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Tsunami Blogging – What did we learn?

I really enjoyed reading Pete Blackshaw’s Marketing Through the Tsunami Lens article today where he examines some of the lessons learned and trends that have emerged as a result of the mass of blogging that happened around the Tsunami tragedy late last year and in the weeks that followed. He observes 6 key points and then gives key takeaways from each one. Here are some snippets of what he had to say on each point.

The rise of citizen’s media – Our world is becoming more transparent, and the blog-enabled “Web recorder” is archiving real-time consumer/citizen experiences and narratives. This includes experiences with products and services.

Rich media by default – We live in a rich-media, consumer-controlled surveillance culture. Rich media is changing the game. The same factors that historically made TV so persuasive and emotionally engaging are the core building blocks of the blogosphere.

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The importance of the Scoop in Blogging

This week is a very busy week for me. Both in my general life but also my blogging. In particularly the blogging side of things is pretty hectic as there is a trade show happening in Orlando where all the major digital camera manufacturers unveil their newest models for the year ahead. Last year saw 60 or more cameras released in a couple of weeks and the indications are that this year will be similar.

As the editor of a Digital Photography Blog this means life is about to get a little crazy. Press Releases are hitting my inbox every hour or so, I’m scanning the manufacturers sites for pre release information and mistakenly early released information for new cameras and accessories. Of course I’m not alone as all the other digital imaging sites are jostling for position to see who can be the first to post the breaking stories.

You see there is a few reasons why its good to be first.

1. Prestige – its great to be able to say you were first to post information on a new camera or that you broke the news on something that no one else knew about. This actually does your site some good in the PR stakes. Digicam enthusiasts respect you if you’ve got your finger on the pulse – plus it feels good.

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Blog Design Matters

Last week I asked the question – ‘Does Blog design Matter?’ I asked it because my own blog’s redesign was just around the corner and I was interested in the impact it would have upon my blog.

A number of people have asked me about the change and the impact that it has had on traffic levels to this blog.

It is probably too early to tell (its only been a few days) but the initial indications are that Blog Design does make a difference – at least it has to this blog. Here are some brief reflections on why:

1. Traffic levels have increased from an average of around 260 unique visitors per day to around 500 unique visitors per day (I’m yet to track this over a full week).

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How To Make Money With Your Blog Site

Robin Good has a good post on How To Make Money With Your Blog Site which outlines 13 or so ways that bloggers can make money from their blogging. His tips range from Google Adsense, to Amazon, to other advertising programs, to donations, through to premium content sponsorships and online guides and e-books.

This is one of the better ‘blogging for dollars’ type articles out there and mentions all the methods that are normally covered in such articles with some good examples and advice.

My similar article on the topic is here.

335X50 Problogger

Interview with Joel Johnson

I’m pleased to post the following interview with one of the bloggers that I’ve admired for some time – Joel Johnson the editor of the incredibly popular Gawker Media blog, Gizmodo. At the time of posting this interview Gizmodo averages 153,334 unique visitors per day and ranks third on Truth Laid Bare’s traffic monitoring tracker. It is a leader in field of consumer electronics and gadgets and a blog that is widely regarded as one of the most successful money making blogs going around.

Joel recently got a big scoop and interviewed Bill Gates – so now I can say I interviewed a guy who interviewed Bill – which isn’t as impressive as written as it sounded in my head. Anyway – here is my chat with Joel.

ProBlogger – Thanks for your time Joel – Can you tell us a little about how and when you first discovered and got into blogging?

Joel – I first discovered blogging in the middle ’90s, when it was called ‘the web.’ I ran a website in the chronological weblog format in… 99? Maybe 2000. It was strikingly similar in format and tone to what I do on Gizmodo today, except that I paid money to write it, instead of being paid to keep it going.

ProBlogger – Do you have or have you had involvement in other blogs than Gizmodo?
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Should Google be the Blogosphere’s Ad Agency?

Jeff Jarvis has an interesting post titled Should Google be the citizens’ ad agency? where he questions whether Google is the best ‘ad agency’ for citizens media and writes:

‘But it makes me wonder whether we’re foolish letting Google be our ad sales agent. For Google undersells the value of citizens’ media: Google sells the coincidence of a word on a page when the real value of citizens’ media is in its conversation, its relationships, its influence.

Mind you, we should bless Google for taking the cooties off of citizens’ media and showing that, indeed, real people have a message and audience worth attention.

But now I think it’s necessary for citizens’ media to find its own path, its own sales agent who can sell its own value.’

Jeff makes some valid points which are worth taking on board – as usual he sees both side of the story. My opinion? It is getting late so let me attempt a few points:

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Are Google paying out less to Adsense Publishers?

Om Malik has an interesting post looking at the record earnings that Google have been reporting (largely due to their earnings from Adwords) but the apparent decreases in payments that they are making to publishers.

‘Intrigued, I looked up some of the SEC filings and discovered that for past four quarters Google has been paying more money every quarter to the affiliates. However, TAC as a percentage of advertising revenues generated by network sites is declining. For instance in quarter ending June 30, 2004, the company had paid out 80% of the revenues generated by its network. In quarter ending Sept 30, 2004, it was down to 79% and now in the December 2004 quarter, that number was down to 77%….’

It is something I have no real opinion about as my statistics over the past 12 months have been so up and down that it is impossible to make any assumptions from it – however if there is truth in them skimming a little more off the top I’d be pretty disappointed in Google.

Read more at Om Malik: Google making more, but dishing out less

ProBlogger Changes

Thank you to all the well wishers who have stopped by in the past 24 hours to check out the new home of ProBlogger.

Many thanks to those of you who have already changed your links to our new URL and RSS feed. I was expecting to loose a certain amount of readership in the short term after the move – however have logged on this morning to find more than normal activity on the site over night. Considering its the weekend still for most of you that is a positive sign.

I’m also taking on board the feedback on the design of the site. A number of people are having trouble with the orange/yellow links and the contrast between them. Let me know your thoughts on that please if you have a moment.

More changes coming: In addition to a new URL and design I’m hoping to make a few more changes to ProBlogger in the next few weeks. The first one will start late today with the publishing of our first interview. I have been talking about doing interviews with ProBloggers for some time now and have three ready to go and a number of others on the way.

Come back later today with the first one – an interview with Joel Johnson – editor of Gizmodo.

If there is a ProBlogger that you’d like to see an interview with please let me know – also you can continue to suggest questions for on ProBlogging – I’ll answer as many as I can but also include some of them in the interviews.

Questions for ProBloggers

Are you starting, or thinking of starting, a commercial blog? Do you have a question that you’ve been trying to figure out around some of the topics of ProBlogging? Feel free to submit your question for ProBloggers in comments below and I’ll try to get back to you with an answer – or at least point you to a previously written article on the topic. Questions might also feature in future interviews with ProBloggers.

Your questions can focus on anything from using Adsense on your blog, to which Blog tools are best, to Affiliate programs, to Search Engine Optimization, to writing content through to business blogs. No question is too stupid to ask. If I don’t know the answer I’ll open it for general discussion and see if our collective knowledge as probloggers can work it out.

Ask Jeeves Buys Bloglines

Napsterization breaks the big news that Ask Jeeves is buying Bloglines! The news will be announced on Monday according to the report. This is pretty big news and is just another example of how blogging and RSS technology is making it to the mainstream.

The interest will now be in how Ask Jeeves uses, adapts and monetizes Bloglines.

Found via Micro Persuasion