Advertising: online vs offline

Online advertising picked up 7 percentage points of market share in a single year over offline.

US advertising revenue at 4 big online media companies – Google, Yahoo, AOL, and MSN – grew by $1.3 billion in Q2, or 42%.

US advertising revenue at 15 big television, newspaper, magazine, radio, and outdoor companies (Time Warner, Viacom, CBS, etc.) shrank by $280 million in Q2, or 3%. […]

Online advertising grew from $3 billion to $4.2 billion (23% share to 30% share) while the offline portion shrank from $9.9 billion to $9.6 billion (77% share to 70% share).

This might be a distorted view. The fact that the 15 biggest television and newspaper companies lost ground does not mean the WHOLE offline pie got smaller. In fact, it seems local medias (who have more clearly delimited communities = more facility to monetize) are growing again. But there is something going on here, despite the fact that users seem to completely ignore online ads according to a recent study.

Link (via Pierre)

The frustration of being a visionary

I wonder if from time to time Doc Searls and Dave Winer get a bit frustrated over the fact they find out the correct things to do 4 years in advance of the rest of the world.

May 17, 2003: Dave Winer says “the print journalists should walk down the hall to their publishers’ office and request that they make their archive publicly available so it can be indexed by the search engines”.

May 20, 2003: Doc Searls says “let’s give […] their props [to newspapers] fully aware that walling off our old stories washes them out of search engine results”.

August 20, 2007: The Globe and mail writes “the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are looking at removing the “pay wall” around their online content, and others – including CNN, Google and AOL – have already done so”.

Planet Internet

There isn’t one Web anymore. Many different webs are emerging around cultural boundaries. Welcome to a multipolar online world!

Back in 1994, Internet was a village. You could know all the streets names, all the habitants addresses and habits. English was the one and only language, and the whole ecosystem’s map could still be fitted on a homepage. Internet experts were people able to understand the intricacies of HTML and to remember unsexy URLs ( gathered through random surfing.

Then the village became a country, organized around a few poles like Ebay or Amazon. The maps became obsolete with the birth of effective search engines like Webcrawler, Altavista or Hotbot. Internet was still very homogeneous, full of common rules and codes (the netiquette), hampered by various technical limitations (browser compatibility, 28k modems, 640*480 screens). English was still the ultra dominant language. Kings had mastered the secrets of clever searches, able to find the right way to navigate the 50 first results to find the best resources.

PlanetThen the city became a continent. Millions and millions of people, Google emerging out of the newly messy network, organizing pages in a way that was gaming the gamers who couldn’t simply repeat a word a million times to sit on top of the rankings. French started to emerge, Japanese and Spanish too. Cultural differences blossomed, and local players were gaining traction and respectable audiences. Technology was getting its acts together, finally providing ways to reach multiple languages, devices, and cultures. Leaders were those able to cope with an increasing amount of information, who managed to filter the relevant from the irrelevant and were able to repackage multiple sources in an easy to understand and adapted way.

Internet is now a planet with different continents, each having a different culture, a different structure, a different set of players. See this list of dominant communities per country gathered on a recent BBC article:

MySpace (United States, Australia, Mexico, and Italy), Bebo (Ireland and New Zealand) , Cyworld (South Korea), Friendster (Indonesia, Philippines, and Singapore) , Fotolog (Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay), Hi5 (Colombia, Ecuador, and Thailand), Mixi (Japan), Orkut (Brazil, India, and Paraguay) , Skyblog (France, Belgium, Senegal), Studiverzeichnis (Germany, Austria) and Vkontakte (Russia).

Social networking sites are exposing a formerly hidden reality: the fact that the web now matured into a network of distinct ecosystems.

Does that mean the end of global sites? Probably not. But just like in politics, where the emergence of China and India will end the West’s unilateral dominance, multi polarity is brewing on the Internet. We expected it to happen because of technology, money and innovation (Yahoo and Microsoft to counter-balance Google). Instead it’s the world’s oldest frontiers – language and culture – showing up to balance things out.

PS: I thought about that when I read Bruno’s post about William Gibson, a famous science fiction novelist who has “given up on trying to imagine the future” because we have “hit a speed and complexity that make the future inscrutable”. Things grow and become more complex with time. Internet is a good example.

Lunch over IP: William “cyberspace” Gibson gives up on the future
BBC: Pull down the walled gardens

Low frequency of posting = more chances of subscription

I just subscribed to a few more feeds after reading a nice post on White African. I noticed one thing, before adding a new RSS feed to my reader, I check the frequency to which the author is posting. The less frequently the authors writes, the more likely I am to subscribe.

I already get hundreds of updates a day, I still want to open up a bit but my margin for adding more information is thin. Is writing a lot counterproductive in terms of building an audience? I think so.

Pentabarf, open source conference planning

Pentabarf is an out of the box solution for conference organizers. Put the files on your site, tweak a few parameters and you can start focusing on all the other problems like plane tickets, diva speakers management and fake registrants. This (free) application looks amazing. It does not cover all the organizers’ needs but still seems to go a long way. It is maintained by the community behind Berlin’s Chaos Computer Club, so the developers know how to run a conference.

Personal details

LIFT jobs

LIFT lab is now moving into the head hunting space! Jean-Daniel Sciboz – who has been working in the recruitment industry for the past three years – will head a division called LIFT Individuals, helping companies recruit the most talented people on the market.

The first offers are in, and there are some exciting opportunities. What about becoming Mozilla’s number 2 employee in Europe, heading the marketing and business development efforts on the continent (link) or joining the chat & instant messaging engineering team of a bank (link)? Are you a Java/Lotus Notes Analyst/Developer, then we have some openings for you (link)!

Here are our current openings as listed on the LIFT individuals vacancies page:

Excellent position for a Structured Lending Senior Tran
Director of European Marketing – Mozilla Corp.
Portfolio Counsellor Middle East
Credit Control Officer – leading international bank
Java/Lotus Notes Analyst/Developer
Senior Analyst/Manager Hedge Funds
Project Head – Security Engineer
Leading European Bank (app. 30 open jobs)
Back-Office – Administration Bourse-Titres
Chat Engineers

Send us your resume, refer your friends (we will pay you a commission), and don’t forget that you can subscribe to automatic job updates via RSS.

Are computers getting old?

It’s a stupid question but I always wondered if that was the case. Because even if you fully reinstall an old laptop with the original system after a crash, it feels much slower than when you took it out of the box.

Is it some kind of mental Moore’s law, where our brains become more demanding with each day passing? Or are computers really getting slower and less effective with time?

Something made of electricity and non-moving parts (mostly) getting old sounds a bit weird. That’s why the question came up.