Facebook and Goldman Sachs: Inflating a New Bubble?

More than a decade has passed since Time Warner (TWX) and America Online (AOL) merged in a $180 billion deal, marking the peak of the Internet bubble and beginning a long drought for technology stocks—a drought that has arguably been broken only by Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG). Now Facebook seems to be taking the lead in the next wave of tech-stock enthusiasm, with Goldman Sachs (GS) reportedly investing $450 million in the social network, giving the company a theoretical market value of $50 billion and positioning it for what seems like an inevitable initial public offering. That may be good for Facebook and Goldman, but will it be good for investors?


Goldman’s gambit, of buying Facebook shares before they go public, values the social network at a hefty $50 billion

By Mathew Ingram
http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/jan2011/tc2011013_185170.htm

More than a decade has passed since Time Warner (TWX) and America Online (AOL) merged in a $180 billion deal, marking the peak of the Internet bubble and beginning a long drought for technology stocks—a drought that has arguably been broken only by Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG). Now Facebook seems to be taking the lead in the next wave of tech-stock enthusiasm, with Goldman Sachs (GS) reportedly investing $450 million in the social network, giving the company a theoretical market value of $50 billion and positioning it for what seems like an inevitable initial public offering. That may be good for Facebook and Goldman, but will it be good for investors? Leer más “Facebook and Goldman Sachs: Inflating a New Bubble?”

The Next 5 Years in Social Media

Over the last five years, social media has evolved from a handful of communities that existed solely in a web browser to a multi-billion dollar industry that’s quickly expanding to mobile devices, driving major changes in content consumption habits and providing users with an identity and social graph that follows them across the web.

With that framework in place, the next five years are going to see even more dramatic change. Fueled by advancements in underlying technology – the wires, wireless networks and hardware that make social media possible – a world where everything is connected awaits us. The result will be both significant shifts in our everyday lives and a changing of the guard in several industries that are only now starting to feel the impact of social media.


Adam Ostrow

Social Media ImageOver the last five years, social media has evolved from a handful of communities that existed solely in a web browser to a multi-billion dollar industry that’s quickly expanding to mobile devices, driving major changes in content consumption habits and providing users with an identity and social graph that follows them across the web.

With that framework in place, the next five years are going to see even more dramatic change. Fueled by advancements in underlying technology – the wires, wireless networks and hardware that make social media possible – a world where everything is connected awaits us. The result will be both significant shifts in our everyday lives and a changing of the guard in several industries that are only now starting to feel the impact of social media. Leer más “The Next 5 Years in Social Media”

The FCC’s Crusade to Keep the Internet Free

Verizon and Google want to exempt wireless networks from rules

By Todd Shields and Brad Stone

Imagine an Internet for which consumers paid a low price for basic service and higher prices for add-ons like 3D video. Or imagine if Comcast (CMCSA), now seeking approval to acquire NBC Universal, allowed its customers to download Universal movies at superfast speeds, while relegating the latest Harry Potter film from rival Time Warner (TWX) to the slow lane.

Open-Internet advocates say such cable-television-like tiered services and virtual toll booths would violate “Net neutrality,” the concept that all information coursing across the Web is equal.


Logo of Comcast
Image via Wikipedia

Verizon and Google want to exempt wireless networks from rules

By Todd Shields and Brad Stone
Imagine an Internet for which consumers paid a low price for basic service and higher prices for add-ons like 3D video. Or imagine if Comcast (CMCSA), now seeking approval to acquire NBC Universal, allowed its customers to download Universal movies at superfast speeds, while relegating the latest Harry Potter film from rival Time Warner (TWX) to the slow lane.

Open-Internet advocates say such cable-television-like tiered services and virtual toll booths would violate “Net neutrality,” the concept that all information coursing across the Web is equal. Leer más “The FCC’s Crusade to Keep the Internet Free”

Building Brand Momentum


480_2570417338_84c4cfcf54

Owned for many years by H&R Block, CompuServe was the first major commercial online service in the United States. It was founded in 1979, dominated the field in the 1980s and was still a major player through the mid-1990s. Prodigy, the second major online service provider, was founded in 1984 as a joint venture between CBS, IBM and Sears. It offered its subscribers access to a broad range of networked services, including news, weather, shopping, bulletin boards, games, polls, expert columns, banking, stocks, travel, and a variety of other features. In 1990, CompuServe had 600,000 subscribers and Prodigy had 465,000 subscribers. But then AOL entered the scene and quickly dwarfed both companies. Begun as Control Video Corporation and focusing on games using specific computer platforms in the early to mid-1980s, the company altered its strategy over time and changed its name to AOL in late 1989. Positioned as an online service for people unfamiliar with computers, at its peak, AOL had more than 30 million subscribers worldwide. How did it do this?

AOL was infamous for saturating the market with its FREE CD-ROMs and diskettes containing computer software for accessing the America Online service in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I recall personally receiving at least 20 of these disks during that time period through multiple distribution vehicles. Each one offered 700 or 1000 free hours of service. They featured such a wide variety of designs (more than 4,000) that people began collecting the disks. This is the momentum that pushed AOL over the top. (Unfortunately, AOL began a steady decline soon after its merger with Time Warner in 2001.) Leer más “Building Brand Momentum”