In a column for AdWeek, Jeff Jarvis calls for a mutually beneficial advertising solution for bloggers and marketers. Citing the difficulties both parties face in terms of logistics and trust, Jarvis calls for the following measures:
First, of course, advertisers crave metrics. We need an open-source standard for measurement that tallies not just audience and views but other key values of citizens’ media. Technorati.com counts links to blogs as a measure of authority. We also can track which blogs start conversations. And advertisers can buy sites based not just on the audiences’ demographics but also on the authors’. (Want to launch a new teen idol? Buy ads on blogs by teens.) Ad agencies should be able to search site descriptions and verified traffic data to aggregate the perfect ad hoc groupings of blogs for their campaigns from among the 34 million sites out there.
Second, we need an open-source code for placing ads from any advertiser or network on any participating site. Blogging software should make it easy to include these ad calls, at a blogger’s option. Podcasts and videos, too, need a way to serve and track ads.
Third, we need systems of trust. At the lowest level, advertisers need assurance that a person, not a spamming robot, created each blog. At a higher level, blog networks, ad agencies or media companies will seek out high-quality blogs and vet them to create valued networks they can tailor and sell to marketers. Some direct-response advertisers may be fine with their ads appearing most anywhere, if they get the clicks. But brand advertisers must protect their reputations and will want someone to know and trust the authors.
Eventually, we also need an auction system to automate negotiation of rates. I’ve used systems where I set the rates and others where advertisers set prices, but I believe we need the means to negotiate from both sides to establish true market value. Even before that exists, though, if advertisers can manually find, measure and vet blogs and place ads on them, I am confident their dollars will flow to this new world.
So, in Jarvis's solution, we're looking at a world where bloggers can easily add code to their sites to serve up the types of ads their comfortable with advertising the goods and services their comfortable with.
Advertisers are looking at an opportunity to run their ads across a broad array of very targeted niche sites, free of splogs. For brand protection, they can hand-pick the blogs on which their ads will appear.
And both parties are looking at negotiable rates.
Sounds about right -- this is the kind of advertising model that might just work. Sort of a splog-free adSense on steroids. But who could we trust to create such an environment? What brave soul would venture into the wild frontier of blogger-advertiser negotiations?
Jeff Jarvis, natch. Jarvis ends his article/post with this news:
Jarvis Coffin, president-CEO of BURST! Media, and I are beginning to organize a trade group for citizens’ media, which could begin to set measurement standards and perform research on the medium. An open-source ad call could be established by a meeting of interested parties. Agencies, media companies and analytics companies can then use these tools to find, vet and aggregate high-quality collections of citizens’ media. And some smart entrepreneur-or perhaps eBay-could run an auction marketplace. There’s a brand new medium out here owned by all our customers that’s just waiting for us to act.