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Group Writing Project – The Prize Winners Are….

Having come to the end of this week’s writing project I have a mixture of feelings.

  • Excitement301 entries (a record), loads of interlinking between blogs, numerous reports of posts hitting it big around the blogosphere
  • Tiredness – I’ve got to get a better system for uploading submissions – I’ve done it all manually again and it’s taken way too long
  • Inspiration – Some of the submissions this week have been amazing and have introduced me to some great new blogs that I’d not come across before.

I’m also really overwhelmed by everyone’s excitement and willingness to participate. While I’m a little worn out I’m also energized – especially at this moment having just randomly selected those bloggers who are going to receive one of the five gifts on offer.

The way I selected the prize recipients was to use a site called Random.org which has a tool for selecting random numbers. I assigned each submission in the week a number and the five numbers the site spat out to me are the following five winners who win the following five gifts.

So there we have it. Congratulations to the recipients of the gifts. I’ll be in touch with you in the next day to let you know how you collect your prize.

One last special thank you to our sponsors – Blake Schwendiman, The Umdum.com Web Directory, URLTrends, The Gold Pages Directory and Earners Forum. I appreciate your generosity greatly.

Please support these sponsors by visiting their sites.

The Last 63 Lists – Group Writing Project Submissions – Part 4

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Thanks to everyone who has particiapted in this week’s Group Writing Project.

It is now officially closed for submissions (I’ve been waiting for parts of the Pacific to get to the end of Thursday). Below are the final 63 submissions which brings the total number of participants this week to 301!

It’s amazing what offering prizes will do (although I think it’s also about this week’s project being a bit more accessible than previous ones in terms of topic).

Speaking of prizes – our wonderful sponsors of this week’s project (The Gold Pages Directory, The Umdum.com Web Directory, URLTrends , Blake Schwendiman and Earners Forum) have each donated a gift (see below for details). Now that the week is complete I’m going to draw the prizes. This will take me an hour to do so look out for a post shortly with this week’s winners.

In the mean time – here are the last round of reader submissions (the full list of all 301 submissions are here):

[Read more...]

AdSense Add Individual Ad Performance Tracking

Google Sm-2I just noticed on the AdSense What is New Page for August that in addition to the new way of setting up search to show on your own domain that they’ve added an extra option for viewing stats in advance reports.

Now instead of just viewing impressions either by ‘ad unit’ or ‘page’ publishers now have the option of viewing their stats by ‘individual ad’.

You see the options in the ‘Show Data by’ drop down menu.

The new option allows you to see your stats (CTR, eCPM etc) for each individual ad shown on your site. So on a skyscraper ad unit where 4 individual ads might be served to your blog this counts as 4 individual ad impressions. Alternatively if you view by ‘ad unit’ it would count as 1 impression and if you were to view by ‘page’ even if you had multiple ad units on the page it would only be counted once.

Confused?

Google explains it elsewhere by explaining each of the three options like this:

[Read more...]

CSS Optimization

David over at Blogging Pro has put together a useful post on CSS Optimization and making your site load faster through smart use of CSS. In the post he tests four CSS optimization tools (CSS Optimizer, Icey’s CSS Compressor, Flumpcakes CSS Optimiser and Clean CSS) on a variety of sites and then publishes his results. It’s probably not a post for the beginner but many of you will find it useful.

Top 8 Excuses for Stealing Other People’s Content

I regularly find other people republishing my content without permission (and usually without acknowledgment of the source).

Here’s some of the real excuses I’ve had recently when I’ve confronted bloggers who do it:

  1. “I was just testing a new template with your posts.” (all 100 of them)
  2. “I just couldn’t resist – it was too tempting.”
  3. “We just installed a new plugin that promised to give us new content without lifting a finger, I didn’t realize it was using other people’s content.”
  4. “Sorry, my Son was playing with my blog and did it without me knowing.”
  5. “Oh, I didn’t see any Copyright notices.” (he was republishing my RSS feed and in doing so was republishing my copyright notice on every post too).
  6. “I was just doing it to see how long it would take you to realize I was doing it.”
  7. “Sorry, but can you tell me whose site YOU’RE scraping YOUR content off? It’s really good!”
  8. “But I just don’t have enough time to write my own content for all 279 blogs that I run!”

Update: here’s a new one I had today – ‘I wasn’t fully aware we were doing that.’ Hmmm – how can you not be ‘fully aware’? In my books you’re either aware or you’re not!

