Aardvark Daily aardvark (ard'-vark) a controversial animal with a long probing nose used for sniffing out the facts and stimulating thought and discussion.

NZ's leading source of Net-Industry news and commentary since 1995
Australasia's "New Economy" News And Commentary Site
Headlines | XML feed | Contact | New Sites | Press Bin | Job Centre | News Search | For Sale
Note: This column represents the opinions of the writer and as such, is not represented as fact
Net Ratings -- Who Cares? 7 February 2002 Edition
Previous Edition

Million $ Ideas
At last, the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook are revealed for all to see!
Click To See
According to recent reports (IDG), local online publishers are lamenting the demise of the independent Web rating service previously offered by AC Nielsen.

It appears that they're scrambling to try and find some kind of replacement service to fill the void that has been left.

I suspect that the desire to do so is driven by a perception that they must adopt the standards and practice of broadcast and print publishers -- but is this really necessary?

Need Cutting-Edge Copy?
As NZ's longest-running online commentator, I'm looking for extra syndication opportunities for this daily publication -- or I'm happy to write casual or regular material specifically to order for print or Net-based publications. If you're interested, drop me a line

I have to wonder whether there really is a need for "online ratings" services.

After all, as we learnt in the dot-com crash of 2000, the size of your audience means far less than the sensibility of your business model. Some of the most popular sites came crashing down when it became apparent that they had no formula for converting eyeballs to revenue.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
Nothing Yet
Have Your Say

And, unfortunately for online publishers, the huge breadth, volume and ready accessibility of online information has made the ad-funded publishing model a real lame duck. It was proven many times over that, even when ad-sales are strong, it is still very common for the cost of producing and delivering a page to a visitor to be higher than the revenue it can produce from advertising.

The services offered by companies such as AC Nielsen are valuable when you're dealing with a medium such as radio or TV -- simply because the publisher/broadcaster has no other way of determining just how many people they're reaching.

The Net is a whole different beast however, and one of its major strengths, from the perspective of an advertiser, is its ability to provide a very accurate indication as to the size of the audience reached.

Of course it's not only raw volumes of audience that are important to advertisers -- they also want to know how many "qualified" prospects they are reaching. In the broadcast area, this type of targeting can be quite difficult to achieve without the type of demographic material provided by the ratings companies but on the Net it's nowhere near as hard.

Information on the Internet tends to be far more precisely stratified than it is in a newspaper or on TV/radio.

For instance, you can bet your bottom dollar that almost everyone who visits this site has an interest in the Internet, and there's a better than even chance that they're employed in the industry.

By comparison, there's no similar way of telling how many people watching the 6 pm news on TV1 are workers in the local Net industry -- unless you call on the services of the ratings companies.

Then there's the information that can be delivered by the ad-servers which deliver online advertising to your screen. If properly configured, they can tell exactly how many people saw an advertisement and how many of those actually responded by clicking. That's the type of information that just can't be gathered from any other medium.

What publishers should be doing perhaps is using an independent ad-serving organisation whose records are regularly audited. This company could then provide advertisers with the effective audience of those sites to which it served ads, and it could also provide an unbiased report on the effectiveness of that advertising.

Perhaps such an organisation ought to be set up as a not-for-profit operation by the same consortium of online publishers that are planning to meet shortly.

I'm sure the advertising agencies would just love to have a single, consistent point of placement for their clients -- saving them the hassle of dealing (at a technical and creative level) with several different publishers.

It would also be quite nice to have a system where advertisers could throw a percentage of their placements into a pool operated by this organisation, and for which different publishers could bid so as to fill gaps in their inventory. Such a system would be a win-win for both advertiser and publisher.

Then there's the issue of why on earth advertisers and online publishers are still using plain, flat, one-way advertising in the form of banner and display placements. Good grief -- we're dealing with the most interactive mass-media ever developed, yet everyone still treats it like a piece of shiny paper or a slow TV broadcast.

Of course banner/display ads don't work, no matter how irritating, intrusive and annoying you make them. Why on earth don't we see some creative thinking out there? I have a list of suggestions as long as your arm as to how online advertising can be more interactive and engaging -- and therefore more effective.

Maybe these ideas won't float -- after all, I can't admit to being an "expert" in the field. The most popular online publication I've every created and operated only got 2 million hits a day ;-)

It's Still Free -- So Pay Up!
Every month, Aardvark scores over half a million hits, at least 150K page views and delivers more than 6GB of data to visitors.

All this traffic has meant that I've had to shift the site to a new server to ensure that your daily dose is always fresh and delivered to your browser with minimal delays.

I also invest over 300 hours per year writing the daily column and compiling the day's news index -- all for your illumination and entertainment.

