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Schmidt, Holger

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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 11/10/2006

Google banks on the collaborative web

"The network effect that has been such a decisive factor for Ebay's success set in long ago: with each new user the value of membership increases for other users," writes Holger Schmidt in the newspaper's leading article. "Even Google failed in its attempts to combat this network effect. The search engine's own video clip portal was unable to match the success of YouTube. Now Google has taken the next logical step: it may sound crazy to pay 1.65 billion dollars (in shares) for an online company that hasn't even made a profit yet, but given the dynamics of the online community, it's not. The potential to capitalise on a popular website like YouTube is much greater now than it was in 2000… Nowadays users meet up and group together spontaneously on the web, without the encouragement of expensive marketing campaigns. This makes the internet an ideal environment for advertising. It can reach target groups that would be very difficult to pinpoint via traditional mass media."

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