Should bloggers have control over ads that appear next to their content?

Given the collective bargaining power needed to amass ad dollars, many popular independent bloggers have handed over their sidebars and headers to large blog networks, trusting them to seek out advertisers in return for a percentage of revenue. The larger networks can sometimes contain hundreds of bloggers and sell access to their blogs as packaged deals, meaning a single ad will be displayed across dozens of blogs within a network.

In most cases, this is ideal for the blogger because he can focus on creating content without having to waste time chasing down advertisers.

But occasionally this can lead to an ad placement with which the blogger doesn’t agree, and this is when controversy erupts.

Take, for instance, the Scienceblogs network, which faced a revolt from over a dozen of its own bloggers a few weeks ago when it decided to launch a corporate blog sponsored by Pepsi.

The blog — since taken down — resembled all the other blogs on the network and was aggregated alongside them in its main news feed. Perhaps most outrageously, the corporate-penned posts were being indexed in Google News, which has a high bar of entry for what news sources it allows.


Via TheNextWeb.com: Should bloggers have control over ads that appear next to their content?
Excerpt, then a comment:.

Given the collective bargaining power needed to amass ad dollars, many popular independent bloggers have handed over their sidebars and headers to large blog networks, trusting them to seek out advertisers in return for a percentage of revenue. The larger networks can sometimes contain hundreds of bloggers and sell access to their blogs as packaged deals, meaning a single ad will be displayed across dozens of blogs within a network.

In most cases, this is ideal for the blogger because he can focus on creating content without having to waste time chasing down advertisers.

But occasionally this can lead to an ad placement with which the blogger doesn’t agree, and this is when controversy erupts.

Take, for instance, the Scienceblogs network, which faced a revolt from over a dozen of its own bloggers a few weeks ago when it decided to launch a corporate blog sponsored by Pepsi.

The blog — since taken down — resembled all the other blogs on the network and was aggregated alongside them in its main news feed. Perhaps most outrageously, the corporate-penned posts were being indexed in Google News, which has a high bar of entry for what news sources it allows. Leer más “Should bloggers have control over ads that appear next to their content?”

In Shock Move, Google Starts Advertising On Facebook

I’d have to think that this is a bit of a PR blunder from Google and I’m also surprised that the ads were approved by Facebook but I guess the only way of looking at it is that Facebook reckons Google’s money is any good as anybody’s. I guess the logic from Google’s point of view is that they want to target a whole new audience and like the fact that they can target these ads by region and demographic which is why Facebook is as attractive a proposition as it is. If you can’t beat em join em!


by Niall Harbison | //thenextweb.com

We all know about the impending social war that is brewing up between Facebook and Google but today it has taken an interesting turn with Google starting to pay Facebook for advertising space on their platform to advertise their browser Google Chrome.

It’s clear that Google are on a massive push to acquire users for it’s browser in it’s battle with Firefox, Safari and IE and although I have seen adverts for Chrome in all sorts of innovative places the last place in the world I expected to see them was on Facebook. I wonder how Microsoft (an investor in Facebook with a strategic partnership) feels about these ads given they would be one of the main competitors in the browser wars.

Leer más “In Shock Move, Google Starts Advertising On Facebook”

When Twitter becomes real life. Where’s the line?

I saw something happening on Twitter a few days ago, and ever since then I’ve been thinking more and more about the role it plays in our lives and at what point it actually stops becoming something that we ‘do’ and actually starts to replace real life altogether. I don’t want to name the person involved in the incident, but they were very publicly tweeting about something upsetting, as it was happening. As much as I was upset by what they were going through, when I stopped and thought about it, I realised how disturbed I was by the fact that this person had chosen to tweet about this thing, as it happened, instead of giving it the real attention it needed. It was as if Twitter had replaced the real-life situation and it was incredibly strange to watch it happening.

Twitter has always been a different animal. Never quite hitting the mainstream in the way that Facebook has, yet always finding itself in the headlines (or responsible for them). It has hugely affected online communication in ways that we never could have imagined in its early days. But it has had such an odd effect on so many people (myself included). I’m sure I’m not the only one that will think, when something particularly exciting happens or you spot a celeb etc.. that you can’t wait to put it out on Twitter. You think this, even as you’re going through something and you almost forget to enjoy it or notice it as you’re composing your tweet in your head. I find it fascinating that for so many people it’s fundamentally changed every human experience.


