Ads and humans

Futuristic Play: Ad targeting talk from Community Next: People Not Pages: "Thus, for the publisher, the entire array of targeting technologies -
be it geo, behavioral, demographic, and other - are all about shoring up those remnant CPMs and converting those into near-premium pricing. For advertisers, it's all about driving higher efficiencies for gaining reach without dealing with the increasing fragmentation of audiences and meda."

Mindpark: Google Ad Manager (så ska ett annonssystem fungera): "Google Ad Manager är gratis (om vi inte sätter värde på den ytterligare insyn som Google skaffar sig;) istället för de galopperande summor som vi betalar till de kommersiella leverantörerna. Dessutom är hanteringen av systemet mycket enklare, och jag räknar kallt med att de sajter som idag sitter med flera lagera av traffic-tjänster har mycket att vinna på den här modellen. I princip kan säljare och producent, egentligen utan mätbar tidsåtgång, själva hantera sina respektive delar av systemet."

VentureBeat: Developer Analytics: Facebook game Mob Wars making $22,000 a day: "Developer Analytics says it has created its equations based on real datapoints gathered by speaking with developers and advertisers. To determine the monetization potential of an app, it combines the amount an app can make from running banner advertising with the amount the app can make from companies like Offerpal and SuperRewards."

A VC: The Human Piece Of The Venture Equation: "I?ve learned that nothing can replace the entrepreneur?s passion and vision for the product and the company. If you rip that out of the company too early, you?ll lose your investment. I think it?s best to wait until the initial product has succeeded in obtaining a critical mass of users and a business model has been developed that works and make sense for the business and is scaling. Then, if its warranted, you can sit down and have the conversation about bringing in experienced management."

A VC: When You Wake Up Feeling Old: "I honestly don't relish the idea of being the VC who brings the experience piece to the equation. I like being on the cutting edge. So I am going to try even harder in the coming years to do that. And I will rely on this blog and all of you to keep me there."



"- Jag tycker det är förfärligt tråkigt att Europa inte har kunnat få fram ett enda stort internetprojekt. USA är totalt dominerande, men jag tror vi egentligen är bättre på att förstå vad konsumenterna vill ha." Johan Staël von Holstein.

I take some issue with the statement that there has not been one big European Internet project. Unless you set the bar at Google, Yahoo, eBay and Amazon.com level (which is setting the bar really high), Johan Staël von Holstein is wrong (even though there is a much larger number of successful American Internet companies as Europeans have a tendency to sell to American corporations instead of either continue operating as independent companies or sell to European corporations). And if project shouldn't be read company, which isn't clear, the statement is rubbish.


The First 20 Million Is Always the Hardest

The headline is the title of a book by the author of one of my favorite books, but seems especially fitting today as Stardoll passed 20 million members.



Sunday reading

Bret on Social Games: Platforms are Driven By Hits - Kongregate's Brilliant Move. "I think DTD was Kongregate's tipping point. Feel free to disagree or just mock me in the comments." While being the dominant platform is the goal for many firms, you need killer applications (even if integrated into your product/platform as is common for web services) to get customers and users.

Martin Spanar!: Gräv där du står - affärsmodeller från puben. "Vi såg oss omkring på platsen där vi var på, en skön pub. Denna plats är kanske inte helt olik ett socialt nätverk dit folk hade kommit för att interagera snarare än vara konsumenter.

Vi försökte därför på skoj som en fem-minutersträning nämna allt där pengar eller andra transaktioner är inblandat - kanske kunde man kanske översätta någon av dessa grejer till en affärsmodell på Internet?"

Using a pub environment to think of business models for social networks is a highly relevant way to approach the issue.

Bronte Media: Lexicon. "The current debate over the role of speculators in oil pricing reminds me of Rep. Noah Sweat?s classic answer when asked in 1952 what he thought about whiskey:" click to read the entire quote


Piracy is not a legal problem

Good quote nailing the piracy issue from a one-hour interview.

"That ultimately, the more time I spent on it there are things, legal things, enforcement things etc etc. They are not a meaningful way to fight piracy, the meaningful way to fight piracy you need to give consumers legitimate opportunities to get what they want." - Peter Chernin, COO News Corp

Also, visit Malaria No More.



Seven big areas in online ads

Andrew Chen on a few interesting areas for online advertising companies: 7 ideas for billion dollar companies in the online ads. "Here it is, not in any particular order:

1. Online video
2. User-generated content (blogs, social networks, etc.)
3. Monetizing international traffic
4. Vertical ad networks
5. Cross-channel/cross-property targeting
6. Continued securitization and efficient brokering of ad inventory
7. New platforms and categories"

Read more on the ideas at Futuristic Play.


Nodal Points


Referring keywords vs behavioral algorithms

It is posts like this that makes Niki Scevak's blog Bronte Media one of my favorite blogs. Highlighting something practical with real value for everyone doing business online. Like using search engine referrals to improve advertising targeting instead of using complex behavioral targeting algorithms, who often says less about intent and thus lead to worse targeting. Or like Niki writes:

"You don't need to run the ad targeting through servers of PHD level alogorithms, just take the fucking referring keyword, and see what products match it and link it to commerce providers who sell it."

Friday reading

Futuristic Play: omg I'm just a startup, I can't do those fancy analytics! "As a rough estimate, I've found that it takes between 25-40% of your resources to do analytics REALLY well. So for every 3 engineers working on product features, you'd want to put 1 just on analytics. This may seem like a ton (and it is), but it throws off indispensible knowledge that you can't get elsewhere, like:

* Validating your assumptions
* Pinpointing bottlenecks and key problems
* Creating the ability to predict/model your business to make future decisions
* It tells you which features actually are good and what features don't matter"

Master of 500 Hats: Q: What Does Your *PLAY* Button Do? (increasing User Activation thru "Site Animation")
: "Q: what if you created a PLAY button that automated the action you want the user to take, and just act like the user hit PLAY after 3-5 seconds if they don't do anything?"

Lightspeed Venture Partners: Is Social Media a business? "There is an interesting parallel to search advertising here. In 2000, search inventory was monetized like every other form of online inventory, through banner ads. It wasn?t until Overture, and later Google, adopted the text ad-CPC standard that the distinctive thing about search inventory, user intent, was appropriately monetized. This created a new category of advertising that is now larger than banner advertising. Although some might disagree, I believe that a similar opportunity will eventually be unlocked by social media once the right ad unit standards emerge"