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Archive for September, 2004

Ad Age bashes blogads

by henrycopeland
Thursday, September 16th, 2004

Advertising Age Magazine advises against blog advertising. (The story isn’t online, so I can’t link.) Media maven Jeff Jarvis has read it, and notes that AA quotes PR executives who would, naturally, prefer the money flow to them rather than through ad agencies to bloggers.

Plausible subliminal motive for an out-of-hand dismissal of what is clearly a thriving niche: AA notices that bloggers on its own beat are undercutting (radically) AA’s own rate card. Old media being defensive about uncorporate insurgents? Nahhh.

Blogs are driving this election

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, September 15th, 2004

Enjoy history? Here’s a June ’03 prediction about blogs’ impact on the ’04 election:

Mark my words: blogs are going to drive the next presidential election. Bloggers will publish leaks the traditional news (or even Matt Drudge) won’t touch and will be knawing on particular factoids or angles long before and after traditional press. Smart insiders will secretly read, publish and/or stoke blogs. The press will quote blog pundits. Bush may mutter the b word. Blog readers, themselves articulate early adopters who are influential in their own communities, will be influenced by the blogs they read. Traffic will double (again!) for Instapundit, Talking Points Memo, Atrios, Andrew Sullivan, Daily Kos, Jane Galt, Matt Welch…

(I guess traffic has actually gone up ten fold since then.) For other amusement, some musings on what Watergate would have looked like with blogs, with good comments by Welch and Layne.

Outline for breakfast next week in NY

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, September 15th, 2004

I’m speaking next Wednesday at Alan Brody’s iBreakfast in NY. Here’s a draft outline of my ten minutes fast-talking. Will be working to simplify.

Blogger advantages over corporate publishers:
* link network
— 10 newspaper readers now 45-synapse blogosphere
— expensive distribution & marketing now free
* voice
— authentic, direct
— relentless
* partisanship
— great newspapers were partisan, founded around war or political causes (“neutrality” concocted by AP business folk)
— great blogs dynamized by partisans, enemies, trolls

* blogs get 100 times more traffic per keystroke than traditional media…
* some individual bloggers equal audience of $200 mln newspaper chains
* some bloggers net $10,000 (Drudge gets estimated $100,000) a month in ad revenue, growing 15%/month

Blogs open new advertising dimensions
* extra room to communicate (versus portal) = more nuances
* feedback and ricochets (versus control) = more buzz
* audience affinity (versus demographics) = more traction
* affordable (versus high overheads of publishers) = useful for entrepreneurs, causes

Migration underway

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, September 15th, 2004

Expect a few bumps in the road.

Closed for maintenance (tomorrow)

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, September 14th, 2004

We’ll be doing some overdue maintenance work tomorrow on our admin server. While ads will continue to be served normally, advertisers may be temporarily unable to buy or update ads, and bloggers won’t be able to revise prices or blurbs. We’ll get it over as fast as possible.

To repeat: any downtime will NOT affect ad serving, which is handled by other servers.

Poohbahs miss blogad action

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, September 14th, 2004

In today’s MediaPost Kate Kaye does some admirable number-crunching of the online spending of the two parties and candidates and other players, as seen in figures compiled by Nielsen//NetRatings AdRelevance.

No mention of blog advertising, which isn’t Kate’s fault.

Without blogs, the AdRelevance numbers for political advertising are kinda paltry — 5 million here, 10 million there, maybe a 100 million for the month — that’s total per party — on sites like NYTimes.com, Salon, MSNBC and Fox.

Use a telescope and all you are going to see is stars, I guess — never the grassroots.

Overlooking those weird little things called blogs, Adrelevance ignored hundreds of millions of political ad impressions in July and August. Consider that a one month ad on a flight of top political blog will probably get 45 million impressions, and blogs saw plenty of these in the last two months.

(Here’s a prior post looking at how blog readers are often undercounted.)

Political affections

by henrycopeland
Sunday, September 12th, 2004

Kudos to John Hlinko and ActforLove.org — buyer and seller of Blogads — for his success.

Saturday, CNN looked at the success of political dating sites and featured Hlinko. In a graph pitched as tempering the upside the political dating services, CNN noted that 57% of recently polled singles are open to marrying someone with political opinions significantly different from their own.

Sure, pre-internet, you were safe building a business for the mass market, shooting for the least common denominator. Now you can serve underserved niches… and 43% is a pretty massive underserved market.

