The Ad Heavy Feed Footers


It was bound to happen, ads hitting the RSS feeds. It’s not even anything even remotely new, popular services such as Feedburner (pre-Google) offered advertising solutions for your feed, and does now too, thanks to Adsense. Other players in the feed sphere did it too, and don’t forget the publishers themselves – adding something at the end of the RSS feed isn’t even all that hard. And I’m not even mentioning the fact that if you put an ad in your blog post, it’ll go right along in your feed.

It makes sense. A lot of us like to read, or at least glance, stories in the feed reader. We might not visit some sites in weeks, despite being regular readers.

Enters the ads in the RSS feeds. Problem is, where there is plenty of opportunity to make it look splendid and great on a website, the feed doesn’t have the same possibilities. Which makes it ugly. [Read more…]

Facebook Lets Journos Get First Pick

The Facebook vanity URLs might not be coming until Saturday for most of us, but if your name is Michael Arrington and you’re running TechCrunch, you get dibs. That’s right, Facebook is giving prioritized journalists/bloggers first pick, so if you fancied as your new profile URL, you’re out of luck.

This isn’t outrageous, it’s just the way it is. Facebook wants to keep the people covering them happy, no more no less. Think what you will about that. Arrington decided to write about it (which probably pissed some Facebook PR rep off), and wraps it up in this brutal but honest way:

I feel sort of bad about posting this, since Facebook is actually doing us a favor. But I also think it’s kind of BS that Facebook is giving some people, employees included, first shot at the names. My guilt only extends so far, though. You suckers wait in line. I’m grabbing my name in advance.

We don’t have much choice, now do we?

Mashable The New Tech Blog #1, Passes TechCrunch

Is this news? Not really, but I find it interesting to see that Silicon Alley Insider is reporting that Mashable now has passed TechCrunch, according to Complete with graph and everything. But is traffic everything? Of course not, new startups still dream of being featured on TechCrunch, and I bet they’d still prefer that to Mashable. Actually, I think the two blogs are so different that the whole comparison is a bit flawed.

But again, isn’t it interesting that a third blog (SAI) is comparing two other blogs to each other, and writes about it? Almost makes the blogosphere echo chamber debate seem motivated again.

IAB Releases Social Media Best Practices

This is good news for marketers as well as companies trying to make money on social media services, sites, applications, and so on. IAB, which is responsible for the de facto standard of online advertising, have released a hefty tome on social media practices. Nick Gonzales of writes a guest post on TechCrunch covering this:

As part of a company that makes social ads, I’m excited that the IAB has released a new set of social advertising best practices to help bring consistency to the marketplace, similar to the way IAB standards brought efficiency to online advertising back in the 90’s.

I agree, social media needs some directions when it comes to advertising, and that is IAB’s desk. This could also lead to marketing firms eyeing social media with even more interest, since there is now some sort of guidelines to go by, although that remains to be seen.

TechCrunch Leaves Federated Media

Ad network Federated Media is losing one of its bigger clients, the TechCrunch network. Michael Arrington announced it on TechCrunch, of course, and explained the decision with the fact that they have been selling direct ads for some time already, and want to move on in that direction.

We’d like to acknowledge Federated Media for the contributing role they’ve played to help TechCrunch get to where it is today. Notwithstanding our differences of opinion about the role of conversational marketing, we part friends. Unlike others, we’re not leaving to move to competitive selling networks, we’re just leaving to chart our own course.

There’s been some noise around the TechCrunch-FM relationship over the years, Arrington not being the most subtle guy and probably rightly so when it comes to handling Federated Media, but the two parties are apparently splitting up on good terms, which the FM Blog post confirms.

What does this mean for Federated Media? It’s a loss, of course, but it won’t get them on their hands and knees. Not unless they are already there, given the financial situation the world is in.

The CrunchCam: Look In On TechCrunch


CrunchCamTechCrunch obviously wants to save money on “real” surveillance, so they’ll get the nerdosphere to do the job for them, courtesy of the CrunchCam. That’s the fancy word for a webcam setup at the TechCrunch office, streaming live nonstop using Ustream. That’s right, you can watch bloggers blog, for free! And you know what, they might even add a second camera with limited audio, oh the joy!

To be fair, they are doing something with this. Right now I’m seein a dog, a bunch of bloggers behind desks or running around, and a “Today’s Sponsor” whiteboard piece of art. And if you watch it on Ustream, you can tweet about it and end up in the social stream box. That’s always fun, isn’t it?

Hopefully not all bloggers will follow. The mere thought of being able to watch some unwashed guy still in his undies at 3PM scares me a little.

TechCrunch Gets Office, News Hit Techmeme (Sort Of)

Techcrunch LogoThis is just too hilarious not to mention. Michael Arrington posted about TechCrunch finally getting their own office because of complaints from neighbors. Apparently they didn’t like the traffic or something, read more about it on TechCrunch. That’s all well and good, Arrington can certainly post about something concerning his site, and it is even somewhat relevant.

Then Silicon Alley Insider does a news story on it. I was amazed to see that one, especially since more than half of it is a quote from the TechCrunch post.

And it hits Techmeme, granted, not in a big way, but still. Naturally, we’re adding to this with this post, but this is fun stuff, and interesting as well, when looked at as a phenomenon. Gotta love the blogosphere.

TechCrunch Rumor Control Failure Brings Out the Torches

TechCrunch is feeling the heat from Erick Schonfeld’s story on handing over data to the RIAA. Which got a pretty harsh denial, and to TechCrunch’s defense, they did update the post with more and more information. Most people are pissed, however, and rightly so. The story was false, and although it is presented as a rumor, it could be hurting As it were, I think TechCrunch is taking a bigger hit, in credibility, despite a surprising defensive post from Duncan Riley. See also Matthew Ingrams post on the topic, pretty sober as well. For more, check out Techmeme.

How much has this hurt TechCrunch, a blog with a lot of haters in the first place, and what could they have done differently? Do share your thoughts in the comments.

Sarah Lacy to Fill Arrington’s Shoes

Michael Arrington is taking a month off after the spit incident and death threats, and probably due to a much needed vacation for the dedicated blogger. Author, blogger, and BusinessWeek columnist Sarah Lacy is filling in for him, which caused Duncan Riley to post a poll on how long she’ll last.

So what is Lacy up against? Well, a snarky commenting crowd for one, and possibly a harsher treatment because of her sex. At least that’s Riley’s opinion, and he should know, being a former TechCrunch writer. On the other hand, I can’t say that Lacy strikes me as a particularly vulnerable person, and she thinks she’ll manage just fine, obviously. One thing’s for certain though, and that is that it’s never easy to step in and do someone else’s job, especially not when it is so focused on personal style and opinions as a blog is.