Archive for February, 2012

Lijit’s parent company FMP and Zemanta join forces to bring publishers and brands together


Lijit’s parent company Federated Media Publishing recently announced a conversational marketing partnership with Zemanta that will provide publishers with a plug-in to create brand-sponsored content in real-time.

We’re excited to bring this news to Lijit publishers, particularly because Zemanta’s existing tools can be used in conjunction with Lijit’s analytics and reader engagement tools to create more compelling content. Zemanta automatically connects publishers with helpful external content such as images (over 200 million available), links to articles, and terms.  It’s a publisher’s research and distribution tool – guiding publishers to related content based on what you are currently writing about, and suggesting related articles created by Zemanta users when they are semantically relevant.

Over 80,000 online publishers and bloggers use Zemanta – from small niche bloggers to bloggers at CNN and Forbes – so check them out and download today!

Rethinking the online advertising ecosystem: from a publisher’s viewpoint


Walter Knapp, COO of Lijit Networks and SVP of Platform Revenue at Federated Media Publishing, recently wrote an article for ad industry publication Adotas on how changes in the online advertising ecosystem have affected independent publishers. A snippet of the article is included below. To read the rest of the article, please check it out online.

ADOTAS –  The online advertising market is booming. The display market in particular is likely to have hit $9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011 – a growth spurt that even on a steep chart looks like a right angle. That’s the good news. The bad news, from a publisher perspective, is that much of that spend is consolidated by a relatively small number of companies (Facebook, Yahoo!, AOL, Google, and Microsoft). This condensing ad spend runs counter to what the internet is about and why we as consumers spend so much of our time immersed in it.

What does this mean for high-quality, independent, niche and professional publishers that make up the majority of the web? Why are those publishers, authors, creators and curators of some of the best authentic, informational and entertaining content struggling for their fair share of the economics? It’s one of those things that’s simple to understand conceptually, and yet difficult to solve both at the same time.

What do you think? Please feel free to post a comment below or send Walter an email directly.

My Breakfasts with Jerome


A few weeks ago a friend of mine and a friend of Lijit’s lost his battle with cancer.  They say success has many fathers, but Jerome can certainly claim an important role in making Lijit a success.  Jerome was the first institutional investor in Lijit when he was at High Country Ventures.

I got to know Jerome while I was still at Raindance and through the final years of my involvement at Raindance we would often meet for breakfast to discuss my many crazy ideas.  When I started Lijit, Jerome helped me formulate some of the ideas and strategies and when our Angel round of financing needed a little more investment fuel he led High Country into a $200K investment.

Jerome was a tough business guy, and like a lot of tough business guys he had his fans and otherwise.   I was always in the fan category.  When he had something constructive to add around the board table he would add it.  When he didn’t he wouldn’t.  Jerome was a consummate professional.

A few years ago Jerome moved on to San Francisco and Crosslink Capital.  I pitched Crosslink for a late stage investment round but my style didn’t mesh with the other partners at Crosslink.   I believe humility is the best tool as a CEO, but as Jerome counseled me after the fact, that style can appear weak – especially to a Valley VC expecting “ego” to be plentiful.  We found our investment somewhere else but nearly every time I was in San Francisco over the last two years I would meet Jerome for breakfast at the Meridian Hotel near his office.  He always had helpful advice on business and we had great discussions about taking our favorite cars to the track to go fast.

I’m not a friend maker (or collector) by nature.  But I counted Jerome as one of them.

Federated Media Publishing launches Tech Blog


We are excited to announce Federated Media Publishing’s new Tech Blog. With FMP’s recent acquisition of Lijit Networks, technology has come to the forefront of the company’s business strategy and the new blog will share details about current and future technology initiatives.

Employees across FMP will lift the curtain and talk about the high level technology behind FMP’s advertiser and publisher products and services.  As Tim Musgrove, Chief Scientist and FMP, states: “we’ll share some of the results, surprises and problems we’ve uncovered along the way, as well as our ideas on where things might go in the future.”

We already have a few posts up about current initiatives at FMP:

  • Our very own Todd Vernon, Founder and CEO of Lijit and now EVP of Technology at FMP, provides his thoughts on how FMP’s acquisitions of Lijit, TextDigger, FoodBuzz, and BigTent will help turn FMP into a top 5 media property.
  • FMP Chief Scientist Tim Musgrove provides a deep dive into Conversation Targeting (CT), a top technology priority for the company in early 2012.
  • Peter Ridge, Senior Director of Product Management at FMP, discusses security requirements for a wireless network.

Please take a moment to check out the new site, and let us know what you think!