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Business Proposals for the Xmarks Service?



Are you a business with a creative idea for how to keep the Xmarks service up and running? Post here, and we will read and respond...
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  • Ok, I've been following this thread for the better part of a week, and I think something needs to be clarified/pointed out with regard to this entire situation.

    First off, this is a request for business ideas that provide a sustainable revenue stream for keeping the service up and running, not ideas for how to slice it, dice it, and throw it on someone's rackspace account. I would expect that more $$ than you think has been sunk into this project, so short term fixes aren't going to cut the mustard.

    Now, on to the part that's bugging me. I currently operate datacenters in 3 US states and one in London. I've been building SaaS-type apps for over 18 years now. All of you seem to be under a huge misconception about what it might take to host the XMarks service. Based on the size of data, the number of potential requests, and the overall speed of the system, I guarantee this system requires a lot more capacity than you seem to think. Since no one at XMarks thought about, or apparently attempted, the idea of slimming down to 2 or 3 guys working on the side and small half-cab colo account, I'm going to assume it's even bigger than even I would initially expect.

    You guys need to start thinking about ideas that can handle a $25K/month hosting account, not a $700/month one.

    With that in mind, as I said, I operate multiple datacenters in multiple location including an international presence. If I'm off-base about the overall environment complexities, please feel free to contact me. I don't have unlimited resources, but I'd be happy to chat about what's really required and how much capacity I could spare.

    You can reach me @ n e r f a g e @gmail
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  • Crowd Funding:
    Consider listing at http://bit.ly/GrowVentureCommunity to connect with funders, business angels and startup experts.

    Setup Payment-Plan:
    Charge users for your invaluable service!
    Offer time limited fully featured free accounts.
    Incentivize word of mouth with some sort of affiliate program for customers.

    Keep service confidential, secure and trustworthy:
    No data sharing with anyone ( google etc ).
    No ads.
    Everyone aims at their customer base with targeted ads.
    Be different and communicate the fact.

    Use accumulated human bookmarking intelligence exclusively
    to enhance the research experience of xmarks users.
    This adds trust and value.

    Paying cusomers appreciate privacy security and reliability.

    Those who don't mind ads, based on their bookmark usage,
    are most certainly looking for the free deal.
    ( ... endig up at google sooner or later anyways )

    Target mobile users:
    Your cross browser -, os -, device - capability sets xmarks apart.
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  • I’m positive it can be done!
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    (my keyboard is evil and I haven had my coffee yet today so typos are required)

    Heya!

    I am a former nonprofit president who had to raise money for a PAC, 501c3, and a 501c4, and before that I rewrote, upgraded, and managed voter files for congressional campaigns....and I have a couple of ideas. The main point is that it is your DATA that people want to buy when they want to buy Xmarks. So if you had data you could sell that didnt in anyway violate privacy policies, why not use it?

    1. SELL SEO DATA

    There is data that you have that is NOT PRIVATE USER DATA that is worth some serious dollars to individual companies. The tags of bookmarks are basically the keywords of SEO. You basically are sitting on crazy amounts of market research in tags alone. Now I have to stress this: The value of your records should actually be MORE than the value of a lot of keyword pricing. Keyword pricing is based on what people are searching for at any given moment - your data is stuff they searched for, found, saved, referenced, and stored away for later. (*** You need an expert - and I mean someone who is an expert in more than just Google Adwords Cost Per Click campaigns (cuz bookmarks and their tags are more valuable) to help you out with that.)

    There is a way to use this without violating privacy agreements. You do not have to give out individual user data in any way. I am sure there is a high market value to data associated with any given URL. Here are some examples of data companies would pay for that doesnt in any way violate privacy policies:

    a. How much would companies would pay to know the specific tags that 2 million people used to bookmark them? (not the people. the tags)

    ALOT. It basically is extremely valuable keyword/SEO research. One excel file of all the tags associated with the url CNN.com, or TechCrunch.com is worth a crap ton of money to these companies. This helps them determine what content works for them, and what keywords to be using when they pay for advertising ads in other places. If, say, FOX's biggest tag for FOXnews.com was "Conservative" rather than "Republican", they could change the keywords they are paying Google adwords and other affiliate programs and save thousands of dollars. It's one thing to get keyword IDEAS from tools like Google Keyword Tool, its quite another to get hard data. Again, no private user data is exchanged at all.

