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Longstanding investor in Looksmart (and a 70 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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  • Yahoo and BING, as early as next week?
    .
    I make no secret of my excitement for the DOJ (and EU authority) approval of the Microsft-Yahoo search & advertising deal, "go-ahead" that's been given.

    Pandia Search, in their excellent (recent) article [Yahoo! switches to Bing search results ] say, that .....

    < This means that Yahoo! will close down it's own search engine and start using Bing search results instead, probably as early as next week. >    

    My main 'interest' (of course) centers around my strong belief that there's a role there for Looksmart's independent AdCenter advertising network. The only such 'neutral' Management platform (of it's kind), that has been built to scale.

    Following a couple of (virtual) 'revelations' made (at AdExchanger,com) that had been recently told (by the CEO of a self-service Ad Platform), I have become even more excitied of my invested Co's prospects in the near future and behond.

    Especially after yet another DSP in TURN [ http://blog.turn.com/ ], had itself also advised, of a number of similar capabilities, yes, that include that all important :

    < Single-click deployment across all real-time bidding (R T B) inventory sources. yes, finally that 'one stop shop' for advertisers and agencies to save so much time and have increased efficiencies.>

    "
    Microsoft, Yahoo and their respective self-serve platforms"

    Link: seekingalpha.com/instablog/36191-looking...

    In fact, I am awaiting a reply from Zach Coelius (The CEO of Triggit), in a comment I had made to his recent similar claims that he has made of Triggit.

    Triggit To Open Real-Time Bidding To All Advertisers Says CEO Coelius

    I had then (also) put the question to a "basher" poster on the LOOK board, over on Yahoo Finance (yes,.Mikey Mora - 'onestockrock' - who doesn't hold a share in LOOK - yet is a 'plant' - a 'board watcher' who appears daily & 'informs' back to Looksmart IMHO.

    And subsequently, has positive posts quickly deleted.

    I had then suggested to him that he may even like to then tell the Yahoo LOOK board of his own "interpretation" of the following thoughts.

    Firstly,  in regards to the Traffic (as is shown on Alexa), that is coming into....
    .........and in particular, of the 6.15% shown as coming direct from Yahoo ..and of the 1.62% coming in from Microsoft's BING and certainly, would he perhaps care to comment on 'exactly' what kind of a partnerships (or, relationship), that they may both represent, in their dealings with Looksmart?

    Click on "ClickStream", here: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/looksmart.com#

    I had then asked him to tell the board (also) of his thoughts in regards to traffic (coming into Looksmart's AdCenter) from Google and ASK, perhaps?

    What does this all mean, I had (in fact), asked of him to explain? (Before deletion)

    And, I had asked for an answer to the simplest of questions .. "Why are they all coming for Mikey"? ("Now, that shouldn't be all that hard to answer, surely"?)

    I went on to say to him (before ALL posts were quickly deleted from the Yahoo Finance LOOK board), the following (sic):

    Mikey , you may even care to explain to the board and shareholder "O" (that, with RTB and "universal frequency capping" or, what is, that "one stop shop"), exactly how does Triggit's platform achieve it's "unified analytics, reporting and optimization", when at the very same time it gets to (itself), specifically offer sites like The NY Times or, Yahoo's properties, to it's Premium advertisers?

    How in the world does it get to optimize on these same sites?

    Yet Yahoo and The NY Times (who both happen to have their very own "self-serve" Ad Server - in AdReady), and it also naturally offers a direct involvement in the RTB auction marketplace (and yes, for [both] The NY Times or, Yahoo's properties),  that they offer to their advertisers. Advertisers who already are (also) coming into both these site/s respectively, via AdReady.

    It's fact that Yahoo has it's own RTB in The Right Media Premium Exchange.

    Does not it's (Yahoo's) own Premium advertisers get to be a part of RTB and, not only to access it's very own inventory, but for that of the NY Times' site, too?

    Helloo?

    And I ask that you Mikey may care to now tell the board (and tell "O", especially), as to exactly whose RTB auction do either (all) of those advertisers face (those advertisers coming from the two different ad platforms in "Triggit" or, "AdReady"), when they are both 'vie-ing for' that exact same inventory position, on The NY Times and are pitted up against an advertiser coming direct from Yahoo's RME?

    For, are they not then having to compete (also), with Premium advertisers coming from Yahoo's RME to The NY Times? Be sure to tell us an answer to that, Mikey?