//thenextweb.com
By Lauren Fisher

I saw something happening on Twitter a few days ago, and ever since then I’ve been thinking more and more about the role it plays in our lives and at what point it actually stops becoming something that we ‘do’ and actually starts to replace real life altogether. I don’t want to name the person involved in the incident, but they were very publicly tweeting about something upsetting, as it was happening. As much as I was upset by what they were going through, when I stopped and thought about it, I realised how disturbed I was by the fact that this person had chosen to tweet about this thing, as it happened, instead of giving it the real attention it needed. It was as if Twitter had replaced the real-life situation and it was incredibly strange to watch it happening.

Twitter has always been a different animal. Never quite hitting the mainstream in the way that Facebook has, yet always finding itself in the headlines (or responsible for them). It has hugely affected online communication in ways that we never could have imagined in its early days. But it has had such an odd effect on so many people (myself included). I’m sure I’m not the only one that will think, when something particularly exciting happens or you spot a celeb etc.. that you can’t wait to put it out on Twitter. You think this, even as you’re going through something and you almost forget to enjoy it or notice it as you’re composing your tweet in your head. I find it fascinating that for so many people it’s fundamentally changed every human experience.

Your other Twitter life

I think this has contributed to many people almost creating a ‘Twitter self’ that needs to be maintained. I’m often surprised for example, when I see couples talking with each other on Twitter when I know they’re in the same room. But I’ve realised now that it’s not so much about using Twitter as a way of talking to someone next to you, but more contributing to the content around your online self, and talking to your online community. Your Twitter self is something that has to be maintained and so in this way, it almost starts to take over from your real self. For all the benefits of Twitter and all the ways it can enhance your life, there comes a point when it almost replaces your life. And it’s easy to forget this, because it’s just somehow not the same as sitting in front of a chat window. In that case it’s always there and it’s pretty much all you’re doing. But Twitter can run in the background while you watch telly, you can dip in every now and again and work and it doesn’t seem like all you’re doing is reading updates that actually have nothing to do with your work. Leer más “When Twitter becomes real life. Where’s the line?”

The allure of SocialNet’s features will catch, and please, anyone with an iPhone.

TNW Quick Hit

SocialNet allows one to manage Facebook and Twitter on the iPhone, while also aggregating a multitude of other internet information in one easy-to-use app.

Love It: Nice user interface. Ability to post to Twitter and Facebook simultaneously in addition to adding live feeds for a great deal of other web content is a deft move by the developer.

Hate It: Not for the Twitter or Facebook power user.

The Details:

If you follow applications of any sort, mobile, browser-based or other, and let’s face it, who doesn’t?, several things would become real clear, real quick. The first being that at least a few new Facebook or Twitter apps for the iPhone/iPod touch are released every day. The second is that the same goes for apps that aggregate RSS and/or news feeds.

SocialNet ($.99) is an app that falls into both of the categories listed above, but also manages to add so much more in an easy-to-use, nicely designed, app.



TNW Quick Hit

SocialNet allows one to manage Facebook and Twitter on the iPhone, while also aggregating a multitude of other internet information in one easy-to-use app.

Love It: Nice user interface.  Ability to post to Twitter and Facebook simultaneously in addition to adding live feeds for a great deal of other web content is a deft move by the developer.

Hate It: Not for the Twitter or Facebook power user.

The Details:

If you follow applications of any sort, mobile, browser-based or other, and let’s face it, who doesn’t?, several things would become real clear, real quick.  The first being that at least a few new Facebook or Twitter apps for the iPhone/iPod touch are released every day.  The second is that the same goes for apps that aggregate RSS and/or news feeds.

SocialNet ($.99) is an app that falls into both of the categories listed above, but also manages to add so much more in an easy-to-use, nicely designed, app. Leer más “The allure of SocialNet’s features will catch, and please, anyone with an iPhone.”

Have a great idea? A chance to put your best “face” forward and “ping” a billionaire.

