November 30, 2006

Admob - contextual ads, education and Google


  Anil Hansjee from Google 
  Originally uploaded by Edublogger.

I was really impressed by the idea behind Admob, that you can for a few cents place adverts which are more of an 'information service' for the people using them. And you can gain attention from them, of course. For education, and for our new online and potentially mobile services in LTS and East Lothian, this is such a powerful tool, to allow us to get onto the spaces and mobile sites used by our teen 'market' and draw them into learning.

Indeed, I wish I had had that idea, and I'm sure Google wish they had got in there, too.

But Google are in there. Even if we don't see that line of mobile contextual advertising online yet it's a matter of time before they copy and paste Admob's idea. Just at the close of the break there I grabbed a word with Doug Richard who also thinks that it can only be a matter of time before the more pervasive Google takes that market away from Admob. It's a question, I guess, of whether advertisers want good quality service or pervasiveness. A tricky equation? Not really.

So, the VCs and the man from Google are on the panel now and should see soon what he makes of it.

Anil from Google says that Google are more interested in partnering with taking over (my cynicism) interesting partners than in owning tonnes of content. So, as if it weren't clear, they don't want content they want to offer services, namely those that link people together - through advertising. So hile Admob is cool, I'm now wondering whether I wait for Google before offering my directed advertised learning on the kids' phones ;-)

Update: One thing is clear from Jonathan Weir (Yahoo), too. Micro earning, micro attention, he feels is the way forward, more than subscriptions. When you concentrate on micro earning of attention you are looking at gaining large numbers dipping in for small amounts. With subscription you are looking for smaller numbers spending more time on your service. In education we probably normally feel we want the latter.

What would the impact be if we started looking at micro-attention - very little and very often - instead of subscription based learning online? It goes against some of the ideals of Extreme Learning, for example, but might offer another interesting flavour to the bouquet.

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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