links for 2009-04-24

  • Master list of robot competitions around the world. Too damn cool!
  • Two interesting questions arise for me from the death of Geocities. One is whether ad supported, user-generated content models will ever be viable. …We couldn’t make targeted advertising work with text analysis on Tripod, and Buley speculates that Facebook won’t be able to do it with careful demographic targetting on Facebook. My guess is that models that offer free services and upsell premium memberships, like Flickr, are a lot more viable in the long term than hosting companies that focus purely on ad inventory.

    "The other question has to do with the valuation of web companies. It’s easy to laugh at the money companies like Yahoo paid for Geocities – over $3.5 billion in early 1999 – but somewhat harder to know how to value other popular web properties today. What’s Facebook worth? It just turned down funding at a valuation of $4 billion, and various methods for calculating valuation turn in prices from $2 billion to much higher."

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