If you read Jason Kottke’s blog at all, you might know that he spent a year trying to blog full time, financed by donations from both “micro-patrons” and regular joes (and janes), and brought that experiment to a close in February, with what he described at the time as mixed feelings. Now, Jason has joined an advertising group called The Deck, which was set up by online marketing whiz Jim Coudal of Coudal Partners as a kind of specialized, blog-based ad network — one which also includes 37signals.com, A List Apart, Waxy.org, Daring Fireball, The Morning News and (of course) Coudal Partners.
The Deck is an interesting effort. The network describes itself as “The premier advertising network for reaching web and design professionals [which] serves up millions of page views each month and is uniquely configured to connect the right marketers to a targeted, influential audience.” It also has some unusual rules, including that “We wonâ€™t take an ad unless we have paid for and/or used the product or service.” Deck ads are also the only ones that run on a site — no fighting with Google AdSense. And Coudal says the ads aren’t about cost per click or cost per thousand (which just to confuse everyone is referred to as CPM), but are about â€œcost-per-influence.â€
I’m not sure what anyone else out in blog-land thinks, but I think Jim Coudal is pretty smart — and I don’t think that just because he’s coming to our little mesh conference in May (get your seats early, Jason Fried of 37signals is coming too). The Deck sounds like a great way to get a focused advertising buy, without splashing a whole pile of money out on text ads without any clue about who is really seeing them. Jeff Jarvis has written about how the blogosphere needs an open ad marketplace (although Chas Edwards isn’t so crazy about the idea), and one of the elements of that is ad buying that takes account of the audience it is reaching. The Deck seems like a great way of achieving that.