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Archive for September, 2005

New wine in old skins…

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

I had some fun bashing the idea of “consumer generated media,” the current catch-all for blogs, podcasts and forums — in this MediaPost column today.

Random links

by henrycopeland
Monday, September 19th, 2005

Taegan Goddard launches a traffic drive.

Alexander Graham Bell’s original patent for the telephone was titled an Improvement in Telegraphy, which brings to mind Mark 2:21: ‘No-one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and so are the skins.’

Matt Welch listens to the world’s greatest deliberative body… mumble, stutter and drool.

Rereading Cluetrain yesterday, I noticed for the first time thesis #15: “In just a few more years, the current homogenized ‘voice’ of business’the sound of mission statements and brochures’will seem as contrived and artificial as the language of the 18th century French court.” The corporate “we” is dead. Long live you and me.

Bill meets Napoleon.

Logo short-list

by henrycopeland
Friday, September 16th, 2005

To help us focus, we’ve narrowed the list of potential logos down to 30. We’re very grateful for all the submissions. There were lots of other fantastic ideas, some arguably better than what you see here. This is just the list of logos that we think might fit (with some shrinking or streching) our format and philosophy. Don’t wait until we’ve picked one to say, “Gee that looks just like XYZ’s logo.” Tell us now, please!

Blogads and TV

by henrycopeland
Friday, September 16th, 2005

In this morning’s MediaPost, Shankar Gupta does a great round up of the surge in TV blogads.

Lauren Prestileo, the national publicist for PBS’s “American Experience” series–which has featured biographies of RFK, Castro, and Kinsey–said BlogAds offered a cheap way to target ads to politically-minded consumers for public broadcasting.

For example, BlogAds displayed 12 million impressions for the PBS Boston affiliate’s documentary about Kinsey, which aired in February. “That’s amazing exposure right there,” she said. “To get 12 million impressions with print would be very, very expensive, and it would be a much less targeted audience.”

“We don’t have a ton of resources, obviously,” she added. “There aren’t a lot of places where you can spend $1,500–or up to $5,000–and get that much exposure and to such a targeted audience. Online advertising in some regards can be prohibitively expensive, at least when you’re dealing with public programming and non-profits.” …

Richard Turner, the senior vice president of interactive marketing at TBS, said that the high return on investment, and the ability to reach the coveted “influencers,” is what attracted Turner to the proposition of advertising on blogs. “They tend to be an efficient media buy,” he said. “They are effective at reaching opinion leaders, or at least opinionated people.” TBS generally combined promotion on blogs with rich media ads and search marketing, Turner said.

Jessica Smith, a publicist for interactive media at PBS’ “Frontline/World,” agreed that the appeal of blog advertising for her show was the audience that it allowed her to target–people who already show an enthusiasm for the type of program she was hawking. “Blog readers are the kind of people who are interested in current events and news, but they’re also interested in people,” she said. “That’s what we do with Frontline/World–it’s personal stories from around the world.”

Another datapoint in this trend is AVP, whose initial trickle of ads turned into a gusher as the volleyball season progressed.

Blogs in Senate hearings, Prairy Home and Google

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, September 14th, 2005

How many of you heard Senator John Cornyn (R TX) quoting the Volokh Conspiracy in questioning John Roberts?

Well, I happened to be looking at my computer last night, and one of the blogs, and it’s always frightening to see ‘ to put your name in a search and look at the ways it’s mentioned. I suggest you don’t do that, if you haven’t, until this hearing is over, because this hearing is a subject of a lot of activity and interest in the blogosphere.

One of these blogs said that your comparison of a judge to a baseball umpire reminded him of an old story…

That was Cornyn’s first question. Want your message to be seen by at least one Senator? Start here.

I heard Garrison Keilor recommending catsup’s “natural soothing agents” this weekend to sooth bloggers’ frayed nerves, then read about this spat he’s having with a blogger.

Funnily enough if you search Google for “Google Blog Search” you won’t find its new service unless you look in the ads on the right.


by henrycopeland
Wednesday, September 14th, 2005

All our meters are back up at full-throttle, so it looks like the ride is over. Thank you to those of you who were patient… and thank you to those of you who weren’t patient. We’ll be making good two days tomorrow for advertisers.

Out of the woods

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, September 14th, 2005

It’s been 48 hours since we screwed up DNS and, bingo, our metering is taking a big pop, up 20% in the last hour. I’ll try to grab an image of it a little later.

Server update

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, September 14th, 2005

Here’s what we’ve been able to piece together. The correct DNS is slowly disseminating through the many tiers/branches of domain registries stacked around the globe. In some cases, the servers update every 2 hours, in some cases every 48 hours, and in some cases longer (a week?) We’ve tried a bunch of tricks and tactics to speed things up yesterday and are continuing today. As far as we can tell, 85% of blog readers can now see the adstrips/ads and Blogads.com. That’s up from 60% at the low. (One datapoint is that ad purchases have not slacked off, though I still can’t see Blogads.com from my home computer.) In theory, we should see another improvement today (assuming there are more servers out there with 48-hour caches than we’d originally anticipated). But, theory doesn’t buy lunch, so we’re continuing to look for ways to manually speed the process along. If you have suggestions, we’d love to hear them. I’m very frustrated and apologize. We’ll be issuing make-goods to all advertisers.

In part, this error and a couple of other recent stumbles may be a sign that our Budapest team is overstretched. As a company we tend to try to have more balls in the air than hands. That’s great and keeps you motivated and driving, but when you slip up, it’s ugly. Driving to normalize slightly, we added an additional programmer a month ago and he’s pulled into the swing very quickly. Now we’ve moving towards hiring another strong coder.

For numbers geeks, I don’t know if you can make sense of this graph of one of our server’s bandwidth consumption, but if you compare like time periods, we’re doing roughly 15% better today than yesterday.


More logos published

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, September 13th, 2005

I’ve just published the logos that came in during the initial “private submission” phase of our logo collaboration. There are some interesting logos that should not be overlooked. Head over and leave your comments if they catch your eye. Here’s one by Greg Stobb. And a bunch by Stephanie Kloss, particularly this one. Finally, there’s this bunch by Mikel Browning, including this and this.

Since we ended up with more logos than we anticipated and a wider variety of comments, we’re considering creating a shortlist and inviting public comment on that list. OK idea?

Our stupid domain error

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, September 13th, 2005

We screwed up our domain name registry entry yesterday afternoon, which means we made our servers’ addresses invisible to much of the Internet. A stupid human error which should not have occured. I went home last night thinking everything would be ok in 30 minutes, and didn’t blog about the problem because I was unable to access the blog server myself. The error propagated very quickly, but the correction has taken longer to spread. (As my colleague noted, bad news travels faster than good news. ) We are seeing the correct DNS slowly propagate (judging from our bandwidth metering and spot checks) and know that a growing number of people can view blogads. We’re guessing that by noon 90% of the Internet will be able to see blogads. I apologize for the problem and will pass along more information if I learn anything new.

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