GOT

The Massive Growth Of Facebook Ads Got This Startup $7 Million In Funding

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/triggit-gets-74-million-in-series-b-funding-2012-11

zach coelius triggit

Triggit, the so-called “demand-side platform” that buys ads in real-time bidding exchanges for about 200 clients, won $7.4 million in series B funding from Spark Capital and Foundry Group, the company said.

The new investment came after explosive growth in the business Triggit is placing inside FBX, Facebook’s RTB ad exchange.

FBX works by allowing outside advertisers to drop tracking “cookies” on users’ web browsers. When those users sign into Facebook, the cookies triggers ads promoting those advertisers. Triggit’s clients include Hilton, Kmart and Lowes.

Spark Capital founder Santo Politi said Triggit is “on track to become very profitable.”

CEO Zach Coelius told us his company handled about 200 clients internationally, all of which spend upwards of about $10,000 a month on RTB ads. The company has grown from about a dozen staff at the beginning of the year to 32 employees today.

Triggit place ads in all the major RTB exchanges, but FBX is driving the growth, Coelius says: “We’ve seen 300 percent topline revenue growth[from Facebook ads] since FBX launched in June.”

SEE ALSO: ANALYST: Facebook Is Generating $1 Billion A Year From Its Ad Exchange

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Thursday, November 29th, 2012 news No Comments

When Insurance Agencies Almost Killed Jessica Scorpio’s Startup, She Got Her State Government To Change The Law

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/insurance-agencies-blocked-getaround-wrote-a-law-2012-7

Jessica Scorpio of Getaround

Getaround was a hit when it launched last summer at TechCrunch Disrupt; it went on to raise a few million in financing.

It’s a peer-to-peer car rental service; when one person isn’t using their vehicle, they can rent it to a neighbor and give them a virtual set of keys.

But insurance companies almost killed Getaround before it could take off.

“We knew insurance would be our main problem,” Scorpio tells Inc.’s Christine Lagorio. Agencies wanted to know who would cover a car renter’s accident, the owner or the insurance company. Scorpio says she received a lot of notices that read, “We regret to inform you that we will not provide insurance coverage for this operation.”

Most people would have admitted defeated, but Scorpio found an impossible-sounding solution.

She helped write a new law.

“We started to plant the seeds in Sacramento. Democrats really like it because it’s green; Republicans really like it because it’s small business,” Scorpio tells Lagorio of her law proposal.

“The California law is AB 1871. It says that when participating in a personal-vehicle-sharing program, the car owner’s insurance is never going to be affected. An owner can make up to the value of the car—say, $10,000 a year for a normal vehicle—from renting it, but the car-sharing organization has to provide the insurance during the car-share period,” she says.

Three states have adopted a similar laws and now Berkshire Hathaway has agreed to insure GetAround.

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Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012 news No Comments

When Obama Runs For Re-Election, This Is The Chart He Will Use

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-when-obama-runs-for-re-election-this-is-the-chart-he-will-use-2012-2

We’ve run a version of this chart a few times, but after today’s jobs number, it looks even more stark…

Obama’s monthly jobs record is WAY better than what it was in the months before he took office.

In every commercial, he can just contrast his tenure with the period before it, and remind people how much better things are now.

Also worth noting that the 8.3% unemployment rate is the lowest is since Obama’s first month in office.

UPDATE: Obama used the chart!

chart of the day, unemployment rate, job growth, feb 3 2012

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Friday, February 3rd, 2012 news No Comments

RIM’s Twitter Campaign Goes Horribly Wrong #BeBold

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/rims-twitter-campaign-goes-horribly-wrong-bebold-2012-1


RIM’s latest marketing campaign is based around a squad of cartoon characters called the Bold Team, accompanied by the #BeBold hashtag on Twitter. It wasn’t a good idea.

Why? Because the campaign is blowing up in RIM’s face. Spectacularly.