If you haven't sent any money to help offset the costs of running this ad-free, 100% Kiwi, always fresh, often controversial site then you can give yourself the warm-fuzzies this Christmas by doing so now.

Just drop by, click on the Aardvark, and hand over your loot.

Add Aardvark To Your Own Website!
Got a moment? Want a little extra fresh content for your own website or page?

Just add a couple of lines of JavaScript to your pages and you can get a free summary of Aardvark's daily commentary -- automatically updated each and every week-day.

Aardvark also makes a summary of this daily column available via XML using the RSS format. More details can be found here.

Contact me if you decide to use either of these feeds and have any problems.

Did you tell someone else about Aardvark today? If not then do it now!

There are 2 new Vacancies (14 January 2002) In The Job Centre

There are 14 Domain Names for sale

Security Alerts
BlackIce Firewalls Vulnerable To DOS Attack NewsBytes - 6/02/2002)

MIRC Chat Users Vulnerable To New Attack (NewsBytes - 4/02/2002)

'Dangerous' hole discovered in Morpheus (ZDNet - 4/02/2002)

Admins asked to check buggy line printer daemons (AAP - 08/11/2001)

Virus Alerts
Gigger worm can format Windows PCs (The Reg - 11/01/2002)

Happy New Year' worm hits Windows (ZDNet - 19/12/2001)

E-mail worm Gokar spreading (CNet - 13/12/2001)

Bookmark This Page Now!


NZL Sites
NZ Netguide
NZ Herald Tech
PC World NZ
NZOOM Technology WordWorx

AUS Sites
Fairfax IT
Australian IT
AFR Tech
AUS Netguide
NineMSN Tech
APC Magazine

USA Sites
CNNfn Tech
Yahoo Tech
ZDNet Tech
USA Today Tech
7am.com SciTech

UK Sites
The Register
BBC SciTech


The Day's Top News
Open in New Window = open in new window
New Zealand

Open in New Window Kiwi carrier fails to impress
THE Commonwealth Bank of Australia's internet and telecommunications platform has been hit by severe service problems throwing a shadow over CBA's $500 million contract with newcomer to Australia, Telecom Corp of New Zealand...
Australian IT

Open in New Window Getting into the click takes time
Companies are learning how to capture internet surfers' attention, despite continued uncertainty over the value of online advertising...
NZ Herald


Open in New Window Linux security auditing to get a boost
A government-funded initiative aims to organize the efforts of critical code reviewers and boost the frequency with which programmers critique the code of others...

Open in New Window Unrippable' Music CD? Impossible, Experts Say
Digital music still has a big future online, but the concept of an "unrippable" music CD is a pipe dream, according to a panel of industry experts at the Digital Media Summit conference...

Open in New Window BlackIce Firewalls Vulnerable To DOS Attack
The popular BlackIce Defender and BlackIce Agent personal Internet firewall programs are vulnerable to a denial-of-service attack that could render many home users defenseless against further assaults...

Open in New Window Microsoft game is a code-eating battle
Coders around the world will be flexing their digits over the coming weeks in an effort to write software whose sole purpose is to propagate across the Internet and battle similar pieces of code to the deat...

Open in New Window Job seekers search at Google
The enormously popular Internet search engine also happens to be one of the few dot-com companies that is still expanding its staff--and word has gotten out...


Open in New Window Microsoft says Australia is falling behind
Microsoft has told the Federal Government that Australia is falling behind in its use of the next generation of high-speed Internet services, calling for "bold political decisions", including an investigation into broadband pricing...

Open in New Window Net gambling ban a failure, casino operators say
Casino operators say the federal government's prohibition on internet gambling is failing, with Australian punters flocking to use unregulated offshore gaming sites...


Open in New Window MS chief lashes out at German Free Software petition
A petition lobbying for the use of Free Software in the German Bundestag has rattled Microsoft Germany sufficiently for the company to retaliate...
The Register

Open in New Window Office Depot Offers Direct Mail Marketing Via Web
Coming sooner or later to your mailbox: direct mail from local businesses who can use the Internet to put together advertising messages as slick as those used by big catalog marketers...

Open in New Window 'Hyperthreading' boosts Intel chips
Intel's "hyper-threading" technology for boosting chip performance will debut soon with its first server versions of the Pentium 4 chip, the chipmaker said Wednesday...

Open in New Window DivXNetworks licenses MPEG format to Fraunhofer
In what looks to be a case of selling sand to Saudi Arabia, DivXNetworks Inc said yesterday it has licensed its controversial DivX MPEG-4-based video technology to...
The Register

Open in New Window Center Helps Those Hooked on Internet
Tracy Weiss had binged in her early 20s and was using destructive behavior to hide from memories of physical and sexual abuse...

Looking For More News or Information?

Search WWW Search Aardvark

Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2001, Bruce Simpson, republication rights available on request

jet engine page