So the big rumor that flew by at the VLab tonight is that there's an open-source ad network forming. Scott Rafer spoke at moderate length about how AdSense/Words and Overture are becoming big pieces of proprietary, complex, unmaintainable, inefficient code (not sure how much of that was rhetoric ;-) and it is clear that the Google and Yahoo ad networks lock a lot of people - publishers and advertisers both - into models that they don't necessarily best benefit from. So it was interesting to say the least that an open counterpoint appears to be forming.
It was claimed that John Battelle's FM Publishing, Feedster, Jason Calcanis' Weblogs Inc., and Mark Pincus' latest (currently known as TagBadge, I believe) will all use this network, which is based on the phpAdsNew ad server. Scott made the interesting point that Slashdot, Ground Zero for open source, uses DoubleClick to serve its ads, and "maybe they'll come under some pressure from the open source community to change that." Grin. Yeah, maybe they will. Down with Slashdot, closed-source enabler!