    Start with the companies that have the largest amount of bookmarks and offer them a one time only (read: save xmarks campaign) deal to get this info 25% cheaper than the market price. They will pay. alot. quickly.

    b. How much companies pay to know the specific tags that 2 million people used to bookmark their competition?

    ALOT. It really helps them figure out what strengths they have that they need to capitalize on, and what the competition is beating them on.

    c. How about a break down of the most popular pages on their site? The tags for those pages?

    d. How about reversing the data? For example, in order to determine what blogs and sites they need include in their advertising budget, Best Buy needs to know which blogs do not just send traffic their way (Google can tell them this) but INTERESTED traffic their way. For instance, you would create a list of all the users with bookmarks you have that are tagged "Shopping" (and/or "ToBuy") as well as "Computer" or "Stereo" or something else that Best Buy sells a lot of. Then you pull a list of all the most popular techie blogs by those users. You sell the list of techie blogs (not the list of users, obviously), and now Best Buy has a list of the blogs commonly visited by the people who are planning to buy products they sell. Useful data, hmm?

    2. Now apply this to Tax Write Offs of Donated Data

    *make sure you consult a good tax guy/gal on this* Now that you have an idea what your data is worth per record, donate it and write it off. You now can give data away to 501c3 organizations and claim the worth of the data. The larger the batch of records you give to the organization, the larger amount you can write off. So start with the 501c3's that are massive such as

    -change.org
    -planned parenthood
    -red cross
    -habitat for humanity
    -united way

    or what ever " *.org " in your data shows up with the most bookmarks. The data will tell you. Here are some types of data you can donate:

    a. What are the most popular pages bookmarked on their site and what are the most commonly used tags for those pages

    A simple write up of their most popular pages, and the keywords most commonly used to describe the popular pages and those keywords a suggestion for content ideas for the nonprofit. You basically just provided advanced SEO Data and Strategic Plan for free, and can claim its market cost as pro bono. Keep in mind, a list of popular pages according to bookmarks is more valuable than a list of pages that people just visited and left quickly. Your data is stuff people actually valued.

    What are the most popular pages on the nonprofits sister sites (ummm thats our nice word for "competition)

    Donations open Free Publicity Doors

    Suggest to all the organizations that you donate data to that they promote your service on the website or listserv emails (keep in mind that nonprofit membership is a loyal-LOYAL bunch) and therefore increase your data (i assume through the import process) and they will most certainly do so.

    Create a 501 c3 and share resources.

    Create a 501c3 arm of Xmarks and share resources - which creates tax write offs, which you then use more of instead of dependency on advertising revenue from other companies. For instance, say the 'Xmarks Foundation" recruits and collects info about campaigns from charitable causes. Then say Xmarks (the non 501c3 entity) devotes 25% of xmarks.com to displaying that info. Therefore, the 'Xmarks Foundation" is responsible for 25% of the costs of xmarks.com. That means that 25% of your websites' costs will now be tax deductible, and also eligible for all the freebies that comes with nonprofit status. You may find hosting and bandwidth cheaper, CRM services (like salesforce.com) free or cheaper, and various other things that I am far too exhausted right now to go into cuz I have typed too much already. It all differs from state to state, org to org, and company to company, but it does pay off. Other things include discounts on office space, phone lines, and things like that when you share with a 501c3.

    Theres a reason why so many companies, orgs, and political think tanks have 501c3 arms.

    I am not a tax person, or a finance person, and the details differ like I mentioned. But I think that between philanthropic efforts and SEO-beneficial data to sell/donate, you can put a severe dent in your income/cost ratio.

    feel free to email me if you have any questions! I love the service and wouldnt charge or ask for monetary compensation if you need someone to bounce things off of!

    All my best
    Suzannah
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  • 1. change the X from blue to red and manage to get it triple by design, though double like it is is fine as well.
    2. as far as an X can't do water nor know what it is nor even understand the point, here is what you could do on the same principle: create a source that you will call W and issue square ( no point I said! square only for number X) papers that you call bonds.
    3. on the other, you must create the river so the money flows. here is the stuff that will print other kind of square papers; bills to evaporate and return to the source called bonds.
    4. from there it s rocking, life is expending as the water flows.
    5. of course you could more simply understand it is just a substitute.
    6.it's running here.
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  • This reply was removed on 2010-10-06.
    see the change log
  • This reply was removed on 2010-10-06.
    see the change log
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