The 2005 Business Blogging Awards

Jeremy and Darren over at Inside Blogging have decided to hold the very first ‘Business Blogging Awards‘ which is already causing some excitement on a number of business blogs that I saw on my rounds today. They are accepting nominations here until January 24 at which time a panel will whittle down the number in each category so that voting can begin on January 26 (ends Feb 9).

This is a great project as it will identify and highlight some quality bloggers and will lift the profile and standard of business blogs everywhere.

They have a massive 33 categories for you to nominate your favorites in and are even open to you suggesting more! This is going to be fun. Get over there and nominate your favorites now!

Favorite Pro Blogging Resources of 2004

Well it is New Years Eve here in Australia and I’ve been holed up in bed for the last few days with the flu. All I’ve really been able to do is a few short bursts of blogging and a lot of thinking about life, the past year and what is ahead (as well as a lot of coughing, spluttering and popping pills).

I got to thinking about the year that has just been and about some of the great blogs that I’ve discovered in recent months that have been useful on this career path. I thought I’d ask and compile a list of answers here to the question:

‘What have been your most useful pro blogging resources (blogs, rss feeds, websites, forums etc) in 2004?’

What resources inspire, education, motivate, teach or support you the most and why?

Here are a few of my recent favorites (in no particular order):

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10 Emerging Trends for Bloggers to Watch in 2005

The Scotsman has one of the more useful predictions for 2005 lists that I’ve read over the past week or so. They write about the 10 trends that will shape 2005. I think its a worthwhile list for enterprising bloggers to consider – it might just give you a hint or two for some new directions for the year of blogging ahead. Here are the 10 trends with a few of my comments of explanation and dreaming on each.

1. Age complexity – Kids are growing up faster and adults are behaving more like kids. A number of successful blogs already tap into this – for example Gawker’s Kotaku is one that springs to mind – targeting adult males with a blog about games. In fact a few of Gawker’s blogs seem to be tapping into this playful zone.

2. Gender complexity – Distinctions between the genders continue to blur. Whilst I’m not sure this is just something for 2005 (its been going on for years) I’ve noticed in the past couple of years some interesting developments in our own community. For example I’ve noticed more groups for dads who are stay at home parents, there has been an increase in emphasis on beauty tips/ plastic surgery etc for males etc. I’ve not seen too many blogs tapping into either of these markets yet – maybe something to explore?

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Bloggers Banned from Trade Show

Blog Your Way has picked up this interesting tidbit in an article at InfoWorld about the upcoming CES (consumer electronic show) in Las Vegas in January. Apparently no bloggers will be allowed at the event.

‘The CEA spent more time qualifying attendees this year to make sure everyone in attendance has a legitimate attachment to the consumer electronics industry, said Kristen Peiffer, a CEA spokeswoman. The show is not open to the general public, and the CEA does not allow the blogging community or other independent observers to attend the show.’

I find this pretty disturbing as a blogger who remotely covers this event on one of my blogs (remotely). Whilst I was not planning a trip to cover the event this year it was something I have been considering for the future.

Whilst I can understand that they don’t want their event crowded out by thousands of bloggers each covering the event from a different angle I don’t understand why they wouldn’t embrace some of the recognized tech bloggers. I doubt strongly that they’ll be turning representatives from Gizmodo or Engadget away at the door.

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Pro Blogger Agency

Paul over at Radiant Marketing Group is considering setting his group up as an Agency for Pro Bloggers and wants the feedback of probloggers, consultants and CEO types:

‘I’ve been thinking about turning Radiant Marketing Group into an agency for bloggers who want to find paying gigs. Serving as a rep for them so to speak. (I’d consider doing the same for blog consultants.)

What do you think? If you’re a pro blogger or a consultant, especially if you’re one looking for paying jobs, I’d like to get your take on this. Would you be interested in aligning yourself with an agency? I’d also like to hear from CEO-types as well as business consultants. Do you see viability in a business like this?’

I left a comment over there (and encourage you to do likewise) that expressed my interest. I know there would be a number of issues to work through for it to work, but purely speaking as a blogger wanting to earn an income from the field I know I’d be interested.

