Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Advertisers love less anonymity

Revenue at slate.com is up and The Atlantic earned a profit for the first time in decades. Social network sites get much of the credit says paidContent: S
late’s ad growth has appeared to mirror the increased numbers of comments on its stories. “The amount of comments has doubled in the past year, ” Weisberg said. The not-so-secret key to its success was relying on Facebook and other social media sites to encourage less anonymity and more respectable, thoughtful exchanges.” All of which helped to spur more ad spending. And as Facebook rolls out its newer commenting plug-ins available for most media sites big and small, Slate will have a pretty good chance to try to repeat its good fortune with both readers and advertisers.

“Advertisers have gravitated toward the social aspects of the site because past fears of doing so have dissipated,” Alderman said. “The ease of going by people’s real names and addresses makes people act in a more publicly responsible way and the advertisers have loved it.”

The social element has been most important in consolidating Slate’s business, technology and women’s sites. “When Slate started 15 years ago, there were very few female visitors, but that has changed as well.”

Commenting is considered so crucial to Slate’s current identity, there will be new commenting features on the revamped site, as well as its mobile and tablet version will come with a range of sharing options.
My emphasis.

Introspectively, I find that nonanonymouse commenting creates value-added to my web surfing experience. I more likely to linger on a page if I know the comments at that website are good ones. And I'm sure that loss of anonymity increases the quality of comments. Thus it's plausible that loss of anonymity has increased ad revenues via the "respect" channel.

However, surely the really important channel is the information advertisers obtain because of the lack of anonymity. Advertisers are willing to pay more for ads when they can match their product with the desired audience. I struck that the post doesn't mention this channel. Are they afraid to say it in public?

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