Google: Let Me Mix My RSS AdFeeds
Monetize my RSS feeds?
Thanks, but no thanks.
That is what I have been answering so far to those who very kindly have approached me to suggest in a way or another to introduce some good text ads inside my RSS feeds.
The issue is not that I don't like the money.
The issue is that we need to stop imposing old models on new technologies and ways of operating.
In my view information must be free. Like air or water.
I am not willing to place any tax on the water I generate, but rather I wish that many more people can drink from it to their heart content. I know that my quenching their thirst will make my spring be known for miles around and my kindness appreciated beyond this valley.
I can always sell bottles, glasses and lots of spicy food here at the RSS farm, as that is where and when people drink the most!
Now, let me share this simple idea, I have been having in my mind.
Since, the only compromise I would be wishing to accept in my RSS feeds is the one of having one advertiser sponsor one of my feeds (but there again this would not be completely pain-free), rather than introducing in whichever discrete way actual ads inside the feed, I am here to suggest a possible other vision for how RSS can better match the needs and goals of advertisers and the new emerging breed of independent publishers.
The agreement with my audience is tacit, but it is clear: RSS feeds are "clean", unadulterated information channels on a very specific topic.
I shall not pollute or dilute their content with irrelevant or not qualifying items as this will cost me immediate defection from many of my subscribers.
RSS readers are avid information seekers and they will likely not maintain RSS newsfeeds that do not present a very high signal-to-noise ratio.
As the number of good niche information sources grows exponentially, it is going to be hard, to stay on top unless you consistently deliver high-quality specialized or thematic information.
So, what have I left to play with?
RSS feeds containing only ads.
RSS feeds containing ads on very specific topics, according to a specific editor/author/blogger, or matching a specific research/interest area connected to the site/publisher.
In my case I would have one with high-quality ads for independent publishing tools (ranging from Web publishing tools to emarketing ones), one with digital imaging services, one with conferencing tools and so on.
As a publisher th agreement I would make with the agency providing me the ads would be something like: OK, you provide me a set of ad feeds in XML/RSS from which I can "manually" select the ads that I want to promote.
My personal selection would be the ultimate filter, contextual matching algorithm and best indicator that there is something of value behind that brand.
"Can you imagine a special Doc Searls Advertising RSS feed? And although I don't read Scoble enough, imagine the weight he'd pull in his camp."
Yes, as Eric Rice correctly envisions, this may be the ultimate re-combinant evolution of advertising into a news-based type of information channels framework. This will leverage the influence and credibility of its publishers while offering to those who will craft and maintain such adfeeds, the opportunity to develop a new craft: to skilfully select and match best products and information resources with your specific online "brands" (no matter what that maybe: an individual blogger, a thought leader, a tech expert, a community of practice, an institution, etc.).
Google: give me your inventory of ads and let me mix and match them into a set of fantastic of RSS adfeeds.
What do you have to loose?
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