Archive for December, 2008

Happy New Year from Webnomena!

December 31, 2008 Leave a comment

What I’m thankful for in 2008Boston-longfellow-bridge

  1. Social networks – for all the new friends, fans and follower that I now have and for being able to become one for others.
  2. Social mediaWordPress, other great blogging platforms and tools – can you imagine life without being able to generate content by/for yourself?
  3. For all the interesting web phenomena
  4. Twitter is working fine for a while now – we only complain when it didn’t work, so it is just fair to say thank you for fixing it.
  5. For all the great API and web services out there giving infinite mashup possibilities
  6. Google, the Alts and smart friends; getting questions answered by Twitter friends
  7. Google Docs  – my preferred way for working sharing guest posts
  8. Many excellent bloggers – there are so many lists out there now including mine from Blogmon
  9. For being a beta tester – thanks to all the new web apps and tool that inspired me this year.
  10. For anti-viruses, spam catchers, spyware cleaners and improving OS security (I hope)
  11. The election is over and America chose new president.

What I’m wishing for in 2009

  1. More of that same things that I’m thankful for this year:)
  2. Continue building online (and in some cases offline) relationships
  3. Easier and better content creation tools using the media of choice
  4. Doing less log-ins
  5. Clicking less for getting what that we are looking for and want to accomplish on the web
  6. Guest posts – in and out
  7. Scaling social interactions – not leaving message, email, tweet, comment, or review unanswered.
  8. Twitter Search in Twitter (or Twhirl) – or alternatively TweetDeck support for multiple accounts including FriendFeed – basically, single Twitter desktop client with all the needed functionality to support this life streaming and web-now.
  9. Better search capabilities for watching TV shows online – geared for real-time and personalized. I yet to see one that does it in Google quality.
  10. Kindle price to go down (closer to $100)
  11. One charger fit all – MP player, cellphone, laptop, you name it – or single portable device that does most of it well.
  12. Saying Happy New Year to all the friends, fan and followers from a single point
  13. And yes, world peace.


The Boston Longfellow bridge picture is from the beautiful Ron Shoshani photo stream. I love this view and crossing that bridge.

Blogmon selection – the best blogs in 2008

December 29, 2008 2 comments


I’ve been running Blogmon since February 2008. You can find more information about this micro service here. In essence it is capable of monitoring blogs and bloggers progress using the Technorati data over time(rank mainly).

Blogmon-updtaesMost time we can easily find the top bloggers out there but there are many great bloggers in the middle of the pack or beginners that are marching quickly up the blogsphere. I hope that Blogmon is helping in exposing the rapid movements and progress of few bloggers out there. I some time view it as my own dynamic Favorites that is occasionally reminding me of blogs that are worth more visits. I’m happy to share it with you.

In 2008 Blogmon monitored over 1,000 blogs, some were discovered by me or shared by friends through Twitter and other Social Networks, and others pragmatically by crawling the web. The service reported 658 updates (as of today) through Twitter @Blogmon account along with information about their progress over the year.

Here are Blogmon’s 10 best bloggers for 2008:

Blog Blogger Baseline Rank Current Rank Gain from Baseline
Startup Meme – Technology Startup and Latest Tech News Bilal Hameed 1,910,875 11,089 99.4%
Parenting ideas from dads – dad-o-matic Founded by the legendary Chris Brogan and authored by friends 1,943,068 29,490 98.5%
Doug Haslam Doug Haslam 1,072,771 18,984 98.2%
Reflections of Time Milton Chai 4,978,471 93,172 98.1%
Cool Mom Guide Julie maloney 1,546,784 44,421 97.1%
Enter the Octopus Matt Staggs 736,965 24,853 96.6%
The Lessnau Lounge – Finding the American dream John Lessnau 605,911 32,945 94.6%
Six Revisions – Web Development and Design Information Jacob Gube 17,159 939 94.5%
ToastedRav ToastedRav Staff 1,245,176 93,172 92.5%
Social media PR from Press Release PR owner Danny Brown Danny Brown 1,286,970 103,392 92.0%

I have one more super excellent blog on Blogmon top list – yes, good guess:)  Since Chris is well known (yet still is working very hard as you can see below) I wanted to allow room for one more new blogger that is storming up the blogsphere. Yes, Danny it is you – keep the good work going.

