How about four figure blogging?

Last year, Darren Rowse and Andy Wibbels published an e-learning course entitled Six Figure Blogging, which was focused on how to earn a six figure income through blogging. The course was highly successful and gathered alot of great feedback.

But was a six figure blogging course too much for some bloggers? Perhaps it’s easier to start by being focused on four or five figure blogging – and then earn one’s way up to $100,000 or more through growth over time.

Ben Bleikamp, of College Startup, thinks so – and has published Part I of a Four Figure Blogging Series at his blog:

The number of people who have the time, resources, and knowledge to develop a five or six figure income from blogging is very small in relation to the number of people that can devote a few hours a week to tacking $1,000 onto their yearly income through blogging. The amount of time it takes to earn $1,000 a year from blogging is significantly less than the time it takes to earn even $10,000.

There are many great resources for professional blogging – Darren Rowse’s Problogger, Ben Bleikamp’s College Startup, Problogging, and I’m sure there are others as well. But it’s good to have a simple place to start when you’re breaking into this business for the first time – and Ben’s post might just be that place. Keep an eye out for Part 2.

Maine blogger sued by Ad Agency and why there are two sides to every story

Maine Logo

Lance Dutson, who blogs at Maine Web Report was sued this week by Warren Kremer Paino Advertising for reporting that Dutston had posted to his blog about the Maine Office of Tourism.

Lance writes about the core of the story:

Here’€™s the ad they’€™re suing me for showing, an ad I pulled from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development website, that features a phone sex number instead of the real number to call for Maine tourism information:

So instead of owning up to the mistake, they’€™re suing me. This isn’€™t going to work.

Dutson is a member of the Media Bloggers Association, a group formed to support the development of blogging as a distinct form of journalism. Their President, Robert Cox, had this to say about the case:

This case is nothing more than an attempt by a deep-pocketed litigant to bully a blogger for criticizing state officials and state contractors. We have successfully defended MBA members in nine previous cases and I don’t expect the outcome here to be be any different.

On the surface, and without reading the details of the case this morning, this seems like an absurd lawsuit primarily due to the inability of some to own up to a mistake. Publishing a phone sex line in a tourism ad is a pretty major mistake, especially for a state tourism agency.

This story is being discussed widely discussed widely throughout the blogosphere currently. Most bloggers have instantly jumped in to support Dutson.

Blogger Scott Johnson, formerly of Feedster, took a different approach and called Tom McCartin of Warren Kremer Paino in order to get the other side of the story:

The issue isn’€™t free speech; its manipulation of Google and how the search engine results are presenting his business to the world. Now that’€™s something I can understand. I’€™m a business owner too. I’€™d never go to the level of a lawsuit personally but that’€™s due to how I feel about the U.S. legal system

Even after his conversation with Mr. McCartin, Johnson still feels that the lawsuit is a mistake and offers to donate to Dutson’s legal defense fund, if one is setup.

The real lesson here though for bloggers is that to be taken seriously as media, bloggers need to be willing to attempt to get both sides of the story. Johnson is the only blogger that I’m aware of that took the time to pick up the phone and listen to the other side of the story in order to truly understand – and then to write a post explaining why he chose to support Dutson.

Friday Blogs: Minneapolis, MN

This is the first of our new Friday Blogs series that will highlight relatively unknown or interesting blogs from around the blogosphere.

This Friday’s Blogs feature focused on Minneapolis, MN – the hometown of BlogMedia, Inc. and our own network of blogs.

Minneapolis is well-known as a liberal bastion in the upper Midwest. The newspaper, the Star-Tribune is often parodied by the Republications as a tool of the Democrat-Farmer-Labor party (DFL, or Democrats for short) in Minnesota.

Two blogs in the Minneapolis area take a daily aim at the Star Tribune.

The first is The Anti-Strib. This blog generally looks at the daily news coverage in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and attempts to poke holes in it. Today alone there were seven posts on the blog challenging stories in today’s newspaper.

The second is Rambix and the Red Star. This blog attacks the criminal justice coverage of the Star-Tribune head on with insight from police, prosecutors, eyewitnesses, and others in the Minneapolis area. This site has grown quite a reputation for challenging the crime prevention policies of the current mayor of Minneapolis.

Group blog MNSpeak covers news, arts, politics, and culture in the Twin Cities.

Metroblogging is represented with their Minneapolis site.

And no recap of Minneapolis blogs would be complete without mentioning James Lileks’s Bleats, published Monday through Friday without fail for more years than I can count. Funny too.

Apple case against bloggers continues

The Register reports on Apple’s attempts to compel bloggers to reveal their sources for stories related to a future Apple product. The case is currently before a US Court of Appeals.

Under current case law, journalists have wide discretion to protect their sources. This has been challenged in recent years though, at least in the area of criminal cases, by prosecutors using the grand jury as an investigative tool in order to compel journalists to reveal their sources. This was used very successfully in the Valerie Plame investigation by the special prosecutor – though no charges have yet to be filed for the underlying offense in that case.

