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Archive for March, 2004


by henrycopeland
Saturday, March 6th, 2004

Something funny often happens on Friday afternoons.

Business ticks up a notch.

And, even better, I start hearing from folks scratching their heads about blogads. This happens most days, but I can always count on a good dose of brainstorming starting at 3PM Friday.

This afternoon, I talked to three different people in quick succession — an entrepreneur, a environmentalist and a campaign manager. The conversations were remarkably similar. What makes a good blogad? What’s a good landing page look like? What kind of impact — sales, buzz or zeitgeist nudging — might result from a good fusillade of blog advertising?

It’s really fun. Talking to smart, ambitious people about how blogs can help them reach national audiences — passionate, influential and affordable national audiences — is a great way to spend a Friday afternoon.

But, what is it about Friday afternoon — starting at 3 and ending around 6PM — that makes it the witching hour for blog advertising? I really don’t know.

BTW, I started blogging late in the afternoon exactly two and half years ago.

And, before I forget it, here’s the new Harvard case study of the bloggers who upended Trent Lott in December 2002.

And you want to know something amazing? You can buy a week of advertising on the three blogs — Atrios, Instapundit and Talkingpoints — credited with rousting the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives… for $1000. Damn.

How big can blogs get?

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004

Lots of talk and observation about the latest Pew study, which shows that, among other things, 17% of Internet users have posted written material on Web sites. The most interesting number for me, though, is this one “11% of Internet users have read the blogs or diaries of other Internet users.”

Believing fervently that blogs offer a superior media (or should I say unmedia) experience for most readers, I’ve often wondered how many people haven’t yet heard of blogs… which is to say how many more people we can still expect to discover blogs and become addicted.

This Pew number is much higher than I expected, particularly because a number of people have probably visited blogs but don’t know that’s what they are visiting. So maybe the number is 20%? That’s quite a contrast to a couple of years ago when NOBODY I met — except bloggers — had heard of blogs. My wife and I used to share the same grim laugh after a night dining with friends — when would someone do more than mumble politely or giggle discreetly when I mentioned the word blog?

Today, I’m no longer longing to meet people who know what blog means. On the contrary, when I meet a blog reader… darn, another market already conquered, I think.

So, if 20% of the American internet users have used blogs, does this mean that blog traffic can only grow 5 times from here?

I’d suggest no — many of today’s readers haven’t yet found exactly the favorite blogs — indeed many of those blogs have yet to be birthed. So shall we say 10 or 20 times? Moreover, we know that the longer people are on the Internet, the greater their usage. Folks who have been online 6+ years use the internet 15.8 hours per week, 50% more than folks who have been online 4 years (10.9 hours), and three times longer than people who’ve been online less than one year (5.5 hours). (That piece of vital but widely ignored data is buried on page 22 of this UCLA report.)

So will the readership for weblogs some day reach 30X or 100X current levels? If you find this post via Google in five years, leave a comment and tell us how things turned out.

The good news

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004

I came across this anecdote reading Martha Ackmann’s The Mercury Thirteen. In the late fiftees, NASA was struggling to master the art of building safe rockets. Rocket after rocket blew up.

In the spring of 1959, when the seven astronaut candidates were first brought to watch an Atlas rocket lift off, the rocket blew up on the launch pad. After a few minutes of silence as the men watched debris shower down over the ocean, Alan Shepard muttered to his compatriots: “well, I’m glad they got that out of the way.”

Two years later, when Shepard became the first American in space, NASA’s brass had three speaches prepared… one for success, one for ocean bailout and one for Shepard’s annihilation.

Blogads in Typepad

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, March 2nd, 2004

For users of Typepad wishing to sell Blogads, here’s some advice compiled by Todd Melet from information provided by Typepad’s able help desk.

To add your blogads javascript code into a Link TypeList:

– Create a new Link TypeList, named “Extras” or something like that.

– Add the TypeList to your template when given the opportunity after creating the list

– Click ‘Add new item’ for the TypeList and paste the HTML into the *Notes* section of the item

– Set the configuration of the TypeList to “display notes as text”

Here are some additional tips using the title/url fields instead of the “notes”:

Gibbering idiot

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, March 2nd, 2004

Without having seen his flick, reading Gibson’s quotes indicates he’s an angry, sick dude on some weird guilt-trip. How can anyone take him seriously?

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