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Top 30 Earning Websites

March 15th, 2009

Kevin Foreman took the time to compile the information about the websites that make the most turnover online:


Top 30 earning websites


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With an estimate of 300 mio $ / year Facebook makes the list on spot 24.
Also interesting to note that the grey old lady makes the list on spot 30.

It seems this list is US focused, I’m sure some Asian or maybe even European companies would also be on that list.
I’m also missing Monster, which made 1.3 billion in 2008, so the list doesn’t seem to be 100% accurate, but it’s still a good reference on what generates sales online.

Swiss Party Portals - is the party over?

February 10th, 2009

A lot has happened in the past year in the market for Swiss party portals, famous for being a phenomenon only existing in Switzerland.
Just a few days ago, it was announced that tillate founders sold a big chunk of their stake to tamedia and now hold less than 14% in the company.
In september, Axel Springer bought usgang.ch and partyguide.ch

As Marc points out, the party mostly seems over for the party portals, seeing massive decrease in visitors, mainly because they were the first social networks to exist in Switzerland, had massive growth and users; But now Facebook, with its global reach, innovating rapidly and providing a relatively slick userinterface has taken the entire market.

Good for the founders to have sold now, as I don’t expect visitor numbers for any of these portals to increase in the future.

Just look at these numbers for Tillate:

Tough times for tillate

Tough times for tillate

Laut und Spitz is not faring better:

Laut und Spitz Losing Ground

Laut und Spitz Losing Ground

Usgang.ch is doing a little better, maybe because the rely less heavily on social networking but provide good insights into what parties are going down for a specific day/city.

Usgang.ch doing a bit better

Usgang.ch doing a bit better

To me these acquisitions look almost as bad as Holtzbrinck’s buying of Studivz, which is still not profitable and has again replaced their CEO, while Facebook is growing rapidly and already has over 1.4 mio German users.

Kantonspolizei Zürich uses Facebook to find new employees.

January 9th, 2009

Kantonspolizei Zürich on Facebook

The police of the canton of Zurich has apparently not felt the economic downturn yet and is still looking for new recruits.
I was surprised to see that they use Facebook to get attention. But it definitely makes sense for them, the age requirements for new recruits is between 20 and 34, an age group which is extremely well represented on Facebook. 73% of Switzerland’s Facebook users are between 18 and 34.
These 811′760 people represent 49.8% of the 1′630′000 people in that age group.

Sources: Sociabliz Demographer and Bundesamt für Statistik

Export facebook friends phone numbers

December 10th, 2008

Brad Fitzpatrick, the creator of LiveJournal and is the author of a variety of free software projects such as memcached has just pointed out to me that he has written a greasemonkey script that allows to export the phone numbers of your facebook friends.

The script works great, you can export to vcf which you can use on your iphone for example. Thanks Brad for putting this together!

What is also interesting to note is that facebook DOES allow you to see your friends phonenumbers in fulltext as opposed to email addresses, which are still encoded as images. That means they are implicitly allowing the export of phone numbers through scripts like Brad’s.

But we all remember what happened when Scoble tried using a tool written by plaxo’s to export his friends emails.

When will facebook finally allow the exportation of data your friends WANT so share with you?

Facebook Switzerland reaches 1 million users

December 10th, 2008

Yes it’s true. Just recently I posted that Facebook Switzerland had reached 10% of the population, and now we’ve already reached another milestone: 1 million Swiss residents are on Facebook! (Actually already 1′071′000)

That is the equivalent of 14.2% of the population(!). This is a 42% increase in less than two months.

If you look at the graph, you can see that the growth is still accelerating.

At what level is the market saturated?

1 USD is now worth 1.20 CHF again

November 13th, 2008

Dramatic events in world markets with volatility reaching the post bubble years:

VXN, Nasdaq 100 Volatility Index

The Dollar is now worth 1.20 Francs again. The last time the Swiss had to pay so much for a dollar was in August 2007. In March 2008 the dollar was worth a mere 0.996 Francs, the all-time low.

USD in CHF, 1 year
USD in CHF, 1 year

In recent months the dollar also gained strongly versus the Euro, now being worth almost 80 eurocents.

What has caused this extreme volitality in exchange rates?

I can only guess, but the arguments I have heard most often and make most sense to me are:

a) In a time of crisis, US Goverment Bonds are still the most secure investment

b) The dollar decline was unjustified in the first place, where it was anticipated that the US would be hit much harder by the mortgage crisis than the rest of the world. It now appears European Banks were carrying a lot of the risk in these subprime mortgages. Now that these will probably never be paid back, credit becomes as unavailable in Europe as it is in the US.

The implication of currency valuation (or devaluation) are further reaching than the average person might assume at first. In the US the low dollar has hurt many people with an immense surge in Gas Prices. The barrel was at 140$! And now is only worth around 60$. Naturally it is anticipated that the demand for oil is and will further decline, but a big part of this is also the recent strength of the US Dollar.

