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Anyone Playing with Microsoft adCenter Labs?

Some very interesting tools

     
6:42 pm on May 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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[adlab.msn.com...]

The tools at the bottom of the page are quite interesting, particularly the 'search funnel' and 'demographic prediction'.

On the demographic prediction, there seem to be a few strange results. Not sure if it's based upon passport data or another data source.

Overall, very much worthwhile to take some time to play.

7:02 pm on May 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yeh - some interesting ideas.

Volume is restricting data at the moment though. also Concantination (is that a word?): "Marketing" is cut to "Market" which then changes the whole meaning of the query.

Looks very pretty though... worth more investigating for sure.

5:56 pm on May 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Great find, neato stuff!
6:54 pm on May 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Of course, it doesn't work with FireFox.
6:57 pm on May 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The data is based upon Passport data, some manual data, and a few other sources.

Overall, the data appears to be disparate enough to have a fairly high confidence level in it's validity.

I suggest everyone play with the funnel, and then take those keywords and use them in the demographic targeting section to see how the numbers play out - one can start to define a demographic funnel - quite interesting.

7:03 pm on May 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Very Very Interesting...hmm, after playing with many different keywords, it seems MSN have more female searchers than male.
7:59 pm on May 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, so funny that it's booby-trapped not to work with Firefox. I mean, c'mon, either it's booby-trapped or their coding abilities are jacked.

Know what? My IE button is right there and I'm just not going to click it. I'm not going to investigate this and I'm definitely not going to worry that ignoring it will hurt my revenue because it most likely will not. Not interested.

10:18 pm on May 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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know what? My IE button is right there and I'm just not going to click it. I'm not going to investigate this and I'm definitely not going to worry that ignoring it will hurt my revenue because it most likely will not. Not interested.

Ditto. If it breaks in Firefox, I won't use it, bottom line. I have to assume that MS is doing this with malicious intent, in which case they really have their heads stuck in a dark place.

'Beta' or 'proof of concept', doesn't matter, basic browser interoperability is a standard of professional web applications these days, anything less is barbaric.

10:41 pm on May 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Works fine for me in Firefox - no issues at all.
10:59 pm on May 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm using it in Firefox.
11:05 pm on May 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Works fine in Firefox for me - did you guys actually try it in Firefox or did you just want to slag off Microsoft without providing any constructive comments on this new development?
11:21 pm on May 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've been trying since my first post, and still haven't been able to get it to work in FF. Works perfectly in IE. Works fine in Opera as well; however, the formatting is a bit screwed up.

Note: Some of the tools work, but not all.

11:49 pm on May 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Seems to work OK for me in Firefox. Alas, all of my keywords are "not a common keyword". Makes me suspicious the results won't translate well to Google user behavior.

Works real good for porn-related terms, though -- apparently those are all "common" keywords for MSN users!

12:10 am on June 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm having issues with Firefox with it :\
Can't click the Go button and then trying by pressing enter just leaves a large space underneith the bar.
1:43 am on June 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Set your user agent string to microsoft windodoze compatible and I bet it works fine.
4:43 am on June 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Apparently none of our keywords are known to MSN. Can't find data that is helpful.
5:15 am on June 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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No joy for me, Safari or Firefox.
(Checked preferences re user agent string, didn't see anything re this; but really, why should I have to fake using MS browser, which I believe they've stopped improving anyway?)
6:51 am on June 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Works fine in Firefox for me - did you guys actually try it in Firefox or did you just want to slag off Microsoft without providing any constructive comments on this new development?

I've spent the better part of my life focused on using MS, most recently in .NET 2.0. I am the last person to slag MS off the cuff.

I am a busy lad, and like the other said, if I land on a page, and the graphics are all screwy, I go. End of story. I don't -care- about the nice features Microsoft has made at that point, because I won't support monopolistic behaviour, such as not supporting competitive browsers.

The same reason why I avoid media sites that tell me I 'need to install Windows Media Player' to watch a media file. I.E. I need to be using IE with an ActiveX plugin or so on.

