Articles of the Day

AOL Launches Widget Ad Tool — AOL is launching a new marketing tool that helps publishers make money from ad widgets users can spread across the web. “Once a publisher places a widget on their web site, consumers can grab it and distribute the widget to other locations on the web, including social network pages, desktops and blogs,” says AOL. “The publisher earns revenue for each sale driven by the widget, even if it´s several download-generations away from the publisher’s site.” The new solution uses technology from widget specialist Goowy Media and ad network, two media firms that AOL bought earlier this year. The launch comes as part of AOL’s plan to integrate its ad properties into Platform A. Last week, the Time Warner-owned firm terminated its Tacoda advertising contracts and transferred them to Platform A’s It has also launched a mobile ad-serving tool that lets publishers display ads from third-party networks.

Social Networks Surge On Growing Global Audiences — Facebook and other social networking sites are enjoying rapid growth worldwide thanks to a surge in social media activity outside the U.S., especially in emerging regions. A notable exception is MySpace, which Facebook surpassed in April as the world’s biggest social network. The comScore data roughly parallels findings presented in April by Universal McCann showing online social network membership in countries such as Brazil, Russia, Taiwan, and Mexico growing at more than 70% compared to less than 49% in the U.S.

Google, Others Discuss Their Ad Targeting Secrets; Push For Legislation Is ‘Bipartisan’ — More than a dozen of the 33 companies asked by Congress to describe their behavioral targeting activities say they do not engage in the practice, WaPo reported. But lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle say they’ve seen enough in the responses of those who do target to say that legislation guaranteeing “online privacy bill of rights” will be introduced next year. Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA.), who created the House’s Privacy Caucus 12 years ago, said the law would stipulate that consumers give their consent before companies can legally monitor, collect and share data on their web usage. Speaking on the wide support for a bill that would curb some of that activity, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), the ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is holding the hearings: “A broad approach to protecting people’s online privacy seems both desirable and inevitable.”

Google’s Android Delayed To 2009 — Google’s much anticipated Android open source mobile software and the new devices that support it are expected to be delayed until the first quarter of next year, says Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdry. Originally, Google promised that the new mobile OS would be ready by June but then said its release date had slipped to Q4. Chowdry claims that High Tech Computer (HTC) will not be ready to ship its Android-based smartphone until early next year and this will have an effect on Google’s release date for Android.HTC is reportedly having problems incorporating all the features Google requires for Android device makers and is also, reportedly, having difficulty settling on a minimum revenue guarantee with Google.

Why All The Interest In Russia? Try 10x Online Ad Growth In Next Decade — We’ve definitely noticed increased interest in the Russian internet market, marked notably by Google’s acquisition of a contextual ad firm from Rambler and the planned IPO of Yandex, the of Russia. It’s not hard to figure see what all the fuss is about. A recent report said the Russian online ad sector grew 73 percent last year. Geopolitics aside, the future looks bright too. In a new report, Lehman analyst Viktor Shvets predicts the online ad market there to grow from around $400 million in 2007 to $4 billion by 2017. (If you add other non-Russia Russian speaking states, the total is $5 billion) As a percentage of total ad spend, he predicts it will grow from 4 percent to 13 percent.

Financial Publisher Source Media Restructures Its 60 Mags, Lays Off 20 — Financial content publisher Source Media is reorganizing its roughly 60 magazines and sites into four categories—banking, capital markets, technology and professional services, Folio reported. Editorial staffs will be grouped into each of those four sections. Rolling editors will work across groups, who will be headed by four executive editors. They will all report to American Banker editor-in-chief David Longobardi, who has been named EVP/chief content office and will oversee all Source Media editorial, which also includes Broker magazine and financial municipal finance newspaper The Bond Buyer. Despite the expansive restructuring, only 20 staffers are losing their jobs out of a total 1,000 employees.

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