Opting out of Wordads. Because Paypal.

Aside

You might have guessed that I host these series of rambles on WordPress.com. Which means, of course, if I’d rather not have their advertising on the site, I need to pay them to opt-out. Fair enough, it’s not as if I’m paying for the service and it’s stable with pretty much 100% uptime.

Recently I got invited to take part in Wordads. Wordads allows you to get a share of the revenue that Automattic (the owners of WordPress) make from advertising on your weblog. Sounded interesting until I read the terms of the service. Among other interesting things I’d need to agree to, I discovered that I’d need a PayPal account.

Guess I’ll be deciding whether I’m happy with the Google ads currently displayed or want to add another $30 a year to the $13 I’m already paying Automattic for the domain then.

I’m sure they’ll make more money out of me that way, anyway.

Link

I enjoyed reading Doc Searls on the Facebook IPO and the upcoming challenges that the valuation will have on people who made such a huge bet.

He has some great references which challenge the idea that targeted advertising will be some great silver bullet to help pull your “brand” above the noise. And some interesting points about going back to building relationships with your customers:

The amazing thing here is that business keeps trying to improve advertising — and always by making it more personal…

By its nature advertising — especially “brand” advertising — is not personal…

making advertising personal changes it into something else that is often less welcome..

start believing in free customers…and to form relationships that are worthy of the word.

What impact will Wordads have on Google and Adsense?

Today WordPress announced Wordads, because in their own words

You pour a lot of time and effort into your blog and you deserve better than AdSense

My initial reaction to this was great, I might finally get to control the ads which appear at the bottom of these posts. But my curious nature took hold and made me wonder if the few products Google rely on for most of their revenue are slowly becoming commoditised.

First we had the worlds biggest Social Network creating it’s own ad network. I know Facebook’s social ads revenue is still reasonably small, but the revenue from it appears to be doubling year on year. Considering the size of Facebook and the engaged temperament of its users, will it become an ever more attractive place to advertise online – especially with its ability to make those ads highly targeted to viewers?

Then the worlds most used smartphone platform introduced an intelligent personal assistant including voice search. Yes Siri still uses Google Search, but in many cases it does so only as a last resort or if you specifically ask for a web search.

It seems that many are translating a greater proportion of their web use to smartphones and the iPad. (And it wouldn’t be a wild assumption that Siri will appear on the next or even current iPads.) At what point of Siri’s maturity could it start make a serious dent into Google’s search dominance? And what then would be the roll on effect to Google’s advertising revenues from search?

And now we have the world’s biggest blogging platform – a social network in itself – introducing an advertising platform. Is it logical to assume it is going to start to eat into the 28% of revenue currently sourced by Google through Adsense?

While all of the above is personal speculation, I bet the real speculators are focusing on the 32% revenue growth Google delivered Quarter on Quarter this year. And will continue to reward the share price with their heads in the sand.

Perhaps they are right, it isn’t logical to assume that Google are sitting pretty on the past surely. And with the recent culling of superfluous projects there, it’s logical they are focusing their resources on improving their search and advertising functionality and especially as that search integrates with Android.

But can they innovate fast enough and will their next big thing be good enough to head off the Online Search and Advertising disruptors before they are eating more of their pie than the investor market would like?

Wordads is hitherto just an announcement from Automattic. But with almost 70 million blogs and 2.5 billion page views per month, even if only a small proportion use Wordads, it’s bound to be more than a tiny thorn in the established players behind.

Is the hooha about Apple’s new Privacy Terms on iPhone merited?

According to the Consumerist and eWeek there is now no way to opt out of privacy of location.

Here’s what you agree to in the new Terms at the AppStore which say;

Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device… For example, we may share geographic location with application providers when you opt in to their location services.

As this reads to me and has been pointed out elsewhere, you always get asked to opt in when you touch location services, and you can always turn it off globally in the Location Services Setting.

Creepy? Hardly.

Oh, and if you want to opt-out of personal information gathering in iAd?

Go to  http://oo.apple.com


Spoilt Children are not to be trusted

As far as I can tell, Apple’s new developer terms on the gathering of analytics inside Applications on the iOS no more prevents AdMob or anyone else from gathering Analytics from Websites browsed on iOS based devices as it does someone using a browser on an iMac or a Windows based Computer. See this Mashable Post on the topic for a good review of the situation.

So where do the stories about supposed Anti-trust investigations come from? I don’t see evidence anywhere that Apple are forming Cartels to prevent competition, even in the online Music business which they dominate. In fact, I’m pretty sure most of the leeches who provide them the ‘content’ would love to avoid using Apple if they could. They probably dream nightly of ways to go back to the control of the delivery and pocket all the cash, like the used to.

Continue reading

Apple Could Jump-Start Mobile Advertising, Challenge Old Media -WSJ

By NAT WORDEN

NEW YORK — Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs said Monday that the company’s iAd platform, its mobile advertising network, will go live on July 1, introducing yet another disruptive force in the media industry.

The rise of digital advertising already has weighed heavily on traditional media businesses–such as publishing, radio and television–and the nascent mobile market is expected to bring a new wave of upheaval as devices like Apple’s iPhone and iPad proliferate.

