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Breaking News Blog Collective is Launched

One of the projects that I’ve been working on with a number of others over the past two months is Breaking News Blog. Put most simply, the Breaking News Blog project is a collective of bloggers who are each focussing upon a niche news topic. There are currently 17 blogs that are live on the network in four general themes of Technology, Health, Sport and Entertainment and Lifestyle. The latest post from each blog in the collective are presented on the central Breaking News Blog home page but each is an independent blog in its own right at:

Technology Blogs: MP3 PlayersSatellite RadioPDAsRoboticsPrintersVoIP
Laptops
Health Blogs: Medical ResearchMineral SupplementsDietsMedical Alarms

Sport and Entertainment: America’s CupJessica Simpson

Lifestyle Blogs: Personal FinanceCredit Card NewsLife Insurance NewsCar Insurance News

Also hosted by Breaking News Blog is the Blogger Idol project.

Bloggers in the collective write about areas of personal interest and expertise. Of course there is a financial element to what we do (income stream is largely Adsense, Amazon and other affiliates) but we’re not only interested in the big dollar and are looking forward to some projects in the months ahead that will make a difference to the wider community that we are a part of.

[Read more...]

Six Apart buy LiveJournal – Its Official

Live Journal have just made the news that Six Apart are buying them out official at Big news… Six Apart and LiveJournal! They attempt to answer the ‘why’ question with the following reasons:

‘Our companies are more alike than different.

We both use Perl.

Together we form super robot that’s stronger than the sum of its parts.

Super robots can fight super companies.

They respect us, we respect them.

We have a number of features they don’t.

We have experience with making “inward-facing” community sites, whereas their sites/products tend to be “outward-facing”. They want some of that inward-facing action.

Because we’re awesome.’

Six Apart also make the announcement official:

‘Six Apart, makers of the highly acclaimed Movable Type publishing platform and TypePad personal weblogging service, today announced that it has acquired Danga Interactive, Inc., the operators of the popular service LiveJournal, for an undisclosed amount of stock and cash. With the acquisition, Six Apart solidifies its position as the industry’s recognized leader in weblogging software across all markets, and LiveJournal can continue its rapid growth trajectory under Six Apart’s umbrella. As of today, the combined user base of both companies exceeds 6.5 million users, with thousands more added daily.’

Mena has also some interesting comments on her blog:

‘Brad’s initial question — an expected one — was “why does Six Apart want to acquire Danga (LiveJournal)?” The answer was simple; “Many of our weaknesses are LiveJournal’s strengths and many of LiveJournal’s weaknesses are our strengths.”’

Using your Visitor referrer logs

Wayne posts a useful tip on using your Visitor referrer logs in your statistics package over at Search Engine News Journal.



‘Visitor referrer logs are valuable records to examine, from time to time. In my case, and probably yours too, the visitor logs get more than one peek a day. Admit it. It’s not just an exercise in ego or vanity to read your visitor log records. In fact, it might be the nicest thing you can do for the interests of your regular and new readership.

In the referrer records, there are probably indications of the keywords and phrases that discovered your blog. Everyone who uses a search engine types in a search phrase in the hope of finding some relevant information on the subject.’

Read more of this article at Visitor referrer logs: Keeping in touch

The Importance of User Feedback

Michael has a great tip on The Importance of User Feedback over at Figby.com:

‘In retrospect, the conclusions seem obvious: Assuming you want as much feedback as possible from readers, you should make it as easy as possible for them to reach you. You may need to experiment with different comment forms, link locations, or link text to get the best response. Your readers are probably happy to help improve your site—they just want to do it with a minimum of effort.’

Jeremy C. Wright – Fired for Blogging

Another blogger has joined the growing number who have been fired for blogging. Jeremy Wright of Ensight Was Just Fired for Blogging ‘divulging company secrets’. Its not a nice feeling – I’ve know a couple of bloggers who’ve been through the same thing – not nice at all. However in both cases that I know of the saga has actually led to them moving forward into new areas. One of them actually got a new (better) job via the publicity of his sacking.

So Jeremy – my thoughts are with you and the sting of this news – however hang in there – use it to your advantage as you’ve used so many other opportunities in the past. Lick your wounds (take your time on this bit – its important to take stock) and Blog on!

Tsunami Imacts Blogging

Guardian Unlimited has a good article on the impact that the Tsunami has had upon blogging titled – Blogs’ new place at the media table:

‘Blogs have, of course, been only a tiny part of the tsunami story. But the tsunami may have a profound effect on blogs. These self-published sites have played a huge role in the telling of the horror that struck – and continues to strike – south-east Asia, and it seems inevitable the impact of their role will reverberate on long after the disaster, and subsequent relief effort, have faded from our newspapers and TV screens. More after the click…

The impact for blogs? It lies in the new reach they have gained. They were already doing quite well – a survey just published in the US finds that eight million adults had blogs in the US last year, and that their readership had jumped by 58% in 2004. Probably driven by the huge popularity of political blogs in the runup to the US presidential election, the Pew report says: “By the end of 2004 blogs had established themselves as a key part of online culture….”’

