We Have 10,000 Facebook Fans!

In only a few weeks we have moved from 7,000 Facebook fans to over 10,000 Facebook fans today. Thanks to everyone for all of your support! Coming pretty soon, we are going to develop a custom application using Facebook’s platform that will integrate PeekYou’s free people search into Facebook, allowing our Facebook users to search for people on the public web direct from our Facebook fan page.

PeekYou's Facebook Fan Page on www.facebook.com

Head over to our Facebook page for more exciting updates from PeekYou, and participate in some of the polls that we put out on our page to listen to our active (and growing) community! We appreciate everyone who has been with us through our incredible journey, and we are looking forward to more growth!

Thanks,
The PeekYou Team

PeekYou Proud to Announce Partnership with Reputation.com

We here at PeekYou are very proud to announce our brand-new partnership with Reputation.com. This partnership will give our users, and Reputation.com’s clients, more choices with, and control over, the privacy, sharing, and promotion of their online information. This announcement is being made as PeekYou and Reputation.com are working to not only provide for users opportunities to effortlessly and automatically opt-out of websites, but also to enhance their online presences by spreading the word about themselves, should they so choose. By allowing consumers to be better capable of controlling their information (public and private), in any way that they see fit, PeekYou believes users’ online lives will be altogether more secure and satisfying.

Reputation.com teams up with PeekYou

PeekYou remains committed to an open and transparent web, which is why we developed a Privacy Pledge to explain to users exactly how and where we find their information, and how their individual footprint online is linked. “A lot of people who share information on the web simply don’t understand exactly who can see it and where it can go,” says Raj Ajrawat, General Manager at PeekYou.com. “By working with companies such as Reputation.com, we hope to give users more choices and educate them on how the information that they share, knowingly or unknowingly, can spread across the web.”

Over the next few months, PeekYou will be developing a deeper relationship with Reputation.com. During that time, we also hope to initiate an industry round-table to discuss issues such as online privacy, sharing information online, and consumer identity on the web. We believe this partnership will only bolster PeekYou’s already strong commitment to providing our users with a free and open search engine, and one that only finds publicly available information about individuals which those individuals themselves want to be sharing. Ultimately, our goal remains the same as it has always been: to re-index the web around people.

Amazon EC2 Problems; Site Doing Fine

As we are sure some of you have read over the past 24 hours, Amazon has been experiencing a lot of problems with their Amazon Cloud Compute EC2 cluster located in Northern Virginia. PeekYou uses Amazon’s EC2 to help offload some of the day to day operations that we have here on our website. However, we were largely unaffected by the failure of the cloud due to the fact that we have many of our mission critical operations running in-house.

PeekYou’s Michael Hussey was featured in a few articles regarding this, including Market Watch, All Things Digital blog and CNNMoney.com. Michael notes that we have been seeing some problems with Amazon’s cloud ever since December of last year, and that things have been gradually getting worse.

PeekYou Partners With iSocket For Self-Service Advertisement Buying

A lot of things are happening here at PeekYou. We recently just became a Top 500 US website according to Quantcast, and are tracking to hit Top 400 fairly soon. As part of this growth, we recently partnered with a media buying platform named iSocket. iSocket allows anyone with an display advertising budget to come to our website and purchase impressions for any given time period that they like. It gives buyers the ability to choose what they want to buy, and for how long they want us to display their ads.

How does it work?
All you have to do is go to PeekYou’s online ad shopping cart, which allows anyone to come through and by a specific amount of impressions for any of the 4 inventory placements that we have open on our website. Once you decide how much to buy and when you want your ads to run, all you have to do is upload your creative and a process a payment. All impressions purchase through iSocket are guaranteed on PeekYou.

Use our self-service checkout to buy display advertising on PeekYou.com

PeekYou recently partnered with iSocket to allow brand managers and media buyers to purchase premium display inventory on PeekYou.com

Who is PeekYou’s audience?
PeekYou indexes well with a slightly female, well educated and affluent online audience in the 18-45 age range. We are the perfect publisher for media buyers and digital planners who would like to get the message out about their specific product or brand to as many people as possible. If you want to learn more about PeekYou’s audience, please view our Advertising Page and Demographic Information pages.

What type of inventory to do you have?
PeekYou is currently selling 4 specific placements across our website. They include:
1. 728×90 Leaderboard on the Search Results page
(ex. peekyou.com/michael_hussey)

2. 300×250 Medium Rectangle on the Search Results page
(ex. peekyou.com/michael_hussey)

3. 728×90 Leaderboard on the Individual Listing page
(ex. peekyou.com/michael_hussey/5)

4. 300×250 Medium Rectangle on the Individual Listing page
(ex. peekyou.com/michael_hussey/5)

Sounds great! Where do we buy?
Head over to our iSocket page, which allows you to purchase the inventory that you would like to buy.

If I have some questions, who can I speak to?
Send us a note at advertising@peekyou.com with your inquiry. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

We are starting off our prices low to garner some interest in display advertising on PeekYou.com. Get in early while our inventory is cheap! PeekYou presents a great opportunity for brands to get in front of an affluent, slightly more female crowd that spends money online. With our number of pageviews per visit, we allow brands to get their message across to thousands of viewers per day at an extremely competitive CPM.

