About Robert Young

Robert Young is the co-founder & Executive Chairman of Publish2, Inc. Robert is an entrepreneur, market disruptor, and dealmaker. His career as a disruptor began when he played an instrumental role in launching the first nationwide consumer ISP, which he sold to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. (negotiating the first M&A deal between an Internet company and a traditional media giant). Robert then proceeded to disrupt Madison Ave by launching the first company to be based solely on Internet advertising, where he also invented "Pay-Per-Click" advertising, organized the industry's first Internet ad sales force, and invented "free e-mail." Robert also ran one of the largest consumer online (social networking) communities on the web. Robert is currently a board member of Archetype Media, and is a widely-read blogger who has written for GigaOM, ZDNet, and can now be found at Publishing 2.0. Email: robert.young (at) publish2 (dot) com.

Posts by Robert Young

June 15th

WordPress & SocialVibe: Blogging Gone Good


New York venture capitalist Fred Wilson is one of the most prolific and renown bloggers on the web.  And if you go his blog, avc.com, you’ll notice that (like most blogs) he runs advertising to generate revenues.  But what many of you may not know is that all the proceeds Fred generates through his blog goes to charity.  What a concept!!  You blog for a few minutes each day, and presto!  You’re supporting your favorite charity!  Now, imagine if millions of people did this… imagine the impact we could have on the world.

Starting today, if you’re a blogger who uses WordPress, (both hosted .com as well as .org) you can do precisely that.  Through a newly-launched partnership, WordPress and SocialVibe (disclosure: I am on the board) are introducing a widget that will enable millions of bloggers that use WordPress to support their charities of choice.

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July 31st

Does Kevin Rose have the Next Big Thing in Social Networking?


I think Kevin Rose might be on the verge of something big, again. For those not familiar, Kevin is the founder of Digg, the social news aggregator that now boasts over 17 million unique visitors per month… and the latest to get into bed with Microsoft via its sweet ad deal. There is no doubt, at least in my mind, that Digg is not too far from some kind of a major liquidity event and Kevin will cash out quite handsomely. So on the heels of Digg’s successful incursion into the social news space, he has started up (with co-founder Leah Culver) another venture that has the potential to significantly transform, this time, the social networking industry… Pownce.

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July 19th

Memo to Google: Buy Yahoo!


Why should Google buy Yahoo? With the exception of search, Yahoo’s strengths map to Google’s weaknesses, almost precisely. Consider the following:
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July 7th

Will Google Acquire Facebook?


As speculation and chatter increases, the question of whether Google ends up buying Facebook is turning out to be one of the big questions of 2007. My bet is that there is already an offer on the table, and that Facebook is seriously considering it. I’m also willing to bet that Facebook will file an S-1, even if they want to get acquired, and going public/IPO is *not* their primary intention… an often-used tactic to increase price/valuation at the 11th hour of negotiations (assuming, of course, their financials are good and their bankers are optimistic about the market).

But if Google is going to go for it, the main issue they need to analyze carefully is not price or valuation (given their purchases of YouTube and Doubleclick, we all know Google is willing to pay whatever it takes to do a deal). Instead, they will need to resolve the strategic conflict that an acquisition of Facebook will pose on their $900 million agreement with Rupert Murdoch’s MySpace. Which, by the way, has yet to be formally executed, as I understand.

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July 2nd

How Can MySpace Beat Facebook At Its Own Game?


By Robert Young

Late last week, the Financial Times reported that MySpace was likely to respond to Facebook’s much-hyped F8 Platform initiative with its own third-party application/widget development program. Last week also brought forth an interesting debate, initiated by Jason Kottke via his aptly titled post “Facebook is the new AOL”, questioning whether the Facebook Platform was truly “open” or in reality a “walled garden”… an issue MySpace will have to tiptoe around gently as they specify their own API framework and policies.

In my mind, however, the central issue that MySpace needs to address competitively is not necessarily one of policies concerning technology (e.g. being open or closed), but rather it’s one of monetization policy. Specifically, what will MySpace’s policy be in terms of how third-party developers can monetize? As we know, Facebook’s position is that third-party developers can monetize their applications in any way they wish and they get to keep 100% of the revenues generated. Will MySpace do the same, or will they want a piece of the action (as I had speculated back in January over at GigaOM).

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