Demand Media: Audience-driven Content Authorship

Demand MediaDemand Media is a company headquartered in Santa Monica, California, which uses algorithms to predict audience measurements for different search queries; it then pays freelancers to write web articles based on these trends with the purpose of attracting web readers and ultimately sell online advertisement based on this audience. As a secondary area of activity, Demand Media owns eNom, a domain name registrar which allows people to buy their desired domain names with the ultimate purpose of having a website at those specific domain name web addresses.

While traditional newspapers find difficulties in moving into the online space due to low advertisement income (and high costs in producing editorial content and attracting an online audience for it), Demand Media uses an algorithmic approach to make sure that it produces editorial content only for specific topics where there is pre-existing demand. In addition, the company produces content written primarily about time-irrelevant areas, which allows it to monetize the content indefinitely (or at least well into the future) via ads, as opposed to the newspaper industry where most articles could be considered obsolete in a couple of days after their publish date.

The main websites operated by the company are eHow, an online repository of human knowledge with more than 1 million articles of specific information about popular search topics, and, the most visited humor website in the world (over 300 million monthly page views).

The company has been criticized for offering low quotes (around $15 per article) to freelance writers and then using dubious accounting practices of amortization in order to recoup this expense across several years, therefore giving the appearance of profitability. A recent Google search quality update called Panda attempted to emphasize webpages containing expert quality knowledge, which caused an impact to Demand Media’s traffic and lead to comments about revenue losses.

New Relic – Webapp Performance Management

New Relic is an application performance management solution, implemented as SaaS (software as a service); it is able to monitor applications that are running in cloud, on-premise, or in hybrid environments, by measuring the right performance metrics and identifying the slow-performing components.

New Relic is a company based in San Francisco, California. Lew Cirne (known as the inventor of application performance management) founded New Relic in 2008 and currently acts as the company’s CEO.

Since being founded, the company received several rounds of investing, totaling up to date 34.5 million USD. Due to their focus on user acquisition, the company recently experienced a surge in its ability to attract user traffic and is trending towards 1 million unique visitors per month.

New Relic is multi-platform and supports today’s most popular languages and frameworks, including Ruby on Rails, Java, PHP, .net and Python. Besides the free plan, prices start at $24/month/server for an annual commitment or $49 for month-to-month billing.

LastPass – The last password you’ll have to remember

LastPass is a tool launched in 2005 dedicated to the management of passwords for all the sites that a user might visit (and have an account with them).

The service includes a wide range of interesting security features; for example, users can choose to reject all login attempts to their LastPass account unless they come from a specific country. The site also features synchronization services which enable users to have their passwords available on a wide range of devices including laptops and mobile phones.

The company was founded in 2005 by four industry veterans. Nowadays it is headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, USA. On a regular month, the site attracts an average of 400’000 unique visitors.

In December 2010, LastPass announced the acquisition of Xmarks, a browser bookmark synchronization service. This allowed them to enhance their mission of providing the best data-syncing tools out there.


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