Brad Feld

Back to Blog

The Signal to Noise Ratio Feels Out of Whack To Me

Dec 10, 2005
Category Technology

I monitor around 400 blogs and try to stay on top of them daily (I use FeedDemon and NewsGator Online and have developed an awesome personal algorithm for getting through all the items quickly.) I also use a handful of services such as Tech Memeorandum to follow what people are talking about. I’m a fast reader and excellent skimmer so that helps.

I had a very busy day yesterday that started early so I didn’t read anything from Thursday evening through Saturday morning.  I just finished going through everything and was stunned by the amount of discussion about the Yahoo / deal.  I’m very excited and happy for everyone involved, but as I read through post after post after post saying “Yahoo bought” I started to feel something was wrong.  I checked on Technorati – “delicious” is the number one search this hour (and Yahoo is four; Delicious Yahoo is six).  I checked NewsGator’s Latest Buzz – the first is Joshua’s post and the second is Jeremy Zawodny / Yahoo’s post.

Forget about the TAR stuff (trust / attention / relevance) for a second – there is a huge content imbalance when everyone is writing about the same thing.  There was a very large and interesting deal done on Monday last week that arguably has much greater importance to the structure of the tech / media business than Yahoo / and it had extremely little coverage by the tech bloggers.  Can you name that deal?

Liberty Media acquired Provide Commerce for $477 million (PRVD was public – $33.30 / share – 50% valuation increase in the past 60 days).  Now, maybe I’m more sensitized to PRVD and L since they are both Colorado related company (L is headquartered here, PRVD is headquarter in San Diego, but the founder and good friend Jared Polis is based in Boulder.)  This is Jared’s second monster win – his first was the sale of to Excite in 1999 for around $800 million.  Oh – and he had other successes like the sale of AIS to Exodus in 1995.

But – no one is talking about this.  More specifically, very few people are speculating on what Liberty Media is up to.  John Malone and Liberty are clearly interested in making yet another round of moves, this time with focus on Internet related properties.  Greg Maffei joined Liberty Media as CEO a few weeks ago and – while Fortune had a decent introductory article setting up the landscape – there’s been very little chatter about what might become another key entrant in GAAMEY (Google / Amazon / AOL / Microsoft / eBay / Yahoo).  Oh – and where is the discussion about InterActiveCorp (IACI) – same drill  – $9 billion market cap company with key online assets and a chairman (Barry Diller) who happily and regularly makes big strategic moves.  Should GAAMEY become GAAMEYIL (or maybe AGILEAMY in honor of my wife.)

I’m perplexed.  Fortunately I have a two hour run today to ponder this more.