Friday, March 18, 2005

Content Directions Goes for Contextual Marketing Links for Ads: Is a Feature Enough?

Kudos to Content Directions Inc., which has announced the first client for a new service that CDI is implementing to bring rich linking to online ads. The new CDI feature uses their now-familiar pop-up categorized link capability to display a hierarchical directory of pages available from an advertiser's Web site when you mouse over their ad (try this on the sidebar ad on this page to get a flavor). I appears that CDI had the sense to realize that a large part of their value proposition was not necessarily the permanence of its Digital Object Identifier (DOI) archival link capabilities but rather the ability to keep a catalog of current information contextual to those links up to date in an effective and centralized manner. Contextuality being what advertising is all about, this seems to be a natural and powerful fit. It's a little like having a department store directory at your fingertips rather than just a front door or a specific department, empowering a user to choose the click destination that meets their immediate needs best. This most likely will make those click-throughs highly valuable to advertisers, which should boost CDI revenues. Given that DOIs are not yet a burning success in the content marketplace, it's important to have a powerful contextual feature put to revenue-generating use. But it is just a feature, and it's vulnerable to players such as Google, which has just announced its own AdLinks feature to its AdSense program to provide more contextual value to advertisers [news coverage from Search Engine Journal]. Like many content technology players CDI is feeling its way towards more valuable and monetizable content plays, learning that content in the moment may be much more monetizable than content for perpetuity's sake.
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