In this segment, Bambi Francisco interviews Venrock's Venture Capitalist Brian Ascher about how to control your online image and brand. On the Web, consumers, particularly the younger generation, are certainly learning how to take control of their lives. At the same time, they're becoming too transparent, through their presence on the social networks.
Is there a way to control their brand as people become overly transparent?
She interviewed Venrock venture capitalist, Brian Ascher, to get his view.
BF: Thanks for joining us. Talk to us a little bit about how can we
control our brand if there is a way to do that.
BF: Or Twittered... these days
BA: Or Twittered. Absolutely. More and more consumers are realizing that they to need to impact on what shows up on Google or what they see. Nombray is a seed investment we've made that enables you to own your name in the Web. Literally own your name in terms of acquiring a URL that represents you. So BrianAscher.com. And, for you to then very conveniently do something with that. So we all have profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn and elsewhere and so you can have those appear as tabs since you've already spent a lot of time investing in the profiles and then add other content to it about you whether you blog or microblog or other interesting things you've been reading, etc. or interesting presentations you've given. So, by doing this under your own URL, this naturally rises to the top of Google rankings and it can't suppress things on the Web that are out there that you don't want people to see but showing up tops in the rankings, it puts a good first impression.
BF: So you're making a bet that people really want to take control and have a crafted version of who they are.
BA: We're making a bet that more and more people are realizing that they are a brand whether or not you're a CEO raising money, you're an individual employee or you're out of work especially, you need to stand for something. You need to show prospects that you have worth, you differentiated, you're smart and valuable and they want to do business with you or hire you. So this is the theme that is both evidence of Nombray and also another company called Slideshare, which is YouTube for PowerPoint, which at first you think, "Come on why do we really need a destination site for PowerPoint?" PPT is just a medium for rich self expression and it's amazing the growth rate they've experienced because its a way for people to show what they know. And its a lot easier than blogging in a way because a PPT can have a very long shelf life for years people can refer back to a great PPT whereas blogging you need to do on a daily or weekly basis.
BF: How does Slideshare compare to Docstoc, what is the competitive advantage. And then what is the business model?
BA: So Slideshare has really focused on the ability to come and search for great content in PowerPont. Docstoc from what we know of them has been more about many different document types you might want to share an excel spreadsheet that you built with a great model in it or a template of a legal document. All of those serve very different purposes than Slideshare which has really been about self expression and personal branding. The business model is going to be lead gen most likely because there are lots of folks putting PowerPoints up because they want to be found. They're advertising people who want clients, a real estate person who wants prospects
BF: What kind of metrics are you looking for in that company to show that they're having success?
BA: Really two. number of PowerPoints uploaded and then traffic. Avtually you asked me earlier about the Sequoya powerpon tthat went streaming around. We loved it. It was mostky distributed on Slideshare.
BF: What is the model for Nombray?
BA: Nombray's model is very simple. Consumers know that in order to have a personal domain and URL, you pay for it. So for Nombray you just pay per year to have the domani and then the service enables you to do something interesting there.
BF: So are they working with Go Daddy or some of these other services?
BA: They have a wholesale agreement with one of the registrars.
BF: So you go to Nombray, register your name through them. They offer all these other services. And, consumers pay.
BF: Well good luck with those two.
BA: Thank you.