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b5media merges with About Weblogs Blog Network

We just announced our bigger announcement for the day over at b5media.

b5media has just merged with About Weblogs – bringing the network to 50 active blogs.

The full details are here.

The press release is below if you are interested in reading it.

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ProBlogger formally joins b5media

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Just a quick announcement that I’m sure will not shock anyone.

As of today ProBlogger.net has formally joined the b5media.com network of blogs (which I am a part owner of).

This will mean little in practical terms to this blog except that there will be (and have already been) some minor tweaks to the page in terms of design and advertising. In many regards this just formalizes what has already been as I’ve been linking to the rest of the network from my sidebar for a couple of weeks now.

ProBlogger will continue to provide the same content that it’s always provided, it will continue to be authored by me, it’s hosting will remain the same and it’s design will not change too much (although I’ve been thinking about a redesign for the new year).

The other owners of b5media brought their personal blogs into the network a couple of days ago – but I was a bit behind with getting things organized.

Top Entrepreneurial Blogs

About.com’s Entrepreneurial page has a list of the Top 10 Most Practical Blogs for Entrepreneurs. It’s a pretty decent list of blogs – most of which are on my daily reads list. Here they are:

Google Identity Required for Adsense and Adwords Login

I just logged into my Adsense and Adwords accounts and was asked to switch my login identity to a Google identity – (ie my Gmail account login). This enables me to log into a number of Google accounts with the one login – a more integrated system by the looks of things.

From what I saw they were going to require all publishers to do this by January 15.

This is something I’ve seen a number of Adsense publishers requesting over the past few months and it looks like they are gradually prompting all publishers to do this (there is a thread at WMW here abut it).

Engadget and Reader Participation

If you want to see an innovative and highly successful way of enhancing reader participation on a blog you need to check out what Engadget did with their First annual Halloween Costume. Check out the numbers of entries that they generated in these pages. Here’s the winners – and some more – and a few more.

Love them or hate them (as people tend to do) between competitions like this and their reader parties Engadget is at the forefront of drawing their readers into active participation in their blog – it’s no wonder they are one of the more successful blogs going around.

AdGenta Update

Mark Evans has an interesting review that compares his initial experience with the new AdGenta program in comparison with Adsense. He writes:

‘The results are pretty interesting. AdGenta generated 81 clicks from 83,700 impressions (a 0.3% conversion rate) while AdSense attracted 89 clicks from 26,687 impressions (0.9%). The AdSense traffic is worth $31.18, which will pay for a nice bottle wine. AdGenta, however, is total mystery because there’s no financial information available.’

I just chatted to Tris from AdGenta about this and it seem that they have had some temporary reporting issues that they are are working on it.

He says – ‘we are working on making sure all our reported income and data are accurate and we are working with our ad provider to ensure that’.

So it looks like a temporary initial teething problem which they’ll be getting on top of shortly. I guess these things happen with new services.

Tris also said to me that ‘our challenge, like all ad networks, is getting the right inventory with the right cpc’.

It must be a fine balancing operation to get things just right in a start up like this.

I’m yet to test AdGenta myself but am interested to hear how other publishers using it have found it so far.

Are Adsense Getting into the Affiliate Marketing Game?

I’ve been pondering the Adsense decision to get into the referral business this morning since hearing the news. There are a number of questions and directions that my mind has taken with it. Bear with me as I think out loud for a few minutes:

Who is left to Refer? – My initial reaction to the announcement was that it’s a nice idea – but who would I refer? It’s probably the blogging circles that I hang around in – but I’m scratching my head to think of too many online publishers who are not already with Adsense. Some of them are inactive of course – but most seem involved already. Over the past few years Adsense has saturated the contextual advertising market brilliantly – to the point where a referral program at this point kind of seems somewhat pointless.

Response to Competition – Is this move more about a response to competition than anything else? YPN is rumored to be coming out of beta in the coming month or two and many believe that they’ll have a referral program of their own. Chitika’s referrer program has caused some real buzz (check out the latest graph for the word chitika at blogpulse) – While Adsense might not recruit too many more publishers at this stage – their competition stands a lot to gain from such programs (as do those who promote them). Is this an attempt at diffusing some of the attention of these new programs?

Sign of Things to Come? – As I pondered this morning and read over the Adsense policies around the referral program I found myself wondering if this might actually be something a little bigger than just a referral program for Adsense. Check out some of the wording in their reference to the referral program (emphases mine):

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Adsense Referral Program

Looks like I was wrong with my last post – apologies – but even more exciting than that is that Adsense have just launched a referal program. Now you can refer new publishers to adsense and earn $100 when they get to their first $100 of earnings.

There are a variety of buttons to choose from (no text links) to promote the referral program. Here’s some:

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Note that these are not live buttons – it would be against Adsense TOS to include more than one such button per page.

There’s also apparently a referral program for US publishers for dowload of firefox with the Google Adsense toolbar which pays $1 per download. I don’t see the option for this in my Adsense package of course as an Aussie publisher.

I’m not sure if I’ll really heavily promote this program – I don’ t know too many publishers who haven’t already registered for Adsense. I suspect YPN will have a similar program which would be much more lucrative in terms of how many possible sign ups could be generated.

Gizmodo lands iPod Advertising Campaign

Ipod-AdCongratulations to Gizmodo for landing what is a very large fish when it comes to advertisers.

Today I noticed a campaign with Apple focussing upon iPods which link to the official iPod page. The ads are not on every impression but target a fairly high percentage of the impressions I saw – looks like a substantial campaign. When I first saw it I thought it could have been an affiliate program but Gawker (the team behind Gizmodo) confirms that it’s a campaign directly with Apple.

Apple are known for not advertising much online so this is a rather big catch for the Gawker team.