charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
[personal profile] charmian

There's a PDF linked on this page (unsure about the netiquette of linking a .pdf) which contains LJ's sales pitch to advertisers.

The document begins by claiming that LJ is the world's top "Community Media" site, and then says that LJ is unique because users connect not based on previous personal connections, but via shared interests. Communities are referred to as the "soul" of LJ.

So, in the minds of whoever created this presentation, LJ should be seen as a collection of enthusiasts about various topics, a break from the previous rhetoric about self-expression.

Interestingly, the chart on the ages of LJ users claims that there are three times as many 45-54 year olds as 12-17 year olds.

The document now begins talking about advertising targeting: interests are the mechanism for how this will work; they don't mean the actual LJ interests though, they mean that they will categorize existing communities to determine what users are interested in, then use this to serve relevant advertising to the users. Therefore they will target users based on what communities they belong to.

I'm not sure what the brand-safety page means.

"Contextual and semantic scanners send data back and forth between their own databases and LJ ad servers, and LJ staff patrol existing and new communities to preserve brand-safety, ensuring that ads serve on the most optimal pages."

I suppose this means that they have automated scanning of content, on the level of meaning? And that LJ staffers are also making sure ads don't appear on "brand-unsafe" pages?

Current Quantcast stats:;jsessionid=00094C0AA6D50779F9702A24C4AAD525

Date: 2011-04-04 10:23 am (UTC)
eggsbenedict: (Devil Jin)
From: [personal profile] eggsbenedict
AFAIK, brand-safety means ensuring that an ad doesn't appear next to "undesirable" content in the context of the brand. This can mean a kids' product turning up alongside adult material, or it can mean an ad for an airline turning up next to a post recounting a plane crash. The latter case is still a problem with online newspapers - you can't just put your faith in keywords.

Date: 2011-04-04 10:46 am (UTC)
eggsbenedict: (Flowchart Ken)
From: [personal profile] eggsbenedict
Well, keyword scanning and the existing rating system will go a long way, I think! They may have to implement another flagging system (which exists on Facebook, but not on newspaper sites)...

I think they're right about comms being so important to their ecosystem, though. I hate to say it, but just look at ONTD - it's propping the place up these days. Appropriate advertising to niche groups still gets a good repsonse, which is how a bunch of magazines still manage to exist now :)

Date: 2011-04-04 11:09 am (UTC)
eggsbenedict: (Macaronis)
From: [personal profile] eggsbenedict
There's already more than one flagging system in effect on LJ; you can mark posts as spam and accounts as spambots, which are another two systems. I know the very idea of flagging or reporting offends some people horribly, but the ease of reporting anything helps very large communities to self-moderate.

I mentioned "in the context of the brand" for a reason - if your product is adults-only, you'll totally want to target a particular content level! Judging from the figures you posted, there's almost no reason to target children anyway. Parenting comms, on the other hand...

Facebook has already cracked that nut, btw! This challenge is more like running lucrative ads on an online forum.

Date: 2011-04-04 11:59 am (UTC)
eggsbenedict: (Hime-san)
From: [personal profile] eggsbenedict
I'm assuming you don't have a Facebook account? You can basically "delete" any ad and indicate why, including that it's Misleading, Offensive or Uninteresting. It works for you because it personalises your ads, and it works for Facebook because it helps them increase the conversion rate and tailor ads to user data even more. If you're counting distinct flagging systems (and I don't think you should for a community with more than a few thousand people in it), Facebook's got about fifty of them in play at once.

The "adult concepts" level on LJ isn't out-and-out porn, though. It represents a non-explicit level of content that is of interest to ages 14 and up. Remember that an "advertiser" can merely be "who's paying" - plenty of people would like to spruik their a├žai berry juice scam, regardless of what it shows up next to! As an aside, I think being in fandom really skews people's concepts of LJ as a whole; Strikethrough affected a bunch of us but it's not like LJ is 99% hardcore porn. There are plenty of comms that have particular (targetable) interests and don't have to worry about locked content or adult concepts unless a spambot gets in.

An argument made about online advertising in 2008 is almost moot now - the landscape has changed incredibly in the past three years, and there's a shitload of stuff happening online and making money beyond CPC. Data mining (argh), context-sensitive/interest-based advertising (Adwords, Facebook), micropayments and social games are all starting to happen right now, even if the companies implementing them aren't all above board. But how much do we trust LJ again? O:D

Sorry for the wall of text - I've almost got my degree in internets.

Date: 2011-04-04 06:55 pm (UTC)
ext_3679: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Keyword scanning can only get you so far though. Witness Google's failure to identify the chief audience of the BNP:,news-comment,news-politics,googles-romantic-view-of-bnp-website

Date: 2011-04-04 10:26 pm (UTC)
eggsbenedict: (Flowchart Ken)
From: [personal profile] eggsbenedict
Sorry, but did you miss that I mentioned plane crashes in my previous comment? LJ mentions that staff will police comms as a backup measure, which is about all you can do apart from setting up an a crazy range of negatives and blacklists.


Date: 2011-04-04 01:50 pm (UTC)
sub_divided: cos it gets me through, hope you never stop (Default)
From: [personal profile] sub_divided

I told a friend who works for a pharmaceutical marketing firm, specializing in drugs for expectant mothers, that her company really should look into livejournal. She was skeptical because livejournal, to her, was a social site for white teenagers that stopped being relevant seven years ago. I told her that these days the site is like 70% women and that a lot of those women are older.

The problem with the site currently, though, is that it looks crappy, with lots of flashing ads and those kinds of games that people who don't know a lot about the internet like to play.

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