Is he ‘mouse’ trained?

While walking through an innovations plus exhibit hall at CES i was stunned to hear a dog barking at me. I turned to see an adorable computerized grey robot dog (this one’s for you mike) wagging his tail and walking back and forth quite proudly.

His name is “Wrex the Dawg” and, as his owner Benny (representative from WowWee) explained “Wrex has tons and tons of personality”. Three “moods” to be exact; happy, angry, and crazy. Wrex can be programmed to pick his mood at random or his owner can program him using Wrex’s remote control.

Operating on 14-motors, Wrex walks, talks, raises his paw, exhibits full facial animation, and spins his slot machine eyes; overall Wrex is highly interactive. Wrex is designed to look like a junk-yard dog, and with this, his act includes breaking down at times, leaving the owner responsible for reprogram him.

Wrex will be let loose on US markets come early summer. Keep your eyes peeled for Wrex the Dawg on the streets, in parks, in the arms of young hollywood socialites. Or check him and an innovative variety of robot friends out at WowWee.

iShoes!

Just chatted with two representatives from iShoes and watched one of them zoom around the exhibit hall on a pair; the innovative shoes resemble a mini go-cart on each foot and are controlled by a handheld device. Think remote controlled cars for the feet.

Is this another “go green” answer to global warming or a faster way for techies to grab a snack between xbox 360 games?

Look out for these (and possibly a helmet) at www.theishoes.com !!

Greetings from ces!

Jeff and i have been very busy in vegas since arriving here yesterday. Jeff has been meeting up with numerous bloggers from our network and chatting about their experience with chitika. Jeff was happy to find that many of the bloggers he has spoken with over the past two days reported that they were able to leave their regular jobs to start blogging full time. Furthermore, they are able to make a great living doing so.
I spent yesterday visiting exhibits in the north, central, and south halls of the exhibit and today i am exploring the venetian which holds the specialed exhibit; “innovations plus”. So far i have found a great deal of attention has been on hdtv innovations, particularly “anywhere hdtv”; meaning hdtv compatibility for mobile phones and pocket pc’s. Slingplayer, for example, offers this technology.

I attended a presentation yesterday for new kodak “prosumer” digital camera technology; the three featured models (m1033, v1273, and z1085is) offer the most comparable yet SLR technology at a consumer affordable price (ranging $300-$400 instead of the usuall $1000 plus for SLR features). Fyi; “prosumer” is a convergence of “professional” and “consumer”. I expect many prosumers turn to efluencers to make informed buying decisions, or are efluencers themselves.

Ttys!
Tessa

Introducing ChitikaPulse – A Weekly Industry Analysis Report

  

By: Tessa Rudd

Editor-in-Chief

I am thrilled to introduce ChitikaPulse. ChitikaPulse is a weekly publication that highlights emerging trends in online advertising and merchandising in the blogosphere. We will be covering a wide range of topics related to online branding, e-commerce, retail in the long tail and direct merchandising within the blogosphere and the social networks. Over the past five years Chitika has established itself in being the leading blog advertising network. Now, through analyzing queried data from our reporting systems, Chitika will further persevere to additionally serve as a leading measurement resource and data analysis medium for the online marketing industry. In this first edition, we analyzed our network data collected during the 2007 holiday shopping season and summarized the top products. As expected mp3 players were the most popular product on Chitika’s network for the 2007 holiday season. While apple products took the lead as most popular brand among Chitika’s online consumers, unexpectedly the Sansa Flagship SDMX mp3 player beat out the iPod suite (iPod Nano 4gb and iPod Video ranked 3rd and 4th in our top ten line-up). 

Meet in Vegas for the 2008 International CES

Esteemed as the biggest and most innovative consumer electronic showcase, International CES has rounded four decades of success in reaching across global markets, connecting industry ingenuity, and advancing CE innovations. I’ll be at CES with Chitika’s Vice President of Publisher Sales Jeff Sable, eager to catch-up with you this year in Vegas! We want to meet you, hear what we are doing well, what we can do better, and find out how we can help increase your revenues in 2008. Please drop us an email to chitikaces2008(at)chitika(dot)com. Let us know where you will be at CES on January 7th or 8th; so we can grab a coffee and chat!  

-Tessa Rudd, Account Executive – Advertising Media Division

Treasures …: Tweaking ads based on the user [Part 3 of 3]

 

  

By: Mike Axiak

“There’s a world of possibilities with our ads.”

In my last two articles I described how someone using our ads can vary what ads to show depending on who is visiting. For this last article, I’d like to list out what Javascript variables are of use to you and two examples of using them.