This is 2006 the time when big players can say 'oops I don't support a browser is over'. Heck, I've had private clients who can barely operate their OS or use Email who stick me to the wall about browser interoperability for their websites.

10:34 am on June 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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it works for me in FF but the positioning of a lot of elements is off

the mousover function in the funnel thing also doesnt work

results seem pretty dead. if you type "travel" in the funnel you just get travelocity, expedia, orbitz etc ... not very impressive

1:21 pm on June 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Love the demographics part. Spot on with a community site where we capture the data.

Many of the pages don't seem to work with firefox.

1:45 pm on June 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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the same keyword returns "no matches" in Firefox, and a lot of results in IE. Ridiculous. It makes Microsoft look as being very scared of any potential rival. One would starting to wonder why...

I like to use things that work: MS Word, MS Office, etc.

But this is just so lame.

2:00 pm on June 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It really is a shame that such blindingly cool suite of potential new tools comes out and instead of looking at their potential, we get back to the same old gripe.

How about an amnesty for a bit on Firefox? I have just received confirmation from Microsft that they will get the whole of Adcenter working properly in Firefox in 4-6 weeks (This is actually scheduled development time to fix the issues) and that the ROI tracking issue of Firefox users has already been fixed.

I have also got feedback here at a trade show that they will look at the Adlabs Firefox issues quickly.

So - Firefox aside, where else in the web would you find this kind of data free of charge? Give the guys a break! A team of 100 developers are quite proud of what they're starting to give the Search community. Use it or ignore it - it's going to certainly improve my campaigns over time. Being able to get an estimate of user demographics for any website is way cool in my opinion.

4:14 pm on June 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Receptional, Cool stuff and all, but you know what, when you're Google OR Microsoft, you're judged by a different jury.

I might forgive the local homeless shelter for sloppy coding, but .. 100 developers using Frontpage?

Come on, someone at Microsoft has to finally figure out that they are preaching to a group of cynics here.

[Added: I'm actually recommending a couple of their tools in an email that goes out to over a 1000 of my advertising prospects to help them make educated decisions.. so yes, I think its cool, but still I stand by mine and others decision to pick on the fact that their stuff does not work in Firefox]

10:05 pm on June 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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For demographics and gender: if my site has a 65% number for women does it meant that 1) 65% of my visitors are women or 2) that there is a 65% chance that the majority of visitors are women.
12:27 am on June 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Akreider.. the first I would say (although clearly their dataset is limited! but it is still shed loads more than you or I have)

(added) I'll just duck Shri for now and save it for a bar in Vegas :)

4:29 am on June 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The percentages for demographic targeting are suppose to be the percentages of actual visitors. This is based upon passport data (and some other sources), so I could see where this is the percentage of MSN visitors, which might not reflect your entire visitor base.

(added) I'll just duck Shri for now and save it for a bar in Vegas

Vegas is going to be fun - that sounds like a few good beers and conversation ;)
5:47 pm on June 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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NOTHING works on my Mac.
Not one tool.
Just huge blank spaces result.

Not Firefox, not Safari, and not even IE 5.2.3, which is the latest and LAST version of IE for the Mac.

Mac = Nothing works yet, no matter what I do.

9:25 am on June 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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With my URL in the demographic version its showing "Gender Unknow with following probability:" setting aside the spelling mistake it didnt returned the correct figure.

IS this usual or there is something wrong with the site.

4:52 pm on June 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I checked a couple of different URLs, and the demographics predictions seem to be skewed toward females. Most of the ones I checked are small sites, so I'm not sure what the true demographics would be, but when I checked the Wall Street Journal's site the tool reports this site is "Female oriented" with the following confidence: Mail .36 and Female .64.

Not sure how to interpret this, but I suspect there is a skew toward femails in the underlying data that MSN is using to develop these "predictions."

Pretty cool, except that it doesn't work for me in FF.

8:59 pm on June 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Sally, you tried running IE through Windows XP? (You can dl bootcamp free, it'll allow you to run Windows through your mac) Only set back is the purchase of the Windows OS. But hey, .... nvm, no bright side...
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