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Why Pepsi Is Good For Bloggers

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This is certainly not a “Pepsi is better than Coke” or now begins the cola wars , I am referring to the world of monetizing.  Recently ABC reported, Pepsi announced that it would discontinue spending money on advertising on Super Bowl Sunday.  I have for years thought that the price of advertising on that day is way over priced, unless of course I was the guy getting the commission for that sale.  Millions of dollars being spent to have a slot of 30 seconds for the world to see you and your brand is a big gamble.  I suppose if your 30 seconds was the best or in some cases the worst you would extend your brand to many eyeballs all watching.  This is beginning to change and apparently Pepsi is leading the charge.

Why is this good for bloggers?  Brands like Pepsi and others are going online for their eyeballs.  I am not going to get into the debate in this post about why eyeballs are not the metric I think is for our future, but suffice it to say, eyeballs don’t buy.  Pepsi is also doing something that I believe is a masterful move into also contributing to charity while changing their advertising strategy. Forrester has a great post on its blog discussing the issues of the Pepsi move and its impact on the world of marketing.

Bloggers had a very difficult time selling their content to brands in the beginning. It always went back to eyeballs (perhaps this is the time for that debate). Bloggers that had millions of page views a month, a feat derived only by the top of the top of bloggers, made very little on their content as compared to their traditional media counterparts.  That in itself is supposition with the fact that bloggers were never considered in the same breath as traditional media.  As we all know, this is changing now.  Bloggers are seen as influencers and as people that can vault a brand into rock star fame.  Look at Ford for your example.

We are seeing other areas that are getting the dollars like Facebook for example.  The ABC example of Toys “R” Us building a Facebook page and seeing growth of between 40,000 and 95,000 fans per day after its late November launch is an example of what is catching the attention of those writing checks for marketing campaigns.  Their will be a race to see who can get your attention where you are, and Facebook is getting the attention of every household in America.

As traditional brands such as Pepsi and Ford and others begin to move their war chests of advertising dollars to other areas of the media, meaning bloggers and social networks, we all will have a better chance at a piece of the pie.  Rather than putting millions of dollars into a 30 second spot, brands may even give millions of bloggers that share.  This is only going to mean $2.00 perhaps but it is a huge increase over the .02 I made from Google Adsense last year.  My percentage of increase looks good on a corporate report!

Mashable Gets A Face Lift

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Today as I was going through some Twitter links that I open in tabs on Firefox, I came across a post that someone had sent me written on Mashable.  I immediately saw a difference in the way the blog looked and read and the overall scheme.  I thought I was reading it through a weird reader or something.  I normally read Mashable with Google Reader in my own time, and normally never actually make it to the site for a look at the real deal.  I immediately asked my Twitter community if I was on a fear and loathing type trip and Jennifer Van Grove and Shannon Paul were quick to end my anxiety.  In fact, it was revealed today Mashable’s new look. I wish I had taken a screen shot of it at the time I saw it because it was clean and devoid of advertising if I remember correctly and it looked very cool.  No I am not saying it doesn’t look cool now it was just clean sans ads.

We are implementing some early stages here of a new look and feel and we will be unfolding those shortly.  I am not sure of the application or whether there will be any significant changes other than certainly our UI and the simplicity of the blog to gear up for our new push for content.  Good job on the changes over at Mashable guys, I am jealous of the coolness factor!

UPDATE:  I knew I was going to forget something important, like the name of the company that did their redesign.  Here is their announcement.  Great job by the people over at nclud.

WordPress Updates With Carmen

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The latest version of WordPress has been released per the WordPress blog and Matt Mullenweg.

I am most interested in some of the features they have updated or upgraded with reference to video and other media that is added to posts. The sooner they make it easier to put up a blog post the better. I have always asked when WordPress was going to develop its own desktop blog editor like Windows Live Writer or the many other blog editors available. I thought that a blog editor that can be used on the desktop and sync with your WordPress blog would be a benefit to the entire community.

