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Aussies! Join Me at MarketingNow Conference in Melbourne [Now FREE]

If you’re in Melbourne Australia (or can get here) on 22-23 September you should check out the Marketing Now conference. I’ve mentioned it previously but since doing so there have been some changes.

Previously this conference was $1000+ to attend – the organizers were going to donate the profits to charity. However they’ve rethought things and have decided to go with a new approach. It’s now FREE – on the condition that you make a $100 donation to charity.

The speaker list is pretty cool and the agenda is one that I think many will find useful.

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I think it’s going to be a great couple of days and am really looking forward to being a part of it. I’m also excited that it’s now much more accessible pricing wise and that from what I can see on Twitter the numbers are going to be quite large as a result.

I also think that it’s great that this conference is all about raising money for charity – I’m donating my time to speak and am excited to see the local blogosphere and social media networks joining together to make a difference – whilst also learning from one another.

I hope you can join me!

Speedlinking – Discount Deal, Jobs, Blogger Group, Free Reports and Interview

Time for a little speed-linking. This time there’s a deal, reports, some jobs, an interview and a new group for professional bloggers.

More on Top Aussie Blogs

Welcome to readers of Melbourne newspaper, The Age, from today’s article on the Top 100 Australian blogs that I mentioned yesterday (the print version also was accompanied by the Top 10 blogs on the list).

A few readers have asked me whether I’m upset by the final paragraph that reads:

“One blogger, who did not want to be named, told The Age that the top blog, Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger site, was outperformed by a lot of other top Australian blogs in terms of visitor numbers. He said Ms Tsiamis’ methodology would skew the results towards “extremely geeky” blogs, or blogs with an unusually strong overseas readership.”

I’m not disturbed by it at all. I’m not really sure why the blogger wanted anonymity – I mentioned something similar to the reporter myself – but that’s up to them.

When asked about the list and whether I think I’m ‘the most read blog in the country’ I responded by saying that I didn’t really know. While on any given day ProBlogger is read by between 5000 and 15000 unique visitors (that’s been the range over the last month according to my sitemeter stats – my AW stats are higher) and my RSS feed is subscribed to by around 22000 readers I’m never going to claim to be the most visited blog going around. In fact from day to day my other blogs do more traffic than that and I’m sure others are at that type of level too.

A ‘Top blog’ is a pretty difficult thing to define – some would say it’s about traffic, others about incoming links, some might consider it about earnings, others would talk about profile or influence, others might consider how many posts you’ve written, while others would talk about who was ‘first’ and had sustained their blog the longest.

Ultimately – there’s no definitive way to declare any give blog ‘the best’ and to do so when blogs are written on different topics to different audiences is not really fair anyway.

Do I care that I’m listed as #1 on the list?

It’s a nice feeling – it’ll be a nice article to show my parents – it’s always nice to be written about – but in the scheme of things it doesn’t really matter who is at the top of the list. The fact that a list of Australian blogs made it into the paper at all makes me smile – but looking at the numbers of referrals coming in from the online version of the article it’s not that big a deal.

update: Duncan responds to the article here.

Online Consumers Spending Up these Holidays – How are Your Earnings?

Clickz reports on the latest stats of online spending this holiday season.

Spending online is up 24% (with last month totaling $11.75 billion) on last year and traffic is up 13% (it seems people are buying more per visit this year).

Obviously those taking the majority of this income are the big online retailers – but I’m wondering how many entrepreneurial bloggers are enjoying an increase in traffic and earnings?

As I analyze my own earnings for the last couple of weeks I’d estimate that they are up about 50% on two months ago. Particularly performing for me are Amazon Affiliates (up by about 70%) and Chitika’s eMinimalls and Shoplinc (up by as much as double across Chitika’s different ad types) (aff) and to a lesser extent AdSense (up around 20%).

How have others earnings been going in the last few weeks of this holiday period? What’s working for you? What’s not?

YouTube Comes of Age

We’ve recently been playing with video blogging more. Darren has done several in the past weeks and I’ve got a couple buried around too. The most popular video hosting service around, YouTube, has come under fire recently for performance and availability reasons. It’s a big service. They have done a reasonable job, in my opinion, of scaling well with astronomical growth. Truth is, serving up video is a massive undertaking, especially on that scale. I don’t really fault YouTube for having growing pains. AOL did back in the mid-90s when they made the bold move of offering, wait for it… unliited dialup. MySpace seems to experience “glitches” regularly. It seems natural for a growing service to hit some bumps.

This graph was posted on the Qumana blog today (originally from Read/Write Web) charting Yahoo Video (Green), Google Video (Blue) and YouTube (Red) visitors.
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My question is how much more can YouTube grow without self-imploding.

College-Startup for Sale!

College Startup is a wonderful little blog that I was turned onto some time ago by Darren. Since then, it has been a notable little item in my Bloglines account which was where today I found out that its owner, Ben Bleikamp, has decided to sell. The auction is being held over at the SitePoint Marketplace and he is taking bids. Opening bids start at $1000 with a Buy it Now of $6500.

This really is a gem of a website and if I had the cash I’d make him the offer he can’t refuse. Hopefully, someone else will find the value in this site and give him the offer he can’t refuse.

Non English Posts make up over Two Thirds of Total Blog Posting

What is the most common language used by bloggers?

It might surprise some to know that it’s not English but Japanese according to David Sifry. English comes in second with Chinese third.

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The interesting thing is that Japanese is on the rise in the last six or so months. In November 05 it made up 31% of posts, in January 06 it made up 32% and now it’s up to 37%. English makes up under a third of total posts.

Of course this measures total numbers of posts in these languages and not numbers of bloggers – perhaps Japanese write a lot more posts per day than English speaking bloggers but I suspect it says more about the international state of the blogosphere – something that doesn’t get a whole heap of attention.

Anyone want to translate ProBlogger into Japanese?

BBC Continues to Explore New Media

The Guardian reports that the BBC is redeveloping their online presence to be much more new media focused:

‘The BBC today unveiled radical plans to rebuild its website around user-generated content, including blogs and home videos, with the aim of creating a public service version of MySpace.com.’

Cory Doctorow Speaks

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Tonight I heard at the last minute about a lecture that Cory Doctorow from Boing Boing was giving here in Melbourne (thanks to a ProBlogger reader for letting me know about it)

His topic:

‘Offering a remarkable global perspective on the future, Cory will discuss his view that technologies which seek to restrict the copying and use of digital works suppress creativity and treat honest users like crooks. The session will cover the tension between corporate imperatives and end-user experience, the current state of Digital Rights Management, online book publishing and more.’

The focus wasn’t directly about blogging and the written media but he’s an interesting guy and it was well worth the $15 to go along and hear him present.

Perhaps the quote of the evening (or at least the one that connected with some of my own thinking over the past few months) was along the lines of:

‘Content isn’t King – Conversation is King’

Cory is also presenting tomorrow night in Sydney.