Blog Noise & I Need a PHP Programmer

As noise continues to increase, those who are already well established and those who understand ways to create ideas that spread will continue to gain market share as people (and scripts) recycle content, create keyword driftnets, and search engines fight it off.

For a while, due to a variety of factors, I was pretty stressed out and have been a bit lazy with my reading. To me the best blogs are not usually determined by what they write, but by how much they read and how well the distill information. When stressed and / or busy I usually only read about 5 or 6 blogs. The blogs in that group rarely change because their authors read so much and have unique perspectives.

I have been posting a bit much about blogs of late. I am half tempted to sell my soul and create a separate blog about blogging. Already got a name and a logo...just would need to set up the site and know when to post what where.

I have a bunch more SEO tool ideas (like the one mentioned in last post), but my friend Mike is crazy busy at school, and I don't think I can convince him to drop out just yet. We just increased his site profitability 15 fold yesterday, but I am not certain if that helps or hurts me longterm...I think I need to find another programmer for when Mike is too busy. If you are well skilled at PHP and are looking for some flow shoot me an email. Also if you hired a great programmer who has some free time and would not mind recommending them I am all ears.

When Articles Put Words In Your Mouth...When a Spade is a Spade

So I recently was interviewed by a semi local newspaper reporter about the lawsuit. I was dog tired when I did the interview (like up over a day straight), and some of my quotes were clipped a bit, so they came out less than stellar...and I screwed up some of the PR tips I had been given. :(

Ian has helped me a good bit with the lawsuit, and the reporter wanted to get some other opinions on the case. I referred her to Ian & SMA-NA. My quotes did not sound good, but then I read how Ian seemed to reference Greg Jarboe about the importance of free speech on blogs. I was like...hmmm?

So I asked Ian about it, and he said that he never refered her to Greg. I think he is a bit upset with the way his quote sounds, if fact, upset enough to post on it.

He is wondering why Greg Jarboe, the spokesman for SEMPO, apparently cares:

I didn't see SEMPO standing up for anyone earlier. So it's not an issue until they come knocking on your own door? Come on. That's just not right.

when SEMPO clearly doesn't:

It is the policy of SEMPO not to comment on any legal cases pending, particularly those that do not directly involve our organization. This matter in particular will be decided under existing case law relating to freedom of speech, libel/slander, and contract law. There is no compelling reason for a nonprofit group with a mission of education and ... - Greg Jarboe

I can't believe that Greg can be a PR guru and still think he can get away with that two sides of the coin technique...especially in such a small industry.

"I have a blog, and I call them like I see them," said Mr. Jarboe. "I like to think it's my First Amendment right."

So do I Greg. So do I.

Why to Start Small with Publishing

So Nandini launched her blog network recently, with 46 channels launched all at once. She is a friend of mine, and I want to see her do well, which is a large part of the reason I was disappointed in her launching so many channels at once.

At ThreadWatch they noticed one of the posts on one of her blogs was verbatim plagiarism. There are a ton of lazy writers, and that problem is far more common than most people would think. Nandini probably had nothing to do directly with that copied post, but she is going to be treated as though she did since it is her network.

That is part of the reason to start slow and you can learn from what feedback you get, and so that you can build trust with your writers and audience.

If I were her I would probably scale back the project to a few channels...get them going good...and then extend out. She is selling herself short overseeing that many channels at once, especially with limited history and reputation on the blog creation front.

Some people will probably continue to ride Nandini pretty hard over that post, but it is common all over the web...she just needs to scale a system...and then build back up, that or hire more people to watch over the writers, but the whole blog channel thing is a game of's best if you can develop a trusting relationship directly with each author.

A big problem on the web is trying to do too much too quick. Most content projects start off slow and small and work their way up to being great.

It may be good to have a variety of sites to be able to learn from, but it is best to have a few channels that are great, which you can collect feedback from, and then learn how to make the next channels better from what you learned off the first ones.

Generally she has been rather receptive to the rather harsh criticism some bloggers have given her, so on that front it may help her still end up doing OK out of the deal. Her network has decent link popularity for being less than a week old.

Why Blog Networks are Overrated, IMHO

So Weblogs Inc. just cashed out. Cool for them. Am sure they made some sweet cash, but most of that cash probably will not be seen by the average blogger in their network.

So what does the average blogger get out of the deal? Probably a little more pay and a lot more restrictions.

Sure AOL wanted to buy them, but that is because Weblogs Inc. had first mover advantage. AOL might be for sale, and even if they are not, they still are looking to become once again relevant. This was a small investment if it convinces a few people that they are relevant.

The first company who buys a blog network gets all the surrounding buzz & media coverage. The raw linkage data surrounding that network and that story probably has millions of dollars of value. To a company worth around $80 billion a $20 million dollar spend (or so) is not much.

Over time what will AOL do with the various channels? Some channels will be exceptionally profitable, while others lose money. Will AOL do like once did and chop the channels that lack profitablility? Will new policies cause ego conflicts and bloggers to leave?

