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Monday, February 20, 2006

Pixel Advertising Site Reviews

Since writing about pixel advertising on my site, creating a pixel ads lens on Squidoo and blogging about pixel ad results, I've had people contact me via email, blog comments and the Squidoo feedback form asking for thoughts on their pixel sites. I've also had my fair share of pixel ad site spam (PASS). Naturally, I've decided to PASS on all of those sites. ;-)

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...

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17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard,

Thanks for the kind words in the post.We saw your comments on the Web2.0 MDHP blog as well, Thanks for stopping by!

Regarding the problem of Content, we are working on how best we can address that.

As we have mentioned in our blog, the whole Web2.0 MDHP is an experiment to determine if there is something BIG that Alex Tew just discovered by accident. We are enjoying the experiment, tonnes of learning!

Richard, we are sure we will get there, Go, Own your piece of Web2.0 History!

Thanks
Srinivasan & Vinay
The Web2.0 Million Dollar Homepage

Mon Feb 20, 10:41:00 PM EST  
Blogger fakir005 said...

I'm glad that some ody is reviewing the ad sites and making their comments available to the marketers. But what is to review about the ad sites, really. The way it will look after it is sold out will lawys be the same as any other pixel site depending upon the images that get posted by the pixel buyers. The pixel sites are selling their pixels to too many 100 pixel buyers. For example the Vinay's 2,000,000 (2 Million) pixel site would be monstrous in size. For example the maximum width it can have is 925 (like the width of the Pixel site at
NEW ERA WISP if it is to be visible end to end. The height would then be 2,200 pixels which is going to be a disadvantage to pixel owners at the bottom. But the biggest problem is the clutter of pixel images that are only 100 pixels. If all the images were c100 Pixels there would 10,000 images in a million Pixel Site.

NEW ERA WISP
http://www.newerawisp.blogspot.com
is limiting each of the purchases to 5,000 pixels o that the 1,100,000 site would have only 220 images.

Since the article is for marketers this site deserves their attention

Tue Feb 21, 02:27:00 PM EST  
Blogger Richard said...

Fakir005, I don't get it. Your "innovation" on the pixel advertising trend is to require advertisers to pay $5000 to advertise on your site? PASS.

Srinivasan & Vinay, best of luck to you guys. Keep trying to think from the point of view of the advertisers. What value can you add to your site to help them promote their sites? Maybe talk to your existing advertisers and see what they'd like. Perhaps feature them in your blog on a regular basis? Have another page with full logos and product/service descriptions? What can you do to entice new advertisers as well as keep your existing advertisers happy?

Tue Feb 21, 03:13:00 PM EST  
Blogger Guillaume said...

Richard, you miss the point. There is no need for content. There is plenty of free advertising paper mags. And they have no content (except the ads). And they are successfull. Online ad websites are no different. I don't say it is easy but some will be successful. While it is not the case today, I hope to push mine in that category.

Tue Feb 28, 07:42:00 PM EST  
Blogger Richard said...

Salut, Guillame. Ce n'est pas facile? Vraiment. Allez les bleus!

There is no need for content?? Websites are not like printed materials. The printed materials are used and discarded. A website needs new visitors. You don't need content if there's a reason for people to visit your site. In Alex Tew's case, because the idea was so novel, people were visiting his site to either see how his story was unfolding or to see what new sites were to be found.

That's done. People don't want to randomly click on websites. They want to find what they're looking for. That's why search engine marketing works so well. BTW, are you using search engine marketing for your website? Not just SEO.

The "free advertising paper mags" you refer to are usually locally-targeted. They're not random pixel sites. They fill a niche. People want or need the products or services listed. Is that true of most pixel sites?

Think from both the point of view of the end user and the advertiser. What solution can you provide that meets both of their needs?

Tue Feb 28, 09:35:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thought I would mention about a website geared toward kids, families, preschoolers etc. They have started a cool unique method of PIXEL AD ADVERTISING.
They send out many FREE products to their list of subscribers. With each product they send they encourage it to be PASSED ON TO others who can benefit from it!

