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Academic Bloggers: Influence Beyond the Classroom

by Nick Faber
April 18th, 2011

The New York Times has finally uncovered a category of “celebrity professor” that we’ve known about for years: The Academic Blogger. Congratulations to the blogging profs of Blogads U. Here’s hoping you make it into your school’s recruiting materials.

Ann Althouse, Althouse, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Law School

Her Internet life and her academic life, however, occupy largely separate silos. “I’m more vigorous, mocking and deliberately humorous online,” she says. “But I would never make fun of a student or tear one down.”

Juan Cole, Informed Comment, University of Michigan

Academics are uniquely positioned as bloggers, Dr. Cole believes. “People value the information and analysis more than my stray opinions,” he says. “I present information that I can dig out because of my academic expertise, language knowledge and cultural knowledge that’s not present in other news reporting.”

Eugene Volokh, The Volokh Conspiracy, University of California, Los Angeles

Focused on free speech, gun rights and constitutional law — with the occasional personal digression, favorite recipe or discourse on a popular song thrown in — the Volokh Conspiracy is fairly consistent in its libertarian point of view.

Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit, University of Tennessee College of Law (Blogads University Professor Emeritus)

Founded in 2001, Instapundit is the apotheosis of academic blogs, the inspiration for many that have followed. Professor Reynolds is still surprised: “I get e-mails from people who I think of as much bigger deals than me, and they’re trying to get attention by having me link to something on my blog.” He describes his readers as “people on Capitol Hill,” “technogeeks” and “a truck driver who e-mails me regularly from the road.”

Looking to advertise on leading academic blogs? We’ve got a full range of academic bloggers, covering everything from economics to law to the Kinsey Institute.

PETA’s tweetable ad generates 4,636 tweets

by Nick Faber
April 18th, 2011

We recently rolled out a “Tweet this” button for ads, allowing advertisers to recommend a Twitter update directly from an ad.

Animal rights group PETA was one of the first advertisers to use the tweetable Blogads, and the results have been phenomenal.

Multiple iterations of their ad ran across 59 blogs. In all, the ads generated 4,636 tweets and 10s of thousands of clicks.

This is just the latest innovation to our custom units, and it’s proving to be a big win for advertisers who are looking to spark their own Twitter trend.

Ready to initiate your trend now? Visit our Buy Ads page to get started.

Live Preview for Online Advertising

by Nick Faber
April 14th, 2011

Advertisers have always been able to create their own ad units with our DIY system, but now you can preview your ad as you go:

Featured Blogger: Bee Lavender of Hip Mama

by susie
April 12th, 2011

Bee Lavender heads up the staff at HipMama, a popular and respected parenting magazine. The distinguished writer, publisher, and activist keeps fans updated at her personal site, Foment.net. Her books include Lessons in Taxidermy, Breeder, and Mamaphonic. Although originally from the Pacific Northwest, she currently lives in England with her family.  HipMama enjoys a loyal following of like-minded moms on both Twitter and Facebook.


Bee Lavender, Publisher of HipMama.com

Q: When did you start blogging, and what inspired you to start?

A: I was a first-generation web designer, and I’ve kept an online journal since about 1995. I was surprised when the word “blog” emerged from the ether. Hipmama.com has been around since 1997. Since 2002 I have also kept a personal blog at www.foment.net, in which I talk about emigrating and starting a life in a new country. Read the rest of this entry »

Pert Plus: Slow-Cooked Branding with Facebook Ads

by Nick Faber
April 12th, 2011

photo via flickr user bnilsen

About three weeks ago, I noticed a Facebook ad that used the logo of our local AAA baseball team, the Durham Bulls. It said, “If you like the Durham Bulls you will like ‘Pert Plus.'”

My reaction to this ad was, “Um…. why?”

I took a screen shot, sent out a couple snarky tweets and forgot about it. Until today.

With the Bull’s opening game this Thursday, the missing piece of Pert’s puzzle clicked into place today:

Whether or not Pert’s marketeers intended to confuse fans with the first ad, it’s clear they got me thinking about the brand. And starting Thursday, they’ll be able to find me where I let my hair down.

Obama launches first blogads of 2012 campaign

by henrycopeland
April 4th, 2011

We woke up this morning to find a pile of ads running on progressive blogs for the Obama 2012 campaign.

Wow, this is the fifth campaign cycle for blogs. As a sign of how campaigns are accelerating: the first ads of the 2004 were bought by Howard Dean’s campaign in December of 2003, nearly 9 months later in the campaign cycle.  Here’s a post about that purchase.

