Popular Weblogs Inc. Network blog Engadget appears to be breaking the terms of its contract with Google's AdSense program. The AdSense program allows website publishers to place up to three ad units on a single page. Blog Herald points to self professed blog comment spammer David Naylor who says he found six placements on an Engadget page. Our research on this page show similar results. We found 5 standard ad units and one, we think, text link.
A very large scrolling screen shot of the entire Engadget page is here for review. We've asked Weblogs Inc. Network President Jason Calacanis to comment but have not yet had a reply. Recently, Calacanis claims the blogs in the Weblogs Inc. Network were on track to reach $1 million in Google AdSense revenue this year. Perhaps, now we know how.
Upon further reflection, some speculation in is order. It would be silly for Weblogs Inc. to jeopardize $1 Million by breaking Google AdSense terms. In fact, another Weblogs Inc. blog, Autoblog, is running far more than 3 ads on a page. Keeping that in mind for a moment, Weblogs Inc. was the first company to run Google's RSS AdSense ads before it was offered to the general market. Make your own conclusions.
UPDATE: In Comments, Jason Calacanis explains and claims, in fact, Weblogs Inc. is not violating Google AdSense terms.
Sony Ericsson has launched a moblog called Memorable Movie Moments where people can submit camera phone images of re-created memorable movie moments. The person submitting the winning image will receive an all expenses paid trip to London and a Sony Ericsson K750i phone. Two runners up will also receive the phone.
Adriana Cronin-Lukas points to the Blowing Smoke weblog where the movie, Blowing Smoke, is being promoted and distributed sans studio participation. Half experiment, half frustration with Hollywood studios, movie producer Kamal Aboukhater has decided to promote and release the film exclusively through the weblog. The movie, starring Planet of the Apes hottie, Estella Warren, examines, unflinchingly, how men view women and how, ultimately, women turn men into blithering idiots.She is the third high-profile departure from MSLO in a reorganization that began while the company founder and namesake was serving a prison term for lying to government investigators.
While this may or may not be a first, it will certainly be a great experiment to determine whether intermediaries are needed or whether consumer generated media can is up to the task of movie promotion and distribution.
In a page-takeover sponsorship, Bravo is promoting its new six-episode, one-hour, unscripted Kathy Griffin show on Gawker and Defamer with several standard ad units along with a controversial date header logo which several bloggers dislike. The move is another in a the long list of line-blurring marketing stunts geared to attract waning eyeballs sick of advertising overload. It's the kid calling "wolf" though. The more advertising pervades media, the more it is ignored in an endless cycle sure to, someday, completely obliterate the usefulness of advertising itself.
Our online sleuth hates the sponsorship and tells us, "I don't mind exclusive sponsorships and advertisers, however, look how haphazardly they just put Kathy Griffin logos over Gawker's and Defamer's date placers. It just looks like a cut and paste. Doesn't look like it belongs there. Not to mention to me, those spots are off limits, that's the sacred space of of the editors"
While Gawker sites have had similar sponsorships, with Sony, Audi, Bridgestone and Cheap Tickets, before, what do those of you working in advertising think about this apparent erasure of the line? Is there a line? Was there ever a line? Should there be a line at all? Is advertising headed down a path of destruction or is this smart marketing? Give us your comments.
Joey deVilla, a Technical Community Development Coordinator for back office software company Tucows, Inc., publishes a personal weblog on which he recently recounted an experience he had with moving company Quick Boys, mentioned in the comment section of a post he had made about Toronto movers. One of the commenters to the post, who deVilla knew, shared a bad experience with Quick Boys and recommended others steer clear of the company.
To promote its new AIM Mail, AOL has a couple of strange online videos, created by Attik. One has a receptionist drifting into a daydream which consists of superhero midgets...oops...dwarfs...oops...little people giving her a tickle attack. The other has a pair of sushi falling in love only to have one killed by getting eaten. Both end with @aim addresses and no other form of linkage.
Once at the AIM Mail site, there are blogs that promote the videos. The videos can be viewed here and here.
Led by Jupiter Media's Gary Stein, the ad:tech Chicago 2005 panel entitled "Blogevertising, RSS and Podcasting Opportunities for Marketers," provided session attendees with an overview of how blogs can be used as an advertising medium. Weblogs Inc. President Shawn Gold began with a bit of blogging 101 explaining that blogs are an empowering and efficient means through which marketers cab deliver advertising. Along with blog publishers, blog advertisers benefit from weblog's propensity to climb high in search results for topics covered on a given blog thereby helping to insure increased, targeted eyeballs for blog advertisers.
Led by Intelliseek CMO Pete Blackshaw, the Chicago ad:tech panel, held Tuesday, called "What Blogs Are Teaching Us About The New Rules of Marketing," provided the audience with a broad over view of the issues companies need to consider when debating the launch of a corporate weblog or marketing-related weblog. The recurring theme throughout the session centered on the need to stay true to the brand and to live within the company guidelines both legal and otherwise.
Back in May, we reported PR firm CooperKatz would be launching two customer-written weblogs designed to encourage Americans to take up scootering. Steve Rubel of CooperKatz tell us the first of the two blogs, Vespaway, has launched today and will be written by two Vespa customers, Jonathon Ogilvy (hmm...) and Neil Barton. The two will not be paid following the theory if someone really likes something, they're happy to tell others without compensation. Ogilvy explained the mentality to Business Week's Heather Green saying, "Why else would I do this without getting paid, if it weren't something I completely believe in? I think the world would be a better place if everyone rode a Vespa."
The next Vespa blog will feature two women, one who is a new customer and one who's used a Vespa for a long time.
An anonymous blogger has launched two Blogspot-hosted Blogger blogs. One steals Gawker's entire editorial content word for word. The other steals the Post's Page Six content. The only thing these two blogs leave behind are the ads. In an announcement email about the Page Six Blog, the emailer claiming to be "a v" wrote, "The idea of the NY POST becoming spam peddlers has forced us to create a blog to alleviate gossip hounds of any barriers to daily trash. We don't like registration gates and here is our method of bypassing them."