Neglected Eyeballs

For me to really understand something I need either a great diagram or for smaller ideas an evocative name.

At a get together of some X-coworkers this week we were discussing the relative merits of a few different potential web businesses (as we often do).

Observing a variety of web businesses I have come to believe that the access to a market is the single most important factor in determining its eventual success.

Access to market can be through having a relevant and significant soapbox (37 Signals), finding the perfect niche publication (leveraging natural SEO) or most commonly, having inexpensive search terms available that are well suited to the business (cheap SEM).

Coining a term I find evocative for this (relatively) common idea of either underpriced SEO or SEM I am going to be calling them “neglected eyeballs”.

I really like the name because its catchy and it just makes me want to go help save them from their neglect wherever they are found.

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2 responses to “Neglected Eyeballs

  1. So how does something like twitter fit in? They were the ‘niche publication’ that then became not-so-niche? I still believe in celebrity endorsements :-).

  2. There is definitely a category of “break out” services that I would put Twitter in. They were not buying their eyeballs. Actually there are tons of cool services but some pick up tech pundit support and then can crossover to mainstream. Twitter made that jump. Foursquare has big tech pundit (catch all term) and is teetering on that mainstream adoption. I am not sure if enough people will find Foursquare useful to make the jump, but I digress.
    So in my simplistic model I would say I am thinking smaller than the breakout mainstream web services. Its great to have that upside but its really, really hard to bank on. I would rather know I can buy my audience and that its for sale and increase the chance of moderate success than shoot for the stars and have incredibly bad odds of achieving it. Am I thinking too small?

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