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Archive for November, 2003

Virtuous cyclone…

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, November 18th, 2003

When was the last time you saw the NYTimes direct an advertiser to the Washington Post?

Umm… never.

Just as newspapers rarely quote other newspapers and almost never link from their own websites to news on other sites, traditional publishers would never ever send an advertiser to a competitor.

Bred in the giant Internet ocean, bloggers have different DNA. They know what goes around comes around. They know instinctively that swarming networks of individuals are exponentially more powerful than over-engineered corporations. They know that, thanks to the blogosphere’s referals and passionate readers, a single blogger working part-time can generate 10 to 50 times more page impressions per keystroke than a traditional media employee working 9 to 5 X 49 weeks a year.

With this in mind, check out this Atrios post and watch the right column of Pandagon. Now there’s one ad. Check back at the end of the day.

In theory, Atrios is cannibalizing his own ad sales, since new blogad seller Pandagon is cheap right now and many Atrios advertisers will likely buy on Pandagon.

But bloggers don’t eat each other’s lunches. Bloggers are chewing into the big publishers, with rate cards that over-charge 50 to 100 times, and TV, which soaks up $50 billion from American advertisers every year, despite the fact the most viewers are out of the room when TV ads run.

Linking to each other as no publisher has dared before, bloggers create a virtuous cyclone of audience and commerce.

(Speaking of new bloggers selling blogads, check out Oliver Willis and Talkleft… with more coming later this week.)


by henrycopeland
Saturday, November 15th, 2003

Saw it last night. Great movie for kids and parents.

Big is beautiful

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, November 12th, 2003

Hugh Mcleod, a Madison Avenue maven and existentialist cartoonist, has been obsessing about blogs for the last year and finally started blogging a few months ago. Now, beneath a wonderfully illustrative cartoon, Hugh argues:

The long term trend for blogs is: less traffic. By that I mean, with more and more blogs appearing every day, that means less eyeballs per website. Sure, there’ll still be the occasional superstar like Gawker or Instapundit, but for us regular schmoes not on the ‘A-List’ we’re going to have to get used to having fewer visitors.

I disagree that more bloggers means = more competition = less traffic. That’s old-media-think. Blogs aren’t just publishing spigots, they are also vessles for capturing/imbibing the output of others. Every new blogger will read/link/engage at least ten (but maybe 100) other blogs.

New bloggers actually increase everyone’s traffic. While a newspaper with 10 readers has just 10 info synapses, 10 bloggers can create up to 100 different conversations. (Metcalfe’s law.) Sure, some folks get more traffic than others, as old Pareto first noted.

But any blogger who keeps banging away with passion and sincerity will someday have more readers than most local papers have today. The cost of communicating (distributing/finding information) has collapsed 99.99% since 1991. Now the quantity and structure of communication is slowly but surely catching up. We’re on the cusp of something magnificent.

Fwd: to help desk

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, November 12th, 2003

Hartford, February 12, 1891

Dear Sirs,

Some day you will move me almost to the verge of irritation by your chuckle-headed Goddamned fashion of shutting your Goddamned gas off without giving any notice to your Goddamned parishioners. Several times you have come within an ace of smothering half of this household in their beds and blowing up the other half by this idiotic, not to say criminal, custom of yours. And it has happened again to-day. Haven’t you a telephone?

S L Clemens

Media looping…

by henrycopeland
Monday, November 10th, 2003

I noticed that the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz quoted verbatim my earlier blogads post, including the argument that “Buying 5 million page impressions on blogs costs less than $3000. The same ads on WashingtonPost.com or NYTimes.com would cost $125,000+ . . . which would you buy?” Thank you for mentioning blogads, Howard, and sorry that WP ad rep slashed your tire.

(Kurtz closes: “But could candidates lose votes over annoying pop-ups?” Anyone who has his e-mail address (I can’t find it online) might drop a line clarifying that Blogads are not popups.)

John Kerry, meet citizen Welch (and a few of his friends)

by henrycopeland
Sunday, November 9th, 2003

LA journalist and Reason editor Matt Welch got an ad from John Kerry over the weekend. While and [url=]Josh Marshall used the occassion of their first candidate ads to
discuss the merits of taking such ads, Matt dives right into critiquing Kerry.

