What’s AdTech Without the Parties?

Ah, the annual ritual of long flights, business card updating and Plaxo checking is occuring (I hate Plaxo, by the way). That can only point to the immenent coming of AdTech NY. Some go for the networking, some for the presentations and most for the parties.
I still have never had a worthwhile business discussion at one of the parties, and I’ve surely enjoyed many of them over the last five years. However, our industry does love to party based on the numerous opportunities to do so.
What’s the payoff, though? Is sponsoring a party at a major industry event like Affiliate Summit or AdTech worthwhile for a network or firm? I’ve heard mixed reviews from various people and I’d love to see hard numbers rather than just stacks of business cards that probably won’t get beyond a SalesForce entry or cold call at the most. I’m still skeptical of booths too, but that’s a personal bias I’ll explain later.

CPA Empire gets things rolling with their party announcement at Crobar (the flash animation on this site will give you a seizure, so be careful) in NYC. By the way, you typed “their” instead of “there” in the last sentence, Missy…

“You’re Invited!

If you’re heading to ad:tech NY in two weeks you won’t want to miss out on the biggest party of the conference. Join 1,500 of your friends for the Get Real Results Party! As one of the proud sponsors of this annual event, we want to make sure that all of our Affiliates have the chance to attend.
When: Monday, November 6, 2006
Where: Crobar
Doors will open at 9:00pm
If you would like to join us, please Click Here to visit the online registration form and add your name to the guest list. All guests must register in advance, so don’t miss your chance to attend the hottest party in the city!
We will send out additional updates as the conference gets closer, but their are a limited number of tickets available so get yours now!”

Azoogle 2.0 Coming Soon

From the Azoogle Ads Newsletter…

azoogle.gif

AzoogleAds 2.0 is just around the corner, and it is stocked with the tools you need to help you optimize your campaigns and ultimately make you more money!
WATCH YOUR EMAIL – They will be transitioning in stages and the
email will alert you when it’s time for YOU to start the transition.

What does the new AzoogleAds 2.0 system offer?
Here are just a few of the upgrades:

* Improved reporting – real-time custom reporting as well as the basics you expect such as eCPC and conversion rate calculations. View traffic and conversions by the hour, by traffic type, and creative reports, among many others
* Unparalleled search functionality – search for offers by name, ID, status, traffic type, category – the list goes on
* Customized affiliate homepage – there are graphs, recommended offers, news, alerts, and common tasks at a glance on the home page
* Payment Options – you can request one of three payment options
* Affiliate Manager Communications – see who you’re working with and how you can reach them

So what’s happening next? In the next 10 days, your affiliate account will be transitioned to AzoogleAds 2.0. Once you have been transitioned, you will no longer have access to AzoogleAds 1.0. In order to enjoy the benefits of the new AzoogleAds 2.0 system you will need to change your ad links within three months of being moved over to 2.0. Your affiliate manager can answer any questions you might have on swapping out your ad links.

From the Azoogleads Newsletter. Read the rest of the important transition details are at the Azoogle Forum.

Google Bombing Politics

From the just plain stupid way that politicos have been trying to game Google or Youtube, it seems that the very area that could benefit the most from the social web (POLITICS) is either too dumb, too corrupt or too oblivious to see the real opportunity.

Google Bombs are nothing new to most of us who spend a good deal of time online. They were first discussed sometime in 2001 if I remember correctly, so they’ve been a presence for five years now. We’ve seen them used in a variety of ways from humor to mean-spirited attacking.

Perhaps the best known Google Bomb of all time was the “miserable failure” meme that passed around the web a few years ago. Did you miss that one? Head over to Google and type in “miserable failure” and hit the “I’m Feeling Lucky” choice. The result is a product of a large amount of links with similiar keywords (in this case, Dubya and the term miserable failure).

Last year, Google Bombing even made it into the dictionary (for those of us silly people who still actually use non-virtual spell checkers).

However, the latest use of Google Bombing as a means to an end raises concern. Admittedly, our political process in the US is highly flawed and the fact that over 2 billion dollars have been spent on “mid-term” elections while 50 million Americans are uninsured. But, Chris Bowers, a contributer to the “liberal” blog MyDD.com has dreamed up a new scheme to target 50 Republican candidates around the country with a campaign of Google Bombs and AdSense buys.

