Thursday, December 15, 2005

Measuring online audiences

[Tags: , , ]. An insightful article at Poynter about why online audience-measurement services are still based on old media thinking:
"In this "Field of Dreams" approach to audience measurement, we are only interested in how many people look at our sites. If reflects the mindset that the issues traditional media face never have to do with content, but rather with proper marketing. As a result, the metrics we use reflect that thinking.
"...We need new stats for the converged media world. When it comes to blogging, you should be tracking how many other blogs link to your blogs and how many items are you linking to. Identify 10 other local blogs and track how frequently they link, mention or interact with your local blogs. The new media world is a conversation in which traditional media is only one part. If you aren�t linking to other sites and if you are not being linked to, you are missing the whole point.

"In another study released by the OPA, a new metric for tracking a Web site's success is put forth: SUM (site usage measure). This measure could be used for any media, but its focus is not simply on how many people look at something; it tracks the level of interaction a user has with a Web site. In essence, it's a loyalty index for your content.

"If you don�t have a loyalty index for your site, you are missing a key metric that other industries have found extremely telling: while all visitors are good for the site, some visitors are better than others."

Catherine Arrow on Brandlove

[Tags: , ]. Here's a well written critique of the brandlover trend. "What's brandlove?" I hear you cry - here's her definition:
"Brandlove blogs are created by people who are, purportedly, ‘in love’ with a brand. One, for example, loves root beer, another loves a particular store, and someone else has devoted time to Starbucks-gazing. "

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A New Ad Format

[Tags: , ]. Poynter reports in some developments in online advertising, notably:
"CNET came out with a new format this week, called "Page Turn." It's basically a product-heavy banner ad designed to mimic a store catalog. (Here's a story from AdWeek about it.) The banners allow an advertiser to have up to a five-page catalog of products that can be perused without the user leaving the page he's on.

This is probably a trend: AdWeek notes that Point Roll and Chitika also have developed similar catalog-like online ads. "

What it is to be sandboxed

[Tags: , , ]. An interesting post from the SEO Experts mailing list about the term "sandbox". Here it is in full:
"Message: 1
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 13:36:59 -0000
From: "jeanatluri"
Subject: Google Sandbox Defined

I find it to be a real shame about the confusion around the Web as to what the term "sandbox" means. Google, of course, would not admit to it and I do not blame them. But there are so many different definitions of what defines a site to be sandboxed.

I believe we, at the Search Engine Roundtable, was the first information site (outside of a forum) to publicly acknowledge the existence of some form of issue with Google and new sites. The first post we had was named New Sites = Poor Results in Google, that was before it had a name. In a WebmasterWorld thread linked to from the "New Sites = Poor Results in Google" entry, the term "sandbox" came about. Later on, guest author SEO Guy posted an entry here using that title The Sandbox Effect, which helped make its name. Then Garrett French, who was writing at WebProNews wrote an excellent, early recap of all the coverage and named it Google "SandBox Effect" Revealed. Since then the word sandbox has been discussed here dozens of times. But it seems to me based on the forums I am reading, (see this thread and the confusion there), that people do not know that the true definition of a sandboxed site, so here it is.

A site is sandboxed when it is new and does not rank for keyword phrases that are not incredibly competitive (such as a unique company name) in Google after making the page "search engine friendly" and after being indexed.

Some are mistaken that a sandboxed site is a site that has not been indexed by Google. That is wrong. Sandboxed sites are very much so indexed by Google, but have a hard time ranking for keyword phrases, no matter how competitive they are.

How does Google do it? Well that is for an other entry. I have my theories but so does everyone else. :)

Help set the record straight about the definition of the Google Sandbox."

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Blogger “destroys” business

[Tags: , ]. A salutary lesson in customer relations and overreaction.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

PR and the Media Conference

[Tags: , ]. Here's a conference I won't be attending this year: PR and the Media trumpets:
" Fragmentation of the media means that where once PR professionals had to think about 5 terrestrial channels, a section of the print media and the few commercial radio stations, there are now 1,000s to choose from. The result is a much harder to reach audience.

"That's why PRWeek have brought together top media professionals from TV, digital radio, various print media and new technologies to explore the ever-changing, ever-hungry media landscape and how PR professionals can exploit and communicate through the fast moving and consuming media world to create true impact with their PR campaigns."
Who are these experts? The Editors of The Times, BBC 10 O'Clock News, Observer, Nuts, Working Lunch, and MediaGuardian; the Head of News of GCAP Media; the Political Editor of the Sunday Telegraph; the Chief Executive of Chrysalis Radio and the Programme Controller of LBC 97.3 FM.

Sounds more like Old Media than New Media to me. Not a website or digital TV channel or internet radio station in sight.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Top portals charging hundreds of thousands of dollars for prime slots

[Tags: , ]. The latest Online Publishers Association mailing contains the following interesting bulletin about prices for advertising on the top portals:
Top portal ad space sold out; price approaches Super Bowl
There is a new endangered species online: Premium ad spots on the major portals. That's according to a major story in the Wall Street Journal that found a serious supply issue for big display ads at Yahoo, AOL and MSN. Because demand is high and supply is low, prices for these spots are up, with Yahoo and AOL raising rates by double-digit percentages over last year. MSN said it's charging between several hundred thousand dollars and $1 million for prime 24-hour slots on its home page. The money quote came from OMD Digital exec Sean Finnegan: "It's starting to get into Super Bowl territory." Even remnant inventory on smaller sites is in higher demand, with prices there rising 3% even though there's no shortage of inventory.
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The Journal found that many major portals and auto sites were selling their inventory up to 18 months in advance, locking in rates and perhaps hurting their chances for a higher rate down the line. The fact that premium online ads are being sold like the TV upfront shows that "online has indeed moved to the grownup's table," AOL's head of ad sales Michael Barrett told WSJ. Investor's Business Daily's Doug Tsuruoka wrote that the huge boom in online advertising was coming at the expense of TV and newspapers, which have been losing market share and viewership. "The trend means a sea change for TV and newspapers," he wrote. "It's forcing the nation's biggest newspapers to cut staff and forcing all old media to adapt to battle the Internet's new media players."
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» Top Web Sites Build Up Ad Backlog, Raise Rates (WSJ; paid subscription required)
» Internet's Ad Gains Bringing Bad News To Newspapers, TV (Investor's Business Daily)
» Websites Ads "Sold Out" (iMedia Connection)
» Online ad sales soaring, report says (CNN Money)

Coca Cola goes viral

[Tags: , , , ]. Coca-Cola has recruited five design studios - each from a different continent - to contribute to a viral project called M5, the theme of which being "visions of optimism". Good to see a UK design studio - Designers Republic - being selected for Europe.