- WEB STARTUPS
- WEB JOBS
- ALL TOPICS
Back in the late ’90s, one of the sites I read regularly decided to offer a “no-ads” subscription for $80/year. They claimed that they had thousands of subscribers over the life of the program. To make it work, they added more ads which helped to increase subscriptions.
Today, Svetlana Gladkova (she is editor of the Profy blog) is launching a similar program to support bloggers and remove ads at the same time. CancelAds hopes to offer readers a quick and easy option to remove the ads on a blog or website for a specific period of time. I think of it as the next level of “tipping”.
From the release, “CancelAds is based on the idea that all the online publishers are compensated for their content by their visitors and users: some pay for premium services while other visitors watch ads. The much-criticized trend is that the vast majority of web publishers rely on advertising as their only source of revenue. This is exactly where CancelAds offers a solution as the startup is intended to ensure the badly needed diversification of revenue sources.”
CancelAds provides bloggers with a line of code to add to their template and buttons to allow readers to purchase blocks of time that the ads will be “cancelled”. Payment is made via PayPal and after the payment is made, readers surf ad-free for the purchased time period.
Naturally not every reader is going to use CancelAds, in fact my guess is that the percentage will be relatively low. But it’s an additional option and the service costs nothing to install. Bloggers and CancelAds share in the revenue generated from each purchase. There are a variety of content topics where I think CancelAds could work (early adopter blogging isn’t one of them) and overall I like the idea of a potential additional direct revenue stream for blogs. I’ve been a fan of blog revenue models that layer instead of replace.
Continue reading “CancelAds Offers Readers a Way To Support Bloggers and Remove Ads” »
Earlier this week we wrote about Socialmedian leaving beta. Socialmedian is a popular social sharing tool with the early adopter crowd. I became concerned when I saw the huge amounts of source content that is included in postings on Socialmedian. There are plenty of ways that Socialmedian could operate without the extended scraped excerpt.
This evening I was called to a story by Svetlana at Profy. Svetlana has an indepth review of a new service called Fairplay by Attributor. The Fairplay service aims to help you locate scraped (i.e. splogged) content across the Web so you can take the necessary actions against the involved parties. During her testing, Fairplay staffers evaluated her content feed to find out where the scraped/splogged content is located across the Web. Svetlana notes (my emphasis):
It was very interesting for me to watch what the product was capable of and see who was engaged the most in stealing my content (Social Median seemed to be the site viewed as the worst splogger by Attributor). The major revelation to me was that the post that was republished the most (without permission or a link back more than a hundred of times compared to the usual a few times per post) was the one that was very popular on Google News – so it looks like sploggers use Google News for their content.
My guess is that a lot of Profy’s content gets shared on Socialmedian and that’s why they show up as the "worst splogger".
Note that I believe that Socialmedian isn’t maliciously scraping the content whereas there are real sploggers out there who make a living at scraping a full feed into their own site. I’ve got about 5 of them on CN, I see what looks like 80-100 scraped splogs for larger sites like Mashable.
We initially reviewed blogging platform Profy on their closed alpha launch in January. This week at the Web 2.0 Expo, Profy has moved into beta (though still private??). Louis Gray has an extensive review of the updates.
Profy sits in the middle between using Blogger and creating your own blog. There’s a powerful RSS reader, startpage and a variety of blogging tools to make the blogging process more advanced than what Blogger can offer. Since it was built by bloggers for bloggers, it should help to cure some of the pain points of using other blogging tools. The tough part will be on the marketing and user adoption side. Converting has very high switching costs, perhaps Profy needs to go after the new user market first and gain adoption there.
I asked founder Svetlana Gladkova about her experience at Web 2.0 Expo. She said, "Web 2.0 Expo is an awesome place to publicly announce a product and people constantly stop by our booth and ask what Profy is about and when we explain to them, they all get really excited and that’s what makes us absolutely happy. I can hardly write down all the suggestions for the platform people have made – they all have something in mind that could make their blogging even more flexible a process than we currently make it. Now the only thing we have to do is decide which of these suggestions to focus on – and then code them."
If you’d like an invite, leave a comment and I will work on getting some for ya’all – make sure you leave your proper email address is the email field.
Web 2.0 blog Profy is announcing the Alpha launch of their blogging platform today. From what I can tell, it’s more like a blogging platform + a blogger dashboard/mini-startpage.
The startpage comes from a feedreader, network and inbox tools. From my basic testing, the blogging tool is more robust than I expected. It is cleaner than say WordPress and the dashboard is easier to manage as each part of the blog (comments, posts, messages and feeds) show up and you can take action on any item directly.
I’d suggest it could compete with tools including Squarespace rather than WordPress or MoveableType.
From our conversation, "Profy’s vision is to provide single, comprehensive seamless access and friendly navigation for the many stages of the blogging process – news reading, sharing selected news stories with a group of readers, writing posts and publishing them, discussing posts with readers, and communicating with readers on other topics. In short, it wants to provide — in one place — all the creative tools a blogger could want. Notable among the capabilities are an integrated dashboard with full-featured reader making it easy for bloggers to follow important events, an advanced WYSIWYG editor that turns the publishing process into a snap, and social networking tools that allow authors to engage in discussions with readers."
I don’t know how they handle spam or domain names (you use a xyz.profy.com now) as of yet but it does look like it might be worth a try for a basic blogger.
If you’d like an invite, visit http://alpha.profy.com/getinvite and in the ‘Description’ field type ‘CenterNetworks’. They have provided 100 invites for CN readers.
Here’s a screenshot of the blogging entry screen: