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Archive for August, 2002

Saudis censor swimming suits online (among other things)

by henrycopeland
Thursday, August 29th, 2002

A study of Saudi censorship shows limits on information about women’s advances, writes the NYTimes. “The ‘Women in American History’ section of Encyclopaedia Britannica Online (www.women.eb.com), which summarizes the women’s rights movement from 1600 to the present, is blocked. IVillage (ivillage.com), a popular American advice and support site for women, is also blacklisted.” Other blacklisted sites: www.rollingstone.com, www.wbr.com, www.seznam.cz, www.theonion.com, and www.ifrance.com See most of the list here. The study notes that “28 pages were blocked from Yahoo’s Swimming & Diving category.” Interesting that no bloggers made the list.

Blog subscriptions

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, August 28th, 2002

Newly launched Blog Network charges you $3 a month to access its stable of blogs and publish your own. Bloggers get 50% of the take in proportion to their traffic. It’s a creative hybrid of hosting, subscriptions and revenue sharing. The post and comments over at Bill Quick’s site summarize the pros and cons.

My take: the blogmachine’s atomic-fusion-like power comes from cramming many minds into an open space and letting them interact with fervid recklessness. Barriers or impedances sap this power, so participants will find balancing public versus exclusive content to be a delicate job.

If enough people joined, the math might work. Assuming 1000 bloggers and 9,000 subscribers join, bloggers get to split a pot of $15,000 a month. A power law distribution (the norm for site traffic distribution) would yield roughly these results: 1 blogger gets $4,000 (net $3997), 10 get $400 (net $397), 100 get $40 (net $37), 1000 get $3 (netting 0.) The question for the 999 bloggers who don’t get to net $3997 will be, of course, what opportunity for ad revenue or fame has been lost by putting their best content inside the walled garden?

(8/29/02: Over at Bill Quick’s blog, the debate about the Blogging Network rages on like some Arizona forest fire. There’s also a good debate at Blogroots. I’m excited that Bill is now a Blogad beta user, selling his own ads. On her own blog, Joanne Jacobs tosses lukewarm water on any blogger’s chance of making money, then admits that both ideas tempt her. It’s early days for blogonomics. 8/30/02: Ken Layne notes, “I’ve already got a premium/free system. I sell articles and columns to publishers for money, and write for fun on this here site. And there’s a nice overlap — almost everything I’ve written for publication in the last year is the result of editors reading this site and offering some paying work.” And more Bill Quick readers battle each other over the issue here and here. 9/03/02 Bryan Preston compares Blogads to the Blogging Network. And I noticed that the Blogging Network provides a (new?) interesting page full of blogbites about remunerative blogging. I wonder why no mention of Blogonomics? Dave Copeland’s pre-launch thoughts about the network. Joanne Jacobs reports $0.30 for her first two days in the network. Not bad, since the membership is still small; but so is the competition. 9/06/02 John Scalzi notes, “A fair chunk of my income comes from people who found out about me through material on this site,” so putting information behind a fire-wall wouldn’t be worth risk.)

Bottomless cup of craving

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, August 27th, 2002

The Washington Post reports: In the early days, when Starbucks “had little advertising money, it used its storefronts as billboards and clustered them close together. The goals: to intercept consumers on their way to work or home or anywhere in between, and to build brand awareness through ubiquity.” Today, 1 in 3 Starbucks is cannibalizing a neighboring Starbucks’ sales, but those sales recover within a year. (Via Obscure Store.)

Seeking metadata standards for blogs

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, August 27th, 2002

By creating blog metadata standards, the BlogMD Initiative hopes to make it easier for readers to find bloggers and for bloggers to find each other.

Beyond analysis

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, August 27th, 2002

Wired News reports: “Gartner, Neilsen//NetRatings, Forrester Research and International Data Corporation don’t have a single analyst involved in gathering blogging data. ‘The area of weblogs isn’t covered by our analysts because there is such a limited amount of data,’ said Grace Kim of Neilsen//NetRatings. ‘Right now it’s not that popular, and there is no data.’”

The creative revolution…

by henrycopeland
Monday, August 26th, 2002

Jeff Jarvis writes: “The bottom line is that entertainment and media can build a new, more profitable and efficient bottom line if only they let the audience help them. They can eliminate many of the middlemen. … Some companies will wise up and prosper. And many new companies and relationships will grow; I see huge opportunity in creating new collections of talent, new ways to produce, and new ways to distribute.” (Via Matt Welch.)

Barking up the wrong tree?

by henrycopeland
Monday, August 26th, 2002

An estimated $236 billion will be spent this year in the US on traditional print, broadcast, radio and online advertising.

Frustrated that their money is being wasted, some advertisers are resorting to hiring models to infiltrate us with their products. Here are some other wacked promotions: “Procter & Gamble sent out a trailer of elegant, air- conditioned Porta Potties, complete with hardwood floors and aromatherapy candles, to state fairs last summer to extol the virtues of Charmin toilet paper. Bottled-water producer Evian paid to repair a run-down public pool in the London neighborhood of Brixton and tile the bottom with its brand name ‘ a message that was hard to miss for passengers flying in and out of nearby Heathrow Airport.”

Umm. Why not spend some of the $236 billion on media that people actually shout about?
Hint. Hint. Hint.
Hint. Hint.
Hint.

Spooning

by henrycopeland
Monday, August 26th, 2002

Here’s the first report of a marriage proposal precipitated by a blog. I’ve speculated before about the potential for blogs to cannibalize conventions, clubs, churches, corporations, and cities,… but I didn’t think about singles bars. (Via Instapundit.)

‘I vant to suck your blog’

by henrycopeland
Monday, August 26th, 2002

The first blogging TV personality is an 800-year-old Brazilian vampire who wears armor and a horned helmet. According to today’s NYTimes, the Internet division of the Brazilian media conglomerate Organizações Globo has done a deal with Pyra to provide blogs for several fictional characters from its new soap opera “O Beijo do Vampiro” (“Kiss of the Vampire”).

I had been betting on Homer Simpson as the first TVirtual blogger.

Pyra boss Evan Williams says he thinks 13% of 750,000 bloggers are Brazilian.

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More from the Google hit factory

by henrycopeland
Friday, August 23rd, 2002

Mark Pilgrim writes: “I am consistently getting over 200 referrals a day from people searching [Google] for Ellen Feiss, a query for which I have ranked in the top 10 for the past 3 weeks when I discovered the Ellen Feiss store and an assortment of fan sites.” Six thousand unique visitors a month for one topic: many publishers would kill for aggregate readership like that.


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