Archivo de la Categoría ‘English’

30
Jun

User generated content

Escrito el 30 junio 2006 por Ricardo Pérez Garrido en Contenidos / Content, English

Chris Anderson -yes, the one that coined the term Long Tail for the economics of distribution of digital goods- has a short piece on the latest Wired Magazine on User Generated Content, called People Power. One of the issues that he covers is how business models, successfull ones, are using this content created and evaluated by users, to offer a better service to their customers.

Amazon and its user reviews. Netflix, with the same strategy and moving DVDs around. Some of them have been integrated in big internet players (Flickr – Yahoo) or are being pursued by offers of all the big players (YouTube fighting, and wining, Google and Yahoo video services). They have in common a simple technology to allow its users to share. It’s like the traditional problem of the public commons, sort of a prisonner´s dilemma in which the number/effect of free riders is reduced by the altruistic activities of many.

The impact of these activies is something to be observed closely, not as something odd, or that will be forgotten fast, but as a global trend to share ideas, create realities on line that might not be possible in your daily life, and being altruistic in a portion of your life, that can have effects that are unexpected. Just look at what the Linux community has created.

29
Jun

Paypal and the speed of change

Escrito el 29 junio 2006 por Ricardo Pérez Garrido en English, Internet

eBay is not the only Internet company facing strong competition from Google. But today everyone will be talking about them. The rumors about an online payment service -Chekout- to be released today have been everywhere for days now, and today we will see a number of analysis, of all sorts, related to the effect that this move will have on the current winner in this field, PayPal, and its parent company, eBay.

The first impact has been a 5% drop in the stock price of eBay yesterday. The second one has been the immediate creation of “momentum” around the opening act of this new service. The name of the game is again trust: is it enough to trust a company with your information search needs to give them also an insight on what you buy over the net?

For PayPal, running fast its integration with Yahoo and at the same time with Skype/eBay is the preferred path to face the push by Google. The ability to link their adwords system with payment using a centralized system can be crucial. And again, the value of “having all your info on one single container” should give the customer some rewards. But this is a service with a couple of customers, the buyer and the seller, so besides better search and advertising experiences, Google provides focused marketing, and adds a revenue stream related to transactions of goods, not ads.

Experiments from other companies offering to have all your transaction data in one single point come immediately to mind. In this case the “don’t be evil” motto could be helpful, but the privacy issues that some services, like Gmail, have raised before will surely return. The ability to combine offers fast, and get the customer’s attention towards your offer is still the key, also in this market. The difference might be the speed of change. MySpace or YouTube are examples of how many users’ needs are untapped, and how fast word-of-mouth works these days. The problem comes when trying to find a revenue stream. Google is betting, as they did before, on charging not the final customer, but the other side of the equation. They will be fighting against a service that has gained name, reputation and trust using the same “hey, this really works”, approach. And now a community of information seekers might be changed into a community of buyers and sellers. Or they will just have to decide what is the most convenient way to do what they already do with different tools. YouTube and Flickr took a marginal activity to the mainstream, at these speed, maybe we will se social commerce evolve and expand faster than eBay, I mean, faster than before.

23
Jun

YouTube and brand management, ¿love at first sight?

Escrito el 23 junio 2006 por Ricardo Pérez Garrido en English, Entertainment

If you suft some of the YouTube content you will find many types of user-generated content. Basically everything you can think of, you will find a video of someone showing it, talking about it, using it. The “it” probably has a brand name of its own. And you end up with a conversation of thousands, about your own brand. Yes, that one. The one you invest millions to create and evolve. Apparently YouTube users, millions, have decided the “democratization of content creation” is a good thing. They love it.

With many implications for traditional media, given the amount of time teenagers spend wathching TV -less- and surfing user-generated content -more-, advertising companies are looking carefully at how they can use this trend for their benefit, and for their clients, of course. There are several success stories: a Wolkswagen commercial (that the FT mentions here) has 2 million in the number of views mark, many home-made videos with more than 25 million views… What is intriging is the clear trend it has started, departing from traditional content and entering the real-TV, but without the TV network, world. There they are: millions of teenagers spending hours watching YouTube, witout comercials, instead of your favourite show.

MySpace and YouTube are what teens do know with a big portion of their free time. What about five years from now, when they are in their twenties? Advertising is evolving rapidly, looking at your mobile devices, at internet. TV is still the preferred channel for big brands, but new ways of buying and watching content are growing faster than one could imagine. YouTube has only celebrated its first birthday. But as many internet companies before, it still has to figure out its revenue model. In the meantime, all the internet giants are investing in their own video services, trying to combine them with social recommendation, with better search engines… anything and everything to capture the attention of this generation. How do we call them? MySpace or YouTube generation?

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