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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ping Tools for Blog, Feed and Podcast Promotion

Business Thursday: Blog and newsfeed readers mostly find their ways to the information source by search engines or links from other pages or blogrolls. Further ways to promote blogs and feeds are submissions to blog and newsfeed directories and search engines. Most of these blog and newsfeed directories do support pings. Pings are messages send to the server of a directory informing the server about updates of the information resource. Some directories or search engines do allow submissions by pinging. Others do only accept update messages by pinging, if a source has been submitted already. Because of this manual submissions are the best way to assure that a source is listed at a particular directory. Ping services are available for blogs, newsfeeds and podcasts.

Autopinger delivers pings for blog updates and podcasts. They got a list of english spoken services and services in other languages.

Feedshark is a general online tool for pinging. It accepts the sending of blog, newsfeed and podcast updates.

King Ping does carry out blog and podcast pings. There is a tool that will check back for new updates automaticly.

Ping-o-Matic is rather dedicated to blog updates, but allows mentioning particular feed urls. It submits updates to blog directories and some specialized services for podcasts and geo location.

Last but not least there are ways to automate the ping process. Usually this is done by a code, that needs to be added to a blog. Information about how to automate pings and update messages are mostly available at faq pages at particular services.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More 3D Applications for an Immersive Web Experience

Virtual reality and social media applications and services are merging to enrich the customer experience and the features of blogs and websites as described in 3D Graphics and Social Media are getting closer. This scenario is described by the term immersive web. At the immersive web applications or services become embedded at others, which may lead to something like an aggregated or holistic experience.

There have been a couple of new 3d virtual reality services coming up, which do enable the integration into other sites or services, too.

Lively is a virtual world supplied by Google. It is a virtual reality chat and lets users create avatars and rooms. The rooms can become integrated at own web sites. Room owners may even cooperate with friends and others in designing their virtual space.

WebFlock by The Electric Sheep Company is a premium enterprise solution, which includes a complete range of entertainment and commerce features. It is flash based and by this usable by most users. The brandable and customizable solution is available by the software as a service business model.

Something special seems to come up with Myrl, which is actually in private beta. According to the description at the website this seems to become something similar to virtual worlds like social network aggregators are to the social web.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Big Money at Social Media

I read two most interesting articles about where the big money is at social media. Social media is big business, but a most discussed issue is how social networks may monetize. CPM advertising rates are low at the social space, but there are alternative earning opportunities. According to the articles mentioned below the big money is spend for the development of rich internet applications or widgets used for advertising actually. Widgets are applications able to deliver information or entertainment and may contain banner adverts or are the advertising medium themselves. Being the advertising medium themselves widgets are great branding and retention tools. Typical content of widgets may be games or up to date information.

The most interesting part to me has been the introduction of virtual economies at the second article. Virtual economies or currencies are reward systems, where users of these applications may earn points. This points may become exchanged at virtual economy services into real money, goods or may be used for other stuff supplied within the widgets. Do not miss the feed, as more about widgets is coming up soon at emediablogger.

Don’t LOL: Social Ads Rev Up Revenue
Social Media Part 2: Back to Basics for Cash Bonanza

Sunday, July 27, 2008

3D Graphics and Social Media are getting closer

There are a couple of social media networks with 3d virtual reality features. These are standing as social networks for their own but do enable a 3d and virtual reality experience at other social media services, too, by offering 3d virtual reality environments as enhancements to the social media space. Their tools do enable to create 3d worlds to integrate multimedia and to make representations. It is a trend to 3d worlds to integrate social media features and both 3d virtual reality worlds and social media are hot trends that may merge.

MyMiniLife is a virtual reality world and a social network. Furthermore created virtual environments may become integrated at other social media services to become shown to the network and friends. It is a complete virtual world with avatars and proprietary rooms. By an own marketplace there are even business opportunities to sell stuff like wallpapers and other items.

SceneCaster is a similar community. People and professionals may create personal rooms and environments or real virtual meeting rooms and the like. SceneCaster environments are available by a Facebook application, may become integrated at weblogs and are accessible at the community itself. There are commercial features, too.

Vivaty is another one, which actually is only available to Facebook and AIM users. This application is completely browser based and works by a browser plugin.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Blog Statistics, Tools and Visitor Analytics

Business Thursday: There are a couple of statistical services specialized to weblogs and to analyse blog visitors. This delivers the needed knowledge to run a weblog the professional and commercial way as metrics and statistics are needed to sell e.g. adverts.

