Monthly Archives: August 2007

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Innovative and Free Web Analytic Tools

Read/Write Web does a nice roundup of 10 free and innovative web analytics tools. I’ve used most of them but I’m excited that they brought up a few new ones to try. My thoughts on the tools that I have used they mention:
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Direct Media Exchange on the YPN Blog

We’re fully integrated into the Yahoo! world now, and starting to do a little cross-promotion for my team’s product Direct Media Exchange with the Yahoo Publisher Network customer base. This brief blog post on the YPN Blog is the first of those efforts…

Publisher Success Story: WhateverLife.com

I love publisher success stories like this one in Fast Company about WhateverLife.com. Reading about how people succeed online always gets me excited about what is possible through the web, and how anyone with some hard work, basic skills, and a little luck can create a very successful online business.

While WhateverLife.com is definitely not my cup of tea, it’s an impressive story of a high school student with some basic HTML skill building a web business many would really enjoy owning.

I think there are three basic lessons that can be gathered from the long article and applied to any web ventures:

  1. It doesn’t matter who or where you are. You can be a high school student in Detroit with no business or web experience and build a successful business. On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog. In some ways, having a ton of work and business experience can be a hindrance because you become trained to see why things WON’T work instead of driving to just achieve your goals.
  2. Build your site around something you’re passionate about. Ashley didn’t start her site with the plans to make it a huge business, she started it because she found something she was interested in and just wanted to help. That passion for your topic is extremely important.
  3. It helps to be your demographic. Even though I’m much more experienced on the web and in the web business world, Ashley would do a better job of building WhateverLife.com then I would because she is the target audience. Just like Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook, there’s a huge advantage to being the audience you are targeting. You understand their needs, their wants, what they’re thinking, and what they do and don’t think is cool. I’d have a hard time relating to the audience of high school girls.

Hopefully Ashley made good decisions passing on her buyout offers and continues to build WhateverLife.com.

MSN AdCenter Launches Content Network

MSN AdCenter has announced that they’ve launched their content network to be available to advertisers. But my question is, where’s the content?

Well, I actually know that it’s supposed to be on MSN content properties and any other high-level publishers they may have ad distribution relationships. However, what’s interesting is they don’t have a publisher network out there along the lines of Adsense or YPN to distribute these ads. It seems like they’d be better off launching both around the same time, although the theory may be that getting the advertisers into it now will prime the pump for the publisher network when they launch it. And you know they’ll launch it especially since they announced “ContentAds” over a year ago.

I’d actually like to see another player in the contextual network market. As any of you who have been reading my blog know, even though I work for Yahoo!, I’m all about competition helping publishers earn more money. And of course helping provide the tools to make that happen….

Panel Proposal for SXSW 2008

I’ve got a proposal in the panel picker for SXSW 2008 called “Maximizing Ad Revenue for Online Publishers“. The title explains it pretty well, but if it’s voted in as one of the panels at the conference I’ll put together a panel of industry experts to go over the core methods today that publishers can maximize their ad revenue.

I think it will be educational, great for beginners, but also provide some nuggets of wisdom that even experts will benefit from.

If you’re interested in this panel idea, please go vote for it by giving it a star rating. Note: You do need to sign up for a free account to register, they promise to not spam you.

Quantcast Releases Video and Widget Measurement

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I like what Quantcast is doing in trying to measure the web. Everyone complains about the inaccuracies of Alexa and other similar ranking tools, and they have good reason to complain.

The reason I like Quantcast is because they actually give publishers code to put on their site so you can actually send them real traffic data in which to rank your site accordingly and report interesting demographics and other information. As a publisher not only will you be ranked more accurately, but you can use the information to help pitch your site to advertisers.
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A Good Time to Be a Publisher! Or Is It?

Over the last week some surprising publishers have been snapped up by larger companies for what appears to be some monetary victories for the publishers. I’m not sure why it’s surprising, beyond the fact that I don’t think there were many rumors about these companies, and it’s an eclectic mix that seems to point towards a general trend in a particular hot industry.

Here’s the deals announced over the past week:
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