Mark Cuban. Brilliant, entrepreneurial, and in need of something.

For those unfamiliar with Mark Cuban, here’s a brief, emphasizing brief, overview of the last 10+ years of his life. Cuban, who along with Todd Wagner, started Audionet, combining their mutual interest in college basketball and webcasting. This venture grew into what would eventually become Broadcast.com, acquired by Yahoo! in 1999 for $5.9 billion in Yahoo! stock. Currently, Cuban is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, of Landmark Theatres, and Chairman of HDNet.

Brief.

Now Mark Cuban wants to talk to you, and unfortunately, not me.

In a post on his blog, Blog Maverick, which I highly recommend following, he writes the following:

“If you develop Social Games I want to talk to you. Im looking to invest in games, developers and projects

Im looking for consumer and corporate applications. I’m not looking for knockoffs of existing games/apps. I’m also looking for physical products that have integrated social gaming components . My preference for all the above is that they run on or integrate deeply with Facebook and/or Itunes 10/Ping and all the devices they support.”

You can post them here or email me at blogmaverick@aol.com.

If I like it , I will respond. If I dont, I wont. I wont sign and NDA.”


Mark Cuban.  Brilliant, entrepreneurial, and in need of something.

For those unfamiliar with Mark Cuban, here’s a brief, emphasizing brief, overview of the last 10+ years of his life.  Cuban, who along with Todd Wagner, started Audionet, combining their mutual interest in college basketball and webcasting.  This venture grew into what would eventually become Broadcast.com, acquired by Yahoo! in 1999 for $5.9 billion in Yahoo! stock. Currently, Cuban is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, of Landmark Theatres, and Chairman of HDNet.

Brief.

Now Mark Cuban wants to talk to you, and unfortunately, not me.

In a post on his blog, Blog Maverick, which I highly recommend following, he writes the following:

“If you develop Social Games I want to talk to you. Im looking to invest in  games,  developers and projects

Im looking for consumer and corporate applications. I’m not looking for knockoffs of existing games/apps. I’m also looking for physical products that have integrated social gaming components . My preference for all the above is that they run on or  integrate deeply  with Facebook and/or Itunes 10/Ping and all the devices they support.”

You can post them here or email me at blogmaverick@aol.com.

If I like it , I will respond. If I dont, I wont.  I wont sign and NDA.” Leer más “Have a great idea? A chance to put your best “face” forward and “ping” a billionaire.”

The Value of a Social Media Fan….Priceless

As social media continues to win respect and legitimacy in the hearts and minds of executives across the world and more companies than ever are looking to open up a Facebook page to take their brand “social” -a question that is repeatedly asked by brands is: What is the value of a fan? (or a “liker” in today’s terms).

This question is often asked by two very opposing camps. For those against social media, there is an inherent derogatory tone and a cynical smirk they like to use when they ask this question, however when discussing old media outlets, they never raise this question.

Allow me to explain: When a prospective client wants an indication of the value of a commercial time slot on a given network, the network will generally provide him with viewership stats, meaning, on average, how many viewers of a prized demographic can the client expect to reach during their 30 seconds of air time. These statistics are gathered and measured against market demand, and translated into a monetary figure. Major Television events, like the U.S. Super Bowl, can reap more than 1 million dollars for a few seconds of airtime.

When you take that criteria and transfer it to Facebook, it’s quickly recognized that demographics and numbers are already a feature which the client gets automatically as soon as he begins his social media path . The demographics are super targeted as members have to opt-in to become “likers” and the numbers are plainly visible for all to see. Yet for some reason, because these “viewers” (to borrow a term from television) are not viewing the commercial (post) during an actual television program, their value is presumed by social media naysayers to be less significant. If anything, the interactive nature of Facebook fans should make them more valuable, not less so. For old advertising to assume that stats and demographics are not enough information to warrant a value estimate for social media, is a clear double standard and downright hypocrisy.


As social media continues to win respect and legitimacy in the hearts and minds of executives across the world and more companies than ever are looking to open up a Facebook page to take their brand “social” -a question that is repeatedly asked by brands is: What is the value of a fan? (or a “liker” in today’s terms).