The vague hashtag, plus the cheesiness of the cartoon characters, prompted the masses to hijack #BeBold. So now, just one week after McDonald’s reminded marketers everywhere how NOT to do a Twitter campaign, RIM makes the same mistake. It’s getting ripped on by its own hashtag (via Gizmodo).

Take a look at what people are tweeting. It entirely consists of folks railing on either the cartoon, or the company as a whole:

rim twitter bebold

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Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 news No Comments

How These Guys Went From Making Music For The Terminally-Ill To Launching An iTunes-Like Startup

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-these-guys-went-from-making-music-for-the-terminally-ill-to-launching-an-itunes-like-startup-2012-1


YogiTunes

It’s the perfect example that doing what you love — and knowing what the market lacks — will eventually pay off.

Alex King-Harris, Craig Kohland and Amani Friend met through the yoga community, but what’s unique about the trio is that they were all musicians making music for those who were terminally-ill or facing chronic illness. King-Harris had been involved in a bad car accident years ago which introduced him to yoga.

As yoga increased in popularity, the co-founders realized there wasn’t a platform for instructors to get recommended healing music or share their playlists with one another or with their students. All three guys immensely believe that the right music is essential for various sequences in a yoga routine.

After initially raising $150,000, YogiTunes, which works a lot like iTunes, but is catered specifically to the yoga community, launched in July 2011. The site currently has around 6,000 artists to choose from and the downloaded music can be played through any medium — unlike iTunes, which requires Apple products.

But people are used to getting their music through iTunes and other popular sources:

“You’re up against people who have really strong habits of consuming through iTunes, or consuming through Pandora,” King-Harris told us. “It takes a little while to shift people’s habitual ways of consuming.”

Eventually, the company wants to grow beyond music and become a community for health and wellness enthusiasts.

“We definitely want to draw people in with the music and then extend to other products, other services, other things that we feel are valuable for people’s lifestyles. It’s kind of taking the Amazon model. They were really good at selling books and now they do everything.”

“We can also scale quite quickly beyond yoga to the health and wellness market. A lot of massage therapists, fitness teachers, tai chi people use our music. I think the yoga market is particularly interesting because, in general, the median income is high so we know we have an broad enough audience.”

For inspiration, the company looks at Beatport, a private company that offers music for the DJ community.

“It’s a similar way that we see ourselves servicing the yoga community. They’re a very successful enterprise, very well-known and well established in what they do. They really know their niche. And that’s what we want to do.”

NOW SEE: A complete guide to what not to do when launching a startup>

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Friday, January 20th, 2012 news No Comments

Barely Anyone Watched The World Series Last Night, But It Still Got Twice As Many Viewers As Football

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/mlb-rangers-cardinals-world-series-ratings-lowest-ever-for-a-game-5-2011-10


Bud Selig

Last night’s overnight rating of 10.0 was the lowest-ever for a World Series game five, and was down from the 10.1 overnight rating for Sunday night’s game four.

Still, the 10.0 rating easily outpaced the Monday Night Football matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars that pulled an overnight rating of 5.8. That tied the record for the lowest rating ever for a Monday Night Football game.

When asked about Major League Baseball’s low World Series ratings prior to last night’s game, commissioner Bud Selig continued to push the company line. “I can show you all the numbers. Baseball is more popular than ever,” said Selig.

Luckily for Selig and Major League Baseball, the World Series will have a game six and won’t have to worry about competing with any NFL games. Ratings for game six and a potential game seven should soar.

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Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 news No Comments

The JKWeddingDance video was real; the viral effect was MANUFACTURED – Post 1 of 2

originally investigated and reported on Friday July 31, 2009 by Augustine Fou, with Tugce Esener @tesener

Several friends and colleagues had the same reaction when they found out about this video — that it was at such a high view count already and we were late to the party of finding out.  Then we did some more digging — digital forensics  🙂  And this is a case where a viral hit was indeed successfully manufactured.  There’s something to be learned from all this — how to successfully manufacture a viral video sensation and make viral profits.

Related: How to manufacture a viral video sensation and make viral profits – Post 2 of 2

Chris Brown is successfully tapping into the viral halo of a funny video that coincidentally used his song.

