Trading Desk Controversies

Trading Desk Throwdown: What do marketers know about trading desks, and when did they know it? The debate kicked off by Digiday’s “The Trouble with Trading Desks” sparked a brawl during this week’s OMMA AdNets conference. VivaKi vp of brand relations Mac Delaney and Triggit CEO Zach Coelius went toe-to-toe over the central issue of whether the trading desk model is in conflict with the role of agent. Coelius asserted the trading desk model is “unsustainable.” Delaney said “bullshit” several times to Coelius at one point. At other instances, he denigrated his experience in marketing, including the claim, “I don’t think you understand the space.” The performance raised some eyebrows on Twitter since it’s probably not the image VivaKi wants to project. Still, it’s good to see an agency guy let loose and not hide behind vague jargon. Check out the original story that sparked this important discussion.

The Facebook Era: Man, things move fast in digital media. It was just a couple months ago that Facebook was celebrated as an all-powerful machine that was toppling governments in the Middle East. Now, it’s being treated as an also-ran just because Google came out with a nice social networking play. Robert Cringely is piling on, with a piece that makes that case that Facebook’s reign is coming to a close. Yet instead of jumping on the Google+ bandwagon, Cringely senses a shift away from social media as a whole.

Web Trolls: Everyone can agree on a distaste for Internet trolls. The interesting part is some sites attract more of them than others. It’s mostly a degree of subject matter. Tech matters attract a certain element. I found that advertising brings disgruntled mudslingers out of the woodwork. Anil Dash, a seminal figure in the start of blogging, pins the blame on the sites themselves for not policing what goes on. In some ways, sites fail to do this out of laziness, but a larger inhibitor may be the anything-goes ethos of the Web. Some site owners are hesitant to trample on that out of fear of provoking ire directed at themselves.

Color, the Bubble’s Posterboy: When the book is written on the current crazy tech bubble, Color will most likely have a starring role. In fact, I’d probably use it in the book’s opening anecdote. TechCrunch has word that the overhyped photo-sharing app not only took $40 million in venture capital before launching its befuddling app, but it also turned down a $200 million acquisition offer from Google. That’s crazy all around. And it really calls into question Google’s decsion making.

Twitter Business Model Idea: Twitter CEO Dick Costolo floated the idea that Twitter could be an enabler of commerce. This is, of course, already happening on the service in ways big and small. Costolo mentioned the example of a sports team selling tickets via tweet. But there is all sorts of indirect commerce Twitter could possibly monetize. Imagine if Twitter was able to take any link to a book or movie and turn that into an affiliate link, taking a cut whenever a person on the platform was matched to a product. There’s already simple technology to do so in Viglinks. Is it sketchy? I’d argue not. Users would much rather have their link to a great book seemlessly generate a small commission to Twitter than be overrun with instrusive ads.

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