Global Online AdSpend Breakdown

Online adspend is growing faster in countries like Britain, Sweden and Norway compared to the US. eMarketer published a report from ZenithOptimedia that suggests the US is falling behind.

ZenithOptimedia states: “We expect the Internet to take nearly 9% of global adspend by 2009, but experience from the most developed markets suggests it is heading for well over 10%. The Internet already attracts more than 10% of adspend in three markets (Norway, Sweden and the UK), and by 2009 we expect it to do so in ten markets (Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, the UK and USA). The Internet has its highest share in the UK, where it will attract 13.5% of adspend this year and 21.5% in 2009.”

Looking at the breakdown of online advertising, the researchers found that paid search is the largest single type of Internet advertising, and the gap between search and display ads is widening. However, display includes video ads and other innovations that are exploiting the creative opportunities offered by high-speed broadband, and still has growth potential. Meanwhile, classified continues to migrate from print to online.

Go for broke with over 45s

Philip M. Stone writes:

Newspapers have been trying whatever they can to attract back younger readers – special sections, something for the young on almost every page — but at the end of the day those young readers are still slipping away to the Internet.

So why not just throw in the towel and concentrate on those readers who really do want their daily newspaper read – those aged 45 and over.

Revolutionary, you say. Goes against the grain? Well, go tell that to Gannett, the largest US newspaper publisher, for that’s how it sees the development of their newspapers going forward as part of their Information Center Plan, and it could be they’ve got it right.

But then he makes the mistake of equating a specialist magazine to a newspaper:

After all, let’s not forget that the largest circulation print consumer magazine in the world is AARP The Magazine published by AARP (It used to be known as the American Association of Retired People but that insinuates a membership aged 65 and over and AARP markets them as they reach age 50). The magazine is bi-monthly, runs anywhere from 80 to 140 pages, and according to Mediamark Research, Inc. it now reaches some 30 million Americans, a 7% increase over a year ago. When was the last time a newspaper publisher saw a 7% increase in any demographic?

Now that’s a pretty shoddy stat to defend your argument.

He then cites Sue-Clark Johnson, president of Gannett’s newspaper division:

“Our newspapers are going to be positioned more in the direction to those more comfortable reading print. Our Information Centers enable us to connect to the community, engage readers and provide a more customer-centric approach for our advertisers.” She believes the core newspaper readership is aged 45 and over.

I don’t know any paper that would give up trying to lure the young.

In Britain, newspapers are giving away free Sunday editions in DVD format. Now that’s a start. It’s not the readership you want to kill focusing on just one age group. It’s the format you are trapped in that needs to be freed.

Go digital, in every way. But remember kids are STILL READING the paper.

Stone goes on with better rationale:

Of course, there is some risk in such a strategy. As no less a personage than Warren Buffet told his shareholders this year, “Newspaper readers are heading into the cemetery, while newspaper non-readers are just getting out of college.”

…Most newspapers are multi-platform and their web sites are becoming increasingly popular. And the bulk of the web readers are the younger crowd. So, accept that, shape the web site for that crowd, and entice the advertisers for that crowd. The older reader favors the print edition, so change its editorial flow accordingly.

The days of one size fits all in the media world are becoming increasingly numbered. Can aiming newspapers in this way really work? Look to Japan where newspapers and television go out of their way to attract older consumers.

The Asahi Shimbun has an 8 million AM circulation and a 4 million PM circulation. To satisfy its over-60s, it prints a special supplement, in a larger font, with articles of more interest to the older generation such as hobbies, pensions and health. The over-60s have money to spend and the supplement is popular with advertisers.

The NHK television network’s research showed older people like programs that teach them new hobbies, music programs and programs on health, and that programming, in turn, has become very popular.

Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Switzerland’s premier quality daily newspaper, explains, “The older generation are media consumers without match. Of all demographics they are the ones who not only watch the most television and listen to the most radio, they are also the group best reached by newspapers.”

Since newspapers are looking for growth areas, maybe its best to go after those consumers it knows wants to read their print editions – as Gannett seems to have concluded – and let the Internet and other digital platforms take care of most of the younger crowd needs.

