Thursday, April 03, 2008

It's All About The Talent

Thursday, April 3, 2008
It's All About The Talent
By Dave Morgan (Mediapost)


I've written a number of times about the important role that talent
plays in our industry; actually, the most important role that it plays.
People in our industry and the companies that they drive may credit
technology and algorithms for much of their success -- even putting
their technologies and algorithms on a pedestal in glass cases filled
with purified air, as if they were displaying the Hope Diamond -- but it
is the people that make things happen, not the mathematically driven
tools that they created and chose to exploit.

All too often, we in our industry lose sight of that fact. We find
ourselves paying homage to the technology, not the people that make the
technology precious by their ability to apply it to solve real-world
problems and create new value for themselves and their clients and

Why I am focusing on the talent issue? Because it is the biggest
challenge that we face in scaling the online ad industry. We know that
online advertising works. Marketers and their agencies know that it can
deliver results and return on investment. However, they need smart,
hard-working people with online experience to help them design,
implement and account-manage these programs.

What is our talent problem? We are growing our industry faster than we
are growing our talent base to support the industry. We have an industry
that is growing at more than 25% per year. We are not growing our
trained and employable talent pool at that same rate. Almost no one in
our industry, even Google, is able to effectively grow their teams with
experienced people that are also smart and creative at 25% per year.

Certainly, we all hope that we can use technology and streamlined
processes and scale efficiencies to manage that growth without having to
grow our teams at the same rate, but the reality is that our industry is
so dynamic and is changing so fast, and the growth is so constant, that
many of our problems can only be solved by applying smart, experienced
people to solve them.

What is the answer to our growth/talent dilemma? Start-ups are one
solution. Managing and supporting growth is why start-ups will continue
to have such an important role in our industry. No only do they bring
innovations into the market, and introduce, evangelize and drive most of
the new technologies and new business models, but they fill in the gaps
and the "white space" that market incumbents can't cover in a
fast-growing and fast-moving market. They are what help the industry
grow faster than most of its major participants can. They operate off
small bases and frequently double or triple their businesses each year,
permitting our industry to grow at 25% year over year when the majority
of the 10 biggest players in the industry are growing at less than 15%.
Yes. Revenue growth in the online ad industry is led from the bottom,
not just the top, with the very notable exception of Google, which is
setting a blazing growth path from the No. 1 slot.

Industry consolidation and its consequences also deliver a partial
solution to the growth/talent problem. When companies acquire others in
the market, be it competitors or start-ups bearing new technologies,
they frequently "release" many of the folks from those acquired
companies back into the industry talent pool.

You need look no further than Google's move this week to lay off a
significant portion of DoubleClick's domestic workforce, or AOL's recent
moves with some of its Platform A acquisitions. This infusion of
experienced talent is frequently scooped up by other market incumbents
or new start-ups. These folks are generally the most experienced and
versatile in the market, since start-ups generally require staff to
handle more, and more varied, jobs than they might at a much larger

Look no further than the comments from prospective employers of former
DoubleClickers on the Silicon Alley Insider story announcing Google's
layoffs [
3bb82e0f4c60c1a/> ]. Dozens of companies recognize
and desire the value of the talent that Google is letting go. As someone
who is in the early stages of planning a start-up himself, I am watching
the layoff roles closely as well. In an industry where it's all about
talent, I would much rather start with great talent than great
technology. Great talent can build great technology, but great
technology can't build great talent. What do you think?

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WebMD, American College of Cardiology team for online heart risk tools

WebMD, American College of Cardiology team for online heart risk tools

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and WebMD are teaming to
educate clinicians and patients about cardiovascular risk reduction. The
healthcare practitioner initiative will include continuing education
activities, cardiovascular news, and patient information. In addition,
Medscape and ACC will jointly develop a "Cardiovascular Risk Reduction:
Putting Guidelines into Practice to Improve Outcomes" program. On the
consumer side, the ACC and WebMD will develop a cobranded information
center at Also, the ACC's newly launched CardioSmart site for
patients will feature WebMD's news and videos.

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WonderHowTo.Com Soars Past 100,000 How-To Video Mark

WonderHowTo.Com Soars Past 100,000 How-To Video Mark

Business Wire via NewsEdge Corporation :

Entertainment Editors

SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 27, 2008--The milestone
100,000 th how-to video has been added to,

community-powered website that unites how-to videos from more than 700
other sites into a free searchable database. The announcement was made
today by Stephen Chao, co-founder and CEO, WonderHowTo.