Here’s a screenshot of the Obama blogad, one of our new tweetable units, as it appears on BlueVirginia. The tweet is “President Obama is in for 2012. Are you? http://ofa.bo/ba2012 #obama2012″


PR Agency Attendance up 8-fold at SXSWi Since 2009

by Nick Faber
March 29th, 2011

We’ve done the tallies, and clearly, some PR agencies are drinking the Austin Kool-aid. In fact, since 2009, the PR agency attendence is up by over 800%.

For putting so many feet on the ground, and increasing their attendance by at least 10x since 2009, Edelman wins this year’s “PR King of SXSWi” badge.

Here is the full PR agency leader board for SXSW 2011:

PR AGENCY 2011 Online Directory 2011 Print Directory 2010 Print Directory 2009 Print Directory
1 Edelman 44 30 3 3
2 Weber Shandwick 35 32 11 3
3 Porter Novelli 31 17 23 0
4 Fleishman Hillard 24 10 4 2
5 Dachis Group 19 13 7 2
6 Waggener Edstrom 11 4
7 Hill & Knowlton 2 0 1 2
7 Kinda Sorta Media 2 2 0 0
8 Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants 1 1 0 0
8 Kimtaro 1 1 0 0
8 The Kindle Chronicles 1 1 1 1
8 Kinetic Ink 1 1 1 0
8 Oglio Entertainment 1 1 0 0
13 Burson-Marsteller 0 0 1 0

We award the honorary “Boy Scout Badge” to Weber Shandwick, who was most prepared for SXSW by signing up the most employees in time for the print directory deadline.

If you want to see how the advertising industry stacks up, check out the ad list.

If there’s anyone we’re missing, give us a shout.

Advertising Agency Attendance Up 10-Fold at SXSWi 2011

by Nick Faber
March 28th, 2011

via flickr user stevegarfield

Ad agencies seemed to be everywhere at SXSWi this year.

JWT had an entire truck of BBQ bustling around Austin dumping brisket on anyone who tweeted at them. Our neighbors Ignite threw a hot party, and many agency players sat on interactive panels. David Berkowitz of 360i owned the Future15 format with his entertaining and prescient talk on NFC and RFIDRick Webb of Barbarian Group and Rob Rassmusen of Tribal DDB headed up a whole panel about agencies and technology, and Deep Focus CEO Ian Schafer led the Web 2.0 playbook for non-profits.

But it was only when we got home and pulled out an old SXSW directory that we realized just how giant the agency avalanche really was this year.  Some agencies that sent only one or two staffers in ’09 fielded platoons in Austin in 2011.  In all, more than 1400 ad agency folks had SXSW badges this year. That’s roughly one in 13 badges.

With more than 100 agencies and 1400+ agency folks badged in 2011 — up from almost nothing in 2009 — we have to wonder: will the festival be renamed SXSWa in 2012?

We did a little hacking, BBQ-style, to see which agencies had the biggest presence at SXSWi. We combined agencies with the same name (Leo Burnett and Leo Burnett/Arc WW, and JWT and JWT New York, for instance), chopped and sorted by attendance, and poured a little sauce on top to get the following top-10 list. (You can also view the full list of 100+ ad agencies attending SXSWi at the bottom of the post. To illustrate the magnitude of change, we’ve added a column with the same ad shops’ attendance counts for ’09.) See the bottom of the page for the full list of agencies.

Tuesday Update: We’ve mined SXSW’s online directory and updated the rankings. Leo Burnet remains King of SXSWi but there are lots of new entrants. Using the online database, ad agency attendance swelled to 1479 from our previous tally of 1013.

You can see both print and online directory numbers from 2011, and the 2009 print catalog numbers in our spreadsheet. We’ve calculated the delta between online and print directory, since this indicates which agencies plugged into SXSWi first and bought badges at the last minute.

ADVERTISING AGENCY 2011 Online Directory 2011 Print Directory 2009 Print Directory
1 Leo Burnett 65 56 0
2 Saatchi & Saatchi 60 53 3
2 BBDO 60 38 0
4 Digitas 58 43 3
5 JWT 55 42 3
5 GSD&M 55 0 0
7 Ogilvy 48 33 4
8 Sapient 47 41 11
8 Wieden+Kennedy 47 1 3
10 DraftFCB 45 29 1


So it’s our pleasure to award this year’s “King of SXSWi” badge to Leo Burnett, who brought an army of 56 to Austin. That’s a Texas-scale achievement for an agency that had zero attendees in 2009.

We give Razorfish the honorary “Boy Scout Badge” for being most prepared for SXSWi by having the most employees registered ahead of the print deadline.

