YouTube Founders Selling $326 Million in Google Shares

Bloomberg is reporting that YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen have registered to sell 3.23 million shares of Google stock.

Hurley and Chen, who founded YouTube in February 2005, may each sell shares worth about $326.2 million as of today’s closing price. Sequoia Capital, YouTube’s largest investor, may sell shares worth $504.4 million.

Others investors included in the filing include:

  • Sequoia Capital (worth $504.4 million)
  • Artis Capital Management LLC ($83 million)
  • Jawed Karim (another YouTube founder; $64.6 million)

The rest of YouTube’s employees will have to wait until vesting before they get to cash out.

What does this say about the future of YouTube? You can’t blame the guys for cashing-out, but it’s hardly a vote of confidence.

Hat-tip to Pete.

“The Sky is Falling” on eCommerce Spending

eMarketer Daily looked into its crystal ball once again Monday to produce another collection of contradictory studies and quotations. This time, we get to debate whether eCommerce will plateau soon or continue to grow the way it has (article free & live for a limited time).

The problem with exponential or even linear growth is that as you get bigger and bigger, it becomes more and more difficult to sustain the same rate of growth—but not necessarily the same amount of growth. For example, if there are 100 retailers online in 2005, 50 new retailers in 2006 is 50% growth. Add 50 more retailers in 2007, and suddenly the growth rate “plummets” to 33.3%. Also, 100% saturation doesn’t seem like a realistic goal in this generation, so yes, growth will eventually slow down.

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What Shoppers Want for Christmas This Year

Allurent, Inc. has released its “Holiday Shopping: Online Customer Experience Survey.” Their main finding is:

The survey revealed that a growing number of consumers (41% in 2006 compared to 28% in 2005) said a frustrating online experience would make them less likely to shop at that retailer’s physical store. And 59% reported that when they have a frustrating shopping experience online, it negatively impacts their overall opinion of the retailer/brand. In 2005, this number was 55%. The percentage of consumers who said a frustrating shopping experience online makes them less likely to shop at the retailer’s physical store remained at an overwhelming 82%, the same as 2005. [sic]

Based on last year’s study, I believe the last sentence should read, “The percentage of consumers who said a frustrating shopping experience online makes them less likely to return to the retailer’s website remained at an overwhelming 82%, the same as 2005.”

Sidebar Widgets Suck

I’ve just removed the external sidebar widgets from Marketing Pilgrim. As much as I loved having them on the site, they just slowed down the page load-times too much.

Looking at the click patterns via Crazy Egg, it appears few readers were actually clicking on them anyway, so why frustrate the 99% of visitors who had to suffer slow loading pages.

As a compromise, I’ve added a “pilgrim’s picks” section to the sidebar, which includes links to the Link blog, MyBlogLog community and job board.

I think widgets are fun for a blog to have, but when they start adding 8-15 seconds to a page’s load time, it’s time to rethink.

ChannelAdvisor Launches Integrated Paid Search Solution

If you’re involved in anyway with eBay (or other auction sites), you’re likely very familiar with ChannelAdvisor. They’re arguably the leaders in helping ecommerce companies sell their products via shopping channels and auction sites.

A couple of years ago, they acquired a search marketing company, and ever since they’ve been slowly integrating paid search management into their product offering. This week sees the launch of their SearchAdvisor solution, a one-stop shop for managing ads on Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask.

By integrating Google, Yahoo!, MSN and ASK.com into a single user interface, SearchAdvisor provides eTailers the ability to scale their paid search efforts without adding costly resources or sacrificing ROI targets.  SearchAdvisor takes it one step further by allowing eTailers to manage keywords on a product or sales margin basis, allowing you to know which keywords drive the most profit…and which keywords fail to drive a profit. 

Michael Jackson to Help IAC Enter Online Video Space

How about that attention-grabbing headline? See, I read the articles on the importance of headlines too, you know. ;-)

Anyway, it’s all true. Michael Jackson, the former president of cable channel USA Networks (oh wait, you thought it was the “ch’mon”, “hee, hee, hee” Jackson?) is just one of the signs that suggests Barry Diller and his formidable IAC network of companies (including Ask, Ticketmaster & CitySearch), is getting ready to branch out into online video content.

According to CNET

Some observers expect Diller to soon branch off in yet another direction: online video. A former chairman of Paramount Pictures and once one of Hollywood’s most influential executives, Diller has signaled his readiness to get back to his roots.

Video Blogger Josh Wolf Now Longest Jailed Journalist

Back in September we highlighted the legal situation video blogger, Josh Wolf, was in, because he refused to hand over video evidence to a federal court.

Facing contempt of court, Wolf was placed in a California jail and is now the longest-serving journalist behind bars in US history, for contempt, according to CNET.

Unfortunately, state laws can’t protect Wolf, as the case is a federal matter.

Wolf might normally be protected by California’s Shield Law. But federal prosecutors, who want to see if Wolf’s footage shows a San Francisco police car being set on fire at the protest, say they have jurisdiction over the case because the car was paid for in part by federal dollars. While many states have enacted shield laws to protect journalists from revealing confidential sources, notes and unpublished materials, there is no federal shield law to protect Wolf.