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The Our TV Picks section of the Fancast site features an eclectic batch of TV show reviews (from sci fi classics to sexy superheroes to contemporary reality TV) by writers from Boing Boing, Dooce, NOTCOT and Ask A Ninja. FM helped put all the pieces together.
Comcast is running banner ads on those same sites, with clips from the authors’ show reviews.
Perhaps it should come as no surprise that ads, for example, on Dooce featuring an excerpt of more Dooce content would drive click-through rates that can be counted in whole numbers. But what can I say — I’m an old-fashioned guy who continues to be impressed by CTRs above 1% on banners that are SFW.
UPDATE 12/10: Xeni Jardin at Boing Boing explains to her readers how the sponsorship works:
“A disclaimer, in the interest of transparent über-sharing: I was paid to write these posts, and the site is an online video hub run by Comcast.
“I wasn’t told what to write about or not write about, and my work wasn’t edited or modified in any way, so I picked freaky stuff I genuinely liked, and in a few cases, had some sort of personal connection with.”
Uber-well done, Xeni and Comcast!
(Credits: Robin D’agostino at Comcast Interactive Media, and Michael Cohn and John Shankman at FM.)
From yesterday’s NY Times:
“Heather Armstrong’s wickedly funny blog about motherhood, Dooce, is more than just an outlet for the creativity and frustrations of a modern mother. The site, chock full of advertising, is a moneymaking machine — so much so that Ms. Armstrong and her husband have both quit their regular jobs…. advertisers are eager to influence the 850,000 readers, mostly women, who avidly follow Ms. Armstrong’s adventures. Although Ms. Armstrong will not disclose exact numbers, Dooce’s revenue this year is on track to be seven times its size in 2006, according to Federated Media, which sells ads for the blog.”
If the Times requires you to register, here’s roughly the same article at IHT.
JCPenney’s Linden Street line has teamed up with a half dozen FM authors to create the Home Style Guide, a group blog that pulls high-style decorating posts — chairs to build a room around or a DIY wood clock, for example — from Craftzine, Cool Mom Picks, Dooce, the Pioneer Woman, NOTCOT and others. JCPenney is the exclusive sponsor of the site (though they don’t control the editorial content), like they were last year on a similar site, FM’s Fall Shopping Guide. Featured Linden Street products are promoted down the left-hand column.
This expansion of the concept JCPenney piloted last fall suggests the “converational marketing” approach is working for them. Additional press on the earlier program:
Abbey Klaassen covered it for Ad Age, which requires registration so here’s a summary at ChasNote.
Steve Rubel gave it props in his year-end round up, from Micropersuasion.
Readers become subscribers, from ChasNote.
Emily Bazelon ponders the ethics of blogging about your kids (see Slate), and gets some advice from Dooce’s Heather Armstrong:
“Armstrong’s approach is a common one among parent-scribes: You caricature your kid a bit, picking out his funny or more outrageous habits, but your parenting struggles are the real subject, and you’re the butt of all the jokes. (And your spouse is the font of all wisdom, on the theory that flattery helps.) You mine your kid for material, but you tell yourself that certain categories of behavior are off-limits.”
Heather Armstrong, author of Dooce, has published her first book, a collection of essays (two contributed by Heather) called Things I Learned About My Dad. Congrats, Heather. I look forward to digging in to what, I’m guessing, will be the first of many books of yours I will read in the years to come.
The collection includes essays from some of my other favorites (and, full disclosure, FM partners) as well: James Griffioen from Sweet Juniper, Doug French from Laid-Off Dad, Alice Bradley from Finslippy and Maggie Mason from Mighty Goods.
The Guardian UK is out with their list of favorite 50 blogs, including several official “friends of FM”:
Boing Boing: “Their dominance of the terrain where technology meets politics makes the Boing Boing crew geek aristocracy.”
TechCrunch: “Techcrunch began in 2005 as a blog about dotcom start-ups in Silicon Valley, but has quickly become one of the most influential news websites across the entire technology industry.”
Dooce: “Though there were personal websites that came before hers, certain elements conspired to make Dooce one of the biggest public diaries since Samuel Pepys’s (whose diary is itself available, transcribed in blog form, at Pepysdiary.com).”
Mashable: “Founded by Peter Cashmore in 2005, Mashable is a social-networking news blog, reporting on and reviewing the latest developments, applications and features available in or for MySpace, Facebook, Bebo and countless lesser-known social-networking sites and services, with a special emphasis on functionality.”
Gaping Void: “Things started going gangbusters when he pimped his cartoons on the internet, and as he built an audience through his blog, he started writing about his other passion — the new world of understanding how to adapt marketing to the new world of the net.”