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Turning off Blog Comments

Steve Pavlina has taken the step of closing down his blog’s comments system because they were more trouble than they were worth. He writes:

‘The main factor in making this decision was the time and energy freed up by not having to deal with comments. No blog comments means no administration of comments, handling comment spam, legal liability for what people post in comments, having to decide whether to respond to questions or ignore them, people posting false information, commenters flaming other commenters, marketing abuses, tech support for comments (Can you fix my typo? Can you delete my double post?). These are minor problems if you only get a few comments a week, but with more than 10 a day — every day — it quickly adds up.’

So would you ever consider switching off the comments on your blog?

I would answer this question on a blog by blog basis and would make the decision largely around the topic of the blog and the voice in which it is written in.

I have a number of blogs that are focussed upon reporting news and information to readers. These blogs are not about creating community or interactivity – rather they present information. I’ve wondered a few times whether it might be appropriate to switch comments off on these blogs because they rarely get a genuine comment and regularly get spammed. Of course with the increasing effectiveness of comment spam protection features of the main blog platforms I find it is rare that spam gets through.

I have other blogs, like ProBlogger.net, which would suffer greatly by switching off comments. I cannot imagine this site without the discussion and community that comments helps create. This blog is read by some very wise bloggers and their opinion and experience is at times more central to what happens here than my own writing. If anything I’d like to find ways of elevating the profile of comments on this blog as they are quite often brilliant.

I guess all I’m arguing is that there are many factors that should be considered before switching comments off. Some of these may include:

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Intelliseek and AOL to Announce Blog Content Deal

Steve Rubel announces that AOL are continuing their foray into Blogging by getting ready to announce a deal betweeen them and Intelliseek - the people behind BlogPulse.

‘AOL and Intelliseek on Monday plan to unveil a blog content deal. Sue MacDonald at Intelliseek confirmed that the deal – set to be announced Monday at 7:30 a.m. – will give AOL access to rich blog data that they will deliver to consumers. ‘

There are no real details yet of what the deal entails have been published but it is further indication that some pretty massive players see the potential in blogging.

Apple PowerUpgrade Coming?

Macworld reports that Apple have called another press conference for 19 October:

‘Apple doesn’t say exactly what the press conference will be about, but the invitation sent to MacCentral asks to join them as “we unveil Apple’s latest pro innovations.”’

Sounds promising for a PowerUpgrade – I Can’t Wait!

Typepad vs WordPress

blogging.wurk has a post that compares Typepad and WordPress from a blog network’s point of view. No real surprises with the findings but for TypePad users it might be an interesting comparison:

So last week I gave WordPress a try. Fair enough, each blog currently needs its own install of WordPress – this, I’m told will change. But that’s the only gripe I have. I’ve created a single generic WordPress theme that’s quickly and easily updated locally in a text editor, and quickly and easily uploaded via FTP to my own server. If i want to run those updates across the network instantly, no problem. It’s just a case of overwriting each blog’s theme folder with the new master folder (all with version numbers, so I know immediately which blog is using which version of the theme) – again all over FTP, and all in seconds. No time-consuming republishing, either – WordPress dynamically generates each page, and creates a static URL using Apache’s mod-rewrite. Excellent.

All I would add to the review is that perhaps it’s not the fairest comparison as a system like TypePad is designed with a different user in mind to WordPress (fairer would be comparing WordPress an Movable Type (another product by the makers of TypePad for those unfamiliar with it).

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Motorola Sponsor the Podcast Network

Congratulations to Mick and Cameron over at The Podcast Network for securing a three month sponsorship from Motorola

‘Motorola Mobile Devices, a global leader in wireless communications, today announced that it has entered into a three-month strategic marketing partnership with The Podcast Network (TPN), the world’s first commercial podcast network.

