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foodgawker - Chuck Lai
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Just released an iPhone app update for all four apps. The coolest new feature is shake your device to randomize. Hope you like the update!

Next to launch is a BIG site enhancement! If things go well, we hope to have it released next week.

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This flow chart is a few years old, but saw it again today and always liked its simple message!

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The most interesting things we ate at the San Francisco Street Food Festival were these Wax Moth Larvae Tacos... crunchy!

The funniest moment was when some random person asked if she could take a picture of my 4505 Meats cheeseburger... ummm, sure. As she proceeded to snap a shot in direct sunlight, I stopped her, pulled her into the shade and rotated the burger to show off the best parts. She shoved her camera into the burger and I wanted to tell her to backoff and lower her camera angle, but I refrained. LOL.

Reviewing new functionality mockups and discovered we were completely missing a feature. D'oh! Better to discover now than before coding.

Also, wish there was a way to scan mockups and spit out functional code!

Ad Networks, CPMs and Fill Rates

I spent the afternoon rearranging/verifying the ad network chains across the gawkerverse sites. We started out with just Martha's Circle and Platefull in 2008, but with their fill rates dropping, we've added more networks each year.

The non-exclusive networks that we've used and seen the best CPMs have been...

1. Federated Media
2. Platefull (fill rate has been very low this year, only 19% YTD)
3. Martha's Circle
4. Burst Media (33% fill rate YTD)
5. SustainLane (fill rate is terrible, only good around Earth Month - April)
6. BrideClick
8. Google Adsense

The YTD fill rates across networks ranges from 19% - 35%, but we are seeing fill rates as low as 3% this summer. On some ad slots, we have seven ad networks in the chain, but it's typically 3 - 5 networks chained per ad slot. Ad chaining helps us maximize revenue, but the downside is the additional ad loading time, especially if the networks at the top of the chain aren't filling.

I've also looked into ad optimization solutions (Admeld and Pubmatic), but I'm early in this process. Lijit (who uses Admeld) is simple option if you want to fill your ad inventory and don't mind seeing a lot of non-endemic ads.

For ad serving, we use DFP Small Business...

which allows us to traffic any directly sold ads. The only thing we don't like is the ad scripts for DFP are not asynchronous and does block page rendering.

Anyway, that's been our experience with ad networks over the last 3+ years. Let me know if you have any ad networks that you like and would recommend using.

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Thankful this one-legged goose posed so nicely and persevered for this moment.

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Not bad for an iPhone shot, eh? We went on a trail run around Bon Tempe Lake yesterday and saw these Red Shouldered Hawks (over 20 of them) riding thermals by the lake.

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If you are using a WordPress theme that resizes images via the timthumb.php utility, it's vulnerable to hacking and you'll need to patch it. Here's how to find out if your site is vulnerable...

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Another reason not to drink store bought OJ...

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This is the coolest Rube Goldberg Machine I've seen in a long time!
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