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Say Good-Bye to Yahoo Buzz This Week

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Do you have a Yahoo Buzz icon on your blog posts? Time to get rid of them. Yahoo announced this morning that their social media aggregation attempt is being discontinued.

Yahoo! Buzz will be discontinued as of April 21, 2011. As of this date, you will be unable to access the Yahoo! Buzz site. This was a hard decision. However this will help us focus on our core strengths and new innovations.

We appreciate your patronage.

Yahoo Buzz was introduced back in February 2008, and websites were encouraged to place the button on their pages and posts. If someone liked your blog post, they could Buzz it up and Yahoo would include the most-Buzzed items on their site. But it never caught on quite as much as the other Social media icons. (In fact, we never even put it up here on the BlogWorld blog.)

Late last year news hit the web that Yahoo planned to “sunset” Buzz … along with as Delicious, AltaVista, MyBlogLog, Yahoo! Bookmarks, Yahoo! Picks, and AlltheWeb. Of those, MyBlogLog and AllTheWeb have already been shut down, but they publicly stated that they are looking for a new home for Delicious.

This news makes me wonder … which social media icons do you include in your blog? And what do you find that people use most? When it comes to showing my support for a post – I typically push it to my audience in Twitter or Facebook. I personally VERY rarely use Digg, StumbleUpon, or Reddit. Do you?

Apple Subscriptions or Google One Pass?

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The past two days have seen a variety of changes and choices for subscription-based content providers – mostly in the Apple Subscriptions and Google One Pass.

Apple vs Google

Apple announced yesterday how its subscription service would work:

  • If you offer content subscriptions, you must offer them through your app as well (not just on your website).
  • Renewals and cancellations will take place through iTunes.
  • Apple takes 30% of the subscription cost (for handling payment and backend logistics).
  • You cannot change your subscription price once it’s been implemented.

Google One Pass announced today that publishers can offer a subscription service tied to a Google account:

  • Publishers have various options for how they charge for content and they’re allowed to experiment with different price models.
  • One Pass operates across any site with the functionality enabled. Content can be managed online and in mobile apps.
  • One Pass takes 10% of the subscription cost.

So how can a content provider meld the two? Publishers can only use One Pass in an app if the mobile operating system’s guidelines allow it. But Google DOES allow apps to redirect customers to a mobile Web browser to make a purchase, where publishers can use Google One Pass and keep 90 percent of the revenue. It’s a possible workaround for Apple’s requirements.

Another perk to Google One Pass, as pointed out by TechCrunch, is that publishers can maintain direct relationships with their customers.customer information collected by Google will be shared with publishers unless the user opts-out. In Apple’s system, user data can only be shared if the user explicitly chooses to do so. That’s a big difference.

More Resources:

Gap’s Giving Away Free Jeans For Checking In As Part of Facebook Deals Launch

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I’ve seen it everywhere on Twitter today. Gap is giving away 10,000 pairs of jeans to those who check in using Facebook Places as part of the new Facebook Deals feature. Just hop into any men’s or women’s Gap U.S. retail location, check in and then show your phone to a Gap employee to enter for the chance to win a free pair!

Too bad I’m not near a mall today. But, as a coupon collector, I did further investiation into Deals, a new feature within Facebook’s iPhone app that enables businesses to offer deals to consumers who check in through the Facebook Places.

Already the following companies have offered deals:

  • Macy’s Inc. offered 20% discounts off most apparel, accessories and jewelry and some houseware items, and 10% off consumer electronics, furniture and mattresses.
  • 24 Hour Fitness is donating $1 to Kaboom to support children’s health for everyone who checks in to its fitness clubs.
  • American Eagle Outfitters offered 20% off;
  • REI is donating $1 to a local conservation non-profit when a consumer visits a store.
  • JCPenney is giving $10 off any $50 purchase.
  • Chipotle locations will offer a buy-one-get-one deal for any entree for customers who check-in on November 13, 14, 20, and 21.
  • Check out more deals!

Facebook Deals has four types of deals – Independent (discounts, products, rewards, etc), Friend (a friend has to check-in and receives discounts), Charity (allows consumers to donate by checking in), and Loyalty (frequent shoppers). To find a deal, just look for a yellow icon when you check in via Facebook Places. You’ll see the offer and can claim it by showing your phone to the cashier. Facebook then broadcasts your deal to your News Feed (I hope this is an option and not mandatory. I don’t need people to know where I’m shopping at all times!)

