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"In God We Trust" .... But can we really trust Looksmart?

Apr. 18, 2011 11:19 PM ET1 Comment
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Seeking Alpha Analyst Since 2006

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 (sadly), has lost a sense of that preponderance it once held in our society. There is hope. - But it needs a fundamental change in that ingrained culture that has been the way, of the past. Please read the article linked below (and especially all the 'free' user comment), that has also been added today.] And, history will soon show that ACAP (the, Automated Content Access Protocol), that I have been so "passionate" about in many a post made everywhere over the past few years, will not only become a part of our every-day lives, but will be fiercely-enforced along the way...And rightly so... Where your "free" (Local) "rag", may well even survive and become (as was also predicted by myself back in 2005). the very "lynch pin" between local business and the web! :) And it seems that Europe will lead the way....It's a lengthy read, that some will find is well worth-while to do so. "Publishers demand IP Rights To Protect Journalism" Cheers!! Added August 16th, 2011 - "Newspapers Need a DNA Transplant" http://www.editorandpublisher.com/Newsletter/Article/Newspapers-Need-a-DNA-Transplant March 6th, 2012 - "Newspapers: It’s not a revenue problem, it’s a culture problem" http://gigaom.com/2012/03/05/newspapers-its-not-a-revenue-problem-its-a-culture-problem/ “Publishers need to think how that [their] brand lives on the Web" - http://www.digiday.com/publishing/in-turnabout-publishers-act-like-marketers/ Rupert Murdoch: The future of newspapers is all digital http://dlvr.it/1V8dPY New Orleans, newspapers and the beginning of the end By Mathew Ingram May. 25, 2012 http://gigaom.com/2012/05/25/new-orleans-newspapers-and-the-beginning-of-the-end/ Friday Sep 21, 2012, 11:22pm EDT LOOK: $0.89 Up 0.08 (+10.53%) 4:00PM EDT|After Hours : 0.89 Up 0.00 (0.03%) 4:09PM EDT Two excellent articles I've just read (I feel) encapsulate this lon 'drawn out' road to come up with a solution that becomes, the 'intersection of search and display'. Read on.... "Do you hear that rumble in the distance? It’s change coming. What sort of change, you ask? Well, the events of the last few weeks collectively point to a pretty big shift in the search landscape. First, has traditional search engine usage reached its peak? When people skip over a search engine and go straight to Amazon for product search, it’s clear that either Amazon is doing something very right, or search engines need to improve their results. Changes to Google Shopping may help improve the experience for users, but is it too little too late?" http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/183511/the-future-of-search.html Then.... "Google News, its executives tell me, now "algorithmically harvests" articles from more than 50,000 news sources across 72 editions and 30 languages. And Google News-powered results, Google says, are viewed by about 1 billion unique users a week. (Yep, that's billion with a b.) Which translates, for news outlets overall, to more than 4 billion clicks each month: 1 billion from Google News itself and an additional 3 billion from web search. As a Google representative put it, "That's about 100,000 business opportunities we provide publishers every minute." http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/09/google-news-at-10-how-the-algorithm-won-over-the-news-industry/262641/ It's been an amazing story all the way. With LUMA Partners publishing it's LUMAscapes that map over 1,500 companies across seven sub-sectors of digital:companies saying, that within the circles alone [they] represent approximately $3 trillion of market capitalization and $450 billion of cash and securities. - http://www.lumapartners.com/the-strategic-buyer-lumascape/ Where do they start to rein-in some of that invested capital? My thoughts are contained in the following two links: https://www.facebook.com/ross.bradley.18/posts/10151231209526605 http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/36191-lookingconfident/932031-an-rtb-global-open-marketplace-handling-up-to-100-billion-events-per-day?source=kizur#comment_update_link

In my post on Yahoo Finance's LOOK board earlier [Re: Scott L. Kauffman Adknowledge] the following question put - remains yet unanswered.

   Shouldn't "HONESTY" still be or, remain - the best POLICY???

How can Co's (that may be working - behind the scenes) expect the BIG Advertisers (and, their agencies) to suddenly now, place their "trust" in what THEY are doing or, intend to do for them - when lots of ordinary shareholders are being (and it does appear so), 'short-changed' by those very same companies - - -  that advertisers and agencies are expected to place their trust in?

The question has been asked before today, too! When the Co was told in no uncertain terms, that:

"The only metrics I hear being disclosed today are commitments to spend more money... I don't hear any metrics being disclosed about operational performance or financial performance on the top line. And I think you owe us those." 


