At 10 Years Old, Facebook Copes With Growing Pains

Business Insider, AFP Feb 3, 2014

…. “More than 20 percent of all time spent on the Internet is spent on Facebook,” says Lou Kerner, founder of the Social Internet Fund.  …. “People joke that for the teen, Facebook isn’t cool when your mom is on it,” Kerner said. “I think it’s not even your mom any more, now it’s also your grandmother.”  …. Kerner notes that being “cool” is not necessarily Facebook’s long-term goal.  “You can’t be the cool place forever,” he told AFP.  “One of two things happen to companies when they’re done being cool. They either go away, or they transition to becoming more of a utility. And Facebook is very successfully doing the latter.”

 

Lou Kerner’s Disruptive Technology Series – Bitcoin 2014

Full invite here

Speakers:

Chris Larsen

Founder & CEO of Ripple

Marco Santori

Chariman, Regulatory Affairs Commission,
The Bitcoin Foundation

Sebastian Serrana

Founder & CEO BirPagos

Barry Silbert

Founder & CEO SecondMarketBitcoin Investment Trust

When:

Tuesday, February 4, 2014, from 2PM-3PM EST
Where (Conference Call)
RSVP to lou@socialinternetfund.com to get dial in information

Please join us for a conference call featuring four thought leaders on the current state and future direction of Bitcoin. Click here to get the slides for the call (to be uploaded the morning of the 4th.)

MobSoc Media Launches 35 Digital Properties

The Digital Journal, January 28, 2014

Coupled with the company’s launch announcement, MobSoc Media unveiled its leading entertainment digital property, Celeb Bistro, a celebrity news site. With more than 4 million fans on Facebook – CelebBistro has already surpassed People Magazine’s Facebook page by more than 1.0 million fans and is the largest celebrity news site on Facebook based on fan following today. Also announced, MobSoc Media successfully closed a $5 million in Series A funding in late 2013 with private investors. Advisors include entrepreneur/investor/author James Altucher and Founder and Managing Partner of the Social Internet Fund, Lou Kerner.

Twitter IPO is Wall Street hit but challenges lie ahead

Sky News Australia, Saturday Nov. 9th Full text here

“Kudos to Twitter for orchestrating a highly successful IPO,” said Lou Kerner of the Social Internet Fund. “However, as Facebook showed, an IPO success, or disaster in Facebook’s case, is really just noise in the long term. Twitter’s success as a stock is going to be based on how the company performs.”  Kerner said Twitter “needs to perform extraordinarily well, in terms of user growth, user engagement, and user monetization to justify its price.”

Lou Kerner’s Social Internet Conference Call Series

November’s Topic: NATIVE ADVERTISING 

Featuring

Jordan Kretchmer

Founder & CEO, LiveFyre –  Presentation here

Ari Lewine

 Co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer, TripleLift  – Presentation here 

Rebecca Lieb

Analyst, Altimeter Group - Presentation here 

Adam Solomon

VP of Digital Advertising Products, Time Inc., Presentation here 

 When – Thursday, November 7th, 2PM-3PM EST

Please join us for a conference call featuring four renowned thought leaders on native advertising.

Online advertising is ever evolving.  The effectiveness of banner ads has been falling for 10+ years, with click rates now at a pathetic 0.1%.  Online ad dollars continue to move to search, video, and increasingly, to native advertising.  The increasing prominence of native advertising can easily be seen by the 12X increase in Google “native advertising” searches since August last year.  Yet an industry definition of native advertising remains a work in progress, as the IAB and its 80+ member task force addresses the issue.  What everyone in the industry does appreciate is the growing interest among publishers and advertisers to better integrate advertising in the user experience as a way to get users to engage with advertising at higher rates, thus driving higher ad revenue.

The most prevalent form of native advertising is social ads, with promoted tweets integrated seamlessly into the tweet stream on Twitter.  Sponsored posts in the newsfeed on Facebook have a 49X higher click through rate than the traditional banner ads on the right rail.  Image-centric apps like Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat and Vine are particularly well positioned to drive significant native advertising revenue.   Native advertising also includes the sponsored stories that have quickly become an accepted part of the editorial landscape on progressive sites like Buzzfeed and The Huffington Post.  And sponsored stories appear poised to become ubiquitous as even the AP has announced that they will be introducing sponsored articles in their story stream.