Remembering 9/11/01

by henrycopeland
Saturday, September 11th, 2004

We’ll spend the day biking in the woods, no doubt talking about three years ago. Then maybe eat at our favorite pizzeria. These quiet strands of Neil Young’s poetic idiocy seems about right for today. (Neil Young – 2/27/71
Royal Festival Hall – London, England, in particular.)

Blog junkies drive news cycle (again)

by henrycopeland
Saturday, September 11th, 2004

Guess another one ten million people (and 10,000 candidates) are going to learn to say “blog” if this story gets wider play. (Blogad seller Powerlineblog gets special mention.)

Update: 9/11/04 The WPost says that “Conservatives hammered Rather and CBS yesterday on talk radio and Internet sites.” (Ahh, Internet sites.) The NYTimes mentions “Web logs… newspapers and… television competitors to CBS News” as leading the attack on the documents. (Hey! Shouldn’t that be “news papers” and “tele vision?”)

9/12/04 The LATimes admits blogs’ impact — headlining a story No Disputing It: Blogs Are Major Players — Netizen’s late-night post questioning CBS claims about Bush’s service spreads at warp speed — but does lots of handwringing about anonymous bloggers. (Will they unhandwring if the docs prove to be forged?) Then, apparently forgetting Atrios and Josh’s key digging and dishing that ousted Senate Majority leader Trent Lott, the article wrongly notes, “This was the first time, some said, that the Web logs were engaging in their own form of investigative journalism….”

9/13/04 On the opinion page of the NYT, William Safire dares type the b-word, crediting “alert bloggers” with leading the charge against CBS’s coverage of the latest TANG memos.

9/14/04 More NYT stylesheet fluctuations. “Blogs” (rather than “Web logs”) finally mentioned in article titled “CBS Offers New Experts to Support Guard Memos. Oddly, blogs aren’t mentioned as the arsonists who started this fire, but only:
a) as a source of solace to CBS; for example, a CBS defense “featured computer and typewriter specialists who had called or posted defenses of CBS on Internet blogs.”
b) a (previously unmentioned) resource for traditional publishers: “Bill Glennon, a technology consultant and I.B.M. typewriter specialist who had posted his thoughts on the memos on a blog and was quoted over the weekend in publications including The New York Times, said CBS called him Monday morning.”

9/15/04 WSJ in “Forgery Charges Could Damage CBS Credibility” on page B1: “What began as the buzzing of conservative bloggers on the Web has turned into a full-blown media story that uncomfortably raises the specter of lasting debacles such as CNN’s Tailwind scandal and NBC’s General Motors incident on Dateline.”

And Investor’s Business Daily quotes lots of actual bloggers in Blogs Take Lead Role In CBS Memo Furor.

E&P highlights some editor’s handwringing: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000629751

I know it’s incredibly obscure substory, but traditional media’s ambivalence about the role of blogs in CBS’s seige and its gyrations around the word “blog” itself is, for me, fascinating. The bottom line for traditional journalists, editors and publishers — and you can see it playing out in all these stories in different ways — do you accept blogs as a powerful new media force that is here to stay… or would you rather ignore them and hope they go away?

The anti-mud party

by henrycopeland
Friday, September 10th, 2004

Jeff Jarvis and Tony Pierce are agitating for a clean campaign — no Swift boat vets or TANG whacking or faux Purple Hearts or Kitty Kelly coke. They argue that what the candidates did 10-30 years ago a) is irrelevant to current and future performance AND b) won’t impact swing voters.

Funnily enough a journalist asked me yesterday whether moderate bloggers could ever attract monster traffic like those of top Blogads sellers. I had pointed out that us/them punch-fests are much better for traffic than on-the-onehand/otherhand-wringing. The journalist suggested “perhaps the moderates could piss both sides off.” Maybe Jarvis and Pierce will spark something like that. Perhaps the restless political dialectic has finally produced a defined and angry middle, the anti-mud party, to serve as a new pole.

Me, I’m not joining the anti-mud party.

I disagree about a) and b). Neither Jarvis or Pierce are swing voters and so miss the muddy point. The electoral reality is that swing voters will swing on only two things. First, character. Learning about a man’s past and watching him weather criticism of that past — trivial or serious — tells a lot about who he is and will be. Second and more importantly, momentum. Like it or not, studies of undecided voters find that they tend to vote for “winners,” the guys who seem to be ahead on election day. Sad but true.

So the winner will the guy who muscles through the mud-slinging. To wish otherwise is noble, but a waste of key-strokes.

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