January 19, 2018

Politics and Political Blogs

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Whatever your political persuasion — right, left, or center — the blogosphere is a great place for bloggers to share their political views and make plenty of friends and enemies. We try to follow the conservative, liberal, and everything in between of politics and political blogs/blogging — but only when it intersects with business blogging.

Have a read below of our latest entries on politics and political blogging…

Lexus Uses Blog Ads to Promote Podcast Campaign

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 01/5/06

Toyota has launched a podcast campaign to promote its Lexus IS, in partnership with Vibe Magazine and independent hiphop/jazz fusion recerd label Hidden Beach Recordings. The campaign is supported by blog advertising. The site features downloadable MP3s, and the ability to subscribe to them, of half-hour samples of Unwrapped CD series.

According to a ClickZ article, the campaign is targeted at an African-American audience, and blogs play a “pretty heavy part” of the campaign, according to a Toyota spokesperson quoted in the article. I have to say, that seems a bit curious to me. I wonder if they did much demographic research about podcast users and blog readers to determine whether it was a good fit with an African-American target audience. The few black bloggers I know all seem to take perverse pleasure in their being among the few black bloggers out there. I suppose like anything that is changing and blogs will continue to gain traction across all demographic segments, but it strikes me as a pretty rarified audience segment they’re targeting.

Anyway, I do think that the idea of using custom podcast content is a good strategy for making use of podvertising. And the grooves are definitely funky. Good exposure, in any event, for Hidden Beach, which I’m adding to my music watch-list. (Ironically, I don’t see that HiddenBeach.com links to the co-branded podcast site. Details, details…)

Gawker skwers the corporate: The Consumerist

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on 12/7/05
Inspired by a Hungarian website Nick Denton has launched The Consumerist to hit corporations where it hurts … where they blow it. Here is the intro on the blog:
Welcome, internet, to The Consumerist, the latest title from Gawker Media. The Consumerist loves to shop, and is reconciled to utilities, but hates paying for shoddy products, inhumane customer support, and half-assed service.
Each week The Consumerist will guide you through the delinquencies of retail and service organizations. The Consumerist will highlight the persistent, shameless boners of modern consumerism — and the latest hot deals, discounts, and freebies around.
My favourite on the site the site right now … NyQuil not working. I guess in an effort to keep NyQuil off the must-have ingredients list for crystal meth labs, they took pseudoephedrine out of the formula … and now it doesn’t work. Oops. Not good for the cold season. Maybe try Buckley’s (if you live in Canada).

RSS, the heir apparent to the throne

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on 11/15/05
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Neville talks about an interesting, really cool IMHO, thing the U.K. supermarket chain Tesco is doing.  Not only are they sending out traditional e-mail marketing e-mails to customers (on the quantity or quality concept) they have created a “deal of the day” RSS feed.  Now, this rocks.  Frankly, I’d love to get my store flier in RSS.  Maybe, the just before the end of the day … how about a quick recipe for an easydinner and oh … here are the ingredients … oh and severalof them are on a special web-recipe sale. How about that.

From Neville:

So my prediction is – more RSS feeds by consumer-focused businesses such as supermarkets. It’s getting easier for people to use RSS (often without realizing it) and will get easier still as more businesses offer information via RSS, as simpler ways of describing it emerge (like ‘ live bookmarks ,’ for instance), and as it becomes ever more easier to get the information offered via RSS. (Related development: expect more advertising in RSS.)

It’s the heir to the direct marketing throne.

I think he’s really got it.  I can sit here and think about all the easy, easy ways for companies to reach customers.  And as all the Browsers get better at this … well we’re not even going to notice are we?
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Monetizing your Blog with Google AdSense

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Here’s a topic that I know is of interest to many bloggers, both business bloggers and otherwise: how can you turn your site traffic into some sort of money stream, even a small one? It turns out that there are many different ways to make a few dollars, but one of the most popular is Google AdSense. The AdSense program offers every blogger a simple way to include contextually relevant advertisements on your very own blog pages.

Understanding exactly how AdSense works, what you do and don’t need to worry about as a participant in the program, and how they calculate payouts is a subtlety that most people skip, unfortunately. Further, it’s not easy to find a clear explanation of every step required to configure and track your own AdSense results from your site online either.

That’s why I just spent rather a few hours writing up a long and detailed article about Google AdSense, including many best practices and a critical warning that you should heed lest you get kicked out of the program before your blog can even make you that wonderful first dollar!

Rather than duplicate it here on the Business Blog Consulting site, however, I’d like to instead beg your indulgence and ask that you click on the following link so you can read all about Google AdSense for yourself:

      How do I get started with Google AdSense?

Questions about AdSense or even commentary on whether business blogs should be monetized are more than welcome too, of course.

A Tale of Two Blog Adverting Moguls

Posted by: of Blogging Systems Group on 10/3/05

Blog Moguls…now that’s a term you don’t hear everyday. Blogging already has moguls? It’s an article on ClickZ about, no, not Jason Calacanis and Nick Denton (Until I read the article they were the only two blog moguls I knew of.) These are John Batelle and "Pud" Kaplan and they’re blazing new trails in blogvertising with their respective Federated Media Publishing and Adbrite.

