I'm ready to pay for some web services. Facebook & business news first

By , January 31, 2009 2:08 pm

The recession is forcing some web services to start charging their customers. And surprise? Some power users are ready to pay. Today I received another email from MyOtherDrive on premium accounts.

I guess it’s time now to put it on the table how much I am willing to spend for web services and why.

My first list includes Facebook and a news aggregator.

My Facebook

My Facebook = less formal LinkedIn + FriendFeed with friends + Photobucket + Life events Reader + Address Book + Calendar + mini-CRM + mini-YouTube

I don’t know whether Facebook likes it or not (if you don’t like it just contact me, Facebook) but above is how I utilize my Facebook account.

1. My profile on Facebook can be used to include professional and academic information. It’s not entirely an online CV but rather an informal page with relevant info. What makes it more like my LinkedIn is that I have received a dozen of business opportunities via Facebook, thrice as much as from LinkedIn. Sidenote: I’ll give Caravat some time 🙂

2. Facebook is now my feed aggregator of non-personal updates. My blog entries here, my reading archive on Tumblr, bookmarked links on StumbleUpon, submitted news on Mixx flow to my Facebook newsfeed. What Facebook offers me that FriendFeed hasn’t is audience: I have much more connections on Facebook than on FriendFeed and some of them are my readers.

3. Another disclosure is that Facebook Photos was the first feature that kept me with the service. I don’t compare with Flickr because Flickr is more of a publishing service than a sharing service.

4. What Life events Reader? I receive updates on events and activities around my location on Facebook.

5. Even when Facebook profile doesn’t explicitly capitalize them, contacts can be stored in Facebook. At least, I have a connection with ones I know and when I can’t ping them via cellphones or instant messengers, I drop them a message on Facebook.

6. Calendar! Facebook doesn’t provide a full-pledged calendar but since I have been utilizing its birthday-reminder function, I want to use it as a calendar as well. This is achieved with built-in Events feature or some applications.

7. Mini-CRM. While I haven’t provided any services or sold any product on Facebook, I know a bit of how I will be able to do that.

8. Mini-YouTube. Facebook Videos handles my videos well enough for me, except for a few that I want to be publicly available.

Up to $5/month

Considering the impact, I would be ready to pay up to $5 per month for Facebook provided that I have some privileges:

What I want for premium Facebook account

  1. Lift the photo size from 604px width to at least 800px width like that of Orkut
  2. Lift the limit of 60 photos per album to unlimited
  3. Increase the maximum number of networks from 6 to unlimited
  4. Maximum number of friends to send messages to is increased from 20 to at least 100. I don’t sp.am, never.
  5. My news are broadcast more often to my connections
  6. Optionally increase the maximum number of groups from 200 to a bigger number
  7. A feature to download contents from Facebook, including all my photos in original size, all videos, all contacts of my connections that they make available, all notes, all posted items

A business news and analysis aggregator

As discussed on LinkHay, I am ready to pay up to $200/year for a business news aggregator, provided that high quality analysis is included and news are valuable. 200 bucks is the price of Harvard Business Review subscription so I would expect something that level of quality.

Storage

What I haven’t included here is storage. I will update more on this need when I am sure what I want.

How about you? What kind of services would you pay for and how much?

nhangui.com – the next Twitter clone in Vietnam

By , January 29, 2009 11:45 pm

NhanGui.com is not the first and not the last Twitter clone to be launched this year in Vietnam but I have had good experience with it so here comes a quick review of the site.

  1. Good domain name. It can be translated as “send messages”. The concept of “micro-blogging” might be difficult to understand to many Vietnamese users while “sending/broadcasting messages” is easier for them to grasp on.
  2. Platform for (online) businesses provided: initially I have seen C2C advertisements
  3. An immediate income channel: user can choose to  buy credits via SMS
  4. A URL shortener
  5. Groups
  6. Integration:
    1. with Instant Messengers
    2. sends updated to Twitter
    3. pre-made widgets
  7. Tweet-by-location with real-time map
  8. A plan for API development
  9. Nice PR pitch which was not overdone
  10. Layout: simple & straight-forward enough. It’s supposed to be quick after all

Despite a few issues, the product has potentials.

Blog Feed updated to FeedBurner with exclusive contents for subscribers

By , January 28, 2009 12:39 am

Dear readers,

As part of optimization to give you better experience with this blog, I have replaced the default feed from taitran.com/blog/feed to http://feeds.feedburner.com/TaiTran

What does it mean?

It means when you click on the RSS button on your browser, you will be redirect to the FeedBurner RSS feed without going to the default WordPress feed.

What’s the advantage of the FeedBurner feed?

While the default feed only contains blog entries, the FeedBurner feed aggregates well-selected Business and Technology news from multiple trusted sources.

Occasionally, interesting presentations and slide shows are also introduced via the FeedBurner feed.

These resources are only offered to FeedBurner feed subscribers, and is not otherwise available.

So what?

If you had previously subscribed to the default WordPress feed, kindly spend a few seconds to update the feed address to http://feeds.feedburner.com/TaiTran

If you have not subscribed to the FREE updates, please feel free to do so with your own RSS Reader or via email update.

If you have subscribed via email, that is the FeedBurner feed already and you don’t have to update anything.

http://feeds.feedburner.com/TaiTran is always available for you.

