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Conferences & Events

The 2012 Phenomenon is 1 Year Away

Tomorrow marks a year to the day of the Mayan 2012 prophecies. A New Age interpretation of this transition is that this date marks the start of time in which Earth and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 2012 may mark the beginning of a new era.

Others suggest that the 2012 date marks the end of the world or a similar catastrophe. Scenarios suggested for the end of the world include the arrival of the next solar maximum, or Earth’s collision with a black hole, passing asteroid or a planet called “Nibiru”.

Everyone around the web will be posting images and discussing their thoughts on this phenomenon, so make sure that your 2012 images are alt text labeled correctly for better in-image ad targeting.

Holiday Party Fun

Last night was filled with good food, drinks, conversation and cheers to an amazing 2012 at our holiday party. We dined at Caulfield’s in the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills.

The night started with a great speech from Ophir Tanz, CEO & founder on all our growth and successes this year. We received $7M in funding, broke new records as the Top 10 Quantcast network, grew our team 70% and moved into a new office. There’s no doubt that 2011 has been an amazing year for GumGum. We thanked Ophir for a great year with his framed cover from Entrepreneur Magazine earlier this year.

As a thank you for all the hardwork this year, Ophir gave everyone Beats by Dre headphones, in addition to a personalized gift ranging from a massage to golf to cooking supplies. Everyone was ecstatic to say the least!

We had a blast and can’t wait to see what 2012 has in-store for in-image advertising and GumGum! Here’s Ken Weiner, CTO and his wife.

 

Sarah Wallace, Relationship Manager and her guest for the night.

Scott Dahlgren, Senior Account Director of Sales and his wife.

Tiffany Leslie, Communications Manager and Carmel Tanaka, Office Manager.

Brennan Beyer, VP of Sales and his wife.

Keith Rives, Web Engineer and Ryan Rosario, Data Scientist.

Phil Schraeder, VP of Finance and his partner.

Patricio Mondet, Account Executive and his fiance (congrats!).

Greg Pritchard, Director of Network Development and his fiance (congrats to you too!).

Carmel Tanaka, Office Manager and her husband.

Startup News Digest

Mark Suster tells it like it is at Venture Shift in NY

Mark Suster, prolific blogger, partner at GRP and a valued GumGum advisor, spoke at last night’sVenture Shift in New York, and suffice to say, he’s not a demure fella’. You won’t want to miss this interview.

“It Is The Best Time Over The Past Decade To Be An Entrepreneur”

TechCrunch sat down with Jim Breyer at Techonomy to talk about disruptions occurring in the venture capital industry itself with the abundance of angel money and the impact that is having on traditional VC firms.

Sean Parker Thinks Silicon Valley is in Trouble

CNET sat down with Sean Parker at Techonomy. His beef: Too many angel investors are throwing way too much money–albeit in little drips–at aspiring entrepreneurs who aren’t up to the task of building a company.

The World According to Hadoop

If you missed the recent Hadoop conference, check out the SiliconAngle video coverage. Some really great interviews and insights.

Start Your Startup Engine

Two new startup incubators launched this past week. Former MySpace CEO Mike Jones (and one of GumGum’s trusted advisors) launched Science, a new startup incubator, accelerator and studio that focuses on three key areas: developing and incubating new business ideas, advising early stage startups and helping “Web 1.0″ companies reinvent themselves for the present.

Esteemed Harvard University launched the Harvard Innovation Lab is an incubator designed for startup-hungry students on campus. The i-lab, as it is known by abbreviation, began as a response to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s desire to introduce more innovation spaces Boston and Harvard’s promise to raise the next generation of startup CEOs right.

A Chat with Mike Jones on Startup Advice, LA, Myspace & AOL

You may have read about or seen GumGum at TechZulu Spotlight: LA Tech recently. It was a great night celebrating LA’s startup community. The evening ended with a much anticipated SuperDemo discussion with Amanda Coolong, TechZulu COO and Mike Jones, CEO Myspace, Angel Investor, Entrepreneur, Former CEO Userplane and Tsavo Media. There wasn’t a topic off the table. They talked about how he got into the entrepreneurial game, his advice for startups, reflection on his time at AOL and Myspace, opinion on LA’s tech scene and his next project.

