Archive for August, 2008
Linkshare, a leading performance marketing network, is now offering partnerships with hundreds of top advertisers. Â They have recently developed a tool that will allow you to populate WordPress blogs with ad placements. Â All through the easy-install LinkShare RSS DealFeed plugin.
LinkShare RSS DealFeed uses RSS feeds from LinkShare Advertisers to automatically populate your WordPress blog with deals and other promotional content. You can earn a commission on every sale on an Advertiser site that your blog refers. Just set up the plug-in once, and then your WordPress site will automatically display the latest promotional information provided by the Advertiser.
You need to be part of the LinkShare network to start with and be approved to the Advertisers Affiliate Program.
Here’s a quick peek at how it is implemented in WordPress blogs:
I think this is mighty cool of LinkShare to provide an easy widget. Â We all know that it’s next to a single click to get widgets working for you. Â I remember I once had to work with direct code edits JUST to accommodate a good affiliate program. Â Thank Zeus it’s now less of a hassle.
Seems that Amazon.com is growing their stake in books as they have recently acquired Shelfari (one of the biggest online book community). Â While it’s widely known that Amazon has been involved with Shelfari since its early beginnings, it is a natural course to solidify the relationship.
According to the Shelfari blog:
Amazon has been a long supporter of Shelfari. Theyâ€™ve worked closely with us as we introduced readers, like you, to our global community of book lovers. Theyâ€™ve been there each step of the way as we brought forth new features, like the cool Facebook application and our virtual bookshelf. And now Shelfari and Amazon will work hand in hand to continue to grow our dynamic community and create innovative new tools around the books you love.
The acquisition terms were not made public but it seems that Amazon is indeed cornering the online book cloud. Â This same month it has also acquired yet another massive online book community, AbeBooks.
What are all these you may ask? Â My personal opinion in these acquisition series points to the strength of online networks and communities. Â It would appear that market studies have added an additional “source of influence” for consumers. Â I remembered a good laugh late 2007 when a marketingÂ questionnaireÂ included the question “Would you change your (beauty product) if a person in your online network suggests you should?”.
Back to Shelfari… I would be interested to see what comes out of this news. Â While I read that there would be no significant change right now… Amazon must have something up its sleeves. hmmmmm….
Social bookmarking site Ma.gnolia.comÂ is opening its doors to the open-source world. Â They have announcedÂ at Gnomedex 2008 that they would soon distribute their code publicly, akin to how WordPress.com has done for WordPress.org, the latter being a website that the public can download freely the full WordPress code.
This is a much anticipated move for the Ma.gnolia.com team as developments in technology are striding faster than the Ma.gnolia core tech team can handle. Â With their move to open-source, we will soon see a much improved service offering. Â Ma.gnolia’s Larry Hallf at Gnomedex 2008 says the following:
Some of the things to look forward to in this next version include:
- A new stream view that shows you the freshest bookmarks of people you’re friends with on one single page.
- Support for bothÂ OAuthÂ andÂ OpenID, with the latter making it easier for people to sign into hosted builds of Magnolia.
- Sidebar customization
The open-source version won’t be available to developers until sometime in September, with a beta version (read: consumer friendly) on track for December and into the first part of 2009. In the meantime, if you’re a developer looking to get your mitts on the code it will be made availableÂ here.
I was talking with a young blogger this morning about writing styles. Â He was a little worried that he’ll soon tire out his readers, or himself, if he continued the way he writes. Â In honesty, I told him that I too needed coaching because I am in the same situation as he is. Â We just found comfort to the fact that “pobody’s nerfect”. Â And that asking for help is the first step to knowing where you are and knowing where you’d like to go.
I remember I had this conversation before with a great book writer, Francis. Â I asked how he has reached his status as a much sought after speaker and writer. Â He responded with just a word… “read”. Â He said, “Jim, you cannot possibly give what you do not have. Â You have to read, to write well”. Â
Words of wisdom I know, but to tell you honestly, that wasn’t a light bulb moment for me. Â Â But because I respected him and what he says, I followed. Â Good thing I did.
So going back to my young blogger friend. Â I told him to …
- you guessed it… “read”. Â And you know, this morning wasn’t a light bulb moment for him too, but I know time will come and it will be one. Â “Trust me, read”… I know he will. Â
- I told him to write a post to try to get his readers to comment on his writing style. Â It doesn’t hurt to ask, and readers are very very honest too.
- I told him to write a post in three different ways… present each on his blog and get his readers to comment on it. Â
- lastly, I told him to “be original”. Â Don’t try to copy how others write, try to develop a style that you’re comfortable with. Â Know your audience and know how best to communicate with them.
I admire a lot of blog writers. Â Them from CNet, Engadget, DVice and Gizmodo… to name a few. Â They write differently but I enjoy them equally with no favorites. Â Not a day passes that I do not read these blogs to devour a whole gamut of stuff. Â I just read and read these days. Â And I do find it really helpful when I begin to write my own sets of posts.
How do you reward loyal readers? Of course, you link to their blogs, too. Or perhaps you can come up with a list of top commenters every month or so. How about loyal “linkers”? While linking blogs are usually automatically rewarded with pingbacks or trackbacks, it can also pay to regularly feature the top linkers. I recently learned this from Money Crashers, which usually posts the top referrers per month.
