July 13, 2007

FaceSence: AdSense for People

Filed under: advertising, media, social media, talkmarks — Simone @ 10:10 am

Everybody and his brother is talking about Facebook advertising and how crappy it is (not to mention how crucial it is for Facebook’s future).

But the news of today is that Robert Scoble just had a great idea. Why not to have people-related advertising?

Imagine if advertisers could “buy people.” I just clicked on Ryan’s profile, hes into Running and Golf. Why don’t ads for running and golf gear get put onto his profile? Wouldn’t that make sense? He’s also a software developer. Where’s the Visual Studio advertisement? He’s into video games. Where’s the Halo 3 advertisement?

Translation: Facebook needs an advertising platform and it needs one in the worst way. I’m not going to even look at the ads until the ads are tied to the people on Facebook. Facebook knows what we’re into, put ads for those things onto our profiles and messages.

In my opinion this is just genius. Robert, you just invented Adsense for people, dude!

It’s damn simple: you have some friends, they like some stuff and – likely – they’ll talk about it. Just gather the discussed words and place relevant ads on people’s pages.

But wait a minute: is this any better than adsense? You bet it!

Adsense puts some ads on blogs and sites in general analysing the content being written. That works for 2 main reasons:

  1. extreme affinity: if I like basket, I’ll go to basket blogs. Put a basket ad on a basket blog and suddenly you don’t have an annoying interruption anymore but a useful information and – therefore – I’ll be more likely to take action;
  2. an unbelievable exploitation of the long tail: due to it’s low access costs and the fact that it works best with niches markets, AdSense brought into the game advertisers and content producer far below the tail, people that never even thought they could ever be involved into advertising;

Now, what does this FaceSense bring on the table?

  1. Affinity: it’s at least on par than AdSense. It could be a little more tricky to take the relevant stuff out of the clutter for Facebook pages tend to be less focused than (some) blogs on a specific subject;
  2. Long Tail exploitation: here you take evolution e step further. Most Facebook users never even considered blogs, nor they ever thought of themselves as Media. Now how cool is saying that you can get some money out of your Facebook page?
  3. Believability: this is where FaceSense really shines. Just think about this: your friend writes about her latest extreme sport passion, extreme ironing, and how good it feels to actually iron your shirt after you got to the top of the mountains. Now an ad about a gorgeous ironing trip to Tibet pops up. What will YOU do? Right.

Let me add my own little idea: why the hell don’t Facebook (or any smart app builder, for that matter) add a recommendation platform???
It’s a no brainer: you suggest stuff to your friends, they buy and you and Facebook (or the smart guy etc) get a chunk of it. Your friends would NEVER buy anything on Amazon (site) anymore. It’s such a better feeling to hand some money to your friend in the process. This will be even less annoying than relevant ads for people will share only the best to their friends, and it also adds to their social experience.
Also, you get the same cool claim about making money out of your social time. What is Facebook waiting for?

UPDATE: Mark Cuban just posted an interesting pov on Facebook adv opportunity:

I think the beauty of Facebook is that people for the first time have defined and opened up the “database of their lives”. Which if integrated into an advertising platform like Panama would allow advertisers to truly personalize ads, rather than algorithmically present ads. To me it was an interesting conversation.

I think it could change the way advertising is handled on the net. Each user could have the option to publish certain fields/objects which could be replicated/peered to the licensees of the API and then integrated Into the ad serving application. When the user showed up on the licensee site, say Yahoo Finance, the ad server could present a contextual ad chosen based on the published objects within the context of the Yahoo content.

Go read it.


June 30, 2007

Talking with YouTube

Filed under: media, PR, talkmarks — Simone @ 7:52 pm

You might not talk with me. I have people talking with on YouTube and plenty of ways to spread the word.

May 27, 2007

Online Adv Trend Projection

Filed under: advertising, media — Simone @ 3:53 pm

I came accross this post from Read/WriteWeb on the search advertising that states that Google is making $1 per internet internet users.

Other than having to congratulate with folks at Google for the achievement (and guys, please stop telling me I should sell my – few – Google stocks), what really impressed me is the trend that Forrester is projecting for online advertising.

I’d like to know how much of that is search, but this makes a point on how much the market is expecting from new media. What I’m not sure is what these expectations are about. I mean, is this the “Advertisers will want to be where their consumers are” approach or does the stock market really understand the shift to a participatory culture that is going on? Having spoken to a few people on this my perception is that, even if everybody now knows MySpace or Facebook (btw, it really rocks), still most people can’t foresee what this means in terms of allowing an active behaviour in the relationship between people and media.

