What's The Buzz?

I-Advertising lacked its usual je ne sais quoi this week. Affiliates and how to handle them grasped the attention of several members a week ago, but those posts were down to a trickle.

Responding to a question about how to drop an unproductive affiliate, Paul Bruemmer and Glenn Sobel both advised being careful about selecting affiliates in the first place. Heather Corinna said she’s dumped most of her site’s affiliates ’cause they were unproductive despite her having sent them way many impressions. In a draconian mood, Rob Frankel suggested warning affiliates ahead of time that they can be dropped at any time for any reason.

Where’s the Ad Info?

Aric Boyles wonders why so many ad-supported sites make it difficult to find information about how to advertise on said sites. Rick Boyce responded that most sites have a “how to advertise” link, and if they don’t, they’re crazy. Complain to a sales rep, once you find one, wrote Beverly Capwell, though sales reps defeat the idea of the Internet being a self-service information source. Au contraire, countered Marguerite Oestreicher. Sites don’t just post (media kits) and coast. They covet the opportunity to explain the subtleties of their selling power to buyers who, all too often, don’t understand how to get the most out of their web ad budgets or, for that matter, how to budget at all.

Star Media

Michelle Tamboer, who’s looking into Spanish-oriented sites and portals, has come across Star Media. She’s looking for info on traffic. Oscar Gonzalez Alba and Jose A. del Moral pointed her to a few sites they like. Real Media’s Bennett Zucker offered his site’s assistance. Rodolfo Carpintier reported that Star Media and Yuppi are the leading Spanish portals outside Spain and that within Spain the leader is OLE, which is about to expand into South America. Spain’s #2 portal is OZU.

Rich Media

Davina Morgan-Witts is looking for definitions of rich media options and an overview of RM requirements. Larry Swanson pointed her to www.mediadotcom.com and Rick Boyce offered Wired Digital’s www.wired.com.

Online Ads – Search Engine Submission Software

Yes they do, or at least they do mine, replied Robert Woodhead to Craig Vincent, who’d said search engines don’t process URLs submitted from search engine submission programs. Craig had pronounced search engine programs suitable for “free for all” link pages and non-major search engines, but Robert trashed FFA sites as a waste of time. “The click-throughs are very low-quality (they don’t convert into sales) and it’s a great way to get your email address on spam lists,” he wrote.

Danny Sullivan agreed with Robert. “The major spider-based search engines have no problem with well-written, polite search engine submission software,” he wrote, but he advised publishers to submit to the majors manually anyway, since there are so few of them.

Ad Blocking Software

Presumably having missed the huge I-Advertising debate on the topic, Seth Ruffer asked Online Ads members what they think about ad blocking software.

Investing in Advertising

Responding to an earlier post in which Ramon Ray had mused about advertisers paying up front for so many thousands or millions of page views, Bob Hanna wrote that Ramon is confusing advertisers with venture capitalists and investment bankers. “You need to deliver the audience before (advertisers) can realistically be expected to spend their limited budgets to target them,” he wrote.

Ramon’s post sent Lisa Hodgkin to his site, which failed to knock her socks off. “I browsed and browsed and browsed, searching for the point in your web site, seeking content that was your own,” she wrote, “You will not be fruitful looking for investments that guarantee no return…”

Rob’s $40k Idea

Brian Shepherd responded to Dave Olmstead, who’d kind of liked Rob Fisher’s idea of buying a key word category, creating a generic ad for it and pointing the ad to a one-page site where Rob would sell multiple ads to vendors in the category. Brian explained why he thinks it would be cheaper for an advertiser to buy impressions directly from a portal than to buy them through Rob. Bob Schmidt cited a site he says is doing something similar to what Rob envisioned, though that site’s made an investment in content.

Teensy Banners and Buttons

Responding to Liz Goetz, who’d posted on the difficulty of buying off-sized ads, Mark Welch wrote that at least a dozen ad networks will gladly accept all IAB ad sizes. Joe Bartling says his ad network has clients that prefer to run two 234 x 60 banners in the space of one 468 x 60. The side-by-side ads cost more because Joe’s 2,000-site network has to set up “rich media” target tags, but the aggregate click-through is better than that for either two standalone 234 x 60 banners or one “normal” 468 x 60.

Site Stats Measurement Tools

Responding to Greg Braylovsky and Tom Lehman, both of whom had voiced concern about WebTrends’ ability to measure site statistics, James Santagata wrote that session counts and caching can also skew log file reporting. Session counts depend upon how user sessions are defined, he wrote, and accuracy is impacted if timing is too long or too short. A little stochastic modeling might help. The problem with caching is that cached documents and images won’t normally be written into server log files, so a cache-busting strategy is needed.

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