Posts Tagged ‘Lijit’

Too Lijit

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This morning Federated Media announced that it has acquired Lijit Networks in a private stock deal.

I’m incredibly proud of what the Lijit team has accomplished in the almost 4 years we’ve been investors in the business – charting a course that wasn’t exactly always a straight line, but one that has always placed publishers first. As a result of this never wavering focus on web publishers, Lijit has built a large and ultimately very valuable company.

I’ve always thought that Federated was the natural acquirer for Lijit (and we’ve been partners with Federated for some time now). Federated shares Lijit’s focus on publishers (“the best of the independent web”), but unlike Lijit, who helps publishers generate revenue through better monitizing their non-premium inventory, Federated sells unique, high value premium inventory across their federated group of publishers. For a time, Lijit pursued a similar model and having bumped into Federated in many a sales process we can attest to the strength of the Federated sales team. Ultimately Lijit chose a different path – integrating with over 30 buying channels and standing up their own RTB exchange. All the while, Lijit has been rapidly growing the list of publishers they work with by providing not only an advertising channel, but search, analytics and insight tools to help Lijit publishers better understand and engage with their audience.

The fit is a natural one. Federated brings to the combined entity a large and established sales force and the ability for Lijit publishers to access premium content relationships and advertising. Lijit brings a strong technology background, a rapidly scaling publisher base and the ability of both Federated and Lijit publishers to place their inventory to auction through the Lijit exchange.

As part of the acquisition I’ll be joining the Federated Media board of directors (along with Federated founder, John Battelle, FM’s CEO Deanna Brown, FM’s early investor from Panorama Capital Chris Albinson and Fred Harmon of Oak Investment Partners, who led the large Federated financing in 2008). I’m thrilled to be working with such an accomplished group and to continue my close relationship with Lijit through my continued role at Federated Media.

I’d also note that, while the financial details of this transaction haven’t been released, this is a significant win not only for Lijit and its investors, but also a nice outcome for Boulder (Lijit’s offices are in the heart of downtown – just upstairs from the Foundry office, in fact). While ultimately the exit will be measured by the outcome of the combined Lijit/Federated business, based just on this deal’s value alone this ranks as one of the larger transactions for a Denver or Boulder based business in the last decade.

You can read the FM release here (or on their home page, which they’ve completely taken over with the deal announcement), Lijit’s founder and CEO Todd Vernon’s thoughts here and FM’s founder and chairman John Battelle’s post on the deal here.

Congratulations to both the Lijit and Federated teams! This is big!

 

Getting to know you

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You already know a lot about you. But I don’t. I sit at this end of the internets and type our posts on topics that I hope you’ll find interesting. And some portion of you tweet out links to posts that you like. And a smaller portion of you either comment on a post I’ve written or send me an email with your thoughts (all of these things – from just reading to any level of engagement – I appreciate!). But I don’t know a whole lot about you in aggregate. I use Google Analytics on the site which lets me see a little bit about where you come from to get to my site (and where you go after you’re done) but the information available is pretty basic.

That is until now.

Today Lijit announced the release of their enhanced audience analytics tool which gives publishers some pretty interesting insights into who is visiting their site. It’s free and you don’t have to sign up for either the Lijit search widget or the Lijit ad network to run Lijit analytics on your site (as an aside, I love that Lijit has structured its suite of services to be completely independent, but additive to each other – you get more out of using Lijit the more of their services you adopt, but if all you want is one, that’s ok too).

Lijit’s publisher network has grown significantly over the past year and now numbers 17,000. These publishers generate over 1.5 Billion monthly pageviews and the Lijit network sees over 100M unique users each month. At peak times the Lijit backend is adding over 1M reader and advertiser transactions per second. That’s a lot of data that helps Lijit better monitize traffic for their publishers and is now powering their enhanced analytics product.

Now back to you. So it turns out that your’e likely caucasian. And male. And don’t have kids. You’ve probably been to college and you’re reasonably affluent. Sound like you? Sounds to me like it’s time to diversify a bit (not just my readers, but entrepreneurs in general – where are the female, minority founders?!?).

May 11th, 2011     Categories: Uncategorized     Tags: , ,

Welcoming the new Lijit Welcome Wijit

Lijit quietly released a very cool new widget for users of their service (that’s you, right?). The new Lijit Welcome Wijit greets site visitors who come to your site via a search term and gives them a relevant roadmap of your site as it relates to the search query that brought them there. It’s great for your site visitors who now have additional context for their interest in your content. It’s also great for publishers who can now create a more sticky experience for their users and expand the cross pollination of their content. From Greg Keller’s post on the Lijit blog, the Welcom Wijit is about:

  • Welcoming new readers to your site when they’ve linked in from somewhere else…e.g. a search engine, blogroll that includes your site, etc. They land on your property and they get a true ‘greeting’ to say thanks for stopping by!
  • Better content discovery: Readers landing on your site for the first time will have an initial experience right off the bat of mining your content. What is old to you is all new to your new readers! Welcome Wijit will help them find it easily.
  • Tools tools tools for your readers: The Welcome Wijit by design is about improved loyalty and return visits. The Wijit offers features to quickly add your feed to RSS readers, My Yahoo and iGoogle home pages to ensure they have you earmarked for return visits.
  • Pre-selected search results: When a reader is searching the web for something and they stumble upon your site, Welcome Wijit knows that search term and will provide a pre-selected list of the top 3 relevant items fitting that search on your blog, within your content and throughout your network…given them a true ‘feel’ of the Lijit search experience.
  • Advertising opportunities: We’re committed to doing what we can to make you more money! Similar to your Search Engine Results Page advertising, Welcome Wijit provides Google Ads to ensure more relevant ads are seen and clicked through by your readers.

Below is an example from VC Adventure, which shows what you might see if you come to my blog after searching about how to get a job in venture capital:

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You can see the Welcome Wijit under the main nav bar – set up with a welcome message, easy way to subscribe and a search box set to expand the search term the user arrived on to the entire blog. Readers can easily see my Lijit Network, view my RSS feed and search my site. The reader also has the option to expand the wijit view for even more information (the search is then populated with results from my blog and tabs to expand that to additional content I’ve generated elsewhere and my expanded network).

Installation is a breeze (it took me about 2 minutes) and can be done from your Lijit account (if you’re already using Lijit search there’s no new code to insert into your blog. Check out the Welcome Wijit page at Lijit for more info.

September 22nd, 2009     Categories: Foundry Companies     Tags: ,