Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What Does AdXpose Mean for Online Publishers and Bloggers?

As some of you may have seen last week during ad:tech San Francisco, Mpire Corporation -- the parent company of WidgetBucks -- launched a new branded service called AdXpose. To clear up any confusion, AdXpose is completely separate from WidgetBucks.

AdXpose helps give interactive advertisers more insight into how their brand campaigns are actually performing online, no matter where their display ads run, including multiple ad networks (even those outside of WidgetBucks), exchanges and/or direct publisher placements.

At first blush, this may seem very advertiser focused and of no interest to you, the publisher. But alas, AdXpose has significant implications for all publishers, whether in the head or Long Tail.

The bottom line is this: Publishers have the potential to earn more money because AdXpose provides verification information around ad placement and reach to agencies, networks and advertisers. In other words, advertisers and their agencies now have a system that tells them if and when ads ran in view on properly targeted sites or blog -- and this confirmation means the ad placement carries more value (i.e. you get a higher CPM, assuming a couple of things about your site -- see below).

Last week, Mpire's CEO Matt Hulett demonstrated AdXpose to a room full of publishers during the conference and the response was tremendous. Many publishers approached Matt after the panel wanting more information and asked lots of questions, both tactical and challenging.

So, as a publisher, what do you need to do to empower your site or blog business to reap the rewards of AdXpose technology? Publishers need to ask themselves two questions when it comes to addressing this shifting paradigm of online media:

1. Does my ad inventory strategy provide value to advertisers? That is, is there a blend of above and below the fold placements? Do they complement the content?

2. Does my site content appeal to advertisers who want to maximize their spend and/or that are hyper-protective of their brands?

AdXpose is currently in invite-only private beta for key partners, so WidgetBucks and non-WidgetBucks publishers likely won't see the impact of placements and targeting for a few weeks.

We'll provide updates along the way here on the WidgetBucks blog, as well as the AdXpose blog.

- Dean

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Forbes: New automated tech firms reshaping digital media

Forbes.com posted an insightful piece today on the rise of an emerging set of ad technology companies that are helping brands conduct their media buying more efficiently and effectively as people increasingly spend their lives online.

Mpire Corporation, maker of both WidgetBucks and AdXpose, was among the private companies cited in this lengthy article. The other technology companies in the piece include Mpire partners OpenX, Rubicon Project and Pubmatic, as well as Google and Yahoo! [full article here]

Matt Hulett, Mpire's CEO, (pictured) was quoted in the article -- "We've seen half a billion dollars of venture capital poured into building optimization and planning companies." -- and Mpire's new service -- AdXpose -- was highlighted as well:

This week, Hulett's firm unveiled an application to help advertisers track on which Web sites networks place ads, where on the actual screen the ad appears and if Web surfers pause their cursor over the ad. The tool is intended to help marketers better figure out how much of their ad spending is essentially worthless.

For more information and background on AdXpose, check out last week's press coverage, press release, and demo on YouTube.

- Dean

Monday, April 13, 2009

It's Time to Vote! Seattle 2.0 Awards 2009

This may be considered a very "local thing" but every vote counts, no matter its location. The Seattle 2.0 Awards recognizes accomplishments and exceptional people of the best of over 300 Seattle area technology startups. Voting ends April 28.

WidgetBucks is honored to be a finalist in four categories:

  • Best Startup CEO: Matt Hulett
  • Best Startup Technologist: Greg Harrison
  • Best Blog from/about Startups: Startup Whisperer by Matt Hulett
  • Best Venture Capitalist: Bill Bryant, WidgetBucks board member and Venture Partner at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, which led WidgetBucks' Series B funding in June 2008.
Those outside of the Seattle area may not realize the amount of innovation coming from the Puget Sound region from names like Picnik, Redfin, Wetpaint, iLike, and BuddyTV. Check out a full list here. We encourage to offer up your support and vote.

Here's a full list of categories -- Vote now!
  • Best Startup
  • Best Boot-strapped Startup
  • Best Startup CEO
  • Best Startup Technologist
  • Best Venture Capitalist
  • Best Angel Investor
  • Best Startup Product Designer
  • Best Service Provider to Startups
  • Best Blog from/about Startup
  • Best Social Event for Startups