Saturday, October 14, 2006

The new definition of peace

By awarding the Nobel peace price to an Economist, Mohammed Younus of Bangladesh, the Nobel committee recognizes that bringing economic prosperity or at least the hope of it helps bring peace to the world.

Somebody said, “If you can’t give love, at least give hope, if you can’t hope give them something to do.”

This is the secret of microbanking’s success – that $50 and above loans to poor women helps build societies.

In the aftermath of 9/11, many have pointed out to the chronic poverty of Muslims in many countries, including India.

This is what George Bush should do – send economists to Iraq, Iran or whatever country it feels its righteous need to salvage. However, we don’t need to IMF type big-ticket economics. Baby steps, baby steps.

Maybe the U.N. should send economists to Africa to deal with its chronic poverty and to make sure that the diamonds don’t fund just wars.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Who are the top Indian Bloggers?

Tech Digest reports that earlier this week PR company Edelman alongwith blog search engine Technorati, brought out a list of the top British blogs.

Now, people are divided on this very issue of listing Bloggers and the superstar economy concept. Many will also say that this practice discourages new bloggers. It works like the movies where a new entrant finds an industry divided into camps and big name producers who only work with big name stars. But then, whoever said life would be easy?

A-Listers in the United States are many and include well-known bloggers like Glenn Reynolds, Jeff Jarvis, the guys at Engadget and Gizmodo among others.

Then there is Darren Rouse in Australia.

I don’t trust Technorati and any other best blog directories. In India, there are bloggers like Rashmi Bansal, Gaurav Sabnis, Atanu De, Amit Verma, Rajesh Jain and the guys at Desipundit who are well known for having raised the level of conversation about Indian issues. I am sure there must be other bloggers who are masters of their domain. I would like to know about them.

Please help me out.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Dada’s 7 reasons why Google should buy The New York Times

In the wake of Google’s buyout of Youtube, Susan Mernit has written that Google did well to buy Youtube and all its new media goodness. Susan says Google would do well to ignore mainstream brands like The Times. She says,
… after a year in operation, YouTube reportedly has 50MM users worldwide, while after 100+ years in operation, the NYTimes has what, 20MM(12 MM registered, plus another 8...)

I would venture out on a limb and put my case for the big old lady.

1. The Times has timeless value and more. Robin has this to say about NYT:

Unlike YouTube, The New York Times (and all the newspapers, radio and tv stations it owns), however, has an established brand, business, audience that is older and less fickle and more wise and far more loyal. It has longevity, it has staff, it has - for lack of better word - long standing momentum and earning potential. Can that all come to an end?

Need I say more?

2. NYT has a strong online component, the NYT Digital. It is a solid profit making operation. I think it needs Google’s Ranking- goodness (read SEO) to make sure its pages are well ranked in comparison with blogs. The Times has tones of well written, well-researched pages on all sorts of topics, which may give blogs a run for their money. Google already has a ongoing text ad placement deal with NYT.

3. Google also gets which NYT bought for $400 million in 2005. covers more than 400 plus profitable topics. Google also gets more place to place its ads.

4. Google can also give usability mojo to NYT. The NYT site is well-designed but I think Google knows better about usability and reader preferences.

5. I am thinking Google Local plus NYT locals, or, Google Base plus NYT locals. Unlike WSJ and USA Today, NYT is not a big force outside the greater New York Area. The two companies can create local sites with Google base- like functionality and give Craigslist a run for its money. It is well known that Local news and Local classifieds are the future for newspapers. IMHO Yahho local is better than Google Local.

6. With the NYT purchase, Google gets more Madison Avenue cred. For long, Google has wanted to do something ‘valuable’ in the Print Ad business and NYT scores in this area. NYT is a great branding tool too. Many say Google Adsense doesn’t build brands. Well, NYT advertising does.

7. Finally, I am thinking Google Adwords +NYT + AOl + Google Checkout. Already, Google owns 5% of AOL. It is looking to position its Checkout payments service against Paypal. This might worry eBay.

