Lookery Guarantees CPM

Check out Lookery’s guaranteed payment program for Facebook and Bebo apps.

Lookery is currently taking submissions for a new publisher program that offers guaranteed payments of US$.125 CPM across 100% of a Facebook or Bebo application’s traffic. We’re seeking a billion pages a month for this new program, at a rate of 33 million a day, and are guaranteeing the rate through the end of April 2008.

[From Lookery » New Guaranteed Payment Program]

Social Networking Ads Suck

Ads work on Google because people are looking for information. They do a search, and if the advertisement shows information that helps with the query, that makes everyone happy. However, when it comes to a social network, usage is quite different. People aren’t looking for information about products — they’re looking to communicate with friends. In that environment, ads are seen as an intrusion — which is the exact opposite of ads in a search world.

[From Techdirt: Surprise, Surprise, Social Networking Ads Suck]

I wrote about this a couple of days ago. We built both OpenSocial and Facebook applications and what we found is that people don’t use them like they do our other client apps. In fact, the conclusion I drew is that people don’t use social networks to consume external content much at all. They don’t search for things either, which means the CPC is almost certain to be a lot lower than search.

TechTraderDaily sums up nicely the financial consequences of lower monetization, higher traffic acquisition costs.

My advice to companies looking at running ads in social networks would be don’t. Focus instead on tactics that do work, like engaging customers/users in discussion groups and interactive widgets that users commit to and then share with friends (at best these are brand extensions as opposed to monetizable ad payloads).

PS- I haven’t logged onto Facebook in at least a month… I still believe it has value but the current state of the art just isn’t creating any value for me as an individual.

Reuters Opens Calais Web Service

I am surprised this didn’t get broader attention, it sounds pretty cool. Basically, as I understand it what this does is enable the creation of semantic data within web pages, blogs posts, or any other kind of content by tagging it as you write it. In much the same way that hyperlinks establish a “relevancy relationship,” this will enable better search relevancy by tagging key words, such as people names.

Something else struck me about this initiative. Reuters has made a significant investment in what we would generally call semantic technologies over the years. Calais is kind of like Amazon Web Services, minus monetization, in that it opens up to external developers the same technologies that Reuters itself is using.

The Calais Web service enables publishers, bloggers and sites of all kinds to automatically metatag the people, places, facts and events in their content to increase its search relevance and accessibility on the Web. It also lets content consumers, such as search engines, news portals, bookmarking services and RSS readers, submit content for automatic semantic metatagging that is performed in well under a second.

[From Reuters Releases Open API for New Calais Web Service: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance]

VCs suddenly worried about valley’s economic health

Less than two months after a national survey of venture capitalists found a bullish outlook amid gathering economic turmoil, a new survey of Silicon Valley VCs released Tuesday has found their “confidence” plummeting sharply to a four-year low.

[From San Jose Mercury News - VCs suddenly worried about valley's economic health]

I don’t know why anyone would look at venture capitalists and expect them to be leading indicators for a downturn. My surprise here is only eclipsed by a similar sense of disbelief about the notion that a survey of venture capitalists will reflect what they actually believe. This isn’t to suggest that VCs are dishonest, not at all but rather the fact that VC investors typically have a more optimistic view of the future than the broader population.

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