Social Monitoring Web Journal May 1st – May 8th, 2010

Today Joe Hall writes about Google at Marketing Pilgrim in Cup of Joe: Google Is Turning Into the Jonas Brothers and I Don’t Like It where Google appears to be getting “distracted” by things like “social media” and trying to be hip in areas where it might not be adding real value:

Just as trends in design can distract from the fundamentals of communication, so too can trends in social media distract from the fundamentals of information retrieval. For the last 6 or 7 months we have seen Google roll out a gamut of new features based solely on trends in social media. These trends are short-lived distractions that don’t add to long-term improvements in search technology. In essence, these new features are like what the Jonas Brothers are to rock ‘n roll – a brief distraction from the fundamentals.

I do not know anything about the Jonas Brothers but Joe is making a big deal of what Google has done with Real Time Search Integration, Social Search and Google Buzz but it’s just a small part of what’s going on.  Personally, I don’t use Buzz, I rarely use Social Search, and real time Search  in Google is only moderately useful – if I want real time information, I go to Twitter or Collecta, not Google.  Does that mean Google should not bother playing with real time data?  No, they should – but maybe go all the way with it.

Heard about Layer’s new Augmented Reality Local Streams on Thursday (see video, above) and briefly played with it on my iPhone but all I’m seeing near me is a stream for Atlantic City Casinos, Nudism in USA and one on the World Trade Center – so there problem, for Layer – will be content – enough of it to make someone want to use Layer or bother with Augmented Reality – as right now, my inclination is not to use these browsers.  However, together with Google’s Goggles getting into auto translation of menus and such suggests next year will be the Year of Augmented Reality just as this year seems to be the year of Social CRM coming of age, as well as Social Media metrics and ROI.

Heard about Geeks on a Plane a few weeks ago when one of my friends at was on the waiting list to be on the plane – he didn’t appear to get on the plan, but a few others I know, did.  Sam Flemming who founded CIC (I met Sam about 2 weeks ago in NYC) in China will be either on the plane, or at an event in Shanghai – not clear which – and it seems chief Web Strategist, Jeremiah Owyang is on that plane, too.  Have no idea what it would be like to fly with a bunch of Entrepreneurs for two weeks – probably good – and if I wasn’t fully an Entrepreneur before I got on the plane, I’d probably be one by the time I got off.

Fred Wilson’s post at AVC on what caused the stock market meltdown this week suggests that if you have a startup you should not be thinking your going to have an easy time with an IPO Exit anytime soon.  However, I want to note, again, that Scout Labs and Biz360 were both sold in the last 10 days – and many more Social Media Monitoring platforms will be selling to bigger media companies and research firms soon. Also, Nielsen Acquired Online Video Analytics Company GlanceGuide this week.

I feel – so there are exceptions to everything – even what Fred Wilson is saying.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t make money with your startup and it doesn’t mean that you can’t make money in venture capital. The returns in startup land come mostly from taking nothing and turning it into something. If you take hard work, sweat equity, and a few million bucks of startup capital and turn that into a business producing $5mm a year of cash flow, then that is value creation of the old fashioned kind and it will work in any market environment.

But it also means to me that we should not be banking our business on the IPO exit. The public markets are a fickle thing. And it looks like machines are running that show now. I’m more optimistic about institutions turning to the private markets where capital is still traded by humans. I believe the secondary market where institutional private capital comes into the cap tables of startups and provides liquidity to founders, angels, and early stage investors is the next big thing for liquidity in the startup business and I am pleased to see that market continue to develop nicely.

I did not go to Emetrics Summit this week in San Jose – and honestly, I’m not as in with the crowd as I used to be – but exciting stuff is happening in the metrics and analytics world and one of my friends, Gary Angel talks about it on his blog, SEMANGEL -in Notes from eMetrics : Lots of Cool New Technology!   I read Gary’s post on TruViso VIA knowing full well that when Gary likes something – it’s work looking at.

One concern I have about the evolution of platforms will outpace the skills needed to employ those platforms.  Calculated Risk has a good post on Duration of Unemployment that is worth reading just in light of the second type of problem we’re seeing in today’s economy:

…. skills mismatch. In simple terms, the skills people have don’t match the jobs available. Coming out of this recession there may be a more or less permanent change in the composition of jobs.

As we build more of these powerful platforms as part of the business – skills and experience needed becomes harder to acquire – the hands on part, I mean.  This is a tough problem created  by web 2.0 and a desire to employ people who have a broad set of skills in unlikely combinations. Due to the economic conditions and large number of unemployed along with fairly sophisticated employers with very sophisticated needs   make many positions very hard to fill.

Anyway, to wind down this post, I saw Iron Man 2 last night – but I saw a clip about Ironing Man that was more interesting than Iron Man 2 ended up being  (see below)

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