The topic is a little geeky, I realize, but it's a trend in online advertising, including search marketing, that marketers may want to follow. It's not clear whether I'm paying more attention to this particular technology, or the ad industry has finally realized the pace of innovation cannot take months. It must take days. Marketers don't need to know how to code in specific languages, but at least they should become familiar with the terminology and know the product exists.
Google and Twitter use Ruby on Rails, an open-source Web application framework, to develop products. Both have for years. Their founders originate in the tech world and keep up with the latest languages and code. I remember Evan Williams and Biz Stone from video company Odeo.
In a 2006 post, Williams tells us about his company, Obvious Corp., acquiring back the assets of Twitter and Odeo from investors and other shareholders to continue to run these services as he deems fit. We all know how that turned out.
For all those interested, Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey chronicles in tweets a fascinating history of Twitter at #twttr on the service. In one tweet he explains the process of picking a technology to build Twitter. Originally, he looked at Python, but got Ruby on Rails developer Florian Gorsdorf, Berlin, Germany, to come on board.
Dave Williams, cofounder of search engine marketing agency 360i, and now founder and CEO of BLiNQ Media, recently acquired a two-man shop -- both experts in Ruby on Rails. Founded April 1, 2009, Calculated Combustion Founders Ryan Felton and Micah Wedemeyer join BLiNQ's seven others on the development team as senior software architects. "Many companies can't find the people experiences in the technology," he says.
Without beating the drum, too much anyway, BLiNQ acquired talent. It's a trend Williams has begun to see more across the advertising industry. "It seems like the recent Facebook acquisitions have been about acquiring talent," according to Williams. The three cofounders of Beluga, which Facebook recently acquired, are all ex-Google employees.
For BLiNQ Media, the acquisition gives the company the talent to build the product and make it easy for agencies and big brands to serve up ads in Facebook.
Williams says Facebook advertising is more than targeting friends. It's about targeting friends of friends "because birds of a feather flock together."
Here's how it works. BLiNQ might set up a primary target audience, such as someone who likes travel or cruises to run a campaign for a cruise line. A secondary target becomes people who like shows or gambling. Competitive brands are also identified. So, people who like brands that complement products offered by a cruise line such as beach wear would see the ads, too. Someone who likes the automaker Mercedes might see ads for Prada and Gucci.
Then BLiNQ ties in the social graph by targeting friends of friends. Ads get targeted based on interest segments, slicing them by demographics and gender. This creates a grid that gives BLiNQ information on interest segments and what consumers respond to the ads. It's all done through the BLiNq ad manager built in Ruby on Rails.
In a blog post, Efficient Frontier (EF) explains campaign differences between Google and Facebook, and how the latter delivers something thr former cannot -- today, anyway. "It is the power of the viral network effect that makes Facebook so powerful and valuable," writes Siddharth Shah, senior director of business analytics at EF.
Furthering product development, BLiNQ named Luis Caballero chief technology officer to lead the company's technology and product development efforts. He directs the team of software engineers working with open-source technologies such as Ruby on Rails, MongoDB, and Redis.
Wow - BLiNQ seems pretty darn powerful. I must say I am very impressed!!! Will someone from BLiNQ please contact my office. i'd like to see how this all works Ruby's and Rails are on me