Small publishers from all over the country recently got together for the Interactive Advertising Bureau's Long Tail Alliance Fly-In in Washington, and I had the opportunity to attend and speak to the group about the Advertising.com network and trends we see in the marketplace. The goal for the two-day meeting, now in its fourth year, is to give these small digital businesses a chance to share knowledge, hear from interactive advertising leaders and be heard by Congress.

During my presentation, I focused on premium formats, mobile and video and shared the risks of user-generated content not only to advertisers, but to website brands as well. The group also heard from Rick Jaworski from JoyofBaking.com, who gave a great presentation on how he uses video to grow his online audience through YouTube. JoyofBaking now attracts more video views on YouTube than Martha Stewart, Epicurious and the Food Network combined! His success story likely inspired many publishers at the event to rethink their video strategies.

Jeff Tennery from mobile advertising company Millennial Media also gave an interesting presentation on rich media buys on mobile devices. Other presentations addressed life as a publisher and touched on legal rules as well as how the political landscape can affect their small businesses.

On day two, we headed to Capitol Hill where IAB shared its view with lawmakers that Do Not Track legislation proposed in Congress last year would not only hurt large Internet companies but would threaten the livelihood of online entrepreneurs. The Fly-In group split into small groups to visit their congressmen to share concerns about the proposed legislation. They told their representatives about their sites and businesses and pointed out how online ad targeting has increased ad effectiveness and their earnings over the past few years.

The group reminded the congressmen that before online targeting, consumers were faced with more ads and pop-ups, and poorer quality advertisers.

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