Blogger now does ads (Nov. 2001) November 15, 2001 2:57 AM   Subscribe

Pyra (the Blogger company) has a new product called pyRads which promises to become a turnkey microadvertising service for webmasters, like TextAds for anyone's site.
posted by yourpalbill to General Weblog-Related at 2:57 AM (25 comments total)

Wow. That's cool. I emailed Ev after I launched the TextAds, thanking him for trying out the blogspot ads, which I sort of modified (higher CPM, used text instead of graphical) based on that campaign's success.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:32 AM on November 15, 2001

I guess this is what we're finally learning from all these years of hit and miss in web advertising. And you know what, I really like this kind of ads.

Although, coming to think of it (I do a lot of Flash development), we could get even shorter on jobs.... :) nah, we'd be doing something else.

posted by betobeto at 9:43 AM on November 15, 2001

this is fantastic stuff. not only does it provide an additional revenue stream for blogger, it'll be great to see the system that enables individual publishers to sell text ads on their sites...
posted by msippey at 10:28 AM on November 15, 2001

Am I the only one not thrilled by this? The thought of ads (even small ones) on all of my favorite independent sites is not a happy one. At some point, the people paying for ads are going to want to pick and choose which sites they advertise with. And that means content will be affected as sites change to build demand for advertsers. (instead of end-viewers.) Granted, it's better than a flash banner, but I'd prefer to see micropayments for content rather than ads everywhere I look.
posted by pb at 10:46 AM on November 15, 2001

it'll be great to see the system that enables individual publishers to sell text ads on their sites...

I'm working on an article for A List Apart about microadverts, and I don't think they'll work well on too many sites. I can't see them being effective on anything besides portaly (blogger), community (metafilter), or niche ( or sites.

Since they're not targetted in traditional means, you need a pretty narrow slice of users going to a site for some purpose. Here, people show up looking for good links and often have their own blogs, so linking to other blogs or cool things on the web can be popular with users. Same goes for, when I was a user of blogger and not an employee, I would often go to and randomly surf the updated list looking for new blogs. I think blogs advertised on could be very successful. I could see them working on niche flash sites like, and someplace like or, because you have a pretty good idea who is reading (flash users or artsy designers).

think about (as if you weren't already... that J-Ko is soooo dreamy). Why would you want to advertise on Does it make sense to readers or advertisers? It's cool that Ev is going to offer the system to others, but I sincerely hope people don't think "blogging for dollars" has arrived. I'm not saying this to "protect my empire" because I have a blog outside of this site, and I can't imagine ever selling adspace on it or anyone being interested in jumping to a new page from an ad on it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:11 AM on November 15, 2001

Slightly off on a tangent, but it looks like Pyra is getting sidetracked again. The last sidetrack (Blogger) did pretty well for itself, but it killed Pyra the application. pyRads might take off too, but that wouldn't bode well for Blogger and its users. How thin can a one person company stretch itself before things start slipping with Blogger and more people start looking elsewhere for weblog tools because of a lack of focus on Blogger maintenance?
posted by jkottke at 12:14 PM on November 15, 2001

i'm sorry if i should know this, but i have never understood Pyra "the application." i mean to say, i've heard of that and i've heard that blogger was somewhat incidental to Pyra's purpose; at least that seems familiar to me for some reason. can anyone explain what Pyra the application is?

that Blogger does not seem well maintained i can accept. i've moved on from Blogger as well; it's sad that i say that, and i know a lot of other people can and do say that of their own projects. i don't doubt it's a tough thing to maintain for a small group of people, let alone a team of one, but...
posted by moz at 12:28 PM on November 15, 2001

Having worked with Ev on this (I even coined PyRads) the intent is not that every site out there should expect to advertise or have advertisers. Pyrads is a system that enables sites that want or need to provide an advertising system a way to cheaply do so.

Matt is correct in expecting that community, portal, and niche sites will be the main beneficiaries of a system like this. Such sites are also the ones that could stand other alternatives to the low conversion rates one would expect if considering a paid content model.
posted by jasonshellen at 1:24 PM on November 15, 2001

can anyone explain what Pyra the application is?