So will you be searching for deals using Facebook Places?

Blogetery Closure: A Violation of Our Blogging Rights?

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Earlier this month, Blogetery went offline suddenly, leaving its 70,000+ users without access to their work. The news has gone from bad to worse. Not only were all of the blogs permanently shut done, but they aren’t coming back – and users aren’t even going to get access to collect their files. Whatever was posted on a Blogetery blog is gone. Forever.

Blogetery mentions on their website that they’ve been hosted by BurstNet for seven months, so presumably, some of their blogs were at least that old. I’m unaware if Blogetery is older and was hosted elsewhere first. (Maybe someone out there who had a Blogetery blog can chime in?) Even if it was “just” seven months…that could mean hundreds of blog posts for dedicated bloggers. Gone. In a second, just gone, without warning.

I think the real question here is whether or not the Blogetery closure was legal. When the sites went down on July 9, some speculated that it was a copyright violation issue. New reports seem to be saying that it had nothing to do with copyright – this was an issue of life and death, literally.

Everything about the Blogetery case seems pretty intense. This all happened because BurstNet terminated their partnership with Blogetery. According to reports, this was a “critical matter” and it has something to do with the FBI finding al-Qaeda information on the server, including hit lists, a direct message from Bin Laden, and instructions for making bombs. A blog-based magazine called Inspire recently launched through Blogetery, with the intent of recruiting members to al-Qaeda. One of their articles was allegedly called “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.”

Sadly, I’m sure that most of Blogetery’s users had nothing to do with the terrorist-related acts. It seems that Blogetery itself was in the dark that anything illegal was going on. Though I’m guessing that the information on the BurstNet servers aren’t yet deleted completely, it looks unlikely that anyone will receive access to their blogs’ databases. So, we might as well think of their blogs as deleted.

Legally, did BurstNet have the right to delete their blogs?

BurstNet received a Voluntary Emergency Disclosure of Information request from the FBI, which is part of a law that allows hosting companies to disclose client information in some cases, such as when it is threatening American security. BurstNet was also notified that they are legally allowed to discontinue service for a client in this situation, from what I understand of the reports, though the FBI did not compel them to do so – yet. Regardless, this kind of content is a breach of the BurstNew/Blogetery contact. So, legally, yes I think that BurstNet was within their rights to delete anything related to Blogetery. (Read their statement here.)

That doesn’t make it right. I’m all for stopping terrorists, but it seems like everyone had a pretty clear understanding about which blogs were dangerous. Wouldn’t it have been easy enough to contact Blogetery and warn that if this blog wasn’t removed immediately, service would be discontinued? Did hundreds of thousands of bloggers have to lose their work in the process? It’s important to note that the FBI never demanded that BurstNet take Blogetery off the air. They did that on their own.

It’s such a shame for bloggers who put work into building their sites on that network. It’s definitely a strong advantage to spending a few bucks a month to host your own blog, rather than working with a free service, but even then, blogs aren’t completely safe. The take-away message for us all is to back up your blog. Stay tuned – I’m currently writing up a post specifically about backing up your blog to help anyone who has never done it before.

I’d love to hear from any Blogetery bloggers out there! Obviously, I can’t read up much on the service, since their website is down right now, so your comments are invaluable.

Allison Boyer is a writer for BWE’s blog and the owner/manager of After Graduation. She wonders if bomb-making directions differ if you’re using your dad’s kitchen instead of your mom’s.

Scott Stratten and Jeffrey Hayzlett BWE10 Speakers!

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We are pleased to announce TWO keynote speakers! Scott Stratten, President of UnMarketing, will be opening the Social Media Business Summit conference.

Follow Scott on Twitter: @unmarketing

 

In the afternoon on the same day, Jeffrey Hayzlett, author of The Mirror Test, will be giving an insightful keynote presentation to the businesses in attendance. Not to be missed!

Follow Jeff on Twitter: @jeffreyhayzlett

 

Other news and tips across the blogosphere this week (June 25th):

The Blog Herald: Will Blogger’s New Video Player Challenge WordPress’s VideoPress?
After taking cues from YouTube, it looks like the boys and girls at Google have decided to update the Blogger video player in order to make it user friendly.

