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> Zedo Ad-Serving Technology Puts Consumers
Technology Puts Consumers in Control
By Sarah J. Heim
July 23, 2001
Web Surfers Choose the Types of Banners
They Want and Don't Want
Web surfers are used to being in control: They
pick the content they want to read, listen to
the MP3s that suit their tastes and chat online
with like-minded Netizens. But when it comes to
banner ads, consu-mers have had little say in
the kinds of ads delivere d to them.
All this might change as San Francisco-based
Zedo turns the ad-serving model on its ear. Rather
than collecting data on users' behavior or making
guesses about which ads might inter est Web surfers,
the 4-month-old company is handing the ad-serving
reins to consumers.
"On the Internet, each person is in control of
his or her own destiny," said Zedo president and
CEO Roy de Souza. "So we said to ourselves, 'Let's
ask the consumers what [ads] do they want?' "
Zedo's ad-serving technology runs on the client
side, which means that Zedo does not gather or
store data about individual users like ad-serving
giants DoubleClick and Engage do. The company
has developed two products specifically for Web
publishers, edgeServing and self Targeting.
EdgeServing is an ad-delivery infrastructure,
whereas selfTargeting is the technology that p
uts the consumer in the driver's seat. SelfTargeting
can be used with the edgeServing infrastructure
or with other existing ad-serv ing technologies.
When a user visits a selfTargeting-enabled site,
a pop-up menu asks the user to select an ad channel.
These channels most often consist of the publisher's
most saleable inventory, such as ads fr om the
automotive, music and electronics industries.
After a user picks one of the channels --say
automotive-- the individual will then only see
car ads. Along with giving the power of selection
to the user, selfTargeting also enables Web sites
t hat have high reach, yet a disparate user base
--such as chat and news pages-- to pinpoint users'
interests without relying on compl ex cookie-based
Zedo recently signed a deal with the ezboard
community Web site. Earthlink and RealNetworks
are currently testing the new product.