Passed links vs. search..which gets more traffic? The answer might surprise you!

Fred Wilson had an interesting post this week about traffic, social nets and Google. The basic question was this: Has the time come where suggesting a link to your friends in a social network or a blog (Facebook, MySpace, Linked in, etc) actually registers more traffic to that particular page rather than a google search would? Are visits from Facebook greater than visits from Google overall? Is the ‘social ‘ discovery of links and pages on the web more powerful than simple searches? It seems that depending where you are and what you are pointing people to, traffic flows differently. If its on a content site (games, etc) those links and suggestions result in about 25% more traffic than those sites and links having nothing to do with content (i.e. B2B sites). So, if you’ve got good content, it wants to be shared by all.eyeball-blue

They ‘tracked the passing-along of links pointing to two campaigns running concurrently for the same product (different micro-sites).  One of them had a good offer but so-so content while the other campaign had great (funny) content with no offer.  The % of unique visitors generated by the pass-along of links to the good offer was under 10%  while the traffic from the pass-along of the links to the good content was over 40%.  The campaign with good content also got significantly more traffic overall.  What data like this suggests is that the prediction you make in your deck about dollars shifting from media to content is a really good one in my opinion.  As marketers compete for the attention and interest of their audience, the best way to do this is through content that’s delivered to them via their social graph.  This already happens if the content’s good.  There just isn’t enough of it.’

Over the course of the last 6 months or so I realize that I’m getting more and more information from my friends, IM, twitter, email, RSS, and Facebook than I am from searches. And the way I search and what I search for has changed. I’ve gotten most of the links for content from my friends through one messaging tool or another. Yes, I got the link for the workprint of ‘X-Men Origins’ just about the same time I read the story about it. And I never searched for it – it came via a socially passed links. And more to the point, when I looked specifically on google for that link, I had a tough time finding it.

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Overall, The most popular mode of sharing  is email (25% of visits from passed links come from links shared through email), followed by blogs (18% of visits from passed links come from links shared through blogs), video sharing sites (14% of visits from passed links come from links shared through video sharing sites like YouTube), and forums/message boards (11% of visits from passed links come from links shared through forums and message boards).  Social networks account for around 9% of the traffic from shared links. These stats are courtesy of Meteor Solution ( http://www.meteorsolutions.com/)

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Can you put yourself in a video game? You sure can right now! (see video below)

(Disclaimer: I am currently doing some work for BigStage Entertainment) logo_new

There is some very cool technology here today and hopefully soon will be available to the masses to play with. Big Stage Entertainment, located in Los Angeles owns the tech and software and has been striking deals with some very large and well known entertainment companies, including brands and content partners such as Intel, MTV, Lionsgate, Sony BMG, Epic Games, Splash News, GGL Global Gaming, Stephen J. Cannell Productions, Icarus Studios, The Venue Network (TVN), and Ogilvy. When I first met them and saw this, I was as fascinated with the technology as I was the people behind it. Not only is the tech pretty cool, but the ones slinging the code are even better. If you are a gamer, this is something you’ve probably had wet dreams about for years – being able to jump into a video game, armour and gear, guns and all, trying to kill the aliens or zombies. Unlike the many social networks or other duplacative software clients vying for the same consumer ( video encoder, IM messenger, browser, etc) Big Stage’s technology is one of a kind.

Check me out, I’ve placed myself in the ‘Warhammer’ Dawn of War video game. You can try this for yourself at http://www.bigstage.com.


The Big Stage @ctor™ that you can create today (www.bigstage.com) is generated using advanced stereo reconstruction technology initially funded by the CIA and other government grants as part of a 9+ year research project at the University of Southern California (USC) under the direction of Professor and Department Chair of Computer Science, Gerard Medioni, Ph.D. In 2007, Big Stage Entertainment secured exclusive rights to exploit this technology for all purposes outside of Security. Big Stage Entertainment has invested thousands of hours of additional engineering time to produce what is today the most advanced mass market 3-D avatar technology anywhere – with no laboratory setting or special equipment required.

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To realize this twofold goal of simplicity and realism, the Big Stage R&D team focused on extracting the quality and accuracy of complex 3-D scanning technology, previously only available to production houses and animation companies, to offer it to any consumer with a digital camera through a free, fun and easy-to-use browser platform. The team also built a system through which new technology advancements are automatically inherited by existing Big Stage @ctors™, meaning that the facial fidelity of your Big Stage @ctor™ will continue to improve over time.

