TLA Acquired By MediaWhiz

Congratulations for the team at Text Link Ads for being acquired by MediaWhiz in the 24 hours.

This was an acquisition waiting to happen as TLA have built themselves up over the past few months into an advertising network that is providing numerous bloggers with their largest income – out performing some pretty major ad networks on some blogs.

TLA say that this will only improve what publishers can get from them writing that it’ll enable a dedicated sales team to sell more ad space on our sites and that they’ll add new advertising systems including CPA and CPM advertising. It’ll be interesting to see how the dust settles on this one.

How To Build ‘Blog Authority’ – Technorati Style

Dave Sifry’s ‘State of the Blogosphere’ posts are a quarterly occourance and generally cause a bit of a stir around the blogosphere for different reasons. Some use the stats to boast how far we’ve come – others to point out our weaknesses. Either way – this quarter’s one is out at State of the Blogosphere, October, 2006 – complete with the usual array of pretty graphs and interesting stats (well interesting to some).

There’s an interesting new section on blog authority and the posting behavior for bloggers that have different Technorati rankings.

The description of what they found about the blogs with very high authority (those in their top 4000) was interesting. I’ll break down their paragraph on these blogs into bullet points (with a little editing):

  • This group exhibits a radical shift in post frequency as well as blog age
  • Bloggers of this type have been at it longer – a year and a half on average
  • The post nearly twice a day, an increase in posting volume of over 100% from the previous group with lower authority
  • Many of the blogs in this category, in fact, are about as old as Technorati
  • Some of these are full-fledge professional enterprises that post many, many times per day and behave increasingly like our friends in the mainstream media.
  • As has been widely reported, the impact of these bloggers on our cultures and democracies is increasingly dramatic.

The following graph summarizes some of the differences between the four groups.


Obviously blog age, posting frequency and post count have a a significant impact. The blog age bit fits with my own little study on Technorati’s Top 100 Blogs which found that they have an average age of 33.8 months.

Here’s the summary of the other parts of Dave’s post:

  • Technorati is now tracking more than 57 Million blogs.
  • Spam-, splog- and sping-fighting efforts at Technorati are paying dividends in terms of the reduction of garbage in our indexes, even if it does seem to impact overall growth rates.
  • Today, the blogosphere is doubling in size approximately every 230 days.
  • About 100,000 new weblogs were created each day, again down slightly quarter-over-quarter but probably due in part to spam fighting efforts.
  • About 4% of new splogs get past Technorati’s filters, even if it is only for a few hours or days.
  • There is a strong correlation between the aging and post frequency of blogs and their authority and Technorati ranking.
  • The globalization of the blogosphere continues. Our data appears to show both English and Spanish languages are a more universal blog language than the other two most dominant language, Japanese and Chinese, which seem to be more regionally localized.
  • Coincident with a rise in blog posts about escalating Middle East tensions throughout the summer and fall, Farsi has moved into the top 10 languages of the blogosphere, indicating that blogging continues to play a critical role in debates about the important issues of our times.

Christmas Cartoon Project Winner

A few weeks ago Matt from Chewing Pencils emailed me asking if I could judge his Christmas Cartoons Group Project. Matt had 17 entries submitted (I’ve included links to each below) and gave me the difficult job of choosing one to win.

The choice was difficult (and I’m not just saying that because all judges say that type of thing when announcing a winner) but because I’m not a cartoonist, I wasn’t sure whether to judge it on humor, drawing style, message and lastly because I found something to like in all of the 17 entries! Oh the pressure!

But in the end I narrowed my favorites down to a top five (which I chose for a variety of reasons) and then picked my winner.

The cartoon that I chose was Ming from Artmaker.


I chose it largely because it made me laugh. In fact so did the others in my top five (honorable mentions). They are (in not particular order):

Following are the other 12 entries – all of which were great also. Thanks to Matt and those who entered for the opportunity to participate in this way. I enjoyed the cartoons, found some cool new blogs along the way and am very jealous of your artistic talents!

[Read more…]

AdSense Stats Tools

Are you an AdSense Stats Junkie? Constantly checking your stats all day long?

Many ProBlogger readers make checking their stats easier using the AdSense Notifier for Firefox which lets you keep track of your stats at a glance in your browser 24/7 without having to log in – however there are other similar tools that non Firefox users might find handy too.

Here’s an older one that I hadn’t noticed before – it’s a Google Desktop sidebar widget which loads information about your daily earnings, impressions, clicks, CTR and eCPM onto your Google Desktop.

If you don’t use Firefox or Google Desktop – check out this one designed for the Yahoo Widgets engine.

If you’re a Mac OSX user and want one for Dashboard you might like to check out this one from Tiger Widgets which gives you information on your last 6 days stats.

Lastly there’s RevCheck which will email you your stats for you (it isn’t free like the above ones).

