January 24, 2005

Bloggers’ newest power: rating Super Bowl ads

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What better sign that blogging has gone mainstream than this: The popular act of blogging by anyone with a PC or laptop is now part of the Super Bowl ad sweepstakes reports SilliconValley.com via Yahoo! News

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Ready, Set, Blog!

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MindSay.com, home to more than 50,000 blogs, today announced the launch of readysetblog.com, to educate non-bloggers on the emerging new medium. The site features bloggers in their own words, answering the common questions of:
What is a blog?
Why should I blog?
How do I get started?

To gather the responses, MindSay solicited feedback using its own staff blog. “The feedback from our community was tremendous in piecing this project together,” said Adam Ostrow, MindSay’s co-founder. “With the huge buzz currently surrounding blogging, we believe the best way to reach out and inform the rest of the World about this revolution is to feature bloggers in their own words, answering the questions that many onlookers are still asking.”

In addition to dozens of quotes from real bloggers, readysetblog.com features its own blog that follows developments in the industry. “The blogging landscape is changing dramatically every day,” said Brian Klug, MindSay’s co-founder. “Microsoft recently entered the market with their MSN Spaces product, and we’re already starting to see consolidation with Six Apart’s acquisition of LiveJournal. Our blog at readysetblog.com will keep people informed of the developments shaping our industry, and foster discussion about where we go from here.”

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January 22, 2005

When Bloggers Make News

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More positive blog stories from the Wall Street Journal, this time leading with the deserving Christopher Frankonis of Portland Communique

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Microsoft vs Weblogsinc makes headlines

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Internetnews.com is covering the Microsoft takedown notice aimed at Weblogsinc property Engadget.com, despite the fact Jaon Calancanis is reporting its all said and done thanks to the intervention of Microsoft uber-blogger and all round good guy Robert Scoble. What ever he’s on, Scoble is not being paid enough, heading off what could have been a damaging story in the blogosphere if worth millions in the damaging stories that now won’t run. Snaps to Scoble.

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January 21, 2005

When Bloggers Make News

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As Their Clout Increases, Web Diarists Are Asking: Just What Are the Rules? The Wall Street Journal on blogs and blogging. A number of topics covered, but remember, those who control the money in America are reading this.

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Google about to unveil a completely revamped Adwords/Adsense program

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SiliconValleyWatcher reports that about 1800 Google marketing people from its offices around the world are at an internal sales conference at a secret location in San Francisco, being briefed on a completely revamped Google Adwords/Adsense program and other new features.

As well as being an important source of revenue for Google, the Adsense program has been successfully used by many bloggers to provide a regular (if not always large) source of advertising revenue.

The report speculates that the changes may include the ability of advertisers to be more selective as to where their ads appear, which could potentially limit bloggers income, as well as new tools to compete better the services such as those provided by Kanoodle, who’s advertising is already appearing on a number of well known blogs.

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The “Spin Starts Here” nobbled over Delta crucifixion

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Australian satirical blog “The Spin Starts Here” has been driven offline tonight, seemingly nobbled by the Management of singer Delta Goodrem following attacks launched in the Australian media against the site after starting a petition calling for the singer’s crucifixion in a piece titled ‘Make Delta Cross This Easter.’

“Delta Goodrem has made a bomb by allowing her management to exploit her brush with cancer,” said the petition. “She’s also profited greatly from the bad press surrounding her former beau, Mark Philippoussis, and allegations he cheated on her – despite the fact she took up with singer Brian McFadden some time before the break-up.

As any readers of the blog would know, its a satirical site that literally “takes the piss” out of anyone and everything. Whilst the site is not every one’s cup of tea, the attack led by the Murdoch Press (News Ltd) here, here and here, and also syndicated to offline papers such as the West Australian (pg 3) sets a new precedent in Australia for attacking online speech. It seems that not only has the Australian press woken up to blogs, but like their “old media” American counterparts, a number of journalists neither like them nor understand humour.

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SixApart LiveJournal Sabotaged?

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The analysis of the SixApart LiveJournal (SALJ) power outage that has been posted on the SALJ site, and states that somebody “accidentally” hit an Emergency Power Off (EPO) switch, which itself was behind a covered case to prevent accidents, then replaced the protective casing, and then left the building.

How some one “accidentally” sets off a covered EPO Switch, then accidentally covers the switch, then accidentally flees from the scene was not disclosed.

We speculated at the time (we thought jokingly) that perhaps SALJ has been sabotaged by some of the lunatic fringe that frequent the service. Little did we know that our joke could actually be a reflection of the truth.

It appears that SALJ may well have been sabotaged.

The report continues that host Internap will now be putting alarms and tamper-proof indicators on the plastic cages surrounding the EPO buttons now, though, so at least if these “accidents” happen again in the future they’ll know.

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Vancouver to Host First Canadian Blogging Conference

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Northern Voice, Canada’s first ever blogging conference, is to be hosted in Vancouver on 19 February 2005 at UBC Robson Square.

Northern Voice is a conference for bloggers, people interested in blogging and those keen to learn more about personal publishing. The conference has attracted high-profile speakers including Microsoft uber-blogger Robert Scoble, CBC broadcaster Tod Maffin and 25 other local and noted bloggers.

“We were blown away by the quality and diversity of all of the speaker submissions, and count ourselves lucky that we had so many to choose from,” said Darren Barefoot, a Vancouver blogger and conference organizer. “The diversity of speakers and topics we are able to offer reflects the growing communities of bloggers across the country. In mid-2003, there were only 125,000 blogs, today there are more than five million.”

Northern Voice is a non-profit, community-based conference, covering a broad range of cultural and technical topics related to blogging and personal publishing. The conference will be of interest to both the beginner and veteran blogger, both the technically inclined and the technically ambivalent, and Entry is $20 CAD if booked in advance, or $30 CAD on the day.

For more information or to register for the conference, visit www.northernvoice.ca

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VW suicide bomber ad – should Autoblog have run it?

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Jason Calacanis from Weblogsinc continues his open discussion with his readers with a post discussing the decision of Autoblog not to run the much talked about VW suicide bomber viral ad.

For those who haven’t heard about it yet, the ad features a Muslim suicide bomber who drives up to a cafe to detonate his bomb. Upon pressing the button, the bomb explodes inside the car, but the car and the people outside the car in the cafe are untouched, the implication being that the car is so well-built that even a suicide bomber can’t destroy it

Calacanis states that the decision was made by the editor of Autoblog and he fully backs the decision, as the ad is offensive to those that have lost love ones due to suicide bombers around the world, and despite the fact that not featuring the clip has cost Weblogsinc traffic and revenue.

It’s always nice to see decisions made on ethics and moral judgement in the business world, and as we’ve written previously the open discussion on these and other issues from Jason Calacanis is a great example of how to do corporate blogging the right way.

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