Facebook and Everyone Else

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facebook I have been trying to figure out how to keep up with the social networks I have for BlogWorld & New Media Expo and my own personal networks.  I have always touted that I can drink from the social media firehose as well as anyone but I have been noticing recently that I am having a hard time with it.  I was going through my own networks and found that my Facebook friends are now joining me on my other networks and vice versa.  Meaning that the hose is getting bigger but at least the water amount stays the same to some extent.

It appears that event within  the back stage scenes that the networks themselves are getting smeared and merged with one another.  I was commenting to my wife that Plaxo’s interface looked somewhat like Facebook’s interface and I am not sure if I am commenting on a Facebook wall or to an email from Plaxo.  Now I see on TechCrunch that the CTO of Plaxo has ended up working with Facebook.  It is hard to keep not only the networks in focus but the lines have blurred with relation to the developers and the people behind the scenes.

In a world of networks everyone is clamoring for market share and it appears that the talent goes with the winner (or is it that the talent goes with the money?  It is a free agent type market these days).  With Facebook talking about an IPO and getting its latest round of funding they are making it difficult for the rest of the players to keep up.  We are seeing a situation of living in a Google World as I always say to living in a Facebook World.  It’s Facebook and then the rest.

Echo – Changing The Way Bloggers Communicate Through Comments

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logo-jointherealtimeweb1 I was given the opportunity today to sit in a press conference briefing with the folks over at JS-Kit.com, or should I say Echo?  They have changed the name of the company from JS-Kit, one that I couldn’t seem to wrap my head around, to now just being Echo.  I myself like the change and I think it better represents the mission of the company.

We have yet to adopt any commenting system here on the Blog World blog but I think it may be time to look into allowing some real time comments and conversations to break out.  Once  of the benefits of Echo that was discussed in the call was the fact that “comments turn into a chat room and the conversations in the chat room are more interesting than the actual content.”

They tell us about Echo:

Echo is…

the next generation commenting system. It’s the way to share your content, and watch the live reaction. You can quickly embed Echo on WordPress, Blogger, or any website and turn your static pages into a real-time stream of diggs, tweets, comments and more.

Those of you that remember  Techcrunch’s Real Time Crunchup might remember how they stated boldly that comments were dead. I am not quite sure if death is the proper word but certainly given Twitter and other real time web applications, the way we communicate on blogs is changing.  Echo looks to be a leader in that change with its new system.  Echo will allow the publisher to manage the real time stream.  Where once we shouted “Content is King” and now we are shouting “Social Networks are King”, Echo allows for the balancing act to occur between the two.

Echo has some competition out there in the world with other commenting applications with the likes of IntenseDebate and Disqus and others, but they seem to get the idea that they have the ability to harness the power of conversations in this world of social media.  I look forward to what they will bring as new features and will keep a close eye on how they are changing our communication on blogs and how we as bloggers comment. They have some pretty big publishers with companies also like Technorati, Dow Jones and Hearst Media in the mix.

Women in the Blogosphere: More Than Mommy Bloggers

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Rosie the Riveter

Back in my blogging heyday, various traffic seeking bloggers inevitably rolled out lists of the “Top Bloggers” for each particular year. Thrown in at the very bottom of these lists, almost as if added in as an afterthought, was the name of a woman or two.

Comments and blog posts ensued. “Where are the women?” they asked.

A flurry of “Top 25 Female Blogger” type posts cropped up in reaction, but no one cared much about them. The important lists were the ones listing Robert Scoble, Darren Rowse and Seth Godin. These lists always irked me. I hated that women were considered “female bloggers” instead of simply ” bloggers.”

As blogging evolved and more women began taking up residence in the social media space, I thought we were over a lot of the inadvertent sexism, but little things continue to happen that make me wonder if women are still perceived differently.

