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Earlier today we learned that company database service TradeVibes was acquired by tech blog VentureBeat. Last year Duncan Riley provided a comparison of TradeVibes and competitor Crunchbase which is run by tech blog Techcrunch. TradeVibes has been rebranded and is now called VentureBeat Profiles. Riley noted today that the acquisition story was pitched as a competitor to Techcrunch.
When I read the acquisition announcement, I immediately thought about the tech blogs that use TradeVibes to power their company directories. When TradeVibes launched it seemed many of the popular startup tech blogs created partnerships with TradeVibes. I can only assume that a good bit of the traffic and attention with regards to TradeVibes came from these same partnerships.
Here are a few of the tech blogs that use TradeVibes/VentureBeat Profiles:
Will the tech blogs currently using TradeVibes remain onboard that the service is owned by a “rival”? Could it usher in a new level of partnership between all of the TradeVibes powered blogs? Or will the blogs leave the service? The next couple of months should be interesting in the tech blogging space.
Tonight the Mashable blog attempted to hold an event where wine man Gary Vaynerchuk was supposed to speak about motivation. There were a baker’s dozen of technical issues so we all moved outside to the corner of 54th and Park Ave. and Gary gave his motivational speech outside.
While I don’t agree with everything he says, it’s worth watching the video. The part where he talks about hustle is very important. So many startups I talk to believe that when they hit "launch" the traffic, orders, users, etc. will just magically arrive. It’s not like that – you need to hustle every minute of every day. When you watch the video, notice what brand you see on Gary’s shirt the whole time – it’s about the hustle.
Here’s his video – enjoy the NYC sounds and note that Gary does use many swear words during his outdoor presentation.
As I traverse the Web checking out new sites and those familiar to me, I’ve started to wonder what forms of advertising are acceptable today. I am curious about your thoughts as well. For purposes of this discussion, we will look at advertising for typical content Web sites and blogs — not porn, warez or any other potentially objectionable content. Let’s take a look at each of the most common forms of ads running today.
Traditional banner ads
These are the most standard form of online advertising and include a variety of IAB formats (e.g. leaderboard, skyscraper, 468 standard, etc.). I think everyone would say these ads are typically fine and acceptable. I turn off ads that are overly animated, have iPhone scams, participation giveaways and the idiot dancing people. I would lump most affiliate programs into this category.
This has become popular with the increase in professional bloggers. It seems the initial size was 125 pixel square, but now more sites are starting to provide alternative formats. We currently run the 125 size, check out GigaOm and SAI for a few alternative sizes. These ads are typically considered fine and acceptable. In fact, these are probably the best paying ads and also allow several select sponsors to display a strong relationship with a blog or Web site.
Google AdSense and other text ad networks
Again, these are typically considered fine and acceptable. These ads are normally contextual in nature and should provide greater return than the traditional banner ads above.
Popups and popunders
With popup blockers on nearly every computer today, these forms of online advertising have basically dried up. Most users hated them from the beginning.
These ads are newer and typically come packaged with a preview of the link that is moused over. TechCrunch and Mashable currently run this form of advertising. SnapShots combine a site preview plus contextual or image advertising where the publisher gets paid a CPC when a user clicks the ads and not the link.
It’s an interesting play… on the one hand, the idea of providing a preview of the site before you head there is a good thing. On the flip side, if you are intending to go to x site, see an ad for y site and go to y instead, the publisher makes a few cents but the intended linkee gets nothing. The SnapShots team have emailed me over and over to have CN use SnapShots. I haven’t made a decision yet but am leaning towards no.
Kontera and VibrantMedia inline text ads
Many blog publishers think these ads are the devil. These ads show up as links within content and are always distinguishable by link color and/or double underline. What I like about these ads is that the ad provider determines which words become links, not the writer. This alleviates the concept of writing content just to get a good round of inline text links (I know some still try though). When these ads first hit the market, they paid very well – partially due to users possibly being confused. I’ve watched the overall income drop on these ads month over month but they can still perform well in certain circumstances. I run these ads (only 3 per story) on HTMLCenter currently but not on CenterNetworks.