The case law around bloggers is not quite so clear. The Apple case is important because it will be one of the first major cases that will set the stage for what will come – or not come – in terms of legal protections for bloggers in the future.

For more information on the case and the issues at stake for bloggers, visit the EFF’s excellent summary.

Technorati Banned in China?

Hot on the hells of Google being banned in China, reports across the blogosphere today are commenting on the apparent ban of Technorati from web surfers in China.

This snippet from Technorati’s own blog:

We’ve received a number of reports today that users in China can’t get access to the Technorati site. Of course, we’re taking these reports very seriously, and we’re trying to get more accurate information. We’ll let you know when we know more.

You can follow the story over at tech.memeorandum.

First Fortune 500 CEO Blogger: Jonathan Schwartz of Sun Microsystems

Debbie Weil, of Business Blog Consulting asks if Sun’s new CEO Jonathan Schwartz will be the first Fortune 500 CEO blogger:

Darn, it doesn’€™t look like it so far. Following yesterday’€™s news that Sun’€™s founding CEO, Scott McNealy, is stepping down – to be replaced by COO Jonathan Schwartz – I skipped over to Jonathan’€™s blog at

As of this morning, the latest entry is a week old, dated April 18, 2006…

But not long later, Jonathan wrote his first entry as CEO:

I remember the first time I met Scott McNealy – I’m sure he doesn’t remember it. It was in the board room in our old headquarters in Palo Alto. I was with one of the folks from the startup I ran, and we were meeting on the advice of a mutual customer. I think it was 1992 or ’93. Before you could actually explain the internet to your parents.

He goes on to tell the story and write briefly about what the future of Sun Microsystems will hold…

Schwartz has a unique opportunity before him both as CEO of Sun Microsystems and as a CEO blogger. For Sun, he is the first new CEO in many years – and he follows in the footsteps of Scott McNealy, an acknowledged industry giant who will continue to exert influence over the industry.

As a CEO blogger, Schwartz will have a chance to tell an unfiltered story about Sun Microsystems. And make no mistake, choosing how to tell this story will be one of the most important things that he does as CEO. Whether he does that through advertising choices or through his in-house or external marketing firms – or through his own blog – the story the company chooses to tell – and the products that back up that story – will define the future of Sun.. and their ability to succeed in the marketplace..

Or not…

How would you recommend that Schwartz use his blog to tell the story of the new Sun?

Feedburner unveils self-service advertising

Feedburner has announced a new self-service interface to their previously announced advertising services:

On the heels of our first announcement on the topic, we follow up with the availability of a self-service interface designed to make the ad-buying process easier for advertisers. The new self-service tools provide a quick way to bypass human contact and purchase media directly via the FeedBurner Web site. If you are a media buyer, ad agency or marketer looking to participate in this new medium, this is the place.

While feed advertising is significantly different than contextual advertising, this move brings Feedburner close to the simple interface and capabilities of Google’s Adwords service. Many pundits claim that Google’s major breakthrough with Adwords came about because of its easy self-serve ability to advertise one’s sites. Can Feedburner see a similar success through RSS advertising?

Disclaimer: BlogMedia, Inc. is a long-time user of Feedburner’s services and we are a participant in their RSS advertising network.

Blog Explosion Sold

As we reported earlier, Blog Explosion has been up for sale over the past several weeks, with the sale being brokered by b5media’s Jeremy Wright.

The owners of Blog Explosion are now reporting that the site has been sold:

We are pleased to announce that BlogExplosion has been sold to Stephen Sartain and a group of private investors this weekend. We had competitive bids all through last week and finally was decided on Saturday afternoon.

Stephen has bought two sites from us previously with great results and has extensive experience running sites like BlogExplosion. Our final closing price was in the six figures and well beyond our minimum bid of $100,000. We also want to extend a huge thanks to Jeremy Wright for doing an amazing job brokering the sale of BlogExplosion for us.

Jeremy Wright adds:

Yep. My first six figure sale. Thanks to the team that helped out, specifically Ingrid Diaz for the incredible help putting together a kickass buyer’€™s package PDF in under 24 hours. I’€™m really, really happy for the team. Of course you always want to see a client get more, more, more, but this is a really good deal with someone the entire team is happy with.

The sale of Blog Explosion marks the largest blog sale that I’m aware of other than the purchase of Weblogs, Inc. by AOL. Prior to that, the only sizable blog sale that I’m aware of is our own purchase of Blog Herald earlier this year.

Jeremy comments on his blog that he has no intention of brokering another large sale in the near future. I can comment having seen the sales material that he put together for the Blog Explosion sale that should he ever wish to broker blogs fulltime, I believe that he’s found the magic formula for doing so. Well done.

Additional coverage: Make you go Hmmm, Blog Logic, Bloggers Blog