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nextMEDIA: The Start and Will “Free” Save the Future?

For a full index of all the posts related to nextMEDIA, check out where I will be updating everyone on various sessions.

Robert Montgomery, CEO of Achilles Media took the stage first to apologize for the various issues, from the registration line-up and onwards.

He was amusing as he introduced Mark Greenspan, Director of Digital Media at Achilles Media. Mark stood out in the crowd with his blazer and its white trim. He presented in a fairly monotone voice, but was fairly high energy, seeming excited about the event, and what it meant.

His hope is that the event gives a snapshot of digital media revenue today, a great idea, and hopefully it translates well going forward. Some of the sources for revenue building that they wanted to cover is multi-platform advertising, sponsorship and branded entertainment, e-commerce, pay per use and licensing.

“Our goal is to make the most relevant mix possible and service the industry the best we can” – Mark Greenspan.

One amazing thing that they have created this year was their Match Maker system, that allows people to connect with others in their field or people that might be helpful to their businesses.

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Categories: Advertising

WordPress fan art

Show your love for good ‘ol WP!

I’ve seen several creative WordPress fan art lately, which brought  me to think if there are any official or unofficial collection of all WordPress logos on the net.  If you’ve got any WordPress fan art yourself, you may want to consider writing the WordPress team to submit it for all the world to see, or use, or whatever… maybe to just brighten up their day. :)

The WordPress fan art above was from WordCamp Philippines.  Matt was quoted to “really like this art work”, though I’m sure he favors every fan art made for his WordPress work.  We’ve seen this fan art on t-shirts and bags… they really rock!

What makes me wonder though is “can people copy these logos on shirts”, some of them really are cool and would be great to wear a few myself.  Is there a way to ask permission to use them?  hmmm…  of if you would like to make fan art, would that require a permission from WordPress? double hmmmm…  wonder how that works? anyone?

Set your browsers and travel to this fan art page … and this one too.

Categories: Advertising, Interesting

The Google Web Series

I just heard today that Google is developing a web video series.

Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy

It’s 2 minutes per episode, much like a cartoon (Dilbert, Happy Tree Friends, etc.) BUT will be the first written for a series on the web. They are initially producing 50 2-minute episode to start with and they’ve tapped “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane to work on an original series that Google will distribute via its AdSense advertising system. This is according to a report filed by The New York Times. More of that story, right here. People from Hollywood have commented that this project , even if it will be exclusively avaialble on the internet, will be groundbreaking and will be a huge success!

Target audience??? Young men. Distribution method??? Thru “Cavalcades” of video clips replacing static Google advertisement.

Advertising will be incorporated into the clips in varying ways. In some cases, there will be “preroll” ads, which ask viewers to sit through a TV-style commercial before getting to the video. Some advertisers may opt for a banner to be placed at the bottom of the video clip or a simple “brought to you by” note at the beginning.

Mr. MacFarlane, who will receive a percentage of the ad revenue, has created a stable of new characters to star in the series, which will be served up in 50 two-minute episodes.

I think the most innovative part of this project is the way it is distributed… via the web thru Google’s AdSense system. But a spill-over to traditional distribution will likely take into being as well. This being the first of its kind will surely be writing new books for the next generation of producers, film makers the entire biz.

Categories: Advertising, Interesting

BuzzLogic Promises $2 CPM with Ad Network Beta

BuzzLogic has recently launched its advertising network in Beta, with a promise of $2 CPM (cost per thousand impressions) to bloggers. That rate seems very lucrative, but of course it’s just for a limited period. BuzzLogic’s guarantee is as follows:

  • Guaranteed $2 CPM, up to $200 per month, during beta period(June 18 – July 18)
  • Get in on the ground floor of a new kind of network based on influence
  • Access to great brands and advertisers eager to work with you

According to BuzzLogic, their main purpose for this high payout is to get enough interest of bloggers. They expect the beta users to be able to help the BuzzLogicCommunity Team to get feedback the performance of the ads–what’s working, what’s not. BuzzLogic will eventually develop other blogger tools based on influence to help bloggers not only understand their own influence but to leverage that influence to get higher CPMs for ad inventory.