A free weblog statistics tool is Blog Tracker by IceRocket, a weblog search engine. Blog Tracker is counting the number of visitors and pages visited. It does analyse the locations visitors are coming from and their technical equipment. Everything is visualized and easy to overview. The integration into a blog is done by a simple code.

Another statistics and analytical tool that can be used at blogs is Google Analytics. This is a most comfortable tool. If you want to sell something this is the right tool for you as it is able to track visitor movements and sales. Elsewise you may have some stats that you do not need. Google does also operate Measure Map. This service has some very interesting analytical features related to blogs as it is able to track the number of comments, links or posts. Unfortunately they do not allow new customers actually, but do offer an announcement list.

FeedJit is another nice statistical service for bloggers offering some unique features. There are several widgets, which display information about the location of visitors and about the content of a blog. The location widgets show where visitors are coming from and where they do leave. The content widgets do recommend related posts or posts by popularity.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The next big Thing, 3D Monitors and Virtual Reality

3d graphic applications and devices able to visualize the third dimension on a two dimensional screen is one of the next big things that come to home entertainment and information technology. For 3d visualization there are a couple of different approaches and technologies available and in development. A great example of the future impact of 3d technologies is Cities in 3D by Google, which enables 3d visualizations at Google Earth.

3d is already a reality at the software level. 3d graphic software applications are used at 3d chats, virtual reality worlds and for industrial applications. Some of them are even free and open source like 3DMLW and Blender.

A further level is the interaction between real and virtual worlds. These applications enable to capture the real world and do enable the interaction with a computer or machines. This is something that will be useful for entertainment and gaming, conferencing and other purposes. At gaming for example a backround might become erased and the gamer becomes visible within the gaming environment. This is what 3DV Systems and Prime Sense aim to do. How this works is shown in a video at Handsfree 3D, who have developed a prototype interface for Second Life based on the 3DV Systems application.

And there are 3d monitors, which simply enable a great and more comfortable viewing experience by displaying real life images. If you have the chance to visit a fair of consumer electronics you should have a look for 3d monitors. SeeReal Technologies is a supplier of such technologies. Personally I have not seen such displays in a store for now, but I read a press release lately by iZ3D, a manufacturer of 3d monitors about their distribution plans: iZ3D Expands into the Global Retail Market with 3D Monitors.

For up to date information about 3d monitors you may look at websites of consumer electronics trade fairs or visit one. The next big trade show I know will be the IFA in Berlin.

New Twitter Search Tool

Twitter has released a new search and research tool for postings. Twitter Search has a lot of search functions like those described at The Twitter Phenomenon and useful Tools and Doing Research using Twitter.

The Twitter Search has similar functions like common search engines for queries related to terms and phrases within posts. Furthermore there are specific operators enabling to look for persons doing posts and persons to whom posts are sent to and for links used at posts. A list of all functions is available at About Twitter Search.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Blog Comments, Enrichment and Monitoring Tools

Business Thursday: If you are on the social web, you want to communicate. A way to participate at the blogosphere and to discuss issues is by commenting. Comments are a great way to express yourself and for bloggers a way to enrich their weblogs and to increase the stickyness. This is great because interactivity is the reason why people are at the social web. If you are engaged with commenting either by having fun or in a professional way, you will need a tool to follow the dialogues you do participate in or which you aim to follow by interest.

coComment is a useful tool to track own comments and to be informed about answers by others. Even comments by others and third party conversations may be monitored and watched. At this service there are further tools like toplists of most commented posts or stories and website integration tools to share comments and to let own blog readers or website visitors participate in a conversation. Last but not least it is a social media community of commenters for making new contacts with others.

To enrich a weblog and to provide a better and more comfortable comment system there is Intense Debate. With Intense Debate people can track comments and follow them by a newsfeed. People may show their profiles and use this function for reputation management. Too, it is usable to enrich a website as comments are assorted by threads and users may engage in comment rating.