At the same time, there are still some notable agencies who didn’t get badges. Even though Moxie threw a giant party, nobody from the shop appears to have bought a badge. Really? We searched the online directory, and Moxie did buy some badges. But why so late that they missed the print directory?

Think your agency should be on this list? Did we get your agency’s numbers wrong? Feel free to update our spreadsheet, and let us know what we’re missing.

If you’re one of the unlucky cats at Carat, Grey, or any of the other agencies who didn’t make it to Austin, be sure to forward this post to your boss and maybe we’ll see you next year in Texas. Read the rest of this entry »

Denny’s: SUXOR No More

by Nick Faber
March 25th, 2011

Last month, the SUXORZ panel had some fun with Denny’s at Social Media Week. Denny’s, trying to get into the “Social Media” game, had printed the wrong Twitter address on its menus, sending customers to the page of a random guy in Tawain named Dennys.

It was an honest mistake. After all, Denny’s owns “Dennys” on Facebook and YouTube, and Dennys.com, so why wouldn’t they own the Twitter handle?

This year, Denny’s has turned a corner on the social web, making great strides towards ROXOR status. Their actual twitter account has almost 40x the followers of the guy in Taiwain, and this month has seen the launch of the awesome new web series “Always Open with David Koechner.”

In the videos, SNL alum David Koechner has extremely casual conversations with his comedian friends at a real-life Denny’s in L.A. The first two episodes have featured Sarah Silverman and Jason Bateman, whose production company, DumbDumb, co-created the series with Electus and NY agency Gotham. The spots really emphasize the comfort you feel in America’s Diner, where you can sit with a friend and be completely open — all night.

Distributed via College Humor, as well as Denny’s own social media pages, the spots, which are set to feature Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, and more, are getting lots of admiration from the ad industry.

And is it just me, or do these videos remind anyone else of the diner scenes in Seinfeld? To this day, tourists see that Upper West Side diner and say, “Hey, this is where George and Jerry ate!” Maybe kids will start showing up at this Denny’s in LA saying, “Hey, this is where Sarah Silverman made Dave Koechner uncomfortable! Let’s get some eggs!”

New York Times Paywall: Negative Hype That’s Fit to Type

by Nick Faber
March 21st, 2011

photo: flickr user Telstar Logistics

Fans of The Gray Lady have one more week to browse her content online without limit or cost. Next Monday, March 28, the New York Times will launch its “paywall” internationally, which will restrict the amount of online content reader can view for free. So far, the move, which Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. calls an “investment in The Times,” is receiving rather skeptical press.

The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz calls the paywall a gamble, but perhaps not a very big one:

Given the Times’s affluent readership, that gamble may pay off in a way that could be beyond the reach of other metropolitan dailies—unless we all become accustomed to the notion that someone has to pay for good journalism.

boingboing’s Cory Doctorow makes a bold wager of his own that people won’t be able to figure out how the paywall works:

Quick: How many links did you follow to the NYT last month? I’ll bet you a testicle* that you can’t remember. And even if you could remember, could you tell me what proportion of them originated as a social media or search-engine link?

PC World’s Harry McCracken wonders if anyone besides the Times’ most voracious readers will pony up:

You can read 20 articles a month at no charge. People who come to the site via Google will be able to read five stories a day for free; visitors from Facebook and Twitter won’t have to pay.

Wired Epicenter’s John C Abell notes that even thought the broad readership of the Times can find its news elsewhere, the new subscription model is a stake in the ground for apps.

In the “web versus app” debate, the Times seems to be taking sides. Because every mobile device has a browser, the Times could have created a tier that did not include an app component, but it chose not to. You get the web version of the paper tossed in any subscription, print or digital.

TechDirt’s Mike Masnick calls it “The World’s Stupidest Paywall:”

It feels like something that was completely developed by committee group-think. It’s one of those things where they’re sitting around and someone timidly suggests a dumb idea (“I know, for $5 more we take away their smartphone access”) and, because they have to come up with something, someone else says “sure” and then they think there’s validation of a good idea.

The Atlantic’s Walter Frick calls the paywall unsustainable and NPR’s David Folkenflik recalls TimesSelect, the Times‘ last attempt at putting its content behind a paywall.

Let me remind you that all this negative hype is over a subscription model that hasn’t even launched yet. While bloggers and other news junkies have been quick to dump on New York Times, a couple of outside parties are already showing approval. Citi has officially upgraded NYT stock to “buy” and Rupert Murdoch’s new iPad pub, the Daily, ends its trial subscriptions today, implementing its own paywall one week ahead of the Times.

How many articles to your read from NYT a day? Once you’ve read your allotment, and then bypassed the wall 5 times per search engine, will you pay for more? Or will you just click over to another source?

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