At the American Magazine Conference in San Francisco yesterday, Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg (who used to work at Google) said these interesting words about advertising, according to a report by Eric Sass in Media Daily News:
“….magazine Web sites and other online publications are in a different line of business from search, Sandberg acknowledged–one that has yet to be effectively monetized. “Where online has been successful is the monetization of search: people know what they’re looking for, they look, they buy, and you can trace what everyone does from that first click to the last. That’s demand fulfillment. What hasn’t been figured out is demand generation.”
Social network sites and magazine sites are ideal candidates for demand generation, Sandberg said, but success depends entirely on the advertising model: “I’m excited about a lot of the content online, because where people spend their time online is the logical place to advertise. The way we’re thinking about monetization is–we’ll look at what people do on our site, and have advertising that is part of the experience.” Here she warned that “interruptive advertising is hard. A better model is advertising that’s integrated into the experience.”
Another way of thinking about this is that advertisers are part of a news/information/social network’s community, and their information is integrated into the content that the community shares. Often, their information is more valuable than traditional journalism. Depends on what the beholder needs at the moment, eh?