UPDATE: this post suggests the above trend may actually be underestimated (even if I doubt we’re talking about the exact same figures)

What do you think? Can internet keep up with the expectations (or beat them) or are we headed to a new bubble burst?

May 23, 2007

Links for 24.05.2007

Filed under: advertising, links, marketing, media — Simone @ 10:19 pm

Technorati relaunches
mmm… it smells like a teen seach engine.

Mentos Geysers: world record attempt
The Google CPG (consumer packaged goods) blog has a post on the attempt to achieve a world record for most Mentos and Soda Fountains. I think the way Mentos approached a possible PR threat and rode it as possibly the biggest online media success story ever is just revealing. They did nothing special after all: they simply didn’t hide, spoke openly to their users and to the general public, embraced the discussion they didn’t start and came away with great goodwill and a world online campaign for little to no cost. Was that luck? Maybe so. Would your company exploit its luck like that?

When Trains Fly (from Advertising Age)
Nice one from AdAge. Do you know which market are you competing for? I feel like current revenue streams may be a big obstacle finding that out (or a big incentive to lying to yourself).

Deprivation Day 2: No Problem
Another one from AdAge. Diary of a TV less life and tips on how TV can be substituted with various online services, YouTube in primis. I live a TV-less life since a couple of years (I KNEW I HAD TO MAKE A BLOG OUT OF THAT! I KNEW THAT! Damn…) and I’m pretty happy. I read a lot more, I keep more and more blogs active (er… sort of…) and, well, not much else that I can think of. Uh, and another thing: I’m making my folks marketers’ job a lot tougher 🙂
Oh, and I agree that wisdom of crowds is selecting (and – indirectly – generating) much better content than any editor in chief, I guess that most people sticks to online media because of that.

May 20, 2007

What will gamers and mobile web early users teach us?

Filed under: advertising, marketing, media — Simone @ 9:50 am

I came accross this post on AdAge on who are today’s gamers and (something on) how they behave. Ideally I put it in the same mental category as this one from TrendSpotting on  mobile web early adopters (btw TrendSpotting is quickly becoming one of my favourite trend blogs for its orientation on facts and numbers).

Why am I interested on gaming and mobile? Because gamers and mobile users are trained to be very active groups of people for what concerns media consumption. They don’t just sit there and wait for the message to reach them but are actively involved with their media and actually they want to shape the media itself on their own needs.

If you think about it, gaming is always been a relationship started by users (you turn on your console and decide what to play depending on your tastes and the specific occasion) and is in itself an extremely active behaviour compared to TV watching, newspaper reading or even watching YouTube.
Maybe this is one of the reasons why even a game purchase is mostly driven by word of mouth between gamers.

Ditto for the mobile users (mobile has always been about helping people communicate), that are generally building small (mostly local) group-opinions regarding any possible topic (YOU: “hey man, did you try that new online game?” FRIEND: “Yeah, stay away from it, it sucks! Try Line Rider instead, that’s just gorgeous!” YOU: “Cool, I’ll go and check it out man!”).
Mobile web is even better because it builds an opportunity to actually make the groups bigger and less local (today high costs for international calls and the fact that normally calls are one-to-one communications keep the informations to flow efficiently on mobile phones as they do on the web).

Main results on these researches are not that surprising (biggest chunk of gamers and mobile web users are under 35 and about 60% male), but I guess we have to have a closer look at those 2 groups to get a real feeling on how media and marketing are set to change.

May 2, 2007

Link: marketing & social media panel @ EconSM

Filed under: links, marketing, media — Simone @ 12:46 pm

Interesting post from The Social Customer Manifesto on a panel held in EconSM conference about marketing and the new social media.

I agree that one of the reasons most companies are still cautious on new media because of lack of measurement, but it’s not the only nor the most important reason.

An insightful piece of this discussion:

John Battelle (Chairman, Federated Media): […] Brands care about scale, safety and quality. They are used to controlling that message about their brand. They are afraid to get feedback.

Rishad Tobaccowala (CIO, Publicis Group): Marketing is about listening to your customer.

I’m not pretty sure but I guess that this is basically the same topic we’re discussing here, only at a higher level (I don’t think it is just about social media, whatever social media is 🙂 )

April 9, 2007

Building a new “relationship” adv?

Filed under: advertising, media — Simone @ 8:40 am

Replying to a post from Jeff Jarvis, Doc tells us:

I’m not saying advertising will go away. But I am saying it’s inefficient, inappropriate and stuck in a sell-side perspective and mentality. We have to do better than advertising. Building a Relationship Economy offers some pointers. There have to be others. Go find them. Or make them.

While I still see no difference between relationship and conversation (I see conversation as a form of relationship), I deeply agree on the inefficiency of current media & advertising business model. There must be another way.

Blog at