On these products they provide Pixel Ad Advertising space (limited Number of spaces) to those who purchase pixels!

Apparently the potential of viewers is exceptional.

Sounds interesting & Different!
Like taking your Pixel Ads to the People!
Super Viral Pixel Ads

http://www.preschoollearningonline.com/preschool_pixel_advertising.html

Thu Mar 09, 04:55:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Jon said...

Richard,

I have to agree with you. Content is king... and should be even with "pixel ad" sites. It never ceases to amaze me how foolishly uncreative most of this pixel genre really is.

I heard someone somewhere liken this pixel craze to the California Gold Rush. And it really is. One person struck gold, so thousands of people thought they could do the same and rushed out west, only to return broken, depressed, and destitute. Unfortunately, the only people getting rich off the Gold Rush were the ones selling supplies to the prospectors.

Same thing with the pixels. The only people "getting rich" since Alex Tew are the companies selling the pixel site scripts, hosting space, and "advice". History repeats itself all too easily. [sigh]

-Jon

Sat Mar 11, 10:36:00 AM EST  
Blogger mr. j said...

Hi Richard, remarkable--I found you through Squidoo and your pixel ads article there, but I'm here in Columbia just down the road...
Anyway, I have a site, PixYourBiz which is serving the home business market, and has a 30-word listing with each ad on the Companies and Sponsors page to give them more for their ad-spend, but I've also been exploring the development of banner ads for other webmasters who don't have the time or scripts or what have you to do it themselves. I think you are right in your article that this is the next wave of the trend. One such partner is at
MyDirectSalesBiz
, which just got started. Would love to hear your comments.

Sat Mar 11, 10:08:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard,

One of our 'surprise' actions is out: The Hidden Web2.0 Gems

Do have a look, and let us know what you think.

Thanks
Srinivasan & Vinay
The Web2.0 Million Dollar Homepage

Sat Mar 11, 11:53:00 PM EST  
Blogger Richard said...

Mr. J, I think your pixel banner idea has merit. I'll be curious to see how that works out for you.

Srinivasan & Vinay, I don't get it. Now your Pixel List is less useful for your paying advertisers.

Wed Mar 15, 05:13:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard, We have fixed the Pixel List now.

Thanks for pointing it out. Do have a look!

Thanks
Srinivasan & Vinay

The Web2.0 Million Dollar Homepage

Wed Mar 15, 09:51:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Marcee Townsend said...

Hi Richard,

New to your blog, I have enjoyed reading over some of your reviews. I agree that it is not just enough to create yet another pixel site. I am not trying to shamelessly plug my site (it just launched today). But I do feel that we have added some additional elements to our site that differentiate us. Please look read below, look at my site and feel free to provide me with feedback (sorry I know this post is a little long).

Here is some info:

Mother of two looking to stay home hopes to make someone else a millionaire

Marketing and sales background allows mother to take new pixel ad site to the next level, if successful she will be giving away a $1,000,000 grand prize.

Marcee Townsend, 28, of Knoxville, Tennessee had been combing the internet looking for ideas on how she could leave her corporate job. Her goal was to stay at home with her two young children while still contributing to the family finances. During her quest she ran across several articles relating to a recently highly successful new form of advertising- Pixel Ads. However she had some of the same concerns that others in the online community did “After reading several reviews of other pixel ad sites, I noticed several recurring requests or concerns that I knew we would need to address in order to have a successful site” said Marcee. That is when she turned to the family web developer and marketing guru, Chris, for help. Chris Townsend, 30, “We asked ourselves two questions: How do we achieve a constant flow of traffic for the advertisers? And, what can we do to entice visitors to continuously visit our site?” This is where they decided to give away one million dollars.