Mike Jones discusses the “It” startup factor when extraordinary people meet amazing ideas.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko2XCD4Fenc]

 

Even Mike Jones began somewhere. Hear about his early startup days.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyUsGGn62oM]

 

When should startups bootstrap? Mike Jones discusses if and when.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJtVvmJr7vk]

 

Mike Jones discusses the pitfalls and possibilities for LA entrepreneurs and his love for the LA tech scene.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOsqNQNwp2c]

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H7INf7uZAE]

 

Everyone was excited to hear about Myspace. Mike Jones talks about being the CEO of Myspace and lessons he learned.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNdQHNQdYOQ]

 

Lastly, Mike Jone’s reflects on his time at AOL.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9j9nD98tFM]

 

 

GumGum at TechZulu Spotlight: LA Tech

Last Thursday, GumGum was one of a handful of carefully selected companies chosen to present at the one year anniversary of Tech Zulu’s Spotlight: LA Tech at UCLA. Everyone came together to celebrate the finest in Southern California technology innovation. First to present was earbits, the first performance-based marketing platform specifically designed for the music industry. They gave a great presentation highlighting their online radio platform. Second up was Mingle, a networking service that uses location to discover and create relevant connections. Their unique iphone presentation kept us engaged. Third up was Parking in Motion, a provider of dynamic and real-time parking data. Their “Why didn’t I think of that?” service looks like it will prove very useful in the parking wars around LA and other dense cities.

GumGum came up last on the presentation roster, before one of our trusted advisors Mike Jones gave the SuperDemo. Ophir Tanz, CEO and founder, gave a compelling presentation about the in-image advertising space using in-image ad demos from our work on Bruno, Axe Bodyspray, Chevrolet Buick and Ford Mustang.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPk7VP0XBsU]

 

The audience had some great questions. Here’s Ophir Tanz on GumGum’s pricing model.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CuM5EMaWgg]

 

Ophir was then asked how GumGum understands images and how the solution differs from others.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymRtvAlqqeE]

 

Lastly, the audience wanted to know Ophir’s opinion on LA’s Tech scene.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REtKfQvWMqQ]

GumGum’s Back from Digiday’s Digital Publishing Summit

Digiday’s Digital Publishing Summit is an invite-only networking event that functions as a sort of “state of the industry” event for online publishers and the vendors that serve them. The most recent Summit, held from October 23-26 in Bonita Springs, Florida, was “Restoring Power To The Publisher”. Our Director of Network Development, Greg Pritchard was onsite for the conference.

Since many publishers have in recent years felt technologically “outgunned” by the rapid advance of data-driven real-time bidding for online advertising, the Summit highlighted innovative ways that publishers can leverage data to build their audience and drive revenue. On Day 1, Alvin Fong of Internet Brands, a GumGum partner, explained how IB has leveraged data provider eXelate‘s solution to improve the targeting of online ad units across their network of hundreds of automotive enthusiast sites.

On day 2, we had the opportunity to present to the summit, providing attendees with an introduction to how publishers are using GumGum and in-image advertising to monetize their photos. The presentation was delivered in a fast-paced format known as “Pecha Kucha“, where the presentation must be exactly 20 slides in length and each slide appears for exactly 20 seconds. OnSwipe, a tablet website platform and Outbrain, a content promotion platform also delivered Pecha Kucha presentations during the segment, which was dubbed “Cool Tools For Publishers”. Definitely a fitting description of GumGum! The demonstration of our in-image ad unit and targeting capabilities garnered a lot of interest from the attendees, prompting thought-provoking questions from publishers as diverse as Hearst Newspapers, Federated Media, IDG Enterprise, and Gossip Center.

Coinciding with the announcement about GumGum’s Series B funding announcement, the Summit felt like a real “coming of age” moment for in-image advertising. The space has reached a major inflection point and is thoroughly socialized among major advertisers, publishers, and users. It’s clear that in-image advertising will continue to play a major role in the online advertising ecosystem in the years to come, and DPS was the perfect venue to spread the word on how publishers can drive meaningful revenue with this “cool” new ad unit.

See you in March DPS!

TechZulu Spotlight: LA Tech Selects GumGum

The moment has finally arrived!  After sending our submission for TechZulu Spotlight: LA Tech, the spotlight shines down on GumGum. We’re happy to be one of the chosen few that will be presenting at October’s event at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

For those who still might be wondering what Spotlight: LA Tech is all about, it’s a quarterly demo series highlighting the finest technology entrepreneurship in Southern California. Spotlight toasts to those who build and innovate right here in our backyard.

This Fall’s judges will include Mike Jones, LA based investor & advisor and Myspace CEO; Alex Maleki, member of New Venture Group at Idealab; Dinesh Ravishanker, CEO & co-founder of CallFire; Scott Sangster, President of Tech Coast Angels & CEO of OrganicStartup; and Avesta Rasouli, founder of CoLoft.

