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Archive for October, 2005


by henrycopeland
Thursday, October 13th, 2005

At Fox, Greg Simmons writes about this week’s Godblogcon at Biola University in California. Greg kindly turns to me for the cliched-but-essential “Huge Revolution” comments. In an industry that is always looking for trends and firsts, Greg’s article, the first in major corporate media about the event, also articulates a key new ripple that will become a tide. While conservatives might have seen past Boston-based Bloggercons as liberally situated and this year’s Blogher was certainly gender-sorted, Godblogcon is the first overtly ideological blogger convention. Certainly not the last.

We marketing session

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, October 12th, 2005

The tape from our session at the API last week. Participants:
Fernando Espuelas, Chairman & CEO, Voy
John Bell, Senior Vice President & Creative Director, Ogilvy PR
Rich Skrenta, CEO & Founder, Topix.net
Henry Copeland, Founder, BlogAds
Moderator: Steve Rubel, Blogger, Micro Persuasion

Testimonial redux

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, October 11th, 2005

At the risk of recursiveness, I’ll quote something Blogad buyer Craig Peters posted on his own blog after we added his testimonial to the Blogads site:

Henry Copeland and crew have a good thing going over there: a great service, coupled with great customer service. My only complaint is that there isn’t a much larger selection of blogs to choose from.

I’ve got a few other complaints of my own, but that’s definitely one. Thank you again Craig.

Learning to hire and hiring to learn

by henrycopeland
Saturday, October 8th, 2005

As Blogads grows, we’re refining our technology and processes. Growing, happily, also means hiring people. Over the last nine months, I’ve found that though it yields far fewer candidates than Monster.com, CraigsList returns the purest crop of folks who are on our wavelength. Craigslist applicants have technology skills, think outside the concrete box and are active participants in the new age of DIY. That’s one lesson.

Another thing we’re learning is how to interview. Since reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, which documents how our long-term impressions of people actually are formed (often very inaccurately) in our first five seconds of seeing them (no sound necessary!), I’ve been pondering how to overcome this handshake bias. Yes, how someone shakes your hand IS important, but that’s maybe where the judgement process should conclude, rather than begin.

Aren’t most of our transactions these days virtual? Don’t bloggers always say, on meeting each other for the first time, “you are just like your blog!” So our evolving strategy is to respond to interesting resumes with a few innocuous e-mailed questions. You can learn a lot from the response: speed, fluency, humor, sense of self, love of language. You also see how most of YOUR customers will see the person — not face to face but in a few fragments of written words and ideas and perhaps a phone call.

Next comes the standard reference check. (Though it seems that lots of employers skip this step these days?) Is the resume accurate? Is the individual outstanding? Do candidates stick with jobs and projects? Do they make good choices in navigating a career path? Next, another detour from the traditional hiring schedule: an IM interview. An hour’s spontaneous typing reveals a lot. Finally, a conventional handshake and some pizza.

Last week, we filled these two positions. Once we can move out of our current office into something bigger, by next month I hope, I’ll post another ad for more people to help us relate to bloggers and advertisers.

Law bloggers and a new verb

by henrycopeland
Friday, October 7th, 2005

Jonathan Glater gave legal bloggers a nice write up today in the New York Times, including a mention of Blogads.com.

Also, Farah Miller, auteur of Random House’s many blogads, last night wrote me that she was going to “blogad” something. She apologized for being tired and using blogad as a verb… but I’m amused by the usage.

Finally a note for Blogads geeks: we’re (finally!) now tallying clicks on intext links like in this this ad. Link, link, link…

WeblogsInc inks deal?

by henrycopeland
Thursday, October 6th, 2005

I got a chuckle out of Nick Denton’s analysis of Jason Calcanis’s rumored sale of WeblogInc to AOL.

The whole point about blogs is that they’re not part of big media. Consolidation defeats the purpose. It’s way too early. Like a decade too early.

Yesterday, in fact, I asked Jason what makes his company not just another publisher that happens to use blog software. His reply: “no editors!”

Al Gore

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, October 5th, 2005

Did Al Gore just say “digital brownshirts”? Something like “they dispatch a team of digital brownshirts to harrass members of the press who dare to disagree with them.”

I’m sitting here at the American Press Institute. Al was funny and engaged the audience for the first five minutes, but now is lecturing.

One of these three

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, October 4th, 2005

To narrow down our choices, we’ve focused on submissions in which the word “blogads” is prominent yet spacially compact, legible if not crisp.

We’ll be choosing one of the following three logos. Please speak now or forever hold your peace. Which would look best on our site? (Click the “see in blogads” link to get an impression.) Which would be punchy on a bumpersticker or t-shirt?

1) Carm Hodzic’s Botox. A punchy image loved by many, though perhaps a little nicked.

2) The orange oval created by Kent Smith, a Blogads customer and t-shirt peddler.

3) Scriptive by Karl Frankowski is a staff favorite, though I personally don’t love the colors.

Thank you to the other finalists, particularly those who’ve been so generous with their advice and suggestions. I’m astonished by the level of participation and engagement among logo designers. Just as a record-setter’s pace depends on fast times run by competitors, the strength of the communal effort has made a substantial difference. We aren’t where we thought we’d be, but I’m very happy with the result, both in terms of the logo and the process of building it.

Ad Lanna

by henrycopeland
Sunday, October 2nd, 2005

I spent Friday in Atlanta doing my last AMA blog thing. The highlight of the day was hanging out with two of our smartest customers.

I went to lunch with Richard Turner, auteur of Turner’s Vote Carrie and “Pie fight” blogads. Chowing at The Varsity — I downed a chocolate shake and diabolical onion rings — we mused about the buzz-making joys of buying ads on both sides of the ideological fence and the minute difference between hitting a solid double and a bases-loaded home run.

At 5PM, I caught up with Seth Miller, who designed those ads. We powered through two sweetwaters and a whirlpool of ideas, which Seth documents. Seth (another platypus) recently created a CafePress shirt after clicking on a blogad on Buzzmachine. Made me realize that CafePress needs to feature new, up to the minute, blogger-created T-shirts in its own blogads. Don’t tell people to create cool/newsie shirts, make them envy shirts being created in real time.

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