Google is auctioning magazine ads

Google is auctioning magazine ads: Here. Quote: “In this test, the control is in your hands: you choose the ad size, set your price, and decide how you’d like to use the space. There’s no risk to you – you pay only if you win the auction.”

As I’ve said over-and-over, the Google business model (as it relates to Adsense ads running on non-Google properties) is the advertising sales representation (agent) model, or, in this case, broker. Also, the concept of auctioning media time and space online is not new — it has been around since the early days of the web — heck, Rocketboom is auctioning ads on eBay now. However, Google entering this “space” changes everything. I like this very much. I have a couple of magazines I’d like to add to their test.

See also: From MediaPost a couple of weeks ago: “Perennially in search of a better
market structure for trading media time and space, the ad industry has
been courted by Enron,, and even Google. On Tuesday,
some of the nation’s biggest advertisers got a pitch from a surprise
media buying “solutions provider”–online auction service eBay.

(via: John Battelle)

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Matt McAlister has some theories on the RSS question of the week

Matt McAlister has some theories on the RSS question of the week: Why is RSS taking so long to reach big time mainstream adoption?.

Background: Matt works at Yahoo! where he has the title “Sr. Product Manager, RSS & Social Media.” I don’t know Matt personally, but a hack he created is how I get this RSS feed of to be displayed on a webpage like this.

A long time ago, I quit complaining about RSS being confusing when I figured out that if I took a few minutes to understand it (and drafted off smart people like Matt), I could do stuff like that with it.

(Bonus: My advice to all of my business competitors: Forget RSS – it’s a total waste of your time. I suggest you focus on communicating via fax machines as I hear they are about to make a big comeback.)

Math quiz for reporters, new question

Math quiz for reporters, new question: Recently, the Numbers Guy, Carl Bialik, had a quiz for reporters and editors that explored how reporters and editors get confused when trying to explain anything to do with numbers.

I have a new question to add to that quiz.

What is wrong with this article from today? (Hint: There are several correct answers that can be found without doing any Google searches on past data — just use the information found below. If you do a Google search, you can find more, but don’t go to the effort — I’m not giving extra points.):

January Ad Pages Fall To Lowest Point Since ’01,
Mag Revenues Down Too

“AFTER ENDING 2005 ON AN upswing, magazine ad pages continued to slide once again during the first month of 2006, according to estimates released late Tuesday by the Publishers Information Bureau. Consumer magazines measured by the PIB sold a total of 13,342.6 ad pages during January, a decline of 1.9 percent from January 2005. That represents the second consecutive year of ad page volume declines for January, and means the consumer publishing industry is still 0.5 percent below its January 2001 high of 14,079.6.”

Later, I’ll add an update explaining the most obvious mistakes.

Awesome magazine/blog news

Awesome magazine/blog news: Magazine consultant and B-to-B media blogger Paul Conley and Hershel Sarbin (who I can only describe as “legend” and one of my favorite people in the magazine industry) have started a “conversation in which (they) bring top executives and professionals in magazine enterprises to a rich dialogue on critical issues, trends and happenings that shape our business strategies and actions every day.” The “conversation” will take other shapes, they promise, but the first part of the conversation is a new weblog that examines weblogs being created and run by magazines. It’s called MagazineEnterprice 360. Great stuff.

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