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Write a Blog Post & Win a $10,000 Scholarship!

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Thats right CollegeScholarships.org is now accepting entries for its fall 2007 Blogging Scholarship. The Grand Prize winner will receive an unprecedented $10,000 scholarship check. The winner will be announced at Blog World and New Media Expo to be held November 8-9, 2007 in Las Vegas.

Scholarship applicants must currently be enrolled in a full-time post-secondary program, maintain a 3.0 GPA, maintain their own individual blog or blog on a community and be able to prove U.S. citizenship.

Any college student with a personal or professional blog is encouraged to apply. Entry forms are now available online through CollegeScholarships.org. Student bloggers may also be nominated by friends and family.

More info at CollegeScholarships.org

BlogWorld & New Media Expo is the largest blogging conference and tradeshow in the world.

SmartLink Feeds Make Amazon Links Easy

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Our fearless leader Rick pointed out this post to me today:

One of the great things about the new AdaptiveBlue SmartLink Feeds are that we do all the publishing and you can sit back and make money (via the Amazon Affiliate Program) by simply placing the feed on your blog. Every week we update and republish a set of SmartLink Feeds ranging from New York Times Best Selling Books, Netflix Top Rentals, iTunes Top Albums and Amazon Hot Gadgets. If you have a blog related to any of these topics, you can grab the feed, customize it, insert your affiliate id and then add the feed to your blog. Source: BlueBlog: Make Money With AdaptiveBlue Sm artLink Feeds

I read it.

Hmm, can’t be that easy.

I read it again.

Went through the AdaptiveBlue site.

Wow, it is that easy.

So here’s the deal.  You just “grab” the Amazon widget you want, enter a little information (size, colour scheme, Amazon associate ID), get the code and insert into your blog or site (they don’t say this clearly enough, but they belong on the side bars).

Yeah that’s it.

A couple (non-active) samples here.  The nice thing is that you  can choose these “SmartLink Feeds” to match your audience.  So for A View from the Isle I would probably pick gadgets and books.

While the post is a tad over the top with leveraging the traffic and such from your blog, they have an excellent point.  Most ad offerings don’t work out so well.  And we’re not going to get into the paid/sponsored post bit.

I’m certainly going to give these a shot on my blog.  Of course I have to balance my desire for a little extra green and my page loading quickly and not looking too crowded.

And that is actually the secret balance of it all.

Yet another reason blogs are superior to traditional media

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Today at the Business 2.0 Beta blog Owen Thomas offered clues about the real identity of the fake Steve Jobs who posts at The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs. It was a funny post, but the second comment in the thread had me laughing out loud.

I don’t know if anonymous poster N/A is the funniest guy the funniest guy in his car pool or not but tonight he was the funniest guy in the virtual room.

Did anyone else find it as funny as I did?

Me Linkbaiting?

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Never. However controversial blog boss Jason Calacanis has provided step by step instructions on how to get a link from the Brooklyn born blogging icon. So I feel obliged to follow them. Calacanis who always has his trusty bulldog Toro by his side, is the former Editor of Silicon Alley Reporter, former GM of Netscape, and was once profiled in the New Yorker.

I heard Jason give a keynote at last year’s Blog Business Summit where his Nick Denton impression was easily the funniest moment of the event. While he often comes off as brash in his blog posts, he is actually very fun and engaging to hang out with. I know from personal experience as he sat next to me during lunch during at the BBS one day. (that is actually true.)

Love him or hate him Jason always speaks his mind and often makes some very good points like in his “The Dumbest Argument in the Blogosphere: A List vs. Blue Collar” post:

If you want to be part of the A List you can do it in < 90 days:

1. Blog intelligently. Think about your post for a day before you hit publish. Do research–do primary research in the real work. Write something with insight, and include links to other folks ideas.

2. Go to 2-3 events or conferences a week.

3. Get a great domain name that is easy to remember and spell (i.e. buzzmachine.com).

4. Go to TechMeme and write an insightful piece daily about one of the top stories.

5. Start emailing other bloggers with feedback on their stories. (don’t beg for links)

6. Be smart.

7. Don’t be an idiot.

That’s it… you’re now A-List.

