Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Zvents news: Too much to ignore!

I've got a list of interesting topics right here on my desk, on a couple of increasingly tattered Post-it notes.

There's the 'Poker Analogy' post for machine learning-driven processing of log data.
There's the 'Match.com Analogy' post for how search is a collaborative process.
There's the 'Spice Rack' post on building search relevance.
And there's the 'Smart Delivery of Dumb Objects' post about ad targeting.

In addition to these four fascinating posts (trust me ;-) I've got at least two really cool related product ideas moldering on that same little collection of decaying desktop notes.

So what's keeping me from fulfilling my bloggy destiny? As usual, Lots Is Happening (I almost typed Happyning... can your fingers create malaprops?) at Zvents.

Today's particular news is that as our marketing VP Paul O'Brien has noted at length, we're launching dozens of campus guides for MTVu, powered by Zvents local search. It's gotten a ton of press, written by people less busy than I -- check it out!

Substantive posting will resume in September. I think.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

14-year-old real estate moguls and the end of bubbles

Home in Detroit sells for $1.

Writes the Detroit News, "...some abandoned homes in Detroit sell for $100; vacant lots can be purchased for $300."

"My 14-year-old son could buy a block of Detroit property," said Ann Laciura, senior servicing specialist for the Bearing Group.

Whenever someone tells you that it's impossible for an asset class to go to zero, they're either dumb, or hoping that you are. If the carrying costs and net obligations of any asset exceed the cashflow, it's worth zero or less than zero. We saw this a lot during 2001-2002, as companies with insane cost structures met grim fates, occasionally returning as shadows of their former selves, or reinvented as actual profitable businesses.

Businesses probably worth less than zero right now:
GM and Chrysler
Citibank and Washington Mutual

Silicon Valley got crushed in the last asset bubble deflation. This time around will be relatively kind to us, but there will still be pain.

Winter is coming.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Dancing with Elephants

I try to keep the Zvents news to a minimum here, but I'm very excited to note that we're now powering local event search for the new MSN CityGuides. We've been powering major media sites since our first partner, the San Jose Mercury News, launched in July of 2006 -- over two years now, and it's seemingly gone in the blink of an eye. Even versus our now-hundreds of local media partners, big sites like MSN are a whole new level of scale. It's not just their userbase - which numbers in the millions per month - but as one of the biggest technology companies on the planet, their expectations around SLAs, integration, product and project processes, etc., require us to really step up our game. I'm excited that we're proving that we can play in this league. We may still be a little mouse of a company, but we're dancing with elephants ;-)


Some coverage of the announcement -- thanks, guys!

Greg Sterling before
Greg Sterling after (No, Greg, you didn't blow the embargo!)
Adotas Interactive Advertising
Local Biz Bits