I decided to start publishing a blog about the challenges and opportunities facing the media business because I think the subject is seriously interesting. I read almost everything and everybody, and there are some great resources (paidcontent.org; techcrunch; ReadWriteWeb; GigaOm; Henry Blodget’s blog; Jeff Jarvis, Don Dodge, various industry research analysts, the media itself, and many more). So, I thought, why not write about what I read? It will give me a great opportunity to begin to say what I think, and force me to be sufficiently disciplined to digest and evolve my views. If I am really fortunate others will enjoy reading it. So, welcome toseriouslymedia.
It has been a great effort by the team at edgeio to get this launched. The company now has 6000 advertisers who will, by September, have 29 million classified ads in the system, and with the launch of “Classified Boards” in March recruited its first 1000 publishers. Now with “Transactional Classifieds” the number of publishers who can use edgeio will grow enormously. The vision of a Classified Ad Network for the Internet is one step closer.
Another deal I have had to keep under wraps….. Techcrunch and F***edCompany are set to release news of a merger tonight at around 9pm Pacific Time. Mike has blogged it early due to rumors circulating on the web. Techmeme has it here.
Om Malik has the scoop but this is something I have been keeping under my hat for several weeks. Heather Harde, former Fox Interactive Media executive, responsible for Mergers and Acquisitions, is to be the new CEO of TechCrunch.
Heather was a key figure in Fox’s strategy to acquire the key assets needed to turn itself into a major Internet presence. She is accomplished, charming and as sharp as a razor. It’s a major coup for Mike and TechCrunch to recruit her. I believe it augurs well for TechCrunch that Mike has decided that the continued growth of his amazing venture requires the services of a hands on senior operational executive.
Until now I was the only other shareholder in TechCrunch besides Mike (a fact that dates back to our 2005 collaboration in Archimedes Ventures and edgeio). I can’t say how thrilled I am to welcome Heather into the company. I got to know her in my role at edgeio and have found her to be a straightforward, highly observant, passionate and focused person. I don’t know anybody with a bad word to say about her. The potential of TechCrunch is being realised every day. RSS subscribers, unique visitors, advertising revenues, job listings (edgeio hosts CrunchBoard) and every other measure shows this. But the potential is far greater still. Heather and Mike will be the team to realize the vision and take it to a new level. Congratulations to both.
TechCrunch reports that Salim Ismail is to head the Yahoo Brickhouse project. Yahoo’s intention is to create an internal incubator – think Google Labs – and so encourage innovation and productizing akin to forming lots of internal startups.
Salim is a great choice for this role. Currently heading up Confabb (to be replaced by David Dell) Salim is a serial startup guy. His most recent stint was at PubSub where he served as co-founder and latterly CEO.
I have known Salim for quite a few years now. He has been a great thought partner during the gestation of edgeio and will do a great job in this new role. Yahoo are lucky (and smart) to get him.
My good friend Saul Klein has bullied and cajoled me into hosting an opencoffee meetup in Palo Alto. They will be on Tuesday mornings at 8.30am. We will meet in Deuce France (my favorite coffee and pastries place). It has great coffee and awesome pan au raison or pan au chocolat.
The goal is to provide a place to meet and greet entreprenuers from outside the US who are in the Valley looking for help/guidance/conversation or just great coffee and pastries.
It kicks off next Tuesday.
Deuce France is in Town and Country Village, on the corner of El Camino Real and Embarcadero in Palo Alto.
As promised John Dowd – the product manager for edgeio marketplaces – opened up the beta of the Classified Boards product to the public today.TechCrunch France has already used the platform to launch Crunchboard France.
The announcement is here; Dan Farber has covered it here, and Robert Scoble has an exclusive video walkthrough on the Scobleshow.
I really believe John’s product will help create a classifieds ecosystem for the Internet in the same way Adsense created an advertising ecosystem. Now, just like newspapers and magazines, any web site can earn revenue by putting up a classifieds board and taking paid listings (free boards are also supported).
I have just posted a full announcement on the edgeio blog that we are about to launch a commerce platform called edgeio marketplaces. You can read about it and join up for the beta at http://marketplaces.edgeio.com.
In a nutshell it is attempting to make the process of creating revenue carrying features as simple for a small web site as it currently is for the big guys.
The first product on the platform is “Listings Boards”. This will make it possible for any web site owner to create any kind of listings board and decide what to charge to list on the board. It will also allow multiple owners of such boards to build networks of their boards and offer them to a lister for a single price. affiliate programs will also be supported.
I can’t wait to start getting feedback from the community on the product. it has been a long time since the idea was developed and now its time to test it out in the real world.