• The Mobile CPM Train Wreck
    Before the start of the 2011 Academy Awards show hosted by James Franco and Anne Hatheway, Franco was tweeting live video clips of himself from backstage. Right before the show was set to begin, Franco turned to the camera and said, "This could be great, or this can be really reallybad." It was an epic train wreck, of course -- one that still haunts the actor today. At just about that same time period, executives at premium publishers were sitting around conference room tables reviewing site traffic numbers, and were likely surprised at the steady rise in the number of ...
  • Metrics Are Great, But Don't Forget Your Readers
    Online publishers have begun to rely increasingly on quantitative methods to help them run their businesses. On one hand, statistical measures such as time on site, click-through rate and bounce rate can help publishers assess the health of their sites. On the other hand, some publishers become overly focused and dependent on metrics, and they forget that behind those metrics are individual readers.
  • Why Digital Advertising Is Anything But 'Creative'
    Several years ago, when people really cared about Windows vs. Mac OS, I heard a joke that went something like this: "If cars were designed by Microsoft, we would constantly have to stop to reboot them." Today, I am compelled to make a different joke: "If our highways were designed by advertisers, billboards would jump in the middle of the highway whenever we tried to drive by."
  • The Most Important Person In Online Publishing
    Who is the most important person in online publishing? Any guesses? Let's start with the wrong answers first. It's not Mark Zuckerberg or Sheryl Sandberg. It's not Larry Page or Sergey Brin, either.
  • An Educated Sales Force Always Wins
    It's no secret that digital media is a fast-paced, constantly evolving marketplace, which for salespeople can be a daunting task or even a roadblock when it comes time to close a deal. That's why, in my opinion, education is one of the single most important tools that a salesperson should have in his or her toolkit.
  • U.S. Digital Publishers Extend Revenue Streams Abroad
    The U.S. publishing industry has shifted to align with the active digital consumer, increasing the sharing of exclusive content online and over mobile devices. This shift has also changed what readers expect from publishers and how they want their information distributed. But are publishers not thinking big enough? What about the increase in global digital consumers?
  • Here We Go Again
    Today's date creeps up every year, kidnaps my subconscious, and dumps it unmercifully back to that day. My memories are as clear as the sky that dreadful morning.
  • Watch Out For The Impending Click Drought
    Everyone in California has been focused on the water drought -- and we should, because it's real and potentially a long-term problem. But in the digital world, both content and commerce companies need to be worried about the impending click drought. I can hear you saying it now: "Oh good, one more thing to worry about. What's next, meteors?" But hang with my apocalyptic concerns for a minute.
  • Do-Not-Track Will Benefit Our Whole Industry
    I recently published an article in the Wall Street Journal suggesting that current efforts to protect consumer privacy in digital media were falling short. In any industry, it's always better to be self-critical, perhaps overly so, rather than to assume one's efforts are perfect. I suggested that a more vigorous "Do-Not-Track" (DNT) system might be part of the answer. Some in the industry took strong exception to my thoughts. Fair enough. But let me take just a few minutes to further clarify the points made in my original article.
  • Can You Smell That?
    What bothers me the most about the online advertising industry is the amount of bullshit we shovel into it. Maybe you can make a case this stink permeates all of advertising, but it sure does smell in our little corner of the ad world.
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