Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Google and myspace sign search, ad deal worth at least $900 million

Google Inc. reached a deal Monday with News Corp., the owner of MySpace.com to pay at least $900 million (euro700.39 million) in shared advertising revenue and become the exclusive search provider for the popular online hangout.

Google, News Corp. sign search, ad deal worth at least $900 million - Breaking - Technology - theage.com.au

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Monday, August 7, 2006

AOL releases massive private customer data!!

In what I think is a disaster PR move, AOL just released a downloadable dataset that includes about 20 million search queries from 650,000 AOL users in the past 3 months.

The dataset includes all searches from those users as well as whether they clicked on a result, what that result was and where it appeared on the AOL search result page.

What AOL has just done is it has given public access to very private data about its users without asking their permission. Although the AOL username has been changed to an ID number, the abilitiy to analyze all searches done by one user will most often easily point to who the user is, and what he is doing on the Internet.

The dataset includes anything someone might type in the AOL search field: names, addresses, social security numbers, drugs, specific pornographic interests... you name it!

On-line marketers are probably drooling over what they can learn from this very sensitive aggregation of personal user data and how they can exploit that and turn it into "targeted" commercial sollicitations...

According to Techcrunch: "The most serious problem is the fact that many people often search on their own name, or those of their friends and family, to see what information is available about them on the net. Combine these ego searches with porn queries and you have a serious embarrassment. Combine them with “buy ecstasy” and you have evidence of a crime. Combine it with an address, social security number, etc., and you have an identity theft waiting to happen. The possibilities are endless."

Techcrunch » Blog Archive » AOL Proudly Releases Massive Amounts of Private Data

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Disruption boys at it again

Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis are at it again. After P2P/distributed downloads (Kazaa) and telephony (Skype), they're taking a shot at TV.

Their new venture, the "Venice Project", aims at TV show distribution on the Web. Very hush hush, but be sure that it'll tackle and tickle most of current on-line content distribution hurdles, mostly DRM and such.

Kazaa, Skype, and now "The Venice Project"

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Back to basics

People, need I remind you that e-commerce is just a derivative from catalog / distant selling?

Just for a second, forget about ajax, javascript, ergonomics, eyetracking, real-time metrics... Benefits of buying online for consumers remain the same as buying from QVC or The Sharper Image catalog: convenience, convenience and convenience.

And with gas prices rising, and the current heat wave we're experienciing this summer (in the US and in France), buying on-line and returning purchases from home makes more sense than ever.

Check out the results of Harris Interactive's US July study:

InternetRetailer.com - Daily News for Monday, July 24, 2006

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Kickapps : build your own social network

Want your own web 2.0 network service? Try Kickapps. Just create an account, copy and paste a code and here it is :

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

More social commerce

Here it is, folks. The social commerce wave.

, a social website enabling its users to upload, organize, tag and share files of all formats, has just added a marketplace feature. Payment is PayPal-enabled.

Apparently, the guys at eSnips identified the need for e-commerce on their website by learning that a lot of their users were offering stuff for sale in their shared folders.

To offer a product for sale, all you have to do is create a new shared folder, activate its marketplace capabilities, upload a picture of your product and add price, content and tags. Done!

Seems like the service is free. How eSnips will make money from this I don't know. Maybe it is free while in beta stage?

I'm sure there's more to come. I'll keep you guys posted.

eSnips.com - Let your content take you places

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Thursday, July 6, 2006

Forget outsourcing, here comes crowdsourcing

Try applying the "grid computing" concept to outsourcing and you get crowdsourcing.

Some sites have started to appear on the Web, offering outsourced services which will be rendered by a community of experts spread out over the world. Services range from simple tasks like filling up databases to intricate website design.

Check out Amazon's Mechanical Turk, or XHTMlized for a better grasp.

I think it's great stuff!

PS: Oh! Reminds me that I actually used a pioneering crowdsourcing service a few years ago : www.logoworks.com. These guys produce quite sexy corporate logos for a low price, using a network of designers accross the US, competing on your creative brief to get the "bounty".

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Amazon forays into online groceries

When Jeff Bezos said Amazon would be the store where one can buy anything, he really meant it: the e-commerce powerhouse quietly beta-launched its groceries tab.

The section includes 12 categories of nonperishable goods such as cereal, pasta and canned soup. The new category also includes merchandise from a variety of well known consumer brand manufacturers such as Kraft, Kellogg and Betty Crocker.

The online grocery business is regional, can be very dependent on local and regional suppliers for perishable goods and is hard for a national player to establish as a profitable business.

