Small is the New Big

May 15, 2008

Who is making money on online CPMs these days? Glancing at the graph above, made by PubMatic, I assumed that the highest price went to Large Web Sites. Unh-Uh. It’s small sites. Niche sites. Sites that advertisers know what demographic they’re getting. Not only do small sites get the best CPM, their CPMs are growing and are 4 times that of big sites.

If you’re questioning the value of niche… If you’re unsure of the longtail… this info should start to shift your brain rift.

Now we’ve just got to figure out how to make a whole bunch of quality niche sites. After all, small is the new big, but we’ve got to ride the scale whale.

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Starting in the 1980s, application software has been sold in mass-produced packages through retailers.Image via Wikipedia

This is not another wediaup post about Zemanta, but the concept they are pushing.  I posted earlier today at tomaltman.com about how Zemanta is cool because of the way they operate. They updated their software today and released the news via twitter.  Which is very cool, plus the fact it took me 0 (zero) seconds to install.  Why?  It’s Saas – software as a  service.

This is a great model – because even if I was not on Twitter (but I am “vwtom” and so is this blog “wediaup“) as soon as i fired up my blog application it would have loaded the new version of the software.

That is why we are so pumped about Zemanta, Saas and the semantic web at wediaup.  It’s just giving you what you need, when you need it.  Now, let’s imagine we could do the same with content.  We don;t need to go looking for content – content will find us.  We just do what we do and content seeps in like a green ooze.

Pretty cool if you ask me.

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An infant feeding from bottle shortly after birthImage via Wikipedia

I picked up on a post from the BBC, they interviewed Tim Berners-Lee talking about the internet and how immature it still is.

The future web will put “all the data in the world” at the fingertips of every user, Sir Tim said.

“The web has been a tremendous tool for people to do a lot of good even though you can find bad stuff out there.”

Making the web free to use had a vital role in spreading its use worldwide.

Because the web was designed and became open, wild and free – it allowed for the global view to plug-in. This lead to the rapid uptake of the idea and ultimately brought us to where we are today…a ecosystem which supports conversation, social systems and information.

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Woody, Cliff and Norm on The SimpsonsImage via Wikipedia

A Vertical Ad Network appears to be a thing of beauty. One such network, Adify, just sold to Cox for $300 million. Cheers to them, but I didn’t know what a Vertical Ad Network was until I read Andrew Chen’s explanation. An important thing for any LoMediaCo, New Media Startup, or long-tail blogger to know.

Side note: funny that Zemanta only picked up on the word “cheers” and popped up this picture.

The basic premise seems to be for websites without ad sales expertise to outsource their ad selling to a Vertical Ad Network. Seems that if a VAD can get a website a higher CPM than before, it’s a given that outsourcing is the way to go. Plus, less hassle and headache.

Any LoMediaCo’s using a VAD? Anyone willing to experiment?

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Cover FlowImage via Wikipedia

If I didn’t have the nagging voice in the back of my head to make headlines search engine optimized, I would have made the headline Visualate and Objectiveize the Interwebs for Happifying User-Types. For some reason, I enjoy making convoluted non-words that demand a certain level of focus to understand.

So, why am I stoked for a future web of visual objects? If you don’t get my meaning, go try Searchme.com and you will know. Searchme turns the search engine experience into an iTunes coverflow experience. It’s beautiful and changes the way I choose websites. Their tag line is “You’ll know when you see it”, and how true it is. Instead of slowly skimming the familiar blue text on other search engines, I can fly by a bunch of drab web pages and quickly land on one that is catchy/familiar/not-riddled-with-ads.

Although it’s beautiful and simple, Searchme is obviously slower to load and doesn’t provide as many quality results as Google. In fact, Searchme couldn’t even find this Wedia Up blog. The concept is stronger than the execution, which means there is plenty more room for innovation.

Bravo to Searchme for co-opting an amazing user interface. But there is no way that Searchme could rival Google Search for accuracy and relevancy. The only way Searchme could get my daily eye-balls is to have an aggregating function that lets me see all the biggest websites in a given category. Show me all of the LoMediaCo sites. All of the Airfare sites. All of the Music Review sites. All of the Motorcycle sites. I’ll flip through them quickly, knowing that although it’s not deep content, it’s the most-common content.

With content becoming more recycled, amplified, and easily found, the venue that content exists in starts to matter more. People love visual web objects that move and feel like real things. I think there is a future for websites that incorporate visual browsing, minimal scrolling and clicks, and even real-world physics.

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Taking it off-line

April 23, 2008

Chefs in training in ParisImage via Wikipedia

So the big hubbub in computerland is taking cool, spiffy web apps and allowing them to work on and off line.  This is a pretty cool concept really – because we all love our gmail, but it’s hard to connect to the net when we’re on a plane.  But it would be nice to write email and then send it once we connect again (like traditional email) but with all the coolness of web based email.  Goog is using a tool they developed called Google Gears to help out.

A post (or really a slide deck) over at Ajaxian describes this:

We also discussed reasons to be excited about Web development, some of the ideas that are out there in the community, and how AIR and Gears can be seen as complementary.

So, what’s that got to do with me!  If you take that concept and apply it to social networking – you get what we’re calling wedia here at wediaup.

We want to combine all the coolness of web based soical networking and mash that up with the standard, “old school” soical stuff we all do with out friends and family – then, to spice it up…we add some wholesome media to taste.

What do you get?  Wedia – or community base, information, cooked the way you like with special sauce and extra cheese!   See, its all in how you prepare it – if you want the same old froze, “go to the freezer and get the box”, we’ve been fed for a while now…forget about it, its still there.

But if you want fresh, organic news and information – you want wedia.

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An amount of formality may be present at a dinnerImage via Wikipedia

Noticed a newish service called Twist that does for Twitter what Trends does for Google. Type in a term, and Twist shows a graph of how much and when people are tweeting about it. This is an interesting way to mine data to gain insight into people’s lives. I plugged in some words and found out some hot data.

  1. Dinner – Peaks everyday at the same time. Most people tweet about dinner on Saturday.
  2. Lunch – Same pattern as Dinner, but at mid-day.
  3. Gym – Most people go to the gym in the early evening during the week (with Mon and Tues being the heaviest days). Friday and Sunday are the lightest Gym days. On Saturday, people go to the Gym more at mid-day.
  4. Beer – Peaks in the evening, but is low on Monday and Tuesday. Then slowly ramps up Wednesday and Thursday until the massive peak on Friday. Typical.
  5. Wine – Follows a similar Beer trend, but it’s highest peaks are on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Wine drinkers are different from beer drinkers.

Is aggregating data like this to better understand ourselves worthwhile? Interesting? Useful? I know it gave me a couple chin-scratchers today.