Roller Derby

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Ad Hustler | Posted on 31-03-2011

If you know me, you know I like weird things.  I’m weird myself so it’s quite fitting.  A typical weekend in the life of Ad Hustler isn’t table service at the hottest club in NYC.  More likely it’s a freak show on the boardwalk in Coney Island.

A couple of years ago a friend introduced me to Roller Derby.  She got us track side tickets and it was pretty unreal.  If you weren’t paying attention a girl could very well end up in your lap (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).

Fast forward some time and another friend told me that her boyfriend was in a local roller derby league and that I should come see the game.  Having enjoyed the last game that I went to, My wife, My Dad & Myself went to see the game.  Again, it was a blast and we went to see a few games after that.  At some point my wife mentioned or alluded to the fact that it would probably be fun to be in the roller derby.  In all the time I’ve known her she never really indicated interest in any particular hobby.  For a couple of weeks after that statement I encouraged her and told her I thought she could do it if she wanted to.  Eventually she grew the balls to show up at a Mans Ruin Roller Derby practice and they were encouraging to her as well.  One girl let her borrow skates and another girl let her borrow a helmet.  She came home really excited that the girls were nice to her because I think she expected to not be accepted.

She then joined the rookie program and for the next 3 months learned the basic skills and rules needed to play roller derby.

Along the way I mentioned to my wife that it would probably be fun to be the announcer for a Roller Derby.  The announcer is kind of like the MC and helps people know what’s going on in the game plus their job is to entertain when there is a lull in the excitement.  Apparently the team was looking for a co-announcer and when my wife heard, she told them that I may want to do it.  Since they knew me and knew my personality they asked me to do it and I agreed.

So, I am now a roller derby announcer.  I announced my first game on March 20th.  It was a pretty blehh performance on my part.  It started off super shaky but I improved as the night went on (you can’t just be good at something the first time you do it I suppose).  I am announcing another game this Sunday April 3rd.  It should be fun and hopefully better then my first time.  Then games are about once per month throughout the rest of the year.  If you’re ever in the area and want to make fun of my announcing skills come on down.

So what the hell is the point of this post?

  • Roller Derby has been a positive thing in my families life.
  • It’s good to have hobbies & interests outside of making money.
  • Don’t be afraid to try something new.

If you’ve never been to a Roller Derby, do a search to see if you have a local team.  If you do, make some time to go watch a game.  It’s a fun time!

Support Local Roller Derby

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If I Were The Boss At Facebook Ads

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Doing Business, Search Engines, Social Media | Posted on 21-03-2011

I was reading a Wickedfire thread which referenced an AllFacebook post which alerted me to something that Facebook is up to.  Apparently Facebook is testing ads targeted at status updates.  Facebook has a lot of data on their users so power to them for using it to help their ad system.  See the AllFacebook post for a screenshot of a possible implementation of this new targeting system.

Honestly, if that is how they are going to implement an ad targeting system based on status updates I don’t understand what they are trying to do.  The whole system makes no sense to me in this context.  This got me thinking…..Rather then just criticizing someone elses implementation, how would I implement a status update ad targeting system that would be effective for advertisers?

If I Were The Boss At Facebook Ads……

I’ve come up with 2 possible solutions that could essentially revolutionize online advertising. (Hey Facebook: Show me some love if you take my ideas)

My thought process: The reason why search engine marketing is so darn effective is because there is intent behind a search, and advertisers can cater their ads to that intent. The ads on search engines fulfill a need.  They are the answer to a question.


Status Update Targeted Ad Implementation I

Let’s say a Facebook user made the following status update:

“User Name I feel like crap today and i’ve felt like crap for a month. I wish I had health insurance so I could finally see a doctor.”

Then if Facebook would allow you to target on the following criteria:

Status Keyword: health insurance
Status Time: today (other options being “yesterday,this week,this month,ever”
Location: Within 15 miles of Asbury Park, NJ

You could craft an ad with text like:

Need A Doctor?
No insurance required. Our office only charges $49 for a non insured patient checkup.

This would make Facebook almost as effective as search engine marketing because you could target intent rather then just interests.

This implementation isn’t always going to be perfect.  For instance if someone wrote as a status update “Thank goodness for health insurance” the ad would make no sense in that context.  However, this does move Facebook Ads closer towards having the ability to target based on intent.


Status Update Targeted Ad Implementation II

My second idea would be wayyyyyy more effective but risk annoying Facebook users.  It goes like this:

An advertiser decides they want to run a Status Targeted Ad.  They select their demos:

Status Keyword: health insurance
Status Time: today (other options being “yesterday,this week,this month,ever”
Location: Within 15 miles of Asbury Park, NJ

The advertiser is presented with a list of status updates that match their criteria but Facebook removes any identifying information about the user.  For instance:

1) I feel like crap today and i’ve felt like crap for a month. I wish I had health insurance so I could finally see a doctor.
2) Thank goodness for health insurance
3) Does anyone know what a red rash with a purple triangle in the center if it on your ass signifies?  I lost my health insurance when I lost my job so I can’t get it checked out.

In this example #1 & #3 would be extremely relevant to a doctor that could offer a $49 office visit without the need for insurance.

My proposal here is to allow the advertiser to JOIN THE CONVERSATION and have the “ad” be a reply to that users Facebook status.


Facebook User: I feel like crap today and i’ve felt like crap for a month. I wish I had health insurance so I could finally see a doctor.
Advertiser Reply: My name is Dr. Smith and we examine uninsured patients for only $49.  Give my office a call at 555-5465 for more info.  Feel Better!

And for this type of advertising Facebook could invent a whole new pricing model.  Not per click, or per thousand impressions: PER REPLY!

This would increase Facebook’s bottom line because they could implement this alongside their current CPC & CPM ads.  They could charge a flat rate across the board per reply ($1-10 for instance) or could even build in some type of bidding system.

They would also obviously have to cap each user to receiving one “sponsored reply” per day to limit the annoyance of this ad system.

If the ads were targeted and legitimate the responses could actually HELP the facebook user into making a decision or finding the answer to a problem.

Personally I think this idea is genius.


That was my contribution to the world of online advertising.

What do you think of my ideas?  Do you have a better one?  If so please share in the comments!

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