the next big technology from Skype

Skype is bringing the next big technology to us, and without any strings attached (no costs); Video chat rooms without any extra hardware or costs.

The next frontier in off-site working is just starting. I think skype will be one of the major companies to make the shift in the way we do business. They will be the company who shared these technologies to the masses. Skype brand is already included in my lovemarks lists.

See details from Techcrunch.

Facebook era is just starting

Nowadays, a lot of people are thinking that the “Facebook Hype” is over. If we are talking about Gartner’s hype curve, they are right. Because, the first portion of the curve is passed. But now is the time to see a steady growth in Facebook usage (we are between “Slope of Enlightenment” and “Plateau of Productivity” in Gartner terms).

In other words the time for weak applications in Facebook is over. Now is the time for mega applications in Facebook. And this will make the fundamental change in web that I mentioned months ago. We are just starting the Facebook revolution. Also the fbOpen Initiative (Facebook Confirms Plans to Open-Source Its Platform) will be instrumental for this new era. Facebook enabled us a huge platform for identity layer on the web, and everything on the web will be different from now on for the marketers. The social web is now really starting…

Top Six Web Marketing Events – Worldwide

For all the people who asked me on major Web Marketing events. Here are my top 6 list;

Rank Organizer Event
1 Ad-Tech Ad-Tech
2 CMP Technology and O’Reilly Media, Inc. Web 2.0 Expo
3 SES SES
4 IAB Interactcongress
5 ImediaConnection Events Many focused summits. See details on their site
6 Clikz Events Emerging Marketing Solutions, Online Video Advertising

and the upcoming events for 2008 are as following (imediaconnection events are not included);

Start Date End Date Event City
27.05.2008 28.05.2008 SES Milan
02.06.2008 03.06.2008 Interactcongress Berlin
03.06.2008 04.06.2008 Ad-Tech Hamburg
03.06.2008 04.06.2008 Ad-Tech Miami
04.06.2008 04.06.2008 Emerging Marketing Solutions Chicago
18.06.2008 18.06.2008 The Future of Digital Marketing London
23.06.2008 24.06.2008 SES Hamburg
26.06.2008 27.06.2008 Ad-Tech Singapore
22.07.2008 22.07.2008 Online Video Advertising NewYork
18.08.2008 21.08.2008 SES San Jose
16.09.2008 19.09.2008 Web 2.0 Expo NewYork
14.10.2008 14.10.2008 Emerging Marketing Solutions NewYork
21.10.2008 23.10.2008 Web 2.0 Expo Berlin
28.10.2008 29.10.2008 SES Tokyo
03.12.2008 04.12.2008 Web 2.0 Expo Tokyo
08.12.2008 11.12.2008 SES Chicago

Predictions & New Trends in Live Analytics & Woopra

Thanks to Eray Endes, I was able to see Woopra live and made my first chat on Woopra this week. For long, I haven’t been this excited for a new technology. My three predictions on Woopra and this issue are;

  • Live analytics will be a new game in town (and woopra will most probably be the king of the game)
  • Woopra will be acquired within one year, most probably from Google or Microsoft
  • Live communication with the visitor “woopra style” (incoming but outgoing in Call Center terms) is just another story coming (not soon, probably Woopra will not even be the major player in that game)

You can also read the Woopra article on TechChrunch from here.

Is Venture Capital good for my business?

3 major reasons, why I don’t want to see VCs Venture Capital in my business

1) VC value focus is short term (at least for me)
Venture Capital firms focus to create a value in my firm for the next 3 to 4 years. Even four years is a short time horizon for me. I am trying to increase my shareholder value at least for the next 10 year horizon. So we have a different value focus.

2) VCs are not taking risks in consideration
There are always risks associated with mergers, acquisitions and investments. We are changing the chemistry of a business. However, a VC firm will generally only invest in the company and will not let you sell stock and take some profits out in the first step. Even though I am more interested in putting the money in the company, I am wise enough to see that I am taking risks with this move and should also capitalize the risks. Otherwise this wouldn’t be a “fair deal”.

3) A Strategic partner is more valuable than a VC
If you can find one, a strategic partner (or a good customer) is always better than a VC. Imagine that you can guarantee a 50% revenue growth just through a strategic partner. Of course, it is not always easy to find the right strategic partner, and strategic partners are mostly a risk as potential competitors as well.

At the end of the day, it is again all about “economies of trust“. It is usually not who should invest in you, but who you can trust to make your business grow.

A VC with an understanding of these issues, is the best VC to invest in you. I especially like the VC’s which are not in for the numbers game. There are VCs which are focusing on making a dent in the universe. A good start-up will eventually find these better bread of VC’s in the end.

The real issue is; “You want a VC with a cause to invest in your company.” And their real cause of investment should not be making money on your company.

AdTech Paris was a success

AdTech Paris was a success for Vodaco Web Strategies. I was able to meet with many exciting companies. What I am seeing is that many small companies are developing exciting new technologies and the market is very dynamic. These new tools and services in development are the answer to the question; “Who will be the winner in the advertising race? Agencies or Digital agancies?”. At the end the best will win. Hopefully, I will be able to share much more from Adtech in the comming weeks.

internet M&A’s – Deals in Turkey

Within the last 12 months we have seen three major internet deals in Turkey

May 2007: eBay acquired a minority stake in GittiGidiyor.

