Performancing Metrics

Archive for May, 2007

Breakfast with PayPerPost

Today I got to meet up with Ted Murphy of PayPerPost at the Mesh Conference. He was really down to earth and easy to talk to. He laughed at the mention of the verbal jab Michael Arrington directed his way the day before. Arrington called Ted Murphy the “the most evil person” in the room.

Talking about PayPerPost and its features, he believes that they are the only worthwhile system in regards to companies paying for such content. He talked about the features in the system and their work at combating the issue with review quality, and blogger quality issues that have been plaguing the system. They have added a way for their users to have their reviews ranked by the purchaser, so others have a way of telling how good or bad a writer is.

It is understandable as currently, they are the biggest system that I know of. He brought up the number of features they have brought up over the course of nearly a year. PayPerPost’s one year anniversary is coming up soon.

He also let me know that there is a new release of features, or information coming out in the next week or two. He wouldn’t pin it down any more than that, but he said that it will get people talking again, more than even PayPerPost Direct, one of their newest services.

Overall, he wasn’t as evil as people believe. He really stands behind his product and compares it to paid search results. He believes that the industry of blogging was hurting for a better monetization system, and that is what PayPerPost and its counterparts have provided.

An interesting breakfast indeed.

Categories: Advertising, Interview

Conference Networking

One of the hardest things for some bloggers, living at home, by themselves is to force themselves to be social. Others are lucky, and they crave the social connections that going to conferences require. I am not one of them. I have to force myself to approach people I have never met and create a dialog with them.

Since I am at Mesh Conference currently, I figured it would be a great time to talk about conference based networking, and some tips that I have for surviving it.

Stay Calm
I know this seems like common sense, but I find myself having a fair bit of anxiety when I am alone in a room filled with people and I have to reach out and shake hands. Reminding myself to stay calm actually helps. You have to remember that many of the people are there for the same reason you are: networking and enjoying the conference. They are probably hoping that someone will introduce themselves.

It never hurts to have some tissue in your right hand pocket if you are a sweaty palm person.

Smile
People will approach you if you put a smile on your face. I don’t mean a crazy “I’m going to eat you” fake smile that many people do when they are nervous, but instead think of something that makes you happy or something silly which will make you have a real smile. This comforts those around you and makes you more approachable.

Don’t Cross Your Arms
Crossing your arms shows a body language that says “stay away!” This is very counterproductive, but I understand why people do it. I feel more comfortable when my arms are crossed, but if you want to network, you have to be approachable, and good body language can be key.

Handshake
When you introduce yourself to someone, stick out your hand. Most likely you will get a handshake out of it, and that is a physical connection. People are more likely to remember you if you touch them. Be ready to slide out of the handshake if they don’t respond to your advances. Some people don’t feel comfortable touching strangers.

Trade Business Cards
This is the key to basic first level networking. If it doesn’t seem like you are going to get a huge amount of their time, make sure you trade business cards with them. This will most likely provide you with contact information, and if you have made a good impression, you’ll want to make sure that they have your information. It also seems professional.

It can be hard to find the right time to trade cards, but if there is a lull in the conversation, or if they are interested in you or your company, pulling one out can get you a trade. You don’t have to make it a huge deal in your conversation or meeting. Don’t feel bad if you don’t get one back. Some people forget their cards, or have a limited amount. Some people are just business card collectors.

Schedule a Meeting
If the conversation is going really well, and you want to talk with them more, ask them if they’d be willing to meet for coffee sometime, or if they attend any local events where you can have another chance to talk with them.

Try to confirm a date before the end of the conversation, but don’t feel snubbed if it doesn’t seem like it is working out.

E-Mail
If you really want to connect with someone again, it doesn’t hurt to send them a quick e-mail mentioning that your opinion on the conference, as well as how great it was to meet the person. This will remind them that you still exist, and also make them feel special or worthwhile. This can lead to further conversations.

Conference networking is very much like any other type of networking, but you have a wide pool of people to connect with at one place and time, allowing you to increase your odds of meeting someone you can have a relationship with.

Categories: General

12th Most Popular Blog Overnight

What happens when you release a WordPress theme based on a very popular website design? You get links, lots of links. That is exactly what happened to the iLemoned blog, as he released the Dark Theme.

It is based on the last design used by Wolfgang Bartelme at Bartleme.at.

The theme has been tested on WordPress 2.1.3 with Firefox and Safari, may play well with IE6/7 too. It validates as XHTML 1.0 Strict and CSS 2.0, and supports the following plugins:

  • flickrRSS
  • Gravatar
  • Ultimate Tag Warrior
  • WP-PageNavi

The whole thing shocked King Gary quite well, as well as my bosses. The blog is not totally unkown in the the WordPress world, as he had created other themes before, but this one is probably getting him the most attention, and with the support of Bartelme, who even created a customization kit for the Dark theme, the sky is the limit.

Categories: Blogging News, WordPress Themes

b5media Hires Mark Jaquith

Mark Jaquith is a well known WordPress expert. He always has something to add to the community, and I mistakingly thought he was an Automattic employee once or twice, but now news has come out that the man who devotes his free time to WordPress, has finally got a paid position in b5media.

