What You Talkin’ ’bout? Home for the Holidays

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coleman_holiday.jpgADOTAS – Happy holidays, Adotas readers! I’m sitting at my mom’s dining room table outside of Washington, DC, trying to prevent her cats from waging battle against her Christmas ornaments. It’s definitely a white Christmas down in the District, as last weekend’s East Coast snowpocalypse blanketed the region in two feet of powder. I may go hunting in the basement for my old sled….

Of course it was a slow week in the interactive ad world — scavenging for news took on a new meaning this week — but still readers were pretty vocal in our comment section.

First off, most Adotas readers think CBS done made a mistake by pulling out of the ad networks — 65% of respondents answering our poll said that the company would regret that decision sooner rather than later. However, 35% think it’s another sign of the demise of ad networks.

In response to Jennifer Major’s piece regarding sentiment analysis and social media, Katie Delahaye Paine quoted her father Ralph Paine Jr., publisher of Fortune magazine in the 60s: “If we can put a man into orbit, why can’t we, with any degree of certainty, measure the effectiveness of communications? The reason is simple, and perhaps a bit old fashioned. People. Human beings with a wide range of choice, cantankerous, capricious and consumed by innumerable conflicting interests and conflicting desires.”

In her own words, she commented: “The problem with your post is that it ignores the importance of the human element. At best, automated sentiment analysis is correct about 65% of the time. If the finance department was only accurate 65% of the time, the CEO would be in jail, and the company would be bankrupt. You cannot rely entirely on computers. You need humans, trained in the science of research and analtyics to check the accuracy, as well as to interpret the results.”

However, Themos Kalafatis was of another mind: “Good article that states concisely opportunities versus problems in social media analytics. Being a text miner myself, I could add my two cents by saying that accuracy in sentiment analysis is very application-specific, typical being around 72% to 75% in my experience. This technology provides very good insights in what people want and how they think, why they don’t like specific products/services or politicians. Great caution is needed not to make wrong conclusions though.”

Matthew Daniel Burton took exception to some of Kirby Winfield’s claims about real-time bidding: “‘Ad Stuffing’ as you call is not a RTB specific problem. It is a quite common problem among traditional ad networks. I believe that RTB is actually going to help shed light on these types of practices because of the greater transparency it provides to the advertiser and publisher around reporting.

“As for brand protection, that is not an RTB-specific problem either. If anything it is easier to control your brand image if you are bidding on URLs instead of buying across a ad network pool of inventory.”

Winfield responded, “I agree these problems are not RTB-specific. My point was more around the fact that RTB has been cited by many as a panacea for the challenges faced by advertisers buying from networks. In a rush to embrace the next big thing, I think it’s useful to remember that it leaves many of the problems associated with the last big thing unresolved.”

Big M also had some issues with the RTB piece: “The risk described here is not really relevant for RTB but for media buying in general. There are techniques to safeguard such activities. I think this post is to pitch the need for the brand safety technologies.

“But let’s face it: ‘Who audits the auditors?’ We are in the need for a standardized auditing solution that is not profiting from the media buying transaction.”

Winfield had a reply for this too: “Regarding the ‘Who audits the auditors?’ question, I agree this is a challenge when evaluating the usefulness of third-party ‘point solutions’ that provide ‘exception reports’ but no actual transparency. For our part at AdXpose, we want you to trust AND verify -– we’ll tell you where the issues lie and show you as well.”

And with the sad news that ad:tech Chicago has been scrapped for 2010, Mike said: “Say it ain’t so. I loved the Chicago events, actually more than San Fran. Nothing will top NYC though.”

That’s right — nothing tops NYC, mister!

Finally, I just want to say thanks to everybody in the industry who has submitted articles this year and to all the people who donated their time to help a rookie like me (I’m finishing my third month at the helm, oy vey) understand this convoluted space. It was a trial by fire at times, but I really appreciated industry insiders’ patience and contributions.

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