ReadWriteWeb article on how rights owners (Sony, Chris Brown) can make viral profits on other people using their work instead of suing them – http://bit.ly/KA3HI

The video was real. But promotional activities (possibly/likely paid) created the initial viral effect (led to the tipping point of the viral effect) which then got carried a further by people thinking they were simply late to the party, including myself (e.g. 440k bit.ly clicks and 3k detectable retweets out of the 13M views). The numbers don’t jive.

The viral halo has added 1 million more views to the video from August 1 – August 2.  (13.1 M to 14.5 M)


Ten ELEVEN TWELVE THIRTEEN proof points to follow, each with screen shot to illustrate.

1a. anyone notice that the “Forever” soundtrack is remarkably consistent throughout the video as if it were dubbed or added in after the original footage was shot. The sound is too consistent in volume and loudness to have come from a built-in, on-camera microphone. At the very end of the video, once it cuts back to the couple at the altar the sound quality goes back to the echo-y, tinny sound of an on-camera mic.

1b. The “TheKHeinz” user on YouTube was registered on July 19, 2009, the day the video was posted. We usually look for clues like this to detect “plants” by PR agencies.  This is an issue of trust — a user “CmdrTaco” on Slashdot has been around the forums for years, made hundreds of posts, and was rated by the community very highly. PR agencies trying to seed stories have to create new user accounts during the PR campaign (recent registration date) and have made no other posts or uploads before (no history).

thekheinz-user-info-on-youtube

2. The social intensity detected in all of the top social venues like Technorai, Delicious, Reddit, Digg, etc. indicate there was not enough organic sharing to support a view count of 13 million views in 11 days (updated: 14.6 million today August 2, 2009).

a) Bit.ly shows only 447k clicks on the shortened URL

bitly-statistics-on-jkwedding-video

“At Fortune’s Brainstorm:Tech conference Ashton Kutcher effectively took credit for boosting the views from – in his words – 12,500 views before he tweeted the link – to some 1.2 million views 12 hours later…”

Well, unfortunately he used a bit.ly link which provides public analytics on how many people clicked. Most tweets result in immediate traffic, which then tails off immediately after the tweet falls off the first page. In his case, look at the following bit.ly stats URL and click “past month” to see the peak clicks on July 23. All he can actually claim is that his tweet drove a peak of about 100,000 clicks on that day not 1.2 million 🙁

http://bit.ly/info/Z7vMw

too bad Ashton. next time you make a BMOC claim, be sure to use a non trackable method, so analytics won’t “out” you so easily.

august-21-bitly-intensity-update

after only 3.5 days of retweets the twitter intensity died off to next-to-nothing; if this were a truly viral video, carried forth by real people (and not by paid PR support and paid media) the retweet intensity would remain high. As of August 21, there are over 21M views on the video and the 505k retweets does not show actual organic support for that number.

ashton-kutcher-promote-viral-video


b) Twitturly shows only 3 thousand retweets on the YouTube URL itself

updated-twitturly-stats-for-video

c) Delicious shows only 447 bookmarks of the video itself

delicious-bookmarks-jkwedding

delicious-bookmarks-jkweddingdance

d) Reddit only shows 673 thumbs up for the video itself

reddit-results-for-jkweddingvideo

e) Technorati shows only 277 blog mentions of the video itself — this could be undercounting if blogs used URL shorteners. But if you look at the blog intensity results (below) sorted by blogs with most authority the blogs have very little authority (i.e. influence or size of audience).

technorati-blog-posts-on-jkwedding

— these are real indications of interest by real people. The social intensity of the passalong for this video does not substantiate the huge number of views in 11 days.

