Seeking Alpha

LookingConfident's  Instablog

LookingConfident
Send Message
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
View LookingConfident's Instablogs on:
  • Behavioural Targeting - "Opt-in or, Opt-out"?
    .
    Who am I to argue a point with a "rocket scientist"? But I do wonder if we are only at a stage where we STILL haven't got it anywhere near 100% correct?

    "Here’s the thing —  online ad impressions are more like snowflakes than stocks: no two are exactly alike, and they melt."

    (Says, George John who is a bona fide rocket scientist who did happen to leave behind a career working on artificial intelligence software for Mars rovers at NASA.

    George is the CEO of Rocket Fuel Inc a display advertising technology company he started in 2008 that provide an ad-serving and bidding engine to agencies and advertisers.)

    [You can't manage online ad inventory like a stock market VentureBeat]

    George John goes on to say:... "For example, a share of Time Warner is a share of Time Warner, but a single ad impression on Time.com is not exactly the same as any other  -  not only will future impressions occur at different times obviously, but they will be to different users with different interests and different previous ad interactions, etc, etc ..."

    Again, I'm not so sure.

    [And whilst I generally have a problem expressing thoughts on a keyboard, I strongly feel that the IAB have shown such poor leadership thus far and I haven't held back in saying so in a number of comment replies.]

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

    Now the IAB President wonders why?  Rothenberg: 'Forces Out To Destroy Interactive Advertising' Feb 24- "There are efforts underway to regulate online behavioral advertising. Proposals making their way through Congress, the.".

     I guess the comments sum it up better than I can with things like ...

    .."the IAB hasn't got a clue, as the lack of support here for it's self-serving and seriously mis-guided agenda clearly speaks".

    (Opt-out/Opt-in?

    One comment made feels strongly that the IAB . "should take the lead and begin compiling a nation-wide Opt-In List.before the FTC does..Consumers would be free to disclose as much or as little information about themselves as they wanted, while those that declined to opt-in would receive no targeted ads. Try being a little pro-active instead of re-active for a change".]

    In entering an uncertain age (certainly that of "BT" - behavioural targeting), I do believe it doesn't matter one iota as to where or, what site a user arrives at. Or, how much new inventory is created each day. A user can only be on one page at the one site really, at any given time. And ads are not (or, are not required to be) served, if they don't happen to arrive.

    But more-so now with BT and an emphasis being on the individual targeting of each and every valuable (to marketers), user. Where assurances can almost be given of being able to zero in & get to the bulk of those same (desired) users. Certainly, there's a much clearer picture of many users that fit the demographics within an advertiser's desired target market.

    The mining of data is the problem, I feel. And whilst marketers are being inundated with all sorts of wonderful claims of 'rocket science' analytics those same marketers are possibly 'pushing the envelope' far too hard, at this early stage of the game.

    Publishers are clearly in a state of "shock-horror" and is it any wonder why? There are many "me-me" marketers who are wanting to be far more 'intrusive' and the selling of 'user data' is now even an 'exchange' business, in itself. And what's in it for smaller publishers?

    Data and analytics - adage.com/digital/article?article_id=142213

    [ClearSight Interactive (who has spent the last 18 months acquiring more than 100 million IP addresses -- along with email addresses and postal addresses --said to be, from publishers), and which hopes to launch in the next four to six weeks, intends to serve ads to visitors whom they can identify based on their IP addresses. The company's model involves working with ad networks -- who would get the IP addresses dynamically from publishers and then serve ads to specific addresses. - www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Artic...] - Makes "BT" kind of look like "kids play" in some respects.

    But it's "BT" that all the excitement is all about.


    With RTB - real time bidding (and with or, under those "blind" auction) conditions, we 'target' users no? Or, should be. (Instead of sites. - and Publisher may need to quickly accept this as reality?) - Ensuring better ROI's for marketers and payment for publishers, alike.

    This can then help those (what I term as) "premium" publisher sites (those sites that are considered as being 'safe') for brands to bid confidently and always, on an above the fold impression basis.

    Yet, I believe that the ongoing 'mining of that all important wealth of data' (that's offered on users), should only be conducted in a 'free for all' (to do so), down in the "remnant" or, secondary marketplace. (Where they can be regulated?)

