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in-image

GumGum’s Back from Digiday’s Digital Publishing Summit

Digiday’s Digital Publishing Summit is an invite-only networking event that functions as a sort of “state of the industry” event for online publishers and the vendors that serve them. The most recent Summit, held from October 23-26 in Bonita Springs, Florida, was “Restoring Power To The Publisher”. Our Director of Network Development, Greg Pritchard was onsite for the conference.

Since many publishers have in recent years felt technologically “outgunned” by the rapid advance of data-driven real-time bidding for online advertising, the Summit highlighted innovative ways that publishers can leverage data to build their audience and drive revenue. On Day 1, Alvin Fong of Internet Brands, a GumGum partner, explained how IB has leveraged data provider eXelate‘s solution to improve the targeting of online ad units across their network of hundreds of automotive enthusiast sites.

On day 2, we had the opportunity to present to the summit, providing attendees with an introduction to how publishers are using GumGum and in-image advertising to monetize their photos. The presentation was delivered in a fast-paced format known as “Pecha Kucha“, where the presentation must be exactly 20 slides in length and each slide appears for exactly 20 seconds. OnSwipe, a tablet website platform and Outbrain, a content promotion platform also delivered Pecha Kucha presentations during the segment, which was dubbed “Cool Tools For Publishers”. Definitely a fitting description of GumGum! The demonstration of our in-image ad unit and targeting capabilities garnered a lot of interest from the attendees, prompting thought-provoking questions from publishers as diverse as Hearst Newspapers, Federated Media, IDG Enterprise, and Gossip Center.

Coinciding with the announcement about GumGum’s Series B funding announcement, the Summit felt like a real “coming of age” moment for in-image advertising. The space has reached a major inflection point and is thoroughly socialized among major advertisers, publishers, and users. It’s clear that in-image advertising will continue to play a major role in the online advertising ecosystem in the years to come, and DPS was the perfect venue to spread the word on how publishers can drive meaningful revenue with this “cool” new ad unit.

See you in March DPS!

Q&A with Ken Weiner, CTO on Scalable Advertising, Ubuntu, LA.com and Saxophone

Let me introduce Ken Weiner, GumGum’s Chief Technology Officer. Ken brings over a decade of information technology expertise to lead his team in product architecture, implementation and company operations. He leverages Amazon EC2, Hadoop and HBase to build GumGum’s scalable in-image ad server. Ken’s love for technology brings him to conferences and groups like CTO Forum, Los Angeles Hadoop Users Group and Thursday Lunch, that he organizes to bring together local Santa Monica startups every Thursday. Follow Ken @kweiner and @ThursdayLunch.

How did you get into online advertising?
My first exposure to online advertising was with my previous company LowerMyBills.com. They were one of the largest, top 10 I think, advertisers online in terms of total spend. At GumGum, I got deep into online advertising as we shifted our business from a pay-per-impression image licensing platform to an in-image advertising network.

What do you love about in-image advertising?
Building something that hasn’t been done before. I enjoy the challenge of creating technology that can intelligently pair advertisements with images. The key is understanding what images are all about at scale. There are billions of image impressions on the web each month so the opportunity is enormous.

What’s the best tip you could give publishers to optimize their images for increased traffic?
Make sure each image is equipped with alt or title text that describes the contents of the image. Also try to use images that are at least 300 pixels wide on pages that get the most traffic. Larger, and often higher paying, advertisements only fit on larger images.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside the office?
I enjoy playing the tenor saxophone in small jazz groups and big bands.

You’re on a desert island with only a computer, what software do you bring with you?
Ubuntu

What’s your favorite GumGum publisher?
We have a lot of great publishers, but I’ll go with LA.com, a guide to arts, news, and entertainment, in and around Los Angeles where I live, work, and play.

Where do you hope to see GumGum in 5 years?
I’d like to see GumGum present online wherever there are images – a household name among web publishers.

What word best describes GumGum?
Hungry. We want to succeed and we love to eat!

Have questions for Ken about publisher tips, in-image advertising or how he built our scalable ad server? Comment them below and he’ll get back to you.

Turn your 2011 MTV Video Music Awards Celebrity Images into Lucrative Experiences

Last night, the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards broadcasted live to over 12.4 million people around the world. Eyes were glued to the star-studded performance lineup, including Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s performances ending with a pregnancy announcement and Chris Brown’s show-stopping aerobatics performance. Today, viewers are scouring entertainment and gossip websites for the best picture of their favorite celebrity or eye-grabbing VMA moment.

By using GumGum in-image advertising, this gossip-worthy image of pregnant Beyoncé on the VMA’s Red Carpet last night can be turned from an ordinary static image on your website into a targeted in-image advertisement that makes you revenue.

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Learn more about GumGum and how to turn your images into lucrative, interactive user experiences here.

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