Category Archives: Media

Pre-Teens Get Immersive

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Sramana Mitra has penned an insightful post on the pre-teen market: what their activities are online, which sites they find popular etc. You can read it here, or view Read/WriteWeb’s take on it here.

Given that pre-teens are Yoick’s sweetspot, we particularly like these excerpts from Sramana’s report:

Websites targeted at pre-teens earn majority of their revenue from subscription, e-commerce and content provided by the websites. Other sources of revenue for these websites are advertisements placed either on their websites or in the games, downloading of music and games, licensing of content, syndication and partnerships for developing content and gaming…

and this:

Immersive gaming model used by NeoPets and other gaming websites could well be the business model of tomorrow as it allows advertisers to place creative advertisements in games without disrupting the flow of the game and thus generating interest in the product, which creates brand awareness.

Venture Wrap: Five Across For Cisco

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Cisco has announced it is acquiring social network builder, Five Across. The San Francisco-based company was founded in 2003, raised $2 million from Granite Ventures and Adobe Ventures in 2004 and have 11 staff.

Five Across has a social networking platform called the Connect Community Builder, which empowers companies to easily augment their websites with full-featured communities and user-generated content. In essence, they provide socnet functions to websites.

Dan Scheinman, Senior VP and GM of the Cisco Media Solutions Group sees this acquisition as an important step towards Cisco being positioned to assist its customers “evolve their website experience into something more relevant and valuable to the end-user.”

Cisco seems to have woken up to the fact that networking is not all pipes and plumbing. The people factor is the X-factor. In fact, check out their tagline: Cisco is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate.

I suspect we’ll be hearing about more acquisitions in the social media space from these guys.

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Bit Part: Social Networks as Social Media

Social networking and social destination sites by and for social networking alone just don’t cut it. People get bored with networking  for networking’s sake: there needs to be a focus point or focal points beyond simply socnet.

Om Malik has glommed onto this thought I had way back in the mists of time, circa August 2005 and now asks: Are Social Networks Just a Feature?

In Yoick’s view, successful web communities have at their core, a set of pursuits or strange attractors – these pursuits work best if they deliver some benefit from interactions between members of a community…the higher the usefulness factor, the more compelling an attractor.

To sum up, I agree with Om. Yoick is essentially building an “integrated community entertainment platform”, a term borrowed from Andrew Littlefiled, CEO of Doppelganger. Within this ICEP, the social networking aspects are critical as part of the community journey, but they are not the sole destination.

3D: Now that’s cricket!

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Richard McManus has a cool piece about Cricinfo’s live 3D coverage of the Tri-Series cricket matches between Australia, New Zealand and England. Cricinfo expects to move this out of beta testing shortly.

You can read it here. I agree with Richard that its a perfect illustration of the benefits of 3D on the Web. I think it would really shine if applied within a virtual world environment, together with social interaction functionality.

I still remember how excited we used to get back in the mid 90’s picking up real time cricket stats on the nascent Cricinfo….ah, the good old days.

Are you under TiVo’s StopWatch?

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Putting his hand on the proverbial Bible, Todd Juenger, a VP at TiVo, swears blind that the digital video recording company is not archiving and selling inidivual subscriber’s data.

TiVo is, however, through its StopWatch initative offering ad agencies and television networks the opportunity to receive real time data concerning which programs TiVo subscribers are watching and which ads they are skipping.

Talking with the San Francisco Chronicle, Todd said that StopWatch only delivers a random, anonymous sampling of what their user base is watching.

Inherently as an advocate of the attention economy I find nothing wrong or alarming in what TiVo is doing. However, there is a slippery slope effect and it is up to users to determine their level of confidence in particular companies…do you trust companies like TiVo…will they continue to anonymise your data?

Virtual Venture Wrap: Doppelganger goes to C

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Doppelganger, a San Francisco-based virtual world company has raised a Series C funding round of $5 million from Greycroft Partners.

CEO, Andrew Littlefield, prefers to call them a community entertainment company that builds virtual environments for the rest of us, aka non hardcore gamers.

Doppelganger initially raised a Series A of $2.5 m from Draper Fisher Jurvetson and a Series B of $8.5 m from Trident Capital, DFJ and Draper Richards. That’s a lot of dough for a virtual world play – but when you consider it costs them up to $250k to build one of their inworld characters you understand where the money is going. Hey guys, ever heard of user-generated content…

Andrew sees the market for 3D environment vendors to be akin to the nascent cable market. He sees Second Life as focusing on the older sci-fi demographic whereas they are angling to be the 3D MTV, with Habbo Hotel the Nickolodeon. Neat analogy.

At Yoick we agree that these interactive spaces will act mostly as a connection manager (the first C in CICS), at least initially, and we also agree that they will reach similar sizes as MySpace.

Virtual Worlds: A $100 billion opportunity

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Venture guy, serial entrepreneur and chairman of Second Life, Mitch Kapor said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos that he sees virtual worlds as being a $100 billion opportunity.

When the PC was invented, nobody anticipated the spreadsheet, which I was very involved with, when the Internet became commercial nobody anticipated Amazon.com or eBay, and I have the same conviction that these virtual worlds are going to have killer applications that will just make it a huge industry.

Right on, Mitch.