Some limitations of the program, though, are that only traffic from the US will be counted as eligible impressions, and that the beta program will end on July 18th. Still, $2 CPM is an interesting proposition, particularly for blogs that have high traffic.

Categories: Advertising, Blogging Resources

AdServer Options

So I help run this new media network with about 60 or so sites (ranging from the small, niche ones to the bigger sites with a more general coverage). One big task that usually eats up my daily todo list is managing ad placements. Well, at least I can say I would rather have a problem managing sponsors and advertisers rather than not having ad revenue at all.

Still, I believe in working smart and I’m almost hitting myself in the head for not implementing an efficient ad-serving solution since the start. Now I’m considering a few options:

  • Of course the first option here is to serve the ads directly. For most of our sites, the ads are hard-coded into the themes. I do have the ad expiries on Google Calendar, so we get alerted when we need to follow up for renewals. And I get to track clickthroughs and page impressions via pMetrics (crude, yes, but it does work for me). The advantage here is that it’s pretty straightforward. I can say I have full control over what gets displayed on the sites. But the downside is that it gets cumbersome to manage things this way with a big network.
  • I could have someone create an adserver from scratch. Actually for some sites that need rotating ads (e.g., two or more ads or banners sharing the same space at random or alternating) I use a simple PHP script, and it does the job well. We’re welcoming some developers into the team soon, and we might as well ask them to help out with this concern.
  • However, with readily available adserver options like OpenX, I can just have this installed somewhere and tweaked to our liking.
  • But since running my own adserver would require some resources (in terms of servers/hosting and maintenance/management) I might as well have dedicated adserver-providers take care of this for me. Our very own colleagues at Performancing has launched their Performancing Ads. Even Google has launched its (closed) beta of Google Ad Manager.

Whatever happens, I’m sure of one thing: that serving ads manually become really tedious and cumbersome at some point. And this has its inherent disadvantages. For instance, ad-serving software usually let you track and analyze statistics like page impressions, clickthroughs and perhaps even conversion rates. Directly served ads might be more difficult to track.

So in the aim of working smarter, we’re moving toward a more efficient way of doing things. The question is which?

Categories: Advertising, Blogging Tools

Thomas Baekdal Hates AdSense

Recently, I stumbled onto a post that I really enjoyed. Thomas Baekdal broke down the type of ads he’s found on sites thanks to Google AdSense that are either irrelevant, spam or adult related, and he notes that they are increasing in frequency.

You might think that I am exaggerating the problem, but I found that spam, scam, phishing and adult ads accounts for a staggering 36% of all the ads on this site. The irrelevant (but non-spam) ads account for a further 7%. And, a single company accounted for 18% of all the spam ads.

Spam and spyware ads are bad enough, but I am absolutely annoyed by the adult ads.

He includes a variety of screenshots to prove his point, and just to drive it home for those that still don’t agree with him, he’s included some text from others with the same complaints.

The best part though is the fact that AdSense is still in the far right hand side of his site. So the question becomes, even if AdSense did become the home of only “junk” ads, would we still plaster it on our sites to make a dime or two here and there?

Categories: Advertising

Splashpress Welcomes Micropatrons

One thing the readers on the site might have noticed is a new widget in our sidebar. Splashpress has become very interested in Scratchback as a micropayment system for our fans and readers. If you are looking for advertising on Splashpress Media blogs, this is the least expensive way to get a link from us.

We have already discussed our excitement for this advertising platform on Blog Herald and my own blog Jim Kukral has also mentioned our uptake of the service on the Scratchback blog, which we feel is a testiment of how personal and wonderful the service is.

We can’t wait to see how advertisers and users react to this addition as we continue to add the widget to more and more of our higher level blogs. Some of the places you can already add your tip and link to include the Blog Herald, 901am, Forever Geek, and soon many more.

