David Vandenberg (One of my co-workers at Massive) attended StartupCamp this weekend and in 24 hours created uT.ag (here is the elevator pitch video) which allows you to create a compressed url like http://tinyurl.com/ and http://is.gd/ but goes one step further and loads the site in a <iframe> with Google ads at the top.
And yes, if you have clicked on a link in my blog by now you will see that I have added it to my site.
http://ut.ag is one of those clever, simple ideas that could just work, or it could start a war, maybe both.
I cant see how it violates the Google Adsense TOS unless they argue that it interferes with Navigation, or they stretch the interpretation of No Google ad may be placed on pages published specifically for the purpose of showing ads, whether or not the page content is relevant.
Its going to be up to the web community to decide wether or not this form of advertising is viable.
Im also curious to know what will happen to blog trackbacks.
I can see how people running ads in their sites (like me) may feel that this dilutes their own advertisings attention share on the target page.
I can also see how it shares some of the advertising revenue around and rewards sites that direct people toward relevant information.
Is this an acceptable way for content owners to extract revenue from traffic out of their site?
In the case of blogs, if the revenue could be split between the source and destination sites could this be a basis for some kind of treaty?
If they checked for ads on the target site and left sites with ads untreated, would that make it more acceptable?
Check out the Utag blog http://ut.ag/Blog/ and the StartupCamp live stream from uStream. At the time of writing this they had all gone to bed, but should be up again in 10 hours or so 🙂