Friday, June 03, 2011

Bittersweet: A Farewell & A Hello

As I write this from 36,000 feet en route to Texas, I guess this pretty much makes it official: we've said our official farewell to San Francisco, and are saying hello to our new city Austin.


We've spent the past month and a half saying "see you later" to as many of our San Francisco friends as possible (though I swear this ain't goodbye!). We're lucky in this age and career of technology that we'll get to see our Norcal friends regularly, but I can't tell you how much we'll miss just being able to spontaneously meet for a drink or break some bread together. As excited as we are about the move, "our people" is what we'll miss the most (and The City, Napa and Lake Tahoe aren't too far behind).

This morning, we walked around our house one last time, then drove to SFO to catch this flight. In a few hours, we'll land in Austin, and the proverbial new chapter begins. Stay tuned. We certainly will be!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Latest Moves At Technorati & My New Role

We recently announced some significant moves at Technorati Media: namely that Shani Higgins has been promoted as the company’s CEO; Abderrezak Kamel has joined us as CTO; and I will assume the role of Executive Chairman. I’m excited to have Shani running the company, because in terms of day-to-day, she already runs the company as our SVP/GM; I fully trust in her ability to continue growing the company (and my investment!). Abderrezak’s addition is equally exciting, as his expertise in real-time ad technology will help us fully execute our long term vision.

As for me, I’m also very excited to continue with the company in a different yet still very active role. The difference between an executive director and director is just that – being very active with the leadership vs. attending board meetings and watching over a fund’s investment. In my new role, I will work actively with Shani and the exec team on strategy, market intelligence, industry networking and corporate development activities. The biggest reason for these leadership changes was a long planned geographic and lifestyle move for my family; that plan is now happening, and these shifting roles make the most sense to continue growing Technorati to its fullest potential.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Covered Calls: Safe, Incremental Income

We just finished the 1st quarter for 2011, and I’m looking ahead for what’s ahead in the markets. The Dow rose 6.7% this quarter, making it the best Q1 since 1999. That's an impressive gain given the uncertainty of the war in the Middle East, economic slowdown in Japan, and the threat of higher interest rates when QE2 ends in June.

What is a conservative investor to do after such a move? Pull out of equities and sit in cash for a while? Maybe, if you don't mind creating a tax event for your unrealized gains and making zero interest return in a savings account. But another choice is to protect your portfolio by using covered calls, where you sell call options against stocks you own. The benefits of covered calls are that you lower your risk and generate monthly income. The downsides are that you still have equity exposure and you're putting a cap on future upside, though less so as each call contract essentially lowers your initial position.

I've been doing covered calls for over 25 years and have had amazing success with the strategy. It’s fairly conservative, and can simulate the effect of paying you a monthly dividend. There are a variety of resources out there to educate and find opportunities, but one site I like for is Born To Sell. It’s got many unique screening features to explore 150,000 covered call possibilities, as well as crowd-sourcing feature where you can see what strategies other members are doing (social investing?!).

Finally, investing these days is tough, whatever you do, tread lightly. That said, I wanted to share what I’ve done for decades through a lot of uncertain markets, with relative safety and over time quite profitably.

Monday, March 21, 2011

All Things Blogging & Social Media: My Interview With Brian Solis

Brian Solis recently interviewed me for his web show REVOLUTION, and I'm happy to share here now as we cover a lot of ground about blogging and social media. In our talk, he asked me a lot about the State of the Blogosphere - not just the 2010 edition but also the trends we've observed over the past several editions as well. We also went beyond blogging and to the latest trends in social media in general. BTW, the video here is super high quality, high def - good enough to watch on your 60 inch flat screen via Apple TV etc.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Technorati Media: 10th Largest Reach Entity (comScore)

Our ads just keep reaching larger audiences, month after month. In December, comScore ranked the Technorati Media audience network as the 10th largest reach entity (for perspective, our ads were seen by over 420 million consumers worldwide and 190 million in the US). comScore also ranked our network of social media sites as the 4th largest conversational property and 25th largest internet property overall.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Technorati Media Now The 11th Largest Media Entity In US, According To comScore

Technorati Media, already the largest social media network, climbed to the 11th largest media entity in the US according to comScore. The publisher network, comprising blogs and niche social communities, reached over 185 million US consumers in November.