At 10:00 AM +0100 8/20/10, Colin Guthrie wrote:
Are there any other approaches I've missed? Is there some cunning,
cleverness that eludes me?



I don't know about being clever, but the problem reminds me of selling ad space on web sites.

I read a book about it, namely "OpenX Ad Server" by Yilmaz

It provided a lot of back-end considerations for displaying ads, such as:

1. How to randomly preference some ads over others. To give preference to gold over silver by simply having more gold ads than silver ads in the collection of ads to pick a random selection. For example, if you have twenty gold ads and ten silver and randomly pick, then gold has a a 2:1 advantage even though the pick is random.

2. What time of day show ads per location of user -- you see, each time zone has it's own "busy" time and ads shown during those times are at an advantage. For example your web site may be showing one set of ads for CA, another for MO, and another for MI all at the same local time.

3. And other such considerations -- it might be worth the cost to purchase and review. They did a pretty in-depth study of how to track and optimize ad sales.




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