Useful JavaScript Variables
Variable Name Description
screen.width The width (in pixels) of the user’s screen.
screen.height The height (in pixels) of the user’s screen.
document.referrer If it exists, the URL the user came from to arrive at this page. (E.g. google)
navigator.appVersion Gives information about the Operating System being used. (E.g. ‘5.0 (X11; en-US)’).
navigator.userAgent Gives information about the browser being used.

You can feel free to use the above variables in any fashion to display the right ads for you.

Varying an eMiniMalls Format

So the first trick using the above JavaScript variables is to change the eMiniMalls format you are using depending on the size of the user’s screen. In the below example, anyone with a large screen gets a 460×180 eMiniMalls format, whereas people with a mid-sized screen get a 300×250 format, while people with a smaller screen are left with a 160×160 format.

<script type="text/javascript">
<!--

/* Example code to vary the eMiniMall format with the
    user's screen size. For a list of formats, go to:
    http://chitika.com/mmformats.php
*/

if (screen.height >= 1024 || screen.width >= 768) {
   /* The user has a large screen, use a large
       eMiniMall format.                                        */
   ch_width = "468";
   ch_height = "180";
} else if (screen.height >= 800 || screen.width >= 600) {
   /* The user has a mid-sized screen, use the 300x250
       eMiniMall format.                                        */
   ch_width = "300";
   ch_height = "250";
} else {
   /* For a small screen, use a 160x160 format. */
   ch_width = ch_height = "160";
}

ch_client = "demo";
ch_default_category = "200001";
//--gt;
</script>
<script type="text/javascript"
       src="http://scripts.chitika.net/eminimalls/mm.js">
</script>

 

Varying how Linx Highlights your page

Suppose you want to run Linx, but you don’t want it to highlight your entire page if they came to your site from within your site. For this example, we’ll suppose that we’re running a site called example.com, and it’s running Chitika | Linx. In addition, for people who are using browsing my site, I only want to highlight words inside the class called ‘entry’.

 

<script type="text/javascript">
<!--

/* Example code to vary the classes Linx highlights
   depending on whether or not they come from example.com.
*/

ch_client = "demo";
ch_includeClasses = "entry";

if ("".length == 0 || String(document.referrer).toLowerCase().indexOf('example.com') == -1) {
    ch_includeClasses = "";
}

//-->
</script>
<script type="text/javascript"
       src="http://scripts.chitika.net/static/linx/chitika_linx.v3.js">
</script>

That’s it. Now anyone going to any of my pages from within my site (or directly) will only see linx highlight inside ‘entry’, which is a section of my pages. For help on generating more typical Linx code, please go to the Linx code panel.
If you have any other ideas on how to use these JavaScript variables in a useful way, please share them in the comments!

Posted by Mike Axiak, Web Developer

Chitika’s Mantra Admitted into the Operating Room

The kitchen is often called the “heart of a home”; here at Chitika our mission statement is the heart of our business. We pride ourselves on our mantra, “Engaging Brands, Bloggers, and Buyers” and believe this statement defines Chitika at the most fundamental level. We identify each participating element of our objective, the brand, blogger, and buyer, as being imperative in the eminence of our business.

In accordance, we accredit our success in making advertising work on blogs to our ability to functionally engage brands, bloggers, and buyers. Chitika often boasts verticals to outline the power of our networks, numbers such as 1 billion monthly impressions and 15 million unique monthly visitors. I argue that these raw statistics steal the spotlight from the pivotal “middle-player” in our mission statement equation; the blogger, or as I have newly-defined as of late, the e-fluencer.

So far I have sanctioned Chitika’s mission statement to be the heart of our business; I will now take this metaphor into the operating room. In dissecting the Chitika heart, our valued bloggers, or e-fluencers, serve as the muscular pump, the ventricles, that keep the blood circulating through the body. As the left side of the heart pumps oxygen-rich blood (Chitika ad units/brands), the right side receives blood that is low in oxygen (ie; publisher sites without Chitika ad units) from the veins and pumps it to the lungs to be re-oxygenated (ie; Chitika ad unit code placed on the publisher site). The blood then can circulate other organs in the body, or for the purpose of our metaphor, reach potential buyers. The Chitika heart pumps through engaging brands, bloggers, and buyers; without our valued bloggers this continous circulation, or equation, would cease!

By Tessa Rudd – Account Executive- Advertising Media Division, Chitika, Inc.

E-Competition in E-Commerce Yields E-Prosperity

  

By: Tessa Rudd

“Are you an online or in-store shopper?”

