December 23, 2009

Why you can't ignore the email newsletter as an online publishing model

I spent several days recently researching a story about the business of email newsletters. Greg Cangialosi, CEO of Blue Sky Factory, an email marketing agency in Baltimore, gave me some great insight. gregcangialosi.jpgI asked Greg (pictured left) about the business model approaches of email newsletters vs. Websites, from an advertising and monetization perspective.

He said, in a nutshell: "The difference between Website and email advertising is the targeted nature of the [email] list of people. If that list demographic fits the target of the advertiser, they're going to get a good response rate."

Greg pointed to successes like Daily Candy and Thrillist as successful email newsletter companies, and talked about two of the local ones his company provides email newsletter services to: CityBizList in Baltimore and ExecutiveBiz in Washington D.C.

One of the big advances in recent years in email newsletter technology, Greg said, are the features involving sharing with a social network.

Companies disseminating email newsletters can embed them with options that allows the user to share the information on Twitter and Facebook, thus helping them grow their email subscriber base organically and through word of mouth. Pretty cool stuff.

Hit the jump to check out my full story on the topic.

Continue reading "Why you can't ignore the email newsletter as an online publishing model" »

This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location:

November 16, 2009

Millennial Media scores new round of funding

millennial-media.gifToday, Baltimore's Millennial Media, which started up in 2006, announced it raised $16 million in new financing from some venture capital firms, including New Enterprise Associates. (Check out my story here.)

Last week's news that Google was buying mobile advertiser AdMob for $750 million probably didn't cause venture capitalists to throw money at Millennial (such deals usually take more than a week to put together), but it also probably didn't hurt the growing little firm.

The conventional wisdom now is that Google's purchase of AdMob "validates" the nascent mobile advertising industry. When a big company like Google drops a ton of dough on a small company in a still-emerging market, you know that will attract many more serious investors and players to the industry.

According to eMarketer stats via the Interactive Advertising Bureau, here's what the mobile ad market looks like:  



I'm gonna bet that the Google-AdMob acquisition, though the first big one in the mobile ad space, won't be the last. My guess is we may be a few months, perhaps even weeks, away from similar acquisitions of smaller mobile ad firms by big Google-esque-like competitors. What do you think?

This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location:

June 1, 2009 Sticking around in Baltimore

advertisingcomofficephoto.jpgFor their hard work, two Owings Mills brothers hit the big-time when they built up and eventually sold it to Time Warner AOL in 2004 for $435+ million.

"It's a dream come true," John Ferber, the young company's cofounder told The Baltimore Sun at the time. (In case you're wondering, Ferber eventually left on to popularize the idea of making small donations to help fund causes, through a site called

Now, Time Warner and AOL are going the way of splitsville, as announced last week, and the Wall Street Journal's Kara Swisher had some good details on the breakup. So I was left wondering what would happen to the, which is based at the Tide Point complex in Locust Point. (The Baltimore Sun's Algerina Perna shot the above photo at their offices in 2007)

The company is among the handful that came out of Baltimore area that can truly say it made the big time with its sale to AOL Time Warner. Turns out, AOL's new chief, Tim Armstrong (a former Googler), has some big ideas for the way AOL and its advertising properties ( and the others in its "Platform-A" division) are going to tackle the struggling ad market.

Generally, according to the WSJ, they'll focus on a broader range of clientele, not just the big customers (which, I'm gonna guess, means even more competition for all types of publishers, newspapers included, who are hoping to squeeze every last drop of ad money from whatever businesses they can.) The online advertising platform-provider got subsumed into AOL's Platform-A division, which stays with AOL in the split.

So, what will happen to under an AOL-Time Warner split?

Continue reading " Sticking around in Baltimore" »

This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location:
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 10:35 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Online Advertising
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About Gus G. Sentementes
Gus G. Sentementes (@gussent on Twitter) has been writing for The Baltimore Sun since 2000. He's covered real estate, business, prisons, and suburban and Baltimore City crime and cops. He was one of the first reporters at The Sun to use multimedia tools and Web applications -- a video camera, an iPhone -- to cover breaking news. He hopes to cover Maryland geeks and the gadgets and Web sites they build, and learn -- and share -- something new every day.

Gus has a wife, a young daughter and two feuding cats. They live in Northeast Baltimore.
This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location:

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