Most recent Spotlight startup alum include Mobile Roadie, Graphight, Smartvark, QLess, You Rock Digital, and daqri.

GumGum Wins Hottest Advertising Startup

Last night at the Siemer Silicon Beach Summit, cutting-edge startups were awarded Siemer Wavemaker Awards for innovation. Ophir Tanz, CEO and founder of GumGum accepted the Hang Ten Award for innovation in advertising. The “Cyber Guy” Kurt Knutsson infused the event with humorous and engaging hosting that included reading Ophir Tanz’s text messages for all to hear on stage. Seven different awards were given out ranging from distinction awards to industry specific awards. 28 esteemed judges included Google, Adobe, Hewlett-Packard, SoCalTech News, Burstly and dozens of others. Stand out, early-stage startup nominees included Chill, Klout, Mobile Roadie, Ranker, Cocodot, Convertro, ATMCASH, DataPop, FitOrbit, Fwix, GotCash, GraphEffect, IndieGogo, iStoryTime, Jizo, Kiip, Live Matrix,  LOUD3R, LovingEco, Miso Media, MobileCause, Postcard on the Run, Relevant Media, Talenthouse, ThinkNear, ThisNext, Viddy, Vitaportal, Wemo Media, XA.net, and YouMail.

It was an amazing night, surrounded by local changemakers and inspiring companies. Here’s a  shot of Ophir Tanz with David Siemer of Siemer & Associates after the big win:

Is Display Advertising Dead?

During Thursday’s “Promises, Promises: Finding the Real Value in Integrated Marketing” panel at Paid Content Advertising Conference, it was said that display advertising is dead. Is it really dying or simply evolving?

Display advertising is so much more than banner ads on web browsers these days. With the rise of real-time web, the dynamic ad experience and the convergence of storytelling, entertainment, play, technology, and social, display advertising conveys a more vivid and compelling picture of brands that both engage and empower consumers.

eMarketer reports that U.S. online ad spending will pass $30 billion in 2012, outshining other media, with 1.1 trillion display ads delivered in Q1 of this year, according to comScore.

There is huge potential for display advertising to evolve from the traditional browser placements, technology components and targeting. Elevating display advertising with in-image overlays and a true understanding of what images are, will give advertisers highly relevant placements that receive meaningful views by quantified and engaged consumers. GumGum advertisers are seeing the value with CTR’s between .15%-4%.

A recent campaign we ran for Axe bodyspray utilized in-image advertising with a video and social component, resulting in tremendous consumer engagement.

So, is display advertising dying? We think not. What do you think?

 

 

Q&A with Ken Weiner, CTO on Scalable Advertising, Ubuntu, LA.com and Saxophone

Let me introduce Ken Weiner, GumGum’s Chief Technology Officer. Ken brings over a decade of information technology expertise to lead his team in product architecture, implementation and company operations. He leverages Amazon EC2, Hadoop and HBase to build GumGum’s scalable in-image ad server. Ken’s love for technology brings him to conferences and groups like CTO Forum, Los Angeles Hadoop Users Group and Thursday Lunch, that he organizes to bring together local Santa Monica startups every Thursday. Follow Ken @kweiner and @ThursdayLunch.

How did you get into online advertising?
My first exposure to online advertising was with my previous company LowerMyBills.com. They were one of the largest, top 10 I think, advertisers online in terms of total spend. At GumGum, I got deep into online advertising as we shifted our business from a pay-per-impression image licensing platform to an in-image advertising network.

What do you love about in-image advertising?
Building something that hasn’t been done before. I enjoy the challenge of creating technology that can intelligently pair advertisements with images. The key is understanding what images are all about at scale. There are billions of image impressions on the web each month so the opportunity is enormous.

What’s the best tip you could give publishers to optimize their images for increased traffic?
Make sure each image is equipped with alt or title text that describes the contents of the image. Also try to use images that are at least 300 pixels wide on pages that get the most traffic. Larger, and often higher paying, advertisements only fit on larger images.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside the office?
I enjoy playing the tenor saxophone in small jazz groups and big bands.

You’re on a desert island with only a computer, what software do you bring with you?
Ubuntu

What’s your favorite GumGum publisher?
We have a lot of great publishers, but I’ll go with LA.com, a guide to arts, news, and entertainment, in and around Los Angeles where I live, work, and play.

Where do you hope to see GumGum in 5 years?
I’d like to see GumGum present online wherever there are images – a household name among web publishers.

What word best describes GumGum?
Hungry. We want to succeed and we love to eat!

Have questions for Ken about publisher tips, in-image advertising or how he built our scalable ad server? Comment them below and he’ll get back to you.

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