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Valleywag posted a tip last night on the launch of the new eBay Partner Network. This morning, eBay (EBAY) has issued a press release about the new affiliate network. Note the use of the word "partner" instead of the word "affiliate". This is to help embrace the millions of sites that drive traffic and sales to eBay.
Only eBay and Half.com (they still exist?) are affected. eBay’s other businesses including StubHub will remain with current affiliate provider Commission Junction. The eBay Affiliate Program claims more than 100,000 members globally. Current affiliates have until May 1, 2008 to convert to the new Partner Network. There is information about the transition on the eBay affiliate site.
There are many services that leverage the CJ affiliate programs for their own affiliate programs. ShoppingAds (a CN sponsor) is one of those companies. I assume that each of these super-affiliates will need to get cranking on the rework to utilize the eBay Partner Network to minimize any potential customer downtime.
Gawker Media, publisher of sites such as Valleywag and Gizmodo, presented their new blogging platform at the September NY Tech Meetup last night. The discussion started by explaining how they changed their comment status over the past couple of years, moving from no comments, to open comments, to logged in comments.
The discussion focused around their new platform which begins roll-out this Friday. Here is what I could put together from the demo:
- a user who comments on a Gawker blog will have a page with the ability to publish comments and content to it - some content might get promoted to the home page
- You can "friend" another commenter
- I understand this has something to do with the way Facebook handles friends
- There will be user feeds for each user that you can subscribe to
Here is the video from the demo:
When I step into a fight I make sure that I have the needed ammunition to win. If you use a gun in battle, make sure it has bullets. If you fight online, make sure you have the right tools to win.
Yesterday Owen Thomas at Valleywag used Alexa to point out how poorly Mahalo is doing. As most of you know I am not a fan of Mahalo. But using Alexa to try to make Mahalo appear a joke is plain stupid. All it does is draw more attention to Mahalo. There are plenty of other ways to pick on Mahalo. :)
What the chart that Owen embedded shows is the topic I discussed last week that the initial "celebuzz" can only take one only so far. Now it's up to the product and Jason to get the buzz to continue and to grow.
The issue with using Alexa to do battle with is a topic we have discussed numerous times on CN. There is so much more that is wrong with Alexa than is right. While Alexa can sometimes be used as a rough guide for tech only sites, I would never use it in a battle.
Services such as Hitwise and Comscore are also flawed but much typically provide more accurate results than Alexa. Quantcast will also be a player as more sites signup to be "Quantified." I can only guess that sometime in the near future Google Analytics will offer a way to share your metrics. Once this happens we may see an Alexa replacement that "may" serve some value.
Last afternoon I attended a panel, "The Rise of the Blogebrity" which included Nick Douglas, formerly of Valleywag, Amanda Congdon, formerly of Rocketboom. Nick now runs LookShiny and Amanda vblogs for ABC News and Starring Herself. There were two other videobloggers on the panel, Casey McKinnon (Galacticast) and Karina Longworth (Netscape). Also on the panel was a stats guy, Henry Copeland and was moderated by the head of Blogebrity, Kyle Bunch.
Before I get to my comments, does anyone else think that Amanda looks like Miss USA Tara Connor? When Amanda walked in with her new hairdo, I had to do a doubletake! Both beautiful women (amanda photo from Jeremiah). As much as I gave Amanda a hard time a few months ago, I think she did a good job on this panel.
I think the panel was pretty good, and I give it a 8/10. Overall the discussion was good, it would have been nice to dive deeper into why it even matters if you are a celeb and what makes someone a celeb. There was one audience member who asked a 10 minute question and hogged the mic. Why do people mic hog!!! Check out the panel pics on flickr.
Here are my unedited notes:
They begin with a overview – Nick notes that he used to write for valleywag before he was fired. The computer was screwed up and they couldn't get it fixed.
Copeland – focus on the Forbes 25 – Talks about the levels between 1st and 23rd (calacanis) – showing that you don't need to have tons of traffic, just be quotable. do you live on the coast and are you a male?
Then he disected the Technorati 100 – some are from overseas, 7 are services, some blogs with 400,000 impressions, numbers are totally meaningless.
Copeland- there are popular areas or networks – it depends on the area
Congdon – how often do i see them – do i see them – are they writing books, television, etc. – it's about full coverage – that's how I evaluate – like Jeff Jarvis is a good example
Longworth – there are those who were already celebs before they became web celebs – for film celebs – is a guy named david hudson
McKinnon – when i think of celeb video people – i think of ask a ninja and ze frank – if you are in the ny times, you are a celeb
Douglas – its interesting how more people watch my video than read my notes in the ny times, yet this is bigger
Congdon – when my gramma saw me on Frontline, that was big for her
Douglas – I am a lazy person and a hipster — waxy.org, thermopolus,
Bunch – where do things go from here with video?
