Steve Rubel doesn’t get it: RSS advertising sucks

Steve Rubel gripes about feeds:

“So when are the newspapers going to step up to the plate and experiment with their golden geese? When will we see more ad-subsidized print edition summary feeds or, dare I say, full-text feeds for paid subscribers [from the MSM]? I sure hope it’s in my lifetime because if the newspapers don’t give the masses what they want soon, an army of bloggers and citizen journalism networks will surround them to happily fill the gaps”

How bout then RSS advertising actually pays out Steve? The reality is RSS advertising sucks (sorry to my friends at Pheedo who are trying very hard to make it work, and continue to get better at it). I’m yet to find anyone who is making decent money from RSS advertising, particularly compared to traditional on site advertising (both CPC and CPM). Firms like Weblogs Inc can offer full feeds with RSS advertising only because they’ve got enough revenue coming of the main blogs themselves. Somebody should ask J-Cal what his returns are on his RSS ads vs the sites ads. If he gets 10% of the revenue from his RSS feeds compared to that of the blogs (averaged over similar user numbers…apples and oranges after all) I’d be greatly surprised.

On another note Steve, I’m starting to worry about you, you are starting to sound more like Scoble every day…please don’t join the everything for free and damn the money crowd… some of us are trying to blog for a living.

From little things, big things grow

To all those Google censorship haters out there, this from Slashdot:

Chinese Journalists Beat Censorship With Web
“When Beijing tried to make a journalist’s pay at one newspaper depend on official reactions to their stories, a web-savvy reporter was able to create a groundswell of public opinion and reverse the move.” From the article: “Just before the meeting, Li had posted a blistering letter on the newspaper’s computer system attacking the Communist Party’s propaganda czars and a plan by the editor in chief to dock reporters’ pay if their stories upset party officials. No one told the editor in chief. For 90 minutes, he ran the meeting, oblivious to the political storm that was brewing. Then Li announced what he had done.”

More at The Washington Post.

Revolutions are rarely successful overnight, the most successful change is one made peacefully and with the support of the people, over time.

Green Blogathon this weekend

One of the wonderful things about working with b5media is that I get to read stuff that is like the anti-everything of me and still respect it, like Kevin’s participation in a Green Blogathon this weekend. If you are into tree-hugging and prefer your sushi Dolphin free, take a look…in the mean time I’m going back to working on my import licenses of whale meat from Japan and miniature coal fired power stations to sell to local farmers who aren’t on mains electricity :-)

SixApart to submit trackback as an Internet Standard

Byrne writes at the SixApart Professional Network blog that SixApart is going to submit trackback as an Internet Standard. I think this is a good thing, although I’m not technically proficient enough to understand the scripting/ tech behind it. What I would like to see though is WordPress blogs and TypePad/ MT blogs being able to automatically trackback each other. In the case of WordPress to trackback a MT powered blog you’ve got to cut and paste the trackback address in….this of course may have nothing to do with this at all, or it might. Maybe if we get standardised trackback all the various blogging tools will start talking to each other….and the world will be a better place :-)

Update: Matt Mullenweg is supporting the idea…sort of, but he’s saying Pingback is better (and I think he want’s this to be the standard??) . Totally over my head really, you can read more here.

Is SixApart using new funding to expand internationally?

Morgan McLintic seems to think so. If SixApart Management is reading this post I’d give them one word: CHINA. If they were a little more speculative I’d add a second word, and this one probably has more potential longer term: INDIA.

I would add though that an AUD based blogging service would have great potential as well. Sure, the market is only 20 million roughly (hey, we’ve got 18.5 million mobile accounts in a country of only 20 and a bit million), but it’s a market that’s been under catered for where those who are blogging do so with overseas providers. I’m sure that a AUD service under the name of SixApart/ TypePad would have great possibilities! (note to Anil, if you started charging my Visa in AUD I’d even consider signing up!!!!).

Major Sex Scandal amongst A-List bloggers

Actually there isn’t a major sex scandal amongst A-List bloggers, but I couldn’t help myself after reading Paul Murphy’s latest post at ZDNet. He starts with:

“Various talkback contributors have at times accused me of writing headlines and blogs purely to provoke page reads. Most of the time I dismiss those as ad hominem attacks committed out of ignorance and frustration.”

You can read the rest by following the link, but this quote was interesting:

“Here’s what I do: I troll shamelessly, but for talkbacks, not page hits. It’s talkbacks that make this blogging business fun, and if there’s a million flakes out there who know that clicking on my blog won’t make them feel better about their own decisions to get along by going along? Well, too bad – I’d rather get a sensible talkback complaining that I’m smearing all Wintel bigots with the same brush again than cater to them”

In blog speak I think he means Trackbacks…but it’s still an interesting strategy

52 percent of Chinese office workers write blogs

If you ever had any doubt that blogging is huge in China (36.82 million as at the last Blog Herald Blog Count) according to the findings of a blogging survey conducted by CBP among white-collar workers in China’s four largest cities — Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen — 52 percent responded they already had a blog, while another 28 percent said they plan to begin a blog in the near future.

MSN/ Mainichi news reports:

Weblogs have become the fourth online channel for Chinese people to communicate with each other, following email, bulletin board systems (BBS) and instant messaging tools such as QQ and MSN Messenger,” Bian Bingbin, President and Chief Career Consultant with CBP Career Consultants, told Interfax Monday. “Blogging is now a lifestyle habit for more and more Chinese white-collar workers, with a majority updating their blogs once every three days on average,” he said.

Writing complaints and criticism has become a major content theme for white-collar bloggers – survey statistics show that 28 percent “always make aggressive and critical comments on their weblogs.” A brave 60 percent of white-collars bloggers criticize their boss on their blogs.

“Chinese white-collars workers, under the stress of life and work, have made blogging another platform to relieve their emotions and also express their personal opinions in public,” Bian said.

Although 67 percent of white-collars bloggers write about their private lives, only 27 percent make their blogs completely public. 41 percent of the survey respondents said they chose MSN Spaces to host their weblogs, citing the option to limit access to users on the bloggers MSN contact list as a main reason for choosing Microsoft’s free blogging site. (Interfax-China)

I’ll leave the last word to Sarah Schafer from Newsweek, who really sums up the wonder of blogging in China, and for those people jumping up and down about censorship in China based blogs, I’d say: “from little things, big things grow”.

Since the communist revolution Chinese writers have worked under the jurisdiction of writers’ associations, obligated to compose for the glory of the party. Now, for the first time they are self-publishing in large numbers, and the state does not entirely control the flow of information.

Wanted: advice on setting up a Memeorandum style aggregator

A quick bleg: does anyone have any idea on how to set up a memeorandum or similar style aggregator? I’ve read somewhere in the past that they’ve used Nucleus, but I’ve also read you can do a similar thing with WordPress. I’m not looking at something super flash but I’m looking at putting together something that covers Australian blogs. I know Ben Barren is looking at a something Technorati-ish with Gnoos, but I’ll have a bit more time on my hands, I love new projects and challenges, I want to play a role in the Australian blogosphere, and I bought a great domain years ago I’ve always wanted to use for something like this:

Just reading at The Australian about a blog storm in Melbourne, cant say I’ve read any of the blogs involved, which sort of makes me feel sad, because I would have read thousands of their American equivalents over the years and I wouldn’t have had to wait to read about an American equivalent in the MSM.

It’s also vitally important that I spread the gospel of Caz at Australia’s great blog The Spin Starts Here. Unfortunately spamming Wikipedia is out of the question (it seems every time I write anything at Wikipedia they accuse me of spamming these days :-) ) so I have to find other means of promoting the site :-)