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If you Blog to Make Money…..


Read this great post by Darren Rowse. Here are a couple of snippets:

The idea of passive income is obviously one that many people strive for – and it’s a term that I’ve heard used many times to describe online income streams – including blogging.

Unfortunately I wouldn’t use the term passive income to describe blogging for money.

While there are a few aspects which could be described as passive – the overall experience that I’ve had is anything but passive.

Running a successful and profitable blog (or blogs) takes a consistent amount of work over the long term. This work needs to happen throughout the life of a blog – from the early days when you’re trying to establish yourself in a niche – through to those times when your blog ‘matures’ and you’re hit with a whole load of new responsibilities and pressures.

This is a great reality check for stary eyed wanna be A-list bloggers. If you are earn or wish to earn money from your blog I highly recommend reading the whole post.

Blogging is kind of like sales.  A very low paid easy job, and potentially a very high paid hard job. Some folks may be lucky but in the end hard work and talent can make you a lot of money blogging. If you think you can put up a few posts, get some big links and take it easy, it ain’t gonna happen.

Upcoming Blogging Conference Down Under


Peter Black an associate lecturer in law at the Queensland University of Technology is organizing the Australian Blogging Conference. The ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation and the Queensland University of Technology will host. The event will take place Thursday March 8th 2007 at the newly renovated State Library of Queensland in Brisbane.
Professor Black has more including a tentative schedule on his site Freedom To Differ. Companies interested in sponsorship opportunities should contact Professor Black.
/HT to Des Walsh who has more at Thinking Home Business

AMA to host webinar with CEO’s of WordPress, KnowNow, and Sphere


If you are a CMO, VP/Director of Marketing or Corporate Communications then you should definitely tune in to this webinar hosted by the American Marketing Assocation February 13th.

Todd Rulon-Miller CEO of KnowNow, Toni Schneider CEO of Automattic (WordPress), and Tony Conrad CEO of Sphere will make up the panel. Marla Chupak will be moderating.

The panelists will be discussing corporate blog presence, monitoring the blogosphere and the ever mysterious RSS.

The webinar starts at 10 am PST February 13th.

AMA to host webinar with CEO's of WordPress, KnowNow, and Sphere


If you are a CMO, VP/Director of Marketing or Corporate Communications then you should definitely tune in to this webinar hosted by the American Marketing Assocation February 13th.

Todd Rulon-Miller CEO of KnowNow, Toni Schneider CEO of Automattic (WordPress), and Tony Conrad CEO of Sphere will make up the panel. Marla Chupak will be moderating.

The panelists will be discussing corporate blog presence, monitoring the blogosphere and the ever mysterious RSS.

The webinar starts at 10 am PST February 13th.

The real revolution of new media


Stowe Boyd and Chris Heuer are having a little debate about the purity of social media press releases which I spouted off about earlier this evening. Chris was kind enough to come by and comment. I started to leave a 2nd reply to his comment and thought the point deserved its own post.

While discussing the proper term for the current media revolution Chris pointed out what he thought was new about new media:

For now, the new new part is that it is more social, it is about participating in the conversation digitally if you will, so this is where I have ended up on social media being the term personally.

While I agree the conversation is important to new media I don’t think that is what has caused this revolution. The really important new part is that anyone with a computer, or cell phone and an internet connection can through their own effort become an influential voice in their community, in their state, even all over the world with virtually no investment.

It used to take a whole lot of money to communicate on the massive scale that is now available.

That is the root of this revolution, not the chatting. Millions of people who used to yell at the television, or radio, or think to themselves when reading a story or an op ed piece in their local newspaper or favorite magazine, “I could write a better story than that” or  “why didn’t they ask that politician this question” can actually write their own story and have it read by people all over the world, even read  by those very same main stream journalists they yelled at through the TV, even interview that celebrity, or politician themselves; ask the questions they always wanted answered.

And you know what much of the time they are better stories, they are more provocative and well researched opinions, they ask better interview questions.

That is the revolution of new media.

Social press releases all wrong?


That’s what Stowe Boyd says:

For those who have missed the idea, a social media press release is supposed to be a webbish/bloggish version of old timey press releases. These will incorporate elements of the now commonplance blog motif: links, tags, comments, and trackbacks, for example.

This all begs the question (which I raised early on in the evening): Why not just use blogs? Why do we need these so-called “social” press releases?

I never really got a deep or usable answer to that question. What I did hear, however, was a widespread misunderstanding of what social media is.

I can understand where Stowe is coming from but I try not to get too worked up over what companies, marketing flunkies and PR flacks do while trying to trick us bumpkins into buying their crappy stuff.

