Tino Buntic, the man who gave the blogosphere a face with the really viral 2000 bloggers initiative, recently started a new project: PlaceMyProduct. It’s a marketplace where people can sell all kinds of ads, sponsorships, and product placements. It focuses on helping bloggers and webmasters to monetize their sites.
Buntic told me how came up with the idea: “I had another website and I wanted to sell ads for it directly, without using an automated ad network. Really, the only way to do that was to solicit advertisers and to include an ad sales page. I could have done that, but there were other questions: What should I price the ads at? What if I price it too high and nobody buys? What if I price it too low and I lose revenue as a result?
Probably recognizable questions for bloggers, and the answer could be PlaceMyProduct. “I’m not looking to change online advertising. I’m offering another option. People will always use ad networks because it’s easy to place some code on your site and have the ads show up automatically. PlaceMyProduct will be perfect for those that have value for direct advertisers and for those that come up with new ways for people to advertise”, Buntic explains.
So people can get creative with their ads. Earlier this month I wrote an article about people who sell unconventional spaces as adds. Leah Culver for instance was able to afford a MacBook by letting companies advertise on it. PlaceMyProduct sort of institutionalized these weird ways of making money.
When I checked out the service, I noticed two things. First of all, there isn’t much bidding going on yet. And second, some blogs who auction their adspace aren’t of a great quality. So I asked Buntic whether he has set up some quality standards. “Anybody can place bids. But to create a profile on the site, it goes through an approval process. The site just launched so I’m approving more than I should be. But shortly, we’ll be looking at only approving profiles that are quality.”
PlaceMyProduct needs some more traffic to become an interesting way for bloggers and developers to make money. Yet it’s noteworthy that entrepreneur Buntic has the guts to start initiatives like this. Since when I was talking with him about Canadian start-up culture, he told me it isn’t that lively. “Everybody I know is afraid to start a business. They work the regular 9-5. Don’t know why. It makes it tough, though. There’s very little support.”
If you’d like to know more about PlaceMyProduct, Andrew Wee wrote a thorough piece about security questions and anti fraud measures.