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Archive for October, 2004

Blog advertising in Newsday…

by henrycopeland
Sunday, October 31st, 2004

Great lede about blog advertising: “The odds of making a living by writing a blog are a lot like the odds of a garage band turning out a hit album: It can happen, but you better enjoy the music and hang on to your day job in the meantime.” Lou Dilanar goes on give a complete run-down on blogads in Newsday today.

Some very kind words about us: “the economics of blogging have shifted rapidly, thanks to a simple but brilliant idea called Blogads, which allows bloggers to outsource the equivalent of a newspaper’s business and advertising departments, and focus solely on writing. You report! You decide! Blogads sends check!”

And more blog demonizing in the NYT: “If the Internet has been the source of vicious blogs and half-baked rumors, it has also often been a worthy watchdog on the mainstream media, a direct route to the candidates’ records and official Web sites and a means of instantly checking their half-truths and evasions through nonpartisan outlets like FactCheck.org at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Center.”

Ad propagation problems

by henrycopeland
Saturday, October 30th, 2004

We added six new servers last week getting ready for next week’s traffic, which I assume will at least double anything we’ve seen previously. Unfortunately, our mechanism for refreshing ads on these various servers did not scale up. Until we can rejig the ad propagation routine, ad updating may be delayed by minutes or hours. I apologize for the shortfall. Feel free to give advice or complain in comments below, or e-mail info@ with questions.

Us and them

by henrycopeland
Friday, October 29th, 2004

My buddy Jeff Jarvis highlights an underlying theme between two articles in yesterday’s NYT.

The first examined the rising tide of blogging about your cat on a Friday, practiced by everyone from Instapundit to Atrios. As Jeff puts it, “makes us look like a bunch of frothing nutjobs. It is essentially condescending and insulting.”

Then Jeff digs into a second “news article” that chronicles and bemoans recent blogger vitriole towards journalists.

The article highlights crude insults bloggers and their readers have tossed at journalists. As Jeff puts it, the article “paints us as more of an angry mob than a sensible bunch of people who happen to be citizens and voters and newspaper readers. By making us look so angry, it marginalizes us as cultish.”

Sure there are nutty bloggers and blog readers, and it is worth examining their excesses. But where’s that wonderful journalistic impulse towards balance? What about the good things bloggers do? Nahhh. The essential irony is that an article aimed at proving that bloggers wrongly (and inhumanely) accuse the press as being biased against the left or the right proves itself to be nakedly partisan against bloggers. It repeatedly quotes the worst excesses of the blogosphere, without examining the amazing contributions bloggers are making to the public discourse. Consider the idiocies nailed by the blogosphere in the last two years: Trent Lott (a closet racist), Howell Raines (an arrogant twit), CBS (quick to write, slow to right)… the list grows monthly.

What is the other side? As Jeff puts it, “Perhaps it’s that big media is messing up and has had no check for too long. Perhaps it’s that once-passive readers now have their own press and have something to say and it’s time for you to listen. Perhaps if you try hard to open your eyes and read your own story again, you might smell a bias here — against the public you supposedly serve.”

Jeff, it is not just that “big media is messing up.” It is that top-down command structures are inherently fragile and weak when compared with networked swarms. Put another way, 100,000 minds networked in real time and positioned across America’s geographic and psychic landscape see and understand lots of things that the ten editors sitting atop rigid periodical news machines in NY and DC do not and can not.

The game has changed. I’ve been a journalist. Some of my best friends are journalists. Some of the smartest, most humane people I know are journalists. But I also know that monopolies corrupt and that enough journalists have been corrupted by complacency to turn into pompous, entitled hacks. If the hacks want war, war it shall be.

The bottom line — if we are moving from the past year’s “Look! Non-journalists with websites! Aren’t they CUTE!” attitude to a new story line of “bloggers call us names and don’t play fair,” the revolution is nearly over. The royalty in the castle’s highest tower can smell the smoke.

My bet is that we’ll see bloggers on the left and right unite around some issue in the next six months, and the unity will be provoked by some attack on a blogger’s rights.

Mary: the meek shall inherit the earth

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, October 27th, 2004

Mary Meeker, the Marie Antoinette of the pre-2001 Ancien Regime, lauds blogs: “if there are hundreds or thousands of thought leaders and motivated, interested parties on the Internet with the ability to publish news or insights into any number of local or global issues, then it is safe to say that these blogs often become both the first source of news, a vital proving ground for authors and a source of potential community for other interested parties. For example, you’re probably going to get far more Boston Red Sox specific-content from a blog about the Red Sox made by a die-hard fan than you will from a random sports page, especially if you’re after opinions and community.”

Eminem on blogs

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, October 27th, 2004

Blogads aficionados (yes, you Mom) may have noticed this eye-zapping image put out on blogs tonight promoting Eminem’s Mosh.


Here’s Ken Layne’s take.

WPost readers love blogs

by henrycopeland
Monday, October 25th, 2004

WPost names “Politics & Elections Readers’ Choice Awards,” 3/4 of whom sell blogads, here. Congratulations to JesusGeneral, Atrios, Instapundit, Talkingpointsmemo, LGF, DailyKos, AndrewSullivan, InDCjournal and Wonkette.

Blogger brains…

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, October 20th, 2004

In terms of formal education, many bloggers surpass journalists.” Look at this page: Markos Moulitsas is a lawyer/activist, Glenn Reynolds is a law professor, Duncan Black is an economics Phd, Josh Marshall has a Phd in American history, Andrew Sullivan has a Phd in political science, the RealClearPolitics guys are former commodity traders, Charles Johnson is an entrepreneur… basically everyone on the list has a field of expertise BEYOND their blogging passion.

Funnily enough, most articles about the blogging revolution fail to mention this fact.


by henrycopeland
Tuesday, October 19th, 2004

Roundup of blog reviews of .

Excellent blog journalism moves elections in… [url=http://www.pestiside.hu/archives/pestiside_1_soros_0_in_online_electionthrowing_contest000182.php]Budapest.

We went to the state fair yesterday, losing at the ball toss, winning with squirt guns. Lots of pellet shooting at the free stand run by the state wildlife agency. I was surprised to see that Kerry stickers outnumbered Bush stickers 3 to 1.

Ken Layne pulls together lots of ugly peak oil data. Travel like this will one day seem as remote as the days when millions of buffalo roamed the American west.

How can Business Week feature Matt Haughey’s throughout this article but mispell his name?

Political weblogs unread?

by henrycopeland
Monday, October 18th, 2004

CBSMarketwatch’s Frank Barnako declares that “almost noone reads” political blogs. Scott Allen points out that Daily Kos, doing nothing but Democratic politics, is within traffic spitting distance of the WashingtonPost, which covers dozens of topics.

Frank, who has an undeclared blog fetish, back-tacks with the thought that the blog audiences must be high quality and ecstatically niche. (Thank you Olivier.) www.jeffjarvis.com notes Barnako misses the “influencers” angle.

Yes to niche and influencers, but if I were an editor looking for the cutting edge (or to revisit a theme declared dead in 2001), I’d sick a reporter on this idea — how can a couple of dozen bloggers reach the same traffic scale, roughly, as the New York Times, which has 1100 editorial employees? What does THAT mean for the future of publishing?

Electoral vote

by henrycopeland
Friday, October 15th, 2004

I don’t know about you, but I’m riveted to Electoral-vote.com. He (or she?) is looking for donations to help get the word out. Hey editors, this guy is doing a fantastic job with his service AND doing huge traffic — a good story?


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