Dec 2007: Turkish social network Yonja has raised $12.5M in Series A funding from Greywolf Capital Partners and Tiger Global Management, reports PEWire. (Turkish media talks about a $15 million deal with Mynet)

Jan 2008: Xing, the Germany-based European business social network which resembles LinkedIn, had bought Turkish business social network Cember, for about $6.43 million (?4.36 million). (Reuters) – German online business networking company Xing (OBCGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) has bought Turkey’s cember.net to strengthen its leadership in the Turkish-speaking market, it said in a statement late on Tuesday.
Fast-growing Xing, a competitor to U.S.-based LinkedIn, said it would pay 4.4 million euros ($6.4 million) in stages for cember.net.

These deals are encouraging for the internet industry in Turkey, and will help companies to raise early stage funding more easily. However, investors should be very careful if they don’t have the proper knowledge on both Turkey and the internet. So let me know before you invest in an internet company in Turkey.

Over the line advertising

New and old definitions for advertising professionals;

Over the line
internet advertising

Above the line
Advertising using old high profile media such as television and newspapers.

Below the Line
Non-media advertising or promotion when no commission has been paid to the advertising agency.
Includes direct mail, point of sale displays, giveaways.

Quick Notes on Searchology press conference

Google highlighted the latest news on search innovations. Featured speakers were; Marissa Mayer, VP of Search Products & User Experience; (on future of Search) Udi Manber, VP of Engineering (joined Google 15 months ago) Craig Silverstein, Technology Director (he was the first hired employee “number 1 Google Employee”).

Quick Notes:
20-25% of the queries we will see today we have never seen before “Search embodies the story of a nation’s development through many centuries, not only math.”

Special Tasks at Google: (if you are starting up a search engine keep those in mind)
Quality Evaluation Team – Extensive & Deep – every day we look at stats and more
Ranking Engineer –
Localization / Language differences Manager (Tristin)
Translation (Maureen) Search is not a solved problem, we are very far. (Yes, I konw very well – MS) Soon Google Opens the web universally – Very soon translation for 12 language – translation and results come in your language (transleted)

NEW Features: Contextual navigation links Univarsal navigation bar (availible within hours)
– Google Begins Move to Universal Search
www.google.com/experimental Currently Timeline and map views (for all the new experiments on search, next week signing starts)
– Universal Search – ranking is challenging – normalization of video results, pic resuls, book results, etc.(for taaze.com, this is not an issue yet)
– Sergey Brin married to Anne Wojcicki last weekend in Bahamas.

Vertical Search Engines

Taaze.com Beta has arrived; a new vertical search engine focusing on Turkey

OK, I cannot spend very much time on the blog. But, I had an excuse. Next to our web marketing projects at Vodaco Web Strategies, I was busy with the new search engine project; taaze.com. Now it is time to make an announcement. Although it was under-cover till now, some of you have already heard about taaze.com, i know 😉
What is taaze.com?
Taaze.com is a search engine focusing on fast and accurate delivery of Turkish online media content. You can name it a “vertical search engine”, a “news collector” or “Turkey’s internet news database”. In short we already have a long history of events from Turkey in our databases and every two hours our databases are filled with great and new news.
Advantages of taaze search engine?
– Focus on Turkey only
You don’t need to manually adjust your search engine settings to filter your searches (which most of you never do anyway). You also don’t need to go through many results in order to get to the relevant results.
– Provides news fast
If something major happens in Turkey you can get in ten minutes the results appearing on taaze.com. Not like your grandfathers search engine, eh?
– a Turkish Company
If you are concerned about using local products and services, taaze.com is the search engine for you.
Who should use it?
– PR professionals
– Marketing executives / professionals
– Business executives
– Researchers
– Strategists
– Web surfers
– even your grandpa
Short Take:
Taaze.com is Turkish aiming for the Turkey related research. In many areas it performs as good as “your grandfathers search engine”. In some ways, Taaze is even better.

 

 

Turkish online banking security

Why is “Google Checkout” not available for Turkish Credit Card holders? It is available for 107 countries including, Burkina Faso, Cambodia and Uganda

Google Checkout is available in 107 countries. Is Turkey really more risky in credit card fraud than these 107 countries? Below you can find the list of countries as of today;

Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, British Indian Ocean Territory, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chile, Costa Rica, CĂ´te d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Gabon, Georgia, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Moldova, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Rwanda, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam, Virgin Islands, British, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Some of them really seem to be more risky than Turkey. Does Google know something that we Turkish credit card holders don’t know about?

We are hearing lots of rumors on Turkish banking system and how much security problems they have. Seeing some countries on Google Checkout list and not seeing Turkey on the list, made me wonder. Maybe we really are in trouble by having Turkish bank accounts, and credit cards.

From CeBIT 2006, Axinom – a name to remember

I was fortunate to meet Axinom and their CMS (Contact Management System) system at 2006 CeBIT Hannover.
They have the right product and the right business model. They are the first solid firm to offer free license CMS with .NET infrastructure as far as I know.
If they can do a good web marketing campaign for their product, success seems to be a sure thing. I was introduced to their system by Johannes Jauch, one of the Managing Directors of Axinom. (By the way isn’t this interesting? Is this common in Germany, a company with multiple Managing Directors (or “GeschäftsfĂźhrer” as German say)? I have no idea, but I think it is a great approach, at least for a software company to have double or even more Managing Directors.)
My first impression was very positive. Of course we need to develop at least one project with the product AxCMS to understand its real capacity. However, from my conversation with Herr Jauch, I feel sure this is the right product and the right company.
Viel Erfolg Johannes und Viel Erfolg Axinom