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Archive for July, 2007

Happy Birthday Doc

by henrycopeland
Sunday, July 29th, 2007

David Weinberger has instructions on how we should honor Doc as he turns 60.

NYT reaching peace with blog?

by henrycopeland
Sunday, July 29th, 2007

The New York Times has a tortured history with blogs. I’m not talking about NYT’s love hate relationship with blogs as media, but about the paper’s difficulty settling on a standard word for what one early Times article called “something called a blog.” Times’ stand-ins range from “weblog” to “Internet web log.” Is there no AP or Times style-guide yet for blog?

Mireya Navarro got it right with “blog” in her profile of Perez yesterday.

“Blog” shows up in 2029 articles in an archive search of Times stories, with half of those usages occurring since last June.

Here’s a chronology Times’ usage of “blog.”
2001: 1 article, a short mention in “business briefs.”
2002: 13 articles.
2003: 65 articles.
2004: 136 articles.
2005: 257 articles.
2006: 734 articles.
2007: 568 articles.

That’s a pretty steep curve and shows no sign of abating. Though at some point it will have to flatten out since “blog” can’t replace every verb and noun in the Times.

Sadly, other terminology crops up from time to time.

The conceptually redundant “Internet blog” has made several appearances this year, most recently in a July 15 Josh Barbanel story mentioning the blog Brownstoner.

The alphabetically redundant “Web blog” has appeared seven times, most recently on April 7 in a Liz Robbins story.

The acceptable “weblog” shows up in 91 articles, most recently June 11.

The Times likes the de-portmaneaued “web log,” which pops up 295 in a search of the Times’ archives, including five usages in ’07.

The good news: it’s been a couple of years since the Times rolled it all together into “Internet web log.”

Here’s the blog distribution among Times’ sections as of July 29, 2007.

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Some other words to watch for in the Times. “Social media” has appeared in 16 articles. “Search engine marketing,” the burgeoning industry that’s transforming marketing, has been used in only 20 articles.

While “Google” has appeared in 3392 articles, the two engines of its huge financial success have gotten much less coverage: “Adwords” (22) and “Adsense” (27).

Blogger profiles: Perezhilton and TPM

by henrycopeland
Sunday, July 29th, 2007

Two long and balanced profiles of bloggers this weekend in the press.

Mireya Navarro writes in the Perez Hilton “has become a hard-to-ignore Hollywood player.”

And in the FT, Sam Apple took an exhaustive look exhaustive look at Josh Marshall’s TalkingPointsMemo and concluded “Marshall has been at the forefront of a series of important stories.”

The most beautiful place in the world…

by henrycopeland
Thursday, July 26th, 2007

Just got ruined. We used to vacation here in the summers. There’s no prettier, calmer place than Lake Bohinj. Now, it turns out one of the cabins we walked by each morning on our way to the lake has been bought by McCartney-ex Heather Mills. We’ve talked every summer about going back. Don’t delay doing the things you love.

Chicago

by henrycopeland
Monday, July 23rd, 2007

We took a 6am flight, then spent Saturday afternoon watching the Cubs v Diamondbacks. Great game, but the Cubs lost 3-2. Then walked south a couple of miles. Then to Shaw’s Crab House, then back to hotel to read Harry Potter. Sunday to the Museum of Science and Industry. We flew in the jet simulator, did the mediocre CSI exhibit, enjoyed the gears exhibit. Then to Millennium Park to watch the mirrored blog and the glass-cube waterfall. Because of track repairs, we had to sprint through the airport but missed our flight by two minutes. Scored Hilton room for $100 via Priceline.

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Blog cliches

by henrycopeland
Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Gawker rounds them up and down .

Aiming at Perez, Gawker spits in the wind

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

Gossip & media blog pioneer Gawker has posted a long and winding exclamation about PerezHilton‘s “seemingly astronomical traffic numbers.” (Here’s the post.)

While there’s lots of bated-breath innuendo, Gawker’s analysis boils down to:
a) gee, 100 million impressions a month sounds like a lot. (At least ten times Gawker.com’s traffic, apparently.)
b) web analysis firms Nielsen/Netratings and Comscore guestimates of Perez’s US-only page impressions are lower.
c) gee, 100 million impressions a month sounds like a lot.
d) extrapolating from Comscore’s tally for unique visitors (US and abroad?), you’d need fully 26 visits a month to justify the 100 million impressions.
e) the only source for Perez’s traffic is Blogads.com.