This question is often asked by two very opposing camps. For those against social media, there is an inherent derogatory tone and a cynical smirk they like to use when they ask this question,  however when discussing old media outlets, they never raise this question.

Allow me to explain: When a prospective client wants an indication of the value of a commercial time slot on a given network, the network will generally provide him with viewership stats, meaning, on average, how many viewers of a prized demographic can the client expect to reach during their 30 seconds of air time. These statistics are gathered and measured against market demand, and translated into a monetary figure. Major Television events, like the U.S. Super Bowl, can reap more than 1 million dollars for a few seconds of airtime.

When you take that criteria and transfer it to Facebook, it’s quickly recognized that demographics and numbers are already a feature which the client gets automatically as soon as he begins his social media path . The demographics are super targeted as members have to opt-in to become “likers” and the numbers are plainly visible for all to see. Yet for some reason, because these “viewers” (to borrow a term from television) are not viewing the commercial (post) during an actual television program, their value is presumed by social media naysayers to be less significant. If anything, the interactive nature of Facebook fans should make them more valuable, not less so. For old advertising to assume that stats and demographics are not enough information to warrant a value estimate for social media, is a clear double standard and downright hypocrisy. Leer más “The Value of a Social Media Fan….Priceless”

Alexa: YouTube surpasses Yahoo! as the Internet’s 3rd most visited site

In an interesting testament to what users consume on the Internet, YouTube has just passed Yahoo! for the #3 spot of the “most visited” sites on Alexa. Numbers 1 and 2, as you might expect, belong to Google and Facebook respectively, but YouTube’s launch into the 3rd slot is an interesting change.

The question still remains, of course, as to what Yahoo! is. The company seems to want to position itself as a portal, still, but the browsing habits of the general public tend toward the more specific instead of the suggested.

Interestingly, the #1 incoming search result for YouTube is, in fact “YouTube”. While this might be indicative of how people use their browser, it’s also likely that an increasing market share by Google’s Chrome has some bearing. Given the Chrome use of a single “Omnibar” it’s possible that people are simply typing “YouTube” and leaving off the .com portion, resulting in a search rather than a direct call to the URL.


In an interesting testament to what users consume on the Internet, YouTube has just passed Yahoo! for the #3 spot of the “most visited” sites on Alexa. Numbers 1 and 2, as you might expect, belong to Google and Facebook respectively, but YouTube’s launch into the 3rd slot is an interesting change.

The question still remains, of course, as to what Yahoo! is. The company seems to want to position itself as a portal, still, but the browsing habits of the general public tend toward the more specific instead of the suggested.

Interestingly, the #1 incoming search result for YouTube is, in fact “YouTube”. While this might be indicative of how people use their browser, it’s also likely that an increasing market share by Google’s Chrome has some bearing. Given the Chrome use of a single “Omnibar” it’s possible that people are simply typing “YouTube” and leaving off the .com portion, resulting in a search rather than a direct call to the URL. Leer más “Alexa: YouTube surpasses Yahoo! as the Internet’s 3rd most visited site”

Pandora updates its privacy settings; encourages you to do the same.

According to the Pandora Blog, there are some new changes to the privacy settings in the ever-popular music application. While we all might love the social aspect of the site, Pandora wants to make sure that you’re on top of the latest way to keep yourself private.

From the blog:

We’ve just updated our site to make it easier for you to find and adjust your privacy settings. We thought it was important to make this adjustment to better reflect the realities of the internet today.

Right now, if you head to Pandora, you’ll catch a lovely popover message that tells you about the new changes, and encourages you to check them out:


According to the Pandora Blog, there are some new changes to the privacy settings in the ever-popular music application. While we all might love the social aspect of the site, Pandora wants to make sure that you’re on top of the latest way to keep yourself private.

From the blog:

We’ve just updated our site to make it easier for you to find and adjust your privacy settings. We thought it was important to make this adjustment to better reflect the realities of the internet today.

Right now, if you head to Pandora, you’ll catch a lovely popover message that tells you about the new changes, and encourages you to check them out: Leer más “Pandora updates its privacy settings; encourages you to do the same.”

Facebook page admin? Go check out your new Insights.


