Tagged 'semantics'

Hitting the sweet spot: going big vs. being effective

Posted by Alex White on August 8th, 2011 at 5:35 am

What makes a great communicator? Is it mastery of all the pertinent facts? The skill of a turn of phrase or use of engaging metaphors? By all means these are skills necessary to be good. But greatness comes when each listener feels that the speaker is communicating “directly to me,” even surrounded by even thousands of people.
That’s kind of the way it is with online advertising. Marketers want to go big, reach the biggest audience possible. But it has to be the right audience receiving the message otherwise those ad dollars will go to waste. Understanding and mastering that tension – macro/micro, buckshot/laser, Yao Ming/Spud Webb – is key to targeting success in RTB.
In my current role I often hear companies ask, “How many categories is the right amount in a taxonomy?” This is an interesting question and there are a ton of opinions out there. The IAB has put forth a recommendation as to the structure and makeup of a taxonomy that aims for standardization. It is recommended that companies in the contextual or semantic space follow at least the first two levels in a hierarchical structure, and further granularity is at the partners’ discretion. Google (of course) has... Read more

Don’t leave data on the table

Posted by Alex White on June 28th, 2011 at 12:30 am

For many of today’s online media buyers, the go-to data is user data.  While effective, user data is just one tactic to engage with your customer. There’s only so much information cookie data can provide and spending your advertising budget on that data alone is a mistake.
Using only audience data would be like selecting members of an Olympic basketball team solely based on specific bits of data like age, height, and weight. Even if you’re a junior league coach, you probably know that a lot more goes into the decision of putting together your team; player compatibility, agility, hand-eye coordination, and an interest in the sport itself. Age, height, and weight data need a frame of reference (context), and the same goes for cookie data. All audience data needs context, and that’s where page level, semantic targeting comes in.
The advantages of semantic data are monumental and game changing. Relying solely on cookie data is a dead-end for advertisers. The key differentiator among buyers and publishers will be how companies interpret audience data and semantic data together. Semantics and other page level data can provide valuable information on a page’s content, quality, and safety, allowing buyers to assess the relevancy of... Read more

Moderated UGC: Buyer Beware

Posted by Alex White on March 31st, 2011 at 8:21 pm

There has been a lot of conversation recently about brand safety, white/black lists, and specifically about being able to identify certain types of content like mature or illegal. One group of content advertisers are very interested in identifying and avoiding is UGC.
I think we can all agree that UGC is more risky to advertise on then non-UGC due to the nature of the content and human expression. I can see why further segmenting Moderated UGC as an approach to identifying better quality UGC content is desirable to some. Unfortunately, in practice it doesn’t work. Blindly targeting ads to moderated UGC environments gives advertisers a false sense of security.
Take a look at the terms of service of some of the top content sites on the internet and you’ll start to see some commonality in how many of them address their responsibilities in moderating content that is posted by its users:
“While we do not and cannot review every message…” and “Although we strive to maintain high standards for this Site…” or “Although we have no obligation to screen, edit or monitor…”

The problem for sites is that although they have best intentions to moderate and police the content posted on their... Read more

Semantically speaking at iMedia Breakthrough

Posted by Adam Kleinberg on March 26th, 2009 at 12:00 am

I'm writing this post on the flight home from the iMedia Breakthrough Summit in lovely Bonita Springs, Florida (lovely, although apparently you shouldn't feed the crocodiles). Another great event.
Of particular note (and I think the Twitter-mad digerati in attendance would agree) were the keynotes. Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, Chucky Cheese and 20 other startups was a riot and an inspiration