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Skweezer Update

I thought I’d update you on my interaction with Skweezer who in my last post I expressed my frustration with for duplicating the content on my blogs.

Last night I sent an email to them asking to remove all of my domains and sub-domains from their site. I explained some of my reasons for doing so.

This morning I had two replies – firstly from their customer service department asking me to confirm my desire to be removed – they will be doing so shortly (as I note they have done with Weblogs Inc’s blogs already). The second email was from Barnabas Kendall from Greenlight Wireless who I want to acknowledge has been helpful in getting my sites removed from his program and who invited my feedback to Skweezer – but whom I also feel seems a little naive or deluded as to the impact his site is having on the publishers who are providing content to him without their knowledge.

I am continuing to correspond with Barnabas and am assured by him that he will be making a full statement shortly to explain further his side of the story.

My main concerns remain that:

1. That content that they duplicate like this downgrades the page ranking of my site. Google will not differentiate between my original content and their duplicated content. It will actually devalue both of our sites.
2. That I seem to be doing all the work in the equation. I research and writes (which takes hours), I host the images and they simply copy it onto their site and charge their readers for the privilege of reading it – and add their own ads to it. This is in direct violation of my (and most other bloggers) creative commons license which says that my content cannot be used for commercial purposes.

Anyway – I’ll be off their system shortly and will continue to discuss this with Barnabas.

By the way – if you wish to be removed from Skweezer it is best to email [email protected] and put something in the subject line like ‘Please Remove my Site’.

Update: Barnabas has added a response to Green Light Wireless’s new Blog.

RSS Abuse, Duplicate Content and Parasite Websites

Jason has spoken out about something that a number of us have been mulling over for the past week or so – RSS Abuse. He points to Skweezer as one of the culprits that is targeting their blogs.

I’ve noticed a growing trend recently for sites to do this. Skweezer has pages for most of my blogs also ( is the one for my digicam one). Basically they are repackaging content of sites/blogs for viewing on PDAs and Phones. Not a bad idea in many respects – however they are taking complete posts and giving no real link backs. They are also stripping the advertisements from the sites also.

About the only thing that I can see on their version of my site that is linked directly back to and hosted on my site is the images. So not only are they using my content without giving me a way to benefit from what they are doing – but I’m also hosting their images.

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ProBlogger to Visit US in 2005?

There is a chance that I might be in the US in June for a few weeks for holiday and maybe a little connecting with some bloggers if possible. We’re toying with the idea of New York, LA, Washington and maybe even Boston.

I know a lot of you are from the US and so I’d love to hear your suggestions on destinations, things to see and do and most importantly cheap places to stay which won’t suck all our worthless little Aussie dollars out of our wallet!

I’d also like to meet some of you – although we’ll have to work out a way of not completely dominating our holiday with probloggers! So if you’re based in the US and would like to meet, or you have any suggestions on destinateions, let me know in comments below or via email.

PS: is there any blogger conferences planned over there at that time?

The Challenge of RSS for Marketers

I’ve just been listening to G’day World latest Podcast interview with Mark Jones, Deputy Managing Director at IDG Communications. It is a pretty long interview – but the section that I found most interesting was his grappling with RSS feeds and Blogging as a Magazine publisher.

It is fascinating to hear both the excitement about the technology but also the frustration (wrong word?) with finding a way to measure and monetize it. One of the interesting threads of the conversation was how RSS is impacting email newsletters.

Traditionally people would subscribe to newsletters and information would be sent to them by marketers who know who they are, where they live, their age etc.

With RSS there are similarities (ie it is a permission based method of communicating information) – however the challenge comes when analyzing who is reading it. With RSS gives readers almost complete anonymity and puts the power back in the hand of the reader in terms of when and how they access the information.

This brings all kinds of difficulties for monetizing this exchange of information. Will advertisers be willing to sponsor RSS feeds when all they know is the total number of those subscribing to them? No more demographics which has been key in raising sponsorship for newsletters.