    And that a defined secondary (call it a 'commodity styled') marketplace (if you care to do so), should then be one where that same "BT", cannot (or, should not) be permitted. Yes, you can get all your data down there, but there's not to be any  targeting of users in the this marketplace.

    This then helps both ends of the scale and for both large and smaller publisher alike. For it immediately becomes a situation where the collection of that reliable user (for "BT") data, is keenly sought after in that secondary marketplace. And by simply sticking to or, with good old contextual Ads or, based on 'key-word" and "geo-ed'" type targeting down in the (lower or,) secondary level marketplace.

    And secondary marketplace publishers can be fairly seen to 'trade-off' their user data (a kind of share basis?) for what would certainly then create an increased (much stronger) interest in their users, resulting in increased bidding activity at this level. Premium publishers then, will enjoy increased bids, likewise. Who, should set a minimum bid level for Premium (safe) publisher content/sites.

    A user then (whether visiting Time.com or, any other Premium publisher site) will surely become an equal to all, prime target? Not the fact that they may be visiting that particular site. For they do visit other (both) secondary and Premium sites too, and many, it's only fair to imagine.

    The targeting of them across the full (Premium) marketplace (instead of selecting out individual Premium sites, such as Time.com), should be the true focus. - - You get to target premium users across the full premium level no matter where they may appear. Bids (starting with that agreed and a 'set' minimum base price), will then, always be determined by market forces.

    There's no doubt that the likes of a Time.com can get & do get to sell their own (& much more treasured), 'certain' inventory, as many would currently be doing so. But a marketplace on a global scale makes that just a tad more difficult to do so, for so many of the smaller (quality), premium publisher site players.

    RTB
    (to scale) will then quickly grow to become a "win-win" and much fairer to all 'buy-sell' players at all (both) levels and is then, always market driven.

    LC

    Disclosure: Long LOOK and happy to be so.
    Feb 26 10:13 AM | Link | 1 Comment
  • Potential Google Antitrust Fine Could Top $2.3 Billion
    .
    Doug Cavery reports that "The [EU] Commission can impose a penalty of up to 10pc of Google's $23.6bn annual revenues if it finds that Google uses its 90pc share of the UK search market to suppress its rivals."

    I find it all amazing when (in the market and the digital media, almost across the board), the (so obvious) daily collusion in the "supression" of news from the general marketplace (question? Are ordinary shareholders or, the general public - "it's rivals"?), goes on, right underneath the authority's noses.

    ......1st the Report from SearchNewz.com and (below) my own Instablog post on today's CENSORSHIP or, information suppressed, to favour one over the other. (And we think bloggers in China have a problem?)

    *****************************
    Potential Google Antitrust Fine Could Top $2.3 Billion

    By: Doug Caverly
    2010-02-25

    It's time for everyone with a financial interest in Google to cross their fingers that the search giant won't be found guilty of abusing its dominance. It's been calculated that European Commission could fine the company as much as $2.36 billion if that occurs. To backtrack a little: Google announced earlier this week that the European Commission...

    Full story: www.searchnewz.com/topstory/news/sn-2-20...
    *****************************

    My beef?

    I had replied to a comment made on AdEchanger.com today.

    www.adexchanger.com/ad-exchange-news/yah...

    I supplied a link to the full (this, Instapost) story, here @ SeekingAlpha.

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

    AdEchanger.com quickly deleted that link from my reply.

    A further post (providing announced "facts" about the very subject), then failed to pass moderation. Read the details, as follow:

    < It's interesting that a link in my 1st comment made (in a reply to that made by Vivek Vaidya), contained a Link back to the above InstaBlog.

    This (link) was promptly "deleted" by AdExchanger.com.

    It will now be of interest if my 2nd comment (awaiting moderation - as can be seen, below), gets to be published in it's entirety? (There's no swearing or, blashemy contained in it, surely?) >

    www.adexchanger.com/ad...

    ********************

    2 Responses to “Yahoo! Currently Running RTB Pilot On Right Media, Clarifies What The Publisher Needs To Know About RTB


    It's slightly more involved than that isn't it?

    For one, the Ad Exchange has to provide information about the winning bid amount (that was actually paid by the winner, not true value) to all bidders. Last I checked, not all Ad Exchanges do this -- they only provide the winning bid amount to the winner (obviously, they have to).