Most analytics software like Google Analytics or pMetrics usually lets you check the top referrers at a glance. So this shouldn’t be too difficult to do. While you can look for plugins that will do this automatically, but the personal touch would be much more appreciated.
Today WordPress.com announcedÂ a new feature called “Tabular Stats“. Â It’s an easy and immediate way to find out how your blog is performing, what visitors want and what you need to make a follow-up blog post on. While there are tons of stat widgets and plugins available, and while Google Analytics alone provide a complete solution to your blog stat needs, I appreciate this plugin because it keeps me inside the WordPress admin interface. Â And it’s simple.
After you download and install the plugin (you’d need your API key, by the way) , you can use it pronto. Â It’s just beside the “dashboard” tab.
Once it’s running it’ll begin collecting information about your pageviews, which posts and pages are the most popular, where your traffic is coming from, and what people click on when they leave. It’ll also add a link to your dashboard which allows you to see all your stats on a single page. Less is more.
Will we ever need Google Analytics, after this? Â That is the question!
I think the WordPress team has seen too much of the urchin code splattered across WordPress installs in wordpress.com and the user installed versions. Â Is this WordPress’ way of locking us in? Â Or a way to protect its code forest? Â If you’ve got a popular blog, would it slow it down? Â Your guess is as good as mine.
Just a play of words… the Lijit Wijit is your not-so-usual search wijit… er… widget. Â A search function that basically works like a small community network. Â The basic idea is if someone visits your blog and say searches for the word “vacation”, the usual search widget will only produce results that are found in your blog. Â The Lijit search widget will do more… it will look for “vacation” in your friends blogs or links that you’ve “linking-out to” as part of your trusted sites. Â Very clever, isn’t it.
Because it’s a WordPress widget, it will easily install on versions 2.3-2.6.xx . Â
Another Lijit feature I really like is search stats. Â You now will be able to know what your readers are searching for (!) what a way to prepare for the next blog post. Â This is uber cool.
Like most WordPress plugins you can get your copy at the plugin directory or here.
When your readers search for information in real life, their first step is to typically seek out a friend for the answer. If their friend doesn’t have the answer they need, someone in that friend’s social network may. Eventually, they get an answer they trust, because it came from a source they trust. Your readers can now have that same experience on the web and it all starts with the source they trust. That source is you, the blog publisher.
The Lijit search ‘wijit’ allows your visitors to search through not only your blog content, but also your extended social network. You can combine a number of your social networking accounts(delicious, facebook, mybloglog, etc.). When you install the widget on your blog, all of these accounts are indexed and searchable through the widget.
The first and only industry-wide tradeshow, conference, and media event dedicated to promoting the dynamic industry of blogging and new media… that’s Blog World and new media expo 2008. Â I think this is the first trade show that’s actually dedicated to the blogosphere and new media. Â If you’re just starting to blog, are already blogging, professionally blogging, or thinking of expanding your blogging influence, this is a conference you may not want to miss. Â It’s definitely something to check out!
Because this is the first I couldn’t reliably tell you it will be all good and worth it, but I’d also tell you because it’s the first you may not want to miss this as it is history in the making. Â The conference schedule seems pretty tight and packed with powerhouse speakers. This will all happen on September 20-21 at the Las Vegas Convention centerÂ with the exclusive “Executive & Entrepreneur” conference beginning September 19th.
Some of the speakers… click to see speaker list.
Hate! Loathe! Whine! Spit!
That’s the first impression I received after browsing through the reviews of Six Apart’s iPhone App on iTunes.
While many were upset that a TypePad account would cost them 495 pennies a month, others seemed upset that this app would not work on Movable Type (or even Vox) despite the obvious indication that this is a TypePad only app. Read More
Matt Mullenweg, WordPress founder announced impressive milestones and growth figures marking the state of WordPress during WordCamp 2008. Â His keynote speech emphasized the dominating strength of WordPress.org and WordPress.com over its closest rival TypePad. In the USA alone, it was noted that there are over 20.9 million WordPress.com unique visitors vs. TypePad.com’s 7.2 million uniques. Internationally the numbers are further apart with WordPress.com at 97.8M vs. TypePad.com’s 16.8M. Â
For WordPress.org Mullenweg reports that as of today there are over 2.6 million active user-installed blogs “out there”. Â
Matt Asay of CNet.com aptly puts “a better word” out… open source is and will be good business. Â Unique page impressions are critical data for a lot of industries. Â You’ve got a site/service you’d want advertised online (?) the first thing you ask is “How many unique page visitors does your site attract?”Â
Here’s a quick run-thru of WordPress milestones:
- Page views grew from 1.5 billion to 6.5 billion/month
- 1/3 of the page views come from VIPs likeÂ CNNÂ andÂ LOLCats
- 120-160 million global unique visitors per month
- Two million new blogs created for the year
- 35 million new blog posts (up from 20 million)
Now regarding how the minor versions run-up to the big 2.7 version? Â Mullenweg says that it will be a slow yet steady work on releasing easier update/upgrade paths. Â
Mullenweg mentioned Microsoft, OSX, iPhone, Facebook platform as examples, and believes that good platforms need good self-updating systems. Automattic has a three-prong strategy for better updates: better community awareness, working with webhosts, and adding automatic upgrades functionality to WordPress. Mullenweg envisions the upgrade process to work just like Firefox: one-click, with a list of plugin and theme incompatibilities generated.Â