Location Dependence (independence?) for Emerging Tech

There has been a recurrent question in discussions that I’ve had recently with potential investors, other web executives, and partners. That question is, ‘does an emerging tech company need to be in the Bay Area to have a chance of success?’?

There are two sides to this issue; the first is that there are several advantages to being in Northern California. There is an abundance of funding sources out there and they all seem to prefer to invest in the area. There are also a great number of tech companies already established out there so the opportunity for partnerships may be easier due to location. Finally, because there is a rich business base in tech there is an incredible amount of services and resources that are competing for mind and dollars of the tech community (note SEO/SEM consulting firms – there are only a few in Texas so they are in high demand. In the Bay Area there are so many that they are fighting for clients).

On the other hand there is also a tremendous amount of competition BY the tech firms for technical and marketing employees so wages are high and it appears that turnover may be a challenge there. The area also acts as a fairly ‘small town’ so secrets are not so easy to keep. For example, last week I was at a popular Woodside breakfast place and it was very telling to see who was meeting with whom.

So… what does this mean for us at iTaggit? Well, over the next few months we are going to attempt to build a stronger corporate presence in the bay area while maintaining our base of operations in Austin. We have a fantastic, dynamic workforce and we need to develop the tech infrastructure for Web 2.0, 3.0, 25.0, etc. right here. We believe that we can combine the best of both environments to deliver a better solution for our users and a lower cost of operations for our investors. We’ll see how it goes and I’ll keep you updated as best that I can on my blog.

Quickly adding items to iTaggit using the Amazon Add Item Feature

One of the most daunting tasks for new users of any website that uses user-generated content is how to get stuff in. In the case of iTaggit the question is ‘how do I quickly add items to my account’? The ADD ITEM USING AMAZON wizard comes to the rescue!

When you go to add an item to iTaggit you are presented with the screen above. You can add items individually or by loading in a group of pictures, but the quickest way is to choose the IMPORT FROM AMAZON.COM option.

Most people think that Amazon only has books, movies, and music but they are WRONG! Amazon has one of the most comprehensive databases of items available. You can find almost anything! In the search below you can see that I was able to import information on a Tailgate for a Ford F250 pickup!

Once you have added the item you then can put it into either a collection or your wishlist. The really cool thing about this feature is that it adds a Buy from Amazon link into the record so if someone sees this on your wishlist (or in your collection) they can click on the link to buy a similar item.

Try out the feature, it’s a great way to QUICKLY build your wishlist or personal collections.

Using iTaggit to post items for Sale or Trade

iTaggit has a great feature in that items that have been posted for sale or trade show up in a public collection titled ‘items for sale or trade’. Any item posted for sale on eBay through iTaggit or put up for trade using the ‘Trade This Item’ item action automatically get posted to the public collection. This collection is available to search engines so items posted in their also may get picked up by the search engines. This increases the visibility opportunities for items that you are trying to sell or trade.

This feature is free to users and expands the number of people that are likely to see the item. Try it – it’s easy – and FREE!

Using iTaggit to add depth to your Craigslist listing

There is neat utility in iTaggit called ‘Publish’ that allows users to generate HTML code about an item stored in iTaggit and to allow embedding in other web apps.
This feature is used today to add items to myspace.com and other cool sites. I just listed my Jeep on Craigslist and was able to use it to do the same thing.

This means that you can essentially add multiple pictures, video, links, and documents about your items to your listing by using the html generator. What you do is use the Publish menu option, select and copy the html code, go into your craigslist listing, and paste it in the description field. Below is what you will get:

Our listing of the 23 hottest gifts for the holidays.

This was part of a press release about the 23 hottest gifts for the holidays this year. Check out details on the items in the list by going to our public collection on iTaggit.

iTaggit, the leading online collection Web site that aims to change the way people collect, organize, and enjoy their personal items and collections, today announced a list of this holiday season’s twenty-three “must-have” gifts. Exactly one month until Black Friday, the biggest holiday shopping day of the year, consumers are already beginning to think about the holiday season. Americans plan to spend an average of $909 on Christmas gifts this season, according to a recent study issued by the Gallup Poll.

“We expect this holiday shopping season to be another busy one and we are preparing for it accordingly” said CEO David Altounian. “As a result of our continually evolving site consumers can use iTaggit to create their own holiday gift wishlists to share with family and friends, as well as catalog and organize what they’re giving others this season.”

The holiday shopping season can often prove stressful and chaotic, but iTaggit provides consumers a way to organize their holiday gift giving plans, as well as manage their own holiday wishlists. Recently released features, including an eBay upload tool and a public wishlist sharing function, make preparation for the 2007 holiday season simple and fast.

