Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Germany, France, Italy and Others Join WidgetBucks' 'European Union'; Strong UK Results to Date

After expanding its CPC (cost-per-click) network into the UK on July 15, WidgetBucks has continued its roll across Western Europe as previously announced. Today, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Sweden and Denmark joined the UK. This means that site visitors from those countries will now see the double-revenue ad widgets -- a CPM display ad followed by a CPC widget of country-specific products from in-country merchants in local currency. Click here to see a UK example.

This extended list of countries will be activated by 3:00PM Pacific time today.

Strong UK Results
Over the first two weeks of offering CPC ads in the UK, we're seeing a very strong response from visitors, meaning publishers' eCPMs are going up. In fact, our data shows a 2.5 times increase in eCPM (combining CPM and CPC earnings) for the UK over this time.

Terms of Use Change
As WidgetBucks goes about its CPC network expansion into Europe, we have also modified our Terms of Use to carry fewer restrictions on the use of non-English language sites and blogs. While we have loosened the terms in this area, it should be noted that we are not yet allowing any and all language sites into our network.

Similar to focusing on Western European countries due to the ability to target merchants and products by country to audiences, we are taking a similar approach with languages we are approving for WidgetBucks. We are now accepting non-English language sites that are native to the countries on the CPC list, including French, German, Italian, Swedish and so forth.

UPDATE 8/21/08: Spain has now been added to the CPC Country List.

- Dean

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ad Widget Skin Gallery, DIY Skin Tools Now Available Through WidgetBucks

What do Batman, Halo, GPS Devices and basketball have in common? If you answered that these represent some of the featured designs in WidgetBucks’ new widget skin gallery, you nailed it.

Today, WidgetBucks is giving its publishers and bloggers more ways to create engaging and attention-grabbing ad widgets by rolling out two new features:

  • Gallery, a catalog of over 125 pre-designed skins to apply to new and existing ad widgets
  • Custom DIY (Do-It-Yourself) tools to design your own unique look-and-feel to ad widgets

The gallery of off-the-shelf skins map closely to WidgetBucks’ product categories, including entertainment (Batman, celebrities), tech and electronics (iPhone, GPS devices, XM Radio), fashion (handbags, flip flips), sports and outdoors (basketball, baseball), video games (Halo), and more. They are can be applied to six IAB standard sizes and only impact WidgetBucks’ CPC widgets -- CPM display ads will run without the new designs.

Click here to see a demonstration of how WidgetBucks skins can be used on a blog or Web site (or view a somewhat lower-quality YouTube version below), and then take it for a test drive by visit

You can also check out two skins in action - one on TechCrunch and another on Mashable.

DIY Skins
Publishers who want to 'pimp their widget skin' can use WidgetBucks' DIY design tools. Two basic applications -- MS Paint and Notepad, both standard on PCs -- are all that's needed to create your own skin (one Mac Paint equivalent is open-source software Seashore). This option gives publishers powerful customization ability to enable very integrated look-and-feel delivery of their WidgetBucks ad units.

How to Get Started
We have revamped the page for creating new and editing existing widgets -- and this is where both the gallery and custom tools are accessed (circled in red on the image at left). We keep track of skins you’ve used and/or built over time, and next month we'll be implementing a community sharing feature for custom-built skins.

- Dean

Thursday, July 17, 2008

WidgetBucks Among AO Global 250 Winners; Twitter Takes Overall Honors

We got some great news today from the folks over at AlwaysOn: WidgetBucks has been chosen as an AO Global 250 winner, standing out from among hundreds of companies nominated across various sectors. We'd also like to congratulate the team at Twitter, which was honored as the Overall Global 250 Winner.

WidgetBucks was specially selected by the AlwaysOn editorial team based on a set of five criteria: innovation, market potential, commercialization, stakeholder value, and media buzz. Click here for more information on the winners.

WidgetBucks will be honored and recognized with the other winners next week (July 22-24) at the AlwaysOn & STVP Summit at Stanford University. This executive event highlights the significant economic, political and commercial trends disrupting the global technology industries.

AlwaysOn produces a number of various annual Top Private Company lists, including its top list, the AO Global 250 (previously AO100). Others include OnMedia 100, OnHollywood 100 and GoingGreen 100.

Many thanks to AlwaysOn, but especially to the publishers and bloggers in our network.

- Dean

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

WidgetBucks Publishers Now Earning More Revenue from European Traffic

WidgetBucks is expanding its cost-per-click (CPC) network, giving publishers and bloggers two ways to earn revenue from their Western European traffic. Starting today in the United Kingdom, when publishers serve WidgetBucks ad widgets on their sites, visitors based in the UK will now see a short-duration CPM display ad followed by a CPC shopping widget featuring UK-based merchants and products listed in British pounds sterling. (see a sample UK screen shot here)

The CPM-CPC hybrid gives publishers two revenue streams from the same ad widget instance. Before today, only CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) ads were served to visitors outside the U.S. and Canada.

Additional Western European countries, including Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Belgium will come online over the next two weeks.

From a reporting standpoint, this CPC expansion is seamless. In addition to current CPM impressions, additional impressions will simply and automatically be tallied into CPC roll-up and daily totals, as well as resulting revenue. At this time, we are not breaking out by-country CPC impressions and earnings.

At the left is a breakdown of CPC and CPM Country Lists, the latter of which will continue to see only CPM advertisements.

- Dean

Monday, July 14, 2008

It's May Pay Day!

PayPalWidgetBucks payments for May were sent via PayPal earlier today. Checks are being processed and sent later today or tomorrow. As always, we encourage you, if all possible, to switch to PayPal. It's faster than mail, more secure and there's no fee when receiving the money.

- Dean

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Will All Online Ads Become Widgets?

It only seems inevitable that all online advertising will be "widgetized" in some way. Our CEO Matt Hulett has been espousing this for quite some time, and as this year increasingly becomes the Year of the Ad Widget, it seems others are adopting this point of view as well, including eMarketer Senior Analyst Debbie Aho Williamson. She just posted "Banner Ads Get Widgetized" on her Next Steps in Marketing blog, indicating that the movement toward widget advertising makes a lot of sense -- and cites WidgetBucks as example, along with a partner, VideoEgg.

- Dean