I just got back from the Tech Crunch 12 function at the Vanguard in Hollywood and boy are my ears tired. I feel sorry for all the presenting company employees who had to endure thundering music for almost 6 hours. Interestingly, the music I heard was all mainstream artists, mostly dance/hip hop/rap, not the myspace independent artists.
Web 2.0 companies i had a chance to visit
Artist Force is a web based management system that allows managers to book venues, musicians to get gigs, and record labels to screw over recognize new talent. Here is an example Jonathan Romley showed: a band can list their performance fee for $10000 and promoters can submit bids to this band auction style. A promoter can offer $5000 for a show and the band can accept or reject this offer, depending on how successful they are. I’m shocked this wasn’t created in 1995. If Artist Force had an affiliate program I would write more about them.
Doc Stoc is a document hosting company that could be compared to an article directory. They want your content, and love hosting your work. The benefit to you is a central location to share work & projects, but the real benefit is to DocStoc who has a super high search engine ranking with about 600,000 pages of indexed content. This gives them some nice traffic. Users can get their articles/documents to the homepage for more exposure. They have a proprietary ranking algorithm that handles this, but Kateriena said she may be able to hook you up with a page 1 listing, which would be worth signing up for to test. For some reason this guy has the most popular blog, which is his hosted blog displayed in an iframe.
This Next is a social shopping site where users sign up to write reviews about products. The site is well done and has excellent product photos. My favorite portion is the voyeuristic map that lets you see real time shopping by geographical location. I have no idea why people would spend time writing about products on this site for no reward, but to each their own. They make money by sending users to e-commerce stores to purchase reviewed items using shopping.com and other affiliate links. They claim to have 4 million users (I think thats what Tyson said, as I said it was extremely loud). Reviews are very popular, and I think it’s only a matter of time before retailers will start adding product reviews to their own sites a la Amazon.com. ThisNext should think of other ways to monetize their 4 mm users. How do they get all these free reviews again?
Rubicon Project is an ad optimization network. Previously I didn’t see a need to give a percentage of your precious ad budget away to yet another middle man, but I will be testing out this advertising network. Basically you replace adsense with these ads and since they have a larger inventory they can serve more targeted ads. I find adsense text ads perform worse than spot on targeted graphical ads. Ryan and Veronica patiently explained their system, and said they had a 14% acceptance rate – rejecting nearly 90% of all applicants! They plan on opening up the system to more website publishers in the near future, and if you contact them directly they may make a spot for you. Bonus points, it appears they use drupal.
Shop It To Me is less of a website and more an email service. You fill out your body size, clothing style and brand preference and they email you when these products go on sale. They claim 100,000 members and make money on affiliate sales. I do not know if they list clothing items that are not attached to an affiliate program. The main flaw seems to be a single point of monetization. Relying on email is dangerous, how do you keep out of the spam folder? I would add products and deals to the site and add lots of RSS feeds to get better search engine rankings. They could easily double their revenue with some hardcore search engine optimization hint hint.
MT is a hosting company that offers affordable clustering technology to keep maintain high traffic websites. They use grid technology to handle scalable traffic in a tier 4 datacenter. How do I know this? I read it from their website. No one was staffing their booth, but they did have nice t-shirts which I grabbed. Many companies to web hosting including yours truly, but if they had an affiliate program I would signup.
Pop Sugar is a social media network with 17 different sugar blog sites similar to Jason Calacanis weblogs inc. The difference is these cater to young hip women while Calacanis’s audience is internet addicted geeks/tech heads. I came to this table at the end of the evening and all the booth babes & dudes were having drinks so I didn’t disturb them.
I had a great time, talked with interesting people and was glad to see what other tech companies are inventing online. I recommend signing up for the next event from Techcrunch
you may even get to see a celebrity or 2.