Monday, November 23, 2009

The Money is in Redistribution

While the tech world continues to spin the story that Murdoch (News Corp / Fox) wants to block Google and cut a deal with Bing, this whole deal could be missing the point altogether.

Anyone who follows this blog knows that almost everything I've done here has been some sort of experiment in marketing (while providing a little stuff you may want to know at the same time).

Over the past year, we've seen some dramatic changes in the Internet distribution landscape.  One of those trends is 'shared feeds' like the one I try to update at least daily to the right of this page.

There are others that share with me while others port their 'shares' to Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed and a bunch of other places.  That trend seems to be increasing as those who were worried about creating too much 'noise' on other peoples pages are returning to the sharing vehicle.

You don't really need that 'Fan Page' ?!

For the tech crowd, RSS feeds have become important.  For many, it's the way they get their morning news.

Enter advertising.

It blows my mind when I go to a blog or website and there are 5 or 10 ads all over the page.  In some cases,  you have a hard time even finding the actual content.

The same can be said for feeds.

While I have no problem sharing feeds with one or two ads at the bottom, when they're hyper-stuffed with 5 or ten (or they're HUGE compared to the content), I'm much more likely NOT to share it.

The publishers should (and need to) profit from advertising and at least I have no problem redistributing their ads as long as they keep it within reason and don't make my shared feed look like a huge billboard.

A few weeks ago, I tried a small, non-scientific experiment.

First, after years of having NO advertising here, I put a few subtle AdSense ads in the lower right hand column.  That was about 6 weeks ago.

Considering the fact that I've been blogging a little less, the return was 'reasonable' but certainly not earth shattering as compared to page views.

About 3 weeks ago, I added Google's AdSense to the RSS feed.  No, not 19 ads blaring 'click me' ... just one 'block' at the bottom.

The return was instantaneous and continues.

Is the mainstream missing the point by not having RSS? (Note: Some do but most don't monetize them..).

While the entire universe is embracing Twitter and Facebook, they're missing an important vehicle.

Redistribution, which continues to be assaulted by numerous large organizations, can actually make more money than your home page.  Certainly this isn't universal but considering all the website and blogs looking for YOUR attention, it's important.

Keeping it reasonable (one or two small ads) and keeping ALL the content in the feed, as opposed to a 'teaser' to your blog or website, could be the answer for many .... at least during this chapter.

As the landscape continues to change very quickly, I suppose we'll see.

For now, it's certainly worth a try.