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Making OpenForAds

20/11/2022

It started with a Tweet:

“Add as available for advertising”. There are some ad networks, but publisher have little control over it and get paid peanuts, as the network take most of the $.

That made me think: Ads as a marketplace, only take a fixed % or monthly sub.

  • Value for publishers: Get the majority of their advertising revenues, control over the ads displayed.
  • Value for advertisers: Niche audiences, native ads, no bans and stuff.

First version of the product is prob gonna be a spreadsheet or a static website displaying “available for ads” websites.

As in most of my projects, first step is making research on companies with similar models who were successful. Gonna spend some time digging https://microacquire.com. Wayback Machine, Tweeter and Google, gonna spend a couple of hours looking into the past to understand how it was started.


Oddly enough i didn’t found anything. It’s like it popped out of nowhere 🤔

I imagine Andrew had a community?

I was able to get read nice feedback from the PH launch tho.

24/11/2022

Started by doing a spreadsheet, but ended up making the website at OpenForAds.com

Very basic for now, no user account or anything, just the page and a form.

The screenshot function from Puppeteer didn’t worked in Heroku, and following my rule, after 1h trying to make it work, I deleted the feature. No feature is worth more than 1h implementing.

Will take another look later using APIs, but for now that will be enough.

Added the Feedback box linked to my emails and finally got the screenshots working (such a hassle)

For now that will be enough, gonna add websites.

Good news is that I talked to someone who was looking for ad space yesterday, meaning there seems to be some interests. And so far, when I mentioned the idea to content creators, they seemed to like it.


Just saw someone using the term “micro-media”. I absolutely love it, and it’s exactly what Open For Ads is about. I wanted to call it “Micro Ads” at first but the domain was taken already.

25/11/2022

K, I think I’m actually going to do user interfaces.

Things that are essential for advertisers:

  • Quantity metrics (impressions, users…)
  • Quality metrics (CTR%, etc)
  • Billing option (PPI, PPC, PPA)
  • Audience (Niche…) -> Let ppl choose and use A.I. semantic search

Things that are essentials for micro-medias:

  • Quality of advertisement (need to be relevant to their content)
  • Revenues obviously

Going to focus on listing micro-media first, then find advertisers. Looks like this side-project will take longer than expected, but I think it’s worth it!

Plan for today:

  • Magic link auth to keep it simple
  • Basic user interface to add / edit listing (need to find a name for it)

One hour I’m trying to make the magic link shit work, HOW IS THAT SUCH A HASSLE !!!!! IT’S JUST ABOUT SENDING A LINK FFS!!


3 hours I’m trying to make it works. I guess I can forget being any productive today. Normally I would already have moved on, but that’s a useful thing so I really want to have this working, as I’ll use it for my next projects.

This is insane, there is simply 0 free solution. I would have to make it from scratch, for something that stupid. I’m giving up. Wasted half a day on that.


I’m pretty happy with the base design! Need some additional tweaks but render is good.


The interface to add new medias is almost done! Thought it was going to be a hassle to manage all the data upload but Co-Pilot made it incredibly easy.

I also took a look at RemoteOk source code to see how the inputs worked, and I found Tom Select, an amazing little library that took one minute to setup!! Still no magic link auth, but at least most of the UI should be done.

Time to go to bed!

26/11/2022

I think I will need to take a break soon, my body is starting to get exhausted. Last time I took a real day off (not work for a whole day) was in August, 4 months ago. I honestly can’t even remember the last time I took more than 3 days off.

Probably not happened in two years now. But gotta keep going.

Goal of today, Finish polishing the interface, add options for analytics/placements pricing.


Done! I think everything is there, yay!

I’m going to think about the business model for a bit. There are two choices:

  • Make publisher pay per listing
  • Make advertisers pay to access the listing

In this case, publishers are the one who wants money, so it might not be wise to make them pay. Also, paid = fewer people doing it, so advertisers will get less value. The obvious choice is then to make advertisers pay to access it, probably from a subscription.

I guess I could sell upsells for publishers tho.

Gonna give it another try to magic auth.

WAIT, DID IT WORK???

Looks like it did!!!! Wow, only took me 20 minutes this time! 😍

Need to make more tests tomorrow to see if it really works but it seems like it. Getting tired, been working since 6 today and my eyes are closing.

28/11/2022

Everything seems to be working properly! I published the first version, available here OpenForAds.com

Next step: Find publishers to add their media in.

30/11/2022

Did a few improvements and started to contact media to add them. So far what works the best is to create a page and tell them they can create an account to edit it.

I want to get rid of the second step by making it super easy for them. The goal is that I sent them a pre-filled form, they write their email and it automatically creates the account + media for them. That way, it’s a one-click registration.

Should be good! Took me a few hours but now I can go back to add media.