you literally hundreds of great suggestions. These gifts are not offered directly through the site, but through third party sites that would otherwise be near impossible to find. I have personally used this website in the past and would definitely use it again.
  3. Deal Finders: and Shopzilla are two sites that I have used to find the best deals on the web. There are many sites out there like these that will scour the internet for the best prices on certain items. is one of those sites that you can come to every day and find new specials, as they highlight deals and let the users decided which are the best. If you have a general idea of what you are looking for, use one of these sites to get it at the best price.
  4. The Classics: eBay and Amazon have been long standing shopping sites. They both continue to build their services and make it easier to find exactly what you are looking for. eBay allows you to search through their auctions, as well as individual “stores” that people set up so there is no limit to what you can find there. Amazon has added many features that let you customize the products you see on a regular basis. They will show you deals that they think you are interested in, and their user reviews make it easy to compare products you like.

No matter how you do your shopping now, the new tools that are available online will certainly have an impact. This holiday season, change the way you shop, you may be very happy you did.