Categories: Advertising

nextMEDIA: Measuring Success in the Digital Space

This is continuing coverage of the nextMEDIA conference in Toronto. To find all the posts related to nextMEDIA, check out Splashpress’ Blog

The third session of the first day was by Robert Jenkyn, the VP of On Demand Media. They consider themselves media experts, and have customers like Telus, WestJet, Best Buy and Futureshop.

Robert was quick to point out that with advertising online, most companies are beyond the point of asking themselves “if” they should enter the space, but instead are saying “how much?”

They want to know how much time, money and resources they should be investing into the ever growing market of web users in the world.

In Canada alone, eighty-two percent of adults have Internet access, and out of an audience of nearly fourty million, half use the Internet, every single day. Canadians spend more time online than reading books, magazines, watching television or listening to the radio.

And what’s great about all this is that it is highly measurable with things like impressions, clicks, sales, rich media interactions, and brand awareness.

Robert said that what web publishers and content producers need to deliver to get advertisers interested is information like their audience composition, niche, ad inventory, and create valued editorial environments.

He brings up two studies in his talk, and the more compelling one to me was their Telus example. Telus is a cellular service provider in Canada and is one of the top three companies in its niche.

Recently, there was a shift in the legal requirements of cell phone companies to allow consumers to bring their number from one carrier to another, rather than having to sign up for a new number with each carrier.

On this day, Telus made it a point to advertise all over every Google property, including YouTube, targeting Canadian consumers, welcoming them to Telus with the telephone number they valued so much.

They used multiple advertisement formats, on every site they could afford, and tracked the awareness, web traffic and reach of their message.

Once bloggers noticed that Telus was buying up all the advertising spaces on Google owned sites, they began to write their own reports about Telus, and what it was doing, further expanding the reach of their idea.

Over the course of twenty-four hours, Telus received fifteen million unique visitors, which accounted for over 64% of all Canadians online during that day.

They continued to receive traffic that ballooned to a 250% increase for the month, and they found their visitors were much more likely than regular search traffic to view multiple pages on their website.

Telus concluded that this advertising was much more effective and cost effective than either a television roadblock or full page ad on all major daily newspapers.

Robert definitely made it look like companies are waking up to the value, cost effectiveness, and reach of the web.

Categories: Advertising, Interesting

AdSense Payouts in Euros?

Make Easy Money With Google And AdSense is one of my favorite sites for reading about AdSense and Google projects in general, and with the Canadian and American dollar hitting parity, I really appreciated their latest post entitled “Google Should Switch To Euros“.

I have posted about the implications in a weak American currency before and so I have to admit, I would enjoy seeing Google switch their AdSense payouts to a currency that converts better to Canadian dollars, and is more stable.

Here is a bit from the article:

If you’re a US publisher then this probably doesn’t mean too much to you, but it definitely affects those of us on the outside, as Google’s US-denominated payments are worth less and less to us once they’re converted over. On the flipside, however, non-US advertisers should see their AdWords costs decrease because the conversion to US dollars for bid prices will be cheaper.

Now if only Google would switch to Euros as its base currency for advertising transactions. The exchange rate is much better…

Has the shift in the value of the American dollar effected you? Let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear some kindred spirits feeling the pressure due to the online economy being so cemented in the US greenback.

Categories: Advertising, Blogging Sense

17 WordPress Plugins For AdSense

Over on Mashable, they have released a post that includes the 17 WordPress Plugins for AdSense. Some of which I have used myself, others that I have never heard of, but all in all, if you are looking for an AdSense Plugin for WordPress, this would be a great starting point.

Like it or not, many blogs survive thanks to Google AdSense – a fact that’s leading some to debate the use of ad blocking software. However, implementing and tweaking AdSense ads on a WordPress blog can be tedious. We’ve gathered 17 WordPress plugins which help you implement, control and overview AdSense ads on your blog.

Categories: Advertising, WordPress News

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