Blog Archives

Digital Tracking = Money in the Bank

Greetings DMIers. In tomorrow’s class, we’ll first review your product logos, then we’ll revisit one of the monetization techniques we discussed last week: collecting information from consumers in their digital spaces.

This digital tracking is a business model that generates lots of money for companies, and it’s a legitimate business model for you to consider for your startup. It’s sometimes called infomediary, but the outcome is more commonly known as remarketing.

As we all know, there is no such thing as privacy if you’re a user of digital products like websites, social media channels, web-connected TVs or other smart devices that may fall under the Internet of Things (what Fast Company terms Privacy Hell). Ever used Tinder? The company has lots of data on you; 800 pages in the case of this journalist from The Guardian.

We’re going to explore how you are being tracked digitally, the types of data collected, who is tracking you and what you can do about it. We’ll do this by diving into Facebook’s data collection practices to start with.

If you’re interested in learning how this tracking works in the larger digital context and methods to try to protect yourself, check out these sources:

Please share in the comments if you have other resources you think students in the class should consider on this topic.


Photo by Fancycrave from Pexels

How in the world should I price that ad?

Greetings DMSers. One of the big conundrums with our digital media startup business plans is the revenue section. Most of you are using advertising in some way as a revenue source. Advertising is appropriate as long as its implemented in effective ways that do not turn off members of your market.

There are many details that you’ll need to think through in terms of your advertising plans. Some of those topics include:

  • What types of advertising will you use?
  • Where in your product will those ads appear?
  • In the case of sponsored content, how are you going to be transparent to your market in the labeling of these paid-for spots?
  • How much are you going to charge for each category of ad you’re going to sell?

To help get us started on that last bullet, take a look at some of these resources:

  • Quirk’s Online Advertising Guide: this is helpful to think of the different areas, sizes and options in web pages for advertising.
  • Digiday’s 2013 article showing how much it costs to run certain types of ads on well-known sites.
  • Promise Media offers a section identifying how to develop online ad rates, rates cards and more.
  • Association Media Publishing has a great list of key terms you need to be familiar with in the online advertising area. Some of these terms are also covered in Briggs but not all of them.

We’ll chat more about this in class as we continue to develop our business plans.


Is that a news story or a paid ad?

Good Mornings DMSers. We started a great discussion yesterday about corporate journalism, branded journalism and sponsored content. Just to make it more interesting, let’s also throw in these terms: content marketing and native advertising.

At our next class session, we’re going to continue this discussion by examining content samples to help differentiate these terms and to understand how they might apply to your digital media startups. Additionally, we’re going to dive into some of the ethical questions being discussed in news and PR circles on these topics.

Let’s also touch on this from a reader’s perspective: Can they differentiate between news and ads in the digital space? Does it even matter?

One of the sites we’ll examine is the Richmond Standard. As you’ll see in the following links, there are various points of view on this Chevron project:

A Chevron PR website pretends to be an objective news source, published in the Los Angeles Times.

Corporate Journalism is better than no journalism, a guest post published in PRNewser.

This article, which does not address the Chevron project, also sheds some interesting light on these topics:

What does the rise of brand journalism mean? For one thing, it means journalists have to up their game, published in GigaOm. I strongly recommend you dive into the hyperlinks within this piece.

I’m really looking forward to this conversation. Enjoy the articles.


GeekWire’s Todd Bishop Visits Monday

Good morning DMSers.

Our guest speaker Monday, October 14 is Todd Bishop. He’s a member of our News Hall of Fame and one of the founders of GeekWire.

Todd is going to discuss:

  • His career path from writing for The Orion to founding a startup company.
  • How he made the decision to create GeekWire and the process by which the company came to life.
  • The pros and cons of being an entrepreneur.

He’s also going to be taking questions — start contemplating all those questions you have about business models and generating revenue, growing a startup company’s market, leveraging your skills on the job-hunt trail, etc.

Following Todd’s visit we’ll also discuss our midterm and the marketing section of your business plan assignment.