What we are seeing now is the additional viral halo, as the momentum is sustained by large media outlets reporting on the story — even Google Blog blogged about it (boasting about the success of YouTube advertising in driving revenues). Of course TechCrunch is right that viral videos can be monetized: http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/07/30/youtube-viral-wedding-videos-are-great-for-advertising/ )


3. Twitter shows nothing in the top “trending topics” related to this video – indicating few people are actually tweeting about it — if this video is SO viral (13M views in 11 days) then it has GOT to show up on a scan of social intensity. (see screen capture below)

July 31 (Friday)                 August 2 (Sunday)

twitter-trending-topics-455pm-july-31-2009August-2-trending-twitter-topics

4. The original video was posted July 19, 2009. The people from the video appeared on NBC’s Today Show and danced around Rockerfeller Center on July 25th (6 calendar days after posting). Today Show staff may be great at spotting news, but to get all the wedding party from the wedding to re-enact the dance on the Today Show in 6 calendar days — too good to be true?  Hmm…

today-show-appearance


5. Out of all the wedding videos on YouTube, how did Chris Brown detect this particular one that used his song. @glenngabe noted that there are song detection mechanisms  – ContentID – which detect the pattern of the copyrighted song and report that to the rights owners. We know there are hundreds, if not thousaands, or really funny wedding home videos — America’s Funniest Videos has been running for years and years on TV showing funny wedding blooper videos that people submitted to them.


6. ALL TEN of the top viral videos on AdAge’s Viral Video Chart took around 3 – 6 months to achieve full viral effect — not 6 days.  See all 10 videos’ stats, as reported by YouTube at the following link. This video has not shown up at all on the list of Adage viral videos.

AdAge Top Viral Videos all take 3 – 6 months to reach full viral effect



7. From @RedW0rm – YouTube Declares Wedding Video a Financial Success http://bit.ly/9ZUtu


8. also check the velocity of this http://twitter.com/#search?q=jkwedding or this http://twitter.com/#search?q=jkweddingdance notice the tweets are not seconds apart but hours apart. Something that achieved 13M views in the 11 days since posting would show far higher velocity or twitter intensity.

twitter-1-jkwedding

twitter-1-jkwedding

9.  For a top-trending topic on twitter, there is usually correspondingly high search volume that is detectable.  At first glance, terms related to this viral video like “jkwedding” or “jk wedding dance” all seem to spike.  But if you put it against even “Corazon Aquino” (one of the top trending topics NOW on Twitter) those JK wedding search volumes are dwarfed.  (see chart below).

corazon-aquino-search-volume

10.  Google only reports 366 links to the video and most of them are not even important websites (see Alexa blue bar)

google-in-links-for-jkwedding-video

11.  The video itself has no honors and no stats (yet); YouTube stats are conveniently turned off. Other videos have their stats graphs publicly available.

no-honors-for-jk-wedding-video

12. see the fine print in the YouTube description — For more information or to make a donation towards violence prevention please visit our website: http://www.jkweddingdance.com/ — why would a normal wedding video ask people to make a donation towards violence prevention? (see screen capture below), the WHOIS record shows the domain jkweddingdance.com was created 29-Jul-09 — today is 31-Jul-09

Updated: This was circumstantial evidence. A source confirmed that Jill is studying patterns of violence propagation for her PhD. Their choice of charity was their own choice. And the site was set up to help that cause.

violence-prevention-chris-brown

whois-jkweddingdance-part1

whois-jkweddingdance-part2

Conclusion?  The video itself is real, made by those nice people in the wedding. They may not even realize why or how their wedding video went viral (and the tens of thousands of other wedding videos on YouTube did not). On the Today Show, “The couple told Lauer they were surprised at the video’s popularity” (also see NY Daily News article – http://bit.ly/OA3iG )

Related articles:

ReadWriteWeb – Build Profit Not DMCA Suits

WSJ – YouTube Declares Wedding Video a Financial Success

PSFK – Co-opting Viral Hits to Sell More Music

TechCrunch – YouTube: Viral Wedding Videos Are Great For Advertising

Huffington Post – Viral Wedding on YouTube Drives Buyers to Chris Brown Music

ClickZ –http://blog.clickz.com/090805-160921.html

What Viral Videos Look Like

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Friday, July 31st, 2009 analytics, viral videos 40 Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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