Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, John Basso, SmartBear Blog, XebiaLabs Blog

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Industrial IoT, Open Source Cloud, API Journal, IoT User Interface, Cloud Security

Agile Computing: Blog Post

Using Taxonomy to Drive Online Contextual Advertising with Sophializer

Classifying Web Content to the IAB Taxonomy

It’s a Big Market …
…  online advertising.  There are 10,000 stories and data points about it.  Here are two to give some context to the journey below.  First, global online ad spending is projected by ZenithOptimedia to exceed print ad spend by 2015 (note 1).  This 2015 projected spend figure for online advertising is $132.4 billion.  Second, global online ad revenue is projected by another research agency, Digital TV Research, to hit $143 billion by 2017 (note 2).

These are prodigious amounts of money for companies to spend to connect with customers.  But … surely it’s easy to connect online customers to web content featuring, or suggesting, products? And surely, online is “better”?  Where can, and do, taxonomy-based approaches add value to this dance of moving (emotional and semantic) parts between the intentful consumer poised to shop and the intentful marketer with honed content?

Online Ad Targeting is Easy … so 'They' Say …
Really?  So what might be “easy”?  And, indeed, “better”?  Let’s unbundle these simulacra that look like very fuzzy concepts, and as ontologists and knowledge engineers let’s think our way forward with the concept of “precision”.

So … online is more precise than billboards by freeways?  Lightly stated, online has advantages.  What about magazine print ads vs. online?  Online has potential advantages. But … and this is a very big but … in both these cases (and all others) online depends on connecting potential customers to products, their features, their benefits, their attributes and so on precisely, and with precision that is repeatable and extensible.  Rather than random (random is the most expensive way to advertise and has fallen out of favor).  And, since online copy and online ads are words (including in videos) and are semantically classifiable, and since classifications can be organized into models (taxonomies and ontologies) … then there are advantages to be created through the combination of semantic analysis, categorization and taxonomy.

Now, let’s connect taxonomy, classification, semantics and optimizing online ad targeting.  There are a host of holy grails currently being sought in the web/mobile/social uber-ecosystem.  Some are well found, though not perfect, and are unlikely to traverse through a paradigmatic improvement.  Think ‘search’.  Others are most definitely not found (yet).  Given the size of the market outlined in the first paragraph, the rewards are huge to those with the tools and skillsets that know how to work with semantics, taxonomy/ontology, classification of content to taxonomy, and design of taxonomies to drive online targeting.

New Approaches to Classifying to the IAB Taxonomy with Sophializer
Sophia Search
is a recent entrant into this space.  (I have written about them before here.   Sophia Search’s tool – currently called the ‘Sophializer’ – categorizes any URL to nodes in the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) taxonomy.  Sophializer can also classify content of ads (and so create a semantic/conceptual ‘signature’ for each). The IAB Contextual Taxonomy comprises three levels:

  • Tier 1 – 23 nodes
  • Tier 2 – 371 nodes
  • Tier 3 – unspecified and vendor specific

Given that Sophializer categorizes both sides of this content dance – web page and ad – web properties can serve ads to any page automatically using the IAB taxonomy as the cross-mapping conceptual foundation.

Sophializer not only classifies to Tier 1 and Tier 2 it also discovers/generates robust classifications that can be used to customize Tier 3 for individual customers.

Benefits of Using Taxonomy for Ad Targeting
Taxonomy gives a framework to this kind of semantic work.  Essentially, we are cross-mapping both partners of this content dance – content and ad - using the IAB taxonomy  as a “choreographer” of sorts.  Other taxonomies could be used.  In fact, multiple taxonomies could be used – and this would be particularly powerful if these taxonomies were cross-mapped to each other.  For example, if you have content (web page, say, or ad) categorized and mapped to Taxonomy A and Taxonomy A is cross-mapped to the IAB taxonomy … then … you can propagate these ads to content that is already categorized.

Benefits of Using Categorization Tools to Assign Marketing Content to Taxonomy Nodes
There are a number of different methods of assigning content to nodes in any taxonomy –

  • Manually
  • Training sets of documents (training documents are most often manually selected as exemplars)
  • Categorization algorithms that work with semantic tokens

There is more than enough to say on each of these around methods, workflows, best practices and pitfalls for a blog post on each.  But not here.

Sophializer utilizes patented and proprietary algorithms in the core of their categorization engine.  Two fundamental points are worth, briefly, focusing on.  Firstly, different categorization engines use different patented technologies.  “Quality” from different categorizers is (very) variable.  Which is why it is important to carry out “Proofs of Concept” when evaluating this technology.

Secondly, the more semantically rich the taxonomy – e.g. fully enriched with synonyms and other types of evidence terms – the better “quality” one gets with any method of associating content to taxonomy nodes.   Both of these parameters are make-or-break (literally) in using semantics to target online ads.

Learn More 2.0
The Google Display Network is IAB Certified and complies with the top 2 tiers of the IAB Contextual Taxonomy.  You can read details of what Google do here and this also navigates you to the Google mapping to the IAB taxonomy Tier 1 and Tier 2.

Sophia Search currently has a number of engagements on the web that are live.  For example, targeting ads for non-fiction books (from a major publishing house) to news stories (on a pre-eminent news site).  You can contact them for details.

This is not an empty space.  Other companies are also searching for the holy grail of taxonomy-based content targeting mediated by content categorization that works.  See, for example, see ADmantX (http://blog.admantx.com/post/15726823528/a-new-iab-based-taxonomy-and-an...).

This whole space is an excellent example of where the application of the nexus of taxonomy, categorization and semantics will provide stratospheric business benefit.  Grails are waiting to be found here.

Notes
Note 1.  See ZenithOprimedia

The detailed ZenithOptimedia figures can be found here

Note 2.  See Hollywood Reporter

You can download the Digital TV Research press release about these figures here

@ThingsExpo Stories
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
We all know the latest numbers: Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from last year, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. We're rapidly approaching a data production of 40 zettabytes a day – more than we can every physically store, and exabytes and yottabytes are just around the corner. For many that’s a good sign, as data has been proven to equal money – IF it’s ingested, integrated, and analyzed fast enough. Without real-ti...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it ...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus...
ReadyTalk has expanded the capabilities of the FoxDen collaboration platform announced late last year to include FoxDen Connect, an in-room video collaboration experience that launches with a single touch. With FoxDen Connect, users can now not only engage in HD video conferencing between iOS and Android mobile devices or Chrome browsers, but also set up in-person meeting rooms for video interactions. A host’s mobile device automatically recognizes the presence of a meeting room via beacon tech...
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet a...
On Dice.com, the number of job postings asking for skill in Amazon Web Services increased 76 percent between June 2015 and June 2016. Salesforce.com saw its own skill mentions increase 37 percent, while DevOps and Cloud rose 35 percent and 28 percent, respectively. Even as they expand their presence in the cloud, companies are also looking for tech professionals who can manage projects, crunch data, and figure out how to make systems run more autonomously. Mentions of ‘data science’ as a skill ...
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? You need to discover patterns that are repeatable in vast quantities of data, understand their meaning, and implement scalable monitoring across multiple data streams in order to monetize the discoveries and insights. Motif discovery and deep learning platforms are emerging to visualize sensor data, to search for patterns and to build application that can monitor real time streams efficiently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, ...
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...