A weak dollar benefits exporters whose base currency is the dollar or a currency tightly attached to it, like for example the Chinese Yuan. With the dollar gaining more than 25% versus the Euro in the last few months, this means that every Chinese Product is now 25% more expensive for Europeans to buy! The strong dollar will hurt the US exporters and thus the US economy, but also the Chinese Economy, which is depending strongly on exports, although maybe less than what is commonly believed.

The strong dollar might also help explain the sharp decline in Google’s market capitalization , which since Q1 of 2008 depends more on Intl. Revenues than domestic.

Facebook Switzerland Penetration reaches 10%

October 15th, 2008

It’s official. Every 10th person living in Switzerland is now a member of the ever popular social network called Facebook. That means the number of users doubled within just 4 months!

I’ve been blogging about the growth of Facebook within Switzerland for a long time now, and noted how much faster it had grown here compared to the surrounding countries like Germany (1.1%), France(6.1%), Italy (2.7%) and Austria (2.1%).

Here’s an updated look at the growth within Switzerland:

10% may seem like a lot, but we’re still a long way from reaching Canada’s 30.4% or Norways 28.3%

Is Facebook desperate to grow in Germany?

September 21st, 2008

While Facebook has enjoyed tremendous success in most parts of the world, recently reaching a 100 million active users, it has had real problems growing in Germany. Certainly because Studivz is a strong competition, stronger than I anticipated.

Now Facebook hired Smaboo, a company two friends of mine started a while ago to help them grow in the German market. So first, Congratulations to Adrian, Christoph and Marko for getting this deal with the hottest Startup!

They want students to organize Facebook parties in their universities.

But from a Facebook view, this cries for Desperateness to grow in this very contested market. This is the first time I have heard Facebook SPEND money in order to grow (I am not 100% sure that Facebook is spending money, but I certainly hope so for Smaboo, the students seem to be getting gadgets and party invitations more than real money). Their growth so far has been totally viral and free, they did not even pay the translation of the site.

Looking at the numbers, they are defintely not that exciting for Facebook:

It has 816′000 users in Germany, merely 1% of the population. Facebook France on the other hand boasts 3.3 million users, representing 5.2 % of the population. Or Switzerland, where 660′000 users represent 8.7 % of all Swiss.

It could also mean that Facebook is very confident that they will earn their money back with advertising once they have the necessary amount of users.

Essentially, Facebook is now copying Studivz in their marketing efforts to get German students on the platform, after they sued Studivz for having a similar design.

Killer Company: Goodguide - how healthy is your shampoo?

September 11th, 2008

Goodguide, an absolute killer company that just minutes ago launched at Techcrunch50 does great things:

They have researched over 60′000 products that are being sold within North America to find out what their ingredients are. The products are then rated in three categories Health Performance,  Environmental Performance  and Social Performance.

So for example I researched a product that I was using:

This information is absolutely great. This company is going to change it all. Think about the impact it will have on products, companies, and even politics! Finally consumers can buy the best products and can punish companies that make unhealthy products or pay their workers to little.

I’m thrilled.

SMS is Dead. Here Comes Facebook Chat

July 12th, 2008

Update: You can even send regular SMS with your Iphone for free: http://apple.slashdot.org/apple/08/07/13/1727211.shtml

Nick O’Neill at allfacebook has a great post featuring Facebook adding Chat Functionality to their Iphone Application.

He goes on asking correctly “Does this spell the death of SMS?”, to which I say “YES”. Not today or tomorrow, but with Iphone sales soaring (Apple set their target to 45 million Iphones in 2009),  unlimited data plans becoming affordable both in Europe (starting 30 £ per month) (Switzerland has rates around CHF 50 for 1 GB per month which is more than enough for facebook chat) and in the States (starting with 70$ per month and 130$ for voice and data unlimited) and not to mention the humongous facebook penetration, I can very clearly see this replacing SMS. Why would I pay 15-20 cents for 160 characters if I can do unlimited messaging for free?

On top of that you can now chat realtime between with someone that is on their PC and you have a chat history which SMS also lacks (I don’t think going back and opening your sent items folder is very userfriendly)

Already emails are being sent from millions of blackberry devices around the world every day. Also the adoption of the facebook chat feature requires so little effort. If you have the Iphone and you and your friends use facebook you’re all set.

What about Telcos? They will make money with new data plans which will be much requested, but will it account for the loss in SMS revenue that is about to happen?

In 2005, 16 percent of European Telco’s revenue comes from text messaging.

When are we gonna be able to use skype seamlessly on top of our facebook address book?

I mean for me it’s a no brainer. What do you think, will you use facebook’s new chat feature on your Iphone?