Just a quick post before I go off to bed early tonight - the Cincinnati-Dayton Code Camp is tomorrow and I need to be there early to help setup.
This post follows along with my recent interest in web-based advertising.
I noticed a while back that FeedBurner is testing (and now offering) an advertising program and I assumed they meant adding ads to RSS feeds, since RSS feeds are what they do. I also found that Pheedo offers RSS feed ads - I signed up for a Pheedo account, but never got much further than that. Over the past few months I've noticed that ads are starting to show up more an more in it items in my RSS reader's inbox. I'm not complaining, I know the web is currently running on advertising revenue.
In my quest to learn more about ads and ad systems, I wondered what it would take to implement ads in a feed. This evening I spent a couple of hours looking into it after seeing a post come in with an ad at the bottom that piqued my interest. Come to find out it's not all that difficult. RSS feeds are just XML after all, right? And browsers and feed readers display XML and HTML just fine, right?
I won't go into details yet, but here are a few screenshots to whet your appetite. The first is a shot of an RSS feed for the WhatIWantMost site; you'll easily see the ad appended to each post:
The next screenshot is of my Outlook newsgator inbox, showing a different item with the same ad:
I just implemented one simple ad. It wouldn't take a lot more work to randomly display different ads.
Additionally, the way I have implemented it makes it very easy to keep track of statistics: impressions and clickthroughs.
Hmmm, I wonder if I could implement ads in my Community Server RSS feeds on this site over the weekend? It would be a lot easier if I had that Ad Engine built already.