Sometimes you don't need a fancy booth at a trade show to make a
Take little-known openCOLA, whose members weaved in and
out of the crowds passing out flyers at the Streaming Media
Conference, Wednesday in San Jose.
What we're doing is making something that is more objective that
what the Web can offer," says openCOLA Director of Streaming Media
The Toronto-based company with San Francisco offices makes
Colavison, an XML-based distributive peer-to-peer (P2P) search and
announcement tool for streaming media.
"It's independent of the Web," says Williams. "If you're someone
who has a broadband connection and you like to watch streams and
listen to audio, you're still forced to go to a search site like
Yahoo and maybe click through a layer of Web interaction that is
not relevant to you."
Williams says the system is format independent, device
independent and platform independent.
"Right now its about 150K and sits on your desktop," says
Williams. "You're able to input criteria similar to
meta-information you would find in MP3 or other streaming
TRADESHOW GUERILLA MARKETING
Without an official booth at the show, Williams and a handful of
openCOLA faithful roamed the floor with as many fliers that they
could handle, handing them to just about anyone who will
"We're marketing our product to content developers, networks -
just about everyone who knows that streaming media has its own
place and should be independent of the Web," says Williams.
Dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt, Williams looks more like a
programmer than a pitchman, but after six years of attending
Streaming Media conferences he says the company spends its money on
the product than the promotion.
"When I come here, I see a lot of companies that are competing
with each other," says Williams. "I've been involved with these
conferences since 1994, and since the project has changed over the
years I've done just about everything.
The company was formed last year, employs about 40-45 people and
has just gone through its second round of financing. After
unloading his stacks of business cards and fliers, Williams says he
hopes to partner with someone who loves broadband but hates
searching through advertising to get to it.
"This is a more objective and more realistic approach to finding
out what's on the Internet," says Williams.
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