Federated Media, the media and publishing company that attempts to organize the best of the independent Web, is in beta with a new product called Conversation Targeting.

The above video interview is from the IAB Annual Conference.                               
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The platform, according to John Battelle, Executive Chairman/CSO, brings the Semantic Web to ad delivery by crawling across Federated Media’s network and discovering the meaning of what’s being said on sites as varied as Boing Boing to Foodbuzz. (Forward to 8:50 in the interview above to hear John discuss the platform.)

Once indexed, the results are run through a semantic search engine to determine what the content is about and what its meaning is rather than simply looking at key words on the page.

From there, Federated can look at its ad inventory and begin to place messaging next to conversations that actually mean things.

What that practically means for marketers is that they can, in John’s words, “own a conversation.”

For example, Verizon could integrate with all conversation across Federated Media about tablets, phone plans or people bitching about AT&T.

Previously, marketers couldn’t do that. Or, at the very least, it would be a prohibitively intensive effort involving thousands of individual media buys.

“Or,” says John, “you just dump money into an ad network and cross your fingers.”