Twitter Ads: Magpie “offers” Scoble “up to” $30,646 per month to run Magpie.

There’s a lot of buzz about Magpie, the new Twitter based advertising system that matches up twitter folks and those who follow them with advertisers.  Jeremiah O has a good test and expresses reservations that Magpie is “self diminishing” and I think I’m inclined to agree.   For most Twitter folks the money will be small and the distraction to users high enough that I think many would drop folks who use this to the extent their other social media efforts – and possibly their credibility – will be damaged.

I’m actually a big fan of the idea of targeted contextual ads, but skeptical that Magpie will be prudent enough to make this a truly “helpful” system for the viewers, whose only advantage is the prospect of a wonderfully targeted ad.   Google and most sites, by contrast, allows you to *ignore the advertising area* where my take is that Magpie ads will appear in the twitter stream.  They’ll be tagged “Magpie” so you could ignore all but the first line, but part of what makes Twitter enjoyable is that you generally do not have to filter out commercial content – if somebody is always posting commercial promo stuff I just dont’ follow them.  Magpie makes that … hard to do.

That said I’d like to see somebody with a huge Twitter footprint try this out and then broadcast all the commentary.    Hey Robert!  Magpie is offering you big money based on their revenue calculator

I’m skeptical that Scoble would see even a tenth of the 30k+ Magpie lists but I promise not to stop following you _and_ if you donate some to charity I’ll match up to $500 of your first month magpie proceeds to help justify the experiment.

7 thoughts on “Twitter Ads: Magpie “offers” Scoble “up to” $30,646 per month to run Magpie.

  1. I’ve never understood just how Twitter makes any money at all.

    I certainly don’t think that Twitter itself or Twitter through other entities will ever benefit by incessant tweets on commercial themes. Oh sure it will start out with a promist of it will be ‘targeted’ but that often winds up with the image of a shotgun rather than a sharpshooter’s target pistol.

    Consider one site I recently visited. It had the word ‘pit’ in its title so GoogleAds though that a dog bite lawyer’s ad would be relevant (pit bulls you know). Well, very few visitors to a barbeque site need to hire lawyers for a dogbite case. The same will happen to Magpie despite promises to the contrary.

  2. I’ve been informed that Twitter has no income stream but does “bank” its so-called privacy-data as an asset that it may later lawfully use in some commercial enterprise.

    I’ve not been impressed by Magpie’s vision: advertisements are annoying. Targeted advertisements may or may not be less annoying but targeted tends to have different meanings, particularly when money is involved.

    Can you imagine someone twittering “I’m at a coffeeshop” and getting ads from a coffeeshop thirty miles away? Or half a continent away? Only a salesman would call that “targeted advertising”. Magpie may make promises but Magpie is the one with the incentive to expand the target’s bullseye!

  3. FG I think you’ve made several good points about this. It’s hard to imagine “truly relevant” targeting of ads and I’m not even sure this is possible since we are moody creatures and may, for example, welcome a camera ad when we happen to be talking about and shopping for cameras but be annoyed by exactly the same thing if we are not in the market but talking about it for other reasons. Thin slicing our quirky human desires is the holy grail of all advertising. Despite the early successes of Google pay per click ads which are somewhat targeted and easy to ignore I think we have a long way to go.

    Twitter’s value is more than their people database – it’s clear that they’ll be used extensively by millions for some time, and thus they have an internet footprint of enormous size which includes many key online players.

    The question of valuation compared to use patterns is really interesting to me as we have travel sites (US History, India9, Online Highways) that collectively have very high use levels and some ad revenue but have little “community” and thus they are of less value per user than Twitter with no revenue but high levels of community. We need to change that.

  4. Perhaps the Japanese conglomerates have the right idea: do everything to promote unity of spirit: no job titles, everyone is an associate, walk into a room of 300 desks and each one is exactly the same with absolutely no perk that indicates who the boss is. Does this foster a sense of community?
    Do “meets and greets” amongst posters foster a sense of community? Would users of Online Highways even want to meet other users? I don’t know. Should there be a de-facto “greeter” at a website: you know, someone like that woman in the office who is always organizing parties and Friday Night Festivities at the local watering hole and always organizes the office sports pools and birthday parties?

  5. “…that have very high use levels and some ad revenue but have little “community” and thus they are of less value per user than Twitter with no revenue but high levels of community.”

    Perhaps “community” can be evaluated as ‘locked in’ or ‘ephemeral’. Its sometimes hard to unseat a market leader but its not impossible. Didn’t FaceBook and MySpace have to really compete with each other for ‘community’? Twitter is a recognized name and a good name … but competitors do exist. Many “trendy” fashions or “trendy” restaurants find out the hard way that they had extremely disloyal customers who promptly went on to other and newly-declared ‘trendy’ things. How secure is ‘community’? How would a banker value it as collateral for a loan?

  6. How secure is ‘community’?

    FG it’s a great question and I think we’ll find out over the next 2 years or so as the Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and other social networks face pressure from those of us who would prefer that we view the entire internet as a single community, and then carry our identity(ies) around as we surf, filtering how much information we divulge to the rest of the audience depending on the website. ie rather than go to Facebook to interact with my “friends” I would simply have a presence that would be always activated and available and also provide info when I was, for example, at another friends blog or talking with them online or whatever. There are many confidentiality issues here but those pale compared to the community advantages of having one giant (personally filtered) social network = the internet.

  7. Ah, perhaps we return then to my analogy of an electronic version of a lapel pin such as a stylized chessboard. On a train or in an airport lounge it indicates chess player and has value whereas at a chess convention everyone is a chess player.

    An electronic lapel pin would be more granular: indicating chess player when in a blog about football but indicating “Intermediate Level Player” when in a blog about chess.

    A Gambling lapel pin would various indicate: Gambler, Vegas, Craps, Slots and Blackjack, Favorite Casinos, etc.

    The comment, made above, about moody creatures is apt. Sometimes we might want to have certain social beacons turned on and sometimes we might want to have certain highly relevant and highly useful social marketing beacons turned off: that you like to read books about young women being murdered is fine at a convention of mystery lovers but its not so good at a singles event full of young women.

    Perhaps a LapelPinSuperManager program will be developed wherein one can set their various electronic beacons to the desired granularity for various situations. Or perhaps the Twitter would read “going to Specific Coffee Shop” for some, “going out for coffee” to others and merely “out” to others.

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