Keeping It Real

Real Girls Media announced that it has received funding from WaldenVC and 3i. Here are the details.

By combining editorial, user-generated content, and community, Real Girls Media Network aims to build the leading online destinations that address the totality of women's lives, not just specific life events. Unlike existing advertising-supported Web sites, RGM will enable women of all ages to easily submit and publish their opinions and stories. The first Web site,, which is due to launch in early 2007, is targeted for women aged 25 to 54. Additional sites aimed at other age groups will follow in 2007.

"Our unique offering allows real voices to publish like professional writers. We have invested in our proprietary technology to provide a simple process to enable access to the highest end publishing environments to women of all views, walks of life, and experiences," said Kate Everett Thorp, CEO of RGM. Member-written stories, reviews, and related photos will appear alongside staff-written articles about everything from parenting to careers. "Beyond editorial and user-generated content," Thorp said, "our properties will provide traditional community services such as reviews and forums to complete the connection of women, their purchasing power, and their influence in a centralized destination."

Palamida Emerges from the Pack

The Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal named Palamida as an Emerging Technology Award Finalist.

"We are excited to recognize the achievements of these emerging companies in technology-rich Silicon Valley," said Vintage Foster, publisher of the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. "The companies we are celebrating have pioneered technologies with the potential to profoundly impact people and their businesses."

Web 2.0 on the Bubble?

The Mercury News published an interesting observation from the always quotable Ross Mayfield about the Web 2.0 Conference that is going on this week in San Francisco ...

"The downside to the conference's success is that Web 2.0 may become the name of the bubble itself."

GigaOm's Om Malik certainly seems to think so ...

Gut Check

Analysts who cover Amazon may not be crazy about Jeff Bezos' new offering, but startups certainly should be ...

Amazon has spent 12 years and $2 billion perfecting many of the pieces behind its online store. By most accounts, those operations are now among the biggest and most reliable in the world. "All the kinds of things you need to build great Web-scale applications are already in the guts of Amazon," says Bezos. "The only difference is, we're now exposing the guts, making [them] available to others."

And, he hopes, making money. With its Simple Storage Service, or S3, Amazon charges 15 cents per gigabyte per month for businesses to store data and programs on Amazon's vast array of disk drives. It's also charging other merchants about 45 cents a square foot per month for real space in its warehouses. Through its Elastic Compute Cloud service, or EC2, it's renting out computing power, starting at 10 cents an hour for the equivalent of a basic server computer. And it has set up a semi-automated global marketplace for online piecework, such as transcribing snippets of podcasts, called Amazon Mechanical Turk. Amazon takes a 10% commission on those jobs.

Bezos is initially aiming these services at startups and other small companies with a little tech savvy. But it's clear that businesses of all kinds are the ultimate target market. Already, Amazon has attracted some high-powered customers. Microsoft Corp. (MSFT ) is using the storage service to help speed software downloads, for instance, and the service is helping Linden Lab handle the crush of software downloads for its fast-growing Second Life online virtual world. Highly anticipated search upstart Powerset Inc. plans to use the Amazon computing service, even though it's still in test mode, to supplement its own computers when it launches its service sometime next year. And the search engine marketing firm Efficient Frontier uses Mechanical Turk to determine the most effective keywords that drive traffic to Web sites.

Palamida Is in Good Company

Yesterday, Palamida's Mark Tolliver was on stage with Microsoft's Steve Ballmer and Novell's Ray Lane to announce Microsoft's pact with Novell to support broad collaboration on Windows and Linux interoperability and support. Here's an excerpt from an article in eWeek:

Mark Tolliver, chief executive of San Francisco-based Palamida, who was on hand at the news event to support Microsoft's play, said, "I think this just raises the idea that people who use software need to be informed customers."

Tolliver likened the situation to that of the world of processed foods, where consumers can find out the nutritional makeup of the goods they purchase. The same should be true for software, he said. And Palamida's software enables enterprises to gain visibility into their software code bases and find out whether there is open-source code present and which licenses apply.

Tolliver said the Microsoft deal with Novell makes plain that more enterprises will need to take stock of what exactly is in their code, and opens opportunity for companies like Palamida.

"We're moving into a zone in the software world driven by this mixed open-source/proprietary-source community, and with commercial software having to intermingle with this huge amount of open-source software," Tolliver said.

He said Palamida was invited to the announcement by Microsoft, which "has been one of our customers for some time," and that Microsoft asked Palamida to sit in as a domain expert. "Our role was to be on hand as a firm who spends all day everyday on intellectual property and license compliance issues."

Here's a description of the day's events from Palamida's blog.