I love Junior Hines blog. He rarely lets on what he is thinking, but the drift you get from reading the things he finds interesting tell you what a star he is. But I absolutely love this statement:
Putting banner ads on a social networking site was more or less bolting on a scalable advertising system onto a site with massive traffic, regardless of the fit with the product experience.
While I think, at some level, this is certainly true, I also think that Facebook never really tried to make it work. The reason that their ad platform is better is because they are using their data, but they would never share that data with third parties. If you wanted relevant ads that performed well on your site, why never share? For the ad networks they worked with, every impression was the 500th ad some guy has seen on the site and he hasn’t clicked on anything yet and we aren’t optimistic about the future. Of course the ads they have to show are going to perform poorly.