Thursday, December 9, 2010

How do I participate in ORMMA?

There has been a ton of interest in ORMMA in the past week! has received a lot of inquiries. There are multiple levels in which to participate in the ORMMA (Open Rich Media Mobile Advertising) initiative:

1) Observers who would like to keep up to date with ORMMA and participate in discussions related to the business, user experience, ad design and analytics implications of implementing ORMMA please join the new open-registration ORMMA-discussion Google group:

2) Code users who are not ready to contribute code or specs can download the latest, BSD licensed, iOS and Android SDK reference code here:
For those providers who implement ORMMA compliance in their ad serving infrastructure or directly in publishers apps, we also encourage them to post to the ORMMA blog about their app launch/re-launch by submitting posts to

3) Code contributors should email to become provisioned with access credentials to the open source project.
You will be sent a link to verify your email address and be included as an ORMMA contributor on the open source code project. Please check with your company if you are able to represent your organization as an ORMMA member or if you are interested in participating as an independent contributor. There is a separate discussion group related to code check-ins and the technical impact of spec changes / feature requests.
Code contributors are encouraged to write up the nature of their contributions on Blog posts can be submitted for review to

Your participation is welcome, regardless the size of your organization or your geographic location. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Yet another SDK? No.

Thankfully, the industry press did a great job diffusing information about ORMMA a couple of weeks ago. It has been very helpful in bringing developers from around the world in touch with us. But when I finally had a chance to review some of it recently, it may also have helped to create some confusion.

Is ORMMA yet another SDK that developers should include in their app? No.

ORMMA is first and foremost, an API specification, which existing SDK providers should try to adhere to, if they want to allow ad designers to build better ad units that can be served into multiple applications and onto different mobile devices. This API spec is currently "Creative Commons" and not owned by specific vendors.

There is a code project for ORMMA which is basically a smaller group of people implementing this API spec as an open source reference. This resulting SDK is licensed as "BSD" and can be freely used by commercial SDK vendor in their efforts to become ORMMA compliant.

Feel free to contact for additional info.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

ORMMA breaking the limits on Rich Media for mobile?

Creating rich media takes a lot of work. Enough work so that creators are forced to justify their investments. And if you can't justify the time and money it takes, then cheaper solutions prevail. Less-rich media fills the void.

ORMMA is about doing more than just filling up ad space. It's about being able to create compelling ads – the kind that takes creative work – and getting a return on your investment. Wide ORMMA adoption means a wide-ranging audience. For truly rich media ad units. And that's a pay off for consumers as well as advertisers and publishers.

So ORMMA is not another SDK. It is a specification that any SDK can comply with to eliminate choices that limit designers. Instead it provides new choices that promote truly rich media creative on mobile.

For example, today creative development on mobile begins with choice – choices that limit your audience. Choose a platform. Will you focus on one or more of iPhone, iPad, Android devices (1.2 or 2.0), WindowsMobile, RIM, Palm? Choose a screen. 320x480, 768x1024, 480x800, landscape or portrait? Choose a technology. Webkit, Java, ObjectiveC, Flash, Silverlight?

Each one of these choices limits what you can do, where you can place your ad, and ultimately limits the time and money you invest to develop great ads. With these kinds of limits, creativity itself is limited. What else can rich media ads become except ads for the lowest common denominator?

So the first principle of ORMMA is to remove those limits. ORMMA provides designers with technology they already know – HTML5 – and a container to run it on modern mobile devices. Choosing to create rich media with ORMMA standards removes the need to choose between competing platforms, OS, or technology. Web and ad designers use the tools they already have to independently create compelling ads.

But to me, the larger reward of ORMMA is that it increases your rich media options. The many features of today’s smart phones – hardware features like GPS, accelerometer, compass, yes even the phone – are exposed for ad designers to use. (Yes, location based services are already available with HTML5 and even phone calls are possible, but with different protocols for different phones.) ORMMA creates a bridge to all the hardware capabilities for any designer with HTML5 and JavaScript skills. Today’s spec ( outlines support for these features

  • network - device reports on its network connectivity
  • orientation - device reports on orientation changes
  • screen - device reports on the screen size
  • heading - device reports compass direction
  • location - device reports its location
  • shake - device reports being shaken
  • sms - device can send an SMS message
  • tilt - device report any tilt changes
  • phone - device can make a phone call
  • email - device can compose email
  • calendar - device can create a calendar entry
  • camera - device can take a picture

With this level of support available to designers, the classic maze game becomes easy. And be more rich. With a shake to start over. Using the current desktop as a board. That stores a coupon in the camera roll if they win. A designer can test this on a mobile browser (there are ORMMA containers for the web, too!) and then push it out confidently to Android, iPhone, iPad, WindowsMobile without modifications.

ORMMA means that the stuff that makes mobile exciting – location and spatial awareness, on-the-go video, high-res vibrant screens, HD audio, photo gallery, calendar, email, phone and SMS – this is the stuff that everyone can use to make rich media ads exciting. It’s all built into the ORMMA specification.

It’s easy to use. Here’s the code to start up and get location-based data.

ORMMA.addEventListener('location', myLocationHandler);

So what does it mean about investing in rich media on mobile? To me it means that the bar for the lowest common denominator has been raised. The cost to create immersive experiences that engage users has dropped. And the return on that investment has extended to a larger audience without compromise. So my question is, what rich media experience will you create with ORMMA? The work you put into it can finally pay off.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Welcome to the ORMMA Blog

Early this year I shared a document with some of Crisp's thoughts on solving key interoperability problems within the mobile ad serving community. We weren't surprised that several large mobile publishers, ad serving providers, ad networks and rich media advertising companies were thinking about the same problems.
In fact, the response was so positive that by August, some thought leading developers at The Weather Channel, Crisp and TringApps launched an open source project called ORMMA to solve fragmentation issues around mobile rich media ad serving.
In the months since then, we realized that there is a sincere desire from many organizations to work together, make mobile advertising a more fluid process and help companies deliver advertising at scale across the many screens and devices.
This blog is about providing the companies that contribute (directly or indirectly) a forum to announce their solutions and accomplishments related to Open Rich Media Mobile Advertising initiative.