Friday, May 02, 2008

Today's Posts are brought to you by...

The point I want to make.

You see, I haven't made any money for a while, and I need to, because I desperately need two video cards. Or, more accurately, that was my motivation for clicking on Pay Per Post. You may have noticed - or not - that I haven't done a paid post for some time.

Well, as I said, today I needed the money, and so I clicked onto PPP. And, not only did I find two opportunities, I found the idea I needed for today. It's an idea that's been perculating in the back of my mind, it's all about new media and new economy vs. old media and old economy and it turns out that these two paid opps precisely illustate exactly what I want to say.

And this turns out to underline an idea that I've had in the back of my mind since my days in the newspaper biz; the idea that the most powerful ads were ones that underlined the article(s) on the same page, and vice versa, that an article acually gained some degree of importance by making advertisers compete to be on the same page - whether or not that correlation was real or completely accidental. This was back in the day of knife and wax, and I still think of advertising as my first calling.

You see, I spent most of my time as a newspaperperson designing, writing and physically placing ads. Before that, I designed and placed ads in all sorts of niche media for Judges Guild, an RPG company that specialized in D12 game systems and had a small ad budget that needed to be targeted wisely.

Like most very small companies, Judges Guild lived and died on advertising coupled by word of mouth and had very, very little discretionary income to use for that advertising. Every single penny was begrudged, as it came out of the owner's food budget.

Literally.

Now, I want you to take a glance at all the ads on this site for a moment. Scroll up, scroll down, the article will still be here when you get back. All the graphical and all the text adds are placed here by someone who is taking a few pennies from their food budget in hopes it will make you click on something.

Consider the reality and implications of that. Consider the fact that in many, many cases, these people are taking the entrepreneurial course because it allows them to be creative; or even more viscerally; because it allows them to feed their family about as well as welfare would, but with some dignity and hope attached.

This is also something of an epiphiany for me, and more importantly, it's going to be an important day in terms of illustrating the new reality of web-based media and advertising. You see, it used to be commonly understood that advertising drove media. But in the new media, adverising is "cost plus" - that is to say that advertising is something that the media owner can choose and place, and their success at that relates entirely as to it's relevance.

And second, direct media buys - such as google ad-words, blogpspot, and my own choice, Project Wonderful - are completely depeneant upon the tracking of my niche.

Furthermore, - and here's a beutiful and wonderful thing about the web - I can actually sell advertising "futures." I mean, in a sense. Today's posts, for instance. As a demonstration and experiment, based on my faith in the importance of this serious articles, will carry with them a unique "Project Wonderful" button bar, targeted at SEO optimizers, newsletter engine producers and all others who specialize in marketing the stuff that creative people make.

Ultimately - speaking from practice, direct creative experience and from direct observation of the market, creative people really suck at marketing their own work. And yes, I include myself in that category. Marketing is an entirely separate skillset, so radically different that I would have to say that no creative person should even consider going without at least an informal reality check from a marketer, and vice versa. People who are just getting into flexing their marketing muscles search desperately for things worth selligng - and it's my observation that they tend to run through several painfully instructive relationships before they find the thing, the people or the ideas that mesh with their personal particular talents.

This of course implies that it would make a great deal of sense for an internet marketing agency to scoop up people who are driven to the trade, who want to market, and who need to be put together with a deserving client, so they don't have to do their time in the ghettos of MLM or affiliate marketing.

My illustration of what that would look like is in my next post, and just to underline that, I will be paid for it.

Ethics are universal and ethical transactions always pay off better and over a longer term than unethical transactions. But it's not always easy to find a ethos that expresses one's ethic in a time of extraordinarily rapid change. I've decided to return to the vary basis of life to continue my exploration of that principle; survival, happiness and long-term prosperity are all direct evidence of learning to do the right thing.

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