IDEA #93 – 125×125 Ad-ditional Info Skins (IntermediAds)


This was not my idea, this was another idea of Boris (founder of twittercounter and thenextweb). This idea is actually called IntermediAds. He’s looking for a partner to help him run with it. This post is published with his permission.

He’s already built a bit of a prototype, click here. Or animated gif of the experience below:


The concept is that a 125×125 ad on blogs isn’t enough for the advertiser, or the visitor for that matter. It allows the visitor to get more info on the advertiser without having to leave the blog or visit the advertiser’s website. The thought is that there’ll be a higher CTR of the ads, which benefits the advertisers.

The problem is how do you scale this for adoption by blogs? Blogs don’t all use the same system for their 125×125 ads. This might be something that just needs to be a free plugin for WordPress, or via a JS include on a page [maybe some sort of JS ‘onmouseover’ parameter in the img or ‘a href’ tag that then loads the additional info]. It seems like a bit of a tricky mess; not sure how it could really scale.

It makes sense though; advertisers I think would love it. As a Publisher [techcrunch for example], they wouldn’t care; they aren’t getting paid on a click-thru basis and would rather give Advertisers a better chance. Maybe advertisers would find that their CTR reduced but higher conversion rate; but maybe that’d be a good thing [less evasive to consumers; more consumers may learn about their company — and/or maybe they’d find a higher CTR actually because more users are able to learn a tad bit more than a 125×125 can tell them].

AdToll is selling 125×125 spaces– or managing them rather — maybe this is really more of a feature for someone like that. Maybe an AdToll [or someone else] could become the place where 125×125 ads are hosted and served from, so there aren’t tons of systems used.

Personally, I’d love to use it as a visitor. Sometimes I don’t click an ad, because it’s just not enough info — but sometimes they intrigue me, and I’d like to learn more.

The additional info badge could also pull in an RSS feed from the advertiser — possibly showing the 3 latest blog posts from their blog.

Below are more notes I had written Boris back in January 2008:

I can’t think of a way for you to monetize this. Having the publisher pay you to use your technology, possibly — but it seems like someone would then eventually just build this functionality and make it open-source. I could see it becoming an addon to OpenAds possibly. Also, publishers wont want to deal with creating these additional info spec sheets on their advertisers — advertisers will want full control of this; and publishers will want to give it to them.  Advertisers will also likely want different “additional info spec sheets” for different publisher sites that they are advertising on. 

I think how you make this work is the following — the publisher [i.e. TechCrunch] grabs a snippet of javascript that they put at the bottom of their webpage; they never have to touch this again.  The advertiser then provides the publisher with a URL that they want their 125×125 ad to go to — and the advertiser also inputs this into an interface at Intermediads. The javascript snippet in the publisher website looks for any URLs in their system by advertisers, and if that link is found on the publisher’s webpage, it displays the additional info “ability” behind that ad. [Maybe the advertiser specifies to Intermediads the publisher’s domain as well, so that the load is lower on Intermediads on pageloads — so that Intermediads [on load of a webpage at] only checks those advertisers that said they are currently advertising on — or reverese, techcrunch just specifies the links/advertisers that are using Intermediads [or can use Intermediads –maybe your service is an upsell to the advertiser via the publisher — and you give a % to the publisher, and keep the other % for yourself.]

If you look at TechCrunch, or, etc, they aren’t even using OpenAds [or any platform for ad tracking; which is shocking]. They just post the 125×125 ads each month. And TechCrunch, since he uses the Snap preview stuff — he has to specify on the anchor link around those 125×125 images the class as ‘snap_nopreview’, which means if your . TC also has an onclick event already for urchin tracking; which I’m sure you can have a 2nd, but this starts adding some complexity. But if TC just had to add some code once, no problem probably.

But you may want to think about this being an extension/addon to like OpenAds?