    (Bearing in mind that Looksmart's AdCenter is an auction based platform, too)

    Tell us in your reply (that of the three platforms, as are mentioned above - Triggit, AdReady and Yahoo), what exactly do you think happens when it's a situation, that they are all wanting to serve An Ad ... to that exact, same NYTimes' spot?

    Tell the board and "O" as to how any one of the three platforms ...... then get to provide the auction and furnish each their advertisers with that (now) "unified analytics, reporting and optimization"? (That is "equal" to all, no?

    And that can now (all) provide that "universal frequency capping" for agencies to then (also) bid 'concurrently', and even for that same NY Times spot? No?)

    Wouldn't this not all require some kind of (an) independency in both the auction and reporting process? I mean ...Who or, which one of the three can be believed? Toss a coin (?) or, we could safely believe the agencies if they happen to compete for the spot, maybe? But, what if they don't? Doesn't matter, does it as it's (now) all 'universal', no?

    Better still, lets now 'throw into the auction' (and have running against all three advertisers from Triggit, AdReady & Yahoo), another three advertisers (coming into this now 'heated' bidding war, with all going for that one NYT's 'spot'), and with these (new and) additional advertisers now coming from Google, Microsoft's own adcenter (or, maybe it's FAST) and ASK, for good measure.

    (And, let's hope that Microsoft's adCenter doesn't win - as, Microsoft's adCenter doesn't "do" analytics now, in case you are not already aware of this fact)

    (Bearing in mind that Looksmart's AdCenter does analytics in it's platform, too)

    Yet.If they are all to provide that "unified analytics, reporting & optimization", where do they get all this information? Off who? Tell us, who provides them with details of the winning bid, under such conditions?

    Who provides that all important "inter-operability" or, what could commonly be called the "switching"..the "Inter-connecting" required? Tell us whose "auction" ......do the SIX now get to use? When at the "Exchange to Exchange" level? As (the end result will be) that only one of those six advertisers can get to win that spot at the NY Times, no?

    (Again.Bear in mind that Looksmart's AdCenter is an auction based platform, too)

    The CEO of Triggit (Zach Coelius) actually says:

    "With RTB, our clients are able to target down to specific sites while being able to leverage the scale of the billions of available daily impressions".

    And that...... "The platform also "enables" them to manage universal frequency capping and see unified analytics, reporting and optimization."

    And, that the "ONE buy" across the marketplace, will (can now), incorporate all of the above. Note that Triggit doesn't (directly) provide all this ..... As it's the going through the Triggit platform that "enables" all of this, true?

    The question for you Mikey (so clever that you are), boils down to, who is it that does the 'unified' reporting and the (unified) analytics (across the marketplace) for all the above named (the same SIX platforms that are involved), for starters?

    For ..... How can they (all) "independently" do it themselves, you fool?

    The fact is, that the Triggit CEO clearly tells us that ... The Triggit platform "enables" them (their advertisers), to do all this ...and across the scale of the whole network, no?

    (Bearing in mind that Looksmart's AdCenter platform is built to scale, too)

    And, if this isn't so ... How do they get to then ... "leverage the scale of the billions of available daily impressions", as we are told (in fact), that they do so?

    So it's now over to you Mikey for answers,  you oh so brilliant fireman's blogger, SEO 'extra-ordinaire' and web marketer, that you are.

    Tell the board (and "O"), of your own style of "interpretation" (add a little 'flair' if you care?) and certainly your answers to the questions put (& that have almost, all been answered for you), up above, will be most interesting, to say the least.

    Mikey Mora (the fascist board "watcher" and basher/post deleter) never got the chance to reply. He couldn't. The deleting of my series of (all my) posts was (like a typical Judas), a much easier or, compelling option to take. And he took it, Folks.

    LOOK: On Feb 19: $0.98 Down 0.01 (-1.01%)

    Looksmart (from the last quarterly) has $27.2 million in cash and a current Market Cap of less than $17 million.

    LC

    Disclosure: Long LOOK and so happy to be so.
    Feb 21 7:11 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Microsoft, Yahoo and their respective self-serve platforms
    .
    A lot has been "revealed" of late, particularly from 'supporting' Ad Networks and Ad serving platforms, that are now ALL (I believe) a part of the growing Microsoft (AdECN) and Yahoo (RME) advertiser - publisher "R T B" (and, at an Exchange level), global marketplace.

    And, if "there's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip another "spill" was had in the past few days.

    As advised, there was the recent advice that that TURN's new 2.0 platform enables buyers to now reach scaled audiences with a single click.

