I wonder if the big blogging sites have AD sales teams that place exactly the right add on blogs which are suddenly having their 15 minutes of fame. The volitility of long tail actors is very high; so it’s critical to catch those slashdot moments. Automated (look ma no hands) ad placment is all well and good, except when it’s stupid.
This is analagous to the puzzle of how to deal with the traffic peaks around slashdot moments so you don’t capture all the eyeballs you possibly can when they go by; but in this case the consequences go directly to the bottom line.
In both cases this is an example of why aggregating a stable of longtail actors can be critical to making the system function well.
While can imagine decentralized automation that quickly spreads traffic peeks across a collaborative group it’s much harder for me to imagine a scheme that brings AD placment talent to bear in a distributed manner. I can imagine that this is a feature that all the add networks would obviously have, or ought to.