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Gawker Adds Comments to Three Blogs

Megablog, Gizmodo, has decided to allow comments at last. It’s been a pretty long time coming and something that many have complained about – but the time has arrived (they’ve done the same thing on Gawker and Lifehacker blogs also).

Interestingly they’ve decided that only invited guests will have commenting privileges at this point – something I’ve not seen on any other blogs before.

They explain this on their Comments FAQ page by writing:

Anyone who has been invited, either by us or by a friend. The invite system works like Gmail. We’ve invited a bunch of our favorite gearheads, bloggers, and frequent tipsters to comment, then given them invitations to share with their friends and colleagues. That way, the burden of inclusion, and exclusion, is shared.

Why are comments by invitation only?

Most online communities are like Apple Stores and hip bars—they quickly get overrun with tourists, thus lowering the overall quality of the experience. The same thing will happen to us eventually too. But we’re going to try to put off that moment for as long as possible.

I can hear the critiques of this move already – there will be some who say its elitist – but I wonder if this could be a smart move. Commenting rights could become hot property on their blogs – this could limit comments to more manageable numbers (I don’t bother with comments in blogs like Slashdot these days due to the numbers) – in the short term this will help limit comment spam (although it will get harder as more are invited) and if they are choosey about who comments they could end up with some really knowledgeable and high profile people featuring on their blogs.

Of course it could all go horribly wrong if the masses don’t like the fact that they are being locked out and/or if the competition starts playing it up that they have a completely free commenting system.

It’s definitely something to watch.

Shiny Media Announces 3 New Blogs

Everyone’s favorite UK Blog Network, Shiny Media, has announced three new blogs.

They describe them as follows:

HDTV UK – High Definition TV will arrive in the UK next year and HDTV UK is the first website to deliver daily updates of the latest HD news, whether it be new HD compatible screens, HD programming or HD ready video recorders.

Pop Junkie – Written by a team of snobbish music obsessives each day PopJunkie serves up a mini review of a great lost pop album. Some are the long lost work of major artists, such as Frank Sinatra’s odd concept album from 1969 Watertown or Cathy Dennis’ Brit Pop album Am I that kind of Girl?. Others are by completely obscure bands whose records were so out of time they now reside untouched in the bargain basement bins.

Trashionista – Trashionista gets to grips with the wonderful world of female fiction. We take an unbiased look at beach reads, bestsellers, new releases and old favourites – and we actually read the books before writing about them. The Trashionista doesn’t believe that ‘chick lit’ is a dirty word – but if a book is trash, we’ll let you know!

Blog Networks – A List

Duncan has Blog Networks on the brain and has posted a long List of Blog Networks which shows just how popular the practice of linking blogs together under one banner has become.

He’s got a list of 35 so far but I’m sure there are others!

Introducing b5media

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The worst kept secret in ProBlogging circles (thanks Jeremy) has officially gone live.

I’d like to introduce you to the project that has done the unthinkable and that has kept Jeremy, Duncan and Myself a little quieter on our blogs for the past few weeks.

Meet b5media

What is it you ask?

It’s a blogging network owned and operated by two Aussies and a Canadian and with bloggers participating from France, the UK, Australia, the US and Philippines. We already have 14 blogs and are close to launching a number of others.

You can get the full scoop on who we are and what makes b5media b5media on our launch post.

Some of you might also be interested in joining us as an author. We’re keen to add some quality bloggers into the mix and to help them earn some income from their blogging – if you’d like to be a part of that you can find the process for applying here.

In the mean time – check out some of our brand new blogs (I’ve put links to each with short descriptions below). Remember that we’re in beta and some of them are further along than others. We’re in the process or ironing out kinks and finalizing templates – Peter from The Blog Studio has just put up a template on our b5media blog (a work in progress) but all the others are a little way off going live with their new looks.

[Read more...]

Jason Calacanis Interview

Interesting interview with Jason Calacanis over at his blog today – it gives an up to date look at the Weblogs Inc Network. Well worth the read.

