April 13, 2010

Advisory News: MyLikes Announces Funding, Advisory Board

Today, MyLikes, formerly Likaholix, announced they have raised more than $600,000 in funding from former Googlers, and the addition of a few names to their advisory board, myself included. As you know, I've been watching Likaholix (and now MyLikes) since their launch in March of 2009, and outside of the blog, I have had numerous conversations, by phone, e-mail and in person, with co-founder Bindu Reddy on the company's progress, morphing from a social recommendation engine, to one focused on word of mouth advertising for the Web. It will be a fun challenge to have a helping hand in the company's move to the next stage.

As I have said many times here, I am not a fan of unfocused advertising or low-quality ads and for the most part, I am not a fan of advertising for advertising's sake. But I am a big fan of relevancy, and leveraging one's social graph to discover what people are not just liking, but recommending, and actually buying. Those are reasons I have been working with my6sense on relevancy, and what attracted me to sites like FriendFeed and Likaholix in the first place - as well as Blippy, where I am a happy oversharer of my actual purchasing history.

MyLikes Lets Me Select Available Advertisers And See Potential Revenue

MyLikes' attraction to me is the platform's ability to have people act as influencers in their community, promoting items and services that make the most sense for them, to their friends, and getting rewarded for spreading the word. It's something I do informally all the time as I praise some products and ignore others, and while I may not be the perfect target for this kind of affiliate model, others are finding the approach to be significantly improved, in terms of click-through rates and payouts, than standard keyword advertising.

Creating an Ad in MyLikes for Google Apps

The Ad, via MyLikes, Posted to Twitter

Ads on influencers' blogs or tweets or other social activity, which are hand-selected by the individual, carry much more weight than those selected by a generic ad network. And as Twitter has made a lot of noise around their own approach to revenue, enabling big companies to promote their services in the tweet stream, MyLikes lets the users benefit from similarly promoting exactly what they like and signing their name to it - extending beyond Twitter, but to blogs and other sites as well.

Given my history of not embracing off-topic advertising, I am looking forward to working with MyLikes to drive quality through the system. You can be sure I will be one of their more interactive advisors, and they will hear from me often.

DISCLOSURES: I am an unpaid advisor to MyLikes. I hold a small equity stake in the company. In addition, my6sense is a client of Paladin Advisors Group, where I am Managing Editor of New Media. My comments on the company's product are always independent, and do not pass their way in advance.