Ad Repping

Just a little bit of housekeeping and a cry for help to our readers…

I’ve been desperately (admittedly) looking for means of monetizing this site recently. This site is in the awkward in-between stage of hot property and an long tail property where it cannot be repped by larger ad repping sites like Federated Media because it’s not large enough, and simply cannot make enough money with Adsense or most of the “commodity” advertising properties.

Since leaving b5media, I’ve attempted to do my own ad repping but I’ll be honest – it’s not my thing. I don’t have a nose for advertising, nor the experience to do direct selling.

In the past week, I’ve applied to several agencies to gauge interest.

So I ask in all humility, and in the spirit of crowd-sourcing, how would you monetize this site if it were yours? What tips can you share with me? Introductions you might be able to make? While I would love to have this conversation in comments, I also recognize that some conversations might be better had in private. So please, email me at aaron@technosailor.com or one of the other methods listed here.

Zuckerberg, Quit Insulting Our Intelligence

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook has taken one more step in the Beacon war. As we’ve noted, Facebook is wrong to not fully make Beacon an opt-in program, partner companies are wrong for releasing customer data to Facebook and by the way I made a Firefox extension that will help consumers know when they are on a site that is using Beacon technology and will send data about their customers to Facebook, regardless of whether the consumer has a Facebook account or have the program turned off.

So, back to Zuckerberg. Mark posted an entry today on the Facebook blog apologizing for Beacon, admitting that the program was mismanaged from the start and that the response to the outcry were abysmal:

We’ve made a lot of mistakes building this feature, but we’ve made even more with how we’ve handled them. We simply did a bad job with this release, and I apologize for it. While I am disappointed with our mistakes, we appreciate all the feedback we have received from our users.

Zuckerberg continues on to outline how to turn off Beacon altogether – and that’s where this is still breaking down. First, Beacon is still “opt-out”. That is, users still have to proactively turn the “feature” off. I’m guessing that most Facebook users are not paying attention to this whole Beacon uprising, and thus probably have no idea that there is something that can be turned off and how it would be turned off. The majority of Facebook users, I’d venture, are purely using the site to keep up with their circle of people. No one is paying attention to these higher-level issues – something I admit I’m disappointed in as I think these issues affect all users.

The reality is that Beacon is damaged goods and I will be surprised if partners don’t continue to drop the technology. It’s a huge mistake to send data to Facebook and let Facebook determine if the user 1) exists or 2) has not opted-out.

Someone I talked to recently described Facebook and Beacon as, “[Facebook] is like inviting the devil into your home by accident and now [Beacon] is seen as angel of death.”

No, despite Facebook’s steps to “right the wrong”, they have not gone far enough. At the very least, they need to make it completely opt-in and let their marketing department “sell” opting-in to their users. In an ideal world, Beacon is completely abandoned – something that might very well happen if the backlash doesn’t stop soon.