Images, Alive And Profitable

Luminate

“There are nearly 4 trillion images on the Internet and 200 million new ones being added each day,” according to Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) of Luminate.

Luminate (formerly Pixazza) has the vision of making all those images interactive through image recognition algorithms and human-assisted crowdsourcing to identify objects and tag the images with content.

They “transform static images into interactive content,” according to the Luminate website.

The way it works:

1) Icon–look for the Luminate icon image in the lower left corner of the image that means the image in interactive.

2) Mouse–mouse over the image to choose from the interactive image apps.

3) Click–click on the images in the photo to shop and buy it (“Get The Look”), share information (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, email), or navigate (click on contextual hyperlinks from Wikipedia and other sources).

According to Forbes (27 July 2011), Luminate already “has more than 4,000 publishers, 150 million unique visitors per month, and more than 20 million products catalogued.”

The image-tagging platform provides context and information for consumers and revenue generating opportunities for producers–so it is a win-win for everyone in the marketplace!

By connecting end-user Internet images on the front-end with advertisers and commerce on the back-end, Luminate has found a way to integrate web-surfers and industry–no longer are advertisements on the web disconnected as pop-ups, banners, or lists from the Internet content itself.

Right now, there are apps for annotations, advertisements, commerce, and social media. Luminate plans to open up development to others to create their own for things such as apps for donations for disaster relief images or mapping and travel apps for images of places.

Luminate, as a photo-tagging and application service, is advancing our experience with the Internet by creating a richer experience, where a photo is not just a photo, but rather a potential gateway into everything in the photo itself.

In my view, this is a positive step toward a vision of a fully augmented reality, where we have a truly information-rich “tagged environment”, where everything around us–that we see and experience–is identified and analyzed, and sourced, and where the images of the world are alive no matter how or from what angle we look at them.

Lastly, my gut tells me that Google is heavily salivating over where this company is going and future developments in this field.

(Source Photo: here)

>Craigslist and Enterprise Architecture

>Craigslist is a centralized network of online communities, featuring free classified advertisements (with jobs, internships, housing, personals, for sale/barter/wanted, services, community, gigs, resume, and pets categories) and forums on various topics.”

Here’s some basic stats on Craigslist:

  • Founded in 1995 by Craig Newmark for the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Incorporated as a private for-profit company in 1999.
  • Operates in approximately 450 cities in 50 countries.
  • Operates with a staff of 24 people.
  • Estimated annual revenue as high as $150 million in 2007.
  • Sole source of revenue is paid job ads in [11] select cities [and apartment listing in NYC].
  • Over nine billion page views per month, putting it in 56th place overall among web sites worldwide, ninth place overall among web sites in the United States, to over thirty million unique visitors.
  • Over thirty million new classified advertisements each month, Craigslist is the leading classifieds service in any medium. The site receives over two million new job listings each month, making it one of the top job boards in the world. (Adapted from Wikipedia)

Craig has taken basic website technology and revolutionized the business of classified advertising, and for the most part making it free of charge!

Why is Craigslist such a success?

I believe it is because of Craig Newmark’s almost complete adherence to user-centric enterprise architecture principles.

Here are some examples of this:

  • User Focus– “In December 2006…Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster told Wall Street analysts that Craigslist has little interest in maximizing profit, instead preferring to help users find cars, apartments, jobs, and dates.” (Wikipedia)
  • Customer-driven—“People suggest stuff to us, we do what makes sense, and then we ask for more feedback,” says Craig Newmark.
  • Customer-service—Craig Newmark’s official title is founder and customer service representative. When asked where Craig sees Craiglist in five years, he states: We always need to improve customer service. For example, we need better tools to detect and remove spam listings.”
  • Rejected annoying banner ads—“At the end of 1997, [we] hit a million page views a month. Then the folks at Microsoft Sidewalk wanted to run banner ads on the side, and at market rates, that would be all the money I needed to live. [But] I figured…I don’t need the money, and many banner ads are pretty dumb.”
  • Technology-enabled—“We’re just starting. We have to improve technologies, like multicity search.”
  • Culture of service—“We think we have a really good culture of trust and that’s because…we have stood by some core shared values. The fundamental value is that we feel you should treat people like you want to be treated.”

The only non-user-centric EA aspect of Craigslist is the quirky look and feel of the site, which is white, mostly text-based. As Craig acknowledged, “someone said our site has the visual appeal of a pipe wrench.”

(Adapted from ComputerWorld Magazine, 4 February 2008)

If Craigslist would take the leap and make the site more visually appealing, I believe we have a User-centric EA winner!