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The Looksmart Conspiracy Theory (In Part)

For mine, Michael Onghai's (President - and beneficial owner of some 863,312 [5.0%] of Looksmart shares -Snowy August Management LLC) Open Letter to Shareholders reeks of nothing more than my initial thoughts in regards to the $1.00pps PEEK 'offer' or PEEK 'affair'.

This is so typical of being what is known as a 'False flag' or, simply a diversionary kerfuffle that is being enacted for many reasons-including the buying up of cheap shares from unsuspecting shareholders.

Hey, Im telling this story. - So, read on.

I am now wondering if the above linked letter is being supported by the other partner of PEEK Investments LLC-being Platinum Management (NYSEARCA:NY) LLC -- as it doesn't appear to have been on any announcements made after the PEEK Extended Tender Offer and Announced Updates.

"If we had known they couldn't be trusted to do the right thing, we would have reached out to you sooner. We intend to make up for lost time."

Yet I do agree with a lot of Michael Onghai's sentiments expressed and do feel that generally, Looksmart's shareholders have (for so long), been sitting on the 'rough end of the pineapple'.

Back in March 2010 was when Brian Horey (from Aurelian Management, in no uncertain terms) had flatly told Looksmart's CEO that shareholders expect much more than is being given.- All to no avail. - As it has only meant more of the same being handed out (since), and in spades.

For it not to be the case PEEK have shown just how 'greedy' they are or, how little they understand about Looksmart and or, the amazing global evolution of programmatic media buying - that they and the other shareholders (the owners of the 42% of the shares not owned by Peek and as have been tendered) actually know about- and or, of the global disruption that will be caused, and that it's evolving quickly, daily.

The planning of it all has been meticulous. With no stone left unturned. There is no doubt in my mind that many (who are involved) have a full understanding of where it is all heading. In a previous post I had made mention of dodgy "News embargo" arrangements -- And of about the kind of favourable or unfavourable 'spin' that's churned out, daily.

But will it really become a case of all's well that ends well?

For a number of those involved (the chosen few?), there have already been millions of $$$'s made in a procession of M&As, with many more likely still planned for, on the road ahead. Yet for Looksmart's patient shareholders I'm not so sure now if there's ever going to be 'that pot of gold'-a reward for a long held belief in the company. We'll soon find out, no doubt.

A need to go back in time

To get some understanding of or, see maybe the 'tip of this iceberg', we need to go back to 2 Mar 2010 and an AdExchanger Q&A had with both Frost Prioleau and Paul Harrison who are CEO and CTO (respectively) of a small company in - two men who (at the time), both clearly had bold ambitions, with a lot of early understanding of what I feel is to soon become - my own much talked of, intersection of Search and Display.

Blog mentions made: []

Frost Prioleau explains that is a Demand Side Platform (DSP) specially built for search marketers and "We are self-funded to date". On or, around March 17, 2011 it appears did raise $2.13MM just one year after raising their first $500,000.

He went on to tell us that .."we are allowing advertisers [to] upload the same keyword lists that they use for search campaigns & to bid [on] display inventory that is seen by users .........who have recently searched on their specific keywords.

By doing this they can reach users who have never clicked on their organic or paid search results, and leverage the knowledge that they have built from their search campaigns."

Not bad at all. it would seem that (already) had aligned itself with Looksmart's own (now) new model - as is in line with my own basic understanding. Hey........Looksmart (they have told us) receive 'over 5 Billion search queries' a day from the search engines that provide (in Real Time) 'keywords' or 'keyword phases' as they are typed in by searchers. (Mentions made, here:

Looksmart explain that they target the users:

How does it work?

At the time of the query, the ad server determines the physical location of a web site visitor using the IP address provided by the publisher. .... The ad server then uses the location information to deliver ads targeted to the users geographic location and search type.

AdExchanger then asks a final question:

One year from now, what are you some key milestones that you would like to have achieved?

Prioleau: One year from now we would like to be working successfully with some of the largest and most sophisticated search marketers, we would like to be well known as a brand that connotes knowledge and industry-leading technology, and....... we would like to have 100% reach…evaluating all available RTB bid requests on all exchanges.

Recent announcements (note the last comment, too) would almost tell us they have now almost achieved that, too!

["We work with over 12 exchanges, some of which include:

Appnexus, Rubicon, AdBrite, Doubleclick and Right Media. We also have direct integrations with the SSPs and exchanges we work with."

"...performance is impacted by advanced algorithms making data connections faster than the brain can think and act, approximately 6 trillion decisions per millisecond, to give you a more accurate idea. The secret sauce is that we can optimize and report on the most granular element level." -]

China, India, S.E. Asia and Australia?

Today we announced the availability of the platform in Asia. With this launch, advertisers looking to target Asian consumers can do so directly through the interface. Press release is here:

Readers would surely have to agree that have done remarkably well with (known) funding, of less than $3 million.

Conclusions? (There are so many to consider. Make up your own?)

"Out of damp and gloomy days, out of solitude, out of loveless words directed at us, conclusions grow up in us like fungus: one morning they are there, we know not how, and they gaze upon us, morose and gray...Woe to the thinker who is not the gardener but only the soil of the plants that grow in him." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Always, only an opinion.

LOOK: $0.92 Down 0.02 (- 2.14%) Sep 5, 3:59PM EDT


Disclosure: Long LOOK and....