free html hit counter Industry Brains Launches RSS Paid Listings | John Battelle's Search Blog

Industry Brains Launches RSS Paid Listings

By - February 25, 2004

Logo_IndustryBrains.gifOur buddy Matt is a pioneer over at Infoworld. Full text of press release is in the extended entry. Snips:

IndustryBrains, the only business performance based media firm that specializes in contextual, site-specific advertising, announced today it has expanded its business to include syndication of paid listings to publishers participating in RSS-driven content feeds….
Just as with IndustryBrains’ web-based paid listings, its RSS technology is private-labeled by partner sites and is completely transparent to the user. This enables publishers to leverage their brand and relationships with advertisers who are willing to pay more for placement on a highly regarded site. IDG’s Infoworld and CMP Media’s Techweb Network have implemented IndustryBrains listings as part of their category specific RSS syndication.

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IndustryBrains Introduces Paid Listings
on RSS Feeds

IDG’s Infoworld and CMP’s TechWeb Network Computing First to Sign On

NEW YORK (February 25, 2004)  IndustryBrains, the only business performance based media firm that specializes in contextual, site-specific advertising, announced today it has expanded its business to include syndication of paid listings to publishers participating in RSS-driven content feeds.

RSS, “Really Simple Syndication” as some may call it, is content syndication method used by many online publishers to deliver news and story content to users that have opted in to a particular topic.  Users, on a daily basis, have the ability to specify content topics, which are presented mostly in summary format. A user, if interested in a particular article, must click to the web site to get the full content. RSS is viewed by many as a more efficient way to aggregate news and content tailored to individual interests.

“As more and more people turn to RSS to gather news and information, we want to meet them with listings resources than helps them contact advertisers with product offers that match their RSS content interests,” says IndustryBrains CEO Erik Matlick.  “This is a natural extension of the paid listings service we now provide for scores of websites.”

Just as with IndustryBrains’ web-based paid listings, its RSS technology is private-labeled by partner sites and is completely transparent to the user. This enables publishers to leverage their brand and relationships with advertisers who are willing to pay more for placement on a highly regarded site. IDG’s Infoworld and CMP Media’s Techweb Network have implemented IndustryBrains listings as part of their category specific RSS syndication.

“The success we have experienced from IndustryBrains’ paid listings on our web sites gives us confidence that the same results will be generated by using their technology to deliver listings on our RSS feeds, said Matt Mcalister, General Manager of Infoworld. “We expect that advertisers will also want to pay a premium to appear in RSS enabled pages and stories. Users are actively expressing an interest in a particular subject matter by subscribing to specific content offered by a specific publisher.”

Maria Bradley, Business Development Manager of CMP’s Techweb Network, also concurs. “This is a far superior model for us than generalized listings from SEM networks. Advertisers know they are reaching an audience of extraordinary composition, and are willing to bid far more aggressively to be near the top of our RSS listings.  This simply means more revenue for us.”

IndustryBrains already services more than 2,000 paid listing advertisers in the technology category.  The company expects to syndicate a great many of them over to RSS enabled listings.

Launched in 2002, New York-based IndustryBrains , is the only business performance based media firm that specializes in contextual site specific advertising. IndustryBrains offers custom publisher solutions for monetizing content and search pages. Real-time tracking and reporting allows publishers to easily manage advertiser relationships and optimize revenue. For advertisers, IndustryBrains offers contextual category placement on premium sites like Infoworld, ComputerWorld, PC Magazine, EETimes, Network Magazine and BusinessWeek. Advertisers bid for placement on site-specific categories that are related to their business. Listings are delivered whenever a customer performs a search on the specified terms throughout its network of 50+ premium sites.

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6 thoughts on “Industry Brains Launches RSS Paid Listings

  1. Bob Wyman says:

    There is nothing wrong with advertising in RSS feeds if it is done right. However, if this is the ad software that InfoWorld is using, it is done *wrong.*

    The problem here is that the way that InfoWorld inserts ads results in aggregators seeing many duplicate entries that differ only in ad content. I’ve been getting so many complaints about their feeds, in fact, that I’m seriously considering cutting them out of the feeds we monitor at PubSub.com.

    It is bad enough that InfoWorld inserts the same items into multiple feeds… The problem with the ads is that different copies of an item will get different ads inserted into them. Thus, to an aggregator, copies of the same item appear to be distinct entries and the users think they are getting duplicates. The result is that users complain about the advertising. This is not good.

    This problem should be resolved once people move to Atom since Atom provides for a unique entry id that “MUST” remain the same when an entry is copied to a new feed. Atom also provides for mulitiple dates in an entry. You get “created”, “modified” and “issued” dates. This metadata can be relied on to determine if an entry is unique — rather than relying on keeping signatures or checksums of the entry text… The correct thing to do with an atom feed is to ensure that ad insertion doesn’t change either the entry id or the associated dates. Thus, people will only see the entry when its content changes — not when only the ads change. Unfortunately, RSS is too weak to allow an aggregator to distinguish between changes in content and changes in ads. Thus, if one is publishing ads in RSS content, you *must* ensure that the same ad appears in all copies of an item and that the ad copy *does not* change once it is first inserted. If this rule is not followed, users will see duplicate entries and you will end up building negative feelings about both the general idea of advertising as well as about the publisher carrying the ads.

    Note: I have no objection to ads in RSS content. My objection is to this particular method of doing the ad insertions.

    bob wyman

  2. Bob – I didn’t realize people were still having duplication problems, as we addressed this issue about 2 months ago when we changed to RSS 2.0. This was certainly an issue with RSS 0.91 and 1.0. We have received no complaints that I know of since the change. I will investigate further.

    The UID does not change for each content entry, so, in theory, a variation in the text of an entry, whether it’s content or advertising, should not renotify or repost in someone’s reader unless that reader is checking for text changes in each entry. That’s a problem any feed is going to have.

    Are you saying that a post on, say, “Mydoom deletes files”, that runs in our Top News feed and ALSO in our Security feed will appear twice, indexed twice in your search engine? That’s a function of indexing multiple feeds not a function of changing ads, right?

    It seems you uncovered an interesting twist that makes RSS 2.0 insufficient for more robust publishing where ads are served dynamically and content changes. And you are right that Atom will make this argument moot.

  3. Bob Wyman says:

    Ooops…. A bit of investigation indicates that there are, in fact, many fewer duplicates in the InfoWorld feeds lately… My apologies for reporting “old news.”

    Nonetheless, I do hope that advertisers are aware that RSS is less than optimal for advertising purposes. Software that inserts ads in RSS feeds must be *much* more constrained than software that inserts ads in Atom feeds. You must recognize that because of the weaknesses of RSS, we’re often forced to do text comparisons to determine if an item has been seen before. With Atom, we’ll be able to rely on the entry id’s and the dates to determine uniqueness (as long as advertisers ensure that neither the id’s nor the dates change when a new ad is inserted.)

    My apologies again..

    bob wyman

  4. We have received no complaints that I know of since the change I will investigate further

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