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Sunday, June 19, 2005

LVWD: community websites

I'm doing some checking for the LVWD investment. The case of not finding LVWD based forums could mean that the forum is under development. But when a forum exists (especially if it's existed for at least 6 months), it should have a lot of activity. If few or no forums exist, then it means something is very wrong.

Campbell's website: I'm not sure the extent of what LVWD does for Campbell's. It seems like it's just the forum (the URL in the "Kitchen Table" area contains the liveworld name in the forum, not elsewhere). The website seems ok, but the frequency of replies in the discussions is slow: usually several days before anyone responds. A lot of discussions don't have responses. I spent several years on Usenet discussion boards of all sizes and Campbell's really doesn't have critical mass at this point.

I started with the Sopranos website: wow this website is a real community (I noticed the little "powered by LiveWorld" text in light gray). Lots and lots of discussions.

Looking at the "Sex and the City" community, it's also doing very well (powered by LiveWorld).

Real Time with Bill Maher community is active, but has a lot of dead time in it.

Deadwood community is very active. I had never heard of this show.

There are several other shows with varying levels of community activity. Overall I'd say HBO seems like they're getting a good amount of value from LiveWorld.

Now on to QVC, Dove, Expedia.com

LOS GATOS, Calif., Dec. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- LiveWorld, Inc. (Pink Sheets: LVWD) today announced it has launched services in the past 90 days for new clients QVC, Dove (Unilever's Dove Real Beauty Campaign), and Expedia.com. Each of these market leaders selected LiveWorld as the provider for various online community services. The contracts represent significant new revenue for LiveWorld in both years 2004 and 2005.
Additional new clients in year 2004 include Aramark, BEA Systems, Gatorade (via Tribal Systems), Macys (via Wetfeet), Medical Broadcasting Network, PayPal, and SUN MicroSystems.
LiveWorld clients that have renewed and/or expanded their relationship with LiveWorld in 2004 include:

* America Online * HBO
* A&E Television Networks * Intel
* Breastcancer.org * MINI Cooper USA
* eBay * Slim-Fast
* The Campbell Soup Company * The Walt Disney Company
* Discovery Communications * Warner Brothers
The QVC community is large and very active. There were supposedly over 500 users online when I checked at noon Eastern time on a Sunday. There was nothing saying it was powered by Liveworld, but I noticed it had a minor bug that also exists in either the HBO or Campbell's forum (I forget which): go to a user ID, it shows recent posts by that user, click on one of them, it takes you to the thread but not the actual post the user made. I noticed that the oldest date for a username is Oct 6, 2004 and that a lot of user names were created on this same date. Looking what what some of those people wrote, it looks like they are those contractors who LiveWorld hires. But it's hard to tell.

I didn't see any forums here, although they could be in the corporate travel section.

Cooper Mini
This is a snazzy website that I had seen before (someone I know recently bought one of these cars and was showing off the website). The owners' area requires a vehicle number (you have to own a car or are taking delivery of one). Perhaps I'll ask the guy about the website community.
UPDATE: The mini cooper owner that I know said the website is OK, but not all that useful.

This community seems pretty crappy and it's only moderately active. I have to wonder if this is LiveWorld or perhaps the LiveWorld version isn't online yet?

This community is like the others. It has the "Powered by LiveWorld" message. It's pretty active. There are 230 users online, all but 8 are guests.

Discovery Channel
There doesn't seem to be a community at the main page, but I found one in Animal Planet. The site is modestly active. It's a bit different from the others.

The Travel Channel community is interesting. They have a nice structure for being able to exchange information about specific places (such as restaurants in exotic locations). You create various travel journals based on trips and these get linked into the overall database.

This community is definitely LiveWorld. There are a very large number of discussion areas, but the overall traffic is not as great as you'd think.

This community is moderately active. It seems somewhat different from the other groups. I'm not sure if it's LiveWorld. They have a blog section, a newsgroup section, and a wiki section. Overall, it's very extensive. Typical techie support area stuff.

I've always said Intel is a stupid company. They're good at making fast chips, but they have profoundly bad marketing. Typical for semiconductor makers. I've had contact with them off and on over the years as a developer and of course as a user. They have a newsgroup area for developers here. It doesn't seem like LiveWorld.

I don't see any forums here. I tried logging on (since I have an account through my 401K at work).

I don't see anything here.

This is supposedly a project within the last 3 years, meaning they lost the contract. There is an area that is supposed to be a community, but it's very lame.

H & R Block
This is another previous project. I don't see anything there.

This is a new agreement in April of this year. I don't expect anything on the website, but, as someone who has used Intuit for taxes, the need for a very extensive community is huge here. LiveWorld can add a great deal of value for Intuit and tax customers.

The InSite
This was developed by LiveWorld, but it seems like a bad idea and apparently died a slow death.

The InSite first launched in 1997 as part of the online community, Talk City, produced by LiveWorld Inc. After changing ownership several times, The InSite is now back in the hands of its creators, Annie and David Fox. We're in the process of updating the site and hope to have it fully functional by March 2003.

Procter & Gamble
Another previous project. They have a very extensive website for all the zillions of products. I checked out IAMS and look for communities around cats and dogs. They have a lot of stuff that's a very controlled psuedo community. Not bad. I have no idea what LVWD did for P&G.

Ok, so the next obvious step is to set a baseline for googling for "powered by LiveWorld" forums. This is all I get:

UPDATE July 13, 2005:
Same results when Googling for "Powered by LiveWorld"

UPDATE Oct 23, 2005:
Tulane Law School is new. Better results searching "Hosted by LiveWorld" excluding eBay.

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