Introducing: Advertising Technology

We’ve been pleased to present the Rich Media column to you since Ann Handley introduced it in January 2000. She said then that rich media was “…increasingly creeping onto sites and into our email boxes.” She said it was the future of online advertising. And so it’s been.

But online advertising technology evolves as we speak. The landscape has certainly changed a lot since the first GIF banner debuted on Wired in 1995. Just when we thought rich media was going to be all about Java, Shockwave, Flash, and DHTML, or interactive forms and purchasing within the banner, the state of the art started shifting.

Innovative entrepreneurs have introduced so many new technologies in the online advertising and rich media space. We need to broaden the scope of this column to elucidate these new technologies and the strategies for using them as they morph from live Web streams, digital photos, and audio music files into tools like streaming video, wireless ads, and interactive TV.

Not only that, there will be new opportunities for marketers. While online advertising has changed drastically in just a few years, so has the Internet itself. If anything, users are a lot more purposeful in their online behavior these days than they were early on when they surfed around just to see new sites. Opportunities abound for marketers to devise new ways to reach users who are looking for information on travel, home mortgages, jobs, the weather, auctions, and music downloads.

Starting next Wednesday, ClickZ is giving the Rich Media column a broader scope for the future. We’d like to thank Bill McCloskey for keeping us on the vanguard of rich media technology for the past year. At the same time, we’d like to introduce Eric Picard of bluestreak and Jeremy Lockhorn of i-FRONTIER as the new visionaries to lead you through the advertising technology maze. We’ve given this column a new name — Advertising Technology — and hope all our Rich Media subscribers will stay with Eric and Jeremy as they explore new topic areas.

Each week, Eric and Jeremy will alternate, giving you their views on a spectrum of topics. These topics range from rich media, ad servers, analytics, and optimization to wireless devices and interactive TV. They’ll guide you through the technology jungle of online advertising. From the practical to the theoretical, they’ll look at the state of the industry today and where it’s headed next.

These guys know their stuff. Eric is cofounder and director of product marketing at bluestreak. He is responsible for market research, product strategy, product development processes, and, ultimately, the measurable success of those products in the market. Eric was the first to envision bluestreak’s transactive rich media products, and his vision led to the development of the company’s key enabling technologies.

In turn, Jeremy is director of media technologies at i-FRONTIER, a Philadelphia-based interactive agency. He focuses on finding and researching emerging technologies, as well as developing new ad models and rich media. Jeremy has a solid blend of technical expertise and marketing savvy, which he developed as i-FRONTIER’s executive producer, managing the production of cutting-edge advertisements for high-profile clients.

So starting next Wednesday, stay tuned. See you next week.

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