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Archive for January, 2007

“Live linking” blogads and t-shirts

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

We’ve worked out remaining bugs in the live-linking blogads (see the top ad at left for PoliticalWire.com) and are ready for more beta users.

(Update: see top left ad on DailyPuppy.)

The text in these blogads updates automatically every fifteen minutes. Each headline is linked. The pipeline for this is the advertiser’s RSS feed.

To pull headlines into your next blogad text, put the letters “@RSS:http://etc…etc” in your text field for a standard ad and the rest is automatic.

What to call this new ad unit? Obviously, the word RSS is too obscure for most advertisers. So we’ll probably go with something like “live-linking” blogads or “headline feeds” or “auto-update blogads” or ??

If you are first to suggest the name we end up using, we’ll send you one of our new t-shirts. Speaking of which, please head over to Flickr and tell us which color combo you love or hate. (We’re going to print up more of last year’s popular brown/orange too.)

Update: Joseph Hughes experiments with the new ad.

John Aravosis does a brilliant write-up about the livelink ads. He tells advertisers, “this ad can be updated a practically infinite number of times throughout the day. You literally have your own mini-Web site incorporated in our Web site.”

Taegan Goddard directs his readers to the new unit.

More thoughts from Richard C and Pam Spaulding.

Staying aloft

by henrycopeland
Monday, January 29th, 2007

Amused by my Slacklining, Rick Bruner points to his own imbalancing on a unicycle.

Reading the tea leaves on HRC blogadbuy

by henrycopeland
Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Bill Beutler, formerly of the Blogometer at Hotline and now at New Media Strategies, does some very indepth sleuthing on the Hillary Clinton blogad order.

Bill highlights some questions about where/why the ads are running. My response to folks who have asked about the candidate buys: 21 months is a looooong time and there’s going to be lots of experimentation and learning along the way. The key point is that candidates — particularly Edwards and Clinton — have chosen to make significant investments in blog advertising far earlier than in advertising on other media.

Smart candidates know there’s a “blog primary.” Blogs offer a unique opportunity to connect with the insiders and activists who are the fulcrum of American political opinion and action. To illustrate this point… Bill picks up a telling detail I had missed: the HRC ads are running on Edwards’ advisor Matt Gross’s blog. This is truly advertising inside the blog beltway. (Blogway?)

Matt Gross writes:

With the primary season now upon us — or at least the netroots primary season now upon us — it seems that this is a good time to reiterate my blog ad policy.

I accept ads from any Democratic candidate or progressive organization and most private industry or public relations firms, proceeding with the assumption that my illustrious readers, being media savvy enough to find this little blog in the first place, are media savvy enough to negotiate the world of advertising and p.r. without any help from me.

…the general policy around here is laissez faire, laissez aller, laissez passer. At the going rate of $20 per week, of course.

RSS in blogads

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

We’re beta testing RSS feeds into blogads — the blogad’s text auto updates with the advertisers RSS updates. If you’d like to beta test, give us a shout.

Clinton blogads

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

Monday morning, new presidential candidate Hillary Clinton joined the ranks of blog advertisers. She’s the first to buy some hi-rise units (150X600 plus 300 characters of text) and the first to cross the aisle.

Political bloggers and the legislative quagmire…

by henrycopeland
Friday, January 19th, 2007

Some vague wording in the new Senate lobbying bill bears watching.


by henrycopeland
Thursday, January 18th, 2007

The ten-watt signal of Blogads’ official radio station, WXYC doesn’t reach our new office, even though we’re half a mile closer to their wire than in our old office. So we went shopping for something to funnel their internet signal into our concert hall. Nicole Bogas came up with the Squeezbox, which we ordered along with a set of Logitech Z-2300 speakers. For <$400, we're thrilled.

Study: Congress reads blogs

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

I’ve just seen a fantastic study of Congressional readership of blogs that significantly deepens our understanding of blog influence in the US House and Senate.

Conventional wisdom in DC remains entrenched: while blogs can influence Congress, via journalist readers and activist actions resulting from blog posting and advertisements, the influence is only indirect. In fact, the newly public study suggests blogs’ influence is much more direct, with a significant number of Congressional readers looking to blogs rather than conventional media for a glimpse of the future.

In short, “The blogosphere has a much stronger voice being heard by legislators than previously considered.”

Last spring Neil Sroka, a senior at GWU, surveyed all the Congressional offices. Sroka got responses from 90 congressional offices, with a balance of left and right. The paper was just put online today and news of the paper is slowly filtering out. Here’s a link.

* “9 out of 10 Congressional offices read blogs”
* 64% of Congressional staff readers say “blogs are more useful than mainstream media for identifying future national political problems and debates.”
* DailyKos is far and away the most read blog on the Hill, with strong showings also from blogads partners Talkingpointsmemo, Redstate, MyDD, Rawstory, Eschaton, Powerline, and WashingtonNote. (Given the flow of requests we get from DC, I’m very surprised not to see PoliticalWire, Hotair, AmericaBlog and OutsidetheBeltway on that list.)

Bear in mind that Sroka’s survey was done before election ’06, the period that appears to me to be the watershed event for Congressional consciousness of blogs.

Also worth noting that Sroka’s paper also includes a comprehensive survey of past literature on blogs and politics, turning up studies I had not previously encountered. For example, it’s well worth reading this one, titled “How journalists see the blogosphere” which finds that “52% of journalists believe blogs have ‘some to a great deal’ of influence on the way media covers stories.”

Update: Some say bloggers called the shots in the latest Senate vote unhinged by the line-item earmark veto.

Balancing act

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

We got a slackline at Xmas and tried it out for the first time Sunday. After twenty minutes of practice, I can stand for maybe 10 seconds. Things that help: rhythm, staring straight ahead, breathing.

Busting the glass floor

by henrycopeland
Sunday, January 14th, 2007

After ripping out the walls in our new office, we were left with a giant plate of glass. At 5X7 feet, it was too big and heavy to squeeze out the door and down the stairs. Cutting the glass into portable pieces was impossible, because this glass was tempered. So we laid out a tarp, tilted the pane down and started to toss things at it.

Brick drop.
Brick lob.
Brick throw.

The final result is here: “>IMG_1822

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