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September 2008

Sneak Peak of "Make Money Online with a Blog Panel"

Author:

I recently had the opportunity to speak with with Jim Kukral who is hosting the “Make Money Online with a Blog” panel.  I wanted to give you a sneak peak of what to expect from the panel and asked him the questions featured below.

The panel is going to feature:

  • John Chow
  • Brian Clark
  • Zac Johnson
  • Darren Rowse
  • Jeremy Schoemaker
  • Jim Kukral

why did jim organize the panel?

It’s not often you can get this many top bloggers in the same state, yet alone room at a conference. Putting this panel together of bloggers of this caliber only makes sense for the one true blogging show which is the BlogworldExpo. The bottom line is, that these top bloggers have years of experience in monetizing blogs and can share their insights on how they’ve made money over the years. That’s what everyone wants to know… the inside tips and tricks on how to make money with their blog, and that’s what this panel will deliver.

what should the audience expect?

They should expect the panel to be pushed into giving away secrets. They should expect the panel to review blogs live on the stage and give real-time feedback on those blogs and how they, the panelists themselves, would monetize them. They should expect to ask specific questions to the panelists and get specific answers about making money with their blog.

why is each panelist qualified to be up there?

Well, if you read through their bios (link to bios), you can see why each is qualified. Suffice it to say for this article, that this panel is pulling together the elite group of high-traffic and money producing blogs online. Sure, there are others out there that are well-known as well, but these bloggers focus their blogs on helping bloggers learn how to make money, so it’s appropriate for them to speak on this subject above others who may have more traffic or income.

We are very excited to have Jim hosting the panel and we hope to see you there!

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Sneak Peak of “Make Money Online with a Blog Panel”

Author:

I recently had the opportunity to speak with with Jim Kukral who is hosting the “Make Money Online with a Blog” panel.  I wanted to give you a sneak peak of what to expect from the panel and asked him the questions featured below.

The panel is going to feature:

  • John Chow
  • Brian Clark
  • Zac Johnson
  • Darren Rowse
  • Jeremy Schoemaker
  • Jim Kukral

why did jim organize the panel?

It’s not often you can get this many top bloggers in the same state, yet alone room at a conference. Putting this panel together of bloggers of this caliber only makes sense for the one true blogging show which is the BlogworldExpo. The bottom line is, that these top bloggers have years of experience in monetizing blogs and can share their insights on how they’ve made money over the years. That’s what everyone wants to know… the inside tips and tricks on how to make money with their blog, and that’s what this panel will deliver.

what should the audience expect?

They should expect the panel to be pushed into giving away secrets. They should expect the panel to review blogs live on the stage and give real-time feedback on those blogs and how they, the panelists themselves, would monetize them. They should expect to ask specific questions to the panelists and get specific answers about making money with their blog.

why is each panelist qualified to be up there?

Well, if you read through their bios (link to bios), you can see why each is qualified. Suffice it to say for this article, that this panel is pulling together the elite group of high-traffic and money producing blogs online. Sure, there are others out there that are well-known as well, but these bloggers focus their blogs on helping bloggers learn how to make money, so it’s appropriate for them to speak on this subject above others who may have more traffic or income.

We are very excited to have Jim hosting the panel and we hope to see you there!

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follow me on twitter

Yammer, Twitter for Companies?

Author:

According to Webware, Yammer is a new company that is being debuted at the TechCrunch 50 conference and is basically a copy of twitter but for corporations.  Instead of answering “what are you doing?” you are prompted to answer “what are you working on?.”  In order to log in you simply input your company email URL and once it’s confirmed you are then put into a group with other employees from your company.

The greatest thing about Yammer is that there is a business model (too bad we can’t say the same for our friend twitter).  Techcrunch reports that:

“It is free to use for employees, but if a company wants to claim their network and get administrative tools to remove messages and users, set password policies, or set IP ranges for who can use it.”

