Earlier today I was sitting in a tutorial about the Foundations of Web advertising taught by the most over-qualified staff I’ve ever seen:
- Ricardo Baeza-Yates of the book Modern Information Retrieval
- Andrei Broder (who co-authored two of my favorite papers – A Comparison of Techniques to Find Mirrored Hosts on the WWW and A Taxonomy of Web Search
- Prabhakar Raghavan, who has his own book (with Hinrich Schütze and Chris Manning) coming out that I’m looking forward to as well.
Here’s the blurb for the tutorial:
Web advertising spans Web technology, sociology, law and economics. It has already surpassed some traditional media like radio and is the economic engine that drives Web development. The transformation touches the way content is created, shared and disseminated – all the way from static html pages to more dynamic forms of expression such as blogs and podcasts, to social media such as discussion boards and tags on shared photographs. This revolution promises to fundamentally change both the media and the advertising businesses over the next few years, altering a $300 billion economic landscape. The technical underpinnings of web advertising are based on a plethora of scientific disciplines, including Information Retrieval, Microeconomics, Auction Theory, On-line Algorithms, Security, User Interface design, Data Mining, and more. The purpose of this tutorial is to introduce the audience to the many technology issues behind the curtains of web advertising.
A lot of what Andrei is discussing so far is basic, but it is worth attending to hear how his mind works through these issues, and his jokes aren’t bad either.
Sadly, we’re packed in yet another horrible venue, these workshop rooms are the size of a double (American-sized) office but they’re packing up to 40 people in them with the projector smack dab in the middle of the room that has the usual problems of being noisy and near the audience as well as the frequent shadow on the screen of the back of someone’s head. It goes without saying that the network connectivity is still lousy too. This has not proved to be a good physical venue for the conference.