Here is a bit from the post on Aaron Brazell’s blog:

Back in February, we began to seriously look at the needs of the technology team. We evaluated what we wanted to do and what it would take to get there. I began scoping out the WordPress development community and decided to contact two people. Brian Layman has already told you of his experiences. He was one candidate. I reached out to Mark, even though I was convinced that he wanted to remain independent or go to work for Automattic. I was surprised and thrilled when he seemed interested.

With Mark coming on board, I wanted to explain a feeling I’ve had for a long time. Many people think that working on free software on a voluntary basis is a waste of time. They would prefer to get paid to work on a large development team and put out mediocre projects. It’s not necessary to take ownership of the code because it’s simply a “project” or a “contract” and the manager can take the hits. It’s another thing to stick your neck out there, buy into a project, put your everything into it and come away having notoriety.

Great to see someone who spends so much time working on WordPress get a great spot, with a great team. I hope to see more of the community leaders being able to make their love of WordPress into a job.

Categories: General, WordPress News

WordPress Podcast: Episode 24

For those that haven’t heard yet, I have had to bow out of the WordPress Podcast. I wish Charles all the best with the show, and I will continue to listen, and support the show, as it is a staple of the WordPress community.

He recently released episode 24 with Aaron Brazell as the guest co-host once again. He talks about the release of WordPress 2.2, and some interesting plugins.

Charles is also looking for a new co-host for the podcast, so if you are interested, let him know via the WordPress podcast blog.

Have a listen to episode 24.

Categories: WordPress News

WordPress Plugin: Buy Me a Beer

Monetizing your blog can be very difficult, and really, begging on your site can turn people away, but studies have shown that if you ask for a donation towards something simple, like a beer, or a coffee for those not into beer, you’ll get more donations.

This WordPress plugin allows your readers to donate money via PayPal.

Check it out on BlogClout.com.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

Is it OK to Write for Digg?

Muhammad Saleem has written on Copyblogger about writing specifically to get some traffic from Digg. Often called Digg bait, the articles sometimes are not the best written, but it is well known that they have to be formulated in a certain way to appeal to the Digg audience.

Writing for Digg is actually less about substance and more about how you present the content—in other words, copywriting. This entails writing the same content that you would normally write, but altering it in a way that doesn’t take away from its essence while making it appealing to the broader Digg audience. This is the kind of content that both your regular readers and potential new readers will appreciate.

Muhammad Saleem is very right in saying that writing for Digg can be a bit like crack (an addictive substance) because the waves of traffic are amazing. The traffic though isn’t the best type though, as they avoid advertisements and rarely comment on the actual article.

Definitely worth a read if you are interested in Digg traffic. There are many posts on Copyblogger where you can find some copy writing tips for Digg and other social media sites.

Categories: Blogging Tips

John Chow’s Five Beginner’s Blogging Tips

John Chow is considered a great source of information on blogging, and recently was asked to appear on The Lab with Leo Laporte. In his session with Leo, he was only able to cover one of the following tips, but wanted to share others with all of us.

His tips include:

  • Blog About Something Your Passionate About
  • Get Your Own Domain Name
  • Update The Blog Often
  • Get To Know Your Readers
  • Monetize The Blog With Multiple Sources

Of course the tip covered in the show was the last one, which covers monetizing a blog, something that all of us would love to become experts at, but some of his other points are even more important. You can be an expert at monetizing a blog, but if you don’t update the blog, or have something to write about, then you won’t be brining in enough traffic for your monetization efforts to matter.

A great post by John, and I agree with everything he put on that list.

Categories: Blogging Tips

John Chow’s Five Beginner’s Blogging Tips

John Chow is considered a great source of information on blogging, and recently was asked to appear on The Lab with Leo Laporte. In his session with Leo, he was only able to cover one of the following tips, but wanted to share others with all of us.

His tips include:

  • Blog About Something Your Passionate About
  • Get Your Own Domain Name
  • Update The Blog Often
  • Get To Know Your Readers
  • Monetize The Blog With Multiple Sources

Of course the tip covered in the show was the last one, which covers monetizing a blog, something that all of us would love to become experts at, but some of his other points are even more important. You can be an expert at monetizing a blog, but if you don’t update the blog, or have something to write about, then you won’t be brining in enough traffic for your monetization efforts to matter.

A great post by John, and I agree with everything he put on that list.

Categories: Blogging Tips

WordPress 2.2 is Mandatory for 2.1.x Users

Mark Jaquith has released a post a little while back letting all the WordPress 2.1.x users know that WordPress 2.2 means the end of the 2.1.x branch. There will continue to be security updates for 2.0.x but if you want to keep moving forward with the latest and greatest in WordPress, you need to get WordPress 2.2.

From his blog:

There will be no further releases in the 2.1.x branch. 2.2 includes security fixes that 2.1.3 lacks, so your only upgrade path is to 2.2.

The good news is that although a lot of under-the-surface code changed in 2.2, it’s not jarringly different from a usage standpoint. So if familiarity was holding you back from upgrading, it shouldn’t be.

Good to know, and really, for the most part, going to WordPress 2.2 is painless, though some people have had some small issues with Widgets, certain plugins, certain themes, and some minor interface changes that they aren’t happy with. Nothing major though.

Categories: WordPress News

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