Given the fuss about Demand Media--its IPO, its controversial business model, the fact that Google seems to be hellbent on clearing its "content farm" brethren out of front-page search results--it's no surprise that companies are pitching themselves as the "anti-Demand Media." In other words, they're hoping there's a space for a mass producer of online content that improves rather than pollutes (as some critics of Demand have suggested) search engine results.
Google has set in motion the changes that it announced recently to combat "content farms"--companies that produce large amounts of inexpensive, search-engine-optimized content that have been frequently decried for their low quality.
But will there be sweeping changes in the way we view and navigate the Web? It's hard to tell just yet.
"In the last day or so we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking--a change that noticeably impacts 11.8 percent of our queries--and we wanted to let people know what's going on," Google said in a blog post … Read more
Energy-efficiency company Comverge is getting less picky about whether the hardware it works with is an electric vehicle or an air conditioner.
The company today is expected to announce that the latest version of its software can work with the OnStar vehicle communications system and wireless thermostats that control air conditioners from Carrier.
Comverge's specialty is demand response, where its software can turn down power use at multiple locations during peak times. Lowering energy use on the grid is an effective way for utilities to meet energy demand without having to turn on costly and polluting peak-time power plants. … Read more
A massive banner with the logo of digital content company Demand Media was hanging on the front of the New York Stock Exchange this week to commemorate the Santa Monica, Calif.-based company's initial public offering on Tuesday.
It was the first venture-backed IPO of 2011, and it performed better than expected: Analysts projected an initial price of $14 to $16 per share, which Demand ultimately beat at $17 per share. When markets closed yesterday--Demand's first full day of trading--shares were at $22.65, a jump of one-third.
There had been many skeptics about Demand's success on … Read more
Energy software company EnerNoc said yesterday it has agreed to buy M2M Communications, which specializes in energy management for the agriculture industry.
It's one of string of acquisitions EnerNoc has done over the past two years to grow from its core commercial demand-response business into new areas.
With demand response, utilities contract with third-party companies to meet demand for electricity on the grid during peak times. EnerNoc pays a monthly fee to companies that participate in demand response and EnerNoc has the ability to turn down electricity usage when needed, such as adjusting lighting or air conditioning.
M2M makes … Read more
When Demand Media holds its initial public offering tomorrow, it'll be the first venture-backed IPO of 2011 and, though relatively small by Wall Street's standards, the most talked-about technology IPO in quite some time. That'll happen in this peculiar era of tech-industry financials, when the the big trend has been to prolong an IPO in favor of less restrictive private-market trading activity.
But that's not what everyone's talking about with Demand--nor is the $179.4 million in revenue it reported in the first nine months of 2010 (an operating loss of $6.4 million), nor … Read more
Google is ready to fire a shot across the bow of the so-called content farms, willing to acknowledge recent criticism of the quality of its search results but still not quite ready to detail specific remedies.
The company plans to announce this morning that it has heard the complaints over the past several months regarding the quality of Google search, without question the most important component of Google's public image. While no hard details were provided in an interview prior to the announcement, Google's Matt Cutts, principal engineer and lead voice on search-quality issues, told CNET that the … Read more
Demand Media is set to go public, according to an amended filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, with shares priced from $14 to $16 each.
The online publisher could sell up to 8.625 million shares and, if it prices at the top of the range, it could be worth about $1.3 billion and raise $138 million.
That includes 4.5 million shares from the company, 3 million shares from existing shareholders, and another 1.125 million shares that its underwriters have an option to sell.
Demand will net $58.1 million if the IPO price is $15.… Read more
Theater owners don't want digital distributors breaking into their windows.
The big film studios may begin to pipe movies to consumers' homes via premium video-on-demand services (PVOD) at the same time the films are up on the big screen, thereby crashing the theatrical window. A "window" is the term used to describe the period of time a film distributor--such as a theater, cable company, or traditional TV broadcaster--has access to a particular movie.
Demand Media, the syndicated online content company that filed for an IPO in August, has modified its filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission amid reports that the initial public offering has been delayed because of regulators' questions about Demand's accounting practices.
The issue, it appears, is that Demand Media amortizes the expenses of paying its freelance writers, distributing the cost over five years. It's something that the company has attempted to explain further in new additions to its SEC filing.
"Capitalized media content is amortized on a straight-line basis over five years, representing the … Read more