In recent days some of my companies have done some pretty cool stuff. Given the general malaise I wanted to share a few rays of sunshine:
Buddy Media: Buddy Media has been on a tear, both in terms of performance (read: closing deals) and contributing to the social media ecosystem. First, Mike Lazerow and team came out with a white paper concerning what advertisers needs to know about social apps. Then they announced a strategic relationship with VivaKi that got great coverage in Adweek and other industry venues. Finally, SAI came out with a piece referencing Buddy Media’s rapid growth during Q4 2008, which wasn’t exactly the greatest time to be selling to agencies and the big brands. Bottom line, while times are tough and getting tougher, the the upside in helping advertisers deliver value to customers via the social nets is a greenfield opportunity. Advertisers are looking to spend scarce ad dollars more efficiently, and Buddy Media is one of the companies helping to show them the way.
BlogTalkRadio: BTR recently came out with a new site design and added a host of new features to enhance hte experience for both content creators and listeners. Alan Levy and team also published a detailed road map of new features and functionality to help make sure users get the most out of the BTR platform. Usage stats are skyrocketing, as new hosts are finding BTR an easy, effective means for communicating with their followers, getting a message out or promoting a product or service. In its short life BTR has moved beyond the podcast to faciliate real-time, streaming dialogue from any phone line; it has altered the paradigm for Internet radio and spoken communication online.
Stocktwits: Howard Lindzon presented at this week’s NY Tech Meetup in front of a packed house at IAC. I’d say that his presentation – in essence, letting the application run live while talking about the company’s strategy and plans – was a success. It is hard not to be excited about the company’s progress. We will shortly be coming out with added functionality to make the user experience even better, and a variety of value-added services as well. There will be much more to say soon, but it was exciting to see the response at the Meetup dedicated to “Built on top of Twitter” applications from an often-cynical crowd.
There are other things going in the portfolio – financings that are closing, new product releases, etc. – that I can’t comment on now. But I think it is safe to say that the early-stage business is still alive and kicking, with perhaps some of the best investment opportunities over the past several years. So as I’m watching the public markets plunge on awful economic news, fraud and global violence, I am thankful that our little corner of the world is still doing ok.