Mr. Jobs told an audience at his company’s annual World-wide Developers Conference in San Francisco that the iAd platform will pull in $60 million worth of advertising in the second half of this year, with spending commitments made in recent weeks by major advertisers such as Nissan Motor Co., Citigroup Inc., Unilever PLC, General Electric Corp., AT&T Corp., which is the exclusive service provider for the iPhone, and Walt Disney Co., where Mr. Jobs holds a board seat and is a major shareholder.

“For something that hasn’t been in the market and is unproven, that’s a lot of money,” said Noah Elkin, senior analyst with eMarketer. “By getting behind mobile advertising in this way, Apple could create a rising-tide situation that will give the business a lot of momentum.”

Mr. Jobs said the iAd platform will be built into Apple’s upcoming new phone, the iPhone 4, which he introduced at the conference. The platform, he said, will allow developers to incorporate sophisticated, interactive advertising into the applications they develop for Apple’s App Store, which sells downloadable programs that run on its devices. The App Store now has 225,000 applications available that have been downloaded a total of five billion times.

Apple will give 60% of the revenue generated from the ads to developers. Mr. Jobs said the company doesn’t aspire to be an advertising agency; rather, it developed the platform “to help our developers earn money so they can continue to create free and low-cost apps for users.”

The mobile advertising market will reach $593 million in 2010 before more than doubling to almost $1.6 billion in 2013, eMarketer estimates. In January, Apple acquired Quattro Wireless, a mobile advertising company, for an undisclosed sum, and used its platform to create iAd. Google Inc. and a host of other firms are also competing in the business.

“Apple has proven itself to be one of the most innovative companies in our lifetime, and they will be a powerful player in the advertising,” said Bob Davis, a partner with Highland Capital, which was a stakeholder in Quattro before it was sold to Apple. “There’s already a lot of tough competition out there though.”

John Shelton, chief executive of Strata, an ad-software provider that manages $50 billion worth of ad transactions, said that, while mobile makes up a small portion of the total ad market, there is pent-up demand from large advertisers and agencies to enter the space, and Apple is poised to tap into it at an opportune time.

“I think you’ll see a lot of agencies really pushing this,” Mr. Shelton said. “These devices are just showing up in the market, like televisions in the 1950s, and all of sudden, I think you’re going to see a watershed of advertising coming in here.”

—Ian Scherr contributed to this article.

Write to Nat Worden at nat.worden@dowjones.com

Yep, allegedly I *should* be a subscriber to see this full article ;)

Anti-Competitive AND Potentially Creepy – @drbarnard

If you think about it, Google (via Ad Mob) being able to collect specific usage data about iOS would be a HUGE competitive advantage in shaping their own Android strategy.

Excellent article.

The baseline is Google (through AdMob) AREN’T been locked out of Advertising on the iOS. However they ARE being locked out of advertising in the way that has made them one of the most profitable companies around.

If Google divested themselves of Android, they would likely still be able to get the analytics – like other Ad Networks will be.

Why Experts and Analysts continually fail. Or Check your facts

Sometimes you read articles which present such multifaceted arguments many of which are accurate and indeed entirely logical, but intersperse them with fables, exaggerations and stretched logic in order to support an argument.
Today, thanks to Daring Fireball, I found one such article.
I used to think I was neither an expert nor a strategist. And while I’m slightly one-eyed in the tech stakes, I’m now officially putting my hand up as an expert strategist. Lets see if you think my logic is as…logical…as Brandt Dainow’s.
Brandt started his article rather sensibly, so I was kind of confused by John Gruber was so sarcastic about his view. Then I read this;
…smartphones are subject to the multi-layered business model common to all computers. Technology manufacturers, such as Nokia and Samsung, build the physical hardware. Above them we have the providers of operating systems, of whom the major players are Apple, Google, and Microsoft.
Now, as I wrote above, I’m not an expert, especially not in Mobile. But even to the uninitiated, there is so much wrong with this statement, and following that the bulk of the rest of the article.
Lets start with the statement above;
  1. Nokia build an OS.
  2. Actually Nokia build/licence TWO OS’s – Symbian and Meego
  3. Apple are not an OS provider. exhibit 1: iPhone…yes they are, and continue to be a HARDWARE company.
  4. Microsoft are Continue reading

Great Marketing does not Good Products make

And if you’re looking to copy Apple’s success–and you are–then at least do it right. It’s not about the products at all. What Apple does right is marketing. It’s form over function, plain and simple.

Paul Thurrott is liking is some fantasy land. Please show me a Company that survives by marketing products which are all gloss and no glamour in the long term?
No really, if he thinks that any product can continue to be well received beyond it’s initial phase of interest on the strength of good marketing alone, I’d love to see it.
I don’t disagree that good marketing is part of Apple’s success, but a litany of previous (relative) failures – Cube, Apple TV etc – point out the latent flaws in his pitch.
The rest of the article is interesting. As a ‘come to mama’ post for Microsoft, I’d be surprised if they haven’t already moved on most of it.