Posts Tagged "startup"


Twiistup 6 Highlights


Posted on Aug 3, 2009 | 5 comments

ExpenseBay Wins Showoff

Twiistup 6 has come to an end.  It proved to be a great transitional year.  Out is the “cocktail only” Twiistup and in is the new format of a conference that should take its rightful place on the national technology calendar.  I believe that Twiistup is now a platform from which to grow and highlight what is uniquely LA.  We are a city unique in merging the world’s best content with digital media and technology expertise.  Much of this was highlighted at Twiistup.

LA not only produced the obvious – MySpace – but also created the whole category of sponsored search (Overture), AdSense (Applied Semantics), Local Search (City Search), comparison shopping (PriceGrabber, Shopzilla) and lead generation (LowerMyBills).  In SoCal we are also leaders in affiliate marketing (Commission Junction), Internet video (Hulu) and bringing local businesses online (ReachLocal).  We are also home to DemandMedia (Richard Rosenblatt) and Mahalo (Jason Calacanis).

We have accomplished much yet have much work to do.  There are now a second generation of entrepreneurs and companies that have learned from their last successes and are producing great new companies like TopSpin Media, Sometrics and GumGum.

For highlighting what is uniquely LA, for adhering to a strict quality standard for speakers and for building this great platform for the future Francisco Dao (aka “The Man”) should feel proud of what he has accomplished.  As should Eric Sikola and ExpenseBay who won the “Showoff” judges competition (

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This post is part of my ongoing series Twitter 101 for all those that still “don’t get” Twitter.  I’m now moving from the 101 basics into the business applications.  I think we all know by now that a conversation is happening on Twitter and that this extends to talking about brands.

Twitter is the new CRM (customer relationship management) channel.  The volume of Tweets is enormous and growing at a rapid pace so tools are emerging to help brands manage this information.

In an earlier post I spoke about the asymmetric nature of Twitter vs. Facebook.  It turns out that this difference has a huge impact on the business applicability of Twitter that nobody could have anticipated.  On Facebook (and nearly all social networks that preceded it) the relationship was always reciprocal – if I accept your invitation to follow me then I have to follow you.  The default setting and behavior on Facebook has been “private” and therefore you need permission to follow my status updates.  It is a closed, two-way relationship between users in which brands are not invited into the discussion.

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This is the fourth posting in a series I’m calling Twitter 101 for all those that say “I don’t get it?”  If you want to see the full outline click on the Twitter 101 link.

In the second post I talked about Twitter being like Instant Messaging (IM) and text messaging (SMS) and that is the reason for the 140 character limit.  Many people I speak with mock the 140 character limit as it was even parodied by Maureen Dowd in this much mocked Op-Ed in the NY Times.   I actually think that the service would be slightly more useful if it was a 250 character limit but I do like the brevity imposed by a having a limit so I tolerate 140.

But the main point of this post is to point out to people who “don’t get” Twitter why the 140 character limit isn’t the problem they imagine it to be.  The usual comment I hear is, “what can anybody usefully say in 140 characters.”  The point that this comment is missing is that the most powerful use for Twitter is “link sharing.

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This is the third posting in a series I’m calling Twitter 101 for all those that say “I don’t get it?”  The Twitter 101 outline it’s here.

In the first post I talked about how beginning users can just be “consumers” of information by subscribing to news sites or bloggers, reading their 140 character “headlines” and clicking through on links of stories that interest you.

But you get so much more out of Twitter when you also contribute and become part of the conversation.  If you follow only news sources or famous people like Oprah none of them will likely follow you back so sending your own 140 character Tweet will be a bit like shouting out loud in an empty room.  You need to follow friends and other “real” people in order to become part of a conversation.

First follow friends:  When you first join you’re prompted to add users from Gmail, Yahoo! or AOL.  This is a great way to find out which of your friends is already on Twitter and is far more pleasant than spamming a bunch of your friends who currently don’t use Twitter (which I hate doing).

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This is the second posting in a series I’m calling Twitter 101 for all those that say “I don’t get it?”  The first post is here and if you want to see the outline it’s here.

In the first post I talked about how Twitter is a real-time news source where by subscribing to the NY Times, the Drudge Report, Wall Street Journal or TechCrunch you could see the headlines of their news stories as they were released online.

But Twitter is much more than just a news source.  I will cover all use cases in my series but in this post I want to talk about how Twitter is like IM (instant messaging) and like sending text messages.

Most young people and people with technology backgrounds use IM all the time and many people in the 40+ or non-tech crowd similarly “don’t get” IM.  I have been a big user of IM since the early 90’s when I used to program and design corporate computer systems using COBOL/CICS/DB2 (yes, I know, very unsexy).

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