Another tool for the enrichment of a weblog and to engage visitors is PostReach. This tool encourages users to leave a comment and increases the stickyness by suggesting other post to the readers.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Video Advertising at and for Bloggers and independent Video Publishers

Video advertising is an emerging market. Forecasts expect the largest growth rates for this segment of internet advertising in the near future. This should be reason enough to contemplate video activities either by publishing or for advertising. Another strong argument to become involved with video is search engine marketing as by universal search videos have become an integrated part of search engine results. Here there are two interesting video advertising services, which do serve adverts to videos on blogs and websites. What makes these systems outstanding is the opportunity to earn money with own and even third party and shared videos.

CaptainAd is a video advertising system for blogs and websites. To put it on a website just a brief code needs to be copied into the website code. Then the system automaticly finds the video codes within a website and serves adverts to the video. The advertising format is text advertising by an overlay.

Something completely different is offered by Husky Media. The system, too, is dedicated to bloggers and publishers and works with own and third party or shared videos. But the advertising format is completely different. It is a full page ad, which is displayed in the background while the video is playing.

Both video advertising system are surprisingly easy to implement for publishers and work with a simple line of code. Advertisers of course find information at the mentioned websites, too.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Domain Name Market, Facts and News

Domains are an essential part of the internet and trading domain names sometimes hot as nothing elses. This year the domain fund.com has set a new record by being sold for 10 million USD, pizza.com has been sold for 2,6 million and creditcards.com for 2.75 million.

The reason why domain names become such hot assets simply is because they are rare. There is just one domain name exactly suiting a particular term or description. Whereas there are a couple of country domains, there is just one domain name in a particular market. Last but not least the dot com domains are the most popular domain names getting the highest prices.

There are a couple of advantages for premium domain names. At first people like them and they do trust services with premium names. Because of this choosing a domain name should be a part of the marketing mix and a part of branding. This is due for everyone either for choosing a name for social media activities or for a real enterprise.

Another reason why premium domain names have become such hot assets is because a significant name may influence the ranking at the search engine result pages, which means more visitors. Trading domain names is a serious business, with has been examined in a study about The secondary market for domain names.

Choosing a name for a business wisely is something important as this name will be used for a long time. At internet marketing there are two strategies for choosing a name, which means choosing a domain name, too. The first is to build a brand with an outstanding name easy to remember. The second way is to choose a descriptive name. The latter might be a premium domain name as a brand name. For the first way there is a nice and helpful service. Name This helps start ups to find a suitable name.

The importance of a name might be shown by the case of business.com. The domain business.com has set the record for a domain name sale in 1999, when it has been sold for 7,5 million USD. Meanwhile a successful business has been developed at this domain and Business.com has become sold for 345 million USD in 2007 to a yellow pages publisher.

Finding a decriptive premium domain name is something tough today. Whereas it is not necessarily the big business mentioned above, most one word and even two word combinations are just no longer available. Finding the right name may start with a keyword research for your business. As you probably will not be able to get the wanted name by registration you may try to buy one at a domain name market.

In the future the domain name business may change as the internet authority ICANN announced important changes to the domain name system in the press release Biggest Expansion to Internet in Forty Years Approved for Implementation. New domain endings will be available and by this premium names will become available once again. But affects to the domain business probably will be just slightly as alternative domain endings like dot info and dot biz have never reached the popularity of the dot com domains.

Friday, July 11, 2008

HD Video, a Reality on the Internet

Today everyone should have heard about HD Video and most internet people should be equipped with a Full HD or HD Ready tv set or device already. This is what one may expect from a techie. But do you have content to view or listen to? The hd video scene is a bit confusing. There are tv sets ready for hd but mostly there is no hd content. High definition on tv for everyone is something that is expected in the near future.

But there is one single and large platform ready to deliver hd video. And yes, it is the internet. It is indeed the largest continuous network for hd video today. There has been an article about hd media with a statement that even most hd drives (60 percent) become build into computers today. This of course is something interesting as one may expect hd content and hd viewers at the internet. By available hd equipment like digital cams you may even expect hd content producers there. And this is happening, too. But hd video on the internet is a bit different to common video sharing communities. Whereas everyone may participate, mostly it is a semi professional environment.

For example there is Dovetail. It is a video community for indie filmmakers to show their stuff and for film fans to watch. Videos at Dovetail are free and may happen in high definition. A similar community is Jaman. Here you get free films, but you may rent videos, too. Both communities do feature festival films. Last but not least there is VideoCommunity, a community for film enthusiasts and producers.

