Ted Murphy of PayPerPost has unleashed the blog buzz machine to announce PayPerPost’s corporate name change to IZEA. A quick look around the blogosphere has Problogger.com announcing the name change. PPP’s poster girl and investor have both weighed in on the name change. Mashable and Read/Write Web both picked up the story offering little insight on the change except for rehashing old disclosure commentary. Jim Kukral picked up the story and lamented Ted not allowing him to test drive Argus. Scoble picked up the story and offered at least a reasonable suggestion that IZEA would change PayPerPost into an advertising agency for the social media starfish, but Scoble further suggests that it won’t matter after Google announces Open Social tomorrow.
Unfortunately, none of these announcements actually address how IZEA is going to change PayPerPost into an vastly different company (which is possibly why Techcrunch has remained silent). I believe that IZEA is PayPerPost’s attempt to take on Google directly. The announcement of IZEA isn’t about a name change or about bringing all of the PayPerPost properties under a unified name. Take a look at the list:
None of the services on the list except PayPerPost itself has significant potential to generate revenue for PayPerPost. Some enhance a blog’s value and some are needed services for advertisers but they are mostly general blogging services.
PayPerPost’s IZEA’s core is generating and sharing advertising revenue.
The key announcement will be the release of the alpha version of IZEA’s new service. Unfortunately, it won’t be revealed until Nov. 10 at PostieCon. Access to the alpha version will be by invitation only through the end of 2007 and so you’ll have to learn about the changes from bloggers at the conference or other alpha users (yet to be specified).
However, I’ve been able to glean some interesting information about what I think we can expect from IZEA’s new service, codenamed Argus.
New Advertising Units
This is where I expect IZEA to branch out beyond paid posts and start confronting Google Ads head on. This is the type of service that IZEA can market to bloggers not interested in paid posts. I’m sure that many will mock IZEA’s attempt to do what I expect will be Google-like ads. However, let’s not forget Argus’s new stats program which can be used to target and track these new advertising units effectively. Not to mention PayPerPost’s current inventory of 11,000 advertisers. Of course, I don’t expect IZEA to make much of a dent in Google’s ad revenue, but I think there’s definitely room for IZEA to carve their niche. Yes, I say this even amidst all the Social Ads and Open Social news.
PPP Rank (or is it IZEA Rank)
It is certain that IZEA’s new service is going to have a ranking for bloggers. I expect this rank will expand beyond bloggers to any sort of website. I’ve had it confirmed that this rank will be more like an Alexa rank than Google PR rank. What makes this rank unique is that it will be based on visits, pageviews, ad clicks, CPC, CPM, user feedback, popularity by votes and influence by social network. Essentially, IZEA would be able to help an advertiser create a projected ROI before even doing a campaign. I’m personally a little weary on ranking websites based on user feedback and popularity by votes even with associated user comments. That type of feedback system has worked well for eBay, but been incredibly skewed on other websites like review sites. However, I do find this type of detailed ranking based on performance to be a great step forward for IZEA.
I don’t know much about what IZEA plans for their open APIs, but I’m scared that it’s just using the nice buzzword API. In any event, I’m guessing that these APIs will be for IZEA’s general blogging services (Blogger Choice Awards, Zookoda, RSSBrief, URLBrief and BloginSpace) and not their advertising network. I hope this isn’t the case and that IZEA will build a set of APIs that will allow a website to dynamically track and create advertisements using their open API. Can you say granular tracking of shared revenue with content creators?
IZEA has committed by the end of Q1 2008 to create single sign-on across all IZEA properties. I personally believe IZEA single sign-on is just a way to move IZEA’s general blogging service users (Blogger Choice Awards, Zookoda, RSSBrief, URLBrief and BloginSpace) into their advertising network.
A few other items that I see as major possibilities are payments based on conversions and bonuses based on performance. The real question remains whether it will be based on page views, click through rate, sales or some other measure of conversions.
I expect IZEA to try to become a monetization hub for bloggers and an social outreach platform for advertisers. I can’t wait to check out the alpha on November 10th even if I’m certain that it will be chalk full of bugs. Peter Wright thinks his days have been anything but typical lately. Just wait until we start pouring in the bug reports. Should be interesting to see what $10 million of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Village Ventures and Inflexion Partners’ money has done.