Thanks,
Raj
@rajpeekyou

We Are A Top 500 Us Website

PeekYou recently ranks in the US Top 500 according to Quantcast

PeekYou's growth has been steady and consistent over the past few months

Wow. To think only 4 months ago we wrote a post outlining that we were a Top 1,000 US Website, coming from being in the Top 1,500 in September. Clearly we didn’t want to stop there just yet. Our growth has been steady and consistent over the past few months, and we cannot thank all of our users enough for this phenomenal growth. Thank you to everyone out there who made this possible, including all of our employees, advisors, directors, family and friends who have been there with us on this incredible journey.

Our very own Quantcast ranking badge

That doesn’t mean the journey is over; not by a long shot. We’ve got our eyes on the Top 250, and we hope to get there by the end of the year. Stay tuned for more updates and hopefully we’ll be writing another post soon with yet another traffic barrier that we break.

Thanks,
The PeekYou.com Team

Is The Username Dying?

The following is a post written by PeekYou’s General Manager of Product, Josh Mackey.

What would happen if at a school’s talent show some parents stood up and started heckling the child playing the piano or dancing in front of them? “You’re awful!” or “You call yourself a dancer?” For one thing, it would never happen. And if it did, the rest of the audience would turn on the heckler and defend the 13-year-old performer. Even if every parent in the audience inwardly agreed that the child was talentless, they would keep their opinion to themselves for the time being and clap at the end of the performance. Why? Because of the negative consequences of behaving uncivilly—to one’s reputation and even to one’s standing in the community. Common sense, right? How come then common decency is thrown out the door in the case of Rebecca Black’s YouTube performance? Why can so many people not refrain from publicly ridiculing this 13-year-old girl trying to be a singer and songwriter?

What explains the essential difference in behavior when the medium is the Internet? What changes people when they interact online? Why do they behave so savagely so often? Could it be the anonymous username? Could it be that when they hide behind an alias, they feel invisible, and hence not accountable for their actions? Is the anonymous username the modern-day Ring of Gyges?
Going by a username instead of one’s real name is attractive to those who:

1) Value privacy above all else
Sure, a username gives you some extra privacy, but of what use is such privacy? If you can’t publicly stand by what you do online because doing so would damage your reputation, then maybe just don’t do it. Show some integrity and stand by your comments on an Internet forum. There are legitimate concerns over privacy, I don’t deny it, but ultimately people need to understand that public identity and privacy are two different notions, and that you can declare who you are without violating your own privacy. It’s not even hard to manage. Simple steps go a long way; steps such as thinking twice before posting personal details, and keeping off the record birthdays, phone numbers, street addresses, medical and financial records, and SSNs. Disseminating this kind of information on the Internet can be disastrous to your privacy. Divulging what your favorite music bands or movies are? Not so much.

2) Seek free speech for political reasons
Free speech is another catch cry in behalf of the anonymous web, and sure, if you live in Iran, and wish to speak out against the government, then you have a case. But if you yearn for “free speech” as nothing more than a cover for bad-mouthing people while not exposing your identity, then your tirade about anonymity and free speech on the Internet doesn’t garner much sympathy from me.

3) Wish to live vicariously
Some people need the web to be a fantasy land, a valve of release.
I understand people not divulging their real identity on sites like IMVU or Second Life. Doing otherwise would defeat the purpose of such virtual worlds premised on escaping reality. But should we commiserate with someone who wants to live vicariously as a bully on YouTube, or as a jerk on TechCrunch or the WSJ? I think not.

4) Are bad players
Simply put, some people are straight up bad players who are planning to do illegal or immoral things online, which can’t possibly be done without the use of an anonymous username or fake identity. Think “How to Catch a Predator.”

I predict that one day a transparent online identity will become the norm, and lurking behind anonymous usernames, the exception. More and more people will put a premium on interactions with other people whom they can identify, and who can be held accountable for their online actions. One’s Internet reputation will become almost as valuable as one’s offline reputation. Even today, we’d all rather know who left that comment, wrote that article, sent that email, or is selling this car. It’s already happening and, in my opinion, it’s the main reason why Quora has been so successful: because it requires some form of verified, public identity. More illustrations of the trend include successful sites such as About.me, card.ly, flavors.com, etc. On the Internet, we want to deal with people of clout, who don’t hide their name and face. “BigBizDog88″ is so 1999.

The web is emerging from its chaotic and troubled adolescence, where anything goes and you can be anyone or no one. There are more and more people to interact with nowadays, and on many more levels than in the past. The potential for clutter grows exponentially, along with the size of the Internet itself. So pretty soon, we won’t have the time of day to give to anonymous nobodies. My prediction is that in the not-too-distant future, a deep chasm will open throughout the Internet. On one side of it will be a transparent market of ideas, where people network and transact with their cards on the table and virtual name tags on. And on the other side will be the black market, so to speak, of shady dealings, casual encounters, cyber bullying, and other unsavory activities, all of which thrive only under the shade of the anonymous username.

Going by an anonymous username, even for what are today considered legitimate reasons (i.e., privacy considerations and the like), will be considered your “opt out” from the open and accountable Internet and will leave you on the dark side of the chasm. Unfortunately, even if you have the best intentions, you’ll be left in the company of the BigDog’s and hotdude’s of the web, untrusted and ignored, like spam.

Josh Mackey
@joshmackey
GM Product at PeekYou