Paratrooper Digital

Setting up an advertisement server.

As we work on larger and larger projects the inevitable need to work more with cross site advertising becomes more evident. Plenty of sites have their own media kits available, but they rarely contain all of the information needed, at least it seems(except for the big media sellers: yahoo, aol, etc). I took a look at openads to see what it takes to run an ad server. I must say after installing it I was totally impressed. It ultimately is another cms, but a cms devoted to rotating content and providing tons of statistics. There is a ton of workflow devoted to campaign management and its interesting how the advertiser is seperated from the publisher. The publisher role sets multiple zones for sizes and locations of where the ads can be situated. The advertiser can then create new ads to be placed on that site. The publisher can then assign where these ads get placed, assuming the sizes of the ads are the same. Another interesting item is that there is the ability to serve ads up to different geographic locations differently. I’m not sure what it would take to have that driven by a cookie/session variable rather than a request based off ip(especially helpful if people are behind proxy servers), but its an interesting concept none the less. I took a quick look at the openads forums to see what kind of plugin potential it has. There is a new version of openads called Media Media Manager That seems to have some postings related to it about multiple ads That being said if I was building a small site for a small company, openads is probably a bit larger scope than they would be looking for. Looking at flash, you can use it to deliver flash based ads, even alternate content if the proper flash palyer isn’t installed. I have to take a look at how that is setup and whether or not its using scripts like swfobject, but the concept is there. Interesting note, how many times do you see ads within an all flash site? Almost never. I’m sure thats one of those things you never see because its probably a pain to integrate into a site loading system. However, with an ad server plugin, a flash component, and a little externalized configuration; who’s to say it wont be one of those things we’ll see more often. I was able to get my simple test working in about an hour (some overhead for research of course ; including integration into a wordpress driven site (using this plugin). The html was crude, and needs work, but the idea is there, and so are the text ads.
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About Nate Frank

Nate is currently a Senior Presentation Layer Architect at Razorfish Chicago. As an SPLA Nate: participates in technology leadership team and resource allocations, manage fulltime and contractor resources, represents technology for groups of brands across multiple clients, furthers development of standards within the office, architects project implementations and fosters community and mentoring.

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