But common video sharing communities will embrace hd, too. A couple of services already do offer video sharing and storage for hd formatted videos. For hd video sharing there are Dailymotion, Viddyou with Full HD and Vimeo.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Affiliate Marketing at the Social Web

Business Thursday: This is another "Business Thursday" edition dedicated to social media business. The issue is affiliate marketing, which might become described as a special kind of blogvertising. What makes affiliate marketing something unique is the media currency. Usually at affiliate marketing the media currencies are pay per lead or pay per sale opposite to pay per view and pay per click at internet advertising in general. This is why it is called performance marketing, too. Affiliate marketing is advantageous for both parties, if the advertising platform is targeting a niche or specific. This is due as by this advertisers may get sales without enormous expenses in advertising. Parts of these savings may went into the pockets of the blogger or website publisher. So affiliate marketing is most advantageous and might work better than advertising, if a topic meets the adverts. Advertisers might find relevant blogs or other social media pages by toplists as mentioned at Searching for the latest Blogger News and the Live Web.

Similar to blogvertising there are some affiliate networks specialized in weblogs because of the peculiarities like niches, low reach or special formats already described at the former article about blogvertising. One network specialized in affiliate marketing at weblogs is BlogKits. They are offering banner advertising for sidebars and text advertising to be placed below postings. The latter is similar to paid postings and indeed, too, BlogKits is offering something called paid reviews.

boo-box is another affiliate network specialized in social media. They are offering in text advertising and widgets. By in text advertising parts of a text automaticly become links. These links refer to advertised products and shops. Widgets are small but rich internet applications, which may display information or products. Both are used for performance marketing at boo-box.

Especially affiliate or commerce widgets are used on blogs and for social media marketing in general and might be used at social media homepages, too.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Doing Research using Twitter

This is a follow up post to The Twitter Phenomenon and useful Tools. It is about researching Twitter and about doing research by using Twitter. With over one million users there is a remarkable user base, which is large enough to research buzz at the social media sphere. The term buzz describes hot topics and trends at the live and social web. This especially is due as the user base often is deeply connected with other social media services.

For buzz monitoring there are a couple of services ready to use. One service to do so is TwitScoop. The buzz is shown by a tag cloud and hot topics are listed at the side. To get information about a special topic there is a search function. With Twist there is a tool for trend research. It lists the number of post by a timeline and enables to compare subjects and topics.

Twitter is a micro blogging service. This limits a message or posting to 160 characters and links to further information and sources are most important. By this the same is due to measuring the number and the popularity of links. To do so there are TwitterBuzz and Twitturly.

Another very nice service to get an insight in what is important at local areas is Twitter Local. This service enables to find information posted about cities or geographic areas. A very useful tool for monitoring local issues is the feed generator offered, which enables everyone to receive a newsfeed just with relevant local posts.

Beside doing research about and on Twitter there is a service enabling own reseach and polls on Twitter. This is StrawPoll. You can see some results at the StrawPoll homepage. Current polls may become watch by the StrawPoll Blog.

Last but not least there is the statistics page at the official Twitter blog to see what is going on within the community. To have a look at the stats of a particular account you may use TweetStats.

Digging deeper for Paid Postings

At Blog Business I wrote about paid postings as a business opportunity and a way to get content to write about. Now I have joined PayPerPost to get some up to date news and stories. Too, I have been most curious for their service and their business opportunities as I already heard about them. PayPerPost has been one of the first services (if not the first) offering paid postings as a business opportunity to bloggers.

Now as I am in I can say that I got a positive impression of a prospering internet business. Something I was looking for. When you are looking at their homepage you already find some success stories mentioned with bloggers earning several hundred dollars per month. At the member area you will find what you need to get the same success. There is a clear dashboard with the account information, a list of real business opportunities and all the explanations needed. Furthermore the service is serious in handling legal requirements like indicating sponsored posts, which is required by law. So everything is fine and while you are reading this informative post I have taken my first opportunity and earned my first money with them. So you may do. The preconditions are a weblog, which is already running. Eligible blogs will become confirmed. You may either find further information at the weblog or join directly to get paid to blog.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Searching for the latest Blogger News and the Live Web

Blogs and the social web are fast media. This is why the social space is named the Live Web. As mentioned at the post about Twitter it is sometimes faster than established news channels. That may wonder or not. It is the power of one billion internet and two billion mobile users, who are just everywhere. To keep pace with the news might be nice or even necessary. To do so there are a couple of services and tools available and specialized social media research services.