It’s been just days since Christmas and MSN is already harping on the “economic gloom and doom” of 2007’s holiday shopping season. Similarly, The Washington Post recently carried the morose headline “Holiday Spending Growth at a 5-Year Low”. A major—and missing—facet in MSN and The Washington Post’s economical narrative is the analogously reported increase in online shopping and the success of e-commerce this holiday season. Michael McNamara, Vice President for Research and Analysis at MasterCard Advisors, announced, “online shoppers led the growth in spending, with internet sales gaining 22 percent from Nov. 23 through Dec. 24.” Forbes.com, Nielsen Online, Time Warner, and BizReports concurrently announced this success for e-commerce; all sources citing ‘convenience’ as being the dominant factor driving online holiday shopping. Forbes.com’s report on “EBay’s Holiday Season Success,” included a statement from eBay’s Dean of Education, Jim Griffith, describing that “internet shopping has become increasingly convenient and consumers are more comfortable than ever buying products on the Web. Thus, shoppers are more likely to shop online for their holiday needs.”  Nielsen Online further analyzes this determined online shopping ‘convenience’ in a recent News Release, breaking the appeal into four subcategories; the ability to shop anytime during the day, the ability to comparison shop, the ability to find products easily, and saving time. Examining their online partner AOL, Time Warner reported that “ninety-five percent of AOL shoppers find online shopping easier and more convenient because the cyberstores are always open…The most popular time to shop on AOL is the “prime-time” usage hours of 8:00 p.m to 10 p.m.” 

As AOL’s data explicitly indicates, with one third of shopping channel traffic occurring during this evening prime-time, a time in which ‘brick and mortar’ stores are closed, e-commerce can only outshine off-line shopping. BizReport attributes the overall online shopping experience as being the chief factor enticing shoppers to the Web. Barbara Staid, President of Safe Home Products explains in this December 2007 BizReport that shoppers go online for, “research purposes,” and, “using consumer shopping engines or on-site sections with consumer reviews is a good idea.” Hat’s off to a great holiday season e-commerce!

But with the new year fast approaching, what’s ‘in store’ for 2008 when it comes to online shopping? E-Commerce revenues have climbed considerably and consistently over the years. This is thanks to an ever-expanding e-marketplace of e-tailers all made possible by improved technological utility and an increasing number of online shoppers. I contend that this trend will continue. CIBC World Markets analyst Malindi Davies affirms a bright future for e-commerce, indicating, “improvements in customer experience across the e-commerce landscape should ‘spur the ongoing secular shift to online retail spend,’” adding “that under current macroeconomic conditions e-commerce companies may see some margin pressure as competition increases,” (Forbes.com, 11.27.07). BizReport’s findings that shoppers turn online for “research purposes,” namely the ability to compare one product to another, add meat to Davie’s projections for the future of e-commerce; increased competition of retailers means shoppers have the ability to research and make informed and individually customized buying decisions.

E-commerce offers a quintessential platform for comparative, research-based shopping. Chitika’s ad units emulate this shopping model, enabling comparative shopping through our interactive product search engines as well as with our multi-product ad units. Competition is certainly crucial in any marketplace. The future for online shopping—in 2008 and beyond—is bright and shines through MSN’s reported “economical gloom and doom”. Increased e-competition in e-commerce will yield continued e-prosperity!

By Tessa Rudd – Account Executive – Advertising Media Division, Chitika Inc.

Your votes & your favorite Chitika money-maker

  

By: Karla Escolas

“How could you possibly know unless you ask”

Similar to the Nintendo Wii being 2007’s most-wanted item, according to your poll votes, the Chitika | Linx was this year’s most popular CPC ad unit for our publishers. Linx is an in-text ad unit that automatically identifies key products/keywords on your page to hyperlink (double underline) to interactive paid (CPC-based) product listings.

Linx stole the show this shopping season for 3 reasons:

1. Incremental revenue- Earn more revenue without taking up more space.

2. Keyword driven- You choose the ads so it will be more effective.

3. Linx has the the looks- A makeover for the ad unit and it’s code panel made setup more manageable and Linx more attractive on your pages. Love at first sight? Linx before & after. Last year our RPU ad unit was a huge success story and continues to be. I wonder what it will be next year, we are always up to something 😉

Product ideas/requests? Jump into our product forum discussions.

The Hottest Item of 2007

 

  

By: Jacqueline Clemens

“You mean Elmo wasn’t the most popular?”

Every year, right before the holidays there’s always one special item that everyone wants. The stores sell out and news breaks of people fighting for the last ones available in the malls. The iPod family dominated as the hottest gadget that everyone wanted in 2006. But it seems this year the spotlight wasn’t on just one single product, it was more like a group of items all working together nicely for their fair share of attention. Which of these items do you think lead the pack of 2007’s hottest items?

  HDTV
  Nintendo Wii
  Ipod Nano Video
  Xbox 360
  GPS
  Digital Photo Frames
  Other (I will comment)