‘The business is growing about 9-12 months faster then I thought it would. However, we’ve got a couple more years of really hard work ahead of us before this becomes this become what I consider a “real business” (i.e. over $10M a year in revenue).’

Looks like things are building well over at WIN!

Is there Room for Another Blog Network?

Today in the Six Figure Blogging call we talked a little about Blog Networks and took a look over a number of the bigger and emerging blog networks that are opening up around the wider blogging community and it was interesting to see not only the variety of blogs within networks – but also the variety of flavors of networks themselves.

On one hand you’ve got Gawker – a network of blogs that shamelessly goes after the young male audience who have disappeared from in front of television screens in recent years. On the opposite end of the spectrum you have Shiny Media who in some of their blogs are targeting young women.

Then we have the massive Weblogs Inc who has more of a shotgun approach – 75+ blogs (It’s probably more these days but I find it hard to count beyond fingers and toes) on a wide variety of topics with an even wider array of authors (although their writers profiles don’t seem to be that high I’ve been noticing recently – or is that just me?).

Flip across to the 9rules network (please remember that they are anti capital letters when you link to them – or the wrath of Scrivs might come down upon you) and you find a very different beast again. A growing collection of blogs who band together in a very loving, relational, non controlling collective type network. There is talk of making money – but it seems to be more of a club atmosphere so far in its early stages.

Then there is weblog empire (launched in the wake of the impressive Blog Herald), blog logic (which has a diverse group of blogs including one on dry walling!), creative weblogging (have a wide array of topics and have dropped their YPN and Adsense ads on the same page in the last few days) and the new Bloggy Network (looking to add not only blogs but blog tools) to mention just a few of the other blog networks that are around – each with their own spin.

Of course there are many other blog networks out there – I seem to discover at least one per week these days – but the question is…

Is there room for one more?

The next week or two will see that question answered (just between you and me)…

But in the mean time I thought it might be fun to have some discussion about blog networks and where people see the gaps in the market as being? What do you notice about existing blog networks? What is missing? What is being overdone? How would you go about starting a network?

Gawker Announces the ‘Deadspin’ Sports Blog

Gawker have gone live with their latest new sports blog – Deadspin.

If you want to know the power of having a successful blog network – check out their stats. At the time of writing this – the blog went live about 10 hours ago and has already had 7000 visitors.

Creative Weblogging launches Creative Reporter System

Creative Weblogging has just launched the Creative Reporter System where they are inviting people to submit posts to their system and will pay them $10 per 1000 page views of their posts. They explain:

‘Creative Reporter is your online reporter desk that allows you to share and contribute news with the audience of Creative Weblogging. In exchange all contributors will be mentioned when published and rewarded based on their contributions Page Views (actually US$10 for 1,000 Page Views). As a reporter you will get access into our newsroom and see statistics incl. comments on your contribution.

You may submit text, video and audio content – wherever you see a fit. ‘

$10 per 1000 page views – sounds like worthwhile pay. I’ve just taken a look over a few of my blogs and $10 per 1000 page views is about the average earnings via Adsense on some of them. I guess the big question one would want to ask is just how many page views would an average post on the Creative Weblogging Network attract?

I’ve chatted with a couple of their bloggers off and on over the past year and have heard that they don’t do massive traffic – but I guess maybe things have changed.

Judith on Managing a Blog Network

I really appreciate Judith Meskill’s blogging as it gives an insight into some of the mechanics of running a blog network which go beyond some of the big picture posts, squabbling and boasting that some others from the big networks (no names mentioned – or probably needed here) go on with on their blogs. She has been a bit quiet recently but today posts an update that shows some of the inner workings (if you read between the lines) of WIN but also shows her love for blogging/bloggers (and grilled cheese). She writes:

‘Since there is nothing rigid about the deals we make with our bloggers here at WIN – end of month activities are insanely detailed and last for about a week! But fun is key, as our WIN bloggers are team players one and all. Our model of having anywhere from 3 to 20 bloggers posting on any given blog wouldn’t really work without the full cooperation of our ‘team’ spirited writers….”

I can’t imagine the process of keeping track of 120 bloggers – I have trouble keeping up with one – me!