Now, thanks to Audi, blog advertising has become respectable. Anyway, it’s worth a read. (Audi used BlogAds, btw, so how come Henry Copeland hasn’t been crowned with "mogul" status yet?!)

BusinessWeek Best Of The Web poll spawns LinkedIn spam?

I’m usually quite a proponent of LinkedIn, as readers of my weblog are aware, but I find it quite fascinating that the desire to have the LinkedIn site ranked highly in an influential BusinessWeek Best Of the Web poll is showing a bit of the seamy underbelly of online networking.

Four times in the past week I’ve received email from one of my LinkedIn connections asking me to pop over to the BusinessWeek poll and vote for LinkedIn to help it rank well in the results. The intention is splendid and the slightly questionable tactic of trying to either (depending on your viewpoint) encourage voter turnout or stuff the virtual ballot boxes is no different from many of the other nominated sites posting “vote for us” articles too (even Om Malik, one of my touchstones for professionalism in the business blog space, couldn’t resist when he added “Vote for GigaOM” to his busy weblog).

Ordinarily, receiving four messages like this in the never-ending tsunami of email I get every day wouldn’t be worthy of note, but I find it quite fascinating that…

Making Sense of Adsense

Posted by: of Blogging Systems Group on 08/19/05

Are you a blogger who uses Google Adsense to monetize your blog? You’ll be interested to know Google has started a blog to help you. The blog, called Inside Adsense, kicked off last Tuesday and offers optimization tips and such. I think it’s an effort to defend Google’s position against Yahoo’s new Publisher Network by providing more help to Adsense publishers.

WSJ: Many Advertisers Find Blogging Frontier Is Still Too Wild

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 03/25/05

Decent article about blogvertising. I was interviewed at length but didn’t get quoted. Oh well. Features the usual cast of characters: Denton, Calacanis, Copeland.

Just had a call with Todd S. (are last names important?), and he was aggrieved by the last paragraph of this piece:

For now, many big companies are sitting on the
sidelines. "We’re in a wait-and-see mode," says Stuart Bogaty, senior
partner and managing director of mOne Worldwide, a digital ad agency
that is part of WPP
Group. He thinks that companies will remain skittish until agencies can
better monitor and control what individual bloggers are saying about
them. On the other hand, that might undercut their renegade appeal. "If
we were able to convince a blogger to do that," he notes, "it would
reduce the value of his blog in general."

The link above allows free access to the story for a week, so read it while the reading is good.

WSJ: Many Advertisers Find Blogging Frontier Is Still Too Wild

NetImperative: Dyson First to Use [Brit] Blogs in Major Ad Campaign

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 03/14/05

Click for larger version

Vacuum cleaner maker Dyson has chosen two hip UK tech blogs, ShinyShiny ("a girl’s guide to gadgets") and Tech Digest for a clever rich media campaign that features two skyscraper ads on either side of the page via which readers can play a Pong-like game. Unfortunately, by the time it was reported, the ad seems to have finished its run. (Via MarketingVox)

BlogAds Blog Reader Survey

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 03/11/05

BlogAds, a leading ad network for blogs, released its second annual survey of blog readers. Some 30,000 blog readers filled out the survey. I’m too busy to summarize, but suffice it to say blog readers appear to be a high-quality audience that should be attractive to advertisers.

This is must-read for anyone who is trying to sell advertising on blogs. One thing that would make the study better, however, would be to index these questions against average Internet users, so we had a sense of how blog readers are better than average Net users. Still, it certainly makes a case for the value of blog readers.


I neglected to mention that Gallup just released a survey about blog readership that found that 15% of Americans, or 19% of U.S. Internet users, read blogs at least a few times a month, but the findings of the poll were available online for only a few days before they went behind subscription-access lock-down. Here is a MediaPost article that analyzes the two polls together, including this nugget:

Frank Newport, editor in chief at Gallup
poll, says his results are not inconsistent with Copeland’s conclusion.
Newport compared readers of blogs to readers of The New York Times. "We know that only a fraction of the American public reads the Times, but it affects everyone because that’s what the people who control mainstream media read."

Blog Advertising Networks

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 03/9/05

Aside from Google AdSense and Overture Content Match, what other networks are there that focus on blog advertising besides these?

And don’t say Weblogs Inc. or Gawker, as those are publishing ventures, not networks in the sense that any existing blogger could simply leverage them to sell ads on their site.

MarketingVox: W Hotels Tries Blog Media Strategy

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 02/27/05
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MarketingVox points out that W Hotels is advertising on the HotelChatter blog.

MarketingVox: W Hotels Tries Blog Media Strategy

CheapTickets Pulls Out of Sponsorship of Gawker Travel Site

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 02/24/05

Easy come, easy go. It was just over a week ago that I noted Gawker Media had launched two new sites with exclusive ad sponsorship, including GridSkipper, a travel site sponsored by CheapTickets. Well, it turned out that the racy tone of the blog was too rich for CheapTickets’s blood and it’s withdrawn its sponsorship.

