AdSense Ad New Content Channels to MTV Premium Video Test

Late in August it was announced that AdSense were doing a limited beta test with some publishers of their Premium Video Content (a partnership with Viacom where video ads were embedded into video clips, trailers etc). The test was a 4 week pilot that ends on 20 September.

I’ve just heard from one of the publishers involved in the test they’ve been sent a document by AdSense adding new options to the pilot for publishers for the last week of testing.

Publishers can now target different ‘channel options’ including:

  • Music Content: (Features interviews from artists such as Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguillera and Headbangers Ball.)
  • Hiphop Music Content: (A showcase of MTV artists and their lifestyles as shown in ‘Sucker Free Sundays’ and ‘Sway’ HipHop Owners Manual.)
  • Entertainment and Pop Culture Content: with two options (Option A: Spotlights Andrew Milakonic, Nick Cannon’s ‘Wild and Out’, ‘Jackass’ series and previews from the feature film release. Option B: A collection of MTV celebrity clips. )
  • Reality TV Content: (Contains highlights and behind the scenes from the new ‘Laguna Beach’ series.)
  • LGBT Content: with two options (Option A: Incorporates ‘Logo’ programming and ‘New Now Next’ artist interviews including Rufus Wainwright. Option B: Highlights the ‘Logo’ lesbian network ands shows like ‘Can’t get a Date’.)

Publishers were given different codes to paste into their sites for each option.

The introduction of their email to publishers sheds a little more light onto it:

“Thank you for your participation in our MTV video media pilot. As you know, our testing will conclude on September 20th, 2006. During the course of this final week we are excited to give you a choice of multiple channels of content to display on your site(s). Feel free to try any or all of the 5 content channels that would be of most interest to your visitors. There are no inherent monetization differences between these content channels. This document will help you implement the JavaScript code required to request and display Google’s Flash video player.”

I’ve also spoken to a couple of publishers who are part of the test about how it’s performed for them. Both told me that it started slow but in the last week the earnings from it have picked up considerably. One told me that the videos are earning more for them than other AdSense ads were previously earning in the same positions.

Keep in mind though that from what I can see AdSense have chosen publishers who have sites that have a youth culture readership to them – as a result the ads are pretty well targeted to the sites.

$1800 Prize Pool for Next Week’s Writing Project

This time last week I called for prizes for next week’s ProBlogger Group Writing Project. I was expecting a similar response to last time but was inundated with offers (over 35 now). Some of them were a touch strange (you’re a quirky lot) and some were quite amazing.

I’ve chosen 5 and let everyone know if they were successful or not – but wanted to build a little anticipation for the project by saying that the prize pool for the five prizes up for grabs in the next round is worth over $1800 (USD).

I’ve also selected a topic which will, like last time when we did ‘lists’, be one that can be suited to virtually any subject of blog.

Log into ProBlogger on Monday (probably in the afternoon Melbourne time) for full details of prizes, topic and how to participate.

10 Steps to Conflict Resolution


Yesterday we talked about Relational Communication Skills – essential skills for blogging relationships (ironically the picture I used in the post caused some to question whether I had some poor communication skills going on).

Today I want to turn my attention to conflict resolution, another essential skill (closely related to communication skills) for relational bloggers.

As a basis for this post I want to share a 10 point process that I share with couples (which comes out of a resource by the ‘Prepare/Enrich’ marriage counselling program). These steps are designed for couples working through specific areas of conflict in an ongoing relationship – as a result some of them are much more applicable for blogging relationships which tend to be more short term and between people not really in relationship (ie – this won’t be perfect, but lets see what we can get out of it).

Here are the 10 steps with a few thoughts on each:

1. Set a time and place for discussion

In most cases blogging conflict happens in posts and comments between bloggers. This is something I actually enjoy (if done well) but is also something of a problem for constructive resolution (due to its public nature and the fact that conflict rarely stays between two people). If a comment thread is becoming destructive I generally attempt to take the discussion to a more private setting either via email or IM. Doing this tends to take some of the sting out of the interaction. Also to set up a discussion for some point in the future helps to give each party a little space to calm down and approach the interaction more reasonably.

2. Define the problem or issue of disagreement

Many online conflicts tend to spill out into related topics to the point where parties end up not really knowing what they’re fighting about at all. Attempting to keep a discussion to one main point (at a time) can mean you’re more likely to move through it and then tackle another issue.

3. How do you each contribute to the problem?

Conflict is rarely a result of one person solely being at fault in a situation. Communicating to each other not only what the other person has done wrong but identifying your own failings can be a humbling experience and usually brings you a long way closer to resolving the issue.

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Communication Skills for Bloggers

CommunicationTangent Time – “To have a successful marriage you only really need two skills – communication skills and conflict resolution skills.”

