Scoble family news

Patrick just got home, found out there was an Apple battery recall (Maryam questioned “you just found out, MacBoy?”) and promptly said “gotta check if my battery was recalled.” Turns out it was. So, without skipping a beat he said “we gotta go to the Apple store.” His favorite words! Lemming!

Anyway, in other Scoble news, the other day Maryam and I were talking about what’s going on in Iran (she grew up in Tehran) and she told me a story of a college student that had been imprisoned for years and was near death due to constant beatings. She told me that his only “crime” was that the Economist put a picture of him in the magazine. I told her she should blog the contrast between my experience and his. She did, and it’s powerful.

In other news she told me about the latest blog dustup. Forbes magazine printed an article that said it was better not to marry a career woman and that pissed off tons of bloggers. So much so that Forbes pulled the article and then reposted it with a contrasting view. She gave her two cents on that article. Me? Career women are the best! Heck, if Maryam didn’t have a career I’d never have met her (I was on the interview team when we hired her at Fawcette). On the other hand, she managed to steal my job at Fawcette, so maybe that advice is sound. Food for thought.

Anyway, now Maryam is getting us to clean up the house. I hate moving chores (still have a few things to unpack).


I’m nofoo, you nofoo? Come to the Ritz tomorrow

If foo, ignore.
Or nofoo, meet us at the Ritz in Half Moon Bay, CA (at the fire ring). Tomorrow. 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Else pass this along to another nofoo.
//you just need a nofoo pass to get into nofoo (I’ll have my EVDO and security will be rampant at nofoo).
//bring $7 for parking in the valet.
//bring a jacket. And a camera.

eBay shows how to recession-proof Web 2.0

I was reading Steve Rubel the other day and he said beware of the Web 2.0 business dependency on advertising for revenue.

So, I started thinking “how do you recession proof your business model?” Well, what happens when you aren’t working anymore, or you don’t have enough money? Well, last time around more of us bought more stuff second-hand off of eBay and Craig’s List instead of buying new stuff from retail stores.

Time to call eBay and find out what they are up to. I’m sitting with Greg Isaacs, director of eBay’s developer’s program, and Ali Croft, tech PR manager, and they are showing me a whole bunch of ways that a blogger or a Web 2.0 site could diversify their income stream and be ready for a recession, or another tech bust, should one come.

For one, they have an affiliate program. Add a little box to your blog and if someone finds something there that they buy, you get 40% or more of the eBay revenue they collect.

Little trick of affiliates? eBay pays more as your readers buy more. Hack? Join a bigger network and your fees could go WAY up! As I build a network I’m going to be using this big time as an incentive to get lots of small bloggers to join up. Since most bloggers have micro audiences, this will be increasingly interesting to a lot of bloggers.

But, for Web 2.0 companies? Well, you can build in eBay auctions into your business plan. Look at Mpire’s site, for instance. They are using eBay’s APIs to mashup items from eBay with their own data. If you buy something off of this site they get a cut from eBay.

One thing that’s changed since the last time I talked with Greg: they don’t charge developers fees anymore. So you can try out their APIs without paying anything. You have to join two things, the developer program and the affiliate program, but they are free to join. Lots of tutorials and getting started guides.

Is this paying off for Web 2.0 businesses? Well, I tried to get him to explain how much, say, FatLens (a Web 2.0 site that sells tickets, some of which come from eBay) was getting paid by eBay. He declined to disclose that. So, I asked him “in general, how much could a company make?” He said he has some businesses that are making more than $100,000 per month in revenue.

How are you diversifying your revenue streams?