Social media business strategy and more Chris Brogan 1,512 61 96.0%

The idea behind Blogmon is monitoring progress. Most time you can only see a snapshot of the current state not telling about the direction (up, down or stagnant). Blogmon keeps historical information and can compute both the speed and direction (velocity) with the intention of exposing talented hard working bloggers before everybody else knows about them.

Happy new year and have a great #bl09ing year!

Anyway, for a better 2009 (the Creed One lyrics)

Datanetis – highly scalable solution for finding influencers mathematically

December 28, 2008 1 comment

  I recently noticed on LinkedIn that one of my old friend is now the CEO and founder of a new start-up company named Datanetis. I sent him an email because I was intrigue and it was also a good opportunity to catch up.  Elery Pfeffer and I worked together few years ago in a small start-up called Nester Software (later the name changed to Plataine) he was a student back then and I was thinking about moving to America. He is one of the brightest people I ever met.  Elery graduated from Tel-Aviv university in computer science and in a country with so many bright people and very few universities, it is as hard to become a student in Tel-Aviv university as it is in one of the Ivy League education institutions over here. Yet the thing that makes Elery a great friend is his strong integrity and generosity. Later he become the President of Nester, I made it to the state and we kept the friendship and mutual respect going.

Elery was kind enough to spend an hour with me over the phone and through GoToMeeting session he presented his new creation. Now, I was even more excited. Datanetis is the real thing! It is not another dot com web2.0 bubble company. The company has a real product with multiple patent pending applications describing algorithms for finding influencers, highly complex (real barriers to entry), and scalable. Datanetis is selling it to the enterprise as a hosted solution and providing new data about whom should the bushiness focus his best marketing effort on – leads to influencer on other leads. And they already have large customers around the world.

Elery view of the new marketing is revolutionary.

“The new marketing is not just about customer’s monetary value but also about the customer’s social value to the organization.”

For someone that has been working building software for the marketing automation industry over 8 years now and is familiar with multiple solutions for finding the right prospect out of many, it was an eye opener. I’m evidencing the progression from mass email campaigns through marketing to target individuals with a matching/relevant offers (data mining, behavioral pattern, collaborate filtering, recommendation engines) to finding customers that can market for you – agents.

Finding subtle connections between individual and causality.

Followers buy only in networks where influencers buy first

Quoting Harvard Business Review:

“The only path to profitability growth may lie in a company’s ability to get its loyal customers to become, in effect, its marketing department”

So who are these loyal customers?

Datanetis’s software is capable of both automatically generating social networks from low level CRM data within the customer database and to mathematically identify influencers and followers. This information could be used to increase the return on every marketing dollar spent on new product adoption(x5-x70), new customers acquisition(x12), churn prevention (x10-x30), conversion, product cross sell(x6), higher product virality, and significant cost reduction.

From Datanetis’s experience, social network marketing using influencers is comprised of two cycles. The first is the closed friends cycle, from the results it seems as if they almost decide simultaneously to follow the leader. This first wave peaks around 4-5 weeks from the beginning of the campaign. The second wave peaks around 9-10 weeks traversing through the rest of the social sphere. This may indicate that the customers are going through different decision making processes at different locations on the social network graph (influencers affinity). This knowledge offers Datanetis customers ways to fine tune their campaigns over time.

In my opinion this disruptive technology will force changing some of the operations and thinking in the marketing department going forward.

Viral marketing is not just hit and run but a multiple acts campaign.

Another interesting finding that Elery shared with me is the lack of influencers trivial characteristics. Any attempt, so far, trying to map influencers based on demographic, product adoption or any other factor distinguishing them from the population failed.

