The coolness of Google public service ads

You gotta be kidding me. This is so unconsciously arrogant (Sorry Nick – love your blog – but…) It’s now cool to leave your blog unmonetized?

If your content is too risque for Google, PLEASE switch to another network! Or use RMX Direct. Or if you really don’t care about the cash, and you think those ugly PSAs are, well, ugly – you can go to the Ad Council and have your pick from a bunch of public service campaigns.

Which is not to say that hurricane relief isn’t a great cause… it’s just not the only cause… and probably not as “cool” as making money off of your blog.

The coolness of Google public service ads

No, I’m going to write about something important: My prediction that having a public service AdSense ad on your site will become the new mark of hipness. All cool sites are going to want to have those little text ads about hurricane relief or whatever. In case you don’t know, Google sticks public service ads in AdSense slots whenever the content gets a little too risque, a little too naughty, for its taste. A public service AdSense ad basically screams out: Read this page!

(Via Rough Type: Nicholas Carr’s Blog.)


Simpler selling on eBay with Listd

Fascinating! Kind of validates the APi concept, really, while also providing a source for ebay to go innovate.

Relates also the furor about Apple eating up features in Leopard that were previously done by shareware tools. If you’re a platform, you have to careful about stepping on your partners’ toes!!!

Simpler selling on eBay with Listd

If there is a big barrier to entry out there to selling on eBay, is aiming to lower that a bit by providing a service that makes the entire process a bit easier.

The main idea is that it is a pain to list items on eBay and they haven’t done the right things to make it easier. Listd came along and works with eBay to make the process easy.

This whole idea is pretty interesting and honestly somewhat embarrassing for eBay. If somebody even has the idea to make a business out of making your business easier to use then you should probably take a close look at your usability. I’ve already seen commercials for a CD-ROM that teaches you how to sell on eBay and I’ve also seen books on how to make money on eBay. There’s certainly a little ecosystem that sprouted out of eBay and I’d be curious to see what else might show up.

As far as listd is concerned, it’s apparent that this service serves as a market entry point to upsell their MarketPlacePro solution. Marketplacepro is a more advanced ebay management tool and costs $20-40 dollars per month depending on if you choose to have access to their warehouse or not. In general, I would have questions about the longevity of a solution like this whether you are talking about Listd or Marketplacepro. Nowadays it’s pretty easy to find a hosted solution for ecommerce and even though eBay gives you access to customers I can see the entire landscape evolving pretty rapidly. The role that eBay will play later on will probably look different than it does today and developing third party applications that rely on the way things are today is somewhat risky. The site is well done and does make it easy to create eBay listings however I’m going to sink them for developing a solution that I believe will fail to deliver value long-term.

(Via PostBubble.)

Openness Simplifies Complexity

Another great post about openness. Check out the nice essay by Jyri, linked below – lessons here about our “Linking” concept in the RMX, and how to make these relationships more tangible.

Openness Simplifies Complexity

On my visit to MIT MediaLab, John Maeda, the professor who organised the event I spoke to, kindly gave
me an advance of his new book, called The Laws of Simplicity.  The book is a gentle reminder of the need for simplicity in an age when technological advances can be overwhelming.  One point the professor makes is that Openness Simplifies Complexity.  I think this is a lesson that can be applied well to marketing.  We are all familiar with complex brand architectures that employ equally tricksy processes designed to deliver them to the public as perfect objects.  However, in networked environments, it seems, people enjoy taking simple things and adding the complexity themselves…

… – often in very playful or socialable ways.  (Or objects of sociality as Jyri explains).
For modern marketeers, the idea that today’s world is less about making
perfect, tightly controlled packages and more about offering things
that people can tinker, adjust and fiddle with can be very refreshing.

(Via Modern Marketing – Blog by Collaborate PR & Marketing.)

Openness Aversion

Holy cow, what a great quote describing the challenges we’re facing at Right Media trying to open up online media for more open competition!

Openness Aversion

In last week’s FT (via Confused) James Boyle, an American law professor, suggests that we are trained to understand the economics of closed economic systems and that makes it difficult for most of us to see the opportunities presented by massive public, open forums. Boyle suggests that, like pilots… 

…who have to be trained to rely on their instruments to fly through bad
weather rather than trust their own judgement, we need to challenge our
inbuilt drive to hold onto our own little bit of yard.  "Partly this is because we still do not understand the kind of property
that exists on networks. Most of our experience is with tangible
property; fields that can be overgrazed if outsiders cannot be excluded."

(Via Modern Marketing – Blog by Collaborate PR & Marketing.)

Racism of the Day

My favorite comment on this topic was Jon Stewart’s. “So does being a racist hurt or help Allen in Virginia???”

Racism of the Day


Sen. George Allen (Racist-VA) is the perfect example of the bumbling morons we keep electing: someone who’s not even clever to couch his racism in rhetoric, but uses the most unexpectedly obnoxious kind of slur to let us know how he really feels about…uhhh…people who aren’t white (if you don’t already know, “macaque” is a very nice racial slur across French speaking Africa/Europe/etc).

Nice one George, way to vividly demonstrate my recent points about institutionalized racism.

(Via BGSL.)

<b>The Real Problem With Islam</b>

Very interesting take. I would certainly agree that education tends to push people towards having more context and being better able to see both sides of an issue – look at American politics today. I wonder if sometime soon we’ll see an article like this that says “You should have to have a formal education to be an elected official in the US”. Then again, W went to some pretty good schools, huh?

The Real Problem With Islam

It’s not any of the inanity you hear from our leaders (“fascism”, etc).

The real problem with Islam is, in fact, very simple. It’s imams/maulvis/etc – the guys that run mosques, the Islamic versions of priests/ministers/rabbis/etc.

(Via BGSL.)

Tiny Q&A Session

Seth Godin is just too awesome. As much as I want to strongly despise him for being so smart, you just have to love this.

Tiny Q&A Session

Just email me if you’re
interested in buying the books and coming and I’ll send you my fax
number. First 31 people to fax over a receipt get a seat. If I get more
response, I’ll do a second session a week later.

(Via Seth’s Blog.)

Slashdot | Will Ad Networks Compete for Your Ads?

Hey, they put me on Slashdot today!

Slashdot | Will Ad Networks Compete for Your Ads?

TechCrunch has an article today about a new product called RMX Direct that holds a real-time auction for every ad on a site. Networks and advertisers bid based on the quality of the user (geography, site, time of day, etc). This could be game-changing for sites and blogs; if networks have to compete, will we see AdSense disclose more about its payouts to publishers? Will other networks like and ValueClick participate, or will they continue to force publishers to make hard choices? In a lot of ways, this has similarities to the challenges that Linux faces in a Windows world. The open source community has been fighting for more than a decade to make the progress it has, and we’re not there yet — will online media be different?

(Via Slashdot.)

Amex Events and Rewards via RSS

I logged into my Amex account to pay my bill today, and they had an “RSS” link. I grabbed it, and it’s a feed of various events, rewards opportunities, etc. Pretty nice, really – one less thing to clutter my inbox.

Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Psychopathologies

What a great quote!!!

Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Psychopathologies

This has been said before and in different ways, but I was reading Eric Hoffer on mass movements this morning and I came across this gem of an epigram:

The well-adjusted make poor prophets. On the other hand, those who are at war with the present have an eye for the seeds of change and the potentialities for small beginnings.

Lovely stuff, with obvious applicability for many of my favorite wild duck entrepreneurs.

(Via Paul Kedrosky’s Infectious Greed.)