Let me throw out a couple of cases in point:

  • At SXSWi ’09, I attended a  “flash session” made up of community managers from brands such as Best Buy, Jet Blue and Crocs. It was a great and informative session, one of the highlights of the event. However, I wondered why there were no women on the panel. I knew of plenty of community managers from major brands who were attending SXSW – who also happened to be women -so why did the panel only include the guys?
  • AT Blogworld ’08, I attended the highly anticipated super session of “Make Money Online” bloggers including Darren Rowse, John Chow, Jeremy Shoemaker and Brian Clark. However, I wondered why there were no women on the panel. Were none asked?
  • I have been invited to sit in on “Mommy Blogger” panels at various online and offline events. I have a blog and I have a child. However, My child has nothing to do with my writing blog and vice versa. I don’t blog about time outs and dirty diapers, nor am I sponsored by green beans or laundry detergent. Yet, so many people consider me a mommy blogger because I am a mother with a blog. If this is the case, shouldn’t we refer to Brian Clark as a “daddy blogger?”
  • I was invited to be a part of an online radio panel featuring the “Divas of Social Media.” (I blogged about this on my own blog yesterday, so go ahead and skip this item if it’s something you heard before.) Why is it men are called “ninjas” or “gurus” while women are considered “divas” or “darlings.”

I’m not a card carrying member of any women’s liberation group, but that doesn’t mean these little things are any less irritating. As someone who has been blogging as long as some of the “gurus” it’s kind of a pet peeve to see testosterone-laden super sessions and lists of top bloggers. I’m pretty sure the organizers of these events aren’t setting out to disqualify women, but the fact that we don’t automatically come to mind isn’t any less disturbing.

Yesterday’s startling revelation that blogger James Chartrand is really a woman served to stimulate a very important dicussion topic. Is it easier for a man to find a job? Do we take men more seriously as experts?

Is there a glass ceiling in social media?

The other day, Read Write Web came out with a list of social media predictions for 2010.  Click to page two and scroll down a bit and you’ll find “Women will rule social media.”

I’m skeptical.

Will women rule social media because they are making a difference in the space? Or are we ruling social media because we’re the ones who purchase diapers and make the buying decisions as the RWW post hints? If so, we haven’t come very far at all.

What do you think? How are women perceived in the blogosphere and the social media space? Will we ever be seen as anything other than the darlings of the blogosphere?

Deb Ng is a professional blogger and founder of the Freelance Writing Jobs network. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @debng.

When Should Bloggers Stop Giving it Away?

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for sale

I have something on my mind. I’m thinking about a discussion I had on Twitter yesterday with James Chartrand of the wonderful Men with Pens blog. James and I are good friends and have regular brain storming sessions, mostly about making money with this blogging thing. Now, in all fairness, my blog network earns more than James’s blog, but I’m no where near ProBlogger‘s level of income, though I’m willing to bet I work just as hard. Yesterday, James and I were discussing some new ways to generate income blogging and we wondered…each day we both put our all into our blogs. We give away our secrets and tricks of the trade. We could generate tons of revenue with courses or books, but instead, we package it up for free on our blogs. Would blog readers pay to read a “premium” blog?

We took it to Twitter…

Twitter status MWP

To say the results were interesting is an understatement. Most respondents said no, they wouldn’t pay to read posts by their favorite bloggers. A couple of Twitterers said the material would have to be brilliant and written by A-listers, but they wouldn’t pay for any old blogger off the street.

I find this whole thing thought provoking. In the freelance writing world, there’s a big campaign to make sure writers are paid what they’re worth and should never work for free or for slave wages, yet many of the same people admitted they wouldn’t pay for content either.

Some Twitterers express annoyance over bloggers who are constantly creating products to sell. It seems every few months there are courses or ebooks or some sort of affiliate programs launching. Many blog readers are saying they don’t want to be hit up for money all the time.