Having put my case, I agree with Robin: The NYT board and investors would not probably sell out to Google. Disregarding Google’s $11 billion war chest, they wouldn’t like to sell the 100-year brand which still has plenty of energy left in it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Google Youtube Deal: 9 more things to know

1. The online media is awash with news and opinion about the deal which one of the 2 Youtube co-founder describes in P.Diddy style:
"Two kings have gotten together: The king of search and the king of video. We're going to have it our way, salt and pepper,"

2. The Guardian points 2 key aspects of Youtube’s business model:

First, there are the home-made items that often inexplicably capture the affections of the site's users.

(then there )is the ever-expanding archive of music video.

3. CNN Money predicts big money for other video sites like Metacafe,, Guba and, which may get higher value than before from Google’s competitors.

4. Bloomberg says the Google-YouTube has sent a `Wake-Up Call' to Yahoo, Microsoft's MSN. It points out market researcher EMarketer Inc’s prediction that Internet video advertising will generate $1.1 billion in U.S. revenue in 2008, up from $385 million this year.

5. The YouTube founders are themselves positive about the deal. Though cynics might say that this is the newly-acquired money speaking.

In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, they say this about Google,

...they don't want to stop our momentum. They want us to continue to excel in the things we're doing.

6. Salon has a great writeup. It calls Youtube an important tool in democratization of voice.
The global conversation will be GoogTubed. Tanks rolling in a Thailand coup? Find it on YouTube.

7. Washington Post reports about YouTube users themselves who seem to be divided on two opposing sides. It reports that many YouTube users have posted videos sharing their opinions on the GoogTube sale. Besides, YouTube founders’ video about the sale got thousands of comments.

8. SearchEngine Journal predicts a possible Google-Fox Interactive rift in the future.
…some saltiness behind the scenes at Fox Interactive and, which signed a rather lucrative $900 million advertising & search deal with Google this summer; and considers YouTube to be intense competition.

9. Finally, there is the rumor. Relying on a source inside Youtube (!), Threadwatch says that Google is considering buying Facebook for 2.3 billion dollars.

According to reports, Yahoo has only offered $1 billion for Facebook. Nick Douglas at Valleywag says if Google also offers Youtube-like autonomy, Facebook ought to take up that offer. They won’t get more than this, DotCom boom Part 2 or not.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Google – Youtube Deal: The Ultimate Roundup

The prologue:
Some might say the so-called New Media broke this news first. First, the irrepressible Michael Arrington at Techcruch gets an email suggesting that Google might be in talks with Youtube for buying the pioneering Video site. Michael assigns ‘40% probability’ to it happening.

- Search Engine Journal list out 5 Reasons Why Google Will Buy YouTube. They are:

Popularity, Not making the same mistake twice (remember, Google did not MySpace when it was on the block), Community, Usability & Stickiness and finally, Advertising and Money (the result of reasons 1,3 & 4).

- Taking the “You can either fight us or you can make money with us” line, Forrester Research's Charlene Li says that YouTube is indeed worth $1.6B. Because,

That’s 4 cents per video stream ($1.6B divided by 100 million daily views * 365 days) and it’s still growing.

- Robyn Tippins points out that In March 2006 itself; YouTube had only 30 more months worth of VC money to fund its $1.5M per month bandwidth habit. It couldn’t ask for donations ala Wikipedia. Moreover, only Google could give the outfit the freeway that it needed.

- Google Video was way behind Youtube. Check this graph out:

- Nick Douglas suggests that Google might have been feeling hopeless for Google Video.

- Google’s traditional rival duo of Microsoft and Yahoo were also fishing in the Social Media –infested waters. Just the other day, Yahoo bought Jumpcut, users found Soapbox on MSN Video, and AOL revamped its video portal in late July 2006.

The Deal

The news: Google, market value of $132 billion, bought video sharing site YouTube for $1.65 billion today. Youtube is barely 18 months old, and is run by a couple of 20-somethings.

The venerable New York Times evoked the dark memories of the DotCom Boom when Google finally bought Youtube.

