Posts tagged ‘venturebeat’

Semantic appsTwine in freefall?

September 14th, 2009 by Greg Boutin
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (June 7, 2009) Military freef...

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What happened to Twine? Earlier this year, VentureBeat characterized Twine as an “early success”, based on information from ReadWriteWeb followed suit in March explaining that Twine could soon surpass In May, Techcrunch made the observation that Twine had overtaken Friendfeed in traffic. Fast Company wasn’t as fast, but in June it echoed the comments with an article labelling Twine as “red-hot”.

Twine indeed surpassed Delicious in May and June. That was shortlived, however. Since then, the same source VentureBeat used to discuss Twine’s traffic,, which Twine has endorsed a number of times, shows a huge drop in traffic. According to the traffic tracking application, Twine’s traffic would have been divided by 10 between an April peak of 2M unique visitors and the August number of just about 208,000. Quantcast, on its end, reports peaks in April and July above 500K “people”, together with a similar drop in August with 50,000 visits only. I don’t know which source is correct about the volumes, or how their definitions of unique visitors and people differ, but the trend is what matters and it is striking. Alexa, generally much less reliable, doesn’t show a huge drop, although it doesn’t show any increase either.

According to all 3 sources, Twine is now back well below Delicious and Friendfeed. Have you read anything about that? I haven’t. (more…)


Semantic appsAs Promised: Interview with Twine on the Usability/Engagement Question

February 27th, 2009 by Greg Boutin

A couple of weeks ago, I reported in this blog on the discussion that emerged about Twine on VentureBeat. That discussion quickly turned into some controversy about Twine’s potential “usability issues” and led me to wonder about its bizarre PR approach. Both usability and PR have been issues evoked by others in the past. Nova Spivack, who heads Twine, agreed to provide answers to the usability metric, on a different platform, as by that point the VentureBeat page had become a haven for anonymous users fueling unproductive flame wars.

Keeping Twine to its word, today I am glad to publish the result of my interview with Nova Spivack, Twine’s founder and CEO, on this blog. To prevent any accusation of potential bias, given the emotional reactions this topic has provoked on all sides in the past, I reproduce our discussion word-of-word below, in a chronological order. (more…)


Twine’s Success Debated. What’s the Right PR Approach for Semantic Web Ventures?

February 10th, 2009 by Greg Boutin

The debate has become a little aggressive and I feel a bit ashamed of broadcasting those aggressive parts with the rest of it, but I can’t really atomize it and I think it’s important for the health of the semweb ecosystem that the core question be addressed: what is the right PR approach for semantic start-ups, and beyond that, tech ventures?

Image representing Twine as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

I am referring to Twine, which, again, is in the spotlight after a VentureBeat article by Chris Morrison, who probably didn’t see that one coming… The debate erupted after the publication of the article, arguing that the coverage was not the whole story. I was one of those commenters, as I questioned the choice of dates of the traffic graph, and wondered why questions of user engagement were once again left out. As a previous “power user” (but not the one using the pseudo “previous power user” in venturebeat comments! My only pseudo is “gregboutin”!), I have been vocal about this for the simple reason that I think Twine could quite easily deliver a better experience, and in particular a better noise-to-signal ratio. My view is that improved focus on a core benefit is the key to beating Twitter and Facebook in adoption. Yes, only that. Isn’t it positive? Unfortunately, Twine has failed me, and obviously many others, on this dimension so far. So much that I pretty much stopped using it. (more…)

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Semantic appsInvesting in Semantic Tech: Bubble or Eldorado?

September 23rd, 2008 by Greg Boutin

The September 2008 edition of the Semantic Web Gang podcast is now up. As I alluded to earlier in Semantic Web: Who Will
Cash In?
, we discussed investment opportunities in semantic technology, together with VCist Brad Burnham from Union
Square Ventures
, who just announced an investment in Zemanta (which I started using a week ago and like), and renowned commenters Erick Schonfeld from Techcrunch and Chris Morrison from VentureBeat.

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Semantic Web: Who Will Cash In?

September 18th, 2008 by Greg Boutin

As I just end the call of this month’s recording with the Semantic Web Gang, I am left thinking we may indeed be on to something.

We talked about investments in the space, and we had terrific guests to do that with: VCist Brad Burnham from Union Square Ventures, who just announced an investment in Zemanta (which I started using a week ago and like), and renowned commenters Erick Schonfeld from Techcrunch and Chris Morrison from VentureBeat.

As the discussion progressed, we honed in on three questions:

  • Who will cash in on the Semantic Web?
  • Where lies the most value for the web user?
  • What’s the relationship between both questions? (more…)

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