Some Gawker commenters were bemused: “i feel like you just tried to explain wikipedia to my mom. why is this here?” Sensing simmering jealousy, another offered a hug: “Gawker, you are SO hotter than Perez. He may get more page views, but you’re way better looking. And a better cuddler, too.” Another sympathised, “This is some real inside baseball. My blog gets 200 visitors and 300 page views a day. My head hurts imagining all those other zeroes.” One fingered Gawker’s owner, Nick Denton, as the author, rather than the bylined “Doree.” (I couldn’t find Doree among Gawker’s Facebook peeps.)

The bottom line is that Perez’s page impressions are real. He’s now doing 5 million impressions on good days. That’s what our servers, which tally each time we serve a ad-filled javascript to a human who visits his pages, show.

Gawker writes: “…just how does Perez manage to rack up even that many page views anyway? By the ComScore numbers, each visitor would have to be looking at about 26 pages…”

Gasp. Think 26 visits per reader per month is unbelievable? Sadly for America’s employers, it’s likely many Perez readers refresh 26 times a week. Perez is addictive and his readers are insanely loyal. Ask your Perez-reading colleagues how many times they check the blog. Per hour.

So, what’s up with Comscore and Nielsen? As Gawker notes, their estimates are only for US traffic. Extrapolating from the lowest estimate, Gawker comes up with 55 million global impressions. (Gawker neglects to extrapolate from the higher estimate, Comscore’s, which would yield 80 million global impressions monthly.)

Why give credence to two services who have a nearly 50% variance between their estimates — Nielsen/Netrating’s 33 million US impressions versus Comscore 48 million? As opposed to Blogads servers’ methodical bean-counting, their traffic estimates are based on extrapolations of extrapolations. Why extrapolate from a sample only or 30,000 or 2 million people, when you can instead count the real thing?

We know that Comscore and Nielsen’s numbers are overweighted by at-home audiences, since that’s where they find folks willing to take their surveys and/or tolerate their traffic-tracking software installations on their computers. This at-home skew leads to lots of problems because, as our server logs show, the vast majority of blog reading gets done during the workday. (Like you, right now, right?)

Further discrediting their numbers, both Comscore and Nielsen think more than 50% of Perez’s readers are men, which is ridiculous. Do a quick survey in your office and you’ll find that 90% of his readers are women. And very likely 26 years old, plus or minus three years. And that’s exactly what our recent survey of Perez’s readers found.

Trying to deflate Perez, Gawker also hawls out Technorati’s “top 100″ list, noting that Perez at #22 is lower than some smaller blogs. Technorati rates blogs on inbound links. How can you keep a straight face quoting Technorati, which lists one Beppe Grillo‘s blog as #16? (Ahead of Gawker itself at #30!)

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Gawker’s final evidence that Perez’s popularity can’t be trusted is that Blogads is the “only one whose statistics seem to align with Perez’s.”

Ahh, that unseemly “seem.” This “seem” is easily fixed. Gawker Media relies on SiteMeter for its own stats, so I assume it thinks these are reliable. (They are here.)

If any Gawker staffer wants to put his/her money where her/his snark is, I’ll bet dinner in the Soho restaurant of her choice that Sitemeter validates Blogads monthly impressions rather than Comscore’s or Nielsen’s. Or, if you prefer, that in coming weeks Perez can match a month of Gawker.com traffic in three days or less.

A footnote for insider blogball fans: years ago in Budapest, Nick and I covered the same business beat as journalists, he for the FT, I for pubs like the Herald Tribune and Euromoney. Nick later introduced me to blogs, in the form of ObscureStore which has remained my favorite. And I met my wife through Nick. So I’m amply amused to be tilting with Gawker about business numbers.

Update: Andrew Krucoff does some digging with a Gawker staffer and declares “The entire crux of their argument which seems to be ‘Blogads numbers are bullshit’ falls apart on a painless no-ringing, low-vibrating note.

Youtube challenges

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

YouTube is still struggling to find an ad unit that works well for corporates. Check out this video for Chevy, linked from a video block on the front page. pic

Vacation

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

We spent a great week in western North Carolina. Highlights included fiddling at Blowing Rock, fly fishing on the Davidson and rafting on the Nantahala. My interview about presidential online advertising on NPR was coherent, though most of the quotes were pretty mundane.

Blogads in Rome

by henrycopeland
Monday, July 2nd, 2007

Balint styles Blogads in Rome.


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