These ads appear typically before or between pages on a Web site. When these ads appear, you are forced into clicking the ad or clicking a close button. I haven’t seen many blogs running this format yet but it seems many of the large content Web sites run these ads without a second thought. CNET and the NY Times are always hitting me with these interstitial ads. Why is it acceptable for CNET to run an interstitial and reap the nice CPMs, but not a blog? This is probably the most interesting format to look at the differences between how a user reacts to advertising on a Web 1.0-style property versus a Web 2.0-style blog.
What formats did I miss? What formats do you run on your blog or Web site? What formats would you like to see in the future? I am hoping we see better monetization of RSS and mobile.
Tonight Mashable held an expo which was really more like a party that had a few companies demo their goods. I liked the setup which had the demos along the outside wall which allowed for a pinch more movement throughout the club. It was great to meet even more CN readers, thanks ya’all! CafeMom wins the award for the best giveaway of 2008 – I won’t tell you what it is now, you will need to wait until I use it in an upcoming video. I will give you one hint… it has a magnet. Here are some photos with my captions (view all photos):
Pete is excited to touch the Magnify.net mascot (w/Steve Rosenbaum of Magnify.net)
Sanford Dickert (pictured in middle) learns that the 3G iPhone will be available next week
Joanne from Rocketboom asks this man which is the better blog: Mashable or CenterNetworks? You know what his answer was!
Brett Petersel of Mashable and his sister (unknown name)
Brian Solis of Future Works PR
Nicole Jordan of RubiconProject wasn’t smiling – I handed her a CN sticker and instantly she started to smile!
Michael Chin of KickApps
Sarah Austin of Pop17 and Andrew Baron of Rocketboom pimp Victor’s Cafe
Alana Taylor pulls a Calacanis and some unknown man makes Mahalo looking hand motion
Leora Zellman shows off what a $30/arse placement would look like
WellcomeMat man gets all the ladies (and no, that’s not iJustine)
Dani Horowitz of DaniWeb smiles with glee after learning she was the 1,000,000 visitor to CN today and won this cool sticker!
I bought Mashable Editor Adam Ostrow a few beers and then he was willing to pimp CN
Mashable editor-in-chief Adam Ostrow has acquired ReadBurner today. ReadBurner displays the most shared items in Google Reader and generated a good bit of buzz on the initial launch. I couldn’t get Ostrow to give up the acquisition price but my sources say it was lower than the $850 million AOL paid for Bebo yesterday.
Ostrow is being joined on the new ReadBurner team by Drew Olanoff and Eric Kerr. ReadBurner founder Alex Marktl will remain on the extended team and will help out when time allows.
Their first job Ostrow says is to get the service back online and improve performance and scalability. He expects to be back up and running in a couple of weeks. How they will generate revenue is anyone’s guess but here’s hoping the new management loses the Web 2.0 reflection.
Social networking megablog Mashable is holding a MashMeet in NYC on February 22nd. It’s similar to any of the 150 meetups in NYC except that this one has a Forbes Web Celebrity attending. That’s right, all the way from Scotland, Mr. Pete Cashmore is going to make an appearance. Also in attendance will be the doubleAdam twins, Ostrow and Hirsch.
The event is being held at the For Your Imagination studios and is $20. We are listed as an associate, but we have no financial stake in the Meet.
So here’s the deal – at some point during the night I will throw up 3 fingers on each hand. That’s your cue to start waving your hands up in the air. This will show the Mashable crew that they can’t invade our territory!
Stealing content is wrong. Last week I posted some fun when someone stole an interview from CN and put it in a Web blender. Today Tamar pointed me to something even worse — stolen content that has been submitted to Digg.
In this case, it was an article on Mashable titled "Flickr Toolbox". The article was posted in August 2007. It was posted this week on spam blog, "tech-2008.blogspot.com" and subsequently submitted to Digg here. While it didn’t make the frontpage, it received 8 votes and I am sure some traffic as well. These spam blogs need to go – even if they do boost inbound counts.
If all of that isn’t enough, Digg ranks #2 behind Mashable for the title and the Digg links points to the spam blog. Would you agree with me that Digg should physically delete this post from their index so that Google will remove the link as well? (I’ve already addressed my views on why Digg should not be indexed in Google results)