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Jim interviews Rey Flemings, the cofounder and chief executive of Stipple, a company trying to revolutionize online photos.

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Photographs. With billions of Facebook photos being tagged, Tumblr, Flickr, Instagram, camera phones, Flip cameras, low-cost high-res DSLRs and more, there’s no doubt there’s huge numbers — and business potential — around this industry.

One of the companies trying to take advantage of this is Stipple. I spoke with cofounder Rey Flemings, and you can listen to the entire podcast for his insights. Highlights include:

What is Stipple?
Imagine this: You tag a photo in Facebook, but your friend grabs it and brings it outside Facebook’s network and puts it on their blog. Thus, you lose all of the tags.

Stipple allows anyone with a photograph to tag it and stay connected with a photo. This allows you to add tags, media, and commerce hooks around and products to sell. Once tagged, the data you specify stays with the photo throughout the web.

Stipple also offer publishers the ability to connect their sites to the “Stipple cloud.” Thus, when photos are published, they can connect back and earn publishers a revenue share.

Rey’s background
Previous to Stipple, Rey founded a company called Tennman Digital, which was an incubator in San Francisco that helped make early stage investments in companies.

This included helping celebrities like Justin Timberlake. While Jim lobbied that Justin should be given carte blanche to host Saturday Night Live every other week, Rey talks about the double-edged sword of being a celebrity investor.

The path of how he started the company
Where was the opportunity? Rey asks, “After moving from film to digital, has there been any true innovation for photographs?” He started looking for what the next big thing would be for photos.

The problem he set out to fix: Once you take a photo and goes out on the web, you lose all connection to it. Stipple will let you:
– Monetize
– Search for the photo
– Remain in touch with it
– Receive real-time analytics
– Tag once, have it stay together

Four killer use cases
1) You have a local business making wedding cakes in San Francisco. Wouldn’t you like every picture of your wedding cake to link back to your website Joe’s Bakery with the ability to contact you? Then find out 500 people moused over it and 37 clicked more info.

2) You’re Toyota. Wouldn’t you like to have every photo of a Camry on the web in your control? And say for a Labor Day Sale, tell people about 0% financing. Then change to a NEW promotion on every photo with one click.

3) Or how about Nike uploads photos of their athletes, and is willing to pay 5 cents per click. A blogger with a sports blog or publisher go to the Stipple Marketplace and can embed the photo on their site and receive revenue when someone clicks ‘shop’ within the photo.

4) Lastly, A band could upload a photo embedded with a single in it, then upgrade it with the band video 2 weeks later.

I added, what if every GQ slideshow we produce had the photos tagged that identifies what the model is wearing: jeans from J. Crew, shirt from Calvin Klein, watch from Seiko, etc

The tech side
– Uses Javascript similar to Google Analytics
– Monitoring done via a dashboard
– Bloggers can use affiliate codes

There’s no doubt photographs on the web are a huge market. If this company can help track and monetize them, Stipple will cause a ripple in the industry.

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