It's official. There is no code left that I wrote. Which is a good thing.
Jeetu has launched a slick interface (like Typepad has) for controlling color scheme. And the CSS is clean. So, we will be able to launch new layouts for event websites when we want to. He also prettied up the text nav capabilities, so we don't have to create images for navigation buttons anymore. Overall, it takes about half the time to build a site than it used to. And it's a bit more flexible... atleast color-wise. Example.
Big thanks to Sooz for being so patient re: the color schemes. It's a feature she requested a year ago. But, it never quite made it to the top of the list.
There's a few other new features such as the ability to let event producers offer discount codes. Use "Guest" on this event site if you want to see it. We now can distribute any IAB standard sized banner ad. Example. He also buttoned up a lot of loose ends on the code side.
Overall, this was a big release for us. Brings us a BIG step closer to making WhizSpark an idiot-proof DIY service for event producers.
On the biz side, we've diversified our revenue streams. We're providing services for businesses to market themselves which takes advantage of our reach online, our email marketing tools and our clients' events. Here's my last newsletter. Scroll to the bottom if you want to see what we're up to. Here's a lot more. I signed up 3 new clients in the last 3 working days. We're kinda flippin the whole "publishing drives the event biz" thing on it's head and using the "events to drive custom email publishing". In the meanwhile, we're regrouping our event focus. And will be launching some very market-targeted efforts there.
Next up on the development and business front... aah you'll have to wait.
A lot of attention re: the googleclick deal has been paid to the fact that Doubleclick is testing a CPM exchange, like Right Media's.
But, that's nascent. And Right hasn't exactly set the high CPM world on
fire; they've been dealing mostly w/ remnant low CPM inventory. This is
likely to have little impact short term. Of course, doubleclick's
presence in serving CPM ads from big advertisers to big publishers will
make google a major competitor in the space w/out being an
msn/yahoo/aol style portal.
But... I haven't seen too much talk in the googleclick hubbub re: the fact that doubleclick owns performics. (Here's a bit from Shawn Collins.) I wonder what this says about google's small forays into PPA? Was Performics involved in the testing? Did google realize they couldn't enter this market w/out some further expertise? w/out someone to manage the relationship w/ the big affiliate marketing advertisers.
What will this do to the adsense arbitrage game? In my previous post on PPA, I wrote:
Forget adsense arbitrage. Just set what you're willing to pay for a lead or a sale and g-g-gooo. No need for the advertiser to manage risk.
I’d also purchase Valueclick, Doubleclick or another independent advertising network. Google’s main competitors: Yahoo, MSN and AOL enable advertisers to reach targets using multiple methods that allow agencies to be creative. Although it is not as in vogue as paid search listings, there is a lot of money in it. Capabilities, such as banner ads, rich ads, content sponsorship, affiliate marketing and email newsletters are all critical to getting advertiser’s money (branding and customer acquisition).
Geni. Saw it before. Gave it another shot after seeing it over yonder.
I have added 32 people. One uncle, cousin and one of my sisters have all invited and added people. So, it's cool to see that take off. I am hoping my 30 odd cousins (my mother's siblings' kids) get involved and my Uncle Ken (my dad's brother), who already has a lot of it mapped out back 5 or 6 generations, gets on board. The cool thing is that it brings my family together. I haven't been home for Easter in quite awhile. But, I felt a bit out of it this year for the first time. I am sure there'll be a lot of family parties that I miss as my wife and I split time between her family in CT/MA and mine in PA. That comes with growing up. It's something I witnessed as I saw my dad's cousins get older. But, it seemed so far away for me. I guess it's here now.
Geni is cool because the family can work on it together. And then we can communicate through it. Sorta like a family party. Someday we'll move closer to Amy's family in CT, which'll make going to PA an easy day trip. But, until then, maybe Geni can help me keep a bit closer tabs on everyone.