SpiceWorks introduced a free IT monitoring application for small to mid-size businesses. Did I say "free"? This is not your off-the-shelf open-source monitoring application but rather a fully commercial version (may be they use open source SW to build it but I digress). How do they make money? Well, you guessed it right. Advertising. You have to tolerate Google ads on the management console. Once you get to managing more than 250 devices, you buy a paid license. Interesting approach. If they can find a good distribution channel for this product, it could be an interesting trojan horse without completely losing money on the base / free SW. There was a story in Wall Street Journal about some prominent advertisers (including Toyota, Wal-Mart and Microsoft) creating an online marketplace (on ebay of course) for buying advertising time on broadcast/cable networks. No more upfronts and arduous negotiations. Advertisers would post media plans on the auction site and invite proposals from the networks. Now I wish this proposal came from the networks where big regional and national networks could post availability and advertisers (and ad agencies) could bid based on the timing and budget for a marketing campaign. Well, arguably there are fewer networks (that control large inventory) and more advertisers, so this would have really created a marketplace if available inventory was accessible online. Nevertheless, an interesting move that would have broad implications for TV spending that is already suffering from a shift to online media. There is lot more happening in this ever changing advertising world. I would love to hear your thoughts about interesting trends.

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