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Techmeme Experiments with Feed/Content Advertising

Posted By Darren Rowse 26th of September 2006 Pro Blogging News 0 Comments

Techmeme-AdsTechmeme has launched a new sponsorship section on their site in the last day or so. It’s called ‘Techmeme Sponsor Posts’ and is essentially a spot on their sidebar where three sponsors have the latest posts from their blogs show up with a title and excerpt (taken from their RSS feed).

This is one of the first times (that I can think of) when people actually place their RSS feed as an advertisement on someone else’s site.

You can see the launch post of the new sponsorship model here and get more information on sponsorship here. The cost is between $3000 and $4500 per month (it depends upon which slot you buy). Jeff’s got the calculations on what it’ll bring in ($132,000 per year if it’s sold out for 12 months solid) and the CPM is around $5-$8.

The ads themselves include a link back to the main site, the latest post and a logo of the sponsoring site (links back to the site as well).

I guess this will be something that could easily be rolled out on Techmeme’s sister sites (they have Memeorandum, BallBug and WeSmirch also.

It’s a fascinating idea – posts as ads on other people’s blogs and I could see this being picked up by other bloggers (although it’d have to be on pretty massive blogs with a highly targeted niche).

Some reflections:

On the Advertisers End:

  • will need to think carefully about how they use their blog during their campaign (not too many off topic posts or ‘spin’ type posts)
  • relevancy of posting will be key – not just any blog will benefit from such a placement (not just anyone could afford it either)
  • I guess the question for advertisers will be whether they can create enough interesting content for a month to actually keep readers engaged – there’s no point in highlighting your blog’s content if it’s not up to scratch (or things could backfire)
  • is a month too long? If I was buying ads to launch a product or site I’m not sure I’d want to have to write a post per day (or so) on my blog about it just to make my advertising relevant.

On the Techmeme End:

  • On challenge that I suspect Techmeme would have is the high rate of RSS readers they must have. For example today is the first time I’ve actually headed to their site in the last few months as I follow them largely on RSS but I’m sure that they do get enough traffic to make it worthwhile for advertisers.
  • could ads devalue the site? This is something all webmasters wanting to put ads on their sites need to ask – particularly if the ads are changing regularly. Some ad systems allow bloggers to block ads if they are not appropriate (for example TLA) but if it’s an RSS feed this would be difficult. I’m sure TM vetted the advertisers well and they’ve chosen a high caliber of advertiser but I could see this getting a little messy if they didn’t. This probably isn’t a challenge for TM but I’m sure other bloggers will take up this model and will need to consider it.
  • one further feature that could be offered to advertisers is a ‘subscribe’ button on the ad which allows people to subscribe directly to the feed. This might not help TM get repeat advertisers but would offer advertisers extra value.

I’ll be watching with interest to see whether the ads are taken up again in coming months and whether prices increase or decrease (sure to be an indicator to whether there’s demand). I think it’s definitely an idea with merit and am keen to see where it goes for TM.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. It’s also interesting that Techmeme converted the RSS into hard-coded content (take a look at their source code). On the other hand, FeedBurner (BuzzBoost) uses Javascript to place feed content on other sites. Guess which one is better for search engines.

  2. […] Lo más interesante es que se trata de un formato dinámico y que le permite al anunciante controlar el mensaje en todo momento. Con todo, el sistema no sólo es mejorable sino que también plantea algunas cuestiones. Como bien sostiene Mathew Ingram, este tipo de publicidad no es válido para cualquier compañía. Y, si bien permite mensajes personalizados (primeros patrocinadores), sólamente será efectivo si las empresas saben emplear adecuadamente su blog corporativo durante el tiempo que dure la campaña, como apunta Darren Rowse. Es por eso que, más que un feed específico para el patrocinio como se propone en Denken Über, lo más recomendable sea una coordinación entre mensaje a comunicar y tiempo de campaña, que debería ser adaptable las necesidades del anunciante, como sostiene Dave Winer. […]

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