Heck I run a business myself and try to get people to buy my no so crappy stuff (at least I think so) every day. I don’t see what’s wrong with that.

In the end if a marketing or PR professional writes good copy, or tells a good story particularly when it is selling a good product it tends to cut through all the clutter no matter how the message is delivered.

I love new media but I don’t have this naive view of what it is. Some of it is good, some of it great, and some of it is crap just like every other product in the world.

Others blogging: Robert Scoble agrees with Stowe

Stowe Boyd speaks out against social media press releases and other lame ideas. He’s right. I hate that idea too. Just give us a damn demo of your product and tell us about it

Chris Heuer has a rebuttal at his blog:

If you had done a bit more research you would understand that the term social media release is the presentation layer, and that the concept we are supporting technically is the hRelease. The reason behind supporting Microformats are many, but the simplest is that it is intended to primarily be distributed through RSS on BLOGS!

The interesting thing about proposing a Microformat for it is the structuring of the information in the press release to make it more findable, which both Brian’s previous comments hints at. Additionally, I believe it is a way to distinguish everyday blog posts, from official corporate announcements, such as those that accompany a product launch, and to bundle all the facts/information in a way that will let other people tell the story – whether journalists, bloggers, raving fan customers or haters.

For you to harp on us for the one ot two uses of the word audience is not fair nor accurate and quite honestly feels more like an attempt to nitpick for the purpose of creating controversy.

Chris also says he tried posting a comment at Stowe’s blog yesterday and it hasn’t shown up yet, so I guess I will repost here what I left in comments at Stowe’s blog as well. It wont be word for word as I didn’t save it anywhere nor remember exactly what I wrote but you will get the gist.

Big companies may be able to just post their news on their blogs because traditional journalists hang on their every word but if a little company posts it’s latest product release on their company blog it is going to have the same effect as a tree falling in the forest with no one around to hear it.

Smart little companies will use press releases, blogs, wiki’s and every other way they can think of to get their message out to the world. If their message or their product is great the world will cheer and hopefully buy their stuff. If its crap the world will respond accordingly.

Stowe also takes issue with the broad use of the term social media. In my personal experience people who are actually creating it call it new media. People who are trying to sell me something call it social media. At CES someone insisted the real term is digital media (I rarely hear that one). John Battelle recently called in conversational media ( I like that term a lot). Call it whatever you like blogs, vlogs, podcasts, wikis, internet radio are all cool and as they get more eyeballs and ears they will continue to attract more and more companies to the medium who want to sell stuff.

Where do you stand on Net Neutrality?


Professors David Farber and Michael Katz have an interesting piece in The Washington Post today. While it appears they are somewhat in favor of regulating, and in some cases charging for delivery of certain internet services (something I am generally against), they do make some good arguments as to why it might be a good idea.

Traffic management is a prime example. When traffic surges beyond the ability of the network to carry it, something is going to be delayed. When choosing what gets delayed, it makes sense to allow a network to favor traffic from, say, a patient’s heart monitor over traffic delivering a music download. It also makes sense to allow network operators to restrict traffic that is downright harmful, such as viruses, worms and spam.

Blocking premium pricing in the name of neutrality might have the unintended effect of blocking the premium services from which customers would benefit. No one would propose that the U.S. Postal Service be prohibited from offering Express Mail because a “fast lane” mail service is “undemocratic.” Yet some current proposals would do exactly this for Internet services.

I can certainly agree with their conclusion in that government law makers should hold off on passing any new legislation until we can better determine the effects it would have on the wild west of the internet.

The legislative proposals debated in the 109th Congress take a very different approach. They would impose far-reaching prohibitions affecting all broadband providers, regardless of whether they wielded monopoly power and without any analysis of whether the challenged practice actually harmed competition. If enacted, these proposals would threaten to restrict a wide range of innovative services without providing any compensating customer benefits.

Does this mean we believe that we should place all our trust in the market and the current providers? No. But it does mean we should wait until there is a problem before rushing to enact solutions.

If you are a new media content creator then I strongly urge you to read the whole thing, and learn as much as you can about net neutrality. Legislation will be passed one way or the other, and it will definitely affect you.

Where do you stand on net neutrality?

Others blogging: The Tech Beat from Business Week:

One oddity of the current fight is that many of the advocate of neutrality portray themselves as opponents of a corporate takeover of the democratic Internet. But the fight is being bankrolled by the likes of Microsoft, Google, and Amazon.com, big corporations if I’ve ever seen them. A lot of what;s going on is really a struggle for economic advantage between two groups of big companies, neither of which are much concerned about openess or democracy.

Hands Off the Internet:

Few people understand the Internet better than Carnegie Mellon Prof. and “Godfather of the Internet” David Farber. And Michael Katz was Chief Economist at the FCC during the Clinton Administration.

