BlogRush has announced it’s Phase 2 launch today and I’ve just taken a look over it.
What you’ll notice when you first log in is a new dashboard (instead of an ‘under construction’ note). The interface is all very nice with new graphs etc. The information in the graphs is all interesting (although not a lot different from what they previously gave).
What is interesting about the new Phase 2 Dashboard is the section that shows how BlogRush is performing on a post by post basis. In this section they show you how many times each post has been served to the widget and how many times they were clicked. Also each post has been given a ‘Buzz’ rating.
This of course is useful in seeing what kinds of posts work best and what doesn’t work.
In the video announcing the Phase 2 launch John mentions that these ‘buzz ratings’ from all of the blogs in the network will be aggregated to provide a new service to show what’s hot across the full network. This new site will be called TrafficJam.com. TrafficJam will be an interesting development to watch – it sounds like an alternative to a Digg like site and if they can get a good user base it could be quite a good traffic generator and reason to keep using BlogRush.
My First Impressions of Phase 2
- My initial impression is that the reports and dashboard are all very nice
- The post aggregation information is useful – particularly for those wanting to see what kinds of headlines work. Using the ‘reports’ area shows you which posts worked over a period and which didn’t. I’ve learned a lot in the last 15 minutes from this report – it’s a great way of getting a handle on what kinds of titles people are drawn to click on!
- Performance is still very very low for me when it comes to CTR. Over the 6 weeks since I started with BlogRush I’ve earned over 8 million credits. I have 6.5 million credits still owed to me so links must have been served up on blogs around 1.5 million times. From that I’ve had around 890 people visit my site. I know that BlogRush has had people trying to scam the system, that some of my blog titles probably could be better and that they’re still improving the system – but 900 clicks from 1.5 million impressions is fairly insignificant I’m afraid.
- Current Credit Balance seems completely blown out for me. I currently have 6.5 million credits that are unused. I know John says that this number goes up and down – but mine just keeps rising.
- John mentions there are new categories being added – good move – this should help with CTR
- The new ‘flavors’ editing is good – it means you can change the color scheme of your widget quickly without having to change code on your blog. There are also new sized widgets (although you’ll need to change the code on your blog to change sizes).
- Filters is a good move. You can now block posts that you don’t want to appear in the widget (using keywords), block posts from other people’s blogs or block other blogs completely.
- The glaring missing stat to me is the actual numbers of visitors that you’ve had from BlogRush come to your blog. Seeing how much traffic you’ve earned is great – but unless you see figures of total traffic received it makes it hard to analyze how well it’s going. You do see it on a post by post basis – but not in total unless you’re willing to go in the ‘reports’ area and manually add them all up (like I just did… phew).
I’ve only spent 15 minutes looking over the new BlogRush – there is some good feature additions, nice new reports – and promises of new and interesting developments to come.
However, this system has been promoted as a traffic generation system and unless it is able to significantly improve the traffic that it sends those participating then it isn’t going to be used for much longer by many publishers I’m afraid. I’ve tried to be as optimistic as possible with this one as I think the idea has merit – however now that I’ve seen the results that were blocked to us for the last couple of weeks I’m feeling quite underwhelmed.