Friday, March 9, 2007

Is Paying to Read Blogs the Future?

I am relatively new to the blogosphere but I am truly addicted and let me tell you why! I used to read the newspaper every morning but then several years ago I gave up the paper because I liked reading the articles published in the newspaper on the Internet the night before it arrived at my door. To me, blogging is the "new Internet" (a.k.a - the "blogosphere") where I read about the really good stuff long before it makes it onto the "old internet".

Not only is the "good stuff" found in the blogosphere but it is also free of distraction, so far! I have yet to start reading a blog post only to be interrupted by an unsolicited pop up of the new Honda Accord racing towards me on course to drive straight through my living if I don't save myself in the the waning moments by locating the "Close X" button obscurely placed in one corner of the screen.

To me, blogging is the "underground" of the Internet. The place where feed readers are encouraged and information can be found free of unwanted advertisements, pop up windows with the sharing of ideas and content not as the exception but the rule!

I am all for free enterprise and entreprenuerial innovation but I do fear the "blogosphere" is in danger! The rapid growth of blogging is too tempting not to find ways to make it profitable, but will it be overrun?

I am truly conflicted on this matter. I am all for blogs raising money for either your own personal piggy bank or for that of your favorite Charity, both can be done well on credible sites like Squidoo. I am also in favor of mashups like AuctionAds which enables you to link an Ebay auction for items related content in your blog. I love blogs and I love Ebay, bring it on!

When I search for information on blogs I don't land on your blog by accident. You have posted something that I was looking for...and while I'm visiting feel free to convince me of your opinion and even suggest that I make a contribution but I will draw a line if the sand if you ask me to pay to read on!

Maybe paid subscriptions will raise the already high bar that blogs have set or maybe not! Is this the wave of the future, you tell me!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Get Warren Buffet to Read Your Blog

The Slate 60 recently posted a list of the top charitable donors of 2006. In total, these 60 people pledged more than $50 BILLION to charity with Warren Buffet pledging over $40 million to the Gates Foundation alone.

In one of my recent posts about statistics you should ignore I expand on some sound advice from Seth Godin about not chasing pennies from the masses and it all made sense until I read about The Slate 60. At first glance I thought this was just another example of the China Problem as I start calculating in my head what it would be worth if I can get my hands on 1% of this pot and so on!

Yes, Warren Buffet and I will likely never cross paths and it is even less likely he will read my blog but he is not the only big fish in the sea willing to part with big dollars.

My advice is not to forget about the little people -- as the power of a large audience goes well beyond the dollars they can give you -- but if you are the best at addressing a key issue important to someone with deep pockets make them take notice and it could be well worth your time!

Monday, March 5, 2007

Blogging Evolution - 5 Key Terms All Beginning Bloggers Should Know

In celebration of my one month anniversary in the blogosphere here is my list of 5 key terms all new bloggers must embrace to make your new world much easier to understand and navigate. They are:
  1. RSS
  2. Feed Reader
  3. Podcast
  4. Widgets
  5. Mashup

As the saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink!" Most of these terms I had heard before but found little need for until blogging became a daily "To Do" item.

RSS, Bloglines (a feed reader) and podcasts have become a necessary evil in my blogosphere and probably the first you will conquer with relative ease.

Widgets are next. Like most gadgets I probably don't need to add widgets to my blog but I will makeup a reason to find a place for ones like ChipIn. ChipIn is a simple platform for individuals or organizations to collect money for anything and everything that allows people to track your progress towards your goal and let's organizers use well known online bill pay tools like PayPal.

Last but not least is Mashup. Put simply, a Mashup is the combination of two technologies that when combined can make an even better product, service, etc. like the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup or if you prefer a more recent example the Apple iPhone.

Next month I offer an update list for the intermediate bloggers to continue tracking my blogging evolution! Stay tuned!

2 Staggering Blog Statistics You Should Ignore?

  1. There are more than 55 million blogs on the Internet.
  2. More than 100,000 new blogs are created daily.

Staggering statistics wouldn't you say? Just think, if you could just have a penny for every blog in the "blogosphere" you'd be socking away $500K and counting! Now forget you even read this...but keep reading!

Seth Godin refers to this type of thinking as the China Problem. The concept is similar to the example I describe above. Godin makes his point about marketing but the same rules certainly apply in the "blogosphere". I had big dreams when I started my blog...over 50 million blogs, countless more blog readers on top of that and yet you can fit my subscriber "audience" into a jiffy john. The whole "if you build it they will come" business clearly only applies to baseball diamonds in corn fields!

Big numbers seem to mystify us all beyond reason -- and this is not a new phenomenon-- playing the lottery despite the tremendous odds against winning is something we can all relate to.

You can't be all things to all people (or bloggers) but everyone can and should be relevant. Too often it seems like non-profits are trying to be everything to all people. Tell me what problem you are fixing and how my money is going to help you fix it and count me in. Nobody I've seen has ever done it better than Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly's who's back page article on the need for malaria nets raised over $1.2 million the last time I checked.

The organization that is the best at one thing relevant to me is the one that gets my time and/or my money. If they are really good I may even tell my entire subscriber "audience"!!