Tuesday, May 13

Verticals: Collaborate or Die

It's easy to be distracted by the 'big guy's' in digital right now. But the innovation in this industry is always driven by the small garage ventures.

I came across GameSkoot today which is a really simple nice implementation of a vertical search engine for Video Games. Nothing ground-breaking, just a simple service that looks good and works. Whilst Google scoops the volume, there has to be a space for specialists to work with their industry peers, bloggers, advertisers and make this work.

Video Gaming is the perfect industry for this, it's a 'niche area' that's bigger than Hollywood, it is dominated by 'otaku' (obsessive designers, players, fans) but published by heavyweights such as EA, UbiSoft. There are a million blog sites, fan sites, gaming sites set-up by the 'otaku' that combined, makes up the perfect advertising vehicle for the next console, MMO or gambling site. But where will EA advertise? On big brand portals and AdSense.

The difficulty is none of these 'industries' are collective or collaborative enough to combine the power of their members. They don't combine forces they compete with each other. That's where Google is both smart (it's become the enabler via a one size fits all AdSense and now Open Social), but Google is vulnerable here too..

If the gaming industry adopted GameSkoot (for example) as it's search engine, they could create a market, an advertising industry and a distribution platform. And because it is run and developed by 'the otaku' it could beat the one-size fits all of Google hands down.

The big guy's have the advanced technology and the volume of audience to combine in an 'impartial' way. The small players love what they do, they just need to find a way to work together. Why not make that the focus of the next industry conference for... News, Travel, Games, Finance, Motoring...