Copyblogger: 20 Warning Signs That Your Content Sucks
Admit it … you’ve wondered!

Daily Blog Tips: 5 Reasons Why You Should Respond to Every Comment
It just seems rude, but for some reason it has become standard for bloggers not to reply to comments made on their post.

ProBlogger: Does A Bloggers Age Matter?
Darren gives his take on this question!

Mashable: Improve B2B Sales Productivity with Social Media
As it specifically applies to sales, now more than ever our work is about relationship building and facilitating a buying decision through social selling.

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Image Credit: SXC

Facebook Adds Ability to 'Like' Comments

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Facebook announced this week (if you haven’t already seen it!) that users can now Like someone’s comments. Of course, don’t worry if you haven’t seen it yet – because their blog reveals that they are “rolling this out gradually, so if you don’t see the new button yet you will soon“.

Whether it’s a witty remark, a great point in a discussion or a helpful answer to someone’s question, clicking the “Like” button within comments now makes it simple to show your appreciation for all types of content on Facebook.

How will you be using the Like feature?

Other news and tips across the blogosphere this week (June 18th):

Copyblogger: Four Steps to Finding Your Ideal Writing Voice
Voice is one of the most important elements of a successful blog. Period.

Daily Blog Tips: Top 10 Tips to Sell Your Website or Blog on Flippa
If you want to maximize your chances of selling (and your profit), the 10 tips here will help you.

ProBlogger: Become the Blogging Expert in Your Own Niche by Running a Blogging Course
Darren shares the story of how one blogger got a group of bloggers collaborating together using the workbook and in doing so grew in his leadership within the niche.

Mashable: 6 Tips For Experimenting With Web Video
Making the shift into web video can be exhilarating, and the web makes it affordable and feasible to test our your video strategy.

TechCrunch: YouTube Launches Web-Based Video Editor
YouTube now has a built-in video editor!

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Blogging Statistics Show Most Bloggers are Young and Living in the USA

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Sysomos analyzed more than 100 million blog posts that provided information about their age, gender and location information to gather blogging statistics. In a report released this month, they say that bloggers tend to be:

  • Between 21-35 years of age (53.3%)
  • Male or Female (females outweighed males by a mere 1.8%)
  • Living in the United States (29.2%)
  • Living in California (14.1%)

So are you in the majority or minority?

Other news and tips across the blogosphere this week (June 4th):

Copyblogger: How to Build a Successful Business With a Small Audience
We all want our businesses and blogs to grow. But not all growth is ideal or even beneficial. Sometimes blind growth can be harmful.

Daily Blogging Tips: 8 Tips for Conducting Effective Interviews with Bloggers
Learn the best ways to approach bloggers and conduct an interview.

ProBlogger: How to Stay Focused and Avoid Distraction as a Blogger
Check out Darren’s video that talks through some of the distractions that bloggers face as well as his simple 3 point strategy for staying focused.

ReadWriteWeb: Twitter Ad Changes: Who’s Affected, Who’s Not
After earlier news that Twitter Ad Networks would be affected by the inability to place instream ads, it seems like it may not be the case. Twitter ad networks are not at risk, but Twitter client applications are.

Mashable: Google Testing New Ad Format for Boosting Twitter Followers
Google has put together a new kind of display ad that lets advertisers attract more followers to their Twitter accounts.

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Image Credit: SXC

Monetization Monday: Google Reveals AdSense Revenue Share

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If you have a blog, there’s a good chance you’ve got a Google AdSense block somewhere on your site. AdSense has long been a way to help monetize your site with contextual ads. But it’s always been vague as to how your income is determined.

This morning, Google revealed exactly how much they take as their share from AdSense sales “in the spirit of greater transparency.” According to the release placed on their blog, they take:

  • 32% of content ads (the publisher gets the remaining 68%)
  • 49% of search ads (the publisher gets the remaining 51%)

The content ads are those placed alongside web content, while AdSense for search allows publishers to place a custom Google search engine on their site and obtain revenue from ads shown in the results.

And what does Google do with their cut? They use the money for “continued investment in AdSense — including the development of new technologies, products and features that help maximize the earnings you generate from these ads.

Do you think this is a fair share? Do you use any other contextual ad services?

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

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