Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

A New Scheme to Get Web Surfers to Stay Put: Photos

Thanks for visiting! Hey! Where are you going?

That’s a common refrain for most Web publishers, who see readers stop by their sites for a very brief looksee, then bounce away, drawn by a new link. And it’s one of the reasons publishers are so smitten with the idea of apps, which promise to keep readers corralled.

But even if single-publication apps really take off (I’m skeptical), the Web isn’t going away. Which means publishers are constantly searching for new honeypots to keep their users on their sites.

Here’s a new one, from Brand Affinity Technologies: A scheme that turns photos on a publisher’s site into a menu of widgets that offer related information. So a photo of LeBron James, for instance, will offer up readers a Twitter stream, YouTube collection and other data feeds about the sports star.

Ideally, the widgets are supposed to give surfers more reason to stick around and spend time on the site; BAT sells ads adjacent to the widgets and shares revenue with the publishers.

Easier to show than tell, so here are two clips that demonstrate how the tech works:

If you want to see for yourself, check out the New York Daily News, Fox Sports and some Hearst sites, all of which are supposed to be using the technology today.

If this works, it will be a nice new revenue stream for BAT, whose core business is marrying sports starts with digital marketing campaigns. The company, which says it did $30 million last year, is run by brothers Chad and Ryan Steelberg, who are best known as the guys who sold radio ad startup dMarc to Google (GOOG) for $102 million in 2006 (Update: BAT wants us to know that Google ended up paying more than $400 million after factoring earnouts.)

[Image credit: brainware3000]

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik