May 28, 2005

Problogger wants you

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Rising star of the professional blogging world Darren Rowse of Problogger.net is off overseas for a month and is still looking for guest writers for a number of his blogs. A great opportunity to get inside a very slick and professional outfit. More on site here.

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Writers Write launches the Internet Writing Journal

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For lovers of the art of writing, Writers Write has announced the launch of InternetWritingJournal.com. The website is the new home of The Internet Writing Journal (The IWJ), an online magazine for writers and book lovers. The IWJ has been published by Writers Write, Inc. since 1997. Previously the website was part of the writerswrite.com website. The IWJ will now be published at its new website at internetwritingjournal.com. The new site also includes a frequently updated blog about books, journalism, publishing and writing.

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May 27, 2005

Official: MSN Spaces breaks 10 million blogs

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After prediciting Wenesday in the latest Blog Herald blog count that MSN Spaces now had 10 million blogs, the figure has been confirmed by Infoworld today which writes in “The Battle for the Blogosphere” that MSN Spaces now hosts over 10 million blogs, and that the adoption rate has blown past internal Microsoft expectations.

“MSN Spaces is the fastest growing service MSN has ever introduced,” said Brooke Richardson, lead product manager at MSN communication services, is quoted in the article.

The article itself is interesting in its analysis of the battle for the blog market, but also some interesting stats and quotes.

On stats:

In April, when MSN Spaces exited its beta period, it was already among the most popular blogging sites in the U.S. based on stats indicating 2.87 million unique visitors, according to market researcher comScore Networks.

MSN Spaces was topped only by blogging stalwarts. Google’s Blogger and its accompanying Blogspot hosting site together drew 12.63 million unique visitors, followed by Six Apart’s Typepad and LiveJournal services, which together rang up 11.47 million, and by Xanga.com with 8.26 million.

On quotes, the losing side tries to make light of the fact that they are losing the battle of the blogosphere to Microsoft with some positive sentiment:

“We definitely welcome it [Spaces etc] because it brings more people to blogging and helps expose blogging to a larger audience, so that helps us because more people will realize they’ll want to use our products,” says Six Apart’s Mena Trott. “We’re heavily influencing what they put in their services, so in terms of innovation we’re not too scared about that.”

Whether she will be proven right will be a matter for the future, but if I was a SA VC I’d be crapping my pants about now: Microsoft went off beta less than 2 months ago, and they are already ahead, imagine what will happen when they actually provide a serious alternative.

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MarketingSherpa’s 2nd Annual Reader’s Choice Blog Awards: Voting Starts Today

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MarketingSherpa calls to all fans of Blogs to vote for the winners of its 2nd Annual Best Blog Awards for the marketing, advertising and public relations communities. Nominations are in and you can vote online until June 8, 2005 at:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=333931095143

MarketingSherpa’s online survey includes hotlinks to the nominated Blogs so you can quickly check out the ones you don’t already know. Awards will be given in nine categories:
1. Best b-to-b marketing-topic blog
2. Best blog on online marketing
3. Best PR-topic blog
4. Best blog on niche marketing
5. Best blog on small business marketing
6. Best individual’s blog on the general overall topic of marketing, advertising & PR
7. Best group (multi-author) weblog on the general topics of marketing, advertising & PR
8. Best blog on search marketing
9. Best blog in foreign language

On Thursday, June 9th, MarketingSherpa’s editors will review all votes to determine winners. Lucky winners will receive a “Voted Best Blog” icon for their site, Blog name and URL posted on MarketingSherpa, name listed in an official press release, a MarketingSherpa Best Blog Winner coffee mug along with fame, glory and bragging rights.

Voting closes June 8.

(via media release)

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Scoble vs the average blogger

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Duncan Riley> Microsoft uber-blogger Robert Scoble, who I’ve always considered to be good bloke, has posted that he’ll stop reading blogs (more precisely their feeds) if they don’t offer full text feeds. Turboblogger has a bit more coverage on this, but I’d like to add my two-bobs worth.

I think the decision by Scoble is disappointing and discriminates against the average blogger. And yes, if I was on his list for the Blog Herald, it looks like I’m about to get kicked off because I too have resorted to partial text feeds.
read more

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NineMSN Schappelle Corby blog, other sites crash during verdict

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The fake Schappelle Corby blog run by NineMSN we reported about Wednesday has crashed under the server load as the verdict was handed down in Bali some 10 minutes ago.

The site, which was extremely slow to load during the handing down of the 2 hour verdict hearing, became uncontactable in the last 5 minutes as the moment of truth arrived.

The traffic was also represented across other Australian sites, including the Sydney Morning Herald, News.com.au and others which all ground to a halt as a seemingly amazing number of Australians logged onto the internet to see the results of the verdict.

Perhaps demonstrating how useless their service has become, Google News Australia, some 10 minutes after the verdict, has still not reported the outcome of the case.

(editors note: in the end I turned on a TV).

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WeblogsInc Podcast sponsorship: $60k for 6 months

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Big money is starting to emerge to sponsor podcasting, with Business Week reporting that Volvo paid $60,000 USD for a 6 month sponsorship of the Autoblog podcast. The story also looks at the emergence of other “lifestyle� companies targeting podcasting for advertising.

(via Corante)

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Weblogs, Inc. seeks Apple Bloggers

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Jason Calacanis’ WeblogsInc is seeking bloggers to write for The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW).

Bloggers are required to have a combination of Apple skills + Design (Photoshop, CSS, Flash, etc.), although strangely the ability to actually write a blog post was not listed, although we’d think it would probably help.

Apply on site.

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May 26, 2005

New surge in comment spam?

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Duncan Riley> Perhaps I haven’t been noticing it as much since upgrading to WP 1.5 and having a lot less trouble with spam, but across all my blogs today there appears to be a big upswell in comment spam attacks, particularly using new words that weren’t in the spam filter, its actually that heavy that the server load has increased and the blogs are running slowly whilst being attacked (although still running). Thankfully most of it is not getting on any of the sites. Is anyone else experience an upsurge in comment spam, or have I just been lucky recently? let me know by adding your comment.

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30% of Americans have read a blog: poll

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30% Americans say they’ve read a weblog at least once, according to a new poll from research firm Ipsos.

The poll, which sought out the opinions of 2,537 American adults, a half decent sample unlike those from Pew Internet, also found that among those who regularly read blogs, 38 per cent said they visited blogs at least once a week.

Interestingly more people living on the West Coast read blogs than elsewhere, with 37 per cent of respondents reporting visiting a blog.

On the question of accuracy in reporting, those who said they read a blog at least once, more than half described them as either somewhat or very accurate.

By comparison, those who said they hadn’t visited a blog said blogs were accurate only 22 per cent of the time.

More than half of blog readers say blogs influence public opinion (68%), mainstream media (56%) and public policy (54%)

(in part via The Globe and Mail)

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