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Longstanding investor in Looksmart (and a 69 yr old ex-tradesman), who has a passionate interest in the problems of newspapers along with their success in all their monetisation attempts made, on the web. For the "times are indeed, a changin", I feel. [17th of Aug, 2011 - Print media... More
  • A Few Questions For Looksmart's CEO Jean-Yves Dexmier  3 comments
    Jan 1, 2013 8:20 PM

    Dr Jean-Yves...

    It was so disappointing to (only just recently) read of your December 20th advice to shareholders, that:

    ".....The Board is currently in negotiations to retain an independent restructuring advisor to provide analysis of the value of LookSmart's assets in a liquidation. It is unclear whether a sale, distribution of cash and sale of remaining assets or a liquidation would result in value in excess of the Offer Price."

    You've also advised that LookSmart has now engaged Phoenix Advisors ("Phoenix") to provide information agent services and that you have indemnified it and certain related persons against certain liabilities relating to or arising out of the engagement. (Was the kitchen too 'hot' for the Co's Financial Advisor? [Victory Park Securities]. -- Although I do note that they too [VPS], have/had been indemnified against certain liabilities relating to or arising out of their engagement. And the 'buck' stopping with the "Company"?)

    With cash already down some $0.8 million from the stated $17.6 million at the end of the Q3 period) the more 'engagements' the better (?) and with cash now representing approximately (ONLY) $0.97cps, it ensures (I feel) that PEEK will get to 'consummate' their $1.00pps Tender price offer (gathering loose-held shares prior to- and without any hassles) in a 'trade-off' from Looksmart. (With an Aug 2013 poison pill 'protection' always 'on standby' if needed, of course!)

    But seriously Dr Jean-Yves Dexmier

    Whatever happened to Looksmart's open, independent marketplace (by leveraging the Co's existing search advertising platform - think RTB when reading 'programmatic' in that linked story) having a capability of delivering what will become a very large volume of 'search intent' based (global) display traffic (and derived from the 'over 5 billion' real time search queries 'exclusively' given to Looksmart to work with, daily) for advertising campaigns - and involving up to 100 billion events per day?

    Where the likes of Zenya (a spin-off of search engine Info.com), and Chango (who have only recently introduced access to Facebook users, based on billions of real human search queries - allowing "Marketers to now target individuals on Facebook.com based on the searches they've done only minutes before on Google, Yahoo! and Bing." - ("But who have not yet visited their site.") are all clearly 'ready, willing & able'.

    Along with many other players including direct search, self-service search advertisers and other digital advertisers-all competing with those bigger search engines' advertisers for targeted impressions on Facebook etc, (in a one open marketplace), on 'equal' terms.- Not to mention Twitter who I feel is patiently standing by, ready to join in.

    WebProNews has an interesting article today. But in regards to Privacy and anonymity? (In using a user's IP addy- and with mobile etc soon to be added) Looksmart tell it all.

    So Dr Jean-Yves (as a long 'suffering shareholder') I'd truly like to hear you elaborate in reply- to much of the above- rather than read of an analysis's guess - of the value of LookSmart's assets in a liquidation.

    (Carpe Diem!)

    Always, only an opinion.

    LC

    ps; It's simple! No more 'false-flags' for starters. (Piss PEEK off!) And tell [Mark] Zuckerberg to 'pull his finger out', ok?

    Disclosure: Long LOOK

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  • LookingConfident
    , contributor
    Comments (846) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » .
    It appears Chango have responded to my above thoughts? They have now advised (in a round-a-bout way) that they are receiving data via Google? Bryan Bartlett who tweeted to alert. has (at least) used the same 'header' as has the linked story on AllFacebook.com

     

    *******

     

    As Facebook Partners With Chango, Ads Can Be Bought Using Google Search Data
    Bryan Bartlett January 7, 1:00am 0

     

    Facebook and brands that market on the social network are constantly trying to figure out what users want to buy, but the data users present on the site give a limited picture at times. Now, it seems Facebook has solved that. As Business Insider reports, Facebook accepted Chango (and its major cache of Google search data) into its ad exchange program.

     

    Read the full article on AllFacebook.com
    *******

     

    http://bit.ly/13bhrPF

     

    AllFacebook.com confuse the issue even further, as follows:

     

    "Previously, Facebook advertisers targeted their ads based on cookies and profile data, such as likes and interests. If users like a lot of photography pages, visit photography groups, and post about photography, they will probably see more ads for camera equipment. But when they search for “Canon Rebel” on Google, that information has been off-limits to those who advertise via the social network.

     

    However, that may change soon, as Chango is now a member of Facebook Exchange (FBX).

     

    As Chango notes on its website, the company has information on more than 300 million search users — many of whom use Google as their search engine of choice."

     

    AllFacebook.com also note:

     

    "Chango CEO Chris Sukornyk summed up what his company could do for Facebook, in an interview with Ad Exchanger:

     

    None of the existing FBX partners are bringing search data inside Facebook.com. Chango is the only FBX partner that allows marketers to target individuals inside Facebook based on the searches they’ve done on Google, Yahoo, or Bing just moments before. This allows marketers to seek our new customers using intent data."

     

    http://bit.ly/WodoIX

     

    One comment to this "Google" advice (coming from Sandro), asks the question:

     

    "I wonder if this is feasible with google keeping more and more user search data on lock down." [?]

     

    **************
    I have pointed out in my most recent instapost that Looksmart's own global marketplace, has been::

     

    ...Based on real time (1st party) search 'Intent Data '- is the building of an OPEN (global reach) marketplace that's taken years to bring together. And that it receives it's 'user intent' data from the search engines, including Google and Yahoo.

