Articles written in December, 2007

December 28 2007

The Blog Turns Ten


This December the term ‘Blog’ will celebrate its tenth birthday. It was this month back in 1997 where Jorn Barger started this site ‘Robot Wisdom Weblog’ that served as a daily log of interesting web links published in chronological order.

Two years later in 1999 online journal author Peter Merholz took Jorn Barger’s word “weblog” and split it into the phrase “We blog.” Blog soon became shorthand for weblog, and blogging was born.

‘Short’ Blog Time Line

1999: Blogger was founded as one of the first internet communities providing free blogs.

2002: The launch of Technorati, one of the first blog search engines, making it possible for people to track blog conversations on a continuous basis.

2004: The launch of Flickr, a photo-sharing community that helps popularize photo blogging.

2005: Garrett M. Graff becomes the first blogger to receive credentials for the daily White House briefing.

2006: Research report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project estimate that 12 million U.S. adults publish their own blogs.

2007: Technorati reports it is tracking more than 112 million blogs worldwide.

Happy Birthday ‘Blog’!

December 28 2007

Smile. You’re on the Internet


Web video exploded in 2007. It permanently altered the way we receive our information. Web videos are used for different purposes such as relaying breaking news, creating buzz over a new product, to watching a video of your friends doing something funny. The friendliness of a video allows the masses to relate on a personal level. It enables you to show the story, or a product in action; ultimately giving the user a much better understanding and experience.

News companies have taken advantage of the use of web video. For example, CNN has a feature called i-report that allows users to send in videos and in essence be a freelance reporter. These i-reports have helped break several of the most major news stories of the year, from the Virginia Tech massacre to the bridge collapse in Minnesota. They allow viewers to get a better feel for what is going on and get an unbiased perspective of the event taking place.

Web video has also been playing a big role in politics this year, and will only get bigger in 2008. With platforms like and other broadcasting sites, candidates are able to send out their messages to possibly everyone with internet access. It is a great vehicle for candidates to get out their message and relate to people on a more personal level. However, web video can also be detrimental to a candidate, or regular citizens for that matter. Since anyone with a video cell phone can post a video, the possibility of footage of you (flattering or not) ending up on the internet, is very real. Candidates especially need to be wary of everything they do.

Web video also plays a big role in marketing products and services. Companies, large and small, have realized that it is inexpensive and the reward potential is enormously high. If a web video gets some buzz, your marketing message could reach millions within minutes or hours. Remember, it can also have the opposite effect. You want your message to be creative, concise, and a little humor always helps.

More and more companies are realizing the importance of online video and therefore are allocating more of their marketing budget to internet video. The emergence of online video is getting stronger everyday. One trend that will likely grow in 2008 is professionally produced web video content. Especially, with the screenwriter’s guild still on strike, major networks are starting to focus more on producing high quality web shows. As the trend towards web video increases, so will video search results. Video search will most likely become more user-friendly and results will be increasingly relevant as the user demand increases.

All in all, Internet video has a very bright future. It is hard to predict exactly what form it will take, as the technologies and methods of delivery are constantly evolving. One thing can be said for sure, always be aware, because your next move could be viewed by millions.

December 20 2007

Affiliate Marketing in a Nutshell


You have a great idea for a new product or service that you are sure people will want. You put countless hours into developing your idea and it’s finally ready! You determine that the best way to sell your idea to the largest amount of people is through the web. So you go back to work and put together a beautiful website to sell your wonderful product. The site is up and running and you are ready for your first sale. Then you realize, “How are people going to find my website?”

There are many ways to drive traffic to your website. You can optimize to achieve high organic rankings in search engines. You can also market on the search engines through cost per click (cpc) programs. There are other methods as well such as mobile marketing, word of mouth marketing, email marketing, and the more traditional methods such as print and television. But what if you could have an army of sales people working for you? And what if you only had to pay them if they generate a sale or cultivate a lead?

It sounds too good to be true, right? But it’s not. That’s the power of Affiliate Marketing. In its simplest form, affiliate marketing is an interactive marketing experience that allows a business to pay their “affiliates” solely based upon the number of sales or leads they generate. The payout could be either a set commission or a percentage of the sale. It is a win-win situation for your business. You only pay if they sell!

The concept of affiliate marketing may seem simple, however there is quite a bit of work to be done in order to have a successful result. That includes continuously managing and recruiting new affiliates. The more affiliates you have, the bigger potential for earnings. Running an affiliate program, or any type of marketing campaign is difficult. However, with the right people running your program, the potential is unlimited.

A rising trend in the affiliate industry is to hire a firm which will manage your Affiliate program for you. These firms specialize in running affiliate campaigns and have the expertise to properly setup and manage your campaign. This allows you to focus more of your time on other aspects of your business. Make sure to do your research before hiring one of these companies, as not all of them have the knowledge and experience you are looking for.

In the 2007 report released by MarketingSherpa, the majority of merchants and e-tailers reported that their affiliate programs accounted for 10% to 20% of their revenue. Another poll showed that over 50% said that their affiliate marketing programs grew by over 10% last year. When asked about what they predict for their companies in 2008, 60% of them said that they expect more than 60% growth next year.

Affiliate Marketing is BIG and only getting BIGGER. If you have not already started your affiliate program, make sure that is on your 2008 to-do list.

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