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Longstanding investor in Looksmart (and a 69 yr old ex-tradesman), who has a passionate interest in the problems of newspapers along with their success in all their monetisation attempts made, on the web. For the "times are indeed, a changin", I feel. [17th of Aug, 2011 - Print media... More
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  • "The Fox Guarding the Hen House"
    Most often there are two sides to every story. - Opinions can differ and the right to speak your mind is the kind of freedom we should all have and treasure.

    But when others disagree and they then "attack" personally, rather than debate (as can be seen on chat boards all over the web), it almost virtually declares what is a 'lost' position in my calculations. - For they simply 'hit and run'. - Even tell lies and generally resort to no less than "trolling", rather than to make a point and then (correct or, incorrect), defending it.

    In an article "The Fox Guarding the Hen House" (well worth a read), David Koretz throws down the gauntlet to Mr Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). (And a  body that Looksmart's own recently departed CEO Ted West lost his "Board" position with.)

    David Koretz writes:

    < My latest MediaPost column attracted the ire of none other than Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

    So incensed with my accusation that many publishers abuse consumer privacy, he resorted to ad hominem attacks, going so far as to accuse me of "conning my readers."

    Sadly, ignoring his bluster, Mr. Rothenberg is just doing his job.

    A Vehicle for Influence

    The IAB is an association of 375 media and technology companies whose livelihood depends on advertising, much like many of the readers of Online Publishing Insider. These publishers pay dues every year to keep Mr. Rothenberg gainfully employed defending their interests

    < He Doth Protest Too Much

    As a capitalist, I take no issue with the IAB's efforts to curry favor.

    As a consumer, however, I find it incredibly ironic that the proposed solution to publishers invading consumers' privacy is to have those very same publishers advertise to them about how to protect it

    < The Challenge

    Since Mr. Rothenberg gets paid to advance the agenda of publishers, I am formally offering him the opportunity to earn his keep, by debating the issue of consumer privacy with me live at an upcoming MediaPost event.

    How about it, Mr. Rothenberg, are you up to the challenge? - You bring the statistics; I'll bring the common sense


    MediaPost Publications The Fox Guarding the Hen House 01/29/2010

    Will Mr. Rothenberg accept the David Koretz

    I doubt it. His type is typical of the "hit and run" mentality of the kind I make mention of, above. Where any semblance of logic and fair play is totally non existent, in their comfortable little 'corners of the world'.


    Jan 29 4:17 PM | Link | 1 Comment
  • Apple will become a huge player in Ad Marketplace
    Apple's purchase of Quattro heralds a big future for Apple as a 'stand alone' Ad Network or, an Advertising Exchange (?) of enormous potential.

    The Apple move to buy Quattro quickly came following Google's own acquisition of the already very successful mobile Ad Network in AdMob.

    This linked article supports such a thought as it points out, "How Apple brought AdMob from zero to 4 billion-plus ad requests"

    < Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch now account for more than four billion ad requests on AdMob’s network.>

    Google (AdMob's new owner) has now upset the "apple cart" on two fronts. In bringing out it's own Nexus One mobile appliance, Google is poised to grab market share from the established Apple iPhone product.

    Enter Microsoft and Bing.

    This article asks the obvious question and certainly provides us with ample reason enough for Apple to "switch" to Bing and Microsoft.

    "What would Apple-Microsoft deal mean for mobile search?"

    <Google is currently the primary search engine on the [Apple] iPhone, which brings it a healthy stream of mobile ad revenue.

    However, with the Android OS and Android Market ramping up, the Nexus One poised to grab market share from the iPhone and with each company acquiring a different mobile ad network, Apple is making it clear that it now perceives Google, not Microsoft, as its No. 1 rival.>

    There may well be an even bigger (shared) "prize" for an Apple-Microsoft "get-together" and one that could be built along the very same lines of the Microsoft - Yahoo Search - Ad "deal", that awaits DOJ approval.

    Apple's new "Tablet" (reader - just out) would quickly become most attractive (in competition with Amazon and it's Kindle 'portable', plastic reader), particularly when considering the following scenario:

    "Can Apple's Tablet Save Newspaper and Magazine Publishers?"

    Apple could become a 'pure play' Ad Exchange (like Yahoo's RME) and hand over it's entire publisher platform (s) to the capable (management) hands of a Microsoft publisher Exchange. (I'm sure that we will be hearing plenty in regard to a "re-vamped" [& re-named?] AdECN, and quickly following on from the long awaited DOJ Microsoft - Yahoo, search-advertising "deal" approval.)