This promises to be a touchstone for all those who doubt the viability of blog advertising. I agree that it will take a while, if ever, before many advertisers feel comfortable with the unrestrained tone of blogs, but I also agree with Nick Denton, Gawker’s publisher, that it’s their loss; speaking to PR Week, he said:

"We’d rather lose the occasional advertiser than the character that
attracts the audience in the first place. If an advertiser wants a safe
environment, there are thousands of tired media outlets to choose from.

"Weblogs are supposed to be unexpected and wincingly frank.
That’s an essential part of the appeal to a generation that’s turning
away from network television and print media. We had a million visitors
to our sites on Tuesday alone."

Details on PR Week.

Two Great Articles From Fortune on Blogs and Marketing

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 01/19/05

I’m behind the times on these two articles from Fortune on marketing and blog trends, but they’re both so good I’m still happy to link to them:

The first story above is only a few days old and is mainly based on insightfly quotes from Steve Hayden, vice chairman of New York-based Ogilvy & Mather about how advertisers should understand blogs. The second link is actually shameful on my part that I post it so late, as it’s three weeks old (I was on vacation when it was published) and it is simply the most thoughtful analysis of the business blog trend I’ve read to date.

ClickZ: BURST! Media Launches Blog Ad Channel

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 01/4/05
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has introduced an ad network for blogs. Current properties include Gawker Media blogs, BlueLemur, 2 Walls Webzine, and CelebCourthouse, with others on the way soon.

Meanwhile, CrispAds is another player in the blog ad network space. I’m getting briefed more on their play shortly and will update with details then.


ClickZ: BURST! Media Launches Blog Ad Channel

BusinessWeek: The Business Of Blogging

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 12/6/04

Nothing-special review of the viability of ad models for blogs. Nothing really on using blogs as a marketing tool. Usual suspects featured ‚Äî Copeland, Denton, Calacanis ‚Äî as well as MayItPleaseTheCourt.net‘s J. Craig Williams. Also, a spokesman from Audi comments on its sponsorship of Denton’s Jalopnik.com.

BusinessWeek: The Business Of Blogging

WSJ: Questions for…Nick Denton

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 10/13/04

Questions and answers with Gawker Media’s Nick Denton, whom the WSJ calls a blog “impresario,” discussing specifically the advertising opportunities for weblogs. He discusses why Audi’s interested in being the sole sponsor of Gawker’s car new blog Jalopnik, as well as the mistakes Dr. Pepper made with the infamous Raging Cow blog, among other things.

The link to this article is set to expire in seven days (WSJ.com is a paid subscription site, in case you’re new to this planet), so get it while you can.

WSJ: Questions for…Nick Denton

Mediapost: Convention Coverage Could Boost Blog Traffic, Ad Rates, and Awareness

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 07/26/04

More optimism about blog advertising. My concern with this angle, which I’ve expressed to BlogAds CEO Henry Copeland before (who’s quoted in the story) is the current over-reliance among blogs on political advertising at the moment. Sure, pick the low-hanging fruit while you can, I suppose, but let’s not create the impression among advertisers that political ads are all blogs are good for. Otherwise, come November, and that’s it for another four years.

Mediapost: Convention Coverage Could Boost Blog Traffic, Ad Rates, and Awareness

ClickZ: Ads on Blogs, Blogs as Ads

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 06/30/04
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ClickZ’s comely columnist Tessa Wegert has written a three-part series on blogs and marketing (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3). I might nitpick with some of its points — e.g., “At minimum, blogs should be updated daily” (ideally, perhaps, but I don’t know about “at minimum”; this blog, for example, flunks that test miserably of late), the idea that a blog isn’t a blog if it doesn’t have comments turned on (so Instapundit isn’t a blog?), or the tired old saw of spotlighting Raging Cow as a blog marketing disaster) — but by and large, it’s a sensible advice piece well worth a read.

ClickZ: Ads on Blogs, Blogs as Ads

Hespos: Yes, Blogs Are A Great Advertising Environment

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 06/18/04
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Tom Hespos, an experience media buyer (and CEO of Underscore Marketing) blogs about an experience he had recently buying ads on a blog. The take-away: “Said blog kicked ass and was one of the best performers on the campaign.” Other excerpts:

Our next media plan for this client will include more blogs. This is driven by the success of the blog we tested, plus the desire to tap into audiences that haven’t seen the client’s message before. We will likely renew our deal with the first blog, and possibly increase our commitment to them from a monetary perspective.

If you’re not considering advertising on blogs that deal with topics of interest to your clients and their target audiences, you’re doing your client a disservice.

Sure, he’s a blogger himself (just in recent months), so he’s drinking the Koolaid, but he’s working with Fortune 500 clients and isn’t going to endorse blogvertising just because it’s “cool.” Tom is among the most respected experts in the field of Internet advertising today, I can assure you. He’s exactly the kind of booster that bloggers need, especially since he’s on the buy side.

Hespos: Yes, Blogs Are A Great Advertising Environment


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