Yer man Sippey did. And it was pretty nifty when I played with the beta back in mumble mumble.
posted by holgate at 1:39 PM on November 15, 2001

thanks, holgate. too bad it looks to have slipped through the cracks.
posted by moz at 1:45 PM on November 15, 2001

Pyra the application was so cool, and there's still nothing like it on the market today. I wish it were still around, but apparently Ev took it down.
posted by megnut at 2:42 PM on November 15, 2001

Pyrads? Any signifigance to naming this a feminine hygiene product?
posted by kristin at 3:19 PM on November 15, 2001

kristin: really? i just performed a google search on pyrads and got nothing on that.
posted by moz at 3:24 PM on November 15, 2001

...the intent is not that every site out there should expect to advertise or have advertisers.

I think DoubleClick would make the same argument, and it's valid. But it's my opinion that advertising is not a healthy business model for the web. And I wonder if building a system to distribute more ads across the web, as opposed to, say, a micropayment system for content, is harmful to the web in the long run. I believe there are better solutions than advertising out there that would put control into the hands of creators instead of the hands of business.
posted by pb at 3:35 PM on November 15, 2001

I, for one, liked PyraApp. I want it back. I still think it's where PyraCom's future lies.
posted by Neale at 3:45 PM on November 15, 2001

It is, after all, all about me.
posted by Neale at 3:45 PM on November 15, 2001

...could stand other alternatives to the low conversion rates one would expect if considering a paid content model.

oh, and just because conversion rates are low for a pay-for-content/service system doesn't mean the idea itself is flawed. It could mean that a quick, creative, and easy-to-use system hasn't been developed yet. I'll get to work on that now... ;)
posted by pb at 4:13 PM on November 15, 2001

Hard to believe that Sippey piece is only a year and a half old. What a fuckin' year and a half it's been.
posted by rodii at 5:50 PM on November 15, 2001

Okay, survey time: How many in here remember when business on the net was actively, and viciously discouraged?
Banners and popups and whatnot have always felt so weird to me. Not half an hour ago, I got spammed via Plinko's e-mail roulette thingy. Not for business mind you, but I wonder how long it'll take, if not already and just to someone else.
posted by Su at 6:27 PM on November 15, 2001

Is Adobe DesignTeam or Macromedia Sitespring similar to Pyra App (although more limited in scope)?
posted by timothompson at 10:28 PM on November 15, 2001

Not exactly Tim, it didn't specifically target stricly workflow management or web design project management. The Pyra app was a really loose, open framework for managing information, and was used primarily for managing projects. You could use it as a dumb version of Microsoft Project, or you could use it to keep track of URLs and emails about a subject. It was based on various sets of outlines, with projects at the top level, with different classes of designators below like tasks, alerts, features, etc.

It was a good information organizer. It was almost impossible to explain to people though (like for instance... now). I wish I had screenshots or something to show you what I mean. It was pretty cutting edge for a web app to approximate desktop application complexity.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:32 PM on November 15, 2001

I did play with it a little when it came out, but I can't remember exactly how it worked now. The memory must be going with old age.
posted by timothompson at 9:15 AM on November 16, 2001

Ironically, while Ev and I were working on this we used Groove. It's still pretty clunky but it's one option for collaborative workspaces.
posted by jasonshellen at 11:32 AM on November 16, 2001

What about cash? If you'd rather not talk about this Matt, just say so, but here are my wild guesses based on wild estimations:

- I counted 121 ads today on the All currently running TextAds page.

- Each ad cost at least $10

- Each $10 runs for about a month (wild guess)

- That's about $1200/month

Am I even close? How does this compare to the costs of bandwidth and hardware? Of course, you could probably never make enough to cover the man hours invested.
posted by stevengarrity at 5:14 PM on November 17, 2001

if you look at the stats page for last month (and this month is on track to exceed it), the front page is displayed about 700k times in a month. At $2/1k it's $1400 a month to sell out every front page view, which I've done so far and I have at least a few week reserve sold ahead. So there you go.

I would guess's index page comes up 2mil times a month at least, and they stand to take in $3,000 per million, or quite a decent chunk of change.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:25 PM on November 17, 2001

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