- WEB STARTUPS
- WEB JOBS
- ALL TOPICS
NY-based content ratings and recommendations provider Outbrain has announced a new distribution partnership with blog network b5media this morning. Under the terms of the partnership, b5media will install the ratings and recommendations widget on all 300+ blogs in the b5media network. Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.
The Outbrain widget allows blog readers to rate the quality of the content and receive recommendations for other content based on their ratings. Recommendations can come from the individual site or a whitelist can be setup where sites can partner together and recommendations are shared across the listed network.
The more sites that Outbrain can partner with, the stronger their recommendations network becomes. From my perspective that’s where the Outbrain value lies. The raw ratings are not worth a lot to me as I am never sure what it is that the person is ranking. It could be spelling, grammar, quality of the content, subject matter, etc.
Jeremy Wright, b5media CEO, has posted an open letter this evening to the staff and bloggers from Know More Media. He opens the letter by saying that various sources are telling him that Know More Media is closing shop soon, as early as next week. I sure hope that the KMM bloggers and staff already know this and aren’t first learning about it here or on Jeremy’s blog!
Jeremy notes that bloggers will have the option to buy their Know More Media blogs and run them on their own. Jeremy says that he is open to acquiring the blogs and incorporating them into the b5media blog network. He notes, "We will ask that you blog for $50 for the first month, while we ascertain the value and advertising potential of the blog. After that month, we will likely need to restructure the network (there’s a reason it wasn’t making any money), redo the pay structure and even let some bloggers go. But, if you let us, we will turn the network around and make it profitable. We are fully committed to doing what’s fair (and in many ways, being more than just fair)."
Jeremy also is willing to discuss hiring the staff at Know More Media along with attempting to contact the Know More Media owners to look at a full acquisition. He says that b5media is the only blog network that can takeover their network with little muss or fuss.
b5media and Chitika have announced a partnership today that will bring Chitika’s advertising program to the 350+ blogs that are in the b5media blog network. This is a huge distribution deal for Chitika. Financial terms of the deal were not provided.
On one of the private advertising forums I am a part of, we’ve been discussing Chitika a lot recently. Chitika has been
spamming marketing to many of the larger blogs and Web sites with the following pitch:
I would like to speak to the person that manages online advertising for xyz.com. Chitika provides a service that automatically matches highly relevant and targeted ads with web site content. Through our *Premium* program publishers like you are earning as much as $31.00 eCPM rates.
You can read about our *Premium* program at X. Please let me know who I should contact. Thanks.
Jeff Sable, Vice President – Chitika
The feedback so far has been that Chitika is sending the same email to everyone with the $31/CPM rates even in very different industries. One of the sites signed up with Chitika after reading this email and two months in, is earning 10 cent CPM rates. Another reported making pennies a day even with decent traffic. Are you using Chitika – if so, please report in with your findings. Perhaps Chitika can share who is making $31 cpm rates with their service.
Blog network b5media has announced the departure of technology director Aaron Brazell today. Brazell has a departure post on his personal blog Technosailor. Brazell will remain on staff until a replacement is located.
Brazell notes on his future plans, "At this point, I’m not sure what those next steps are but I have options. I’d like to develop Mokonji a bit more. I also have a few other venturistic ideas floating around in my head and I want to spend some time focusing more on the DC community that has sprung up around here. The eager anticipation of the “what’s next” is crazy for me right now. It’s sort of like going out on a date for the first time. You don’t know what to expect but you know you really, really like the girl a lot."
Check out our interview with b5media CEO Jeremy Wright where he discusses the blog network, funding and expansion plans.
I’ve just received word that former Blognation Canada Editor Tris Hussey has joined b5media as Training Manager. In a chat with Tris, he noted that he will be handling blogger and channel editor training along with other duties. In addition, Tris will also be re-launching MapleLeaf2.0 within the b5media network.
"I’ve worked with Tris in 3 different companies I’ve started, he’s an absolute star and knows and loves bloggers," said b5media President and CEO Jeremy Wright. "It’s my pleasure to be working with him again and to be able to utilize so many of his talents in his new role. And welcoming him back to the b5media family after a brief hiatus is as sweet as deep fried brownies."
Check out my interview with Jeremy from last year where he describes how b5media works, the payout structure for blogs, comparisons to other blog networks such as 9rules.
Congrats to Tris and Jeremy and I look forward to reading the Canadian perspective on tech from Tris.
Today was the "bonus" day at Blog World Expo. The convention center was very quiet today – I can only guess that many didn’t know about today as the BWE web site shows a start date of Nov 8th. Oh well, more open stalls for me.
I spent the day with the b5media crew – what a great bunch of people. There is a strong family feel to the group. All of the sessions were good and from speaking with the attendees, they obtained good value from each session. I would like to thank Jeremy Wright for giving me the opportunity to speak with him. It was great and I look forward to more speaking gigs in 2008 – would love to do a panel with Marshall and Jeremiah, that’d rock. And Om Malik – I will bring the NY’er out of him!
Tonight was the b5media party at the Luxor – top shelf all the way! Asian place with lots of food options. And I am not naming names but one of the people at my table was able to drink 12 year old rum from Guatemala.
Check out a full recap of the day’s discussions at After the Launch blogger Shama Hyder and About.com blogger Deborah Ng (though she spelled my name wrong!).
The New York Times has an article today about NY-based real estate blog network Curbed and their new $1.5 million round of financing. Think weblogs, b5media, gawker but for real estate. They appear to serve approximately five regions currently and the money will be used to expand the network. Lockhart Steele, the network’s publisher is a former Gawker employees and Gawker was one of the investors.
Author Dan notes, "At greater potential risk are national-focused sites like Zillow.com and Realtor.com that depend on an active market of buyers and sellers to thrive. Nonetheless, Zillow, which estimates home values, last month obtained $30 million in its latest round of financing, bringing the total to $87 million for the site, which was started less than two years ago. And its traffic in the third quarter was 20 percent higher than in the period a year earlier, according to Spencer Rascoff, Zillow’s vice president for marketing and chief financial officer."
The question is whether a real estate blog network competes with sites such as Zillow and NY-based StreetEasy. And will these application sites add user-generated content blogs and expand that way thereby moving into Curbed’s territory. At this point I think there is plenty of room for both.
Also check out my interview with Jeremy Wright, CEO b5media, another blog network who raised a round of financing to expand.