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    Is this possibly a case of ..."Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive?" - Sir Walter Scott

     

    LC
    .
    7 Jan 2013, 09:50 AM Reply Like
  • marketing@chango.com
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    Hi LookgConfident,

     

    This is Ben Plomion from Chango. Thank you for your complimentary comments on our company. I wanted to jump-in and provide more color to your point about Google's search data.

     

    It is true that Google is encrypting more and more search data. Why they are doing it remains a subject for controversy. There are many passionate views on that topic and I won't venture there.

     

    One thing to point out though is there are many ways to collect search data. Google doesn't own all the data and search data is available from many other places beyond search engines.

     

    I actually wrote an article on this topic in Search Engine Watch. Here's the link to it: http://bit.ly/13fBn34

     

    Have a good day

     

    Ben Plomion
    VP Marketing & Partnerships
    @chango
    8 Jan 2013, 06:09 AM Reply Like
  • LookingConfident
    , contributor
    Comments (846) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » .
    Hi Ben. Thanks for your further reply to my own posted 'thoughts' on the exciting subject of 'user intent' and of the RT data surrounding it.

     

    You wrote:

     

    "It is true that Google is encrypting more and more search data. Why they are doing it remains a subject for controversy. There are many passionate views on that topic and I won't venture there."

     

    It's clear enough by now (and why shouldn't it be so - - even at this stage of the game as it unfolds?) that the likes of Google and Yahoo search (in fact, most all search engines, plus Co's handling real time query data), are looking to garner further revenues from that very data and rightly so, no?

     

    There's no mystery nor, should there be any controversy in that.

     

    How they use or, on-sell their data (these/the billions of valuable RT search queries daily) is the contentious point in the comment that I had made.

     

    I had felt Chango's Bryan Bartlett & AllFacebook.com had almost suggested - that for Facebook ("Ads Can Be Bought Using Google Search Data"), Chango are getting this data-directly via Google.

     

    Yet it would appear now (in your spelling out the many ways to collect search data - - I did fully understand your Myth #1), that this is clearly not the case....... Or, is it?

     

    In a MediaPost article it's been stated that .."Chango captures about 6 billion search events monthly in North America", according to Chris Sukornyk (CEO and the founder at Chango), which builds a real-time profile of actual searches on engines. (The article says)

     

    In support of you too, again your CEO Chris Sukornyk states that (within the AdExchanger Q&A - Zach Rodgers), Chango maintains user profiles linked to search activity on approximately 300 million people in North America.

     

    He goes on to say:

     

    “Chango is the only FBX partner that allows marketers to target individuals inside Facebook based on the searches they’ve done on Google, Yahoo, or Bing just moments before. This allows marketers to seek our new customers using intent data."

     

    And that:

     

    Chango also offers standard site retargeting....... “In this particular case, we compete with all the existing FBX partners.”

     

    (Within a Facebook's own Auction or, the FBX Marketplace?)

     

    I can only assume this means - - that competition with all the existing FBX partners is within a RTB (real time bidding) auction that's being conducted by Facebook? (And that clearly it is, new and additional and not your 'standard' site retargeting.) And one, where Facebook provides all players with available targetable impressions?

     

    Yet its an auction where Facebook's own advertisers could hardly be deemed to be competing fairly (if given a chance) with Chango and all the existing FBX partners - in any auction that's being conducted by Facebook, surely?

     

    To avoid friction it's now time for a Facebook Ad network, maybe? Along with an independent auction out-side of Facebook that would allow Facebook's own advertisers to then get to compete fairly with all-comers?

     

    Ben ...I am also struggling with the following Dax Haxman statement on the Chango blog - where he says:

     

    .."As a reader of this blog, you are probably most familiar with Chango as being the team that solved Search Retargeting, the method by which NEW prospects are found for client based on the searches they conducted on Google, Yahoo! or Bing, but who have not yet visited their site."

     

    "who have not yet visited their site"?

     

    http://bit.ly/XidZP1

     

    If they have not yet visited your own publisher client's site - how does Chango get to make up that ('real-time') profile for them? (That are based on the searches they conducted on Google, Yahoo! or Bing?)

     

    And (again) "minutes before", in the Co's ....Announcement?

     

    < As the only Programmatic Marketing Platform (PMP), Chango offers advertisers access to FBX with six key benefits:

     

    1. Proprietary Intent Data - 6 billion search events captured each month in real-time; advertisers can target individuals on Facebook based on the searches they've done minutes before on Google, Yahoo! and Bing, data not available elsewhere at such proven scale.>

     

    Announcement: http://mwne.ws/UUzSnO

     

    Chango appear to be enjoying the best of both worlds?

     

    My views may well be 'passionate' yet I've previously pointed out that Looksmart's own Benoit Vatere (way back on Aug. 24, 2011) stated that ..... "Google and Yahoo are looking for bigger margins"

     

    http://bit.ly/H6CfN2

     

    Ben ...I'm not expecting any further comment or, your own thoughts on any or, all that I have mused on about, above. (Yet you are welcomed to do so.)

     

    But...(Competitive sensitivities?)

     

    In regards to most company's not communicating in a more detailed manner with [the market, and] or, to stockholders- Looksmart's own CEO once said:

     

    ......"This decision was driven in part by our desire to tackle key technical practicalities before discussing them publicly, and also in part because of competitive sensitivities."

     

    http://bit.ly/Xie84Z

     

    In the interest of transparency for both buyers and sellers (and way, less BS), it is now about time for ALL to 'show and tell', surely?

     

    Google's own “Do No Evil” hasn't quite been the case, it seems? There is no need for 'minnows' within the tech industry, to follow it's example, surely? The world is watching....

     

    http://on.tnr.com/XidZP5#

     

    (Sorry about the ramble!) Thanks again for your reply.

     

    LC
    .
    8 Jan 2013, 04:54 PM Reply Like
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