Archive for August, 2010

Turning heads

Posted: August 31, 2010 by chrisbagley in F3 Technologies, Uncategorized
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You may have noticed this morning’s news about the investor-relations firm we just hired, SmallCap Support Services. You may have also realized that SmallCap’s work is part of F3’s stepped-up efforts to attract more public attention to our software solutions, including our newly launched FargoTube video and entertainment service, enhancements to Interaction Community Systems, and the new Interactive Defense System municipal communications platform we launched in partnership with Noble Heroes, Inc.

We’re not just strengthening our publicity efforts; we’re focusing them and specializing them. Steve Haag has 10 years of senior-level experience in investor relations and several years of experience in marketing. He’ll be involved with the writing of most of our press releases, help to develop our communications strategy, and take over much of our direct communications with investors.

As a former business reporter and blogger for newspapers, I will focus my efforts on this blog, on attracting the interest of journalists and tech writers, and on F3’s outreach through social media such as Twitter, Digg and StumbleUpon. I’ll continue to write and co-write press releases.

I’ve been gratified to notice that F3’s various new initiatives are drawing increased attention to the company. Several press releases in August were posted, tweeted and retweeted by quite a few people, noticeably more often than just a couple of months ago. Several of you continue to post links to F3’s blog posts and press releases on InvestorsHub and other internet message boards. And traffic on this blog reached new heights again in August.

I expect that all of these trends will continue as we continue to refine our software, seal new business relationships, and expand our publicity efforts.

Big birthday bash

Posted: August 30, 2010 by chrisbagley in F3 Technologies, FargoTube, Uncategorized
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Sherrie (left) and Stephanie Miller, F3's SVP of Business Development

On another sales-and-networking trip to Nashville, Stephanie and Frank helped Sherrié Austin celebrate her birthday Saturday evening. She claimed to be turning 40, but I have my doubts. Then again, Sherrié has been in the game longer than most country musicians her age, and certainly long enough to fill her videocentric social network on FargoTube immediately after setting it up a couple of weeks ago.

The birthday girl

Before Sherrié’s music career even took off, she got into acting, co-starring in 15 episodes of NBC’s long-running “The Facts of Life” sitcom in 1987 and 1988 and appearing in an episode of Fresh Prince of Bel Air alongside Will Smith.

Her first musical fame had already come at age 14, when she opened for Johnny Cash on his 1985 tour of her native Australia.

Sherrie Austin on the deck of the USS Enterprise in 2004 (courtesy of Wikipedia)

She released her first studio album in 1992 as half of the “Colorhaus” duo. Based in Nashville, Sherrié followed with albums in 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2003, including the top-40 releases “Love in the Real World” and “Streets of Heaven.” Four of her singles have broken the top 40 on U.S. country-music charts.

Sherrié is recording new music in Nashville, including several tracks we hope to offer through FargoTube.

Our sales team was in south Florida this week, drumming up new clients for Interaction Community Systems, our online platform for managing homeowners associations’ communications and finances.

Paul and Stephanie met with three property-management companies. To some extent, these represent a new sort of growth for Interaction because a property manager almost always represents multiple HOAs, frequently paying based on the number of HOAs. These three manage a total of about 50.

“It’s always been a focus for us in the past,” Paul told me this morning after returning to Atlanta. “We just hadn’t had the opportunity” to approach as many property managers as we’re doing now. One of the three companies was referred from a bank where we’ve worked to establish relationships.

Another of the three, the smallest, signed with us after seeing an advertisement on a news and advocacy website for HOAs across the nation. The ad campaign is one of several new marketing initiatives that F3 has launched this year for its online services.

The new client is a new property-management company that has one HOA and expects to add four or five by the end of the year and 20 or so in 2011. The second company has 40 HOAs, and the third has a half-dozen or so.

I think these three companies are a pretty good illustration of Interaction’s flexibility. Individual HOAs can use it to self-manage for as little as $25 a month. Property managers can create an online community for each HOA they manage, and usually receive a 10-15 percent discount. F3 also offers a modified version of Interaction that churches can use to manage membership rosters, communications, donations and expenses.

Florida is a particularly important growth market for Interaction because of its sheer number of HOAs–I’ve seen figures as high as 20,000. The new client is our first in southern Florida, adding to the 120 communities that Interaction has in Georgia and elsewhere.

More evidence of FargoTube’s commitment to musicians, filmmakers, and video-based instructors: F3 is sharing 70 percent of the revenue generated by videos and other digital content uploaded to FargoTube between now and the end of the year.

The offer applies to revenue that the content generates between now and the end of 2011. The revenue split will then go back to something closer to 50/50. That, too, is a humongous improvement over what content owners get from the advertisement-supported sites where they post their videos, let alone from sites where their content is posted without their permission.

More details in this morning’s press release.

