Google Maps embeds like YouTube

21 08 2007

UPDATE: In an attempt to embed this code onto wordpress, I was unsuccessful. Usually most blogging software is able to accept an <iframe> tag onto their code but somehow it simply gives me an external link back to the page. I’ll keep working on it but for right now, YouTube’s simple URL embedding is much simpler.

Google launched a simple feature today to their successful Local product which enables bloggers to embed maps onto their site. For instance, if you want to mention how far one place is from the other, or what spots you visited this past weekend, you can do so using a google map. Just as YouTube videos got extremely popular by being easily embedded in blogging sites, maps hopes to do the same.

In my opinion, Google Maps has been the most successful non-search product that Google has come out with. I’ve definitely been the first one to say that they like throw products on the wall and see what sticks, but this one definitely stuck. With their implementation of Google streetview and now their embedded feature, their definitely headed in the right direction.

Just my $.02..

-SD

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Goooootube! – The Redefinition of an Entrepreneur

6 11 2006

Let me begin by apologizing for the lack of blogging during the last 2 months. After getting back to school away from the cubicle lifestyle, I found it difficult to keep up with the tech news and keep this site updated. Nonetheless, I plan on trying to update it more frequently because I’ve felt as though I’ve lost some touch with the tech news.

In the last two months, the tech industry has been active as usual. The biggest news, however, involves two of the powerhouse internet companies teaming together. Google recently acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion dollars. Though this may seem like a simple powerhouse buyout, the implications of something like this have significantly changed the landscapes of entrepreneurs and internet companies around the industry.

Why become an entrepreneur?

The goal of starting a company has changed since the 90’s. Entrepreneurs used to have the goal of starting a company, getting funded by a well known VC firm, and then going IPO and riding off into the sunset. These entrepreneurs would ultimately hit it big with one firm, then move onto another project or even start their own fund to promote other small ideas. The PayPal “mafia” as they are called are notorious for starting great companies like Yelp, YouTube and even LinkedIn.

But the question that we have to ask ourselves is the following: Has the goal of starting a company and treading your own path changed in the last five years? Companies these days seem to start up and have zero idea on how to make money through their sites (YouTube included). Their model is meant to gain significant amounts of traffic so that a larger company can ultimately buy them out.

At this point, we have to ask ourselves, do we consider that still entrepreneurial? Starting your own company and developing an idea is exceptional, but the main selling point for all of these companies is simply traffic. Grouper was bought by Sony for $66 million dollars, MySpace was bought by News Corp and a plethora of other companies are looking to make that quick buck. The bottom line is that the mold and motives of an entrepreneur has changed significantly since the 90’s.

Why is traffic so important?

Let’s take Google for example. What is their main motivation to buy a company like YouTube? Is it the potential impending law suits that may come of the large amount of copy written material on the site? Or is it the expensive bandwidth costs that they have to pay on a monthly basis (rumored around $1million). In Google’s eyes, they gain significant traffic to divert back to their home site “Google.com.” From Google.com, with the increased amount of traffic, they can start charging more for their advertisements so that their sponsored links can be sold for higher prices.

This model makes a lot of sense for Google. Higher traffic is the only way they can make more money since they are already so large. Their external services that they have tried to do have not been very successful. Nonetheless – this model will probably be adopted by companies like Yahoo, where an acquisition in facebook can significantly increase their traffic and ad pricing.

So now what?

This partnership will prove to be the building blocks for other companies and how they operate. It should be interesting to see when the phase of web 2.0 companies getting bought will slow down. The way things are going, however, it doesn’t seem like it will slow down anytime soon.

Just my $.02 (feels good to say that again)

–SD





YouTube’s first step to making money

23 08 2006

The big news in the tech world today is that YouTube has teamed up with none other than queen of publicity, Paris Hilton, to launch her own channel on YouTube. Since Paris is promoting her debut album sometime next week, this channel will serve to play her music videos, an inside look at her life, and also will be the launching point for all of her new singles that she debuts.

Apparently, YouTube pays around $1 million per month for bandwidth usage due to the high level of traffic on their site and the high level of data transfer required for streaming videos. Many people thought that if YouTube kept going down this slippery slope of having cost after cost, they would eventually go down under. Though this model is unique, they are capitalizing on two key aspects:

  • They have an audience, the biggest audience on earth essentially and stretches to almost all demographics – the Internet is much more easily accessible than any cable tv
  • The demographics on YouTube are perfect for a young popstar like Paris Hilton. As we all know, whatever Paris does, people follow suit

In my opinion, this is a huge win for YouTube as they’ve finally realized a method of determining how they make money on an advertising model which is outside of google Ad Sense.  Hopefully we’ll begin to see more players follow suit.  Fox has launched a huge prison break advertising campaign (which is my new favorite show btw…if you like 24…you’ll love prison break…just bought the first season…and i digress) and the impact of that will perhaps cause others to follow suit.  If they can make this into a strong revenue generating model, we will begin to see some huge new possibilities for these ex PayPal boys in San Mateo.

Just my $.02

–SD