Archive by Author - Ayelet Noff

Best International Startup at TC50: Trollim

by on September 16, 2009 at 7:09 am

Trollim was chosen by TechCrunch as the Best International Startup at TC50 yesterday — well done!

Trollim is a competition platform for programmers unlike any other you’ve encountered before. Trollim assesses the coding level and performance skill set of programmers via one to one or one to many coding “battles” no matter where they are in the world. Think of Eminem’s rap battles in the movie 8 mile — but this time not for rappers but for programmers. (more…)

Example Of a Great Viral Video Commercial

by on September 7, 2009 at 9:53 am

Guest Post written by Ilan Peer

Advertising for television industry used to be formatted into 15/30/45 second spots but the internet has changed the industry drastically. The audience on the internet now makes up for more views than the number of views one can get through television advertisements (Tivo has a lot to do with this also).

Television advertisements have a longer viewing life when they are placed online. The advertising firms now air the ads on tv first and then upload them to the web with the hope that the video will turn viral. (more…)

Kaltura and Blonde 2.0’s event for Digg’s Matt Van Horn

by on August 4, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Guest Post written by guest author Ahuvah Berger

Last night Kaltura hosted an intimate gathering in honor of Digg’s Matt Van Horn’s arrival in Israel. The lovely mixer took place at the elegant Benyamin Wine Bar in Tel Aviv and we had a special musical performance by David Broza, an Israeli musical icon. We mingled and schmoozed over delicious wine and food. (more…)

BaseKit – Dynamic web dev, no programming required

by on July 24, 2009 at 10:23 am

This is a repost from TechCrunch Europe

BaseKit is an automatic site builder for websites – No XHTML/CSS, PHP, Perl, or other programming languages required. BaseKit lets web designers build websites quickly and easily. It differs from other similar services by allowing users to implement functional, interactive and dynamic elements without coding. It doesn’t simply build a static site like the web site builders of a decade past. With BaseKit, it allows more people to build complex and dynamic sites without resorting to expensive web developers or complex coding.

However, like many start-ups, the revenue model needs tweaking. Founder Simon Best’s pause when I asked what his revenue model was priceless. According to Simon, if a web designer uses BaseKit to do the web site for a small business than the small business owner pays. But, wouldn’t this simply be the web designer’s fee? It wasn’t clear, at least to me, what the revenue model was. There’s potential, of course, but perhaps current open source solutions are sufficient. I also wonder how this substantially differs from Weebly or tons of other similar applications, besides a few more bells and whistles. Even in the good ol’ days of GeoCities (remember them?), there was an automatic site-builder feature, so this isn’t very different. On the other hand, development must continue because certainly who wants amateur sites in 2009 to look like they were built in 1999?

UberVU – Mapping conversations across the web

by on July 22, 2009 at 9:44 am

This is a repost from TechCrunch

While at the recent Seedcamp Speed Dating event, I was introduced to UberVU. UberVU provides a single location to track conversations across multiple locations and sites. This social aggregation tool provides a conversational graph of threaded conversations. UberVU get comments, reactions, and mentions around a story from multiple services. This can be used by corporations to monitor the buzz surrounding a brand, but it also allows users to take part in the entire conversation.

For example, with the plugin, someone reading an article in Google Reader can see what others are saying about a post. I wonder, though, if we’re already inundated with information and if there’s a need for yet another aggregator. A case in point: a recent story in the Guardian (and this happens on many other news sites) has 300 comments (many of which are by trolls and don’t provide much insight) and a recent post on TechCrunch Europe has 44 comments. Multiply that by the number of comments on other sites and it’s pretty overwhelming.

In the video below, Vladimir Oane, one of the co-founders of UberVU, explains how the service works and its potential for expansion. Developers can add the UberVU plug in to their own sites. Vladimir also explains how it can be used for personal branding as well as brand management.

Qype – What’s the latest at the “European Yelp”?

by on July 21, 2009 at 8:36 am

This is a re-post from Techcrunch Europe.

I met Qype last week at the Seedcamp Speed Dating event as part of the Traveling Geeks tour.  Here’s a quick heads-up if you’re new to it: Qype is a way to discover new places (restaurants, events, nightlife, sports, etc.) with a focus on European cities, by going through other users’ reviews and feedback. There are many categories for each vertical, along with a simple to use search engine and Google maps. The site currently enjoys a traffic of 11m visitors per month and has over 350,000 registered users from 9 European countries (UK, Germany, France, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Ireland and Brazil).