    And further, because RTB is a server-to-server protocol, the Bidder has to implement Cookie-Synching with the Ad Exchange in order to associate their own User IDs with the Bid Requests. While Cookie-Synching is certainly straightforward to implement, building all the enabling technology to reconcile user profiles across publishers and figure out how much they're worth requires a lot of effort.

    Having said that, a lot of buyers (DSPs and some Ad Networks in particular) have this technology (that is after all their special sauce).

    One possible solution for this problem is for the Ad Exchange to not disclose winning bid amounts to all bidders but instead to provide specialized bid guidance data and reports that can be used by the bidders to inform their bidding strategies.

    Reply

    By Vivek Vaidya on Feb 25, 2010

    .
    Interesting comment you make, Vivek ...

    Could it be that those buyers (the DSPs and some Ad Networks in particular, as mentioned) that 'luckily' have this additional technology, may simply be more compatible or, more 'in synch' with those exchanges that are providing such data?

    Reply

    By Ross Bradley on Feb 25, 2010



    My second post: (To AdExchanger.com - And, as copied when posted)

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Which reminds me once again of what is the only independent auction based "marketplace" that is built to scale, and that:

    The AdCenter platform shares distributed advertisers across LookSmart's Marketplace of white label publishers.

    ....... Advertisers within (or, who access) the LookSmart AdCenter Platform gain access to CPC auction technology and extended distribution channels of the LookSmart AdCenter Marketplace.

    Ref: - investor.shareholder.c...

    [HealthCare.com and Pay Group International Join the LookSmart AdCenter Marketplace as Premier Partners]

    Cheers!!

    Reply

    By Ross Bradley on Feb 25, 2010

    Gooone !! - www.adexchanger.com/ad-exchange-news/yah...

    *******************

    And the European Commission could fine Google as much as $2.36 billion for supressing it's rivals?

    How much is supressing 'fair comment' and news of interest from the general public worth then?


    When is all this "us and them" mentality (the) 'goings on' in the digital media going to stop, I ask? And let's hope quickly, too.

    We are corruptly pandering to insiders, no?
    By the regular (fascist styled) suppressing of 'general information', are we not?

    Aren't we not quickly eating away at the very same "trust", that the "old world" (print) media had lost long ago....?

    Ross Bradley - AKA Looking Confident


    Feb 25 6:22 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Yahoo! - (Are) Currently Running RTB Pilot On Right Media
    .
    .And Yahoo! were so quick off the mark to 'right' the 'wrongly stated' report made here in my own InstaBlog posted yesterday.

    ##.. AdExchanger [Feb. 24th- IAB ALM Notes: Data Access Through RTB] quietly reminds us that .."It should be noted that Yahoo! currently does not have an RTB solution"...##

    [ And, the above was incorrectly contained within my own (yesterday's) InstaBlog.  "Yahoo! currently does not have an RTB solution?"]

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

    Yahoo quickly advised AdExchanger.com that this was not the case.

    < ."Yahoo! says that in AdExchanger.com's news round-up earlier today, there was a clear misinterpretation of the comment by Yahoo! VP Ramsey McGrory at yesterday's IAB meeting regarding concerns publishers should have about RTB.">

    AdEchanger's John Ebbert (who wrote the original story) has now made a note to it, with his "update" added. [UPDATED: Yahoo! says I got it wrong. See the Yahoo! clarification here.] - http://www.adexchanger.com/ad-exchange-news/iab-meeting-tolman-geffs-exchanges-networks/

    <"AdExchanger.com's (a.k.a. My) assertion that Yahoo! may have a reason to criticize the benefits of RTB for failing to have an RTB solution was further rebutted by McGrory who said Yahoo! has been piloting RTB (via Right Media) for the last several months with more details to come".>

    This was also the advice included in my own InstaBlog link above, as was noted. [On November 16th, 2009 Mike Baker (president and CEO of DataXu), tells of Yahoo's "testing" of RTB.]

