Archive for January, 2010

Education 2.0 – Digital Learners

In the past couple of years, an online education has become more accessible that ever imaginable. For example: Many college students are sharing course notes on sites such as ShareNotes. Moreover, the general intellectually curious go getters are soaking up Ivy League school lectures from schools who have made them free online, such as Princeton. MIT was the pioneer of enabling internet users to free higher education lectures, with their OpenCourseWare service which includes the entire curriculum, online. (P.S. Bill Gates has been rumored to take in one or two Physics lectures from MIT in his spare time, when he is not managing his philanthropic work.) The course material available is often up to date, and taught by the some of the smartest professors in their field. So, in reality, an Ivy League education is really just a click away for any internet user.

Some of my favorite lectures that I have seen have been through AcademicEarth. Their portal has accumulated lectures on an array of subjects from numerous institutions, even offering AP course test prep for high school students. 2010 is truly the advent of digital learning, where classroom time will main irreplaceable, but learning online will increase greatly.

Many people hold up, and limit their view of online education for the college/university level. That is absolutely false, because the largest group of learners online are the K-12 kids going through school right now, who are engaging with school lessons online.  Here, take a look into the life of my typical day in high school-

Glancing back at my PreCalculus class notes posted online, while doing homework:

Again, studying online from the notes and discussions posted on my Environmental Science class’s website:

I realize what you may be thinking, that is just the math and sciences of the curriculum. For my English class, the widely used study aid CliffNotes now offers all of their materials online, offering literary criticism among many other study tools. In addition, for institutions to combat academic dishonesty, the leading tool Turnitin was created to scan a students work and compare it to all existing publications available on the web, which is often used in my history class for research papers.

Finally, the next step of my education is the college search and application process, which non-coincidentally takes place on the web these days, with the help of powerful software such as Naviance. This is the age of digital learners, and the internet is the new path towards a higher education. If you are looking for the next place to continue your education, then the chances are that you are already here.


01 2010

Forging Lasting Partnerhips at Conferences

Forging Lasting Partnerships

Right now in Vegas, the Affiliate Summit West is taking place at the Rio. For the performance marketing industry specifically, this is the largest event and congregation of people who do business in the industry. Networks, merchants, and affiliates often spend many weeks or days in preparation of this event, hoping that the time and monetary investment in this 3 day show will pay off over the next six months, until the next Affiliate Summit. From my limited, but very impressionable experience attending the Affiliate Summit East – NYC this past August, I can tell you now which moves back then, ended up paying off in the long term.

Firstly, my best relationships remain in place with companies who were open and honest about their offerings, and were willing follow up personally a few days after the event, and get me situated with their company. I assure you that these companies were not involved in the practice that has been described as “the pitchfest” where most companies simply pitch their unoriginal products over and over again, talking all about themselves and not how they could specifically help anyone else.

The companies that come out of the trade show with winning relationships have a value proposition in hand, and are prepared to offer their customer a tool or product that will elevate their game. In the internet world, this is often in the form of proprietary technology, which is able to reduce costs and increase profits. Such as: Tatto Media, who offers an innovative enterprise level tracking platform for a cost that beats out all competitors. Tracking202 (now BlueSky) is also the leading tracking software provider for affiliates, due to their opensource platform which has enabled thousands of affiliates to scale profitable campaigns. MediaTrust is one of the first companies in the industry to enable the advertisers with better fraud detection software, and a thoroughly vetted publisher base. In my opinion, companies that are similar to the ones mentioned above are truly changing the game, and are investing in long term profits versus high short term payouts.

In addition, the companies that are maintaining the winning relationships month after month are often the smaller boutique networks which usually have not invested in proprietary software tools, but instead into educating their publishers on how to be better marketers. These types networks have gained an enormous respected in the industry among affiliates, because they are provide one-on-one support to work their publishers up the ranks, even through the tough times. The first networks that come to mind are Convert2Media and Eagle Web Assets. Both are run by former affiliates who realize the importance of their business model, which is 100% reliant on affiliate driven revenue.

Perhaps the most valuable relationships you can make are with affiliates/publishers, since they are on the forefront of the industry, setting up new campaigns daily, and getting prepared for a prosperous 2010. Either way, keep on the lookout for the mutually beneficial partnerships at your next conference.


01 2010

Adknowledge Integrates Bidding Into Virtual Goods

Just last month Adknowledge became the first company to integrate a bidding system into virtual goods platforms. Their innovative offering is the first of its kind, and it is playing off the current virtual goods boom that is taking place across the socialshpere. Through their updated ad platform, advertisers can now bid to have their offers completed via CPA pricing. To a CPA marketer, this type of traffic is gold because the it enables a guaranteed ROI if the bid on the campaign is high enough.

I expect other ad networks and virtual goods platforms to follow suit and integrate some sort of option for advertisers to compete for the spot in a virtual game. Adknowledge has really taken this first step to allow a free market for advertisers to compete for the virtual goods offers that millions of social users complete daily. Take a look at this offering for sure, I look forward to using the Adknowledge bid system soon!


01 2010