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Summary:

Scott Rafer would be a dangerous fellow if he were running a hedge fund. He would make momentum bets that would either pay-off or fizzle out. He does precisely that in the start-up world, when he finds a hot trend. Wi-Fi (WiFinder), Blog Search (Feedster), Blog […]

Scott Rafer would be a dangerous fellow if he were running a hedge fund. He would make momentum bets that would either pay-off or fizzle out. He does precisely that in the start-up world, when he finds a hot trend. Wi-Fi (WiFinder), Blog Search (Feedster), Blog Communities (MyBlogLog) and MashUps (Mashery.) Some of them pay-off, others fizzle out. But he keeps coming back…
So, what’s next for him: Facebook, Silicon Valley’s Furbie. He is launching an ad-network for Facebook apps.

In the comments section of our previous post about FBexchange, Rafer says he has teamed up with Compete.com co-founder David Cancel, and the duo are launching a Facebook ad-network called Lookery. “Lookery, an ad network just for Facebook app publishers, is selling now and will be live in a week or so,” he writes. By the way Scott, 30Boxes people will be selling ads to. (Scott is still not talking to me for missing his wedding lunch, and communicates purely through the blog comments.)

Additional reading on Facebook marketing: Dave McClure has a post up where he says, “people are still pretty clueless on how best to design & market their Facebook Apps.”

PS: If you are a VC, can you let us know how many pitches you have seen with Facebook in the presentation deck. If you are an entrepreneur, please let us know how many VCs have asked you about your Facebook strategy.

  1. It’s funny (or funny sad) – I’m at Widgetcon, and no one has brought up Facebook applications as widgets.

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  2. @Jeremy. Ha! That is somewhat ironic because Facebook was adamant that the apps never be called widgets…

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  3. Narendra,

    I think that’s because “widget” is a dying buzzword. When people hear it, think of something relatively useless with little interactivity.

    Application, on the other hand, brings up images of something powerful tool that enables someone to finish a task.

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  4. Damn my grammar! Om, you really need a preview button. Get your GigaOm staff on that! ;-)

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  5. Who got rich during the 1849 gold rush? The shop owners selling the pick axes, sluices, and dynamite. Not the gold diggers. Rafer has taken the best approach.

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  6. That was fast.. :)

    By the way my name is David Cancel not “David Chance”, although I Chance might be a better name…

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  7. Also sign up for the sneak peak here:

    http://lookery.com

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  8. David, I fixed your name. i think given the start-up addict you are and working with, chance is a better name. go for it. i will write an entire post about the name switch, if you go ahead ;-)

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  9. David Cancel,

    I definitely like the idea. Probably not as big as other ad networks, but there’s no doubt you’ll be bringing in the sense… err… cents.

    This is a logical step… Keep in mind that MySpace will most likely be launching a similar platform, allowing you to expand appropriately, without relying 100% on one network or the other.

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  10. Hi Om,

    We got past that months ago. I gave up on email and voicemail for you. Now at least I know how to send you notes that you’ll read. :)

    I don’t see my projects the way you do, but I agree to a certain extent — managing money for other people is not my game.

    Dave (a very early user of MyBlogLog and Mashery) and I started doing some business planning around what we think is a large and fundamental problem. We were going to kick it off in the fall but saw this tactical market entry point due to some of the consulting I’ve been doing, so we got off our butts and got to work.

    Miss ya baby,
    Scott

    P.S. Coffee the week of Aug 6 when I return to SF?

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  11. Maybe it is time to update the VC Snowman for the Facebook age…

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  12. Thanks Om. I plan on challenging Scott for the startup-addict title. Then he’ll need to change his name.

    @Robert Dewey “Indeed!”

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  13. Hopefully Lookery will utilize a CPA approach since this is a social space. Any comment on this? Either way I’m sure it will be interesting as it involves co-founders from two companies which keep people first. When is the expected rollout?

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  14. thanks for the link Om :)

    best of luck to both Scott & Narendra… certainly seems like a big market opportunity.

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  15. I think we can all, very comfortably admit at this point, that almost every VC and every startup is looking at a “Facebook strategy.” Whether there’s merit in that or not…without a doubt Facebook put themselves into many, many startups’ plans instantly when they launched their apps platform.

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  16. @Brian, we’re getting our service up ASAP which means CPM for the moment. We completely agree more can be done, but we need to get the targeting to an acceptable level first. Then we’ll offer at least a combo of CPM + CPC.

    When it comes to CPA, what “A” do you think is appropriate. We don’t have that answer ourselves yet.

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  17. @Narendra – well, true, they are apps, but the conference is about the marketing of widgets, and you cannot ignore the power of Facebook applications.

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  18. As with many things, I agree with Narendra.

    http://rafer.wirelessink.com/?p=71

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  19. At the risk of being ridiculed, I have to tell you that you have a fine blog post with one exception. You wrote, “Scott Rafer would be a dangerous fellow if he WAS running a hedge fund.”

    The correct form is, Scott Rafer would be a dangerous fellow if he WERE running a hedge fund. The verb “be” in past tense, subjunctive form becomes “were” as in: if he were, if she were, if I were, etc.

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  20. @tresparfait

    And, I should have said “As in many instances,” in my comment. Alas, grammar’s gettin’ screwed by the rise of blogging.

    Om est seulement le pluspart parfait comme tous les autres.

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  21. Facebook is great, and this new wave of innovation will only allow it to become better.

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  22. between this post and the comments I feel like I know everyone here! great plug for mcclure and rafer. having had some very interesting discussions with rafer this spring on the next gen for ad networks I am not surprised to see him and his partner in crime come up with a great idea. good luck guys – I look forward to learning more.

    @jeremy – too funny re: widgetcon and the lack of FB discussion. we should catch up sometime.

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  23. Facebook will definitely leverage their own ad network. There is no way they would allow this revenue stream to go away. Not sure why these guys would do a preannouncement for a product that many others could do more effectively. From what I can see, neither founders have any ad experience. Good luck fellas…

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  24. Hey old friend, nice photo. Wedding lunch?? Do tell!

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