With Augmented Search, Xmarks Sees New Service, Revenues

Not a day goes by when I don’t shake my fist at the computer in frustration; the recent explosion in web-based information has turned search into an activity akin to climbing a mountain. Which is why when I saw Searchtabs, a browser add-on, for the first time, I exhaled in relief. Suddenly, with the snap of my finger, my Google search results made perfect sense. And even though the add-on is still in beta, it does a remarkable job of organizing results into folders that relate to a specific search item. More importantly, it showcases the most relevant and useful links, thanks to the data collected by Xmarks, the San Francisco-based startup that was founded by Lotus founder, Mitch Kapor. Read More about With Augmented Search, Xmarks Sees New Service, Revenues

Interview with Motorola CEO– CLIQ and MOTOBLUR in His Own Words

The big Mobilize 09 conference was a smash hit last week and the highlight of the event was the Motorola (s mot) announcement of their first Android (s goog) phone– the CLIQ. Motorola also rolled out the MOTOBLUR service that the CLIQ uses to integrate contact interaction in one place.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Motorola CEO Dr. Sanjay Jha, and the Motorola CLIQ and MOTOBLUR were discussed in detail. Get the actual scoop about the new Android phone straight from the CEO of Motorola. I would like to thank Sanjay for not only giving me a few minutes of his time for the interview, but also for letting me play with his own CLIQ the day before the announcement. 🙂

You can see other interviews and videos from the conference on YouTube.

BetaWorks Raises Around $2M for Bit.ly, Spins It Out

bitlylogoIf you’re an active Twitter user, then you’re already familiar with Bit.ly, a web service that not only allows you to shorten URLs to meet the 140-character limit of the Twitter system, but offers up analytics, such as how many people clicked on the link and also talked about it somewhere on the web. Use of the service has been growing like wild mushrooms after a heavy downpour. Last week  alone, 20 million folks clicked on Bit.ly-shortened URLs (though TinyURL is still the biggest URL shortener on the web).
bitlygrowthThat popularity has helped Bit.ly’s creator, New York-based incubator Betaworks, to raise close to $2 million in Series A funding from O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures, Jeff Clavier, Mitch Kapor and Howard Lindzon to spin it out into an independent company. Bit.ly will use the new funding to compete with a growing number of rivals, including StumbleUpon and Digg.
Betaworks has been actively building and or investing in Twitter-specific products; it sold the Twitter-focused search engine, Summize, to Twitter last year. Since then Betaworks has invested in Tweetdeck, a Twitter client built with Adobe AIR.

Free as in beer? More ways to offer somethin’ for nothin’

10041free-beer-here-posters.jpgThe latest cover story in WIRED, called Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business (authored by Editor Chris Anderson of The Long Tail fame) has sparked a long list of blog posts on every aspect of ‘free’. I’d like to list some of my favorite ways of offering something to the market for free. Of course, lots of start-ups are focused on selling advertising directly or through Adsense, but there are other options to consider. The list isn’t complete of course, so please feel free to comment with other ideas!

Offer products for free and extract data from its use to sell

The best example I think is Newsgator. Newsgator offers several RSS readers and services (Newsgator, NetNewsWire, FeedDemon) and used to charge for them – they had actual revenue by charging for their products! Recently however, Newsgator decided to offer all readers for free. That way they gather a lot more data, which they will aggregate and offer as ‘attiontion data’ to publishers, journalists and other people interested in buzz. A risky way of transforming a business, but also one that could inspire a lot of other start-ups to rethink their sources of income.

If you want to learn more about this concept you should head over to the podcast section of Educators Corner by the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, where Mitch Kapor talks about his new start-up Foxmarks. Read More about Free as in beer? More ways to offer somethin’ for nothin’