It is very unfortunate that twitter missed the boat on this one.  Twitter is a very well funded company but it seems that they are short of ideas and a business model.  Currently the only progress we have seen is better uptime, but aside from that nothing.  It makes you wonder where the over 20 million in funding is getting spent.  It will be interesting to see if Yammer is going to integrate a type of file sharing or project management feature that will extend past the usual “what are you working on” question that employees are asked to answer.  There is a lot of potential for an internal business communication tool but I think it needs to be a bit more robust before it becomes widely adopted.

Are you using yammer?  what do you think about it?

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Search Google for Newspapers

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In their quest to index the planet, Google has now announced they are working on indexing old newspapers.  Does anyone still remember what a newspaper looks like by the way?  The newspaper database is still fairly new but is going to grow at a very rapid pace.  Not too long ago Google set out to index books, well now they are doing the same thing with newspapers.  One can only wonder what Google is going to index next, perhaps comic books or magazines?

In all seriousness though, it will certainly be great to be able to find the original newspaper article for a momentous event such as the moon landing.  According to Google:

“You’ll be able to explore this historical treasure trove by searching the Google News Archive or by using the timeline feature after searching Google News.  This effort is just the beginning. As we work with more and more publishers, we’ll move closer towards our goal of making those billions of pages of newsprint from around the world searchable, discoverable, and accessible online.”

From now on when you do a search in Google, the newspaper index will also be searched and if any of the results are from the newspaper index you will see a little “google news archive” button.  According to Read Write Web though, they were barely able to find any information presented in such a way.  Perhaps it really is a bit too early to start searching through newspapers.

What do you think of Google’s announcement?

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Blogworld Expo Speaker Interview: Jason Falls

Author:

We’ve pulled together an extraordinary lineup of speakers and panelists for Blogworld Expo this year and are really excited as the event draws closer. To help you learn about our great participants, this is the first of a series of fun interviews with speakers we’ll be doing. This first is with Jason Falls of Doe-Anderson, who writes the splendid Social Media Explorer blog and is on a panel entitled “Putting Social Media in the Newsroom: How New Media can help Old Media Maintain Relevance”.  Here we go!

Q: In two sentences, highlight your background and professional experience to date. One bonus sentence: how’d you get started blogging?

I’m a public relations professional by trade who advises clients on the use of social media, including blogging, as an effective channel of communications with their customers. The biggest selling point I have is probably that I’ve proven that blogging can be an effective promotional and thought leadership tool since Social Media Explorer is really only a year old and I’m already presenting at Blog World Expo. I got started blogging, however, in 1998 when I started self-publishing my local newspaper column online for those outside my hometown to read.

Q: How often do you blog?  What platform do you use?  Why?

Social Media Explorer generally has new posts three days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) but we often have timely or too much information and probably publish around four days each week. (I say “we” since Kat French, Doe-Anderson’s social media manager, joined me as a staff blogger a few months ago.) For the longest time, I published five days a week but I shifted to a quality over quantity focus in the sprint time and backed off my everyday emphasis a bit. We’re still fairly prolific, however.

I use WordPress because the open-source community makes the platform so powerful and robust. You can literally find a plug-in to make it do just about everything. And it’s free, which is always a bonus.

Q: Point us to one or two recent postings on your blog that you think were superb, and tell us a bit about your writing process. How long did it take for you to come up with the topic?  How long to write?

I’m always most proud of the posts that cause a great deal of conversation because the engagement level is the most meaningful measure of my blog’s success to me. The more conversation that results shows that I’ve caused people to think about an issue which always leads to learning and growth. If there is a promise I make to my audience, I think it’s that: you’ll think about things and pick up a few thoughts you didn’t encounter before.

That said, I think, “Is it time to re-think e-mail marketing?” from August 1 was a good pot-stirring post. I’m also partial to “Social Media Is The Responsibility of Public Relations” from mid-July. While a lot of the comments misconstrued my point – that PR, as the primary professional communicators in organizations, need to take responsibility for social media education, training and strategy, it sparked a good deal of discussion, disagreement and discourse.