What does this mean in the future? Douglas Fidaleo Ph.D. and Chief Scientist at Big Stage says it perfectly, ” The game changer occurs by making this capability accessible to all and fully portable across digital life. Very soon, everyone will have a digital version of themselves, and when that happens, cyberspace becomes a very very cool place to hang out. “

Cable operators are OUT of room…no kidding!

Holy cow Batman!! We ran out of room?

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So what’s a programming service to do when they don’t have channel space to put even their own cable offering on the air? Punt! How do you do that? Well, there’s a little under-the-radar company in San Jose that provides ‘web-infused’ TV. They produce a magic box and some magic proprietary software to the cable operator for FREE. That’s right, 100% FREE. They install it for them and maintain it for them. What does this give the operators? It gives them many more additional cable channels. What does it give the cable subscriber at home (read: you and me) ? More channels on their channel line-up. And its all seamless. It just looks like another channel. The channel or channels are controlled and surfed with the same remote that you were given when you signed up for cable. But here’s the best part. It also delivers the Internet on a channel all controlled by the same remote. You want to watch videos on YouTube, see what’s on Blip.tv? Its all there and easy to find and maneuver. No box for you to hook up, no additional NOTHING. I think this has a lot of potential for growth. They will be launching in a large system back East shortly. So, if you have a fairly robust website that you want delivered on cable TV to millions of cable TV subscribers, you can do that now. They are other pieces to actually how you get launched but its all do-able. Exciting times. I’m going to brush off some of my old cable channel concepts. They might just fly now.

Création et Internet or the French version of the RIAA

So last week, a copy of the new X-Men movie made the rounds on the newsgroups. Missing many elements of a feature film, it only heightened awareness of the film’s impending debut this summer – not deterred it. In fact, you can easily argue that fans who saw the illegal copy will RUN to the theater and pay to watch the film in its entirety WITH all the special effects included. Fox- it was a very nice ‘deliberate’ slip-up. Deliberate?? Huh? Its actually a brilliant marketing move on their part. How do I know this? All the posts disappeared in the newsgroups 2 days after they appeared. Only the actual newshosts can delete headers and posts. Confirming that someone at Fox MUST have made an arrangement to put up the movie and then pull it down. No other film was ever pulled like that, leading me to believe that Fox most likely paid to have it put up and pulled down. A very inexpensive but brilliant marketing play.

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Now for the French. Arrest the downloaders? Huh? How about arresting the UPLOADERS instead? There are far fewer uploaders than downloaders. After all, get rid of the content going up and there’s nothing to pull down and download. Known informally as the “three strikes” directive, it has won preliminary votes by the Parliament and is expected to be approved in both houses Thursday.

The law empowers music and film industry associations to hire companies to analyze the downloads of individual users to detect piracy, and to report violations to a new agency overseeing copyright protection. The agency would be authorized to trace the illegal downloads back to individuals using the downloading computer’s unique identification number, known as its Internet Protocol, or IP, address, which the Internet service providers have on record.

For a first violation, the agency would send a warning by e-mail.

If a user made another illegal download within three months, a second warning would be sent by certified mail. If a third infraction occurred within a year, the service provider would be required to sever service. an Internet advocacy group based in Paris, said some computer users would turn to encrypted downloads and other methods to avoid detection. On Wednesday, a Swedish company, the Pirate Bay, began a service called Ipredator, which lets users use its virtual private network to make anonymous downloads for 5 euros a month.

So, how in the world will this law make any kind of dent in piracy?? Esplain Lucy!

UPDATE:

At the last minute, several members of the opposition Socialist Party rushed in to vote against the plan, according to Christine Albanel, the culture minister, in what she called a “cynical maneuver by the opposition.” The bill was rejected, 21-15.

Jérémie Zimmermann, director of La Quadrature du Net, an Internet advocacy group in Paris, described the outcome as “a huge political blow” for Mr. Sarkozy and Ms. Albanel. “It’s a victory for the citizens and the civil liberties over the corporate interests,” Mr. Zimmermann added. LONG LIVE FRANCE!