Making ALOT relevant

January 17, 2009

A huge challenge for our team here at Miva Direct is to continue to delight our consumer with relevant topical content.  It’s our responsibility to not only ensure that our interface is usable, but applicable.  Sometimes when developing a page companies tend to err on the side of selling as much inventory as possible. You’ll notice however that on the ALOT home page white space is abundant, and the easy navigability enhance the user experience.  We’re proud of our home product, and hope you take a minute to check it out here: ALOT


While interacting with the ALOT home page you may drag and drop any widget you feel you may want to keep track of – for example Accuweather powers our Weather widget.

Happy configuring!

Yahoo Unveils new toolbar for Web Browsing

December 17, 2008


Great news coming out of Yahoo! today via Reuters.  This is more proof how valuable the Toolbar can be for an engaged consumer.  Guaranteed revenue in an easy format for the user, which enhances the user experience is a true “win, win” for all parties. Expect to see more announcements like this in 2009. Widgets, toolbars, and customizable home pages will help us usher in the new year.  The next iteration of the new Web 2.0 isn’t only about your 16 year old’s Facebook page.  We’ll see continued focus from major interactive players looking to enhance their users experiences with their brand.

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Yahoo unveiled a new toolbar on Monday that will give Web users access to their e-mail as they surf the Web, the latest step in its strategy to make its products more open to users and third parties.

Firefox, Yahoo, Microsoft and others make toolbars — small strips that sit atop Web browsers — to give users quicker and easier access to Internet functions.

The Yahoo toolbar available later this week will allow users access to a selected group of programs from the toolbar without leaving the page they are on.

For example, users get notifications of new e-mails on the toolbar and can open them. The Internet company also showed off a newly styled in-box, which combines social networking functions and also allows users access to third party programs.

Yahoo has about 275 million users of its e-mail. Its portal relies on advertising and the company says it has an audience of more than 500 million consumers.

As is usual with Yahoo, the changes are being phased in slowly and later will be rolled out for all of its users.

The company is continuing to pursue its open strategy as it is in the middle of a transition. It is looking for a new chief executive to replace Jerry Yang, who has resigned. It also has notified 1,500 employees that they are being laid off.

(Reporting by David Lawsky; editing by Carol Bishopric)

Brainstorming for Toolbar and Homepage

December 3, 2008

Today we held our first brainstorming session since I’ve been on the Miva Direct team.  It was a huge success.  I want to share three things that I think helped us stay on point, and leave the room with a great feeling of accomplishment.

1.  Goals – My colleague Sean Conrad pointed out that before we start the brainstorming process we needed to articulate the goal of the meeting.  This goal was shared with the group prior to our meeting, and I wrote it on the white board for everyone to reference during the session.

2. No interruptions – Key to our success today was respect.  Respect for the product team, marketing team, and sales/BD teams that were all represented.  This rule again was communicated via email to the team first, and reiterated on the white board.

3. We are greater than Me.  I’ve attempted to make it clear to the entire Miva team that we are greater together than as individuals, and once we harness this power – we’ll be ready to make some great things happen.


We took copious notes, and will assign cost analysis to team members.  Once that’s complete an airtight proposal will be issued to management.  This is the first step in toward truly integrating all brainpower for the brand.  I’m fired up, and I think the team was excited as well.

Online Ads are Alive and Well

November 25, 2008

Despite our current financial crisis, US Internet ad revenue rose in the 3rd quarter of 2009 according to Yahoo Finance AP Writer Rachel Metz.

Metz goes on to say “The report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said that online advertising revenue totaled almost $5.9 billion in the third quarter, up 11 percent from the same period last year. It marked a 2 percent rise from the second quarter.”

Seeing an increase regarding any economic activity these days is a good thing, but it’s certainly encouraging for the online world to see stories like this.  The manner in which online advertisers can performance (when a consumer clicks on ads) is a direct indicator of it’s success.  Other media doesn’t offer the ability for the advertiser to track ROI.  Online advertising is truly Direct Marketing on Steroids.

FINALLY – Good news!

November 13, 2008

Next week I’ll officially start at MIVA, Inc.  I’ve been reading as much as I can about MIVA Direct, and so I can hit the ground running.  Since I’ve never been exposed this type of sell specifically, I’m really looking forward to learning from everyone involved.  I thought I’d share some preliminary details about

  • Vertically Focused toobar brand launched in Q4, 2007
  • Over 3.3 million live users as of Oct. 2008
  • Fully configurable toolbar and homepage product launched Oct 2008 – Beta versions launched July 2008
  • Flagship brand of MIVA Direct, a dvision of MIVA, Inc (NASDAQ:MIVA)

The more I get settled in, the more information I’ll share. Right now, I’m looking to expand relationships with any brands that would like to partner with us for their own personal toolbar. There are over 35 verticals thus far.