Category Archives: mybloglog

Florida Entrepreneurs in the Valley

tesla motorsI spent most of last week out in the Valley for some portfolio discussions and had the chance to catch up with some old friends. It was a nice reunion, giving me a taste of the impact Florida entrepreneurs are making in the Bay Area.

For example, I sat down with the MyBlogLog guys (Todd Sampson et al), founded in Orlando, FL prior to their acquisition by Yahoo and move to SF. That crew has spawned a host of new startups, including Gnip, Lookery, yet to be released Famery & Zentact, and a few others that are still on the drawing board.

I also saw Jason Baptiste (Publictivity), Phil Carter (QuinStreet), and Randy Glein (DFJ Growth, UF alum). Bryan Scott (prior Inflexion intern) is a busy man over at OpenDNS; he and I missed each other this time, but I really like his current gig.

None of these guys forget their roots. If you’re ever out West, look them up…maybe they’ll have their Tesla’s by then.

Related images: dfj growth, famery, gnip, lookery, mybloglog, opendns, publictivity, tesla, tesla motors

Yahoo Buys the Future of the Internet, er MyBlogLog

Eric and the MyBlogLog guys made it official last week — Yahoo has acquired MyBlogLog. I couldn’t be happier for the whole crew over there including Eric, Todd, Scott, John, Steve and even the CloudSpace cheering squad. I’m especially proud of these Florida natives making such a loud and successful blogosphere impact.

Yahoo now has a powerful blog community/analytics platform in their quiver, but there’s a fork in the road. They can continue to grow organically in the blogosphere while the world catches up to face-aware browsing, or they can chart a bolder course that extends well beyond blogs.

I touched on this back in June when I first uncovered MyBlogLog because I was proactively looking for the uber-social network, that travels with you. MySpace, FaceBook, and the 1,000 dwarves are all domain-specific social networks that are powerful, but handicapped. The full potential of social networks exists across domains — allowing you to see/connect others in your network who researched the same vacation you’re researching, who bought the same camera you’re considering, friends to chat with about the video you’re streaming or friends who want to leverage group buying power for the latest FJ Cruiser.

At least three tweaks are needed to make this possible:
1) aggressive expansion of MBL/widgets beyond the blogosphere to research, commerce and entertainment sites;
2) social intelligence beyond just contacts and site visitors, allowing you to see who, specifically from your network, recently visited a site you’re at; and
3) a solid API to enable sites to build upon that awareness to unlock group buying, group research or other social network value that is absent from today’s domain-centric approaches.

This will take money and manpower, in parallel to letting MBL grow organically in the blogosphere. If Yahoo pulls it off aggressively instead of passively, however, it could be the social paradigm for all future surfing, media consumption and online commerce. Sound crazy? Maybe so, but if Yahoo/MyBlogLog doesn’t do it I’m looking for the entrepreneurs who will…

Happy Birthday FVB!

Well loyal readers (even that guy who found FVB just because he googled for “horse porn“), it’s been a great year.

My goal for the past year was to blog at least once a week on a variety of Florida, Venture Capital and Technology topics. CHECK! Since that time I’ve done 80 diverse posts, kicked off the FVB community (thanks MyBlogLog!), created a mind-blowing stir by backing THE Consumer Generated Advertising Marketplace (PayPerPost: try it, you’ll like it!), helped launch DisclosurePolicy.org and met a ton of great people in Florida and beyond. A nice surprise was how many non-Floridians follow FVB for general VC topics or to track Florida startup activity.

If next year brings the same level of learning, discussion, networking and investments; I think I’ll just explode. So, to FVB’s subscribers, community members and casual readers, I present a year-end KangaRua — thanks for reading and keep coming back!

Wow, The MyBlogLog Guys Have Done It Again

I introduced MyBlogLog to everyone here back in early June, with the “I Want My FVB!” table of visitors on the left. I believe a company like MBL could herald a new age of social networks, social media, social surfing and social commerce that is distributed across thousands of domains (a Social Internet) instead of residing in walled gardens like MySpace (a Social Intranet). The network effects of such a platform boggles the mind.

While some could mistake MBL for a tools company with neat widgets, their latest app demonstrates just one more way that a Social Internet is a fundamental shift. I’ve gotten my hands on MBL’s super secret, super cool Comment Faces function (alpha Blogger version) — putting faces right next to every comment on my blog. Now, to be honest, comments are only recently beginning to tick up here so the larger impacts are still to come. But, what does this provide and where can it go?

What it provides is a face and a clickable profile behind every comment, flame and opinion expressed at FVB. You already had MY face and profile, but this unlocks true conversations among those who visit. Where it can go is to group comments (for those who want it) across the Social Internet from a single commenter — providing even more perspective and context for our conversations. It can also provide a much easier way for commenters to track/continue the conversations they’ve engaged in across the Social Internet without wasted revisits to the commented sites. All of this MBL function isn’t there today and may not even be part of the plan, but I think this is where it should go — making the blogosphere easier, more personal and more useful.

A handful of those who have already joined FVB are below (thanks FVBers). If you haven’t already joined MyBlogLog and the FVB community please do so now. If I know who is listening, I’ll do a better job of sharing things you care about. There is also just a fun rush seeing your face on a site or comment — try it and I think you’ll love it!