Archive for the ‘User-Generated Content’ Category

Recommendations and Money

April 18, 2007

The article Why Do We Recommend? tries to list some reasons why we recommend products to other people. As we have written before, we will use the adget to do exactly that: let users recommend products they like. And yes, they will make money by doing so and no, they won’t sell out or lose their integrity.

Recommend and earn money, among other things. Also, you can earn credibility by recommending good products, you can find people who like products you like and so on. But by adding all this value to the portal, you will earn money as a positive little side-effect.

Conversation Economy

April 8, 2007

Wow, great article by David Armano titled It’s the Conversation Economy, Stupid, which picks up some points we have been trying to make in the past weeks. The power of conversation shows the shift from consumer economy to something new, where conversation and attention play a much bigger role:

Think about the implications here. Just as YouTube changed how we watch and share videos, some emerging media applications are changing how we interact with each other and with brands. Does this sound like marketing? Well, it is. It’s how we market to each other. Yes, that’s right—we market to each other. We always have, in fact, but now we’re doing it in a more digitally connected way. When we find our friends on any social network (pick one) we swap stories about products and services we like or dislike. We share knowledge and expertise. We define a new kind of currency fueled by conversation and founded in meaningful relationships.

So, if we look again at what Revso wants to be doing, we can slowly see the Adget evolve into a new kind of marketing tool, something that helps communicate about products. It’s all Peer-to-Peer nowadays, the old-fashinoned consumer will be less interesting in the future, it’s people with voices who matter and who influence.

Widgets and Attention

March 29, 2007

Widgets are the new black and we have seen plenty of new widgets appearing on the scene in the last couple of months, if not days. Soon, most pages that are generated by users will have widgets somewhere. Why? Because they are convenient and they allow easy personalization. Netvibes UWA is one step into the right direction, allowing widgets to be placed where ever they fit, in theory.

Widgets distract and widgets get attention, because widgets standout from the rest of the content presented on the site. Furthermore, since a widget offers a special take on something, presented by the user, it gets the attention it deserves. In contrast to ads that are displayed, widgets offer much more, for instance context. Since the user chooses to display the widget in whatever way he likes, we can be sure that this is really something of importance, in contrast to some ad stuck in the sidebar.

Widgets are powerful and grab the attention of the user, as long as you don’t overdo it, like Fred Wilson, for instance. His blog serves more as a directory of cool widgets, but it’s hard to gauge which widget gets attention over at his blog. Nevertheless, in the attention economy, a widget plays a vital role. Although just a small piece of code and also small in size when displayed in the sidebar, the widget grabs the attention of the user.

Revso – so far, so good

March 25, 2007

We started three weeks ago with our little project and so far it looks like everything works out according to plan. The development is 75% done, whatever that means, because we assume that the last couple things will be the most tricky to figure out. Our aim is to have an early alpha a week from now. The database layout is done, most of the core functionality as well, now the work is mostly statistics and widgets.

Although we are talking about disclosure all the time, we are not yet disclosing who is behind this project. We need to figure some things out before revealing who we are and what we are doing. We hope to do so within a week or two. Nothing special, it just needs to be dealt with before we announce something in public.

If you are interested in our beta, please send an email to revsoo at gmail dot com and we will inform you once we start.

Ryan Carson’s Three Point Success Plan

March 23, 2007

Ryan Carson showed three points that he finds critical for success:

– Who is it aimed at?
– Why will they use it?
– Will they pay for it?

We know the answers to points one and two, but #3 doesn’t work for us. We don’t want people to pay, we want them to earn money through us. That is a novel approach to some, but we think, a lot of people will find this rather useful, especially in the long run. So, yes, those points are good, but we would change #3 into “what’s in it for the user?”

Widgetization of the Web

March 23, 2007

A recent article on computerworld.com explains a little something about The Widgetization of the Web:

While the dot-com era focused squarely on aggregating data on the Internet, one of the most defining characteristics of Web 2.0 is the deconstruction of the Web into small, single-purpose applications called widgets or gadgets.

These small chunks of code can either run on a desktop or be inserted into Web pages. Widgets are gaining popularity among consumers because they allow virtually anyone to easily customize a Web page or social network with news, weather, podcasts, video and other content. Anytime a YouTube video, for example, is added to a non-YouTube page, it becomes a widget.

I guess the key aspect really is that consumers can put on their websites whatever chunks of content they desire. Widgets become extremely powerful when consumers decide to place stuff in widgets that they like and that they would recommend.

The recommendation engine as the new network

March 22, 2007

Jeff Jarvis wirtes about The NBC/Fox gigadeal on video and declares:

But it’s all about the recommendation engine as the new network.

Yes. Absolutely. Widgets and recommendations will change how traffic will flow across the web.

Disclosure of Compensation on Blogs

March 21, 2007

The whole disclosure issue is obviously a key factor when talking about creating an environment, where Bloggers can benefit from advertising. There are a few companies mentioned in the article WOMMA Supports Clear Disclosure of Compensation on Blogs, that take a very straight approach and offer paid blogging, thereby risking that the individual blogger loses his independence and starts blogging about topics he can earn money with. Nobody can really want that to happen. Even if it says “Sponsored Posts”, simply buying articles is the worst approach that can be taken.

There has to be some entity between blogger and the advertising dollars to ensure that the blogger can stay however biased he wants to be, without directly being influenced by an advertising campaign bringing money for his blogging efforts. A blogger should be able to generate revenues without being told what to blog, in whatever form. There should be a strict line between the advertising and the blogging, although the ads could lead to user-generated content as well. Obviously, disclosure is necessary, but since paid blogging still leads to directly influencing the blogger, it is only part of the whole aspect of how to arrange advertising for user-generated content.

Widgets and Advertising

March 19, 2007

There is an interesting debate going on about Monetizing Widgets, in which Brad Feld summarizes the following possible business models:

1. a new form of ad network: analogous to DoubleClick
2. a widget management system (WMS): analogous to CMS’s
3. a content distribution network (CDN): analogous to Akamai
4. an analytics business (Stats): analogous to pick-your-analytics package

Since our background is in advertising, model number one is most interesting to us. Brad Feld thinks, that this won’t be a big moneymaker and draws the analogy of something like Doubleclick for widgets.

We think this is the wrong approach. We don’t think a new kind of Doubleclick will emerge, trying to put ads around widgets and thereby trying to monetize the widgetspace. To monitize the widgetspace, a different path has to be taken. A path that involves the user more than the advertiser. A path that works well around The Long Tail and has less to do with campaigns as we know it.

Advertising in Blogs

March 17, 2007

Clearly, blogs often offer great content, but usually not enough traffic for professional advertising campaigns. Blogger then turn to affiliate networks, which are usually based on CPO, CPR or CPL and typically do not work to well for the blogger. For instance, a simple Amazon-button may look interesting at first, but it doesn’t really generate revenue for the blogger. The other option include text-based ads and most bloggers resort to Google Adsense. Adsense works well, but if a weblog has to many different topics, the ads tend to be not too related to the article and this often results in a bad clickrate.

So what can be done to increase revenues for bloggers? Popups, interstitials or layer ads are not very popular among the blogger crowd, for obvious reasons. Instead, advertising should be not annoying, but interesting, maybe even helpful and targeted at the blogger and its audience.

Let’s assume that a blogger can pick the content of an ad, the size, the type of display and the position on the blog, shouldn’t that improve the peformance of the ad on the blog? We certainly think so.