Imagine a world where liberals and conservatives stand side by side. Where gays and right-wing reactionaries work for the same cause. Where snobby New Yorker and small town Southerners live as equals. Where foul-mouthed frat boys and stern-faced feminists wish each other well.
Is this utopia? No, this world does exist.
This world is called Blogads.
Since I started blogging, I’ve complained about how segmented the blogosphere is — differerent “communities” that rarely interact. In reality, a unifying force brings the most popular blogs together — one God you might say — yes, it is money from advertising.
I’ve always been fascinated with advertising, ever since Mr. Molnia, my eigth grade Social Studies teacher, taught us about “propaganda techniques.” He always told us to study the advertising on TV and newspapers because you could learn a lot about what is — and what is NOT said — in the world.
Despite my hatred for advertisements on blogs — and I HATE THEM — there is a strong possibility that I might end up with them some day. So, today, I hit the online road to explore what is out there. And here is what I found: No surprise. There is a lot of advertising going on.
Before we all get all excited, you should know that to make any sort of money, you need a lot of readers and “hits.” In the scheme of “blog celebrity,” if Dooce is George Clooney, I’m Pauly Shore’s unknown brother, Herman.
Dooce and the big mommy and daddy blogs like Amalah, Finslippy, and Dad Gone Mad, all seem to be part of the Federated Media Publishing network and get advertisements from Adbrite. I quickly left these two sites, realizing I was on hallowed ground.
I headed over to BlogAds (for opinion makers!), mostly because I’ve seen them on all types of blogs, and they seemed to “represent” a broader ranger of “categories.”
We’re the blog advertising specialists. Launched in 2002, Blogads.com is where you place ads on America’s most influential blogs.
We represent the blogs you read — sure they’ve got stellar demographics (see our surveys of 56,000 blog readers), but blog readers aren’t just another random crowd of affluent consumers. Bloggers and their readers are mavens, influencers and insiders. Densely networked and brainstorming together at the speed of light, they are the new epicenter of American opinion.
Brainstorming together at the speed of light? Is that what we do every morning in our underwear? And… speed of light — are you kidding? Have any of these people actually commented on a Blogger site? It takes five minutes just to fill out the name, the email, the url, and that stupid jumbled word? Speed of light? Maybe big-time bloggers never actually comment anywhere, sort of like how former President Bush didn’t know how to buy groceries in a modern supermarket.
Still, I knew Blogads was the place for me. How did I know that? Because there were testimonials. Testimonials that I didn’t understand, and I’m always impressed with things that make me feel stupid.
“Blogads is the ‘Intel-inside’ of the blog revolution.”
– John Hlinko, Grassroots.com
“My favorite ‘buzz seeding’ tool currently is the amazing network over at BlogAds.com…”
– Brian Clark, GMDstudios
I like the buzz seeding stuff because it sounds like sex.
“The best part is being able to share space (mind-space, virtual-space, screen-space) with the bloggers who — if they embrace our books and authors — make all the difference”
– Farah Miller, Knopf Publishing Group
The three dimensions of space. Cool!
But clearly my favorite was:
“…we’ve gotten very good CPM and CPC rates this way…”
– Elias Israel, Messagefire
Now, this is why I started blogging!
As in other “ad networks,” Blogads separates their blogs into convenient “hives” to attract the appropriately affluent demographic.
Curious to know “What’s My Hive?”, I went through each hive one by one, trying to find the best “fit” for Citizen of the Month.
Here’s the bulk of the list:
Liberal Blo Advertising Network
Conservative Blog Advertising Network
The Philly Ad Network
Environment and Sustainability
Los Angeles Blogs
Women Bloggers Network
Government Relations Blog Network
Programming and Technology Blogs
The Liberal Prose
Foodblog Ad Network
Hip Hop and R&B
AltWeeklies Blog Network
Indie Film Blogs
Law Blog Ad Network
Texas Progressive Alliance
The Anti-Terrorism Coalition
Red State Network
Baby and Parenting Blogads
Raging Center-Right Bloggers
Stock Market Investing Network
Product Niche Network
Japan Blog Ad Network
Jersey Ad Network
Michigan Ad Network
Wine Blogger Ad Network
Libertarian Ad Network
Homeschool Blog Network
Twin Cities MN Blogs
Lesbian Blog Ad Network
Colorado Progressive Bloggers
Iowa Blogad Network
Weight Loss, Fitness, and Diet
Feminist Blogger Network
Music Blog Network
Blogads Gadget Network
Whew! That took forever to type out.
Have you ever seen a more motley crew? On the blogosphere, they all hate each other, but on Blogads, they all work for the same cause. In fact, the better the Christian Moms do as a network, the more money in the pot for the lesbians! It’s a small world after all!
Of course, it is difficult to “typecast” yourself. Of all the categories, the ones that seemed most appropriate for myself were the Humor Network, Los Angeles Blogs, and Jewish Blogs.
1) My blog really isn’t that funny anymore.
2) My most popular post on Los Angeles was: “Why is Los Angeles So Ugly?”
Los Angeles Blogs.
3) Jewish Blogs? Uh… uh… well…
UPDATE: On request, Jay at the Zero Boss offers readers of this blog a very special BLOG ADVERTISING PRIMER — an insider’s look at how it works and why it is important to clutter up your blog with ads.
UPDATE #2 — 10/20/06: My little post on advertising yesterday received more email than anything I’ve written lately, so it must have touched some nerve. There’s probably a lot of different anxieties at work here — art, snobbishness, money, envy, etc.
I think many of us were initially attracted to blogging because of how democratic it seemed. Any grandmother with a mouse could start a blog and join the conversation.
But, all of a sudden, everyone is talking about bloggers paying their mortgage with their blog. I understand t would be be nice to get something back something in reurn for all our blogging “work” — other than spam. Oh, right, we’re supposed to be doing this to find our writing voice and make online friends? Hah!
Today’s society is clearly a world of marketing and publicity. We should know. Half of us work in that field.
Everywhere around me, I see the melding together of art and commerce — not that it is new, just that there are fewer and fewer places to hide from it. Just today in the LA Times, I read about how a new PBS children’s show is being sponsored by Arby’s. There are already cross-promotions in the works. Why exactly does PBS exist if it is becoming as commercial as network television? But really — who can blame them? With less government funding, PBS needs to get money from somewhere.
It is sad to me that you can’t even hide in the Blogosphere.
At The Zero Boss, I learned about how blogs are using clever methods to sell you products. Wal-Mart’s PR firm created two blogs that were POSING as grass-roots support for the giant retailer.
I had never heard of this new company called PayPerPost, where you can sign up and make money by promoting products on your blog. So, in the future, if I tell you how much I loved my Burger King Veggie Burger, you won’t be able to know whether I really enjoyed it or I am GETTING PAID to say I enjoyed it.
I’m surprised that so many of you actually said that I should “go for advertising.” To be honest, I’m not sure it is even worth it. Someone who works in the biz emailed me and said that when all is said and done, the most I could expect is forty bucks a month — and that’s only if I completely covered my sidebar. God knows what type of ads would go here.
I think I would be better off with a job with better health benefits.
Maybe I am behind the times. Maybe I’m a sucker for the laid-back, old-school Los Angeles vibe of years ago, a world I fantasized about even as a child in Queens — where everyone just hung out at the beach, not worrying about marketing, but only the sun and the surf, listening to the Eagles on the radio —
What did you say? The Eagles just made an deal today to sell their next album where? Excusively at … WAL-MART?!
A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: How Much is that Dildo in the Window?
(is this old post kosher?)