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Product idea: Digg for ads

Friday, March 27, 2009 by Dave Winer.

Today was the best day of skiing in Park City. The sky was clear. It wasn't too warm, and it wasn't brutally cold. When you stopped, breathing hard, the air had a refreshing crispness to it. There was packed powder everywhere. No lift lines. The scenery gorgeous and I was skiing beautifully. It was also the last ski day for this trip. Tomorrow and Sunday I'll hang out in Salt Lake with friends and return to SFO on Monday morning. Permalink to this paragraph

The ideas kept coming -- one was a meta-idea -- an idea about ideas. It seems we should have an industry retreat at Park City some year, no sessions, no formal meetings, just ski groups, people who ski together, a few hours at a time. It might pump some fresh blood through tech and/or media to do so. Permalink to this paragraph

Another idea -- a web service that's all about making money and pleasing users and marketers all at the same time. Pretty sure it doesn't exist, so as you're evaluating the idea, don't assume it's just like something you've already seen. Permalink to this paragraph

Imagine a new Digg-like site where marketers submitted ads. The ones that moved to the top would of course get more views. That would encourage advertisers to learn what viewers liked, if getting more views was one of their goals. At first there would be no cost to placing an ad. But after a time advertisers would pay a flat fee to place their ads on the service, say the cost of running an ad on a non-post-season football game. The great ads would make a lot of money because they would get far more viewers than the not-great ones, but all would pay the same. Permalink to this paragraph

The people who ran the site would make a fortune, assuming it bootstrapped well. Permalink to this paragraph

Have I ever seen an ad I liked, one person on Twitter asks. Yes of course. Many. Have you ever watched the Superbowl? ;-> Permalink to this paragraph

The thing is that ads don't have to be bad, they can be funny, interesting, informative, inspirational, and sometimes so good you can't help but watch them over and over.  Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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