While we heard about the forthcoming Insights changes back at F8, it appears that we’re now seeing them live. Before, the Insights panel was pretty barren, showing only some rudimentary information. The new panel, while not really adding much, does look a lot more clean than the older version.

Here’s a compare and contrast for you.

First the old:

And then the new:

Leer más “Facebook page admin? Go check out your new Insights.”

Toyota running Facebook contest to find most passionate Prius owner

By Chad Catacchio

Toyota is running a contest on Facebook to find “the most passionate fan” of the Toyota Prius. The winner – and the winner’s hometown – will be the US host for the Prius’ 10th anniversary celebration, which will take place on October 10 this year (i.e. 10/10/10)

On the Prius Facebook Page, Toyota asks:

“Are you a fuel-efficient hyper-miler, an eco-warrior or tech-savvy gadget guru? Do you volunteer in your community? Toyota wants to hear from you! Submit a video or several photos demonstrating your Prius passion…”

The submission period last until August 13, after which Toyota will select ten finalists, which will then be voted on by “user” from August 18 – 27 (it’s unclear if this voting will be exclusively on facebook.com or if Toyota will feature the voting in other places – we’ve emailed Toyota for comment).


Toyota is running a contest on Facebook to find “the most passionate fan” of the Toyota Prius. The winner – and the winner’s hometown – will be the US host for the Prius’ 10th anniversary celebration, which will take place on October 10 this year (i.e. 10/10/10)

On the Prius Facebook Page, Toyota asks:

“Are you a fuel-efficient hyper-miler, an eco-warrior or tech-savvy gadget guru? Do you volunteer in your community? Toyota wants to hear from you! Submit a video or several photos demonstrating your Prius passion…”

The submission period last until August 13, after which Toyota will select ten finalists, which will then be voted on by “user” from August 18 – 27 (it’s unclear if this voting will be exclusively on facebook.com or if Toyota will feature the voting in other places – we’ve emailed Toyota for comment). Leer más “Toyota running Facebook contest to find most passionate Prius owner”

6 ways to get your burning questions answered online

Got a question you can’t find the answer to or are too lazy to search for?

It’s getting increasingly easy to get good answers from the web quickly. Here are some of the best services to use to get your answer in no time at all.

Aardvark
Best for: Fast answers from people who (hopefully) know what they’re talking about.

Google-owned Aardvark service works by analysing your question, tagging it with a topic and sending it straight to people who have expressed an interest in that topic. What makes Aardvark fast is that many users sign up to receive questions via IM and can reply straight back with an answer if they choose.

Google is currently using Aardvark as a customer support service for YouTube and it’s easy to imagine them transforming it into a fully fledged ‘mutual support network’ for users of all its services in the future.


Got a question you can’t find the answer to or are too lazy to search for?

It’s getting increasingly easy to get good answers from the web quickly. Here are some of the best services to use to get your answer in no time at all.

Aardvark
Best for: Fast answers from people who (hopefully) know what they’re talking about.

Google-owned Aardvark service works by analysing your question, tagging it with a topic and sending it straight to people who have expressed an interest in that topic. What makes Aardvark fast is that many users sign up to receive questions via IM and can reply straight back with an answer if they choose.

Google is currently using Aardvark as a customer support service for YouTube and it’s easy to imagine them transforming it into a fully fledged ‘mutual support network’ for users of all its services in the future.

Quora
Best for: In-depth answers and debates.

Quora looks and feels like a place for serious questions and lengthy answers. It delivers, too; Quora has a community of users who like to give detailed answers and long, informed conversations can often grow out of a simple question.

Elegantly designed, Quora comes highly recommended when you want to start a debate, not just quickly find out who the third king of Spain was.

LinkedIn Answers
Best for: Career and profession-related questions.

Hidden away in the ‘More’ section of LinkedIn’s navigation bar, LinkedIn Answers is focused on professional questions. Categories include “Law and Legal”, “Finance and Accounting” and “Sustainability”. Yes, this is serious stuff but if you need an answer to a work-related question this could well be the best place to go.

