On Weblogs, Product Placement Worth More Than Banner Ads

Yesterday, A List Apart, Signal vs. Noise and Coudal announced a new ad network in the vein of John Grubers’ Daring Fireball sponsorhip model. Limited capacity, reasonable rates, blah, blah.

Yes, all 4 of these blogs are extremely popular, and I can’t say enough good things about Daring Fireball. John is frank, curt, and snide on Apple – and I think it’s fantastic. The point is, I don’t read them for the banner ads – I read them for the posts, the commentary, the stuff I don’t know yet.

I don’t remember the last time I clicked on a banner ad (I’m blind to them, and they don’t come through in feeds), I do remember the last time I used a new product or service because I read about it at SvN (The fantastic CampaignMonitor immediately comes to mind).

So, why are blogs selling banner ads when they should be selling product placement?
An artificial separation between editorial and advertising? Transparency solves that problem.

Watch this space throughout the day there’s more behind this that I don’t have time to write down yet.

If you’re on the Work Better RSS feed, expect this entry to flip back to ‘unread’ throughout the day. Until then, remember RSS is an ad.

UPDATE 29 Oct 2005:
Back in my college speech classes, I’d play an informal product-placement game. Just before my speech, I’d have another student pick an unrelated concept or product to work into the speech.

If non-banner-ad, paid advertising were to work in weblogs, this is how. Counting click-through – not impressions – on links using the NoFollow tag inside posts.

  • The advertiser and author agree on how frequently to link to a specific page.
  • The author retains the rights on link word selection and context.
  • The relationship is fully disclosed on the site.
  • The creative writing might even provide a little joy to the readers.

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