Asian bloggers on the rise

[via The AsiaTech]
A report on Windows Live Spaces suggest a surge in Asian bloggers:

— Nearly half of those online in Asia have a blog
— 74% find blogs by friends and family to be most interesting
— Young people and women dominate (except India where it is overwhelmingly a male domain and Korea where blogging is a part of everyday life for all)
— 50% believe blog content to be as trustworthy as traditional media
— 41% spend more than three hours a week blogging
— More than 40% have less than 10 visitors per week

Asia’s blogosphere is surging forward with nearly half, 46%, of those online actively blogging, according to research released today by Microsoft’s MSN and Windows Live Online Services Business. The research showed that blogging is a social phenomenon with Asians primarily blogging as a means to maintain and build their social connections and to express themselves.

Blogging as a corporate or business tool still appears to be nascent in most markets, with little interest from consumers in blogs from business or political leaders. The exceptions are online powerhouse Korea where blogging has permeated all aspects of life and India where a culture of self improvement is seeing business related blogs become very popular.

Blogging Asia: A Windows Live Report, released today, details the research findings which are based on an online survey of more than 25,000 MSN portal visitors across seven markets.

Social Connections and Self Expression Drive Asia’s Bloggers

According to the report, the region’s bloggers are primarily driven by the need to express themselves and share their lives with family and friends. The highest number of respondents (53%) indicated that they chose to start a blog to share a diary or photo album with loved ones.

The report also showed that Asia’s blogosphere is fueled by youth with almost half of all bloggers (56%) under 25, while 35% are 25 to 34 years old, and 9% are 35 years old and over. When broken down by gender, 55% of bloggers in Asia were found to be female and 45% male.

“User created content and community based online services are really propelling the Internet in Asia right now,” said Alex Stewart, Director of Microsoft’s Online Services Business, Asia Pacific.

Webifying the Pulitzer

The Pulitzer board has finally acknowledged that the web exists. It’s allowing for new media and multimedia entries for the award, calling it “blended journalism”, and in a swift stroke suggesting there’s something impure and bastardish about mixing media to tell a better story for the 21st century.

NEW YORK — The board in charge of the Pulitzer Prize announced Monday that newspapers will be allowed to submit video and interactive graphics in nearly every category for the first time, reflecting the changing reality of how news is presented online.

Allowing more online material “was the next logical step,” said Sig Gissler, administrator of the Pulitzers, the top award in American print journalism. “It emphasizes blended journalism and that’s where newspapers are today.”

Online material was allowed to be part of all entries for the first time this year, but was restricted in 13 of 14 categories to written stories or still images. The exception was the Public Service category, which has allowed material such as streaming video and databases since 1999.

For the 2007 Pulitzers, newspapers can submit online material like video, blogs, databases and interactive graphics for all print categories.

The photography categories remain restricted to still images. In the categories of breaking news reporting and breaking news photography, the board will continue to allow entries to consist solely of work published online. Other categories must include some material from the newspaper’s print edition.

The Pulitzer Prize Board also replaced the Beat Reporting category created in 1991 with a Local Reporting category.

Creating the Local Reporting category “places particular emphasis on local news coverage, which is really the lifeblood of newspapers both in print and online,” Gissler said. Entries can either be a special project or sustained coverage of city, state or regional issues that matter to the paper’s core readership, Gissler said.

Beat reporters are still eligible to submit their work in other categories.

The 2007 Pulitzer Prizes, for work done in 2006, will be announced April 16.

Yahoo’s woes outlined in memo

Brad Garlinghouse, a Yahoo senior vice president, says its spreading its resources too thinly:

We lack a focused, cohesive vision for our company. We want to do everything and be everything — to everyone. We’ve known this for years, talk about it incessantly, but do nothing to fundamentally address it. We are scared to be left out. We are reactive instead of charting an unwavering course. We are separated into silos that far too frequently don’t talk to each other. And when we do talk, it isn’t to collaborate on a clearly focused strategy, but rather to argue and fight about ownership, strategies and tactics.

Our inclination and proclivity to repeatedly hire leaders from outside the company results in disparate visions of what winning looks like — rather than a leadership team rallying around a single cohesive strategy.

I’ve heard our strategy described as spreading peanut butter across the myriad opportunities that continue to evolve in the online world. The result: a thin layer of investment spread across everything we do and thus we focus on nothing in particular.

I hate peanut butter. We all should.