Regards,
TaiTran

Extending Chris Brogan's point of Streams and Stopping Points

By , January 26, 2009 4:00 pm

“Twitter is a stream. Facebook is both a stream and a stopping point (but mostly a stream). Your blog is a stopping point pretending to be a stream.”

Chris Brogan, Of Streams and Stopping Points

Flickr is a stopping point. Tumblr is a stream (Tumblr has become a visual publishing / bookmarking site of some sort (1) ).

Forums are stopping points. “Latest posts” on forum headers are streams.

A news article is a stopping point. Twitter-powered news are streams. Mixx front page is a stream of stopping points.

A Facebook album is a stopping point. Facebook Live Feed is a stream.

A Google search result is a collection of introductions to stopping points. Amazon’s recommendation is a stream.

Future?

Times of the web

Streams of publications

Streams of news information

Streams of connections’ activities

Streams of sales

***

(1) by Duy Doan

Yahoo! Feed rolling out and why it has the potential to be a hit

By , January 19, 2009 11:33 am

In 29/12/2008, I tweeted about a move by Yahoo! to integrate certain web services to at least the new Yahoo! Profile and Yahoo! Mail

Tweet Twitter Yahoo! Profile Feed

And here it is, Yahoo! introduces a feed-life feature on 16/1/2009.

Why it would be a good move

1. This is so FriendDeed with a user base

Click here to see the central update page. Looks so much like FriendFeed

However, Yahoo! has one thing Friendfeed has yet to have: user base. People have their social graph on Yahoo! and this so-called Yahoo! Feed brings them real values.

2. Tighter product integration

Lacking a standard RSS is uneasy enough to see, but it’s more of a surprise that Flickr has not been supported on this profile.

It is possible that Yahoo! is planning deeper integration between their internal product, one that allow internal data transmission rather than retrieving public feed.

Local competitors have something to watch

In Vietnam where Yahoo! services (particularly Yahoo! Messenger & Yahoo! 360) dominate, local competitors have long drool over the user base Yahoo! has been holding.

When Yahoo! 360 has encountered so many technical issues and Yahoo! 360plus doesn’t live up the expectation, the hope to catch dropped-out users arose steadily.

But the battle is not that easy. With this feed integrated into Yahoo! Profile and Yahoo! Mail, users have reasons to come back to a Yahoo! page:

  • To view updates from friends
  • To extend their blogging alternative to other services such as Blogger, Tumblr, Vox, Xanga… without losing their existing social graph on Yahoo! 360

And this is why it’s harder now for local players. Act before it’s too late.

Facebook fan page for public figures

By , January 16, 2009 2:01 pm

Le Hong Phong Pham Vi Dan teacher physics Facebook fan page

A Le Hong Phong high school for the Gifted student/alumnus/alumna created a Facebook fan page for Mr. Pham Vi Dan, physics teacher.

There are some points I want to make relating to this event:

  1. This is another example of my hypothesis on the relation between technology receiving readiness and quality of students
  2. Fan page is more suitable for public figures than for some other subjects. There is the real need to interact with the subject of desire and among supporters while the idea of interacting with a bottle of shampoo is somehow… not so cool.
  3. Will Facebook page set the trend for fan pages? Depends on how they make it

***

Addendum: the creator commented on this entry. This is the link to her blog

sannhac.com as platform

By , January 16, 2009 11:20 am
  1. Platform for (1.0 – 1.5) product marketing
  2. Platform for keeping the heat of singers
  3. Platform for boosting, measuring and managing consumer (music purchasers) loyalty
  4. Platform for viral marketing
  5. Platform for fan pages

Just my quick thoughts.

More on Social Media Management positions, Britney this time

By , January 13, 2009 3:06 pm

My homework wasn’t a joke.

And apart from Obama’s, Britney Spears’ crew is serious about managing her online identity.

Britney Spears Online Identity Manager Ad

Source: TechCrunch

The Browser Wars

By , January 9, 2009 1:02 pm

Netscape, Opera, Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox, AOL

Source: PixelLabs

baomoi can monetize by answering the question "What does the press say about me/us"

By , January 1, 2009 10:24 pm

baomoi.com announced that they can help an entity (a company, a brand, an organization, an individual…) answer the question “What do they (the press) think about us?!”

This makes good business!

So as to elaborate why this makes good business, here’s a scenario of how demand will raise for this service:

The scenario

Company C launches product P. P’s brand manager M wants to observe reactions to P with different metrics. Response from the press is one important channel and M can choose to use baomoi’s service. The cost will be planned to conventional marketing budget.

It’s conventional!

What I mean by conventional is: while some businesses start to grow weary of social media, newspaper is considered non-2.0. The budget can be planned to conventional thus would raise no concern of debate around the board of C.

It’s measurable

Business objectives need to be measurable. This services can actually return concrete numbers for their users customers.

Recommendations

  1. Tech first. The business model can return only when satisfactory results are returned to customers. This requires technology focus.
  2. Consultation. They want a consulting team consisting of people who don’t only know their own business but also have good domain knowledge of different industries so they can provide consulting service to customers in additional to the core business. From my observation, baomoi has had a foreign-trained COO.
  3. A decent CFO who can turn opportunities to profits.

What do you think of this service?

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