This is what Datanetis found about these individuals only after finding them using their software:

  • Social Influencers are not celebrities and resellers
  • Influencers typically
    • represent 7-15% of the total population
    • has influence in 3-5 different subject areas

Datanetis successfully executed hundreds of large scale social marketing campaigns and is globally active in Retail, Telco, Gaming, Internet, and Hospitality industries.

Here is what that Elery suggests to the marketers out there:

“Don’t focus only on turning leads into sales, focus on turning influencers into ambassadors for your company.”

The influencers phenomenon is covered vastly on the web ever since the invention of digital social networks and the social graph. From what that I read so far it seems to me that we are still in the experimental/research phase. I was excited about finding a real application with proven method for finding influencers. Maybe Datanetis will help pushing this new science forward.

Groundswell technology test – entrepreneurs take notes

December 28, 2008 4 comments

I’m currently reading a book called Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (1 edition- April 21, 2008). This book was written by two Forrester analyst, Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff . In this book the authors are  advising companies about the power of social technologies and how to see it as an opportunity instead of a new threat. The book objective is to educate marketer working for different size corporations about social networks, crowd sourcing, social bookmaking, forums and other people empowering technologies. As I’m reading it I’m realizing that this book is also a very useful resource for entrepreneurs contemplating about building applications engaged in social objects. It is also a good resource for VCs that are about to invest in these kind of endeavors.

Groundswell In the second chapter of this book the authors suggest a brilliant test to justify the existence of a new social technology. They name it: The Groundswell technology test

This test consists of five questions and in the book the authors ran Twitter through the test. Twitter passed with flying  colors as you can imagine.

Anyway here are the questions:

  • Does it enable to connect with each other in new ways?
  • Is it effortless to signed-up for?
  • Does it shift power from institution to people?
  • Does the community generate enough content to sustain itself?
  • Is it an open platform that invites partnership?

Could this be the recipe for viral product?!

We know that a product requires more non-feature requirements like being scalable, having good performance, better than average usability, being secure, supporting global adoption, well designed (looks good) and more to be successful, yet the justification for its existence could be found in the answers to the questions above.

So run your new creation through these questions, find the gap(s) and make it better along these five dimensions.

This chapter on Google Book Search

This book on Amazon

And, I’m back!

December 26, 2008 1 comment

I had a nice relaxing vacation and a brutal month returning to work. On my excellent vacation time I managed reading a couple of books (“Tribes” by Seth Godin was one), spending some quality time on the beach, meeting relatives and friends. I had a lot of “haffuch” as Jeff Pulver calls it on Twitter. At work I had to deal with multiple “happy” customers, running projects, and Inbox that truly missed me, all while jet legging. It was still worth the time being away.
This guy was strolling the beach back and forth all day long, carrying a huge samovar full with some drink that I did not have the courage to taste. I liked his persistence, it was hard to ignore his prompt “mash-ke ta-ma-rin-di-ia” and my sister took his picture despite my protest. I found it on the CD that she so kindly burned for me among the rest of the pictures from the trip and I could not resist posting it here. I had a good time.

About the blogging adventure, I have a long due post that I’m working on and hope to release it soon. Stay tune…

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Keren Dagan on the Wall Street Journal

December 26, 2008 Leave a comment

Yesterday my name was mentioned in a lighthearted article published on WSJ. To my surprise it was both  on the online version OMG, We’re Not BFFs Anymore? Getting ‘Unfriended’ Online Stings and the printed paper (yes, I saved a copy).


It started by a message I got through my Facebook account from Jessica Vascellaro, WSJ reporter, in regards to one of my blog post. Jessica was working on an article about the Unfriending phenomenon i.e. eliminating contacts from your social networks, and was looking for interesting stories. She found my One Tweet three Qwitters blog post relevant and interview me over the phone. Anyway it was cool and exciting to see my name on a mainstream American newspaper.  Overall it was fun experience and I even got some insight into the rigorous process that the traditional media is bounded to. Here is another example for an opportunity that blogging presents – I should add it to the list. Some other opportunities are listed in this blog post: What makes you feel that your blog post did something for you?. Maybe you can add more.

I enjoy blogging!


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