I read a fair amount about AttentionTrust in the press but almost nothing about the Network Advertising Initiative and this seems strange to me. Maybe this says more about their respective interests in seeking an audience than the audiences interest in hearing their views, but let’s assume not. I think people that think about AttentionTrust a lot are kind of missing the boat here because I have never heard these two organizations mentioned in the same sentence before.
AttentionTrust was the non-profit associate of the Root Market model that advocated people get on the bandwagon and manage and sell their own clickstreams. The problem with this, as I pointed out earlier, is that aggregating all of that data one at a time from consumers is probably too inefficient. What most advertising networks are doing instead is negotiating directly with a publisher.
If you need one million people in a population of TV watchers, would you rather negotiate with one million consumers or negotiate once with TVGuide.com? The approach is confirmed by the off-line corollary which is buying lists. Company-to-company negotiations are more commoditized, so it is easier. The Network Advertising Initiative is the non-profit that is addressing this issue. They advocate for consumers in the context of how companies share on-line data.
AttentionTrust gets a lot of press and interviews for advocating protection of consumer clickstream data, but day-to-day the Network Advertising Initiative and the NAI principles are probably impacting more privacy related activities. Are these groups synced up? I have no idea.
Do I love AttentionTrust’s message? Sure, why not. Am I familiar with what they are doing day-to-day? Nope. Am I sticking my foot in my mouth? Probably. This is basically also true of NAI.
But that is what I am seeing out here in the trenches.
(I must emphasize again that I have an employer, these views do not reflect the views of my employer, I look forward to using this forum to become more educated regarding the myriad topics I am ignorant of, etc.)
P.S. I must also say that Seth Goldstein, the man, the myth, the legend himself, was kind enough to post a comment to clarify Root Market’s model a bit. Obviously, they were smart enough to do the same math I did. I just published it for the world to see my math skillz. He has been kind enough to arrange a get-together when I am in San Francisco next week where I am sure I will get an earful of AttentionTrust, so I will post on fun stuff at that time.
P.P.S. I haven’t posted my “thoughts on other bloggers” post, but I wrote it a few weeks ago. Letting it age like a fine wine. But I have to say that my thoughts on Seth’s blog were right in line with Josh’s critique. I was pretty sure I was just not smart or well-educated enough to understand his renaissance-man style of posting. Looking forward to seeing more frequent and more off-the-cuff posts from Mr. Goldstein.