Thursday, May 04, 2006

FM Publishing Opens Automated Ad Network

FM Publishing Opens Automated Ad Network
by Gavin O'Malley, Thursday, May 4, 2006 6:00 AM EST
THE HIGH-END BLOG ADVERTISING NETWORK Federated Media Publishing launched an automated ad planning site late Wednesday. The brainchild of entrepreneur and author John Battelle, the site's simple interface helps the least experienced advertisers find the most appropriate blogs on which to place their ads after inputting targeting data such as age, sex, income, and lifestyle.

"It's a good analogy, comparing the site to a dating service for advertisers and bloggers," said Battelle.

Like a dating site--and unlike many online ad networks that currently exist--FM Publishing's automated platform requires consent from both parties, as bloggers can turn down offers from interested advertisers. "We find it's very rare for a blogger to say no to an advertiser in our experience, but it's important that everyone's comfortable with these relationships."

Battelle, known for founding The Industry Standard and serving as co-founding editor for Wired magazine, has said since last June that FM is strictly for "high-quality, high-authority" blogs. That now includes about 50 total, according to Battelle--including his own search blog, the hugely popular general interest blog Boing Boing, and Jeff Jarvis' influential BuzzMachine blog.

"It's not about size--it's about the quality of the conversation," Battelle said of his preference for one blog over another. "Jarvis' BuzzMachine doesn't get a huge amount of traffic--but his readers are very influential, and an attractive audience for any advertiser."

Despite the new site's automated nature, Battelle promises that every one of FM's blogger and advertiser partners have access to as much human interaction as they like.

"That's why we're never going to be 5,000 sites," said Battelle. "The biggest I think we could ever be is 500, because of the close relationships we offer our partners."

FM Publishing's sales team is currently five members strong, and Battelle said he is looking for about eight more members.

Individual bloggers within FM's network are free to join other networks like BlogAds, and own the intellectual property rights to their work, according to Battelle.

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