It isn’t clear if Amazon will eventually sell more perishable items such as meat and produce, but we can be sure they are making a very calculated move into the online grocery market in a way that could result in a very profitable business over time. They are selling higher margin items in their specialty lines and setting minimal purchasing requirements with lower margin products.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Pentagon to mass crawl blogs

New Scientist has discovered that Pentagon's National Security Agency, which specialises in eavesdropping and code-breaking, is funding research into the mass harvesting of the information that people post about themselves on social networks. And it could harness advances in internet technology - specifically the forthcoming "semantic web" championed by the web standards organisation W3C - to combine data from social networking websites with details such as banking, retail and property records, allowing the NSA to build extensive, all-embracing personal profiles of individuals.

New Scientist Technology - Pentagon sets its sights on social networking websites

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

wat.tv: TF1 ventures into social networking

TF1, the leading TV channel in France, is trying to have its very own myspace.

It has just opened wat (We Are Talented) to the public. It's a free online social networking service, merging blogging and media sharing (pics, music, video, mobile media).

A noteworthy feature is the imminent launch of a"wat TV" area. More on this later.

wat has signed a deal with Skype allowing members to interact using controls of the software directly embedded into the member profiles.

All "classic" social networking features are available on wat. But the page design and usability outperforms myspace, and it is natively media-oriented (i.e. share music, photos, videos without clunky widgets...).

It is solely designed for France, TF1's main market, where it is a very powerful player in content and advertising.

Nota: TF1 has just announced buying 20% of JFG Network, editor of Overblog, a French blogging platform boasting 2 million monthly audience and 320 000 blogs.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

vente-privee.com now open in Spain

Vente-privée.com, a website offering exclusive sample sales on brand-name apparel and home accessories, just launched in Spain today.

Vente-privée.com is the pioneer and leader on its market in France. In the past 9 months, more than 15 similar websites have launched trying to get a piece of the business that Vente-privée.com created in 2000.

Let's see if the sample sale fever catches on in Europe, as this "private club" sales model is really embedded in French/Parisian culture, but not in the other EU countries.

In New York and LA, sample sales organized in private lofts are a common thing. The closest thing to Vente-privée.com over there is Planet Lulu.

My guess is their next expansion country will be Germany.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

EBG Dinner for NASDAQ'S Charlotte Crosswell

In the midst of World Cup fever (the France-Spain game was on-going), EBG organized a dinner in honor of Charlotte Crosswell, Head of NASDAQ International, at the Meurice Hotel in Paris.

We exchanged thoughts on startups in Europe and in the US, the Euronext/NYSE attempted merger, electronic trading vs. float... But conversations mostly revolved around Israel, India and China as the most dynamic sources of NASDAQ IPO-bound companies in the near future. Israel companies already account for 27% of NASDAQ's listings.

Interesting footnote: Ms. Crosswell believes Chinese companies will be much more powerful on a global level rather than on a local level (although this local market is plenty already...), thanks to the next wave (think 15 years as of today) of Chinese CEOs, who will be fluent in English, vs. current managers who REALLY don't speak it.

French VCs, brokers, CFOs, and entrepreneurs were there. To name a few (those who were on my side of the table, actually): Rodrigo Sepulveda Schulz, CEO of vpod.tv, Jocelyne Gerault, CFO of KXEN, Bruno Rivet, Director of Participations at SPEF Venture (NATEXIS)...

Pierre Reboul and Philippe Rodriguez from EBG were here too of course.

Here's my poor mobile phone picture report of the event:

Monday, June 26, 2006

TagWorld brings social Networking to E-Commerce

TagWorld, a social networking website launched last November, is combining its new service of free online classifieds, which includes images and personalized storefronts, with auction features.

More on this here: E-Commerce News: E-Commerce: Social Networking Goes E-Commerce

Friday, June 23, 2006

ADS-click launches Skype-powered call center !

I just received an e-mail from the guys at Skype to test the beta SKY-click service, the first fully featured Video and Voice over IP call centre, developed by ADS-click.

Let me just say: it is AWESOME.

The solution is managed through a web-based management platform making SKY-click the most easy-to-use call-center I have had the chance to see. There are absolutely no implementation costs and it is usable anywhere in the world.

The supervisor interface is user friendly and uses AJAX-like technology, enabling to manage several windows embedded in the same page (à la goowy) and provides all the features you would expect from enterprise-quality call-center software :
- agents and rights management,
- real-time call and quality reports,
- agent, customer and product feedback

Hats off for another telecom breakthrough.

PS: I've just added the "CALL" button in my sidebar...

