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E93 – Ken McCarthy from The System Seminar

In this episode of the Business Marketing Show, Ed talks with Ken McCarthy, a true Internet Pioneer and founder of  The System Seminar and System Club who “turned a pre-podcasting audio program featuring live calls and audio cassettes into a multi-million dollar business.

Ken is best known for his pioneering work in the movement to commercialize the Internet in the first part of the 1990s, including early experiments with legitimate e-mail advertising, contributions to the development of the banner ad, practical applications of pay-per-click advertising and Internet video. He is credited in Time magazine with originating the idea of using click-through rates as the key metric of website performance.

In 1994, he organized and sponsored the first conference ever held on potential commercial applications of the World Wide Web. Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape and developer of the first commercially successful Web browser, was the keynote speaker. Other Internet pioneers who acknowledge the impact McCarthy’s ideas had on their own work include Ed Niehaus, Rick Boyce, and Steve O’Keefe. In a talk at Pacific Bell in 1994, McCarthy described in detail the new content marketing and distribution model the Internet was making possible, a model now sometimes referred to as The Long Tail.

Ken talks about the early days of trying to get people to understand the Internet as a commercial advertising platform. In the early days, people using the Internet were anti-commerce, they did not want to sell things, or do advertising, but the first commercial base turned out to be banner ads.

We also honour our dear friend and internet pioneer, James Martell who sadly, passed away recently from a brain aneurysm.

James has the longest running podcast on any topic on the internet. His podcast, Affiliate Buzz has been running since 2003.

James was a great friend who adored his family and loved his work. He was always a joy to talk to and to be around.

His work lives on in his podcasts, so make sure to have a listen here

R.I.P mate.


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