Archive for the ‘blogs’ Category

PayPerPost - Scum Update

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

PayPerPost logoI guess all the negative press and FTC threats finally got to the core of PayPerPost. This Monday, they will announce a new policy making payment disclosure mandatory.

Although this is a step in the right direction, I still strongly disagree with many aspects of their business model. For one, payment disclosure does not need to be contained within the actual post itself (although this is encouraged), but displayed prominently somewhere on the blog.

In addition, advertisers may still require a positive write-up. Finally, advertisers pay a given price no matter the popularity (or lack thereof) of a blog, which makes no sense to me whatsoever.

Nonetheless, kudos to this bottom-feeder for trying to move toward a more ethical business model. They still have a long way to go though…

For more info on the story, visit Mathew Ingram’s blog or Scobleizer.

Promoting Your Blog

Friday, December 15th, 2006

A few fellow bloggers have asked me, “How do I market and promote my blog to drive more traffic and page views?” My answer to them was simple: they were asking the wrong question in the first place.

If you want to catch a fish, you don’t concentrate your attention on the fish. You focus on your bait and your lure. If the bait is attractive, the fish will come. The same can be said for blogs. Don’t focus on the traffic itself. Focus on the content. If the content is good, the traffic will follow.

Thereby, the number one way to promote a blog is to produce high quality content on a regular, consistent basis. I cannot emphasize this enough. This is the single most important aspect of blogging. This is assuming you have already strategically carved out a niche for your blog, which is also very important. If the quality is down, an influx of new traffic will not follow and current traffic will fall off. Furthermore, if the frequency of posts falls off, you will lose readership and loyalty. Therefore, quality and consistency are key.

Another natural way to promote your blog is to comment on other blogs and add trackbacks to posts. This keeps the discussion going and adds value to other blog posts. I do not even consider this ‘promoting’, but rather staying true to the whole blogging mentality. I believe it is essential for all bloggers to participate outside their own domain in order to add value and soak in new perspectives on varying items and topics.

Other effective marketing tactics, such as SEO, help but only to a certain extent.

For most bloggers, marketing and promotion should not be a concern. Unless of course your name is Mike Arrington or Om Malik, and your blog is your business. In this case, you must treat your blog like a business, and any successful business needs a marketing plan.

Nonetheless, blogs are lifestyle and a place to express your views. Treat it like a dissemination tool rather than a money printer. 

PayPerPost Deservedly Slapped

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

My most hated enemy, PayPerPost, recently got slapped in the face by the FTC and PayPerPost logorightfully so. This bottom-of-the-barrel, blood-sucking entity should be put out of business altogether. I have already written about their unethical practices here and here.

As a quick refresher, the company has created a marketplace for bloggers and advertisers. An advertiser pays a given blogger to post about their company. Pretty simple right? Yeah, but PayPerPost doesn’t understand the ethics of the blogosphere and the importance around transparency. Having said that, paid bloggers do NOT need to disclose payment information with the given blog post. In addition, all bloggers are paid the same amount per post, independent of your traffic or blog readership. Ridiculous to say the least.

My words of advice: please, please, please check out ReviewMe instead. This is a much ReviewMe logobetter marketplace for bloggers and advertisers. It eliminates the immoral practices of PayPerPost while providing a comprehensive solution for both bloggers and advertisers. 

Ok, so I strayed a little of course there…

My point was that PayPerPost is sacrificing the integrity and trust of the entire blogging community. The blogosphere is all about self-expression and personal beliefs, not fabricated opinions.

For this very reason, the Federal Trade Commission has stepped in and begun scrutinizing practices around writing a paid editorial piece and failing to disclosing payment. Woohoo!

 The FTC issued the following statement:

“Raised concerns about a specific type of amplified word-of-mouth marketing, specifically the practice of marketers paying a consumer (the “sponsored consumer”) to distribute a message to other consumers without disclosing the nature of the sponsored consumer’s relationship with the marketer.”

This is a step in the right direction and I hope that PayPerPost eventually makes payment disclosure obligatory.

Now, I’ve read and heard people talk about product placement in movies and how payments are not disclosed, but we’re talking about a whole different ball-game here. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. When most people see a product placement in a movie, they expect that it’s paid. The same goes for travel and vacation write-ups. Most people expect that the editor received a free trip or some sort of compensation in return for the article. These free incentives for travel writers and publishers have been around for years. It’s to be expected. But in the blogosphere, I would wager that most people believe 99%+ of all posts are written without payment for the sole purpose of expressing the viewers of the author. Paid blog posts are NOT to be expected. Therefore, disclosure should be mandatory if a transaction is completed.

NOTE: Factual information for this post was pulled from a Mathew Ingram post.

MTW Added to Web++ Category At 9rules

Monday, December 11th, 2006

It’s official. MappingTheWeb has now been added to the Web++ category at 9rules. For those of you not familiar with the network, ‘Web++’ is just another way to say ‘Web 2.0′. I’m not sure why they use the ‘++’, but it’s their own way of branding the term.

I am very honoured to have my link situated beside such prestigious blogs as Mashable, SolutionWatch, and Postbubble. It is very encouraging. It is my hope that I can contribute a high level of quality to the network. With only 12 blogs in the entire Web++ category, I am extremely humbled by the admission. I will do my best to promote 9rules and spread the word about the network.

Furthermore, the front page of 9rules lists the latest posts via a site-wide RSS feed. Seeing an MTW post on the front page was a very inspiring sight. It’s great to know that MappingTheWeb has been so widely embraced and supported in such a short period of time.

Thanks again to all readers for your continued support and words of encouragement.

Say Hello to Plugoo

Saturday, December 9th, 2006

Plugoo logoAs many of you have noticed, I have recently added a new chat widget - some have already messaged me using the system. I am going to continue using this Plugoo widget, instead of the previous InCircles widget, as it is compatible with IM clients. In other words, I can chat with a blog visitor using my MSN Messenger client; I do not have to chat from within the blog. This was a downside of InCircles.

With Plugoo, I am able to connect with more readers and provide a more interactive experience. So please do not hesitate to drop me a message. If the chat box indicates that I am offline, you can still leave a message that I will receive when I sign on. Very cool.

Customization, cross-platform flexibility (across the different IM clients), and slick design all contribute to the overall appeal of the app.

The widget is still in BETA and only available via invite, but I signed up and received an invitation relatively quick.

I once again encourage everyone to join in on the discussion and express your views. I am always eager to hear other opinions. Blogging is all about discovering new perspectives and insights beyond your current realm of knowledge.

And as always, anyone can comment on any post… so let’s get chattin’.