As many astute readers of this blog may notice, I’ve not been blogging too much lately. And if you’re also a listener to The David Lawrence Show, you will have a good idea why: I’ve been up to my eyeballs with the launch of my new company, AGLOCO.
AGLOCO — which is an acronym of sorts, short for “A Global Community” — is a modern incarnation of the Infomediary concept that I helped to pioneer back during the “dotcom” days with AllAdvantage. At AGLOCO, I am a co-founder (along with a couple of former AllAdvantage founders and a new cast of thousands*) and Chief Privacy Officer. Oh, and de facto General Counsel (at least until we have enough money to hire a better lawyer). ;-)
( * Okay, not a cast of thousands… But we’ve got about a dozen Stanford students that are running most of the operations. Actually, we may very well be the largest single employer of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Class of 2007…)
What is AGLOCO?
At it’s core, AGLOCO is an Infomediary. What’s that?
On the Internet, advertisers and marketers are eagerly and greedily gathering information about you, your interests, your shopping patterns, and other pieces of your personal information. They use this information to build a “profile” which can be used to target advertisements to you. In fact, some “data brokerage” companies will sell that profile information — your information! — to the highest bidder.
An infomediary turns this equation upside down by working as an agent on behalf of consumers to gather the same kind of data profile, but this time the profile is kept private and under the ultimate control of the consumer. The infomediary then pays consumers a share of the advertising revenue. As the community of users grows, and the quality of the targeting profile improves, the infomediary can provide advertisers with a richer and more valuable advertising audience and in turn the infomediary can deliver more value back to the community.
If you look today at the most vibrant communities on the Internet, places like MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and del.icio.us, the members of those communities have made those sites into incredible successes. When MySpace sold to News Corp. for $580 Million, how much money did the users of MySpace make? When YouTube sold to Google for $1.65 Billion, how much of that money went to those lip-syncing Korean guys and the other thousands of users who made the site such a success?
Don’t get me wrong: I think the folks who create exciting websites and think up innovative “Web 2.0” concepts deserve to be rewarded for their creativity and their vision. But so do the users, without whom those sites would be nothing more than cute little ideas with no audience. Now, some will say that the users of YouTube or MySpace get value because they get the enjoyment of participating in the community and creating wacky webpages… all of which they get for the low, low price of FREE!
Yeah, well… one of our founding team stumbled upon a quote that sums up my feelings: Sometimes “Free” is Too Expensive!
AGLOCO will be the only (at least until somebody swipes the idea) Internet community where all the Members who come together to make it a success will actually share in the wealth created by their hard work and dedication. If “Web 2.0 is all about user empowerment, AGLOCO is empowering a virtual revolution!
For more information, please check out AGLOCO and if you want to sign up, please use my referral number: AGLO-0009. You can also learn more about AGLOCO by checking out my exclusive Podcast Interview with David Lawrence. I did a written interview for the AGLOCO website, too.
Listen to the Podcast here. <img src="http://www.privacyclue.com/podcasts/podcast.jpg"
To read more about AGLOCO you can also check out the following blogs where AGLOCO’s launch is already generating a lot of interest:
AllAdvantage Is Back – GigaOM (11/03/2006)
AGLOCO launches – will pay you to surf the Web – VentureBeat (11/20/2006)
Web 1.0 Undead Rise: AGLOCO – TechCrunch
AGLOCO – AllAdvantage team launches new(ish) business – E-Consultancy (11/20/2006)
AllAdvantage 2.0, AGLOCO Launches – GigaOM (11/20/2006)
Now I like AGLOCO even more – McCall’s Notes (11/20/2006)