Archive for November, 2009

Find better writers online with Scribnia

Nov
27

With so much content being created everyday online, it can be difficult to find quality writing amongst all the noise. Enter Scribnia, a new startup that features a community built around online authors. After just a little digging around on their site, I’m of the opinion that this is one service that is long overdue.

From their homepage…

Scribnia is all about the writers. We aim to be the definitive source for people’s opinions about bloggers, columnists, reporters and other writers whose work is available online. Scribnia allows you to rate your favorite (and least favorite) writers and discover new authors that match your unique tastes.

The beauty of Scribnia is that they’re essentially offering a two-fold benefit. When on their site, you can search for authors, see who has been highly rated and read other users’ reviews. Scribnia’s ‘context ratings’ allow for deep filtering of authors based on criteria you deem important and after you’ve rated a few authors, Scribnia’s recommendation engine will do the work for you. If you’re in the market for a discovery engine, you’ve got the makings of a great one within the Scribnia community.

But wait…Scribnia does more. By creating an author profile on the site, you can also get a widget to put on your blog, asking for feedback about your writing. This means that readers can write public reviews and rate your writing. Other Scribnia members will be able to access these reviews and contribute their own ratings. Sounds like a fantastic way to drive new traffic to your blog…and get a better idea of what people like about your writing.

Scribnia is a free service and their employees will go out of their way to help (I’m looking at you David and Saad!). Since they’re still in beta, Scribnia is asking for any and all feedback about what they’re doing. To learn more, check out the Scribnia blog and follow them on Twitter.

If you’re a writer, I strongly suggest you give Scribnia a look. And if you decide to sign up, I’m tarable over there too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov
25

From all of the turkeys here at the Lijit office…

We hope you have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving holiday!

(Thanks for being such a good sport Daniel…)

Publisher Spotlight: Trek Life

Nov
24

As a small business in Boulder, we enjoy supporting others in the same space. Trek Light Gear is just one such company. It’s a wonderful hammock operation started by outdoor enthusiast Seth Haber. Now, just a few short years after he launched Trek Light Gear, Seth can boast of global sales and a very popular kiosk on the Pearl Street Mall.

As a small business in Boulder, we also appreciate the work-life balance that Trek Light Gear espouses. Trek Light Gear sells not just hammocks, but also loudly evangelizes the hammock lifestyle and the frequent use of said hammocks. (I’ll give you a minute to envision yourself laying in a hammock somewhere beautiful and relaxing.)

Now that you’re feeling groovy, read on to see what Seth has to say about Trek Light Gear’s company blog, Trek Life, and where he likes to hang his hammock.

Read the rest of this entry »

Partner up with Partnerpedia

Nov
20

We like to share companies and services with you that provide value. Partnerpedia is just such a company. They first came to our attention at Chicks Who Click-San Jose, but we really got the chance to talk when Partnerpedia showed up on the expo floor of Blog World this year. Launched in June 2008, Partnerpedia was designed as a way to help channel partners more easily find, recruit and collaborate with one another. Consider it similar to a business social media site like LinkedIn. Basically, being part of Partnerpedia allows companies to increase their business through building a partner network.

According to Vanessa Ho, Partnerpedia’s online community manager, Partnerpedia is specially geared towards small and medium-sized companies that want to create a partner portal but don’t have the resources or capabilities to develop such a thing on their own. In addition to their free service, Partnerpedia also offers enterprise-level companies a paid solution that includes private label branding, metrics, reporting and customer integration with social media channels.

Ho also mentioned that the company has recently launched the beta of their Partnerpedia for Salesforce CRM application that will allow Salesforce CRM users to distribute leads to a partner and track the opportunity throughout its sales cycle. Additional features include automatic notifications to keep users up-to-date and a partner finder to easily locate solution providers.

It’s easy to sign up for Partnerpedia (you can see that we managed to do it) and once you do, companies can create their partner profile, upload documents and publish articles, collaborate on documents and work on specific projects with other Partnerpedia members. If you’re looking for interesting new ways of growing your business, Partnerpedia might be just the answer to find different and strategic partners with which to market your company.

