After popularizing online feed readers, it looks as if IAC (owners of Ask.com) are permanently shutting down Bloglines apparently due to lack of interest.
However what’s surprising is that it was not a rival like Google Reader who killed off Bloglines, but rather a Xoogler (aka ex-Googler) whose social network made Bloglines obsolete.
It’s finally happened. Bloglines,the troubled RSS feed reader owned by IAC, will officially be shut down, the company has told TechCrunch exclusively. The site has had a tumultuous history, so it’s unsurprising that IAC has finally put the platform out of its misery. [...]
Doug Leeds, President of Ask.com tells us that the reasoning behind closing Bloglines came down to the fact that the market for people who use Bloglines (and RSS readers, he adds) isn’t growing, and is actually shrinking as people shift to realtime news streams such as Twitter to consume content on the web. (via TechCrunch)
IAC plans on shutting down the server on October 1st, although they have yet to release an official announcement to their users (at least the ones who have not yet defected to Google Reader).
While it’s easy to blame Twitter for the death of their once glorious feed reader, the real killer is not Twitter but Google, whose entrance into the RSS reader market has disrupted the entire industry (as gReader is free of cost and ads).
With Bloglines calling it quits, RSS addicts will probably have very few options available outside of Google and the desktop (although the former will probably capitalize on Bloglines demise once IAC makes a formal announcement).
In Exploring Social Media: Social Media Tools, I featured a list of what other social media sites and experts recommend as their social media tools. Let’s take a step backwards and explore the basics you need to have in place as part of your core social media tools for bloggers and businesses as part of this ongoing series on Exploring Social Media.
While the concept of social media and social media tools confuses many, the basic social tools are ones you probably already have and use. You might not think of these as social media tools, but they are crucial to today’s communication strategies.
You probably understand why you need these, but let’s review the reasons you should have these basics in place to start your blog, online persona, business, or media campaign. read more
Many of you asked me what title or label should be used to lure your visitors into clicking on your ads and subscribing to your feeds without driving them away or confusing them. Let’s brainstorm some possibilities.
Naming Ad Sections on Your Blog
If you use a misleading title for your advertising or “sponsored” section, you can really upset your readers and visitors when they click through to an ad. That’s a sure way to lose visitors. You need to warn them, but you also need to entice them to click, if your blog is serious about making money.
“Visit Our Sponsors” is simple and generic, as is “Our Commercial Recommendations.” You can be blatant with “Advertisements” or “Ad sponsors” as long as that still complies with the terms of service for the advertiser.
What about something more appropriate to your blog’s topic?
If your blog is about cars, why not title them, “Drive Some Business to Our Sponsors.” If your blog is about cats, what about “Our Sponsors are the Cat’s Meow” or “Here Kitty Kitty! Shop Here!”
Contextual ad services require keywords near their ads and on the page, so why not add more by being clever, not deceptive. You cannot imply the links in the ads are publisher-created content, but you can say they are ads or sponsors with some imagination.
You can also color the background or the area around the ads to set them apart but also integrated into the blog’s design to draw the eye towards them without distracting from the content. There are many ways of highlighting your ads without words that helps the visitor recognize them. Research the guidelines the advertiser provides, as some do not allow graphics or design emphasis, and check their top revenue earners to see what they are doing.
A week and a half ago I had a sudden realization. Subscriptions generally cost money. Think about that for a second. It’s jarring, especially if you’ve spent the past few months or even years incessantly asking your readers to subscribe…
Are you being completely clear with your word choice? When you ask your readers to subscribe, are you asking them to do the virtual version of writing their name underneath? Or are you asking them to agree to pay you a sum of money?
This is a great example of the WTF Blog Design Clutter. The words you use to entice someone to “buy” your free service can confuse readers. By changing the words, Franzen saw a huge increase in feed and email subscriptions. read more