On March 26, 2006 the two launched treasurepix.com. The site is a marriage between interactive gaming and pixel ads. When visitors first load the site they will not immediately see a jumble of tiny ads, instead they will see pieces of a puzzle forming a picture. When a visitor’s mouse hovers over the picture they will then see the ads. Each puzzle will have four clues, three of the clues will be hidden randomly in pixels on the site and players must click on the pixels to find the clues. The picture itself is the fourth clue. Once a player believes they know the answer they can submit an online entry form to win prizes. When the puzzle is complete a drawing will be held for all players that had the correct answer. There will be seven puzzles in the series, with the prizes varying from $5,000 for the first puzzle to $50,000 for the seventh. The Grand Prize drawing will take place thirty days after the last ad is placed on the seventh puzzle, players must submit a form with all seven correct answers. There will be one winner and they will walk away with one million dollars. Unlike other sites there is no entry fee nor is the game restricted to only those that are advertising. “We expect to get to the point where we have a high continuous flow of traffic because of the game model and the cash prizes that we are offering. To the best of our knowledge there is not another site out there offering a free game with this large of a grand prize” said Chris. “We’re not greedy people” added Marcee “we understand that in order to have a site that advertisers want to place ads on we have to bring the traffic, to insure a steady following and continuous flow. We are willing to give up a portion of our proceeds as prize money as incentive for people to play the game. Really it is a circle, traffic leads to advertisers which will purchase pixel ads which will lead to a completed puzzle which ends in cash drawings. We look forward to the possibility of making someone a millionaire”.

Let the games begin…..

Contact:
Chris Townsend (865) 384-7995
Marcee Townsend (865) 384-7312
admin@treasurepix.com
www.treasurepix.com

Mon Mar 27, 09:45:00 PM EST  
Blogger Richard said...

Marcee, could you leave a longer comment next time? ;-)

Your concept sounds good. Looking at your site, though, it seems a bit confusing. Is there a puzzle happening right now? If not, consider creating a demo to give both potential advertisers, prize sponsors and players an idea of how it all works. There's an awful lot of text littered around your site but it's not too cohesive.

Best of luck to you.

Wed Mar 29, 09:10:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Marcee Townsend said...

Hi Richard,

Sorry for the long post earlier :). I appreciate your feedback. Yes there is a puzzle going on right now, however none of the 3 clues have been placed yet. We are in the process of adding a demo link. We have had several people call wondering what the heck the site it,after we've explained to them the whole concept many of them have expressed an interest in advertising. We did some tweaking yesterday, and will continue to make changes as we receive suggestions.

Thanks!
Marcee

Fri Mar 31, 09:37:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Marcee said...

Hi Richard,

me...again. Just wanted to let you know we redesigned the site, and we also added a demo link where visitors can watch a little tutorial on how to play the game. Our press release went out today as well. Please visit us again at www.treasurepix.com let me know what you think of the changes. Oh also we are in the process of implementing an affiliate program, it will be 2 tier, so if you know anyone that does the affiliate thing and think this might work for them, pass it on.

Thanks!

Sat Apr 01, 08:45:00 PM EST  
Blogger Gethsemene Rose said...

I think one way around the CONTENT problem is to FOCUS the site. TShirtPixels is doing just that BY only having TSHIRT sites, and bringing traffic to its site using a PPC campaign that is Targeting Tshirt Buyers, the site has become a DESTINATION PORTAL that sends people on to find the one thing they are looking at. The revenue is generated via Affiliate sales so really the Pixel part of it is just an EASY way for anyone who wants to offer their Affiliate Ready store to other customers. The site is about a month old and already doing better than 99 percent of other Pixel sites out there.

Fri Jul 14, 04:27:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Mark said...

Ohhhh guys... the original Web 2.0 pixel advertising site is www.isquare.it, "pixel Advertising Moves into Web 2.0"
Take a look and at the COOLEST and ORIGINAL low-cost way to promove your every thing on-line.

Tue Aug 22, 07:58:00 PM EDT  

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