The 100,000 th how to video added to WonderHowTo is entitled "How to
Prank a Shower Head With Chicken Bouillon," and it comes just in time to
be the ideal April Fool's Day prank. The video shows step-by-step how to
place a bouillon cube into a shower head in order to make the target of
the prank exit the shower smelling like broth-- either beef, veal or
chicken, depending on the preference of the prankster.

"' How To Prank a Shower Head With Chicken Bouillon ' is a delicious
joke for April Fool's Day, but it's also a great example of the
unrestrained creativity shown by the WonderHowTo community which
enthusiastically submits how-to videos to our site every day to keep it
growing," said Chao.

The video was submitted by "Swallowedbyafish" and is hosted on Metacafe.
The video will be featured today as the "Pick of The Day" on the homepage, and "Swallowedbyafish" will receive assorted
gifts from the company, which may include a lifetime supply of chicken

A variety of DIY video tutorials were submitted just prior to the
100,000 th video including "How to Merge Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
with Photoshop" and "How to Yodel with Basic Control Techniques." With
over 400 searchable categories, the runner-ups demonstrate the broad
scope of how-to videos covered at

Upon its launch in January 2008, WonderHowTo immediately became the
world's biggest free how-to video resource. The how-to supersite
aggregates and curates links to thousands of videos featured on other
popular how-to video site publishers, as well as specialized collections
of how-to video from niche-targeted sites and servers worldwide. With
its community video submissions and unified video search, display and
grading functions, WonderHowTo makes the process of finding, consuming
and sharing free how-to videos online dramatically easier than ever
before. launched in January of 2008 with close to 90,000 entries
and reached the 100,000 links in under two months. This month (March,
2008) the site's audience has grown to more than 300,000 monthly unique
visitors (source: Google Analytics).

About is the how-to video supersite. The privately-held
company was founded in 2006 by Stephen Chao and Mike Goedecke, and is
backed by Cambridge, MA-based General Catalyst Partners. Chao is a media
industry veteran, and Goedecke is the founder of Belief, an
award-winning broadcast design firm. is headquartered in
Santa Monica, CA. For more information, visit

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Women-focused Yahoo! Shine includes pharma ad opps

Women-focused Yahoo! Shine includes pharma ad opps

Yahoo! has launched Yahoo! Shine, a Web site for women, with nine
content categories, including health. In terms of advertising, Yahoo!
says it believes the site will be very attractive to pharma companies
because of the demographic it reaches. According to the company, Yahoo!
Shine creates a single destination for the approximately 40 million
women between the ages of 25 and 54 who already come to Yahoo! each
month. Yahoo! Shine brings together the resources of several existing
Yahoo! sites, including Yahoo! Health, and offers a blog platform. It
has also partnered with the top content providers in each category,
including Prevention, Women's Health, Men's Health, and Best Life in the
health category. Yahoo! Shine says it creates an opportunity for
advertisers to reach women in an environment that is relevant and
meaningful to them, and several advertisers have signed up to
participate at launch.

buzz this introduces the BOOMj Experts Network introduces the BOOMj Experts Network

Business Wire via NewsEdge Corporation :

Business Editors/Internet Writers

LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 26, 2008--BOOMj, Inc. (OTCBB: BOMJ, , a leading Web-based niche social network and e-commerce
site serving more than 78 million Baby Boomers and adults over 35, today
announced the BOOMj Expert Network. This community of leading authors,
bloggers and content aggregators will launch with participation from
more than 40 experts including among others Joel Widzer, author and
founder of; a travel expert, fitness expert John
Spencer Ellis, CEO of NESTA, and Victoria Grace, president of Work It

"Adults over the age of 35 connect online around common interests and
needs," said Wendy Borow-Johnson, president of "We want to
provide our users with all the tools they need to be successful in life,
and we hope that they will form an even tighter community as they engage
in groups and blogs moderated by our new panel of experts."

The BOOMj Expert Network will provide customized expert information in
the areas that are most relevant to BOOMj's user base: relationships,
travel, health, pets and vets, finance, beauty and fashion, home
improvement and outdoor adventures. Profiles of each BOOMj expert will
be featured in the MY BOOMj pages and highlighted on the BOOMj home
page. Experts will be called on to provide spotlighted reviews in the
BOOMj store and offer feature articles on content pages throughout the
site. Additionally, each expert will appear on exclusive segments on
BOOMj's original TV series "BOOMj Today."

