Tags: ad implementation

o rly

Hijacking affiliate links

I've been given a heads up that has done some excellent sleuthing and investigation into hijacked LJ affiliate links:

What is LJ doing to my links?
What is LJ doing to my links? Part 2
What is LJ doing to my links? Part 3

Expect this post to be update through the day as I find out more and come up with a good summary.

ETA: No good summary, but I feel like I should say code got taken down, etc etc, business as usual.

New page takeover ad type confirmed; ad FAQ consolidation; LiveJournal partners with AdNectar

marta (who I am ever grateful for) has confirmed that the Best Buy ad is an approved LiveJournal ad; however, there has been a change in the ad's presentation, in that it no longer automatically plays audio.

Additionally, Frequently Asked Question #265: What are LiveJournal's guidelines on acceptable ads? has been modified, as the Best Buy ad trips over some of the guidelines against rich media ads that interfere with a user's ability to use LiveJournal, video playing without a user trigger, and aggressive ads. There are also no longer any instructions on what to do or who to contact about possibly misbehaving ads.

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The tirelessly FAQ dedicated jai_dit is talking about consolidating and organizing ad FAQs.

In other news, LiveJournal is also partnering with AdNectar to provide sponsored vgifts. My guess is that these will only be able to be given to mutual friends. Considering previous sponsored gift fiascos, it might also be wise to limit the number an individual may send. Sponsored virtual gifts are also a way to make some advertising revenue off of paid users who allow branded vgifts. These sponsored vgifts can include creatives like embedded movie trailers.

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You can change your VGift settings on the manage profile page. You can disable all vgifts, or disable only sponsored vgifts. You can also change your vgift notifications settings to not receive notifications of when your friends receive vgifts.
myword, thoughtful, omg

Advertising in news; new community creation taskflow

The current news post is about the Advisory Board, but the previous post on LJ's 10th birthday had an interesting level of partnerships and marketing in it. Collapse )

However, the main impetus for this post is something I discovered while creating a new community: after you enter in the name of the community and its basic setup (the account level being most likely Plus instead of Paid) and press the button to create it, you are forwarded to the advertising tab of account settings. That is, LiveJournal considers the most important step in the taskflow after creating a community to be selecting the appropriate advertising for the community, rather than filling out the profile, selecting a style, or other community set up tasks. I imagine this is because community creators will go do those other tasks on their own, but few if not prompted will go fill out the advertising settings. Communities are ripe for advertising based monetization, as most paid features are irrelevant to them. Additionally, they are viewed by many people, with popular communities generating many more pageviews than most personal journals. (It is a pity for LJ's money flow that ohnotheydidnt is a Permanent account, rendering it useless for harvesting advertising revenue from its server breaking load.) Since all accounts that are not paid show advertising (Basic communities show advertising to logged out users), having more community maintainers fill out this information could dividends later. ETA: This doesn't mean that checking those boxes is a necessary part of creating a community, just that community creators are led to that page. They're free to leave it without entering anything.

The above paragraph is really a roundabout yet relevant way of mentioning that sometimes I want to make LJ meta posts that don't have anything to do with advertising, so I've created meta_lj to fill that ridiculous need for myself and hopefully others, which is how I found out about the new community creation process. I imagine I'm going to be posting more there than here now. I would also like to thank uniquewonders for her years of service to this community, as she has retired her position. I've considered retiring myself, but decided it would be better to just manage the moderator queue here and post if some event strikes my fancy (ala the death of Basic or something else quite noticeable).

On a more positive note, LJ has opted out of the UK ISP-level tracking advertising company Phorm: see ZDNet: Amazon refuses to be tracked by Phorm and Livejournal opt-out of Phorm. Time for some tupshin love.

General news about the difficulties of monetizing user content generated sites and social networks that might be of interest: here is an article on YouTube and here is one on Facebook.

LJ ad serving in 2009

LJ's sales page says that "During 2009 LiveJournal is relaunching its brand and service."

SUP has LJ news items about completing an advertising sales representative agreement with MediaCorp in Singeapore (Feb 9th) and another exclusive agreement with sales house FISH for Ukrainian traffic (Jan 28th).

LJ has also just moved away from Six Apart ad serving links according to changelog; the ad base now seems to be Doubleclick.

Basic users: choose your ads

As we noted in our last News post, as of today users will be able to downgrade their account to Basic through the Manage Account page. In addition, visitors who are not logged in to LiveJournal will now be seeing ads on Basic accounts and communities; the experience of logged-in users will not change.

Consequently, all Basic and Early Adopters accounts have now access to:

Change Journal Theme → 3. Choose a Page Setup → Ad Placement, and Ad Settings, presumably to choose which type of ads they want to show logged-out users and where.

ETA: Ad Settings works for Basic communities now.

Web bugs in RSS feeds

We've spotted a code change that adds what appears to be a web bug (since the code returns the HTML for a 1x1 image) for each RSS post in SUP journal feeds; the image uses the SUP_BASE_ADCALL_URL, so although it may not have anything to do with ads, it seems to involve the ad server in some way. It's conceivable this will be used to give SUP users statistics on readers of their RSS feeds.

On an unrelated front, the previously mentioned Dreamwidth is looking for mood themes (mailing list post). They are also looking for a site copy editor and FAQ team.

Sponsored Styles: The Return

I'm not surprised that this escaped notice, between Basic Accounts, censored interests, and contemptuous Russians, but sponsored styles are back.

There are three new featured themes, by "HP.com/gwen", which you can access directly here. Each contains some kind of embedded web bug in the header that links through doubleclick.net to some page on HP.com about Gwen Stefani.

Ad links in emails

From the code, it looks like this will affect all non-paid users, not just Plus users as previously seen.

The ad being added, with the links in bold:
MSN delivers the latest in News & Politics and Entertainment straight to LiveJournal. [WEB BUG]

It's possible this might hint at some future integration and promotion of MSN on the LiveJournal site.

Reference: Changelog, plz to be commenting here and not there so we do not make ourselves too much of a nuisance, the last thing I want being changelog entirely closed off just like the bug stuff is now (for who knows what reason) because we were barking in the wrong channels.