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Archive for February, 2003

Drudge hits new high…

by henrycopeland
Friday, February 28th, 2003

Matt Drudge says “**THANKS A MILLION, MAKE THAT A HUNDRED MILLION, FOR MAKING FEB 2003 — THE HEAVIEST TRAFFIC MONTH IN THE 8-YEAR HISTORY OF DRUDGE REPORT/// MAIN DRUDGE PAGE HAS BEEN VIEWED 113,257,740 SO FAR IN FEBRUARY, PASSING JANUARY 2003, THE PREVIOUS HIGH**”

As Hemingway said: “Find one thing you like and do it well and every day. You will be happy and the world will be happy.” (Until later… of course.)

‘Currencies you’d like to see’

by henrycopeland
Thursday, February 27th, 2003

Pulling off a virtuouso performance in mixing genres, Matt Welch strings together some fun tales about busking in Central Europe and then astonishes with a glissando into some snappy commercial lessons (eight of them!) that apply to blogging. Desperation-buskers bum people out… harmonies, harmonies, harmonies… prime the pump…. Go read them all.

Google makes it official…

by henrycopeland
Thursday, February 27th, 2003

Well Google has gone and made it official, extending its Adwords program to the pages of HowStuffWorks, Blogger, and Weather Underground. The new program is called Content Targeted Advertising.

if users look up the weather forecast for Palm Springs on a weather site, they may see ads for deals on hotels and cars in the Palm Springs area. Or, if users are reading about how an acoustic guitar works on a music site, they may see ads for hand-crafted acoustic guitars.

The service offers a great new tool for advertisers. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we’ll continue to strive to mold Blogads into a tool that offers additional advantages to bloggers and advertisers:

a) Bloggers get the bulk of the proceeds from their Blogads sales.

b) Bloggers get to approve every ad before it appears.

c) Advertisers get more options (images, longer text, comments.)

d) Advertisers can use superlatives like “lowest” and “best” which are not allowed in Google Adwords.

e) Google kills ads that don’t get a 1% clickthru, so its tool is only effective for direct marketers, not brand-builders.

We’ll scramble to keep Blogads differentiated. Google may be a brilliant and wonderfully benign company… but if it does get a monopoly on blog advertising, innovation will slow.

It is also worth noting that this “content targetted advertising” initiative moves Google even more firmly into competition with ad sellers inside traditional media (and or traditional media itself), since it will be competing head-to-head with the ad sales arms of the likes of NYTimes.com, WSJ.com and CNN.com right down to smaller outlets like Cleveland.com and Gazette.net/ All rely on well-paid teams of ad salespeople and expensive user profiling… will these be jettisoned for Google?

New media still sellings ads with old media friction

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, February 26th, 2003

Anne Holland writes: “Last Friday night I was chatting with Seana Mulcahy VP, Director of Interactive Media Mullen whose team buys hundreds of millions of dollars in online ads each year. ‘Publishers make it impossible to buy from them!” she ranted. She’s one of many media buyers who are increasingly frustrated with the lack of standards so art departments have to resize and redo ads constantly for each different site (the cost of which really adds up) and how hard it is to make an integrated ad buy across all of a single media company’s channels without negotiating and cutting multiple insertion orders. Online advertising is to some degree also a service business. Being easier to buy from than your competitor may be a highly significant advantage. It’s not content + eyeballs = profits. It’s content + friendly service = profits.’” (Thanks Olivier!)

%$*$$# non-subscribers!

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, February 25th, 2003

Tough times for some in publishing.

Temporary solutions last the longest

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, February 25th, 2003

BIOS, one of the building blocks of the PC, was hacked together more than 20 years ago as a temporary solution; engineers thought it would only last for the first 250,000 machines before being replaced by something better.

Keep the glass half full by forgetting?

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, February 25th, 2003

“New research shows that some traumatized people may be better off repressing the experience than illuminating it in therapy. If you’re stuck and scared, perhaps you should not remember but forget.” (Link.)

Google already selling ads on blogs…

by henrycopeland
Monday, February 24th, 2003

A bunch of people have written to ask whether we’re worried about Google’s purchase of Pyra/Blogger, noting that Google could start to sell ads on the blogs that Pyra hosts.

Well, just days after Google bought Pyra, Matt Haughey has discovered that Google is already running its textads on Blogspot sites. For example, check out KEH Camera Brokers ad atop this photography-oriented blog and compare it with the ads running in the right column of this Google search for “Leica.” See the redundancy?

These were not ads bought specifically to run on blogs, since no such choice exists in Google’s Adwords forms; the advertiser likely opted to allow the ads to be “syndicated” onto Google’s partner sites. (According to Googles Adwords terms, these partners include America Online, Inc. CompuServe, Netscape, AT&T Worldnet, EarthLink, Inc. and Sympatico Inc.)

Does this threaten our Blogads service? No. (That’s not the same answer I’d give to the question “are you nervous as hell?”)

For the forseeable future, we offer bloggers and advertisers certain unique advantages:

a) Bloggers get the bulk of the proceeds from their Blogads sales.

b) Bloggers get to approve every ad before it appears.

c) Advertisers get more options (images, longer text, comments.)

d) Advertisers can use words like “lowest” which are not allowed in Google Adwords.

e) Google kills ads that don’t get a 1% clickthru, so its ads are only effective for direct marketers rather than brand-builders.

We’ll scramble to keep Blogads differentiated. Google may be a brilliant and wonderfully benign company… but if it does get a monopoly on blog advertising, nobody’s gonna be too happy.

The trajectory to know-where

by henrycopeland
Monday, February 24th, 2003

A reader asks: “You have a book in the works on some of this stuff? :) Just the sense I get’”

No book. I’m generally unable to think in patches of more than 1000 words. I wrote a senior essay in college that resurrected Darwin’s Christian credentials by re-uniting his language with its then-current theological context… and the damn thing mutated into an attempt to overturn the reigning theory of intellectual history… and nearly killed me. I was right, but history will never know it. I’m a sprinter and can’t stick to an outline for more than a week. That said, I’m amazed to find that blogging is helping me churn out patches of text that might be woven together into something larger… micro-competitors versus behemoths, the network as the new publisher, disintermediation, intraction… oh no, better stop.

I’ll stick to service-building and blog-storming. The force of competition, investors, colleagues and clients keep me tethered to a trajectory… even if it isn’t yet clear exactly where that is.

Paeon to populist media misses blogs

by henrycopeland
Monday, February 24th, 2003

Writing in the National Post, Matt Welch makes impassioned arguments for populist print media against the entrenched dailies staffed by acres of complacent professional journalists. He champions the low-overhead free dailies run by Metro that target strap hangers.

Matt doesn’t mention blogs, but the same logic applies… squared. Many blogs — BoingBoing, Gawker, Slashdot and Tom’s Hardware — have the same populist content, lower costs of production and faster-compounding circulations. Look for more local blogs (Localogs?) as 2003 matures.

Remember, when ecosystems undergo radical change, the smallest organisms survive and adapt fastest and grow to dominate expansive new niches.


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