: Finished the blogs-as-business session with a surprising (for me) outcome: The room wants a trade association to do all sorts of things, from getting stats to show how big we are to setting ad standards to helping get insurance and legal coverage to selling the blogosphere to marketers and media.

I’m tired and hot (there is no air here). So later….

  • Jeff, great session today. We have had a weblog advertising association in the works for a few months. Would love to discuss our progress with you or anyone interested in furthering the cause of getting marketing dollars to the blogosphere. The association website should launch later this week ( Email me at

  • Yogi Berra

    at a time when cnet does 15 million views a day and slashdot does 6 million, the blogosphere is fairly worthless when it comes to marketing and ad agencies. You’re comparing a community newspaper to CBS. A trade alliance is an exercise in futility; the move really mean that the bloggers are saying, “I want someone else to sell ads for me even though I don’t have much of value to sell.”

  • Bill, as an advertising hack, believe me, there’s nothing a big ol’ Madison Avenue client would like better than for a blog network to be able to deliver a large audience to its “brand arena”. Especially if the netowrk could keep its prices relatively competitive.
    You got something? Let me know: hugh-AT-gapingvoid etc.

  • Yogi, I believe two things:
    1. What you just said is wrong.
    2. You have a career incentive to believe it, so that’s what you do. It’s OK to be wrong if somebody’s paying you to be.

  • michael

    there’s nothing a big ol’ Madison Avenue client would like better than for a blog network to be able to deliver a large audience to its “brand arena
    This illustrates the concerns I have with the rise of advertising within blogging – you’ll end up needing to “deliver a large audience” for it to make any economic sense. This will result in standardization & commodification of both blog content & its audience.

  • the value of an audience in typical ad industry terms is not just its size, but it’s buying power to a particular constituency. When I ran a business journal, I was able to show that one of my readers was worth at much more than those of the daily newspaper’s in its buying power to a particular group of advertiser. My advertisers did not want the large audience, instead preferring one of with greater purchasing reach for their high end products and services. The trend in publishing is for mincroniches with a connection to their audience to thrive and grow, connecting them with their entire lifestyle, like snowboarding, etc. and trips, events, training tapes, seminars, etc. so the mass market argument/homogenization scenario is not the only way this can go.
    What unifying features the blogosphere has in even small but significant quantities of attention/product purchasing is another issue. Are bloggers and their readers an audience, a community with something collective in their essential nature or function? Or is there some other cachet they can bring collectively to the marketplace?
    That may not be the exact right question to ask, but it’s one of the important ones, i think. In what way can the blogosphere’s denizens be packaged/united to create greater economic value?

  • Thank you for a great session. For several years I directed technology services for a national credit union trade association. I agree with hugh that what yogi says above is wrong. And regarding the advertising value and revenue discussion, a trade association will assure its members of broader representation for our products up and down the supply chain as well as a voice in shaping any regulations that might affect our ability to develop and deliver products in the market. Adding to that the development of association services such as insurance and legal representation and guidelines, and common bonds for membership in the association, it will be immediately apparent whether or not bloggers and/or blog services providers find value in organizing.

  • Jeff –
    I spaced out and started listening in at the webcast in time to hear your session (good), but just missed the “power law” discussion (bad).
    At any rate, on one point raised in your discussion: I agree that better traffic statistics are a key thing that advertisers (and frankly, bloggers) need. As most folks know I aggregate SiteMeter visits-per-day into a listing over at my place at
    My code only reads SiteMeter counters simply because it seemed the most widely used, and to mix-and-match different counters would provide a distorted metric (since each counter has a slightly different methodology and so 1,000 on one would be less or more on another).
    My scans don’t hit nearly the volume of Technorati, but I’m open to suggestions on how to modify them if it would serve a useful purpose. Thoughts are welcome…

  • Jeff, thanks for a great sessions that I followed from Spain ! I am in to help this association launch in Europe too, of course…
    Jeff, you ROCKED yesterday.

  • Yogi, your words reek of … fear. They represent Old School Thought. As someone who’s been in one form or another of the advertising business for 25 years, I have no doubt there are people within the industry with exactly the attitude you describe. Advertising has long been associated with “broadcast,” and mass mediums. And advertising in that manner has also long been out of the financial reach of many businesses, who can’t afford a seven, six, or evn five figure production and media buy budget.
    And your “community newspaper versus CBS” comparison just doesn’t wash. Niche marketing is perfect for smaller companies. If your target market is the “widget community,” advertising on CBS is a waste of money. The “community newspaper” is a bargain by comparison, and targets the community you seek.
    Look at who is buying the ads on blogs today. Do you see many of those sponsors on network TV or in major magazine ads? No. Partly because they haven’t caught on yet. But the advertisers you see on blogs are usually people/companies who might not be advertising at all, if their only alternatives were five and six figure buys.
    Ads on blogs not only open up a new market for companies to advertise their services, they bring new ad dollars to the table (however few) that might not otherwise be spent at all.
    Tell me where else a politically oriented advertiser could reach an audience with the size and … fervor … of Daily Kos (hundreds of thousands of visitors per day, I beleive) … for $700 per week?
    Of course, the method by which ad agencies make their money has a whole lot to do with this. They love those six and seven figure budgets, because they make their money by tacking 15-18% on top of everything … production budgets, media buys, etc.
    15-18% of a $700 buy on Daily Kos won’t buy an account exec a new pair of shoes. So from the start, you’ve got a hard sell to the Old School.
    Right, Yogi?

  • The “LinkRanks” statistics that were displayed during the session can be found at: These are based on the more than 1.1 million blogs that we monitor daily.
    Please note that the rankings are based only on links from entries (as read in RSS, RDF or Atom Feeds) and do not include the links that appear in sidebars, blogrolls, etc. Also, the “power” of links from other sites is weighted by age. You get more rank for recent links than for older links.
    We don’t say that these are the “best” numbers — but they are interesting. If have ideas on how to compute more or other interesting ranks, let me know and we’ll try to do the calculation based on our data.
    bob wyman

  • Jeff,
    Thanks for a great session. I think we’ve got a lot accomplished on Saturday and look forward to getting the blog association going. Should we add to the wiki in terms of progressing this?

  • i had an idea after i got home from bloggercon about promoting blogs and increasing their visibility. what about approaching google to see if they would create a “blog” tab that would accompany the news, images, etc. that they have now. so that when you searched for “john kerry” and clicked the blog tab it would show all the blogs that are related to kerry.