Lately the Addictomatic search engine launched, which is dedicted to the live web. Addictomatic searches the social space for news, photos and videos. Users may personalize the search to get an own dashboard. There is another feature called NewsFix, which displays up to date news.

A great place for blog news or rather a must is Technorati, which is a blogger community, too. Technorati monitors the blogosphere in real time and makes news available by topics or search. News are displayed by popularity, which makes it usable for trend research. Related to news at blogs there are particular features like popularity index and authority to find out what is most important at the blogosphere. Researcher may personalize their research and monitor names or subjects. For further research and blogging tools have a look at the homepage. If you like to meet, visit my Technorati Profile.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Advertising at Weblogs, Blogvertising

Business Thursday: Weblogs are popular and so became advertising at blogs. It is a way for bloggers to monetize beside paid postings and for marketers to reach a new and often engaged audience. Advertising at weblogs is called blogvertising, which indicates that it is something in particular. This might be the audience, which often is a niche, the reach, the size of adverts and the position of ads at the pages or even a special code of a blog. Bloggers might want control of the ads shown. There are a couple of advertising networks around, which have specialized in blogvertising. As it is popular blogvertising has become embraced by common advertising networks, too.

BlogAds is such a network specialized in blogvertising. What makes it special at BlogAds is that they are selling ads for a fixed period of time opposite to the common pay per click or pay per view. Bloggers got control of the ads they show. The BlogHer Ad Network is a great example of what blogvertising means for niches. BlogHer is a network of weblogs by women and the ad network serving just this community.

CrispAds again is different. Ads are supplied automaticly by an advertising server as it usually happens at advertising networks. But bloggers are able to get ads targeted by choosing relevant topics. CrispAds is offering a broader choice of media currencies like pay per click, pay per acquisition and pay per view. Another specialized advertising network is Smorty. Smorty offers pay per click advertising and paid blog posts.

Last but not least there is SocialSpark. SocialSpark is a marketplace connecting bloggers and advertisers. Opposite to the blogvertising services named above blog publishers are able to negotiate with marketers directly and negotiate terms. Furthermore SocialSpark is a blogger community to find friends and to exchange ideas with like minded publishers.

Some Stats about the Live Video Scene

At the first posting about Live Broadcasting from a Mobile Phone there has been a "vague estimation" about usage number for live video broadcasting with about some thousand actively participating people. Now some numbers have been published about a similar live video service on the internet. It is about Stickam, a live web cam chat community. At Stickam, too, people may set up own channels and stream live. Other people may join such a channel to talk with each other. So whereas this does not exactly meets the issue of personal broadcasting as described above it is live video, too.

The interesting thing is that the Stickam community has the large amount of two million members as reported at the article Stickam Top Online Video Site For Teens: Nielsen. The data comes from Nielsen Online, a media rating company. At the Stickam homepage the number of streams served is mentioned with nearly two billion actually. The Stickam community is most popular with young people. By the button live streams there is a listing of live channels. Live shows got between a few up to above 1000 viewers. The numbers at rankings are really impressive. There are shows with up to about 50000 daily viewers, 700000 weekly and 3000000 monthly viewers. The all time high is claimed by Leo Laporte with above 7000000 views, a channel about information technology.

We will see what happens, when people are equipped.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Earning Money by Citizen Journalism

Citizen journalism describes stories or media by everyday people, who like to write stories or who do capture photos or videos. This may happen occasionally or more ambitiously. And as there have been several articles at this blog about live broadcasting and storing that live video or photos by personal broadcasting services (see the label live video) and the possibilities of citizen journalism here come some information on how to sell stuff.

So if you really got a story or aim to sell something, it needs some contact to the media. This may happen by a direct contact. Direct contacts often are offered at particular media websites or at newspapers. Usually one uploads the media or send it by multimedia messaging. Some publishers may pay you. iReport.com for example is a website by CNN, where people can upload videos and other media. The most interesting stories will make the way to the CNN news site or tv channel.

A further way are marketplaces specialized in participatory media or user generated content. Some of these marketplaces do welcome or are even dedicated to citizen journalism. At these websites one may list and sell content. CitizenSide is such a marketplace, where photos and videos are traded. They do especially welcome amateur photographers and there are no requirements related to quality. The content is what makes the media valuable. The same is due to Scoopt, which is rather specialized in photos but do market videos, too.

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