    And that they can now get (reach) them, across ALL the "R T B" or, "real-time bidding inventory" sources), in what I believed was a 'break-through revelation'. (And, as was told by the CEO of TURN)

    Microsoft would hopefully "Do no Evil" too! (?)Today's news is just as spicy, too ....

    Triggit To Open Real-Time Bidding To All Advertisers Says CEO Coelius

    Triggit
    's CEO (Zac Coelius - see 2nd link, below) says that ........... "For clients with brand sensitivity that means we can restrict their campaigns to only run on highly reputable sites like CNN, Forbes, The NY Times or Yahoo."

    And that .... "For clients with more flexibility, they can take advantage of the lower prices of long tail inventory and run across sites with a range of quality.."

    Two previous mentions of Triggit on my Instablog, are

    *****************************
    • Looksmart? - Well ....."BlackRock and Sidus are BUYING" !!!
      ... (Bing is NOT sending traffic to LOOK's AdCenter). Traffic may also be coming in from Triggit, who are an announced partner of Microsoft. .....................Does the OPEN marketplace (and at two levels, if that is ...February 18, 2010
       
    • RTB (Real Time Bidding) is the key to Looksmart's bright future
      ... and voted 'Best Ad Delivery Platform Innovation'] and Triggit [www.triggit.com/features.html] We are told, has the ... ;s AdX. >(Very lucky, indeed) Triggit Reborn: New Service Automates Bidding On Real-Time Ad ...
      February 16, 2010
    ******************************

    So, what Zac Coelius has told us, is "two-fold" at the very least and some ....and in the one breath he has told us of "two" divisions (a Premium level, that's "safe" for "brands" and an obvious "secondary" level ( "For clients with more flexibility"), where they can take 'pot-luck'.

    And what he again tells us is that advertisers using the "new" Triggit "self serve" platform can 'reach out' to (among those 'other' you beauts), Yahoo's inventory. (In coming in through Microsoft, obviously. Read that 2nd Link, once more).

    I guess (by now) you must surely be thinking of my own next question/answer that should be on every reader's lips? And one to ponder on.

    How does a Triggit advertiser (coming into an "open auction based marketplace", and just like an advertiser using the AdReady self-serve platform does, when it's coming in, is 'via' Yahoo), both get to retain their very 'stealth-ness' or, that zero identification of, on both sides of the auction? During that very "Exchange level" of a higher (now global) auction process?

    TURN's (own) 'new' 2.0 platform includes a series of feature upgrades designed to simplify and improve the process of buying custom audiences at scale. 

    Some of the new (and, everything is "new" except that of Looksmart's AdCenter, it would seem?), capabilities include:
    • Single-click deployment across all real-time bidding (RTB) inventory sources
    • Automated budget allocation
    • An innovative new audience extension technology that increases the reach available for high value audience segments
    • Enhanced interactive graphical monitoring and reporting
    • An automated system for estimating audience reach and frequency before campaigns are launched
    http://blog.turn.com/2010/01/25/turn%e2%80%99s-next-generation-media-buying-and-optimization-platform/

    In all three cases (and there are many other DSP's that do similar now), they are
    all providing a single-click deployment (I'd reckon) across all real-time bidding (RTB) inventory sources.....

    In leaving their 'primary' auction (at Ad Network level) and advancing to that global marketplace through a respective Exchange and each seeking out their 'custom audiences at scale', who is (then) conducting the "auction" process, within that over-all marketplace?

    Can I remind readers of my chart and comment below it, from my previous post?



    Looksmart has advised the market that in the Q2 period (2009) that it's AdCenter advertising marketplace had over one billion enquiries and over 2 million paid clicks daily, for Adcenter to manage ...

    That's surely interesting, in terms of that "spike" above. It's all very interesting. And becomes even more, IF the market is ever told the truth about it all. IMHO.

    Again: Microsoft would hopefully "Do no Evil" too! (?)

    LOOK
    : On Feb 19: 0.98 Down $0.01 (-1.01%)

    Cheers !!

    Disclosure: Long LOOK and happy to be so.
    Feb 21 2:26 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Microsoft would hopefully "Do no Evil" too! (?)
    (Post has been slightly updated, since it was originally published)
    .
    Microsoft and Yahoo's deal has now been approved. But is all that is happening (and above board) these days - being placed 'on the table' for all to scrutinize, I wonder?

    Market sensitive, do I hear?