I’m sure there are other out there – feel free to suggest them if you use them.

Thanks to Hendy for the email about these this afternoon

Kiddley Blogs – Blog Case Study

One of my favorite bloggers in my early years of blogging was Loobylu – an award winning blog written by a fellow Melbournian Claire Robertson.

Claire is an illustrator and toy maker and has been featured for her illustration work and blogging in many places over the last five years. I’ve always been very jealous of her sense of style and beautifully designed blog.

Kiddleybanner4Six or so months ago Claire and her husband Phil launched a new blog by the name of Kiddley – a blog with loads of ideas, projects and tips for parents to enjoy with their kids. In a sense it is a DIY blog for parents.

It’s a blog that is brimming with the creativity in Claire’s other works but is also an entrepreneurial blog also with a real commercial edge (advertising and affiliate links).

Claire writes about Kiddley’s growth and emerging income stream that it brings:

“Kiddley has been going from strength to strength and no one is more surprised than me that we are starting to make a small income. It’s exciting to be working on a project like this with Big-P and it’s immensely satisfying trying new things and see what works. We are learning so much about blogging and marketing and our audience and after lots of planning and thinking and projecting we have decided that another new (small) blog is the next step for us followed by yet another in the new year. It’s all a bit of an experiement at this stage.”

Kiddleylinksbutton04In the last week or so Claire and Phil have added another blog to their growing network – Kiddley Links. It’s more overtly commercial in nature as it is a shopping blog and is specifically looking at and reviewing products related to kids.

I love the work that Claire and Phil are doing on these blogs and want to highlight it here for a number of reasons:

Firstly – its a brilliant example of people blogging about something that they obviously have an interest in and finding a way to monetize it. While it’s possible to pick a topic that will be financially rewarding and learn to love it – I think it’s much easier to sustain a blog that is on a topic that you’re passionate about.

Secondly – I love the way that Claire and Phil are expanding their blogging by picking related topics and are leveraging previous success to drive traffic to their new blogs. I wish that I’d done this in my early days of commercial blogging instead of picking a wide array of topics.

Thirdly – The clean design and layout of these blogs and ad placement is pretty smart. While there might be a few tweaks that I’d suggest – all in all I really like their integration of ads and design. Their blogs are warm, inviting and exude character and personality.

Fourthly – I quite like the husband and wife team approach on these blogs. I know of a few family partnership blogs like this and while it’s not possible for everyone it’s really great to see this type of partnership in action.

Speedlinking 7 November 2006

  • ZeroBoss writes a post on how to get people to read what you write – good solid advice
  • Celebrity Cowboy share his 7 Secret Strengths (a little language warning)
  • Ben shares some of the behind the scenes workings of the new b5media homepage at Blog Herald
  • Thom emailed me today to tell me about NanoLearning – a way of adding an eCourse to your blog or site. It’s still in beta and I’ve not tested it but it looks like it might be useful for some bloggers
  • Everton presents 4 WP plugins that help your readers ‘engage’ with (or read more of) your blog

Speedlinking 6 November 2006

Amazon Launches Clickriver Ads

BetaIt’s been interesting to see Amazon/A9 release the beta of a new Cost Per Click (CPC) advertising program to run ads on their pages. It’s called Clickriver.

I’m interested for a couple of reasons.

Firstly – I think it presents bloggers an interesting opportunity to promote their blogs. Increasing numbers of bloggers are engaging in CPC advertising with systems like AdSense (you’d be surprised how many are doing it). Imaging a blog on MP3 Players running ads on Amazon’s iPod pages for example!

Secondly – I’ll be interested to see if this program is extended and made available down the track to other publishers to run the ads on their sites. I can’t see anything about this on their site (or anywhere else) but I think it would be a natural progression.

Blogger Beta is ‘Feature Complete’

Blogger have announced that their Beta is ‘feature complete’. They write:

“Aside from its interface being available in French, Italian, German or Spanish (with more languages on the way), you can now publish blogs via S/FTP, a feature formerly available on the older version of Blogger. Beta’s FTP functionality is significantly enhanced however — it includes Label support!

If you use FTP on the older version of Blogger, you should definitely log into the beta and set up a test FTP blog to make sure it can publish properly to your ftp server. We did a ton of FTP testing on several different popular hosting services, but if you experience any publishing weirdness, let us know via the Contact form — use the “Report a bug or problem” -> “I found a bug with Blogger in beta” selection to send in reports, ’cause we wanna fix the bugs ASAP.

Most importantly, the addition of FTP to the beta means that account migration will soon (like Really Really Soon) be available to all Blogger users — it’s currently just enabled for blogspot users. Thank you all for your patience with the recent outages and networking problems – they’ll soon be a thing of the past!”

I’d be interested to hear from anyone who is using Blogger Beta – how’s it been for you?