    So, it's now:

    "Yahoo! Currently Running RTB Pilot On Right Media, Clarifies What The Publisher Needs To Know About RTB"

    http://www.adexchanger.com/ad-exchange-news/yahoo-currently-running-rtb-pilot-on-right-media-clairifies-what-the-publisher-needs-to-know-about-rtb/

    A comment made by Vivek Vaidya [http://kruxdigital.com/] in discussing the merits of some Exchanges divulging 'lost bid data' or, not (below, in the comments made - Yahoo! VP Ramsey McGrory's setting of the record straight story), caught my eye for whatever reason. Vivek Vaidya writes:

    "because RTB is a server-to-server protocol, the Bidder has to implement Cookie-Synching with the Ad Exchange in order to associate their own User IDs with the Bid Requests.

    While Cookie-Synching is certainly straightforward to implement, building all the enabling technology to reconcile user profiles across publishers and figure out how much they're worth requires a lot of effort.

    Having said that, a lot of buyers (DSPs and some Ad Networks in particular), have this technology (that is after all their special sauce
    ".).

    That "special sauce" (and the building of all the enabling technology to reconcile user profiles across publishers - as mentioned), does sound interesting?

    ....And that (again, as is stated by Vivek Vaidya ) "a lot of buyers (DSPs and some Ad Networks in particular) have this technology"..does make it even more interesting.

    HMmm?

    I would have thought that in any "blind" auction where the bidders are 'unknown' prior to the 'drop of the hammer', as such (and in disregarding the merit in any 'for or, against' argument for losing/winning bid data being made available or, not)  - Vivek Vaidya does say in his comment, that..

    .."not all Ad Exchanges do this -- they only provide the winning bid amount to the winner". 

    Which now raises the question:

    ......Could it be that those buyers (the DSPs and some Ad Networks in particular, as mentioned) that 'luckily' have this additional technology, may simply be more compatible or, 'in synch' with those exchanges that are providing such data?

    (Data or, that "special sauce" that obviously would be 'universal' and certainly 'equal' to all)

    AdExchanger feels or, ..... 'believe the publishers that are working with third parties providing RTB should be aware of what is happening with lost bid data and then decide whether they want to support'. And that 'RTB has to protect the primary interest of the publisher'. - I feel (my own 'tuppence worth') that this is somewhat a moot thought as no two auction results are likely to ever be the same.

    Trying to pick a 'bottom' is not that easy. Especially as (or, when) more buyers and sellers get to attend (join in), what is clearly a growing marketplace.

    Which reminds me once again of what is the only independent auction based "marketplace" that is built to scale, and that:

    < ......The LookSmart AdCenter is a white label, hosted ad serving platform used to monetize traffic through CPC search and contextual text ads.

    Empowering publishers and advertising networks to interconnect with each other
    , the LookSmart AdCenter Marketplace significantly increases the volume of participants in advertising auctions and increases the overall revenue potential for publishers.>

    The AdCenter platform shares distributed advertisers across LookSmart's Marketplace of white label publishers.

    ....... Advertisers within (or, who access) the LookSmart AdCenter Platform gain access to CPC auction technology and extended distribution channels of the LookSmart AdCenter Marketplace.

    Ref:

    [HealthCare.com and Pay Group International Join the LookSmart AdCenter Marketplace as Premier Partners]

    And Looksmart (NASDAQ:LOOK) is currently trading down @ $0.92 (as I type away), representing a Market Cap of just $15.76M. The Co reported having $27.2M in cash, end of Q3 2009. That is truly amazing !!

    LC


    ps; In the meantime bashers can tell such blatant LIES as this is (just now, on Yahoo Finance) and can do so "unchallenged"? (My access is barred)

    LOOK to be suspended from Nasdad


    Looksmart reported it's Q4 2008 last year, on March 16, 2009.  The Co is expected to report on 3/8/2010 but a date is yet to be confirmed by the Co.

    http://www.tradingmarkets.com/news/stock-alert/look_looksmart-ltd-look-corporate-event-announcement-notice-788819.html


    Yahoo! Finance is a disgrace. Does it's CEO Carol Bartz honestly feel that Advertisers will want to be associated with this type of post? (Wake up, is my tip to you.)

    thanks Yahoo


    Disclosure:
    Long LOOK and happy to be so.
    Feb 25 3:16 PM | Link | 2 Comments
Full index of posts »
Latest Followers

StockTalks

More »

Latest Comments


Posts by Themes
Instablogs are Seeking Alpha's free blogging platform customized for finance, with instant set up and exposure to millions of readers interested in the financial markets. Publish your own instablog in minutes.