On Friday, the P-I’s John Cook wrote about Hyperboy, a Seattle-based start-up that is trying to do everything MySpace does and adding a liberal dose of mobile access to the Hyperboy network. Brent Brookler, a three time entrepreneur having started MountainZone and Mobliss, when asked by Cook about MySpace, “I am not saying we are dissimilar. … But if we are going to compare to anyone else, we would say it is more Flickr-like — with all content types, not just photos.” Okay, just like a new hand lotion with different fragrance than Nivea! Gotcha! [24×7]
Brightcove Acquires MetaStories
The Internet television start-up Brightcove of Cambridge, MA., has acquired Seattle-based MetaStories which markets tools that enable customers to capitalize on new broadband technologies by combining video with audio, photographs, interactive maps, and graphics.
One customer is Yahoo Inc., whose roving correspondent Kevin Sites uses the tools to produce audio-narrated photojournalism from the world’s war zones.
Brian Monnin, MetaStories cofounder and chief executive, who is a veteran of Microsoft Corp.’s MSN division, will remain in Seattle with his 10-person team. Allaire said that he decided to keep the Seattle operation as a base for recruiting multimedia employees from companies like Microsoft, Real Networks, and Amazon.com. [24×7]
Cobalt Search Driving Dealer Optimizations
About a third of the 20,000 dealers in the United States are experimenting with search engine marketing, according to a dealer survey commissioned by the Cobalt Group, a dealership technology vendor in Seattle.
Some dealers have been experimenting on their own, working directly with Google and other search engines. But most dealers are turning to companies like Cobalt to manage their search engine marketing campaigns.
Koons Honda President Ron Kody has participated in a Cobalt pilot project along with 60 dealerships. Today, his dealerships are converting as much as 20 percent of the leads generated by his search engine marketing activities. That compares with a conversion rate that has dipped as low as 4 percent from the leads he buys from third-party lead referral Web sites such as Autobytel and CarsDirect, he says. [24×7]
Amazon.com Unveils Data Storage Service
Amazon.com has unveiled a new service which leverages its massive IT infrastructure by leasing storage capacity to independent and corporate software developers.
The Seattle-based company’s Web services division unveiled the Amazon S3 service to sell excess storage capacity on Amazon’s IT systems for 15 cents per gigabyte per month for storage, plus 20 cents per gigabyte for data transfer. The Secure S3 service is now available to any developer, from college students to entrepreneurs and enterprise developers, with no start-up or monthly maintenance fees. [24×7]