The man is right.

(Sorry Jason I could not find an archive list on your blog and got tired of scrolling back for older posts). …. Wait here are Jason’s predictions for 2006. I agree with all of the ones that came true. =p.

Wanna know more about Jason Calacanis, Then check out his Linked in Profile, or Twitter page,

Yes this has been a shameless effort to solicit a link from Jason Calacanis.

My only failure has been to be 4 days late but it’s nothing personal. I have just been trying to keep up with all of the interest in BlogWorld and haven’t had time to blog about anything let alone link baiting.

Three tips for improving your blog

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Actually its more like a dozen tips that fortyplustwo blog has compiled from several blogging experts. I have no idea why they felt it prudent to include me in the list =p.

If you are trying to attract new readers, get other bloggers to link to you, and encourage more comments on your blog then read part one and part two.

Here is a small excerpt:

Jason Alba from JibberJobber started out with this list:

  • keeping it clean – don’t make the readers search for your content, one of the best things that happened to me was when Google kicked me off of their advertising program (dang click-frauder)
  • high quality posts, or they won’t come back
  • lots of links out to pertinent blogs, to get on their radar

Why does the interweb make people mean?

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This isn’t just a blogging phenomenon; you see it anywhere people interact digitally, message boards, chat rooms, MMORPG’s text messaging, etc.

The International Herald Tribune ran a story two days ago examining what causes people to react differently and say things online that they would never say to someone face to face, or even over the telephone.

Flaming has a technical name, the “online disinhibition effect,” which psychologists apply to the many ways people behave with less restraint in cyberspace.

Who knew?

In a 2004 article in the journal CyberPsychology & Behavior, John Suler, a psychologist at Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, suggested that several psychological factors lead to online disinhibition: the anonymity of a Web pseudonym; invisibility to others; the time lag between sending an e- mail message and getting feedback; the exaggerated sense of self from being alone; and the lack of any online authority figure. Dr. Suler notes that disinhibition can be either benign — when a shy person feels free to open up online — or toxic, as in flaming.

The emerging field of social neuroscience, the study of what goes on in the brains and bodies of two interacting people, offers clues into the neural mechanics behind flaming.

This work points to a design flaw inherent in the interface between the brain’s social circuitry and the online world. In face-to-face interaction, the brain reads a continual cascade of emotional signs and social cues, instantaneously using them to guide our next move so that the encounter goes well. Much of this social guidance occurs in circuitry centered on the orbitofrontal cortex, a center for empathy.

This cortex uses that social scan to help make sure that what we do next will keep the interaction on track.

Socially artful responses emerge largely in the neural chatter between the orbitofrontal cortex and emotional centers like the amygdala that generate impulsivity. But the cortex needs social information — a change in tone of voice, say — to know how to select and channel our impulses. And in e-mail there are no channels for voice, facial expression or other cues from the person who will receive what we say.

And I thought it was just pencil necked geeks feeling free to flame people and act like jerk offs because they felt safe behind their computers.

Seriously though there must be some progression from face to face interaction, to telephone conversations, to a digital communication.

Ever notice some people will say things over the telephone that they would never say in person. Even still that rarely approaches some of the vile and down right mean things people will say and do online.

HT/ Techdirt (you have to read the comments under the post). Some funny stuff. Which raises another point, a really good flame is usually pretty funny.
Anyone have a particularly great flame or flame war to share?

Search Blogs Awards

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The Search Engine Journal has just opened nominations for the 2006 Search Blogs Awards.

Here are the catagories:

* Best SEO Blog
* Best SEM Blog
* Best Search Agency Resource Blog
* Best Link Building Blog
* Best Social Media Blog
* Best Search Engine Corporate Blog (owned by the search engines)
* Best Contextual Advertising Blog
* Best Affiliate Marketing Blog
* Best Search Engine Community/Forum Blog
* Best Web 2.0 Blog
* Best Search Linkbait of 2006

Blogging kills Front Page?

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/shrug:

IT’S BECOME obvious that FrontPage is going to be quietly dropped from the Beast of Redmond’s regular user orientated offerings – only to be replaced by professional design tools. Blogging sites are replacing personal Web sites for the average PC user.

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