    We certainly live in interesting times, we do.

    Looksmart? - Not to worry. It's only (as described by Mike Mora) a 'sink hole' trading down here @ $1.00. More-so, IF we haven't any idea whatsoever of what it's future (and probable) role is, to play? And in that regard we are simply not being "told" by the Co, is my opinion.

    LOOK: 3:59pm ET: $1.00  Up 0.01 (+1.02%) 



    Disclosure: Long LOOK
    Tags: LOOK
    Jan 27 5:00 PM | Link | 3 Comments
  • YAHOO - Will "double" over the next 12 months

    I have no doubt in my mind that Yahoo are doing everything "right" since Carol Bartz's having taken over the reign. And their (pre-Q4) move to make the RME (the Right Media Exchange) a "Premium" Only exchange, was a stroke of genius.

    It will all pan out beautifully, following the DOJ approval of the deal with Microsoft, that should be late February early March, is my guess. And I had expected a 'turn around' in their results today.

    From within my post [ GOOGLE - Showing Signs of being ... Under The Pump? ] the following was noted:

    [ From a recent report put out by Efficient Frontier ........ ]

    < Google's share of spend also rose, but at a slightly slower rate, moving up from 73.9% in Q3 to 74.5% in Q4........ While Yahoo! gave up significant share in clicks they lost only 0.5% in spend as a strengthening CPC at Yahoo! offset some of the click loss.>

    This augers well for Yahoo's own earnings report, IMO.

    The fact that Yahoo who gave up 4.3% in click share (in Q4) but lost only 0.05% in spend (and as a result of a strengthening CPC) is a direct reflection on it's RME (the Right Media Exchange) moving to the Premium level, for the Q4 period.

    Looksmart's shareholders must remember that recently departed (dismissed?) CEO Ted West had previously advised of the fact that TAC (for Looksmart) had improved going out of Q3 and it was felt that this should remain sustainable during Q4.>

    And it was partly on West's above statement that I have based LOOK's traffic (for the full Q4 period - Alexa), as being of the Premium variety.

    From Yahoo Report today:

    < "The fourth quarter marked a strong finish to 2009, which was a transformative year for Yahoo!," said Yahoo! Chief Executive Officer Carol Bartz.

    "We beat the high end of our revenue guidance, saw demand for premium display advertising improve significantly, and grew Owned & Operated search advertising revenue sequentially for the first time since the third quarter of 2008.

    "Our business has positive momentum and we feel good as we head into 2010",  said Bartz. "We're pleased that the midpoint of our Q1 revenue outlook marks the first quarter of year-over-year growth in six quarters."  

    Business Highlights

    •Owned & Operated display advertising revenue grew 26 percent compared to the third quarter of 2009 – compared to a 16 percent increase during the same period in 2008.

    •Owned & Operated search advertising revenue continued to stabilize, increasing 4 percent compared to the third quarter of 2009, the first sequential increase since the third quarter of 2008.>

    This all augers well for Looksmart & it's own Q4 revenues and profitabilty, I feel.

    The biggest thrill for a Looksmart shareholder (coming out of Yahoo's Report) is that the Yahoo Traffic (to Looksmart's AdCenter), IS, of the "PREMIUM" variety.

    Check "ClickStream" here -

    Yahoo's Right Media Exchange's 'move' to being a Premium Exchange was pre- Q4 and should somewhat parallel Looksmart's growth in traffic "managed", during this period.

    Trailing 7 days Trailing 1 month Trailing 3 months Trailing 6 months Max

    Punters need to disregard the the minus 7% of global Internet users who visit as it has to contend with a "huge" spike had in the previous 3 months, when during what I maintain was a "test" period, Traffic got to (at least), some 10 times more that it's currrent average. As is shown here:

    Trailing 7 days Trailing 1 month Trailing 3 months Trailing 6 months Max

    I continue to maintain that Looksmart's AdCenter is the "pea" to being the much needed "inter-connector" or, will get to provide that necessary, neutral  "inter-operability" between the buy and sell side (among publisher Exchanges and DSP's) and will independently get to eventually manage or, be that totally transparent 'central' (switching), control. All, IMHO. - Time will tell, of course. It mostly always does. 

    YHOO4:00pm ET: $15.99  Up 0.13 (+ 0.82%) 

    LOOK: At 3:59PM ET: $0.9899  Down 0.0001 (- 0.01%) 


    Disclosure: Long LOOK

    Tags: LOOK, YHOO
    Jan 26 6:12 PM | Link | Comment!
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