Native advertising is undoubtedly a seminal trend that all players and investors in the digital ecosystem need to understand and embrace as ad dollars shift to this more impactful ad medium.  As with all shifts, there will be bumps along the road (e.g. as regulators try to prevent abuses), but few doubt that fortunes will be made and lost.

Speaker Bios

Jordan Kretchmer  – Jordanis the Founder and CEO of Livefyre, the first Social CMS Platform used by the largest companies in the world to engage consumers through a combination of real-time conversation, content creation, social curation and social advertising.  Kretchmer founded the San Francisco based startup in December 2009, and has overseen its growth to 100 employees and over $20M in venture financing. Livefyre is the 5th largest site network on the web, delivering over one billion live content streams every month. Before Livefyre, Kretchmer was the VP of Brand at Current TV where he led brand redevelopment, Digital Creative Director at Butler Shine Stern and Partners, and VP/Associate Creative Director at Mullen Advertising.

Ari Lewine – Ari is Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at TripleLift. TripleLift is the native advertising platform for the visual web. As Chief Strategy Officer, Ari leads the Company’s direction on sales, strategy, and product innovation. Most recently, Ari was head of the performance sales team at AppNexus. Ari started his entrepreneurial endeavors at 17 when he purchased University Trucking, a shipping and storage company that grew to 125 employees before being acquired in 2009. Ari holds a B.S.B.A in Finance and Entrepreneurship from the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Rebecaca Lieb – Rebecca is an Analyst, at Altimeter where she covers digital advertising and media, an area that encompasses brands, publishers, agencies, and technology vendors.  Rebecca previously launched and oversaw Econsultancy’s US operations. She was Editor-in-Chief of The ClickZ Network for over seven years.  As a journalist, she’s written on media for numerous publications, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.  Until recently, Rebecca taught at New York University’s Center for Publishing, where she served on the Electronic Publishing Advisory Group.  Her book, The Truth About Search Engine Optimization, published by FT Press, instantly became a best seller on Amazon.com. Her most recent book, Content Marketing, was published in October 2011.

Adam Solomon - Adam is Vice President, Digital Ad Products & Revenue Operations at Time Inc. where he leads a team of product management, and yield/ad ops professionals who develop and operationalize display, video, mobile, tablet, social, native and audience advertising products across all Time Inc. digital properties — including People, Entertainment Weekly, InStyle, Time and Sports Illustrated.  Prior to Time, Adam served as VP of Digital Ad Products for Viacom Media Networks, delivering award-winning ad product innovation across 20 flagship media brands, including MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, Spike, and Nickelodeon.   Combining 16 years of digital product management and marketing expertise with a background as an aerospace engineer and patent attorney, Adam helps drive development of innovative and engaging advertising experiences that are effective for advertisers and compelling for consumers.

The content of this broadcast/presentation does not involve the rendering of personalized investment advice and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of any offer to buy or sell the securities mentioned herein.  It is for informational or discussion purposes only. Nor does it reflect the adoption or endorsement of the views of the individual presenters. This background information contains only news, facts, and commentary on information previously reported from a news source believed to be accurate and reliable by the author.

Twitter IPO will be hot but with risks

AFP Sep 13, 2013, 10.56PM IST

Click here for the full article

… “It’s not quite Facebook but it’s certainly the biggest thing since Facebook,” said Lou Kerner, founder of theSocial Internet Fund, referring to the May 2012 IPO of the world’s biggest social network. “Social media is very hot, with Facebook hitting an all-time high, and investors are looking for other ways to play that,” Kerner told AFP. Kerner said Twitter will be in high demand because “it is well on its way to becoming one of a small number of ubiquitous platforms used by a majority of people on the planet.”  Underwriters may be cautious about pricing in the wake of Facebook’s debacle last year, which saw a drop of some 50 percent, Kerner said, but with Twitter’s growth, “$15 billion does not seem unreasonable.”  Kerner said Twitter has shown it is a powerful platform for a variety of forms of expression, and “tremendous” for marketing. It is also “well-positioned to be the dominant second-stream platform,” for people watching television and using Twitter for feedback or to determine trends, he said. While there are no guarantees Twitter will remain dominant, Kerner said the more it grows, the harder it will be to unseat.