A sampling of New Media valuations courtesy Zdnet:

MySpace: $15 billion latest Wall Street valuation, courtesy of RBC Capital

YouTube: $1.5 billion latest valuation, courtesy of New York Post

Facebook: $1 billion latest valuation, courtesy of Wall Street Journal

Digg: $200 million valuation, courtesy of Business Week

Grand total = $17,700,000,000.

A point here: Isn’t it ironical that the same mainstream media which faces maximum threat form new media startups hypes them the most unlike the surprisingly sober online media (as far as valuations are concerned)?

An art in quick deal making

Executives from the two companies met and the deal came together in a matter of days. The Google guys offered $1.6 billion and autonomy which the Youtube guys happily accepted.

Google buys YouTube's lawsuits?

Critics of the deal say it could cost ‘GoogTube’ that much in copyright lawsuits, but other deals today make that less likely.

Critics include Om Malik and Mark Cuban who has famously said that only a "moron" would purchase the wildly popular start-up.

Some media experts think YouTube could face the kind of lawsuits that put free music sharing out of business. They cite examples pf popular but troubled P2P sharing sites link Napster (revived now) and Grokster, which was shut down by the courts in 2005.

YouTube must satisfy big media to succeed

Already, NBC forged a deal with YouTube in July to provide some of its entertainment on the Web. Now, CBS has announced it will share content and ad revenue with YouTube. Also, Universal and Sony have announced that they'll make millions of music videos available on the site. Reuters says that big-ticket partnerships might be the key to GoogTube’s success.

Big media brands want an all access pass to this demographically alluring consumer base. YouTube serves up 100 million videos a day to viewers. It reports that nearly 70,000 videos are uploaded daily to its site, attracting some 32 million unique visitors every month.

Regarding the copyright problems, Nick Douglas says that Google's pretty adept at fighting copyright violation charges,

...thanks to its experience with caching, image search, and Google Print.

Moreover, Google has one sort or another deal with the big media companies, including Fox interactive.

How to make money from it: advertising money

YouTube executives have long said that they plan to sell sponsorships and direct advertisements. They said they would focus on building a community, and won’t bombard people with advertising.

They point out that they can turn all those views into $10 million in revenue per month by running pre-rolls [short video ads] on the videos. But the users will decide whether they want that.

The point: Don’t expect YouTube to embed commercials at the start or end of videos. That was before the big Goog came on to the scene.

At the Joint Google-YouTube conference call on Monday, Sergey Brin said he expected YouTube to becaome a great channel for advertising.

This is what may decide whether Youtube users will continue to patron the site: will they like it when Google inserted ads inside the videos as well as served up text-based ads based on a better video search function on YouTube.

Mobile Implications of the deal

Rafat Ali at Paidcontent points out three things:

1. Most of Google’s mobile efforts have been around search

2. Music videos, as well as the user-generated content which made YouTube so big, is perfect for mobile devices

3. Content deals announced by both companies just before the merger, which is mostly with music labels and is for music videos

Om Malik’s Winners and Losers from the deal:

Among the Winners - the three co-founders of You Tube, who stand to get at least $200 million each. As they own close to 50% of the company.

Losers - Google, because Om Malik thinks this deal will go south as Compaq-DEC, Skype-eBay did in the long run.

- Paul Colligan says Podcasting is also a winner.

Impressed by iTunes' success, he says:

Google certainly wasn’t buying content - 99.99% of the content was taken from someplace else Google certainly wasn’t buying technology - as they have their own Google Video system (that, actually, does more than YouTube does). They weren’t buying a profitable business to fold into the Google empire. What did they buy?

They bought a new channel. They bought access to the gazillions of people who want media on their own terms - at the time and location of their choosing.

Content, on demand, is what people want and expect. It is now up to the Podcaster to develop it.
Questions about the deal

What will Youtube Users think of Google's presence?

Nothing happened to when it was bought by Yahoo.

The deal's coverage: Why no Michael Arrington at the conference call?
David Dalka asks 10 questions about the deal. An important questions was:

Why are the investment analysts and “major media” only allowed on the announcement conference call? Why not bloggers, why not the person, Michael Arrington, who broke the rumor and story in the first place?

Related info: Google's deals at a glance

Google Inc.'s major deals since its founding in 1998.