More info on http://www.sky-click.com/ and http://www.sky-click.com/blog!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

e/merchant enables Bouygues Telecom's brand licenced networks to offer online subscription

In other recent Bouygues Telecom news, thanks to the e/merchant platform and its full service offering, the French mobile network can now provide consumers with the ability to subscribe to its Universal Music Mobile and TF1 Mobile branded networks.

e/merchant manages the whole process, from mobile phone and monthly plan selection to final delivery and even line activation.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Testing RightCart

Testing www.rightcart.com, a new service enabling shopping on any blog. It's as simple as pasting a code snippet in your blog template.
Here it is :


Monday, June 19, 2006

e/merchant press clipping : FRANCE

L’autre service s’appelle e/Merchant et constitue en quelque sorte une entité dédié au conseil, à l'outsourcing et à la formation. Elle met le pied à l’étrier aux candidats à la vente en ligne à grande échelle sur le Net en profitant de l’expertise du groupe en la matière. Déjà plusieurs sites européens utilisent ces services : Pixmania Pro, la nouvelle entité B2B appelée à beaucoup se développer dans les prochains mois, mais aussi le site suédois Webhallen, ou encore, au sein même du groupe, Primashop.com et Apache, des sites dédiés avec Etreenceinte.com à la maternité et aux premières années des tout petits…

Le Focus Partners 2006 de FotoVista/Pixmania : Impressionnant !

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e/merchant press clipping : UK

DNA for sale

In 2005 Pixmania launched e/merchant. At the moment, it’s a relatively small part of the offering, but senior management is in no doubt as to its importance. “It’s our future,” says Rosenblum. “This is a concentration of all we’ve built and done for Pixmania and its e-commerce offering over the past five years. It’s an e-commerce solution for all kinds of distributors and all kinds of brands.”

“The e/merchant product is a unique offer in Europe,” says Jerome. “It’s an end-to-end e-commerce outsourcing solution. Leading retailers and brands can grow their businesses faster and more profitably by partnering with e/merchant than they can on their own. e/merchant provides seamless services such as technology, logistics, marketing, financial services, and customer care.

"This of course is exactly what Pixmania already does. In effect, Pixmania is a product of e/merchant. The concept, developed as the retail business grew, is an organically created business recipe for e-commerce across Europe. After much trial and some error, e/merchant is now the conceptual underpinning for the business that spawned it: the child has become the father.“Pixmania is run on the e/merchant platform,” says Rosenblum. “We have five to 10 customers, large customers, who will buy it in 2006. It’s our future. There’s no limit to the sales potential. Logistically, the solution is limited to Europe, but the rest of the product can be sold all over the world.”

European Business: December 2005

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e/merchant press clipping : SPAIN


Exclusiva del Focus Partners: Steve y Jean-Emile Rosenblum han presentado e/merchant, solución global que permite a las marcas disponer de una actividad de comercio a escala europea. Una oferta de servicios integrada, con 5 componentes claves: Tecnología, Logística, Servicio de Atención al Cliente, Marketing y Ventas, Servicios Financieros. Desde su origen, Fotovista ha decidido centralizar todas las actividades de Internet. Esta estrategia ha permitido formar a los mejores expertos de toda la cadena de valores de Internet. Fotovista pone ahora a disposición de otras empresas esta experiencia para desarrollar una actividad de venta a distancia. Esta nueva marca del grupo ha tenido el privilegio de ser adoptada por el operador BOUYGUES TELECOM para operar en el conjunto de sus ofertas de venta a distancia.

Las noticias de la fotografia digital en Nuevafotografia. Las ultimas novedades en camaras digitales, scanners e impresoras

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Bouygues Telecom e-commerce V 3.0

Following up our initial launch in January '06 of the Bouygues Telecom e-commerce activity (hosting, website design and management, on-site merchandising, order management and fraud prevention, fulfillment and delivery, e-mail and phone support, phone line activation...), the new website release is on-line and running.

Check it out: www.bouyguestelecom.com

I like the Flash phone selector. What about you?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Podcasting made easy.

I've been fiddling with Odeo lately.

It's a great soup-to-nuts (and FREE) podcasting service :
- Create recordings from your browser—or your phone
- Send your voice to friends, family, or colleagues
- Make shows that people can get with iTunes
- Hear friends, favorites, or something new

I guess my podcast is coming soon then... Stay tuned!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Great sign-up form

Check out what ajax can do to enhance the sign-up experience by clicking here.

Just go ahead, fill in the fields and watch the magic happen. I can't wait to implement this to our own e-commerce websites sign-up pages...

Friday, January 13, 2006

e/merchant fulfillment center

25,000 square meters, 5 miles of automatic conveyors and much much more... See for yourself!

Sunday, January 8, 2006

The e/merchant team grows ...

I'm proud to announce the integration of another excellent player among our already quite decent core team here at e/merchant.
Edouard de Miollis just joined us as Operations Manager and will be in charge of managing the e-commerce business of a major client of ours. More on that soon ... :)
Edouard was formerly in charge of NT innovation for the French president, and webmaster of the French presidency website.

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