Advertising is all about influencing people. Bloggers wield influence. So, it is natural that bloggers will attract more advertising. And as Gary Stein notes, people are noticing that. Gary says that the big issue (and I wholeheartedly agree) is that not all weblogs carry the same level of quality, and therefore, influence. Further, different weblogs influence different people about different things. He notes that it is important that publishers are transparent about their ability to reach who and how many people:
With the proliferation of space and the ability to utilize networks to reach out to multiple publishers, both advertisers and publishers need to be careful about the blind distribution of advertising. Inside of a network, there are bound to be stars and dogs, which is fine, as long as everyone concerned knows who's-who, and each member is measured equally and rewarded appropriately.
Ad-Brite is actually a very good solution to this problem, because the organizing-company does the measuring and publishers the information for everyone to see. Google's AdSense does this well with Smart Pricing, also, but you don't get to see the measurement and they determine the price--same principle, but hidden mechanics.
Again, I agree wholeheartedly. I am sure this isn't a very crazy thought to anyone that buys or sells advertising. However, buyers and sellers generally do not have an omniscient third party involved that knows exactly how an ad performs and can then report that to future buyers. Like adbrite does.
This is a paradigm shift in the way advertising is sold. And it provides accountability.
It also provides a large opportunity to adbrite. As they are the keepers of accountability. Any network that can serve as a mechanism in providing accountability for advertising has a long and prosperous outlook for the future.
Yesterday, I was speaking with a gentleman who is legendary in the online ticketing world. I showed him this screen on WhizSpark: the public profile of a member. Among other things, it shows the number of subscribers that a member has on each of their mailing lists.
Our goal has been (and is now being realized with this program) to create an OPEN NETWORK of people willing to promote events. A member can create their own mailings lists (free), add their subscribers (free) and help promote other people's events (free). And then get rewarded or even compensated for doing so. And noone has to talk to us. They can recruit, negotiate and conduct business without ever talking to us.
Now that you have the background, I can share the rest of the story: This ticketing guru was astounded that we'd reveal a promoter's subscriber numbers. His argument is that a promoter's asset is "who they can influence". Revealing who they can influence eliminates their "hand" when negotiating with venues, performers, sponsors, etc.
I tried to explain our vision of an OPEN NETWORK. And the advantages that this provides to accountability. It also provides advantages to producers of events so they can see which people can influence the revelant audience.
The strategic advantage that this OPEN NETWORK provides to us is that it helps sell our services. When an event producer uses the network, the value of the network expands as they bring in other promoters to help market their event. Since, these promoters can then be found and leveraged by other producers, the cycle begins again with each new event. And the network will grow virally from there.
But, I realized this argument was futile and this part of the conversation ended when he said, "This is why you are still working and I am retired." I thought this a bit rude, but he did have good advice on several other fronts. And we've concluded that we can allow promoters to hide this number if they want to hide it.
But, I think what this guy failed to grasp. And most people fail to grasp. Is that we all wield influence. And we are all are starting to wake up to that fact that we wield that influence. And now we are capturing that influence as we use the web. And the tools to leverage our influence aren't far behind.
For advertising, it is obviously here. For events, they are already here. For recruitment, it is here. For, lead generation, it is coming. And a whole other group of industries won't be far behind. And as we bring accountability to markets and the power that we collectively yield, we'll also be distributing the influence beyond the Media Oligopoly.
And Rupert can then go.... you get the idea.