I was nosing about after the story on whether or not Apple is going to get into the phone business and ended up at Techblog looking at the pics of the iPhone Concept. As I read down the page I saw a link from the word Phone and casually moused over it.
Up pops a little text box with some stuff about the link underneath. Turns out its an Adlink from Kontera that uses what they call a unique underline (it has a solid line with a dotted line underneath.
Now I've been using the latest version of Qumana which has a built in revenue model using contextual adverts. Haven't got to that stage yet because we are having a problem with some flicker on my laptop screen and I'm happy to get the posting away.
But it occurs to me that the popup text is not a bad way to present the advert. The link (which to my mind needs to be more distinct and unique) tells you there is something there and you can find out immediately by mousing over while the ad otherwise doesn't intrude into the reading space if you don't want it to.
Something like that could easily run off keywords in the text automatically.
It could also be useful for popping up useful related information. For example, Typepad is using something similar for managing comments. All I have to do is click the link to get some information about what is in the comment and links to edit, delete or unpublish the comment in question.
If the Qumana link above had been a "contextual" keyword, what popped up might not have been an advert, but links to the last 5 postings that I had mentioned Qumana in. I'm sure there are other uses as well.
I have a feeling that little text boxes are going to be popping up all over the place. The only problem I can see with embedding supplementary data like that is that we still need to manage the metadata.