Abraham Lincoln and SMS

A hundred years from now digital archivists will be poring through our digital trails and coming up with pure gems. Like the text message George Bush’s handlers sent to vice president Cheney after the first plane hit the Twin Towers:

“Still redng goat bk 2 kids. Hang on. ;-)”

Yes, I made that up. But the story of Bush’s SMSes would make for interesting reading on the redundancy of his leadership. Just like the Tom Wheeler book Mr Lincoln’s T-mails makes for pleasurable read on how Abraham Lincoln was an early adopter of electronic messaging.

Wheeler’s discovery of the thousands of telegraph messages Lincoln used to commandeer the civil war and give succint orders to his generals on the frontlines, sometimes with Lincolnesque candour, suggests an unheralded trait and perhaps a new
title: King of SMS.

Take his message to General Grant for instance:


How Dilbert creator got his voice back

Scott Adams posted a story on how the old rhyme “Jack be nimble, Jack be quick…” somehow helped him regain his voice after 18 months.

Read the AP story or inspiring original post and comments after.

Could Steve Jobs Get The Chop

According to Stratnews’ Mark Anderson almost 200 different corporations have announced external and/or internal investigations, generally followed by resignations of top officers on the backdating of stock options.

McAfee CEO and chairman of the board for nearly six years, George Samenuk, and CNet co-founder and CEO Shelby Bonnie were among the big names that fell.

Could Steve Jobs be next?


How to make pots of money from blogging

… or die trying.

So you want to know how to make big moolah from blogging?

Don’t we just love it when mainstream media journalists take such rose-tinted views of the Internet, fanning the flames of web opportunity?

The moths of the dotcom era appear to be all aflutter again.

Let’s drop all reasoning and talk money. Big money.

The Sept 1, 2006 Business 2.0 issue ran a story entitled “Blogging For Dollars”.

Here is the short list of the Blogillionaires:

1.Michael Arrington, Techcrunch: US$60,000 revs a month.
2.Four-person Boing Boing: US$1mil revs in 2006.
3.Nick Denton, Gawker Media, 11 blogs: US$3mil revs in 2006.
4.Jason Calacanis, sold Weblogs Inc, 85 blogs, to AOL in ’05: US$25 million.
5.Drew Curtis, $600,000 to $800,000 revs monthly soon.
6.Brian Sugar, PopSugar: Projects US$15mil in revs in 2008 and US$40mil in 2009.
7.Rafat Ali, US$1mil in revs in 2006.

No kidding? They make that much money? Hey! Must be some truth to this, you say.

Even Business 2.0 editor Josh Quittner went on record to lend credence to the idea.

He says when staffer Om Malik decided to leave the Time Inc publication to focus on his popular tech blog GigaOM, Quittner did some “soul searching” and came up with the idea of getting every staff to blog.

Drill deeper down the story to discover these nuggets: Can you give me an idea of the remuneration for the traffic?

Quittner: Well, to start, if your blog gets a 100,000 page views in a day, that would probably give you a couple of hundred bucks. No, you’re not going to retire on it. The Business 2.0 blog has been around for two years, and it gets about 40,000 visits a week.

But if the arrangement with CNNMoney goes through, one good link from CNNMoney could give one of our bloggers something like 200,000 page views in a single day.

IWM: Any final words on blogging?

Quittner: I have really smart, aggressive people here. These blogs should be able to capitalize on their enthusiasm. Still, the amount of money we’re putting into this experiment is negligible. At the very least, my people will learn how to do a blog at a fairly intensive level.

The worst that happens is it’s a failure. No big deal. I’ve lived through gazillions of failures, and I hope to live through gazillions more.

I am not a negative kind of guy. I have no doubts that the bloggers mentioned are making the kind of money they make. My scepticism on the Business 2.0 article is how easy the writers make it all sound.

New York Magazine ran a story entitled Blogs to Riches in a similar vein in its February 20, 2006 issue, but added this damper:

When (Clay) Shirky compiled his analysis of links, he saw that the smaller bloggers’ fears were perfectly correct: There is enormous inequity in the system. A very small number of blogs enjoy hundreds and hundreds of inbound links—the A-list, as it were. But almost all others have very few sites pointing to them. When Shirky sorted the 433 blogs from most linked to least linked and lined them up on a chart, the curve began up high, with the lucky few. But then it quickly fell into a steep dive, flattening off into the distance, where the vast majority of ignored blogs reside. The A-list is teensy, the B-list is bigger, and the C-list is simply massive. In the blogosphere, the biggest audiences—and the advertising revenue they bring—go to a small, elite few. Most bloggers toil in total obscurity.