 From within that post:

Jean-Yves Dexmier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer:

"This is Jean-Yves"......... "We look at Publisher Solutions more as an opportunistic source of revenues. Our core business is the Ad Network."

The Ad Network? - Or, is it the "advertising networks"? (As you the Co. Looksmart have at times - 'termed it')- And isn't this the 'back-fill', remnant, or, (a) secondary (global) marketplace, that you are referring to?- - A platform (and marketplace) that now supports CPA or, 'CPV' (cost-per-visit'), as you have put that. No?


[At ad:tech - "LookSmart operates one of the largest PPC search advertising networks with over two billion daily search queries." - tinyurl.com/3os7u5h]


How about some 'truth' announcements about CPA - put up against a 'tired' CPM metric? Like the following (& taken from a few years back), perhaps?

CPA - Cost per action (Cost per 'visit'?)

CPM - Cost per thousand

< The fact that I work for a CPA ad network might make you think that I am overly biased and therefore not credible. - - No way! But you don't have to listen to just me.

Listen to Bill Gates, formerly of Microsoft. Not only is he a proponent of CPA, he has predicted this form - - - - will eventually "change the economics of the search advertising market."

Or listen to Google's VP of Search Product & User Experience Marissa Mayer's own public pronouncement - that "CPA is the holy grail of targeted advertising."

CPA has fans

LOS ANGELES, Nov 24, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The following is an opinion editorial by Mason Wiley, senior vice president of marketing, Hydra:

"Finish all your dinner," my mom used to tell me. "Or you can't be a member of the clean plate club." Not wasting food earned me not only membership in that private collective, but also the reward that went with it, namely dessert.

Anyone raised by Depression-era-born parents was indoctrinated with the notion that waste is bad. Turns out that was good preparation for business. - - Executive leadership, like mom, abhors waste of any kind.  - - - Unfortunately, online advertisers always find that some amount of waste is always inevitable.

Under the long prevailing cost-per-thousand (CPM) model of buying advertising, online marketers have to pay to reach prospects.

The major problem here is: whose numbers do you trust? - - Evidence has emerged that page views cited by online publishers as a proxy for impressions are overstated, to say the least. - - - And what's a page view worth, anyway?

There is no guarantee that an ad is even seen. Heat map research shows that Web surfers, acting as their own internal TiVo, are pretty darn good at ignoring those online banners you spend your good money to place.

So as an online advertiser you do what advertisers have always done to improve their odds: you target. - - The Internet allows for not just the classic demographic and psychographic targeting but also behavioral and contextual targeting. - - Sure, it can help reduce paying for ad impressions that go nowhere.

But this hyper targeting is giving consumers the heebie-jeebies and giving law-making bodies around the country a spanking new privacy issue to sink their teeth into. - - - -- And in the end, even with all those fancy targeting schemes - you still end up paying to reach people not the least bit interested in what you have to sell and who will never become customers.- - - - You spend a ton of money on online impressions that aren't impressive at all.

Fortunately, paying for the chance to maybe find a customer is not the only game in town. Now you have the choice to pay only for those ads that drive a customer to make a purchase, fill out a lead form, watch a video clip, or take some sort of conversion or engagement action. It's called cost-per-action (CPA).

CPA is risk-free and waste-free by definition. Eliminating clickers who do not convert, CPA delivers incremental new customers with predictable ROI. What's more, it's not dependent on targeting. So, consumers don't get hot and bothered about their privacy being invaded.

In fact, for savvy marketers, CPA can make targeting irrelevant. Using CPA, they can cast a wide net across the Internet universe (IU) and have their best prospects self-identify by responding.

At that point, the advertiser can unleash all their best-practice CRM tactics to build prospects' relationship with the brand and convert them into a lifetime customer. It's a win-with one more win following it. So give CPA a shot. If nothing else you get guaranteed membership into the clean plate club!

About the author

As senior vice president of marketing, Mason Wiley comes to Hydra (www.hydranetwork.com) - - with more than 20 years of experience in marketing, brand-building, and sales.

.......His diverse career includes developing a television campaign that repositioned Arnold Schwarzenegger from rich Hollywood movie hero to heroic political outsider.>

Yes - (www.hydranetwork.com). OMG!!

LOOK: Apr 18: $1.89   0.00 (0.00%)

Market-Maker 'sham': www.nasdaq.com/aspx/nlstrades.aspx?symbo...

As per usual, all just an opinion.


ps; Interesting 'read', here: Upcoming trends in real-time bidding - iMediaConnection.com - http://t.co/SrpzWEl

Disclosure: Long LOOK


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