So let me ask you this…

I work on my blog full time. I spend at least three hours trolling for job leads for freelance writers and the rest of the day writing at least three informative posts for my community. I also receive over a thousand pieces of email a day, and do my best to answer them all. Bloggers put a lot of effort into what they do, and it’s done on their own time. Why are readers so outraged when we want to take on a sponsor, monetize a twit or charge for premium content?

When should bloggers stop giving it away?

Now I’m not saying we need to charge for every post or install turnstiles on all our blogs. However, the mere mention of “what if a few of us got together and put together a blog featuring premium content” had folks scoffing at the idea. Some suggested the content would have to be awfully brilliant to charge for it. Most successful bloggers put their all in to each and every post, to suggest we would turn out something less than brilliant is kind of, well, not a compliment.

So let’s discuss this…

Many bloggers work very hard to bring you good information every single day. You would pay money to read books saying what we say. You would pay money to take courses teaching what we teach.

Why wouldn’t you pay money to read a blog?

Deb Ng is a professional blogger and founder of the Freelance Writing Jobs network. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @debng.

Using Social Media To Explain Social Media and Other Concepts

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One of the sites I like to go to often and one that will no doubt get a large amount of traffic over the next few months is Common Craft.  I especially love the way the use video to explain difficult or complex issues.  They did a great job on explaining social media.

They have recently released a new video on the complex term of cloud computing. This video is another great example of explaining things to people like your grandmother, or me for that matter, issues related to what would normally only be understood by those in the field or the cool smart kids.

Book Signings During BlogWorld

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Every year, BlogWorld speakers release books and hold signings sessions live at BlogWorld.

Check the schedule below and come meet your favorite new media author.

TODD CREAGAR Thursday, 2:00 – 3:00 PM
CAROL ANN FRIED Thursday, 3:00 – 4:00 PM
BRANDON ELEY Friday, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
PATRICK O’KEEFE Friday, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
CHRIS BROGAN Friday, 12:00 – 1:00 PM
GARY RYAN BLAIR Friday, 1:00 – 2:00 PM
DR. BEN MACK Friday, 1:00 – 2:00 PM
BEN HUH Friday, 2:00 – 3:00 PM
DEBORAH MICEK Friday, 2:00 – 3:00 PM
DAVID MATHISON Friday, 3:00 – 4:00 PM
JESSE STAY Friday, 3:00 – 4:00 PM
JAY BERKOWITZ Friday, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
BRIAN SOLIS Friday, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
MARK JOYNER Saturday, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
WARREN WHITLOCK Saturday, 2:00 – 3:00 PM
MIGNON FOGARTY Saturday, 3:00 – 4:00 PM
MARK TAFOYA Saturday, 3:00 – 4:00 PM

It Profits To Be A Non-Profit At BlogWorld!

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****Update***  You Only Need A Weekend Pass To Attend The Non Profit Track***

Let’s face it, money is tight.  If you are a large corporation or a hobbyist, an employee or an employer, you know of what I speak.  This is not more prevelant that in the non-profit world.  They have budgets that would make most of us cringe, yet they seem to continue on carrying the torch for their causes.  They are passionate to keep up their good deeds and find ways to make their lack of money stretch to meet their needs.  The folks at eBay and PayPal, in conjunction with BlogWorld & New Media Expo are easing the pain of budgetary constraints a little.  paypal_logo

logoEbay_x45 They are allowing those in a non-profit organization to attend our event at half off the regular price.  That is right, 50% right off the top of the ticket price to go to Blog World!  In order to qualify you can apply by sending an email to blogworld@kompolt.com and applying for a special code that can be used when you register.  This allows you to get whatever package you choose at half price. Obviously you have to be a non-profit to qualify.

We understand what the non-profits have to go through to get to experience the same benefits as their “for profit” brethren, we and Ebay and Paypal want to help level the playing field a little.  Get over and apply for your special code to get 50% off your ticket.  I’ll make sure it is worth your time and effort!  Thank you eBay and Paypal for making this possible!

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