Matt gives Kerry bonus points for enabling comments on his site, but quibbles with Kerry’s “interventionist approach to the economy.” He continues, “my choice for 2004 will almost surely be based entirely on foreign policy concerns (though free trade, to me, is near the top of my foreign policy agenda). So if I have time, we’ll discuss that next.”

What does Kerry get out of advertising on blogs that he doesn’t get from advertising in other media?

a) Cost-effective clicks. Remember bloggers have no overheads and haven’t priced their rate cards to fund executive jacuzzis. Buying 5 million page impressions on blogs costs < $3000, while the same quantity of impressions costs $90,000-$150,000 on TNR, NYTimes.com and Washingtonpost.com.

b) Attention from folks who actually care about politics. As of 8AM Sunday EST, Matt’s post has 10 comments. While many are flip, the comments indicate engagement and slide towards serious debate. Matt responds to one by saying “it strikes me at minimum as peculiar that certain supporters of the war-dodger-in-chief keep banging away at Kerry for talking up his military service. ” Compare this engagement with the impact of a typical television ad which often emerges while no one is in the room (remember half of America has the television on nonstop), then disappears into the ether, next to be heard by some Klingon spies 175 light years from earth.

You can see Kerry ads on Soundbitten,Matt Welch, NYCeats, Amy Langfield, Atrios, Political Wire, Talkingpointsmemo, and Blogshares… with more to come!

By the way, if you click the “more” link, you’ll see a great article done about Blogads by marketing guru Ken Magill in the NYSun. (more…)

Atrios has 13 ads…

by henrycopeland
Thursday, November 6th, 2003

Atrios is currently running 13 blogads, a record for him and us.

I hope we see lots more of this. Ads are fun. More ads are better — they start to talk to each other and play off each other. They constitute a marketplace of messages. Nobody would visit Times Square if it had only one billboard and nobody would want to advertise there either.


Why don’t traditional publishers adopt the same bountiful strategy? I think the limited advertising slots on corporate media sites (banner on top, a couple buttons on the side) are a vestige of the portal mentality. And the false scarcity that portal mentality provokes is — surprise — a good way to prop prices up so print rate cards aren’t undercut.

Bloggers with lots of space and low overheads can take a more market-friendly approach.

Considers the winners:

— Lower prices and more ads means individual entrepreneurs or ideologues can afford to advertise.
— The reader can skim, compare and contrast and find the stuff that’s relevant.
— Running lots of ads at once gives the blogger a higher effective CPM than some big media manage.

Everyone wins — except traditional publishers.

Update November 6: The joys of supply and demand. Atrios has raised prices. The link to his order page says “Temporarily Not Taking New Ads (unless you really want to pay the temporarily obscene prices)” … and a one month ad (temporarily) costs $3000.

John Kerry: first presidential candidate targeting advertising to blogs

by henrycopeland
Monday, November 3rd, 2003

Ads for John Kerry’s presidential campaign are running on four sites this AM.

For you news junkies, this is groundbreaking. Blogs are extraordinarily cheap AND influential, and it is great that a national campaign has caught on to advertising on the blogging medium.

There are also some important philosophical ground to plow. Josh Marshall sketches a policy for accepting ads from campaigns he covers.

Atrios’ post on advertising provokes a vigorous debate in his comments section. “Advertising is evil,” writes one reader. Another says, “Don’t apologize, don’t wring your hands, don’t look back. You need to exist, and it costs money.”

The bottom line: bloggers have the lowest overheads in media and the most passionate audiences. Buying 5 million page impressions on blogs costs less than $3000. The same ads on WashingtonPost.com or NYTimes.com would cost $125,000+… which would you buy?

Henry @ Adtech

by henrycopeland
Monday, November 3rd, 2003

I’m blogging from Ad-tech. If you are here and want to rendezvous, leave a comment or call me on 617 395 0176 or drop by the press room in the Gibson suite on the 2nd floor.

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