We’ve broadened FargoTube’s latest marketing push, with a campaign launching in the last few hours on Google. The latest ads run on Google’s AdWords platform, appearing alongside the results of certain keyword searches.

The ads include analytics, which will help us get some idea of what kinds of users are clicking through to FargoTube’s and F3’s websites.

We expect the ads to reach several million people, as does a FargoTube ad now running on Facebook. We’re planning for similar ads to run on MySpace. This campaign coincides with several other company efforts to introduce FargoTube to more artists — the key partners who supply it with video content — and to begin introducing it to large numbers of the end users who provide its revenue.

For content owners, FargoTube is a powerful online platform for monetizing video and other content, particularly for artists with niches in particular subgenres or particular regions of the country. For users, FargoTube is a fun and easy way to follow beloved musicians and filmmakers, to learn via video tutorial, and to enjoy a wide variety of other video and entertainment. The search terms we selected for the Facebook and Google ads reflect all of this.

First advisory board meeting

Posted: August 20, 2010 by chrisbagley in F3 Technologies, Uncategorized
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The inaugural meeting of our advisory board went really well yesterday.

It was easy to see why Tom Shen, the board’s first member, has come so far in the software industry. He gave us feedback on everything from big-picture topics to fine details of sales tactics, as we hoped he would. Through Tom’s contacts across a number of industry’s we look forward to meeting people in several key fields that we’ll need as we refine our online solutions and expand our customer base.

We’re aiming to hold the board’s second meeting in November. By that point, we aim to have identified a second board member from the entertainment industry. We’ll tap additional board members for their expertise and contacts in the industries served by our online platforms, in contrast to Tom, whom we chose for his savvy and success in software as a whole. I’m looking forward to see the ideas that arise once Tom and the industry insiders put their heads together with Frank, Paul and Stephanie.

2Q financials filed earlier this week

Posted: August 20, 2010 by chrisbagley in F3 Technologies, Uncategorized

We filed our 2Q regulatory report Monday afternoon and put out this press release Tuesday morning. I didn’t immediately post anything on the blog because press releases get wider distribution, but I just noticed that the short preview post is still getting hits. The first three paragraphs are below.

Aug 17, 2010 09:56 ET

F3 Technologies Posts Strong Q2

Revenue Growth in Core Businesses

ALPHARETTA, GA–(Marketwire – August 17, 2010) –  F3 Technologies, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: FTCH) today announced financial results from the second quarter of 2010. The company posted quarterly revenue of $16,759, up 10 percent from the 2nd quarter of 2009 and an increase of 32.5 percent from first quarter 2010.

Excluding revenue of $12,000 received under a consulting contract that concluded in the 2nd quarter of 2009, quarterly revenue rose 413 percent from $3,270 in 2nd quarter 2009.

The gains stem from continued growth in F3’s Interaction Community Systems HOA management and networking software, and coincide with F3’s launch of two additional social-networking solutions…

Launch of new marketing campaign

Posted: August 18, 2010 by chrisbagley in F3 Technologies, FargoTube, Uncategorized

Our first big marketing campaign for our FargoTube video and entertainment service began this week with a targeted ad expected to reach 19 million Facebook users.

The ad will be shown to Facebook users based on what they post on the service, in order to target the users most likely to become end users and content partners of FargoTube. We also plan to begin running ads on Myspace and Google, using similar targeting methodology, in the next few weeks.

For content owners, FargoTube is a powerful online platform for monetizing video and other content, particularly for artists with niches in particular subgenres or particular regions of the country. For users, FargoTube is a fun way to follow beloved musicians, favorite filmmakers, or both. The search terms we selected with Facebook reflect this.

Counting our agreement with Broadcast Music Inc., which we announced this morning, we’ve formally pledged to compensate half a million copyright owners for their music that is uploaded to FargoTube. BMI enforces copyrights on behalf of 400,000 musicians and other owners, and a similar performing rights organization, whose signing we announced last week, represents a significant but smaller number of copyright owners.

This is particularly important for a feature of FargoTube that we haven’t discussed extensively: FargoTube lets users post and share videos in much the same way that free websites allow. While each content owner organizes his or her “tube” around the videos that he or she posts and sells, subscribers can post their own favorite videos to the tube, if the tube owner allows this feature. The feature is part of what makes FargoTube a social network, and not just a distribution platform.

Inevitably, in some cases a user will post a video without the explicit consent of its creator or copyright owner. We’re paying licensing fees to BMI and SESAC to ensure that the artists do get paid for those videos.

2Q financials coming next week

Posted: August 13, 2010 by chrisbagley in F3 Technologies, Uncategorized
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Please keep your eyes open for the press release on our second-quarter financials, which we plan to issue early next week. Here’s a link to the first-quarter report.

I’ve noticed that this post is still getting hits, so I’m updating it with links to the regulatory report we filed Monday afternoon and the press release we put out Tuesday morning.