Widzer, who will provide travel deals, tips and give expert opinions on
the best bets for baby boomer travelers said, "BOOMj represents a
powerful demographic that is always looking for the best deals in
travel. I'm looking forward to extending the reach of
and providing insight and insider tips for BOOMj members who are looking
for the ultimate travel experience."

"Balancing work, family and relationships is critical to for everyone -
especially Baby Boomers and adults over 35," said Ellis, who will focus
on health, exercise and work-life balance tips. "We at are looking forward to giving advice and offering
stress management, fitness and life coaching programs, products and
services to BOOMj members."

Grace will offer advice for mothers who are part of the sandwich
generation - those caring for their children, but who are still actively
part of the work force and may even be taking care of their parents as

" caters to all age moms and we are glad to be offering
specific content to the woman who is over 35 and dealing with both
career and motherhood issues along with other family concerns," stated

BOOMj will continue to expand the Expert Network throughout the year
providing additional tailored content for Baby Boomers and Generation

BOOMj offers Internet users over the age of 35 focused content and
breaking news in health, finance, politics, technology, entertainment
and lifestyle integrated with social networking tools and e-commerce
shopping. BOOMj membership is free and active members are provided with
reward points redeemable as cash in the store. BOOMj's
leadership team has experience in media, retailing and e-commerce and is
at the forefront of establishing the premier destination for Baby
Boomers and Generation Jones.

About, Inc., Inc.TM(OTCBB: BOMJ) is a leading Web-based niche social
network and e-commerce site serving more than 78 million Baby Boomers
and Generation Jonesers. BOOMj provides an integrated and highly focused
community which incorporates personalized social networking, online
shopping, travel deals, video programming, and breaking headline news
and focused content in: health, finance, politics, lifestyle, and
movies/entertainment for members. For more information regarding the
company, please visit

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Economic slowdown will accelerate online shift

Economic slowdown will accelerate online shift

Story posted: March 24, 2008 - 6:01 am EDT (B2B)

Welcome to BtoB's 2008 Interactive Marketing Guide. Our annual
publication offers sections on e-mail, search, Web sites, online
advertising, online events, b-to-b media sites, social media,
interactive agencies, analytics and multimedia.

In addition to overviews of the various topics, the guide provides tips,
expert interviews and sidebars with useful resources and data. You'll
also find updated vendor lists and data charts.

Just like last year, marketers can pick from a slew of interactive
channels for reaching their customers and prospects. And just like a
year ago, there are analytical tools for measuring how these channels
perform, both individually and in concert.

What's different this year is the weak state of the U.S. economy. How
will this reality affect marketers' choices?

Dark economic clouds will, in fact, accelerate the shift to digital away
from traditional media, notably print, as marketers scale back budgets
and seek granular, measurable media. This was the exact finding in
BtoB's exclusive survey of 684 b-to-b marketers, conducted during the
last week of January and the first week of February.

Of the 29.4% of respondents who said they have revised original 2008
marketing budgets, nearly half (45.3%) said print will see the greatest

Unfortunately, the unintended consequence of this movement out of print
advertising is that it will put marketers' media partners, whose online
portals and audiences they correctly value, in a bad place. That's
because the revenue models of most media companies continue to be skewed
toward their legacy print products.

Regarding online channels, research from eMarketer-our data partner in
this guide-provides the following insights:

Search continues to be the prime format, in terms of dollars spent ($8.6
billion in 2007 and expected to hit $11 billion this year) and as a
percent of total online ad spending (40%).

However, two formats beat search in terms of spending growth: Rich
media/video will increase 48.9% from 2007, and lead generation, or
referrals, will increase 30.9%. Search, by comparison, will grow 27.5%,
according to eMarketer.

Online video is an especially interesting category, in part because the
cost of entry is so much lower than traditional broadcast efforts, a
fact that has and will spur adoption by companies that never had a video
strategy in the past. U.S. online video advertising spending this year
will increase 74.2% from 2007, the watershed year for video growth
(89%), according to eMarketer.

In this guide's section on online advertising (page 26) Andreas
Combuechen, CEO-chief creative officer of Atmosphere BBDO New York
summarizes video's virtue this way: "Video is a particularly compelling
way to tell a brand or product story and can be very useful for b-to-b
communications, as these businesses tend to be more complex and can
require additional explanation."

Overall, marketing spending on the Internet continues its rise.
According to eMarketer, online ad spending is expected to reach $25.8
billion, up 23% over last year.

Ellis Booker is editor of BtoB and BtoB's Media Business. He can be
reached at

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