Monetize, Me?

Scoble has a recent video interview from a company called Context Optional that is working on a better way to get people to pay attention to advertisements online.  Their specialty is building widgets that are really advertisements for social networking sites.

I have not seen this yet on Facebook but it seems to make total sense (i really liked the “Today I am Toasting” example Miller Brewing app on their website). I seem to get constant updates from friends that have just achieved another high score on some game they want me to join.

The question I have is whether or not this will work outside the walls of a social media site?  Seems like most of the fun is letting others in your network know what you are up too.  Also, how long before everyone is doing this?  If the majority of your updates are really advertisements, how long before people start blocking you as spam?

See the postings and videos here.

Working on Collaboration

http://harvardbusinessonline.hbsp.harvard.edu/hbsp/hbr/index.jsp

I have been working on my business model and just how much control I want to have vs. a completely open model.  HBS has a great article this month on the topic called Which Kind of Collaboration Is Right for You?” (sorry, i think you need a subscription to read the entire article online) that has been a big help.
The article discusses four basic modes for collaboration innovation:  Elite circle, Innovation mall, Innovation community, consortium.  I had been leaning towards a completely open network, but here some the quotes I am fixated on,

“With open participation, you don’t need to know your contributors. Indeed, the fact that you don’t know them can be particularly valuable; interesting innovative solutions can come from people or organizations you might never have imagined had something to contribute.”

“Open modes, however, have their disadvantages. Notably, they’re not as effective as closed approaches in identifying and attracting the best players. That’s because as the number of participants increases, the likelihood that a participant’s solution will be selected (especially for an ambiguous problem) decreases.”

I wouldn’t say this article has helped me decide which way to go but it has helped put together a list of pros and cons of the various options.

TechRanch Austin

Thanks to Joshua Dilworth’s for his post on the TechRanch in Austin.  I completly missed this update and it looks like are some really good resources to take advantage of on the site (not to mentioned potentail partnership opportunities).

Cool Names

Ok, still working on names here.  Relevance of your name is huge when naming a site (A defining moment for your branding strategy).

During my search, I have have come across a few new cool sites that have great names that don’t take much of a guess to tell you what the site is about:

The search is still on.

What’s in a Name?

In summary, everything.

When we were coming up with names of our first child, one of my main criteria was that there was absolutely no possibility of the name being used to as a joke or a tease.  This rule made it easy to rule out some of the obviously bad choices (such as Pilot Inspektor and Zelda) but it still didn’t make picking a name easier.

As Guy talks about in his book, coming up with an original name for your web site makes all the difference in the world.  Coming up with something original is tough and making it work as a web site name is next to impossible.  Usually the rule is keep is simple, but tell that to the “Go Tahoe” folks at www.gotahoe.com.

There is absolutely nothing worse then coming up with the prefect name that not only fits your business plan and is really, really, really cool only to find out someone beat you there first.  Even worse, is to find out they are not doing anything with the site but are willing to sell it to you for only 10k!  No problem if you got some cash to get things started, but when you are on a shoe string budget, it really hurts.

Nevertheless, thanks to my amazing wife and several friends, we have a couple of  great ideas to chose from.  Now all we have to do is pick one.