My two-cents worth if you believe that blogging will make you money:

1.GET OTHER PEOPLE’S CASH EVEN BEFORE YOU START: There’s nothing like getting some money in the bank before you even begin a business. Find an angel investor or VC with deep pockets and put a powerpoint together and sell them on the idea of a blog first. Otherwise, get some buy-in from at least two or more advertisers. Better still, hook up with an existing publisher who wants to experiment with blogging. That way, you get regular income and when it starts to take off, make sure the fineprint was fuzzy to begin with. (Subscription model, you say? Two words: Forget it!)

2.EXPECT TO WORK HARD: None of these bloggers had it easy. They gave up their regular jobs and were on blogging call 24 by 7. This isn’t a passive income mate, it’s an active fulltime job for which no one is paying you yet. You can’t do it part-time, or grow it in the moonlight. You’re a one-man show doing all your own content, researching, designing, writing, deep-linking, branding, marketing, GoogleAdWords campaigning, and sales and you better believe that it’s hard work. Ignoring the laundry, regular meals, pets and all human contact on a daily basis will be the norm. If can’t write daily now, think how it will be blogging hourly for 18-hour stretches?

3.NICHE-ING AND THE LONG TAIL: The A-list focuses on politics, boytoys (gadgets, cars,etc) and celebrity gossip. Let’s not even consider the XXX-list. You don’t want to play there. Look for a niche that you may already have a foot or whole leg in, or maybe a grapevine you can suck on. Think local if there are low-hanging fruits of info to pluck everyday, think global if you’ve chosen an area that has commercial value that is only just being realized. Think of a wave you can ride on using blogging as a new conversation space. Read Chris Anderson’s Long Tail

4.SCALABILITY: How long can you do this before you a) run out of funds b)lose your family, friends, dog, all human civility c) grow ten-inch nails d) go insane e) all of the above? Can someone steal all your content tomorrow and take off leaving you in the dust? Can the website sustain your interest (let alone hundreds of thousands of other unique visitors) five years down the road? Can you drive this sucker for the longhaul? Can you live, eat, breathe and sniff this puppy everyday until it transforms into a ravishing Best-In-Breed, Show-Winning Bitch? Don’t scrimp on the dogfood and crappy kennel either – get a real, mother-loading, hack-free webserver that can pump out those blogposts like a multi-barrelledGaussian gun.

5.GET VISUAL: Vlogs are all the rage. But can you do one everyday? Or will it pop off like a rocketboomlet? Dip into a 1000-a-day stock photo site and pay for it dammit. Have visuals ready for your reading-impaired netheads. Unless you have Wall Street Journal-like cutting edge tips that stockmavens, and other motley fools will pay for — which is as rare as that paper is starting to become — get those visual carrots ready.

6.BE AD-SAVVY: Think Google AdSense, AdBrite, Federated Media, and get with the programme.

Long tail solutions for the real world

Two articles struck me this week on how to make a difference in the world. Technology Review’s Young Innovator Awards has the story of the simple cooking stove that is changing lives in Dafur and CK Prahalad mentions three great examples in Strategy + Business, on what he calls the Innovation Sandbox.
[from Technology Review]

Lawrence Berkeley researcher Christina Galitsky, 33, wanted to find more immediate ways to help the world’s poor. At a Berkeley meeting of Engineers for a Sustainable World, she met Ashok Gadgil, a senior scientist at Berkeley Lab who had interests similar to her’s. Together, they began to look at crises in Darfur and in Bangladesh.

The problem they identified in Darfur is simple, and gruesome.

More than 1.6 million citizens of this Sudanese region have been displaced by civil war, with hundreds of thousands crammed into refugee camps.

They have to eat, and to eat they have to cook, and to cook they need firewood, but they have already stripped the areas around their camps bare.

Local women must wander for hours outside the relative safety of the camps to gather wood. This leaves them vulnerable, and international observers have documented an epidemic of rape by roving gangs.

NGOs have suggested better cooking tools could reduce the need for firewood. While there have been a ton of competing ideas–everything from clay ovens to solar cookers– none of them had been tested in Darfur with any rigor. So Galitsky and Gadgil went to Darfur, partnering with aid group CHF International.

Traditionally, Sudanese women balance their cooking pots on three stones over a wood fire but lots of heat escapes.