This is the advice was drummed into me as a trainee celebrant learning to do pre-marriage counselling. It is a fairly idealistic sort of statement and I’m sure could be debated long and hard – however it does identify two extremely important aspects of a good marriage – or for that matter a good relationship of any kind.

I think communication skills and conflict resolution skills are vital in friendships, business partnerships, client relationships etc.

I’m also coming to see their importance in blogging and today I want to tackle the first of them – communication skills (tomorrow I’ll look at conflict resolution).

Communication Skills in Blogging

I should clarify at this point that I’m not talking about communication skills in terms of how to write effectively (I’ve covered this elsewhere and would hope bloggers have a reasonable grasp of it already). Instead, for the purposes of this post, I’m referring to relational communication skills – something that I think that even the best bloggers struggle with.

I find it a little ironic that we as bloggers (who are in the communication business) struggle with miscommunication between us so often. One just has to cast their mind back to the last comment flame war that they observed (or participated in) to find an example of it. Most niches have these all in brawls from time to time.

While in some cases – the conflict can be over ideological differences of opinions, a lot of them come down to poor communication skills.

Skills for Effective Communication

There are two main skills that I teach couples in pre marriage counselling sessions. Both are equally important and without either one a relationship suffers:

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Blog Spring Cleaning

BlogHelper has put together a couple of useful posts on what to do when spring cleaning your blog. Read at total of 10 things to consider doing at Blog Spring Cleaning: 5 Baby Steps and 5 more things to do when spring cleaning your blog.

9 Ways to Make Your Blog More Inclusive


Yesterday I raised the topic of exclusive blogging (and blogging cliques) – it was a post identifying a problem. Today I want to suggest 9 ways to make your blog more inclusive.

1. Be Aware of the Language You Use – every niche has it’s language that it’s experts know, use and understand and that beginners or outsiders don’t know. Acronyms are particularly difficult for outsiders to understand.

2. Consider a Glossary – sometimes you just have to use certain words that might exclude some of your readers. If this is the case you might like to consider a glossary of some sort that you link to when you’re aware of using exclusive language. Alternatively you might like to put definitions or explanations in your posts if appropriate).

3. Mix Up the Levels at which you Write – consider mixing up the level at which you write. For example I became aware earlier in the year (through the feedback of readers) that ProBlogger was becoming a little inaccessible to beginner bloggers. My response was to put together a month long series called Blogging for Beginners which covered the basics of blogging.

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MyBlogLog ads AdSense Tracking

MybloglogA number of readers have emailed in the last 24 hours to let me know that MyBlogLog (I previously reviewed it in it’s early days here), stats package that lets you track outbound links has added the ability to track AdSense clicks.

When you log into your stats page now you can now see how many clicks there were on different ad units (classified by ad sizes) and if you click the ‘view’ link it will show you which page on your blog the clicks have come from (and tell you how many clicks each page had).

While there are AdSense tracking scripts around that do this also – this is a very handy feature to have access to as it helps you take your AdSense earnings analysis a step beyond what channels will allow you to do and helps you identify which individual pages on your site are behind your earnings.

Now if we can just get them to start tracking Chitika, YPN and a few other ad networks….

thanks to Jon and Rob for being the first two to let me know about this.

Chitika enable Referral Links on Multiproduct eMiniMalls

Chitika have done something that I put on my wishlist to them almost 12 months ago and have made the link to Chitika in their multi product eMiniMalls an affiliate link (announcement – aff).

So now when another publisher sees your ads and clicks the link to see what ad system you’re using you make 10% of their first year’s earnings if they sign up.

This is a nice move and is a good little bonus for publishers – however I’m confused as to why they’re only doing it on their multi-product units and not their normal eMiniMalls or their shoplincs.

PS: now if we could just get AdSense to do this with their ‘Ads by Goooogle’ links!

BlogHerAds Goes Live

BlogheradsBlogHer have taken another step in the development of their BlogHerAds ad network by going live and opening things up for others to apply to.

To this point the beta test was only available for 30 or so parenting bloggers but now it’s open to anyone to apply to join. Details on the process of applying can be found here. There’s also a PDF invitation with more details.

The specifics of what they offer are in the PDF but here’s the basics:

  • Bloggers can choose a number of ad sizes
  • They they paste the ad code into their blog (similar to AdSense)
  • They recommend including up to three ads per page
  • You can indicate if there are ads from any industry or company you don’t wish to run
  • There’s no guarantee that you’ll see ads immediately – it depends upon how they are selling
  • When ads are not available they rotate headlines from blogs within the network in the position
  • Bloggers are paid dependent upon traffic (CPM). Bloggers seem to get 60% of revenue. In an example that they give they talk about $10 CPM – I’m not sure if this is just an example or the rate they go off

I think this is a pretty smart move for BlogHer. They’ve been building a great reputation and brand and it seems like a logical next move. Definitely one to watch.

found via Wendy