In 2001 Google created their Adwords program, where what you typed in google, triggered an ad to be served. The little boxes, with just text, has made google what it is. Almost all of their revenue comes from this one simple idea. After some time passed, they created a contextual ad network, where if a reader was reading a story on a news site about red socks, an ad in the network would be triggered from a company selling red socks. Once again, fairly simple - and effective.
Social media has been trying their best to serve ads in a way that promotes a niche, as all advertising is becoming niche on the world wide web. It has been difficult. On the racing blog networks we might see ads for many things unrelated for example. Until now.
Dana Byerly from Green But Game is a new fan. She is not like me, and many of you who contribute here by reading and commenting. She did not grow up with a red pen at a racetrack. She did not go visit family racehorses as a young person. As a new fan, and a web person she brings a unique perspective to racing. Her and her partner have recently created the Hello Race Fans ad network for racing websites. The little box on the right of this blog is an example of this, and several racing advertisers will be rotated. I set this up because this makes sense, and I want this to succeed. Why? Because if it grows it can promote racing within, and outside racing.
A small aside, as an example? I clicked the West Point Thoroughbreds link who is one of their advertisers. I have never been to that website before; but I went and was very interested in their partnerships. It looks well-run, they use trainers that have impeccable credentials and whom are known for their integrity, and look completely like something I would be interested in.
I think harness folks should take advantage of this for at the very least a test. Promoting harness to the thoroughbred sites in the network might be a good thing. We hear a radio ad for harness from time to time, sent out to the masses. Why not strike to serving a group of racing people that are at least pre-qualified to enjoy racing, rather than spending money to only the masses, who probably are not? As Seth Godin said recently, linked from here on this blog, "You can no longer market to the anonymous masses. They're not anonymous and they're not masses. You can only market to people who are willing participants. Three years from now, this advice will be so common as to be boring. Today, it's almost certainly the opposite of what you're doing."
I wish Dana and Adam the best with this venture. If you see an ad here, visit the site. You'll know one thing, it won't be landing on a credit report site, or a referral website for viagra, it will be landing on something we are interested in - a racing one. They might not be bringing racing to google with this, but they are bringing a little bit of google to racing, and that has to be a good thing.