Thursday, March 17, 2005

Red vs Blue

Natalie Glance has co-authored a paper about the political influence of blogs that "examines the degree of interaction and behavior among top conservative and liberal political bloggers during the November Presidential election." Should be fun reading for all the political-blog geeks out there. Here's the PDF.

2005 Photobloggies

"The Photobloggies is an annual award ceremony celebrating photoblogging around the world. Through the Photobloggies, you can find some of the best photoblog sites on the internet, chosen by photobloggers and photoblog readers. Organized by Brandon Stone, Jake Dobkin, and Rannie Turingan, it includes awards based on geographic region, photoblog subject matter, and "best of" categories."

Rannie wrote to remind us that nominations for your favorite photoblogs are still open until Wed, Mar 16 at Midnight. I don't know if that is enough time to try your hand at creating a Hello/Blogger powered photoblog, but consider it a personal dare from your pal Jason.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Small Businesses Discover Blogging


To build an audience, blogs don't have to be edgy, provocative or funny, says blog coach Griff Wigley, of Wigley and Associates, Northfield, Minn., who has helped several dozen small companies start online journals. But they do have to be authentic and provide useful information. The personal touch helps build relationships with customers, something particularly important to small companies catering to local communities.

Blogads Reader Survery Results 2005

The results from the Blogads reader survey are up:

Last year, 61% of responding blog readers were over 30 years old. This year, 75% are over 30 years old.

Last year, 40% had family incomes greater than $90,000. This year, 43% exceed that figure.

Year over year, some figures are remarkably stable. One reader in five is a blogger. As was the case last year, exactly 1.7% are CEOs. Almost the same number (44%) spend more than $500 for air tickets. 86% purchased music online, last year and this. Last year, 79% were men. This year, 75% are men.

1.8% are entrepreneurs.

Single Screen Checkout Helps Stop Shopping Cart Abandonment

A company called Molecular Inc. has developed a single screen checkout process that they claim has increased conversions for by 50% (Internet Retailer reports). Yes, I said 50%.

How is this related to blogging and business? Well, if you are a blogger using affiliate links on your site, you are reliant on the merchant you are promoting to find ways to best convert the potential sale you have referred. Translation: If they don't convert to a sale, you get NOTHING!


Most bloggers aren't Internet retailers, so they don't know about the epidemic of shopping cart abandonment (pdf) that faces online merchants. In a previous report from Internet Retailer, they predicted that in 2004, shopping cart abandonment could reach as high as $63 billion in lost sales.

Still don't think it effects you as a blogger? When choosing an affiliate partner, be sure to check their shopping cart. Don't be afraid to test it out and see how it works. Choosing the right partner with the better shopping cart that converts even 1% more could be the difference between making $1.00 or $10,000.

Don't be afraid to tell them how to improve it either. KowaBunga! Technologies (the company I work for I should point out) does have an excellent solution called SiteConvert that helps do the same thing.

US Soldiers in Iraq making money from blogs

Not content with just spreading freedom and democracy in Iraq, US Soldiers are apparently teaching the locals a few tricks about capitalism, according to a report in the Army Times.

The newspaper, which also leads with a cover story on the growing number of US troops blogging from Iraq, writres that Army bloggers are taking donations to purchase equipment and are also selling branded gear. Others are obtaining funds for local charities.

The story also includes some good advice for soldiers thinking of starting a blog.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

How to Write Compelling Blog Posts

Writing blog posts and comments on blogs is actually very simple. The basic guidelines: keep your copy lively, factual, tight, clear, short and search engine optimized.

CMO on Blogging

One of CMO Magazine's feature stories this month is on corporate blogging. It's a pretty decent overview of the two types of business blogs (corporate and employee) and some of the upsides and perils of the new media. If corporate blogging is new to you, this might give you a good introduction.