Fifty or so other Republican candidates have also been made targets in a sophisticated “Google bombing” campaign intended to game the search engine’s ranking algorithms. By flooding the Web with references to the candidates and repeatedly cross-linking to specific articles and sites on the Web, it is possible to take advantage of Google’s formula and force those articles to the top of the list of search results.

…Each name is associated with one article. Those articles are embedded in hyperlinks that are now being distributed widely among the left-leaning blogosphere. In an entry at MyDD.com this week, Mr. Bowers said: “When you discuss any of these races in the future, please, use the same embedded hyperlink when reprinting the Republican’s name. Then, I suppose, we will see what happens.”

But then it gets a little murkier…

An accompanying part of the project is intended to buy up Google Adwords, so that searches for the candidates’ names will bring up advertisements that point to the articles as well. But Mr. Bowers said his hopes for this were fading, because he was very busy.

This really troubles me. Not only does the money part of running for political audience make the idea of doing so prohibit the best Americans from entering politics, but these sorts of algorithm gamings simply dilute the political process and what we expect from voters. I’m ashamed that Bowers is doing this in hopes of electing Democrats, because as a Democrat I feel that we have a more optimistic message grounded in transparency and real democratic principles. This sort of short sighted crap is not needed if our message resonates with voters.

Further, this sort of juvenile tactic shows a complete misunderstanding of the potential for using the web in a constructive way for a political campaign. Howard Dean and Ned Lamonte were officially ordained as “blog elected” candidates by the mostly-ignorant large media outlets, but in reality there still has not been a national candidate to make use of the real power of social memetics or web2.0’ish community. John Edwards has been paying a good deal of attention to this area (even appearing at Gnomedex and on Rocketboom), so I hope Edwards will use what he has learned in his presidential candidacy in 2008. If he does, it will be groundbreaking.

Spending billions of dollars on mudslinging and negative messages might have worked before, but that paradigm is rapidly shifting and politicians seem to be the last people to come to terms with that important point.

So, here’s my plea to politicians: Stop trying to game the system and wake up to the constructive possibilities of the web. Do blogging right, make good YouTube videos (good meaning full of heart of real creative expression), construct worthwhile social memes and you just might get elected without contributing to a system already filled with greed, ignorance, violence and stupidity.

A New Campaign Tactic: Manipulating Google Data – New York Times

How Much of a South Carolinian Are You?

Jamie M. sent me this.  As an ex-pat Southern Carolinian living in Northern Carolina now, I was surprised at the results.

Turns out I’m 100% South Carolinian.

Start with 100 and take off 5 of each question that you answer NO to. The higher the percentage the more of a South Carolinian you are!

1) Do you like sweet tea? Yep
2) Do you get dressed up to go tailgating for a football game? Yep
3a) (Girls) Do you wear you’re pearls with jeans?
3b) (guys) Do you own more than 10 hats but only wear 1? Yep
4) Have you ever gone to the Carolina cup? Yep
5) Have you even been “muddin”? Yep
6) Have you ever spent a day at “the river”? Yep
7) Do you own anything with the tree and moon on it? Yep
8) Do you love Boiled Peanuts? Yep
9) Have you ever been to some county festival (i.e. Okra strut, peach festival, water festival)? Yep
10) Have you ever been to the “market” in Charleston? Yep
11) Have you spent at least one night partying in 5 points?  Oh Have I??  Yep
12) Have you heard of Shealy’s bbq? Oh HAVE I?? Yep
13) Have you ever spent a night at Myrtle Beach? Yep
14) Do you eat grits on a regular basis? Yep
15) Have you eaten at a waffle house more than once a week?  OH HAVE I????? Yep
16) Do you still use sir/ma’am, please and thank you on a daily basis? Yep
17) Do you know at least part of “the shag”? Yep
18) Have you ridden in the back of a pickup truck? Yep
19) Do you say the word “y’all” all the time? Yep
20) Do you still have that southern charm? Yep

Some things never chage!

Email Problems (Tues Oct 24)

I’m having some email problems with the [email protected] address.

If you’ve emailed me there today, I probably have not received it.

However, my GMail address is working fine.

Hopefully, the address will be back to normal sometime this evening and I’ll keep you posted.

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