Online Advertising and Fraud

Criminal activity has a way of adapting to the times or rather staying ahead of them. The kind of activity you see online with spam, scams, etc. is quite tough to measure.

Click bots, parked domains and other clever dark side forces of the online advertising ecosystem have long plagued the industry. Some of the bigger players in the space such as Google have put in a lot of time and money in trying to control these practises, which will never fully disappear.

The above fact was rudely impressed upon us through some of our campaigns. Even the top new firms with millions of dollars to play seem to struggle with this. Let’s take examples, a typical display advertising click through rate or CTR is around 0.1%, can be higher or lower but is typically not higher than 1%. This means 1 person clicked on one ad for every 100 ads that were served (to different people).

45%!! That’s a CTR that shouldn’t be possible and which smells of automated click bots. It’s this kind of trouble which keeps campaigns from performing well, as money gets siphoned off. Its amazing how widely this still exists even today.

RTB is changing the marketplace for ads, but for a shift in marketing focus to digital, more clean up has to happen and transparency has to achieved. 

Last MRT home


Surprising how empty the train looks at Haborfront at 23:50!!

Lincoln and Leadership

I don’t think many movies have inspired me the way Lincoln did.  It shows that leadership is not just about making big decisions but it’s also about making difficult decisions at difficult times, with little or no support and sometimes with the entire world against you. Fighting the battle within yourself is often the first step to big decisions and also to great  leadership. It is also no small thing what the human mind can conceive when it’s not correctly informed and how much worse things can go when provided with great knowledge. Do we always use the knowledge we have to achieve the right things? Do we know what small wrongs we need to do when we need to accomplish a greater good or do we get lost trying to distinguish one from another.

Most important, can you put your foot down and say, I want this cause this is the right thing. And this is the right thing cause I want it.

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. Nothing impressive, except how WordPress has made it look 🙂

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Lots of things

It’s been a while since I wrote anything on my bog. I don’t see any of my 9 followers complaining though 🙂

A lot has happened since my last post- I have grown in my job, got a new apartment in Singapore, visited Vietnam for an ultimate frisbee hat tournament, attended and kind of ran my best friends wedding AND I got married!! And a new year cam by! I also made new friends and what not. So yes, lots of things.

Oh I also ran a few more runs including my second full marathon

I think each of these deserves a separate post and I will follow up with these. Life is becoming more interesting.

Singapore La

Moving to Singapore is an interesting experience, especially when its from Hyderabad! Its a reasonably big city, a small country, a small CBD with what seem like multiple suburbs all rolled into one. It also has an ethnic mix which is, to say the least, interesting. But what I liked about Singapore was the efficiency. They have managed to get to a new level in this city. Very impressive.

It started with the 2 minute immigration, continued with the 30 minute EP process, furthered by 20 minute bank account opening and was sealed with the 10 minutes acquisition of the new post paid phone number. The MRTs and other efficiencies don’t need to be mentioned.

Another love aspect for me is the large number of sport options. Easy and no hassle.

I will get to work and other things in another post, till then take care laah!

Hyderabad Marathon – Aug 2011

Well this is something of an anniversary post about my first distance run- The Hyderabad Marathon on 26th August 2011.

As expected I was put to test to say the least. I was practising with Gloria who was more athletic than me ensuring I was always pushing myself. We used to do a few runs a week but we were not nearly as structured as we should have been considering we were planning to run 21.1 km. The longest distance we did was around 13 km which will explain the pain I will describe a little further down the line. It didn’t help that a week before the run I was down with fever for a week and in bed for two days barely moving!!

The day of the run was interesting. Before we completed the first kilometer, Gloria had left me behind to run 20 km on my own. The first 13 km seemed fine and I finished it without slowing down to walk .

The rest seemed like hell.

After coughing and coughing from 13 km to 17 km, I got a back pain which felt like someone was trying really hard to kill me. It was probably the toughest stretch but I kept at, alternating between walk, run and hobble.

But the power of the human mind is incredible and as soon as I entered the stadium for the final stretch, I sprinted.

The pain that followed in my legs was something I had never experienced earlier or since. I could not sit, stand or lie down. However I had finished the run, and that along with the medal around my neck gave me a satisfaction and joy that dimmed the pain.

I was in pain for a few days and I didn’t run for a while again. But I knew that I had only started the journey in breaking my limits.