Fastly, a startup created this year, is turning the economics of delivering content on it’s head with a content delivery network comprised of solid state drives. By placing two servers packed with SSDs in customers’ data centers, Fastly can speed up the load times.
I spoke with the CEO of Widgetbox yesterday, prior to the company’s announcement of an advertising platform partnership with Wikia. Widgetbox lets brands and publishers create engaging, rich-media ad units that can include social content streams (e.g., Twitter feeds, YouTube videos) and themselves be shared and embedded. Widgetbox claims that these units work for products other than movies and games. For instance, other clients like IDG and Federated Media advertise white papers and tech products – and adding social content amplifies those messages equally well. Publishers supposedly can charge advertisers a 30% to 50% premium over their usual online ad rates. Ad operations and sales staff at the publishers do a lot of the “creative” work, using templates and simple tools a la Apple’s iAd Producer. Widgetbox isn’t doing anything magical, but these kinds of initiatives help address format and measurement issues necessary to open up social media ad spending.
Wikia is quitting Dell servers thanks to both a functional and philosophical disagreement stemming from Dell’s demands that all hard drives in its newest PowerEdge servers are certified by Dell, highlighting the disconnect between web-scale companies and equipment providers still designing boxes for enterprise data centers.
As more people pick up smartphones, carriers, application developers and phone manufactures need to keep one thing in mind. Speed matters when it comes to adoption. But speed is a double-edged sword because as faster networks are deployed, the data tsunami swamping carriers grows.
If ever a conflicting topic needed a clearinghouse for all of the different rants, raves and theories, it would be the issue of “going green.” The co-founder of Wikipedia and Wikia, Jimmy Wales, hopes to crowdsource the discussion of “greenness” and has launched a green section of Wikia. Wales tells us he is looking to create a go-to repository of crowd-vetted environmental information that will serve as a starting point for anyone looking to learn more about sustainable lifestyles.
Wales says he didn’t create green Wikia so much to fulfill his passion for green living, but more to help deliver the truth of eco-info, which he says is sorely lacking: “I’m really passionate about having objective information in this area. It is really hard to get clear information on green issues.”
Wales believes simplicity is key to building an intuitive social network website. Which is why sites like Wikipedia and Facebook work so well in the social community. With a recent Wikia-Facebook like screenshot making its way through the web, will Wikia become like Facebook? No. Wales explains that they are working on an open source free license search engine that could launch in December.