Running With Foxes


Trend Spotting 2.0

nick_profile.pngAfter over a year and a half at TechCrunch, I’ve decided to try something new. After quite a bit of deliberation, today is my first day as part of the startup ad network, Social Media. Mike has also covered the transition.

Why the change?

Frankly, I need a break from writing the news. TechCrunch has been one of the greatest experiences of my life and probably the most awesome professional experience I’ll have. I love studying web businesses, but the chance to work with Mike was the sole reason I joined TechCrunch in ‘06 and toughed it out through the constant all nighters and even a winter of only Mike and me blogging in a house with no heat. I learned a lot from Mike about what a startup takes. I think Lorne Feldman really hits on what it takes to run a blog, or any business for that matter; Words of wisdom I experienced first hand.

Why Social Media?

However, after over 450 stories across the network and cataloging over 1700 companies, I’ve decided to take what I’ve learned on to a new company. It’s been in the works for a while and I spent a lot of time looking at opportunities in the startup and investment space before, but finally choose Social Media.

I looked at a lot of the social advertising networks out there before choosing SM. I found Seth and his team are the thought leaders in the social advertising space. They have an amazing team of coders and executives that knocked out a product (Appsaholic) a week after the Facebook platform launch.

That advertising application (now in a v 2.0) is monetizing a staggering amount of inventory across application platforms. Some developers I know are making as much as $20,000 monthly on Bebo. Others are paying their rent out of the income. Social Media also has a great list of investors, some of which I know personally, and all whom I hold in high esteem.

To me, Social Media is the convergence of two large themes in the web, a massive rethinking of online advertising and the socialization of the net. I believe that part of the future of advertising will be socially relevant advertising; Ads that are relevant by keyword search, but by social relationships. The market for these advertisements will grow as more web properties switch on social features and find these ads more attractive for their users.

Reaching Out To Developers and Early Stage Startups

At Social Media I’ll be reaching out to seasoned and first time developers along with our advertising partners to make sure everyone involved understands how Social Media’s ad platform works. Please check out my posts on the Social Media blog, where I’ll be covering thoughts on application development, advertising, and social media. I’ll be interviewing developers to find out what works and what doesn’t and answering any questions from the startup community. Developers in the Social Media network can consider me their part time consultant.

Apart from that, I’ll continue to help early stage (pre-launch or pre-series A) companies navigate the minefield of financing and launch coverage. So feel free to email or Skype me (Nick.Gonzalez). Twitter: Oh yeah, and maybe I’ll get in a post or two on TechCrunch.

P.S. Photo credit to Jessica Livingston of Y Combinator, who also has a must read startup book of founder interviews called “Founders At Work”.

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