Adsense/Adwords Changes are Coming – 1 Merchant ad per Page Rumored

It is rumored that on January 12 there could be changes in the air for bloggers using Adsense. Actually the changes would start with Adwords (the other side of the Adsense coin). You see it seems that Advertisers using the program will be told tomorrow (or in the next few days) that there are changes coming into effect on the 12th. The big change is this:

No longer will Google allow more than one ad per page for the same affiliate program. Presently a number of the ads on any one given page could actually be sending clickers through to the one merchant program but this will all come to an end next week. The results of this change will definately impact publishers using Adsense to monetize their sites – however the debate is still out as to what impact it will have upon our bottom line.

Some theorize that this move will see a flood of affiliate advertisers leave the program in favor of other methods of earning a dollar. The result would be less ads in Google’s stock and less competition for keywords which would result in a drop off of click values.

However other are arguing that the impact will be quite the opposite. With less spots available a bidding war might open up between some affiliate advertisers seeing keyword prices increase.

Whilst I’d love to see the second of these options come to pass I wonder if it will. You see most affiliate advertisers have a finely tuned operation going. They take out ads on Adsense for affiliate programs that pay out more than it costs them to advertise. As a result of this there will be a limit as to how high they will be willing to bid on keywords. If the bidding goes too high they cut their margins and there is little point making the bids at all.

Jen over at JenSense.com has yet another theory: ‘However, if Adwords/AdSense get together on this and allow one advertiser per keyword per merchant on the search side, yet allow as many advertisers per keyword per merchant on the content side of things, this could actually result in more advertisers opting into content. If they cannot afford the bid price in search, advertisers would still have the chance of getting click throughs in content, where it could be more affordable if all the advertisers are not trying to outbid each other for a single spot in the serps.’

Whatever the case it will be an interesting change to watch and one which could make or break Google’s Adsense program for 2005 as it has the potential to alienate both publishers and advertisers.

BlogKits BlogMatch Network

Blogkits

I’m interested in the launch of a new program that will attempt to match bloggers with adertisers – BlogKits. It seems to be what I’ve been suggesting is needed from what they write in their News Release:



‘“Until today, bloggers primarily embraced tools such as Google Adsense or Henry Copeland’s BlogAds.com to generate revenues,” said Jim Kukral, Blogging Guru and founder of BlogKits.com. “While both excellent solutions, the fact remains that both of those tools rely on a blogger’s ability to generate large amounts of web traffic for any real income opportunities, leaving 99% of all blogs out in the cold.”

The BlogKits BlogMatchTM Network will allow all blogs, even those without high levels of visitor traffic, the no-cost opportunity to earn revenues in a multitude of ways by matching them with advertisers/marketers that care more about reaching the right target audience, not just necessarily the biggest one, and not necessarily through only traditional methods like banner ads.’

What they seem to be offering is a listing of blogs for Advertisers and Marketers to approach for a variety of sponsorship arrangements. As a blogger they invite you to submit your blog to the network by filling out a form. Then you add a small piece of code to your blog so that they can track your traffic levels and I guess will contact you if an Advertiser wants to develop some sort of partnership arrangement. Seems pretty simple and worth a go.

About Darren

Pro-BloggerMy name is Darren Rowse and I’m the guy behind ProBlogger. You can read a little more about my journey of blogging on the About ProBlogger page – but let me take a moment to give you a bit of glimpse at who I am.

I’m a 35 year old Australian living in Melbourne. I am married to ‘V’ and together we have a son, born in 2006. I am a full time blogger making a living from the medium since 2004/5.

I’ve been blogging since November 2002 on a number of sites. I started out with just one at Livingroom – a site about Spirituality, Pop Culture, Life in Australia and miscellaneous topics that take my fancy from time to time. That site spawned a number of others which you can read about here.

I am also one of the founders of b5media – a blog network where I’m the VP of Training.

You can read my story of becoming a full time blogger here.

You might think working on such a variety of blogs would fill my life up – not true. I have a number of other ‘hats’ in life that I work on including:

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  • blog consulting – I have recently started taking on some work with businesses wanting to explore how blogging can enhance their products and services.
  • speaking – I regularly speak at conferences, workshops, retreats on a variety of topics including blogging, new media, spirituality, leadership, community development.
  • community – being on the leadership team of a small alternative emerging Christian community, called LivingRoom – I started LivingRoom a couple of years ago and find it to be an enriching part of my life.
  • Teleclass – I am also currently involved in running a six week course for bloggers titled Six Figure Blogging which looks at entrepreneurial blogging.

As you’ll be able to tell from my blogs, I’m a photography nut and love getting out and about with my DSLR. I’m also an avid reader, enjoy good food and wine and love a movie.

I hope that’s given a glimpse of who Darren Rowse is. If you’re a blogger and want to improve your blog then I’d love to keep in touch. You can subscribe to this blog via one of numerous subscription methods and I’d love to hear from you about your experiences of blogging in the comments sections on my posts.