82 More Lists – Group Writing Project Reader Submissions Part III

200608141910-1Today’s the second last round of reader submissions in this week’s ‘Lists’ Group Writing Project. If you want to participate you’ve got until the end of Thursday (wherever you are). I’ll be posting the final submissions and announcing the prizes from our sponsors The Gold Pages Directory, The Umdum.com Web Directory, URLTrends , Blake Schwendiman and Earners Forum (see below to see what the prizes are) in about 24 hours time.

Remember it’s 1 entry per blogger. Full details of how to participate here.

Here are today’s 87 submissions (once again there are some beauties in this lot). The full list of all submissions is at our central submissions page (we’re now up to a total of 238 submissions):

[Read more...]

Expert Bloggers – Do You Know What You’re Blogging About?

I had an Instant messaging conversation yesterday that highlighted to me that some bloggers have very little idea when it comes to the topic that they’ve chosen to write about.

I won’t go into the details of who it was but the person was writing on a topic that had some overlap with a topic I write about and by the questions that they were asking me it became very evident that they had no real understanding of the topic.

However when I went to their blog they presented themselves as an expert in their chosen topic and even offered their services as a consultant in it.

Their archives were filled with a mixture of ‘free articles’ (written by others) and some bumbling original content.

As I read their blog and talked with them on IM I found myself getting quite frustrated and even angry.

After the conversation I cooled down a little and began to ask myself if I was being unfair and perhaps a little elitist or arrogant (and perhaps I am) – but came to the conclusion that what annoyed me most about this blogger was that in effect he was being deceptive.

Do You Need to Be an Expert to Blog?

I don’t believe people need to be experts in their topic – however if they are not I think some level of transparency is necessary.

I read quite a few quality blogs by people who are not experts in their field – in fact the fact that they are not experts makes their blog more accessible and easy to read.

They write in a style of ‘this is what I’m learning about….’ or ‘this is what I’m trying….’ or ‘does anyone know about….?’ or ‘this is a theory I’ve read – I’m going to try it….’

Fellow Travelers vs Experts

While readers do seek ‘experts’, they also respond well to ‘fellow travelers’. I’ve written about this before using the metaphors of ‘tour guide’ via ‘fellow traveler’: [Read more...]

Speedlinking – 17 August 2006

(Reflect)Problogger.Netbeta

The Problem of Dates on Blogs

Lately I’ve been pondering a the issue of dates on blogs.

While I see the usefulness of dates on posts (they help give context to a post) I wonder if they sometimes do more harm than good.

A Confession

The reason I say this is that I’ve come to realize that I’m something of a ‘date snob’ when it comes to reading other people’s blogs. I suspect I’m not alone because the world we live in (and particularly the medium we’re writing in) is quite obsessed with ‘freshness’.

If I’m searching Google on a topic and come across a post that someone’s written on their blog I tend to look at when it was written. If the date is some months (or years) back I tend to rate it as less relevant as a post that might have been written in the past week or two – I don’t do it consciously but have caught myself doing it.

When I think logically about this I don’t see the sense in it because I know on one level that a lot of my own older content is still highly relevant – but for some reason I’ve come to see fresh content as equalling better content (sad I know). The result is that I’m probably less likely to read old posts thoroughly less likely to link to them (for some stupid fear of seeming to be out of date).

Am I alone as a date snob?

I suspect I’m not.

‘Solutions’

I’m not sure what the solution for this is – however have experimented with a couple of ideas including decreasing the visibility of dates on posts (I used to have my dates hidden away at the bottom of posts here at ProBlogger) and even taking dates off posts altogether (something I’ve done from the start at my latest blog).

This latest experiment with leaving dates off posts altogether has actually worked out quite well for me at DPS. I’ve noticed that a lot more of my older posts consistently are getting linked to by other blogs over time. I suspect it works well there mainly because that site is very much focused upon ‘how to’ or ‘tips’ type posts which are not time specific. A news related blog would probably not be able to get away with it as their posts need to be put into the context of time.

Of course I’ve heard a few other bloggers say that not having dates on my site means it’s not a blog – but I that’s another debate….

Questions for Discussion

I don’t have the answer to this ‘problem’ yet but thought I’d put it out there and see what others think.

Are we too obsessed with freshness as bloggers? Are you a date snob too? Have you tried any ways to combat this problem? Is a blog without dates not a blog?