    Whilst Google proudly claim that it's endeavors are always, to "Do no Evil"- in regards to transparency & plain old 'honesty' is there a chance (?) of Microsoft actually "shooting itself in the foot" before it goes much further down this very exciting road that lies ahead?

    Has Looksmart simply become a "Patsy" for the Microsoft cause? What are the connections (if any) between Microsoft and Looksmart?

    Is it (or, was it?) purely on a building Occupier/sub tenant basis? - With Microsoft's RAPT acquisition being just any old [1st Fl.?] "tenant" of Looksmart, at Looksmart's headquarters?

    [There's more ('a lot more than meets the eye'), in Microsoft's Rapt - in being 'tenants' of Looksmart, I feel. - http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2005/10/24/story6.html]



    Then there's iWin, yet another star "tenant" of Looksmart- "iWin provides a host of rich & effective marketing solutions for partners. We believe advertising can be a winning proposition for both players and marketers. - - - We are one of the first casual game publishers to provide games for free - - in exchange for delivering targeted, relevant and compelling in-game advertising."- http://www.iwin.com/corp/about/aboutus.html

    How much or, how little should the market be told (or, are entitled to know), is one of my many (next) questions surrounding those involved in advertising on the web?  How much should shareholders be reasonably entitled to know?

    It was from within an own comment to my Instablog post..Looksmart's AdCenter to drive this Inter-Exchange "Bus"? [Read that instapost  story - Linked below], that I had written on Feb 19, 2010.

    seekingalpha.com/instablog/36191-looking...

    ............that any posts advising of or, relating to news of Looksmart's business and of (in this instance - in, that) TURN's new 2.0 platform that enables buyers to now reach scaled audiences with a single click.

    And TURN can get them ....across ALL "R T B" or, real-time bidding inventory sources), in what I believe - - - is a 'break-through revelation' told by the CEO of TURN. When advised by me to shareholders (in posts made over on the Yahoo Finance LOOK board), my posts have suddenly, all been deleted.

    http://blog.turn.com/2010/01/25/turn%e2%80%99s-next-generation-media-buying-and-optimization-platform/

    I asked and had pleaded with the 'bashers':

    Why would they be deleting my posts IF it is only "rubbish", that I am posting? - - Couldn't those who don't agree simply put my alias on ignore?

    Traffic to Looksmart.com (where AdCenter is housed - and, as recorded by Alexa) points to a steady rise in important "comings and goings" from important sites.

    Significant sites (that I believe) are very meaningful in terms of any advertising network, certainly that of Looksmart's who tell the market, this is a core business they are involved in. (But is there more perhaps?)

    Upstream Sites

    Percent of total visits to looksmart.com preceded by a visit to the upstream site.

    Downstream Sites

    Percent of total visits to looksmart.com followed by a visit to the downstream site.


    The huge "spike" (shown below, around 22nd of September), is what I imagine to be, tests associated with queries traffic that would equate to (at the very least) 10 billion (or, more) daily impressions had, during that (my assumed), test period.



    Here's an Alexa long term traffic chart with the last of Looksmart's consumer sites in view. (2008)



    Looksmart has advised the market that in the Q2 period (2009), it's AdCenter advertising marketplace had over one billion queries and over 2 million paid clicks daily, for it's Adcenter to manage ...

    [Note: Paid clicks never did equate to LOOK's stated revenues, though]

    That's surely most interesting, in terms of that "spike" above.

    [Looksmart has since told of 'over 2 billion queries daily - May 2010 - current report), but (in my opinion) that is still no-where near what that historical 'spike' represents (in real terms), of total queries had, that are represented by that spike]

    Cheers!!

    LC

    ps; 19th September, 2011 - "Social advertising start-up appssavvy is the latest to renounce display advertising with the launch of a new ad platform tied to online activities, from sharing content to check-ins to taking polls. Like Facebook, the 3-year-old company is eschewing banners and their anemic click-through rates in favor of ads driven by social actions and promising higher interaction. "

    "Enter appssavvy's new "adtivity" platform. Victor says the new system provides a way for advertisers to generate high conversion rates at scale by running ads targeted to various social actions. "

    "Research released earlier this year by appssavvy also concluded that activity-based advertising was 11 times more effective than standard display ads and doubled the performance of rich media ads. The company says 30 publishers are on board at launch, including 6waves, 50 Cubes, Friend.ly, iWin and GameDuell."

    www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Artic...

    seekingalpha.com/user/36191/instablog/se...

    Disclosure: Long and strong LOOK
    Feb 20 7:24 PM | Link | Comment!
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