For almost all of my posts, I come up with the topics in the course of daily thinking and work. I’ll file a topic away as something I want to spend more time thinking about and, when I have time, search for articles on the topic, research a bit online, take another day or so to just mull over the topic when I have time, then sit down to put the thoughts on paper. Once I sit down to write, I normally pound it all out in under an hour – the result of writing on deadline for years. But I’m normally chewing on 3-4 topics all at the same time, so it’s not a real linear process.

Q: How often do you leave comments on other people’s blogs?  How do you find their entries in the first place?

I comment frequently on several blogs. It’s not only good form in promoting your own blog but also actively participating in the greater conversation about the topic. My blog isn’t the only good social media blog out there. I like to read the others to balance my own thinking and discuss the issues of the day I may not be focused on. Finding the entries is fairly easy. I subscribe to just about all the social media blogs out there. New ones surface from pointers in posts I read. When I’m researching a topic, I also find some new blogs via search.

Q: Tell us a bit about your talk at Blogworld Expo. Topic, key points you’ll cover, etc?

The presentation I’m responsible for the most is the session, “Putting Social Media In The Newsroom — How New Media Can Help Old Media Maintain Relevance.” I essentially wanted to talk about how, in the face of a shifting media marketplace, many traditional media outlets are tapping into social media to change their approach to business and journalism. The audience shift away from newspapers and television to the online realm has many traditional media struggling to maintain their audience and their revenues. We’ll look at media outlets that are finding social media useful in turning the tides, talk about how other media outlets can capture that momentum using social media and talk about some of the potential issues media outlets will face moving forward.

Q: How do you recommend new folk best experience a major conference and expo like Blogworld Expo?

As much as there really is a great deal of knowledge to gain from the sessions, the most use I get out of Blog World Expo is the professional and personal networking that occurs just in the halls, the parties, at lunch and milling about the exhibit hall. So much of the connections we make blogging and through social networking occurs online. This is our chance to meet face-to-face, get to know each other and find those friends in the business that can serve as professional and personal counsel, folks to bounce ideas off of, potential business leads and more. Some of the best friends I have in the business I met at Blog World Expo last year, so I recommend folks stick out their hand, introduce themselves and get to know each other. You can do that the whole weekend and not meet everyone, but it sure is fun trying.

Q: Easy ones: Mac or PC?  Ipod or Zune?  Iphone or Blackberry?

I’m non-denominational, but use a Mac most of the time. I have a SanDisk MP3 player I like just fine. I’d prefer to have an iPhone, but my office supplies me with a Blackberry, which I find pretty useful.


Interview conducted by Blogworld Expo co-host Dave Taylor, who you can find on the podium giving a talk during the conference, on Twitter as @DaveTaylor or blogging about either tech support or business blogging.

Does Your Company Have a Social Media Policy?

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According to Canadian Business (which surveyed 16 executives from various companies) companies are lacking in the social media policy department.  What if an employee is spending company time on social networks?  Does the employee need to identify himself as an employee on his social networks if he is talking about the company?  Are there any rules in general regarding social media usage at corporations?

According to the article:

“Effective policies do not include an overload of details, but succeed in giving the employee a clear idea of what the company is trying to avoid, such as any activity that could result in damage to the firm’s brand or reputation.”

I think this is the best way to approach social media from a policy standpoint.  A corporation is not going to be able to limit the amount of tweets someone sends out a day, how many blog posts they write, or how many times they update their facebook status.  Nor will a company be able to allocate a “social media” time allowance, such as 30 minutes a day.  Essentially a corporation can do 2 things, ban the social networks all together, or (as mentioned above) explain to the employees the types of situations that the company is trying to avoid.

Social networks are only growing more and more popular so how does a corporation deal with this phenomenon?  How can a company monitor or find out about every single blog or twitter account that the employees own?  As of yet, I have not seen an effective way for companies to monitor or track social network usage, either you allow it or your don’t.

