Text Ads Behind the Firewall

“Eric [Schmidt] had a great quote the other day. He said, ‘When we said all of the world’s information, we meant all.’ So that means FORTUNEs from the 1930s, TV content…there’s very little content we’re not interested in.”

Of course, the more material that can be searched means more opportunities for Google to place ads next to those search results.

The above from a Fortune article on Google got me thinking: what about text ads behind-the-firewall, at work? Sure, that’s kind of like Text Ad Taboo now-a-days (business allowing other business inside their walls to make cash), but only seemingly.

At our work, there’s advertising all around:

  • The TV in the breakroom always tuned to some news channel…with ads.
  • The Coke machines in the breakroom and elsewhere with their big ads for Coke, C2, and whatever else.
  • All the logos and company names on products.
  • All the advertising we see on web pages when try to search for the impossible.

In short, we’re surrounded by ads at work.

Piggybacking on Intranet RSS and Search

So, adding to the idea of adding RSS feeds to existing middleware products (as Baus summed up my post)…when you get all those RSS feeds, you have “more material” to put Text Ads next to. You just somehow have to figure out a way to allow companies to allow you put Text Ads in there: perhaps sharing in the profits just like I share in the profits of having Google Text Ads on my weblog.

Using Text Ads for Internal Advertising

Indeed, if you applied Text Ads behind the firewall, there’s more, new things you could do:

  • Sell ads internally. Different departments, teams, projects, whoever, could buy ads to advertise themselves internally. At large companies, broadcasting that you exist and what you do internally (never mind externally) can be a challenge. I’m not sure you would use real money to sell the ads. Probably something akin to “blue money.” The “KeyMatch” feature of the Google mini seems to do this.
  • More effectively get internal announcements and news out. Most intranet sites at large companies have news articles about goings on at the company. But, you have to go to the intranet sites and read the news. Instead, if these news items were laced in as Text Ads, they’d show up next to relevant feeds and searches that employees subscribed to and read. Meaning, that the employees who “should” be reading those news items would have a higher chance of reading them.

The Headhunters are Already There

There are, of course, problems with ads that the Business wouldn’t want employees to see: ads to join unions, ads for headhunters, or other ads that would be perceived as damaging the business.

The problem with that line of thought is that employees (as outlined above) are already saturated with ads, and they’ll just be seeing more of them in the future. In the information-worker business (and, increasingly in any other line of work in America), businesses that filter their employees information flow just end up looking stupid and clueless.

When it comes to the free-flow of information, what’s good for the goose is (probably) good for the gander.

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  1. I think the idea of an internal market for ads sounds great. What department in most companies of any size likes to communicate the most? Human Resources. So they’ll shoot their ‘blue money’ budget quick on benefits meetings announcements and cafeteria plan reminders. Then, to post more ads, they’ll need to sell some ads in their feeds. If compensation is based on eyeballs then the HR feed would need to be useful, which would be welcome and unusual. ;)

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