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Jason Calacanis Interview

Interesting interview with Jason Calacanis over at his blog today – it gives an up to date look at the Weblogs Inc Network. Well worth the read.

‘The business is growing about 9-12 months faster then I thought it would. However, we’ve got a couple more years of really hard work ahead of us before this becomes this become what I consider a “real business” (i.e. over $10M a year in revenue).’

Looks like things are building well over at WIN!

Tell Me What You Want from ProBlogger: Poll

I’ve just added a poll to the sidebar that gives you as readers an opportunity to tell me what type of tips you’d like me to focus upon here at ProBlogger.net in the months ahead.

I’ve chosen 9 of the topics that I regularly get questions on from readers. While the result of the poll may be that all are selected equally (you can choose as many as you like but can only vote once), I’d love to get a sense of what the felt needs of readers are at present.

If you would like to expand on your answer and/or suggest other areas feel free to do so in comments below. I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to give everyone what they want – but I want to at least give readers an opportunity to help set the direction for this blog in this way.

I’m looking forward to see what you have to say both through the poll and via comments. The Poll will go for a week.

Signatures in Comments – Poll Results

A week ago I started a poll here at ProBlogger.net asking readers whether signatures in comments should be allowed on blogs.

The poll was in response to a post that I’d written arguing against the practice which generated a lot of comments both agreeing and disagreeing with my argument. I realized pretty quickly after the comments started rolling in that this was a touchy point and that while many agreed with my stance that quite a few felt passionately that I was wrong.

I wanted to test this in a more anonymous way (I suspected that some disagreed with me but were not comfortable to do so publicly in comments) – so I started the poll.

My suspicion was correct. It seems that quite a few readers are Pro signatures in comments – 56% in fact with 35% against them and 8% undecided.

Signature-Poll

While I will admit to being a little perplexed by the result (when I wrote the original post I was convinced most would agree with me) I’m willing to publish the result and say that I’m in the minority. I’m not sure there is really a right or wrong here – but after the discussion and poll I’m a little more open to the idea of signatures in comments.

I still have these reservations about Comment Signatures:

[Read more...]

Favicons on Blogs

Today I had a nice surprise waiting for me in my inbox – an email from Tiago who had kindly taken it upon himself to design me a favicon for my blog in thanks for the advice I’d given him and others through this blog.

For those not familiar with favicons – they are the little tiny 16×16 pixel pictures that appear to the left of a site’s URL. They also appear in the tabs of firefox and in bookmarks on some browsers. – in my case Tiago had taken the ‘p’ from my logo and constructed one as follows.

Picture 2

He then pointed me to this favicon instruction site which told me how to add it to my blog – it took about 2 minutes.

I’ve been meaning to add a favicon here to ProBlogger for some time as it adds another element of branding to the site, increases useability for tabbed browser users and those who use bookmarks regularly to surf – but unfortunately it’s always slipped to the bottom of my ‘to do list’ – so a big thank you to Tiago.

Blog Crushes Revealed – Round 1

BlogcrushIt’s time to reveal the first 11 Blog Crushes that readers have for other bloggers.

Do you have a blog crush on another blogger? It’s not about having a ‘real crush’ – but do you admire another blogger? Write a post about your blog crush with a link back to the central blog crush page and then let us know about it so we can add you to the list there. You’ve got until 21 September to get your entry in. In the process you’ll spread some blogging love to another blogger and highlight your own blog a little too.

4% of Bloggers Generated $100,000+ in 12 Month Period: Study

James at everyhuman emailed me to day to let me know about a thesis that he’s just published on Blogging. He describes his research as follows:

To give a brief over view of the paper, it was written for people who have a basic understanding of Blogs. I looked at how Blogs have impacted business and communication, how some Blogs create revenue, how some companies are using Blogs, how Blogs greatly boost the spread of information, how Blogs add richness to the media landscape, how Blogs work in the Long Tail, how some companies are tracking the Blogosphere and what the future of Blogging may be.

I carried out quantitative research by twice sending out a survey via email to 750 Bloggers who are ranked by Technorati. A total 174 Bloggers filled out the survey.

Some of his key findings included:

  • 49% of survey participants use RSS readers to collect information for their Blogs
  • 5% allow commenting on their Blogs
  • 33% of the Blogs use Google AdSense for advertising
  • 22% use BlogAds

In a 12 month period:

  • 45% of bloggers did not generate any revenue at all from their blogs
  • 40% generated under $5,000
  • 4% generated over $100,000.

Of course it’s worth keeping in mind that the sample size was 174 so 4% is around 7 bloggers. One might argue both for or against whether this is a true representation of what all bloggers earn. I can’t see a breakdown of the types of bloggers surveyed so far in the paper but it would be interesting to see what type of spread of respondents there were in terms of topic, location and other demographics.

You can download the full thesis here (PDF)

Is there Room for Another Blog Network?

Today in the Six Figure Blogging call we talked a little about Blog Networks and took a look over a number of the bigger and emerging blog networks that are opening up around the wider blogging community and it was interesting to see not only the variety of blogs within networks – but also the variety of flavors of networks themselves.

On one hand you’ve got Gawker – a network of blogs that shamelessly goes after the young male audience who have disappeared from in front of television screens in recent years. On the opposite end of the spectrum you have Shiny Media who in some of their blogs are targeting young women.

Then we have the massive Weblogs Inc who has more of a shotgun approach – 75+ blogs (It’s probably more these days but I find it hard to count beyond fingers and toes) on a wide variety of topics with an even wider array of authors (although their writers profiles don’t seem to be that high I’ve been noticing recently – or is that just me?).

Flip across to the 9rules network (please remember that they are anti capital letters when you link to them – or the wrath of Scrivs might come down upon you) and you find a very different beast again. A growing collection of blogs who band together in a very loving, relational, non controlling collective type network. There is talk of making money – but it seems to be more of a club atmosphere so far in its early stages.

Then there is weblog empire (launched in the wake of the impressive Blog Herald), blog logic (which has a diverse group of blogs including one on dry walling!), creative weblogging (have a wide array of topics and have dropped their YPN and Adsense ads on the same page in the last few days) and the new Bloggy Network (looking to add not only blogs but blog tools) to mention just a few of the other blog networks that are around – each with their own spin.

Of course there are many other blog networks out there – I seem to discover at least one per week these days – but the question is…

Is there room for one more?

The next week or two will see that question answered (just between you and me)…

But in the mean time I thought it might be fun to have some discussion about blog networks and where people see the gaps in the market as being? What do you notice about existing blog networks? What is missing? What is being overdone? How would you go about starting a network?

Comment ProBlems on ProBlogger – Solution at Hand?

I’ve had feedback recently from readers of ProBlogger that some of you are having trouble leaving comments due to my spam filter being too harsh on you.

Please accept my apologies for this. I’ve been under a massive comment spam attack (thousands per day) for a couple of months now at this blog. My spam filter catches virtually every one of them – however in doing so it seems to kill a few genuine ones also.

One way around this if you are one of the people who is being blocked from commenting is to register as a user of this blog. You can do this via this Registration Form.

This SHOULD allow you to comment on any post without being blocked by the filter. Let me know if you have any further problems.

Yahoo Publisher Network RSS Ads

Jen has spotted what we’ve all been expecting to see – Yahoo Publisher Network RSS ads. She writes:

‘The ads are delivered as images and seem to have an autogenerated script of some sort as it contains start and end tags in the RSS code.’

She has screen caps of them here.