In the video below, Andrew Hunter (UK General Manager) explains how the service is differentiated from competitors like the well-known – at least in the US – Yelp. For instance, the site shows each review in 6 different languages, thereby allowing people to read a review about a restaurant in London in German, French, English, Spanish, Polish or Portuguese.

Renee Blodgett & Sarah Lacy discuss the London Tech Scene

by on July 20, 2009 at 5:52 pm

While participating in the Traveling Geeks week in London, and checking out the start-up scene in the UK, I had the opportunity to interview a few of my fellow travelers about their impressions of the London tech scene. In between our busy schedule, I appreciated the chance to speak to Renee Blodgett and Sarah Lacy.

Renee Blodgett is the CEO of Magic Sauce Media, a strategic communications, social media, and branding consultancy, co-founder of Traveling Geeks, founder and producer of We Blog the World, a blog dedicated to global storytelling and the latest developments in social, cultural and technology trends and blogger of Down the Avenue .

Renee discusses the difference between UK and Silicon Valley start ups. Her impression of the London tech scene, after having previously lived in England, was that the UK is not really a start-up culture. They are more reserved and still trying to get their head around social media and remain reliant on traditional media, like radio and television. According to Blodgett, the UK is not really a start-up culture.

Sarah Lacy is the author of Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0. She is also Editor At Large at TechCrunch, a reporter for BusinessWeek, and also co-hosts the Yahoo! Tech Ticker.

Lacy provides some important insights on the current state of the economy. She points out that UK-based start ups are feeling the consequences of the economic downtown far more than start ups in Silicon Valley. A long-time observer of the UK tech scene, Lacy has seen that many start ups have failed, yet there is definitely potential to excel. Several companies have done very well. What is the secret to their success? A strong business model, concern for metrics, and a focus on profitability. Lacy also agrees with Blodgett that the UK isn’t as into social media. While Israelis love social media and are relentless, the British are more reserved and restrained.

Corporate Blogging Through the Ages – Skype then and now

by on July 15, 2009 at 8:33 pm

This is a re-post from Techcrunch Europe.

My fellow Traveling Geeks companion, Robert Scoble (aka the Scobleizer) and Peter Parkes from Skype were interviewed by Renee Blodgett who is the CEO of Magic Sauce Media, Co-founder of The Traveling Geeks and Founder and Producer of We Blog the World. We set up shop on the streets of London directly in front of the hotel we stayed in, the Malmaison, which naturally picked up the sweet sounds of British school children playing in the background. The topic for Renee’s interview today: Corporate blogging through the ages. Park’s role at Skype is essentially to take care of every bit of Skype that touches the social web (blogging, twitter, etc.), so he has personally witnessed the changes of social media in the corporate world. During this chat he delves into the differences of social media’s role during Skype 2006 and Skype now.

In this second video I interview Peter, this time accompanied by Experience Manager for Skype, Neil Dodd. Dodd currently deals with everything user experience related for Skype for Windows. The two discuss specifically how Skype uses social media to receive feedback and also to help blow up their new product launches, such as Skype 4.1 for Windows, which was launched last week. Dodd tells us about the new features in Skype 4.1 for Windows and Peter reveals his Twitter identity!

Video: Interview with multiple award winner Spotify at #Europas

by on July 13, 2009 at 8:49 am

This is a re-post from Techcrunch Europe.

As you may well have heard, the big winner at The Europas Awards on Thursday night was Spotify, which won four awards (Best We app, Best New Startup, Best Founder Team and the Grand Prix). Here’s Shakil Khan (the video title is mis-spelt), Spotify’s Consigliere, sharing with writer and author Paul Carr and myself how he felt about winning four awards, including The Europas Grand Prix award:


Is journalism dead in the 21st Century?

by on July 10, 2009 at 8:45 am

This is a re-post from Techcrunch Europe.

The Traveling Geeks gathered together for a great turnout (despite the torrential downpours) at the Guardian’s Media Talk (live) podcast. Our agenda was to discuss journalism and it’s rapid change in the 21st Century. Listen here.

While more and more newspapers lose their audience and their advertisers, print is quite quickly, becoming obsolete. In the video below you will see Sarah Lacy, JD Lasica and Robert Scoble discuss and confirm this theory.

In the second video, I asked Howard Rheingold to further extend the conversation into a video discussion about the journalism course at Stanford and the method of dragging people into the 21st century:

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