So when these two team up to tell the world that Net neutrality regulations would hurt efforts to curb “viruses, worms, denial-of-service attacks and zombie computers,” prudent lawmakers ought to take notice.

Blogs are hot


Anyone tell you blogs or old news lately? Well not according to the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and several other major newspapers. Courtesy of Frank Barnako of Market Watch:

The number of visitors to the blog pages of the top 10 online newspapers grew 210% in the past year, far outpacing growth to the parent sites. Nielsen/NetRatings found that while the unique audience to online newspapers grew 9% from December 2005 to December 2006, the number of visitors to blog pages at the top newspapers skyrocketed and accounted for 13% of the parent sites’ total traffic.

Here are the most popular online newspaper blogs and their estimated December audiences:
  • USATODAY.com blogs, 1.239 million
  • The New York Times’ blogs, 1.173 million
  • SFGate blogs, 515,000
  • Washingtonpost.com blogs, 433,000
  • Boston.com blogs, 388,000.

Next time someone jaded blogger tries to tell you blogs are old news tell em to read a newspaper. The new media revolution is just beginning.

Is your blog worthy of a feature story?


Amit Chatwani’s blog Leveraged Sellout is. Fellow blogger Miki Saxon alerted me to this story where Business Week called Chatwani The Borat of Wall Street.

Here’s a small clip:

It’s late afternoon at a bar in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district. This being early December, the place is buzzing with chatter about Wall Street’s gangbuster yearend bonuses. In walks a 24-year-old banker type in a crisp London-tailored shirt and tie, sporting diamond-studded cuff links (or are they cubic zirconium?) the size of Danish butter cookies. He struts past a group of women like an urban peacock. “The bridge and tunnel crowd,” he says, dismissing them as groupies from New Jersey and other hinterlands. Then he turns his gaze to this reporter. “I’m surprised they let you in with that blazer.”

Congrats to Amit on some well deserved recognition for a very funny blog.

Has your blog ever been featured in a main stream media article?

Microsoft and free laptops…Ohhh the drama


So Just before Christmas Microsoft sent out emails to several influential techy bloggers and offered them a free new laptop loaded with Windows new operating system Vista. Then a few other bloggers who didn’t get one complained it was unethical. Now Microsoft wants their laptops back.

Now how do I as a non techy let alone techy blogger react to this bit of blogodrama? /yawn.

I am no huge fan of Microsoft. They are a big company so it’s cool not to like them, but in their defense, I along with most computer users in the world have never used anything other than some form of Windows. Sometimes it crashes, sometimes it gives me problems but all in all Microsoft and Windows have made my real job, and my internet surfing, and play time a lot easier and more enjoyable that it was before they came along.

When it comes to techy bloggers most use Macs. It is very cool for them to hate Microsoft but for some reason love Apple (another very big company) who I have been predicting will go BK for the last 15 years. (If you read this blog for any length of time you will find out I am often wrong.)

Getting back to the topic at hand; something struck me while attending the recent Blog Business Summit. Nearly everyone in the room was using a Mac. Nearly every speaker was using a Mac. These are the “influential techy bloggers” that Microsoft is trying to get to review their new Vista software.

Now if you are a PC user and you have ever met a user you know it’s like a cult. (Trust me I have been to Macworld it is weird). How does Microsoft get any kind of fair shot being reviewed by an army of Mac users?

Well a really nice gift that even the most devoted Microsoft hater would find hard to turn down is a damn good start. This give away was a damn good idea if you ask me.

I agree with Robert Scoble as long as the bloggers disclose they received the gifts, the ethical hurdle has been crossed and readers can keep that in mind when reading the review. Is it going to buy Microsoft great reviews from devoted acolytes of Apple?

I doubt it. I would guess at best it would tip the scales back to almost dead even with a little bias still weighing against the mighty Microsoft. Need proof?

How about Marshal Kirkpatrick’s post when Microsoft asked for their laptop back?

Microsoft and AMD sent out a pile of very expensive (yet trashy looking) laptops to a number of bloggers over the past week. We were told we could keep them – now after a day of minor outrage by some people they are emailing us back with the following request that we not keep them after all! And to think, I almost smashed mine in the middle of the street 10 minutes into trying to use it! I did figure out some of the basics after awhile, but it’s still nothing life changing.

Does that sound like a guy who just got bought off by the man for a good review?

Like I said I am often wrong but I think I am right on this one. Here is another snippet from Marshall’s post:

Ha ha ha – the snazzy laptop I got in the mail from Microsoft yesterday was the only way I was ever going to use Vista anyway.

Case closed.

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