As a better option, Galitsky and Gadgil looked to a simple metal stove designed in the 1980s by the Indian nonprofit organization Development Alternatives.

Galitsky held a demonstration in Darfur–before a large crowd, she set up the traditional three stones, the metal stove, and a mud stove popular with many aid groups.

A handful of community leaders chopped wood and stacked it into 250-gram piles.

Then Galitsky cooked three separate meals, so the women could see how much wood each stove used. “The stone fire used ten piles, the mud stove used nine, and the metal one used only four or five,” she recalls.

Despite the metal stoves performance, the researchers knew it would need modifications to fit life in Darfur. So Galitsky interviewed dozens of women about their lives and their cooking duties.

She determined that the stove would need a windshield, to control the gusts that whip through the camps, and stakes for stability when the women stir their assida, a sticky dough that makes up most meals.

She and Gadgil also need to make sure the stove can be manufactured quickly and cheaply. But the technology shows promise. “We are very excited,” says Maha Muna of the United Nations Population Fund in Sudan. “The U.N. and [aid groups] have funded so many projects on fuel-efficient stoves as pilots, but CHF and Berkeley Lab are actually carrying out the analysis we need to be able to determine what should be replicated.” The Berkeley researchers plan to begin delivering test stoves to refugee families this fall; they hope to produce 300,000 by next year.

In Bangladesh the problem isn’t food; its drinking water. In the 1970s, Unicef dug wells all across the country so that Bangladeshis could stop drinking contaminated surface water.

The aid groups motives were pure, but the wells were not. Most were in areas with high concentrations of arsenic–in some cases, more than 100 times the level the World Health Organization has deemed safe. “It has been called potentially the largest mass poisoning in the history of the world,” Galitsky says.

Recently, the US lowered its own limit on arsenic in drinking water by 80 percent, and states are interested in new technologies to meet the tougher standard–interested, and putting up money.

Gadgil and Galitsky saw an opportunity. With a $250,000 grant from the California Energy Commission and $100,000 from the American Waterworks Association Research Foundation, they are developing a filtration system that could work both here and abroad.

Arsenic is easy to filter at a big water-treatment facility, but engineers can’t scale existing technologies down enough to serve individual families, or make them cheap enough for the poor world.

Gadgil had an idea. Iron particles act like arsenic magnets, bonding tightly to the arsenic for easy disposal; but a filter made of pure iron powder would be prohibitively expensive. Layering a thin coat of iron onto waste ash from coal-fired power plants, however, would offer similar arsenic–attracting surface area at a fraction of the cost.

Getting the ash and the iron to stick together turned out to be a challenge. But after a dozen failed attempts, Galitsky and Gadgil came upon the solution: washing the iron-coated ash particles with lye and letting them get good and rusty.

The result, which looks something like dark curry powder, will capture nearly all the arsenic in a beaker of contaminated water. The researchers still need to figure out how water should pass through their hybrid ash-and-iron substrate, and what real-world conditions might interfere with its performance. But they believe filters made with their new medium could be effective enough to meet stringent safety standards yet still affordable enough to sell to Bangladeshi households.

With Galitsky and Gadgil’s method, a family could filter a years worth of water for less than about $2; it would cost at least $58 with today’s cheapest comparable technology. Galitsky talks about all her research with a real sense of urgency, and not just because people and the environment are suffering. For the problems she is addressing, big gains are tantalizingly close, and the rewards will be great–for the poor communities this kind of science can help, and for Galitsky as well.

“I felt so helpless,” she says. “And I still feel helpless. But at least now I’m doing something.”

Another story.

Consultant and author CK Prahalad speaks about healthcare solutions to serve the bottom-of-the-pyramid.His three examples are: the Jaipur Foot, a low-cost prosthetic, the Aravind Eye Care system, the world’s largest provider of cataract surgery and Narayana Hrudayalaya cardiac care center, located in Bangalore, one of the world’s largest providers of heart surgery.

He suggests the process for designing breakthrough innovations starts with the identification of four conditions — all of which are difficult to realize, even when taken one at a time:
*The innovation must result in a product or service of world-class quality.
*The innovation must achieve a significant price reduction — at least 90 percent off the cost of a comparable product or service in the West.
*The innovation must be scalable: It must be able to be produced, marketed, and used in many locales and circumstances.
*The innovation must be affordable at the bottom of the economic pyramid, reaching people with the lowest levels of income in any given society.


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