Answers are sourced from your connections, their connections and ‘Experts’; people who have answered popular answers in the field you’re interested in. Leer más “6 ways to get your burning questions answered online”

Why Flipboard Matters

e were the first big media source to cover Flipboard, and ever since that moment the iPad application has taken over the technology scene leaving many scratching their heads: what about this application is so special? Let’s take a moment to break down just what Flipboard is, why it is a big deal, and what it means for future media applications.

To begin, Flipboard is not finished or perfect. It has annoying feature holes, but like an unfinished painting you can see the bigger picture in the gaps. Flipboard needs, among other things, offline access, stronger posting capabilities for Facebook and Twitter, more pages per section, a ban button, and better controls to prevent repeat content. All that will be solved over the next several releases, it’s just a matter of time, so let’s put that aside.


We were the first big media source to cover Flipboard, and ever since that moment the iPad application has taken over the technology scene leaving many scratching their heads: what about this application is so special? Let’s take a moment to break down just what Flipboard is, why it is a big deal, and what it means for future media applications.

To begin, Flipboard is not finished or perfect. It has annoying  feature holes, but like an unfinished painting you can see the bigger picture in the gaps. Flipboard needs, among other things, offline access, stronger posting capabilities for Facebook and Twitter, more pages per section, a ban button, and better controls to prevent repeat content. All that will be solved over the next several releases, it’s just a matter of time, so let’s put that aside. Leer más “Why Flipboard Matters”

Popscreen helps you discover cool videos, then predicts how popular they will become.

When you absolutely, positively have to be the first of your friends to see the coolest new videos, there’s a new site that is making sure it happens. Popscreen is making a run on the headline-forming videos that change by the minute.

The site is simple enough, showing videos that are relevant to your selected interests. Beyond that, though, you’re able to create your own video channel and then share those with your friends.

It’s fed through a network of Featured Influencers, including Shareables right here at TNW, to assure that you’re always getting fresh content. What’s really cool about Popscreen, though, is its ability to predict what’s up and coming.

As content is fed into the service, the algorithms go to work to decide if a video is going to boom or bust. Popscreen will then give you the chance to look at predicted traffic for the video, keeping you ahead of the information curve.

The video player for Popscreen is beautifully done, with a wealth of features. Of course you can share across a number of social networks, but you also have some player choices that are second-to-none.

* Lights Off – Wims the Popscreen site so that your video comes to focus.
* Widescreen – Watch your chosen video in 16:9 or standard 4:3
* Pop It – Somewhat like Digging a story, which keeps the video going higher.


//

When you absolutely, positively have to be the first of your friends to see the coolest new videos, there’s a new site that is making sure it happens.  Popscreen is making a run on the headline-forming videos that change by the minute.

The site is simple enough, showing videos that are relevant to your selected interests.  Beyond that, though, you’re able to create your own video channel and then share those with your friends.

It’s fed through a network of Featured Influencers, including Shareables right here at TNW, to assure that you’re always getting fresh content.  What’s really cool about Popscreen, though, is its ability to predict what’s up and coming.

As content is fed into the service, the algorithms go to work to decide if a video is going to boom or bust.  Popscreen will then give you the chance to look at predicted traffic for the video, keeping you ahead of the information curve.

The video player for Popscreen is beautifully done, with a wealth of features.  Of course you can share across a number of social networks, but you also have some player choices that are second-to-none.

Foursquare wants to check-in to search engine results

Foursquare is in talks with search engine providers including Google, Microsoft and Yahoo about including data from the location-sharing service into their results.

In an interview with the Telegraph, Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley says that trending data from Foursquare could enrich search results.

“We can anonymise data and use it to show venues which are trending at that moment. Twitter helped the world and the search engines know what people are talking about. Foursquare would allow people to search for the types of place people are going to – and where is trending – not what.”


Foursquare is in talks with search engine providers including Google, Microsoft and Yahoo about including data from the location-sharing service into their results.

In an interview with the Telegraph, Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley says that trending data from Foursquare could enrich search results.

“We can anonymise data and use it to show venues which are trending at that moment. Twitter helped the world and the search engines know what people are talking about. Foursquare would allow people to search for the types of place people are going to – and where is trending – not what.” Leer más “Foursquare wants to check-in to search engine results”