Pixel Advertising Site Reviews
Rather than continue conversations with pixel ad site owners via email or blog comments, I've decided to post some thoughts in the blog. You might consider these reviews but they're really just a collection of thoughts. Most of the pixel advertising sites are a waste of time and I'll PASS on those. The ones I comment on have at least some redeeming value (or the site owners do) so I'll link to them. Visit them and make up your own mind. Here are my thoughts...
A Piece of Internet History
See the blog comments by exivus (Ken Vuncannon?) on the Pixel Ads Case Study Update post for background. From the site's launch announcement press release: "A new Web site has launched with a plan to showcase the best of the Internet’s culture and community as a mosaic of artwork and logos. APieceOfInternetHistory.com is poised to become a threefold phenomenon on the Internet’s shifting landscape: a Web site that is unique, lasting, and beautiful." Amid all of the pixel advertising clutter, I don't think this site will last. It's not unique. It's just another pixel ad site. Lasting? Advertisers don't care about lasting. They want to know what you can deliver now, not five years from now. Beautiful? That's very subjective. Even if each individual logo/plot is beautiful, a collection of hundreds or thousands of these is going to be ugly. Pixel advertising's not about beauty. It's about delivering results. What's the marketing plan for the site? The fact that the site will be up for many years is irrelevant. How will the site be found now? How many of the existing advertisers actually paid for their plots? I'd like to see some disclosures, like on The Six Million Dollar Cube's blog.
The Web2.0 Million Dollar HomePage
These guys (Srinivasan & Vinay) have been leaving blog comments all over the place and sending out tons of email. I do like their enthusiasm and they seem rather polite. That's rare with all the PASS these days. Read their comments on the AdSense, Tagvertising or Pixel Ads post to see what I mean. I'm also impressed that they have blog comments turned on for their site. That's very web 2.0 - open interaction with the end consumer. However, as with aPieceOfInternetHistory.com, I don't think this site will sell many pixels. It's simply another pixel advertising site. The original Million Dollar Homepage worked because it was unique at the time and managed to create a buzz surrounding the story of the site. It was the idea and the story more so than the site itself that became the content. A new site that sells pixels for the same price just isn't going to work.
The problem with both of these sites is that they have little or no useful content. If you were launching a new magazine, you wouldn't have each page full of ads. Advertisers are looking for content that will attract visitors. Ads themselves aren't content. This is why I think pixel advertising will only survive if it evolves. Sites that sell small pixel blocks instead of Google AdSense or other forms of advertising might do well going forward. But, an entire site full of pixel ads only worked once. Now perhaps some sort of tagvertising might just work...
Technorati tags: pixel ads, buy pixels, pixel advertising, web2.0, web 2.0, million dollar homepage, tagvertising, squidoo, internet history, marketing