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Search and Social Networks

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Steve Rubel wrote an interesting post today regarding the inevitable social network revolution that is going to take place once search is heavily integrated.  As Steve points out the current state of search in social networks is only skin deep, meaning you cannot really drill down to get more information about people you may be connected with.  You are also not able to search the web from many of the social networks out there.  Steve believes that the future of social networks is going to allow us to search for anything and anyone we want from the social network interface.  For example, there are a few Facebook apps out there that let you search and monitor things such as a sports.

It sounds like what Steve is talking about is replacing conventional internet browsers with social networks.  Personally I think the two should remain separate.  I’m quite tired of new networks coming out that keep trying to integrate all of platforms and passwords together.  Friendfeed was supposed to be a great aggregator that was slated to be a “twitter killer” and look what happened, twitter is still going strong and many folks have even abandoned friendfeed because not their friends just weren’t signing up.  Sure it would be nice to have a more advanced friend and content search within social platforms by I say we leave it at that.

What’s your take on the future integration of search and social networks?  Do you see something like Facebook eventually becoming a web browser?

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Online T.V. Becoming More Popular

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According to the Conference Board around 20% of American households who use the internet are watching online television.  To no surprise youtube.com is among the most popular sources of online television.  The fact that you can watch a show or broadcast at your convenience is definitely a very appealing factor for viewers.  For example, Grey’s Anatomy allows users to watch all of their episodes online at their convenience in case they are unable to watch the scheduled version.

There is still a lot of opportunity in the online television space and I don’t think it will be long before we see the first feature length online movie.

According to Michael Saxon, Senior Vice President, Brand and Communications, TNS:

“Fundamentally, consumers expect content to be available when they want it, and on the screen of their choice – TV, PC, or mobile. For consumers, PCs enhance content on demand from simply time-shifting to place-shifting. Online content can be viewed in any room in the house, or at work or school.”

According to the conference board the top types of shows that people like to watch online are:

  • news
  • drama
  • sitcom/comedy
  • reality shows
  • sports
  • user generated content

Newteevee has more stats on the survey if you are curious to see them.

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First Jerry Seinfeld Microsoft Ad

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The first Microsoft ad featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld has surfaced and I’ll be honest, it was a tad bit disappointing.  According to a Cnet article a lot of folks out there are quite disappointed by Microsoft’s attempt to challenge the oh so popular mac ads.  The ad features some typical Jerry Seinfeld humor blended in with churros, showering while clothed, shoe circus, and Bill Gates shaking his ass.  Ya, I’m not kidding.

The ad can be seen here.

Now after watching that ad are you at all more compelled to go buy a PC?  Although the overall first impression of the Microsoft ad has been less than stellar, Cnet sources say that this first ad was just a teaser.  Not much of a tease…

What do you think of the ad?

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The Wikipedia of Music

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Amazon has just launched a new site called Sound Unwound which is pretty much a Wikipedia for anything that has to do with music.  Users have the freedom to edit any and all the info about a particular band, song, label, artisit or album.  The site is still in beta and thus you may find a lot of incomplete or missing information.  For example I tried doing a search for “Deep Purple” (please tell me you know this band) and “Jethro Tull” only to be met with a message that reads as follows:

Can’t find the jethro tull you’re looking for? You can add a SoundUnwound entry for them in edit mode!”

However when you do a search for a particular band you are still able to see the albums that the band produced, and you may also purchase songs/albums directly through amazon.  How convenient hmm?

A neat feature that Wired Magazine pointed out is that you can drill down from the discography level all the way to the artist/band member level.  The example that Wired uses is for a band called “The Fall.”

“Using The Fall as an example again, to the right is the section of their timeline where guitarist Craig Scanlon, bassist Stephen Hanley and drummer Simon Wolsencraft left the band. By mashing up the band member information with its discography, SoundUnwound lets users draw conclusions about how a band’s sound changed as a result of personnel shakeups.”

It’s an interesting concept for Amazon to go after and I think it will be interesting to see how it plays out.  I know there are a lot of music lovers out there who would love to get their hands on this site.

What do you think about Amazon’s new venture?  Would you use Sound Unwound?

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