October 31, 2005

100 blogs in 100 days, day 54: Newsome.org

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Day 54 of 100 blogs in 100 days comes to us from Kent Newsome

Blog: Newsome.org
About: “A music, technology and general interest blog by a lawyer/songwriter/professor/website developer who previously was a shareware writer & game developer. Technology and internet related tips and articles, mostly for the over-40 set (people my age who are sadly missing out on the many features/advantages of the connected world). Includes original music, tech pointers and tips, opinion posts, music and movie reviews, etc.”

So drop on by to Newsome.org and let Kent know what you think.

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New list of Blog Networks Published (and its not mine!)

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Oman has put together an interesting list of blog networks here, with a number of networks I’ve never heard of before, but just for not letting me know about it (came via Steve Rubel) he will forever be banned from being mentioned here again :-)

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October 30, 2005

TypePad blocked in China

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Reports that SixApart’s TypePad service has been blocked by Chinese authorities. It could have just been down again….

(via ThreadWatch)

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Will SixApart be sued over TypePad failures

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Just catching up on some email here Monday morning (my time) and along with emails from a number of TypePad users who are extremely angry about the ongoing problems with the service, and a number of comments left on site as well, I’ve got an email from a client still using TypePad with a TypePad.com URL suggesting that he is talking to other users about putting together a class action law suit against Six Apart for loss of business and damages caused by the outages. He’s asked not to be named because he doesn’t want his site affected (he tells me it’s working better now) but I will say this: if you must use TypePad for your blogging, get your own domain name, same goes for Blogger or any similar service as well, because at the end of the day its the only way you can minimise any problems if you need to change service providers because you don’t lose the URL address.

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October 29, 2005

100 blogs in 100 days, day 53: ducttapelord

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Day 53 of 100 blogs in 100 days comes to us from Mike Koehler.

Blog: ducttapelord
About: “I started this blog as a way to vent my feelings after being dumped by my first girlfriend, though it has long since ventured away from frequent sappy relationship entries. Lately it’s been used to discuss my quest for geekdom, in addition to a collection of semi-daily musings about everyday occurrences. As for a visiting my site, surely using English with 87% proficiency counts for something… Right? =)”

So drop on by to ducttapelord and let Mike know you think.

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b5media seeking celeb / TV Show bloggers

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Blog network b5media is seeking bloggers who are fans of, groupies of or just plain addicts of popular celebrities and TV shows. We already have Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohen are already covered. More details on the site here.

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SixApart in damage control, email subscribers

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Looks like the general anger with the whole SixApart – TypePad outage problems has finally gotten through to senior management at SixApart with CEO Barak Berkowitz emailing the following to customers of the service, but as one TypePad user pointed out to me, with no offer of compensation for the lost time and busniess caused by the outages:

As you might know, some of our users have been experiencing slow performance with the TypePad service over the past few weeks. Ben and Mena, our founders, posted about this earlier this week. I want to provide more details and give you additional insight into how we got here, and what we’re doing to fix the current problems.
How did we get here?
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October 28, 2005

Qumana officially launches new advertising program for blogs

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Qumana Software Inc. has officially launched an upgrade to its program, Qumana, which combines Qumana’s blog publishing tool with a keyword advertising program at Oxford & York’s conference, “Media, Communications & Technology – In the Age of the Blogger.”

“Online advertising grew 26 percent in the first half of this year to reach $5.8 billion, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). By the end of 2008, this market is expected to reach over $20 billion,” said Qumana CEO Fred Fabro. “Pair this with 20 million blogs, and 70 million readers of RSS feeds, and the market becomes attractive,” he added.

“With Qumana, a blogger can choose which keywords best represent the editorial message of the blog post, or the target audience. With one click they can embed an ad from our network that best relates to that content — these ads flow from blog post to RSS to email. With tight relevancy of advertisement to content and audience, and expanded audience, the result is higher click-throughs and happier advertisers,” said Fabro.

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Panasonic Launches Blog To Discuss AG-HVX200 And HD

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Panasonic has announced the launch of a blog to “inform and educate video professionals” on the new AG-HVX200 HD/SD DVCPRO P2 camcorder and on high definition technology topics in general.

The blog, written by Tosh Bilowski , provides Panasonic “a forum to express its views and share its opinions on new technologies, products, features, and activities, as well as answer questions in a meaningful way.”

‘€œThis web log will serve as a centralized source for accurate information on the AG-HVX200, DVCPRO HD, P2, and on a host of technology subjects, and Tosh allows us to put a human face and personality to it,’€? said Jim Wickizer, National Manager, Marketing Services, Panasonic Broadcast. ‘€œIn the past, this type of information has typically been presented in a far-less-interesting manner. The on-line journal’€™s goal is to be helpful and relevant to video professionals and provide them with a useful reference.’€?

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A short guide to ad sizes

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When setting up a blog most people would consider that design is an important aspect, but how many people would consider ad placement in that equation?. It’s an interesting point I’d like to cover in this brief guide because I’ve been working with new templates lately and sometimes as much as they look pretty, designers are normally focused on asthetics as opposed to functional placement of advertising.

General ad placement

I’ve covered a fair bit here before in relation to different advertising options, but sizing of ads and how they fit on your blog shouldn’t not be overlooked in the greater picture of your all over setup. The general rule of successful ad placement is getting your ad into a “sweetspot” that blog readers are more likely to click on, and generally speaking this is s as close to content as possible, opposed to removed from it. Inline ad spots, such as a Google Adsense ad placed within the text post for example is highly regarded by many. Me, Ive never been able to use this spot due to design considerations (and the fact it makes picture placement highly difficult), but ads spots directly between text and comment fields for example work well. Side bar spots have various levels of success, where as top banners (above the heading) or footer ad spots have the lowest level of clickthru. Sure, if you’re running ads that pay on a CPM basis (paid on impressions as opposed to clicks) then its probably not going to be a huge deal, but I can say from experience, that the better the click thru rates you deliver the better chance of gaining repeat business, even on a set fee or CPM placement.
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