It's been a few days... I received my Dell yesterday and set it up in our Mystery Room. It's a mystery because there's no practical way to enter it except for a ladder. It's like a barn. I love it though. Since we had the wiring done, we set up the office up here. Now our living room is geek free. I'm getting used to the ladder, it's 10 feet high. Gravity and me have a strained relationship, so knock on wood nothing happens.
The Dell is great. I set it up in about 10 minutes. The wireless is working fine, but I'm thinking about getting an airport express to increase the signal a bit. My imac is set up as well and sitting next to the PC on my desk. The Dell is black and the imac is white. Good vs. evil.
I'm downloading music like crazy from Yahoo! Music Unlimited. The new Negativland, Gorillaz, Fiery Furnaces EP, Common, Outkast Stankonia, New Thievery Corporation, etc. So far so good.
I find the following links interesting. Some old, some new, but interesting nonetheless:
I love contextual stuff... I think there needs to be some innovation around CPM advertising and/or graphical media. The idea is to find a way to best serve the end user by giving them what they are looking for or expecting (at all times) while driving brand and product awareness of the sponsoring organization. There has to be a better way than the IAB way. There must be an engaging, contextual and highly relevant way of delivering this type of advertisement.
I've always believed that classified advertising was the best way to hock a product or service. People are looking for ads. The ads are the content. The success of craigslist is a great example. Obviously adwords and overture are in the same category. When used within a search context, these ads often times provide a service to users because they are as relevant or more relevant than the results. Again, in search people are looking for something and these ad technologies deliver.
Can graphical media be delivered the same way? Google is trying. If you are looking at content about a Chevy Truck, then a Chevy Truck ad appears, right? Well that's great, except for the fact that people mostly ignore or disdain graphical advertisement interruptions. And one needs the Chevy Truck content to begin with.
There must be a better way. What do advertisers want? What do users want? If we took the time to really figure out the answers we might have something. I'm not against advertising, but I want to find a way that works that benefits both parties, but especially the user. If the user is happy, they come back, if they come back they use the site more, and they may even tell their friends. If they do all of this, the sponsoring organization would surly be happy.
The single most important metric for any site to consider is retention. Are people using your site and are they coming back, again and again? Are they loyal customers? If you build that loyalty and trust without retention blockers, then you can build a sponsorship model that supports the needs of the business, the sponsor, and the user. There must be a way for the three to thrive.
Update: I got my return key to unstick.... Thanks Jeremy. :)