Amazon Earnings Up, But Revenue Down

Everyone expected lower profits (aka earnings) from Amazon. But the lower revenues seem a surprise. Still I would not count them out. Far from it.

BGC Financial analyst Colin Gillis said the company "didn't really give a good answer" as to why its revenue fell short of expectations. And while its earnings were stronger than expected, he said the company has been "more revenue driven than earnings driven." That explains why investors focused on the company's sales growth. With a stock valued as high as Amazon's, they are looking for any sign of a slowdown as an excuse to sell.

Google's Had Privacy Issue for 5 Years

With all the hubbub about Google's new privacy policy and how they're tying data together from their various sources to give better search results and ads, I thought I'd take a look at a piece I wrote more than five years ago on the topic of "Google's Looming Threat" -- which was privacy. Even then, in June of 2007, I wrote, Google faced a "burgeoning challenge".

Is there any other company that knows more about individuals - their preferences, their desires, their habits, their friends, their purchases, even the documents on their computers? And is there anything preventing Google from using that information?.... Now imagine aggregating all that information on an individual, then cross-referencing it with any searches the person has done, any books they've looked at online in Google Books, any videos they've looked at in or uploaded to Google's YouTube, or any documents Google Desktop has found on their hard drive. For Google's engineers, it would be a technically trivial exercise.
You can read the whole piece on Google's Looming Privacy Threat at the site of my company, Teeming Media.

ROI of Social Media #smwknd

Thanks to the many supportive people who attended and gave great questions, feedback and praise for my "ROI of Social Media" talk at Columbia University's "Social Media Weekend." You can find the presentation slides here, and a "Storify" of many of the Tweets below.

Social Media Weekend: ROI and @FredWilson

I'll will be introducing VC extraodinaire Fred Wilson, for his keynote address on Friday evening to kick off Social Media Weekend in NY, and presenting on “The ROI of Social Media” on Saturday. It's great to have one of the highest-profile investors around talk at the Columbia J-school about what makes it all work. (Sorry, no seats available for tonight, though there are spots for the rest of the festivities.)

Saturday will be on how can you measure whether what you’re doing to be part of the Twitter, Facebook and every other “conversation” is actually worth what it’s costing you.