Based on the ten most popular categories on iTaggit’s site, iTaggit predicts that their user community will soon have the following products on either their own wishlists or plan to give these items as gifts for the 2007 holiday season:

  • Action Figures: Jakks Pacific’s WWE 6″ Figures and Transformers Optimus Prime
  • Books: Stephen Colbert’s I Am America (And So Can You!) and The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
  • Comics: Spawn #1 from Image Comics and DC Comics’ Batman #1
  • Dolls: Fisher-Price’s TMX Tickle Me Ernie and Disney’s/Play Along’s Singing Hannah Montana In Concert Doll
  • Electronics: Apple’s iPod 16gb Touch, Sony’s Bravia HDTV and Toshiba’s HD-A2 HD DVD Player
  • Entertainment (Video & Music): Disney’s High School Musical, DVD set for Sopranos Season 6, Part 2, Transformers DVD and Bruce Springsteen’s “Magic” album
  • Fashion: Coach handbags
  • Sports Memorabilia: Tom Brady’s #12 New England Patriots jersey and MLB Colorado Rockies memorabilia
  • Toys: Fisher-Price’s Smart Cycle and Hasbro’s Nerf N-Strike Disc Shot
  • Video Games: Activision’s Guitar Hero III Bundle, Bungie Studios’ Halo 3 and Valve’s The Orange Box

The next economy

The economic situation continues to change as our excessive consumption catches up with us. This isn’t a viewpoint from a radical anti-capitalist, it’s the view of a excessive consumer. As our money supply tightens people are going to begin to look at what they have collected and try to convert it to a more fungible commodity (ie, cash!). In order to do this, people are going to need to find tools that help them organize collections of the things that they own or are no longer using.

This surplus asset base is ripe for harvesting. As people are tightening up on cash they are looking for deals. Maybe a used DVD or piece of furniture is a better investment than forking out cold hard cash for new stuff. Maybe there’s a need for liquidity and that comic book collection could bring some needed dollars back into the account. Not only does that person need to manage collections of their things, but they also need to research their collections. One of the biggest barriers to selling on sites like eBay is the fear of being ripped off. iTaggit is trying to provide tools to help users manage, organize, and research the value of things that they have.

I’m interested in research about how much true value is sitting dormant in people’s homes. Think about your home. How much money do you have tied up into surplus assets?

New eBay Listing feature on iTaggit

This week iTaggit unloaded a new tool to help users organize collections. The eBay listing tool allows users to post items from inside iTaggit directly into eBay. eBay registered users can post directly from iTaggit while non-registered users can create an account with eBay while working in iTaggit. Users will find this new feature very helpful as they manage collections.

Show Off Your Stuff Contest at iTaggit

Show Your Stuff and Win!!!

Win an iTaggit t-shirt by uploading 10 or more of your favorite things into a new public collection for iTaggit to admire! For every collection of 10 or more items you are also in the running to win a $250 Amazon Gift Card!! Just be the owner of the collection that receives the most views by October 15th to win the grand prize. Good Luck!

To Win a iTaggit t-shirt

1. Create a new iTaggit public collection between September 15th and October 15th.
2. Upload 10 or more items in the collection and we’ll send you an iTaggit t-shirt of your choice.
3. SarahB will contact you once you have successfully uploaded your 10 items to receive your prize. Contact SarahB for any questions or concerns.
*Limit (1) t-shirt per registered user.

Win a $250 Amazon Gift Card

Between September 15th and October 15th, the owner of the public collection that receives the most number of views will receive a $250 Amazon Gift Card. Collections must have at least 10 items to qualify. The leaders will be announced daily on iTaggit’s homepage. The collection that has received the most number of views will be announced on October 15th.

Use iTaggit’s “Send This Collection To a Friend” tool to e-mail your collection to your friends and increase your collection views. To do this:

1. View your collection;
2. Click on the item actions menu AND choose “Send This Collection to a Friend”;
3. Enter as many email addresses as you would like and include a personal message to promote your collection!

Go to www.itaggit.com to join us!

Click here for more contest rules and regulations.

iTaggit Artist Profile: Val Walden

This month iTaggit is profiling one of the iTaggit users – ‘Val’ who is Val Walden, a local Austin artist who works in Pastels and Watercolors. Val has posted some of her work at iTaggit. Her collection ‘Impressions Left Behind’ and samples of some work from her ‘Red Skies at Night’ collection are on iTaggit. Her work is exciting and incorporates strong, bold colors in stunning visual pieces.

Val is now a resident artist at ArtSpoken Gallery & Studio in Austin, Texas. She is a member of the Waterloo Watercolor Society, the Austin Pastel Society and the Austin Visual Arts Association. More on Val’s beautiful work can be seen at her website www.waldenart.com.

iTaggit is the leading website for managing and organizing your collections. Every month we highlight collectors and artists through our newsletters and online blogs. Check it out at www.itaggit.com.