Congdon – there are still books and tv – and they live together, 3 of us are video bloggers
Longworth – there are more people who are naturally writers
Douglas – cult of personality will happen with video blogging
Bunch – quality vs quantity
Douglas – quality is most important
McKinnon – quality in all aspects is most important
Copeland – the best of all are these daily filters – dailycoast is great
Bunch – what's the importance of being a celebrity?
Douglas – how much will your audience stand letting you sell them out? humancloud has drawings that he scribbles, but he also sells prints and made a brand
Bunch – Amanda is a great example of someone who has been able to talk to the big stars and celebs
Congdon – it's access, that was one of the main reasons I went with ABC when I left Rocketboom and the other thing that drives me is that I could leave the mainstream and still make a living – that's what drives me.
Longworth – I had a decent amount of influence over blogs and I had no health insurance and when I got an offer to take a corporate job, I took it.
McKinnon – audience participation drives galacticast – talks about a guy who helped fill their need and how they helped him.
Douglas – I like being able to bore thousands of people a day
Bunch – how do you transcend the first job to being a public personality
Congdon – never introduce yourself as "formerly from…" – she talks about how she wrote the rocketboom stories but never was really known as that she did it – and that was tough for her
McKinnon – I have started to brand my name vs Ms Kitka.
Douglas – Everyone would say "You are Valleywag" and I tried to make sure people know I am Nick not the site.
Congdon – if I am walking in NYC, I will get noticed, but in other cities, I don't get noticed as much
Longworth/McKinnon – we get noticed at conferences mostly
Bunch – is it always ok to be approached or does it bother you?
Congdon – the only time I find it's a problem is when I am getting ready to speak, but otherwise I love it. I try to reply to email also.
Longworth – I like it – but I don't like being hit on.
McKinnon – it's nice as long as it's not creepy
Douglas – it's only bad when people think I am Nick Denton
Bunch – these ranking systems have a lot of flaws – and going forward how do we fix this so it's not just the boys club over and over
Congdon – I am in the process of creating a show for HBO. I think that internet culture is becoming more and more mainstream I think that as the two cultures converge we will see more and more blogelbrities become more celebrities.
McKinnon – there are issues with getting listed on IMDB for video bloggers
Question – isn't attention the most important
Copeland – page impressions are the most important
Question – when will the bloggers become inaccessible as you become bigger?
Congdon – it happens but everyone has their own breaking point, if you can only do 10 fans a day, do that
Douglas – look at Ze, he made a forum to get people to talk
Question – some of the video blogs have more views than some cable tv shows – as advertisers get into the game, how do you deal with it as you get more overtly.
Congdon – I work with blip – they helped me get in touch with paltalk and dove. It was great because it worked best with my audience. It gives the viewers power to help determine the advertising. There are people who will find anyway to connect with an advertiser.
Question – we are getting mixed celebrity and people with influence – you dont have to have 150 million in pageviews to be able to monetize. This woman just kept going on and on with her question which is really just some comment.
During the intro session for newbies, someone mentioned how they had tricked Jason Calacanis into taking a pic of them while Jason would think he was the celeb. It was a funny story and a great idea for meeting celebs :) – Instead of sucking up to them, go up to them and ask them to take a pic of you without them knowing you know who they are.
Anyway, Nick Douglas from Valleywag started discussing Jason so I videotaped it. I only caught the last 30 seconds but it was the juicy part anyway. Nick says, "Jason is kind of a dick sometimes, but he's awesome."
Side note, I will do my best to get more video and audio of the event where I can. They have some strict restrictions on audio/video so I may have to call in covert operations. Where is Jack Bauer when you need him?!!?
Last Sunday, I posted about when is an appropriate time to remove a comment on a blog/site. This week, Michael Arrington posted a story on TechCrunch about edgeio receiving a round of financing. He put the following note in the article:
I won't say much more here due to the conflict of interest (I remain on the board of directors of edgeio and am a stockholder).
Valleywag, a Silicon Valley tech mag, posted an article about it. It is worth the read. It goes back to the trust factor and how important it is.
A comment from the Valleywag post:
Good but not great Michael, your other two writers Nick Gonzales and Marshall Kirkpatrick should have taken this one. Or were you just so giddy to announce your baby stopped breastfeeding and now is suckling the endless bottle of funding?
I will leave it up to you after reading the Valleywag post if there is a bigger conflict of interest. One of the commenters had a good suggestion about clearly listing all of the sites and companies that the blog belongs to.
My suggestion has been that when a blog/site wants to post something that might be construed as advertising, they state that it is. Period. You can post whatever you want on your site, it is your freakin site. But just don't make us all out to be morons.