Sometime ago I read an article saying that many good ideas from web 1.0 era could be revamped and renovated for web 2.0. So here's one that might be more interesting to watch than the reincarnating Agloco.
Ouriel's blog notes about new banner exchange ad-network for bloggers - Adgridwork. It's kind a flashback to read about it - as 9 years ago I worked in HyperBanner (later bPath.com), which was probably the first banner-exchnage network that introduced advanced localization features, together with unique banner creation.
It was pre-google, pre-goto.com advertising for website owners, which at that time of web 1.0 were mainly Geocities, Angelfire and alikes users. Everybody wanted to have a homepage to post pics, links and occasional text, without really bothering about the quality.
Everybody wanted to add cool page add-ons like polls, counters, guestbooks, top links and animations, without calling them widgets.
And everybody wanted to get people to know about his page, without even thinking how to "monetize" it.
Too much innocence, yeah. But it was really an exciting time.
So HyperBanner was a great solution for many non-english speakers, and quickly become the 2nd biggest banner-exchange network in the world, after LinkExchange (which was sold to Microsoft for $250m at 1998).
Around that time I had to leave and join the army, leaving behind my main project JAnimation (java-based animation tool for banners, which at that time was quite revolutionary. Zappa from Israel also did something similar, but both technologies didn't have any chance to compete with Flash), after creating some of the most innovative banners at that time :)
The rest is pretty much the story of the first bubble - the company kept growing (I remember coming back in holidays and hearing "now we are 30..50..70 people"), opened HQ at the valley, became a key player in website owners, was almost purchased by a big portal (I think Lycos), planned an IPO, and then crashed in the big dotcom bust. bPath still exists...quite flipping in shallow waters.
But the real thing is tracking how good ideas, ones that provide real value for user, can take a new shape and fresh positioning when a new generation begins. HyperBanner was the "all-you-need" mall for web 1.0 publishing, with a major product for banner-exchange.
Publishing in Web 2.0 is probably about blogging and opening profile pages in social networks, which are essentialy also personal editable pages. So widgets are flooding in all sorts, blogging platforms are constantly being enhanced (though Typepad, which I'm using, is quite dissapointing...), and new social sites try to compete on "coolness". So Perhaps the time for a banner exchange network has also come.
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