I learned this week about Thomas Power, the man from the UK, who claims to be #1 in the world in business connections. He has more than 1600 connections in LinkedIn.com, an unbelievable number! I've been using LinkedIn.com actively since November and have 151 connections. I'm the most LinkedIn person in Utah. But Mr. Power (I'd say he is well named!) has totally surpassed supreme online influencers like Joitchi Ito and Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn.com. It turns out he is a full-time professional business networker. He runs ecademy.com, a business networking company with 26,000 members. Many of his online connections and endorsements come from people he's never met, but still, he seems to have earned this recognition. He must spend a lot of time forwarding referrals to and from members he has never met.
It was great to learn today that Blackboard has filed its S-1 for an IPO. Blackboard is a dominant company in online software for higher education courses. They estimated that 12 million students and faculty used their system last year. Revenue hit $92.5 million, while losses were reduced dramatically from $51 million in 2002 to $11.5 million last year. The online education market is something that Infobase Ventures is very interested in.
Huge news: According to CBS Marketwatch, Ask Jeeves has said that it will no longer guarantee inclusion for web sites that pay to be included in its search engine results. In my opinion, Google has proven that paid�inclusion is evil, or at least really stupid. Search engines should index all worthy sites and not just commercial ones that pay. I don't think Google will ever resort to paid inclusion.