Basic premise for Claire Miller's Monday NYT piece on tech startups = "you need more of a business model that ad revenue off eyeballs". My favorite quote on the subject comes from Jeff Bonforte, CEO of Xobni (a search tool/functional layer for Outlook):
"Ads are an inefficient business model, making indirect revenue as a result of behavior and advertising to people who don't want to see them or for whom they're irrelevant."
You had to got here, didn't you? No really. We are seeing lots of really interesting (free) tools emerging from the mist to help savvy marketers track their meme-contrails in digi-space. A host of them I've used in the past week:
Backtweets.com: Enables you to track WHO has sent a particular URL around, as well as the method folks used (email, IM, twitter, etc.). Great way to see not only what's buzzing but who's buzzing about it.
Tweepz: Lot of folks let you search the content of tweets, Tweepz let's use search Twitter profiles for user's particular predilictions - the only problem being, of course, that the tool will only let you search what they've chosen to make explicit, and yes, Virginia, tastes changes and not everyone reveals everything - still, great as a directional tool and one that lets you rank by #followers, #following, etc.
Bit.ly+: I'm still reeling with this one - grab any bit.ly URL, add a '+' after it and drop it in your browser bar and get all the info behind that link. Given their default position within twitter (and tweetdeck) this is the first of many analytics tools for tracking mini-URL propagation, and giving folks a glimpse into the new frontier of real time idea propagation.
"Think" blog author John Borthwick, CEO of Betaworks, wrote a fascinating piece entitled "Distribution...now", about the emergence of the "Now" web - an interactive experience fed by the flow (or streams) of real time data. It's well worth the read, and here's some bits:
"Dave Winer put it this way: 'think about
Twitter as a rope of information — at the outset you assume you can
hold on to the rope. That you can read all the posts, handle all the
replies and use Twitter as a communications tool, similar to IM — then
at some point, as the number of people you follow and [that] follow you rises
— your hands begin to burn. You realize you can't hold the rope you need
to just let go and observe'
...[data stream] context is provided mostly via social
interactions and gestures. People send out a message...[their] network pick up from
there. The message is re-tweeted, favorite’d, liked or
re-blogged, appropriated with attribution to creator or the
spins, picking up velocity and more context as it swirls."