Economic Value of the Ad-Supported Internet

new-iab-logoI’m impressed by how the Interactive Advertising Bureau has stepped up to answer the call for industry self regulation and the creative ways it is demonstrating to Congress and the FTC the importance of online advertising to the U.S. economy. In a a report out today entitled “Economic Value of the Advertising-Supported Internet Ecosystem,” the IAB suggests online advertising is responsible for employing 3.1 million Americans and generating $300 billion, or 2.1 percent of the U.S. GDP.

Coinciding with the release of the report, this week the IAB is hosting a series of meetings and a press conference in Washington, D.C. dubbed the “IAB Long Tail Alliance Fly-In.” The event is intended to put real faces to the individuals and small businesses that benefit from online advertising and comprise a portion of the revenue and jobs cited in the Economic Value report. Some of those faces are represented in this video called “I Am the Long Tail.”

The report and this week’s activities in D.C. are a testament to Randy Rothenberg’s leadership and have created a strong foundation for demonstrating that our industry takes seriously the call for self-regulation. But the rubber will meet the road when the IAB and other trade groups with whom it has partnered publish more formal recommendations about how to allay consumer and regulator concerns surrounding behavioral targeting and consumer privacy protection.


Inspired by Max Gladwell

myspaceavatarWhen Max Gladwell posted his third “10Ways to Change the World Through Social Media” I was only able to send a Tweet about it, since my blog wasn’t up yet. As I rev up my own social media channel, it’s a pleasure to be able to call attention to this post and the unique position Max Gladwell has taken at the nexus of social media and green living. As a perpetual student of online guerrilla marketing, equally impressive to me was the idea of a coordinated, simultaneous multi-blog post and its relationship to the changing media landscape.


Rubicon Project

Inman logged into the VCM Pub UI!I just sent a tweet about my lunch today at The Rubicon Project, but was limited to so few characters that it’s worth a bit longer mention of how impressed I was by the culture, the team and the market they are creating  by finding new ways to create efficiencies in the online advertising industry.

I met Nicole Jordan during ad:tech SF and almost instantly expressed concerns over the potentially competitive nature of Rubicon with ad networks based on an announcement they made at the show regarding automating buying with their new Rubicon onDemand service. After the show, she graciously invited me to the office to get a better understanding of the company, where it sits in the online advertising ecosystem and why competing with ad networks is not in their plans.

Coverage of the announcement by Forbes incorrectly stated Rubicon was opening up its inventory to advertisers. While the story has since been corrected, it was too late. An Adotas article exacerbated the issue and touched off a minor PR crisis for Rubicon and my new pal Nicole.

As she explained to me today, the silver lining was their ability to use the spotlight to clarify more succinctly what they are about. A nice recovery to be sure, but no kind of PR strategy.

I was delighted to meet the team and learn more about their value proposition and will look forward to following Rubicon’s progress in the months ahead.


Yerba Buena Fundraiser

As I tinker with my new blog, I have received the sum total of two comments (both of which I tagged as SPAM), leaving me to wonder if a tree falls in the forest whether it makes a sound? Eventually, I trust someone will read my blog. I know I can at least count on my mom and my social media coach KurtyD.  Until WOTW is ready for prime time, this post is an example of something going on in my life that I would be compelled to share with thousands of followers if I had them.
When my son entered kindergarten, I dove headfirst into the Yerba Buena Elementary School Parent Faculty Association by volunteering to chair its publicity committee. Although the job mainly consists of supplying the local paper with photos of the kids doing interesting things and calendar of events listings for book fairs and the annual Halloween carnival, the 40th Anniversary Festival and Fundraiser next weekend is much more important.
As public education has suffered severe funding cutbacks, I have learned firsthand the increasing pressure being put on parents to pick up the shortfall. In addition to being asked for a $300 booster payment at the beginning of the year, there are countless fundraisers throughout the year and teachers routinely ask for donations for specific items. The pains of public education can be felt everywhere — and we live in a good district! I can’t imagine what issues parents in the poorest parts of Los Angeles and elsewhere must be dealing with.
What I do know, is that Yerba Buena must make up a huge budget shortfall each year to pay for music, sports, computer and education programs. And next weekend we’re hosting an auction fundraiser in conjunction with the school’s 40th anniversary celebration. It’s going to be a great evening full of music, fun and games like Jell-O relay and Hotwheels races, hula hoop competitions and dancing to music from the past four decades. After a live auction we’ll be watching classic cartoons like The Jetsons, Flintstones and Scooby-Doo under the stars. Should be fun!
While all of the festivities are geared for YB families and alumni, a wider swath of our community can help by participating in the online auction, which is now open. Come one come all to our family festival next weekend, but more importantly, please bid on some of these items and pass this information along to anyone you know who would care, especially residents of the Conejo Valley.


Finding my voice

Though I may be too busy writing down the next big idea or taking a photograph to enjoy certain moments in life, be they special or not, ironically recording them is my way of paying homage to living in the moment. For me, capturing images and words honors the importance of how precious every moment truly is – or for that matter the whole human experience. Beyond nostalgia, somehow writing a note here and there and snapping pictures (at special events or just day-to-day) gives my own existence more meaning. Maybe it’s just part of being a dad and/or the existential issues that come along with entering your forties.
I expect blogging will fulfill some of this need to play historian and serve as a creative outlet for the nonsensical. But my true intent is for my observations and opinions, needs, pains and desires to both stimulate and add value to conversations, be they professional or social, as they inspire those around me and those who read this blog. 
For years I have learnked (my term for lurking/learning) on some great e-mail lists from GoodTimes to OldTimers to METAL, but I’m hoping this environment will become a more comfortable and practical one in which to express myself. Whether or not this experiment proves as fruitful as I think possible, at least I will have gone on record with my views and given some permanence to my thoughts in Cyberspace.
Though I don’t know yet exactly what will fill in these pages, as I find my “voice” I trust it will have real meaningful and add value to my fellow tradesmen, colleagues, friends and family who wish to have a better understanding of where our worlds intersect and what possibilities that could create.  Otherwise why bother? At the very least they will have a better understanding of me, for better or worse, and I will have a [theoretically] created a more permanent home for my thoughts online. 
My primary intent is for this to be a space for the discussion of all things media and marketing online, and I hope it will stimulate interesting new dialogue and help me to assert an editorial voice for “Tony Winders,” where for years I have been authoring articles for others and hocking products and services that were not my own.
Even more, I hope it will serve as a creative space for thoughtful, critical thinking about many issues of our day. There’s plenty to wrtie just within the online advertising space where I’ve developed my expertise, but I also foresee an opportunity to create a context for addressing issues of deeper social and philosophical concern and look forward to seeing where the two shall intersect.
As I write this second post of my first true blog (though The Baja Buzz made good training wheels), I am reminded of my first tweet several months back when I asked if Twitter was more form or function? And while the answer may be subjective, I’m now asking the same of my foray into the blogosphere – to what end? If nothing else, the process is sure to be an exercise in critical thinking, media analysis, writing and social media interaction. We shall see. If you are reading this at all and got this far, thank you! I hope you’ll follow my posts and send feedback as I set out on this endeavor.