Advertisement placement in WML-based content
Original Publication Date: 2001-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19
In traditional non-subscription HTML based web sites (the majority) a large part of the value of the company comes from the number of visitors they can attract to the site. The value derives from the fact that the company can derive advertising revenue from advertisement placements. Thus advertising drives a large percentage of internet wealth creation. Many analysts and studies have shown that WML capable devices will proliferate in a very short space of time (1-2 years), quickly overtaking even the number of PC based devices accessing the internet. A typical WML based device has very small real-estate (for example, the screen of a mobile phone) which leaves no room at all for banner advertising the staple of advertising in the HTML based web. A solution that enables placement of advertising in WML content is required as a critical success factor in growth of WML content targeted at such devices. This article describes a means of transparently inserting advertising into any WML-based content. Advertisements can be placed dynamically, with no prior knowledge of the content or format of the WML document in which the advertisement is to be placed. This has the great advantage that advertisements may be inserted by the content provider (as happens today in the HTML based web), or by the network bearer or any intermediate router or gateway between the content provider and the client device. A WML document consists of a "deck of cards". A deck is the smallest unit of WML that is transmitted to a WAP device. A deck contains a sequence of cards. A card is a single unit of user interaction, such as a choice menu or screen text. Ideally, a card's visible content fits entirely on the small screen of a mobile device. The content may however be larger than the screen, requiring horizontal or vertical scrolling. When a WAP-compatible device receives a deck it looks for the first card in the deck and displays its content. The WML markup language allows the page designer to specify hyperlinks between cards, transitions based on widget interactions (typically a button press on the phone), or event (timer) based transitions. Cards can also contain hyperlinks to other decks.