Archive for August 2009

Segmentation of the Top 100 Sites in the US

We’ve been looking at different angles for planning out the next bit of Ye Olde Directed Edge Roadmap and we’re starting to run some numbers on how the number of online stores and media sites breaks down in the US and I wondered, “What’s the breakdown of the top 100 sites in the US?”  It’s the kind of thing that’s good to know when you’re trying to figure out how many sites on the interwebs might be able to make use of a recommendations engine.

Here are the total counts — the results were a little surprising:

  • Media – 15
  • Service – 12
  • Search – 10
  • Adult – 10
  • Content – 7
  • Blogging – 6
  • Social – 6
  • Images – 5
  • Gaming – 4
  • E-Commerce – 3
  • Brick & Mortar Store – 3
  • Advertising – 3
  • File-sharing – 3
  • Video – 2
  • Auctions – 2
  • Hardware – 2
  • Maps – 2
  • Software – 2
  • Jobs – 1
  • Music – 1
  • Weather – 1

The top-100 list came from Alexa, and some of the categories are a wee  bit ad-hoc, but it does give an interesting idea of what the break-downs are.  I wouldn’t have guessed, for example, that adult sites beat e-commerce sites by a factor of more than 3-to-1 in the US top 100.

The full data is here in a PDF.  Holler if you want the spreadsheet version to bang on.

Demo Day Coverage

Y-Combinator’s Demo “Day” spans two days at this point — almost all of the journalists were there today and there were a couple of stories to emerge from their presence:

Today we were last in rotation, which means showing up last in the live blogging as well.  On the plus side, tomorrow, with more investor-like folks around, we’ve got the first slot of the day.

The Logo Story

So, we have a new site and a new logo. You might have noticed. We can fake web design in house, but doing a new logo was out of reach. We needed help.

On Finding Reinforcements

I asked around. There were two suggestions that came my way multiple time: 99designs and David Pache.  David’s portfolio is stunningly good, so the decision wasn’t hard, and personally I’ve always been a bit squeamish about 99designs:  lots of people competing for a chance to get one sub-market price.  It just doesn’t seem like a system that would be biased towards high quality work.  Certainly the best designers would avoid it like the plague.

But there’s another more subtle reason that I’m glad we went with a great logo designer:  they’re better than me at picking quality logos.  If I were deciding from 20 logo designs on 99designs, I’d have been hard pressed to pick the best one.  In fact, David sent us 4 mockups, and we didn’t know which one to pick.  I’m glad this one was his favorite as we’ve since warmed to it.  We were using the current one as a stand-in when a bit of serendipity made things more interesting.

The Other Whiteboard Artifact

Yesterday, Paul Graham posted “A Whiteboard Artifact” about us mapping out some of our company is about — but that wasn’t the whole whiteboard.  When he was drawing out how to explain what we do, here’s what he drew on the right half of the board:

Notice anything?  Yeah, we did too.  Here’s our new logo in full-ginormus-glory:

Previously, amusingly, we weren’t sure if the new logo quite captured what we do.  Having an advisor duplicate it on the whiteboard, never having seen it — or even knowing that we were evaluating logos — once again made the decision easy.

And that’s the story of our new logo.  For a little more visual goodness, check out the corporate identity page that David put together, including some insight on the iterations in the design process.  We’re glad to have worked with him.

TechCrunch: "YC-Funded Directed Edge Sees A Post-Search Web Where Recommendations Rule"

So, our first coverage on TechCrunch is up — and along with it we’re coming out of hiding with our Y-Combinator backing.

Amazon, of course does product comparisons, but there’s no reason recommendations shouldn’t be a part of news consumption, music consumption, social networking, basically everything we do on the web. And while there are no shortage of companies out there that focus on some of these different fields specifically, Directed Edge has developed a system that can be plugged into all kinds of different sites.

There will be some more technical news that we’ll drop in in the next couple of days — there are a couple of features that we’ve been chomping at the bit to get out to users, plus we’ll be putting together even more content for our developer site.