Most people who create blog networks are not going to be able to cash out big by selling. The reason for purchasing Weblogs Inc. was due more to market timing than being a blog network.

Some people can try to go big, but I am not so sure scale beats quality. I think John Battelle's idea of keeping the advertising network separate to the publisher is huge. The only reason you need to lock a person in is if you are afraid you do not offer enough value to keep them.

Think of how many times Jason Calcanis crowed on about how much money they were making and how they never advertised. All of those channels & around 100+ bloggers and they were doing about $2,000 dollars a day in AdSense.

Consider that Darrin Rowse has only a few partners and is making over a $1,000 a day in AdSense and Chitika earnings. On a per blogger basis that is WAY more profit.

Nandini just launched a blog network, and bloggers are riding her hard (but at least she is hopefully getting a few links out of all that hate they are spewing her way).

I understand the idea of having a few sites to diversify your revenue stream, but longterm I think most blogs are going to have to stand on their own. Sure a few random gaming blogs may be able to make great profit riding on the backs of popular blogs in a network, but most of the blogs themselves are going to need to be citation worthy.

I just don't see how the networks can provide enough value to be worth giving up all your content for, at least not if you care about your topic and want to work on the web full time.

disclaimer: When I launch a blog network I will erase this post ;)

In A Turn Up for the Bloggers...

Lawsuits without specifics are without merit, says judge:

DOVER, Del. - In a decision hailed by free-speech advocates, the Delaware Supreme Court on Wednesday reversed a lower court decision requiring an Internet service provider to disclose the identity of an anonymous blogger who targeted a local elected official.

In a 34-page opinion, the justices said a Superior Court judge should have required Smyrna town councilman Patrick Cahill to make a stronger case that he and his wife, Julia, had been defamed before ordering Comcast Cable Communications to disclose the identities of four anonymous posters to a blog site operated by Independent Newspapers Inc., publisher of the Delaware State News.

Those following my recent history know this is probably a good thing for me, and for bloggers in general.

Save the comments. Save the blogs :)

It looks like the bully lawsuits against blogs are soon to be a thing of the past.

Hat tip to the cool cat whose name is Matt and link love for his search engine marketing site.

Comment Spammers Dirty? Blog Software Vendors Dirty, Also?

Well a while ago Danny Sullivan made a post about comment spammers being the dirty sleezy scumbags that they are.

When comment spam was new and limited most of the people who were doing it were somewhat intelligent and did not hit too many live blogs. Since then people have got dumb about how they do it, hitting even blogs ran by search engineers.

I guess I understand working your way around the system or doing what you have to do to compete (I manually added a few spam links to some sites when I was first learning the web & SEO and did not understand some of the broader implications of what I was doing) but eventually as you learn and as techniques lose their value the solution is to move on to doing other things.

Some people are still holding on to comment spam and it is annoying. Some of them are going so far as to register domains like or to where if you block the domains it prevents people from writing some common phrases.

And then you got Google caching random .xml documents you do not remember ever creating chuck full of spam. Of course the fine people at MovableType do not care about comment spam when you buy a license, upgrade the software, or pay for an install. No, that is your problem for chosing to use MovableType in the first place.

I would love to see MovableType write an open letter of apoligize to anyone who ever paid for a license to use their swiss holed software in which using requires a ton of operator intervention.

If you are selling thousands of licenses of your software and it has holes in it then you ought to take the time to discuss the issue with people to do a legitimate job to fix the problems. And you ought to apoligize to anyone who paid for the nightmare you put them though with MT. I mean some of this stuff has still been uncovered fairly recently, and your company long ago had VC funding.

How long does it take to plug the holes & make a useful software product?

Google Blog Search

FAQ page live. Service to come soon.

Notice how Google lifts the embargo prior to making the service active so they can get a double dose of PR.

from John

SEW also recently mentioned a news / blog clustering site by the name of Memeorandum

Jim Boykin, of We Build Pages, Starts an SEO Blog

My SEO pal Jim Boykin, of We Build Pages, just started an SEO blog.

Already he is talking about not needing links (never EVER thought I would hear Jim say that), and flink.

Whatever happened to flink? Sorta funny that Google got ahead by processing links better and now they do anything and everything possible to run away & hide their ball.

I was talking to NFFC at SEO Roadshow and he said for a long time AltaVista was king. Everyone was using it, and then overnight NOBODY searched at AltaVista. Some stated that AltaVista went so far that they took out many pages which had a blue line in them, while others questioned their paid inclusion relevancy. Search engines are screwed when they care more about how sites got to the top than the quality of the results. Just a few steps down that path and it can't be undone.

Google is sitting at $312 a share with an 87 billion dollar market cap just prior to their secondary public offering. It will be interesting to see if they learn from the mistakes AltaVista made. Recently hiring Louis Monier, AltaVista's founder, surely must help. Matt Cutts just admited that occassionally relevancy does improve when they remove some of the scoring factors. Bring back the flink!

What Ever Happened to Andy Beal?

Missing for a while, it looks like he is now back.

blogging at Marketing Pilgrim

Blogging is Not a Crime