The deal sees Motorola become the first site-wide anchor tenant of The Podcast Network with highly visible advertising from banner ads through to audio spots in podcasts across the broad range of channels offered by TPN at www.thepodcastnetwork.com. Motorola will also offer podcasts with senior Motorola executives on a number of topics from handset design to mobile music.’

ProBlogger Newsletter

I’ve been having a few problems with my server the past few days – and one of them seems to have been an issue with getting my last ProBlogger Newsletter out. If you didn’t get it feel free to download it (as a word document) via:

Problogger Newsletter 14:10:05-2.doc

Problogger Epiphany – I’m Busy

A few weeks ago I was testing a mind mapping tool and thought it would be fun to map out my work life. I thought it would be an interesting exercise to lay it all out and see how many projects I was currently involved with.(not familiar with mind maps – check wikipedia’s page on them).

After about 15 minutes I had mapped it all out and was shocked to see just how many projects I’ve currently got ‘on the go’.

I stopped counting at about 40 projects (and have since remembered and started a couple more).

The 40 projects included 20 or so active blogs, six figure blogging, b5 media (which currently has a further 15 blogs – and some more coming soon – which I didn’t include in the total), a couple of ‘real life’ projects (did I ever mention that I lead a church in my spare time?) as well as a handful of blogging related other things that I’m working on but which I’m not yet able to talk publicly about.

As I stared at the mind map a couple of things struck me:

  1. It’s been a very big year – I’m sure if I did this same exercise at this point last year the number of projects would have been about a third (if that) of what they currently are. I’m amazed by the progress.
  2. The opportunities are amazing – It seems every day I open my inbox or turn on my IM and find someone presenting me with an opportunity with great potential. Sometimes I find myself giggling like a school kid at the idea that people would want to work with me – I really feel unworthy of so many of the approaches I get.
  3. I’m busy - As I constructed the mindmap I suddenly realized that I’m pretty busy. This might seem like a pretty obvious statement – but it is amazing how busyness can creep up on you. To be honest I’ve always considered myself as a bit of a lazy person so the conclusion that I’m busy and achieving so much with my time is something of an epiphany!
  4. No wonder I’m so tired – Again – a pretty obvious realization to come to – but something about the tangled web made me realize why I fall asleep while watching movies with friends, why I can’t seem to remember anything my wife tells me to do and why I always seem to be dreaming of my next holiday.
  5. Too many balls in the air – The conclusion I came to was that I currently have a few too many balls on the air to be doing all the juggling myself.

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Google AdSense Case Study – Weblogs Inc

Adsense has added a new case study to it’s collection with a new one focussing upon Weblogs Inc. Of particular interest is their success with ‘link units’ – something they claim increased earnings by as much as 50%. I have to say my experience of them has not been quite that high but that they are a useful option to experiment with.

Chitika eMiniMalls Tips

A Guide to Getting increasing your income from Chitika’s eMiniMall Advertising program.

Since my initial Chitika eMinimalls review and revelation of earnings from Chitika’s eMiniMalls my inbox has been full of questions on how to use eMiniMalls effectively. As a result I thought I’d write a guide to using Chitika eMiniMalls to refer people to. I hope this is helpful. Feel free to add your own tips in comments below.

Chitika eMiniMall Sign up Process

Signing Up for Chitika eMiniMalls is pretty easy to do. Simply visit their sign up page and fill in your details. Keep in mind their terms and conditions of being a publisher which exclude certain types of sites. When you send in your application you will normally hear back from Chitika with a response within 24 hours (time seems to depend upon what time you apply and whether it is business hours in their part of the US.

Keep in mind that in signing up you are being bound to their terms and conditions that include non-disclosure of some of your earnings information (eg CTR, click values etc). Also note that at this point of their beta test they are only accepting sites written in English.

Lastly keep in mind that if your site’s readership is mainly from Asian countries that unfortunately due to a lack of Asian merchants and low conversions Chitika does not pay out for all Asian countries and the ‘auditing’ process could decrease your earnings considerably.
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