To those of you that are male, we salute you!

Nov
19

In what may be one of the least necessary holiday observations around, today marks International Men’s Day. To celebrate this very special day, we thought it only right to show off some of the best male-oriented sites we have in our network. Well, to celebrate, and to make sure the majority of our company knows how appreciative the women of the office are to have them around. (Is it obvious that I was in dire need of blog content?)

Kicking things off, we have the one of the most humorous and vintage mens’ site around…The Art of Manliness

which provides guidance in areas ranging from Dress & Grooming to Health & Sports. Also, for those who are just starting out, the site features a whole section devoted entirely to living A Man’s Life and acquiring Manly Skills, including such essentials as how to be a hobo and how to exit a room like a man. I hope you’re taking notes, gentlemen. Or that the women in your life are planning on getting you The Art of Manliness book for Christmas.

For some, however, the true art of manliness can be found in fathers. On the daddy blog, Real Men Drive Minivans, PJ Mullen shares his adventures as a stay at home dad…

where he generously posts everything from his recipes (the butternut squash and apple bisque looks especially good) to his thoughts on fathering in a modern world. You can read even more about PJ and his blog in this publisher spotlight we posted earlier this year. Although smaller in number than their mommyblogging counterparts, daddybloggers the world over deserve nothing but respect. (And maybe their own conference?)

There is a newer site to the Lijit network that is devoted to providing just the basics for men. That site is called Guyism and their tagline really sums it up nicely…

because judging from that tagline, you’d think that Guyism would have posts about things like oxygen, water and shelter. But you’d be wrong. The site actually publishes helpful information like 7 ways to tell if your lady is absolutely crazy and many knowledge-filled posts about the importance of supermodels. Good to know that what guys really need is not always safe for work. (You’ve been warned.)

Because of the global scale of this holiday (it is International Men’s Day, after all), we would hate to leave out any men residing on different continents. Which brings us to…Ask a Frenchman

…where important questions like Why French Women Do Not Ask Men Out? and Can you explain the Bourgeoisie? get answered. The publisher’s disclaimer may be one of the best parts of the blog. He is very clear in his intentions…

“As no less than the self-proclaimed world specialist on Frenchness and all things French, I will answer any question about anything you’ve always wanted to know and never dared to ask about France and the French.”

The author also wants you to know that there are a few questions he can’t answer…

“French men are individuals and as such have a mind of their own, they do not all think the same things, so no I cannot know what they think just because we share the same nationality.
-And no, I cannot read minds either.
-I’m not your bitch, neither a replacement for your ability to think by yourselves (or lack of thereof), so before asking me a question think twice about whether you can find the answer by yourselves, and about how stupid your question really is.”

And finally, what International Men’s Day honorary tribute would be complete without a shout-out to our gay brothers? No one does it better than Towleroad

…which proudly proclaims itself as “a site with homosexual tendencies”. Whether you’re in the market for the latest news on gay marriage, gay pageants or gay celebrities, chances are this site has everything you need. Of course, if you’re simply looking for pictures of hot gay men, you’re adequately covered on that front as well.

From all of us here at Lijit, we wish all of you a very happy International Men’s Day!

<requiredsnarkyfemalecomment>Isn’t every day Men’s Day?</requiredsnarkyfemalecomment>

Defrag Conference 2009

Nov
17

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Defrag 2009 was back in the Mile High City of Denver this year, just a stones throw away from our enclave of Boulder, 45 minutes to the north. The conference is an interesting mix of news school social technology with more progressive ‘enterprise’ companies and solutions who are embracing the need to become more “social”. This could mean embracing the voice of the customer or community or leveraging similar means to allow progressive collaborations to occur between employees and partners of a company. All in all it was great to see the movement of a new ‘voice’ being heard and taken seriously by larger enterprise-focused corporations.

While there, our good friend Louis Gray, hosted a panel of 4 technologists which I was asked to participate in. Each of the panelists were essentially allowed to discuss a topic or trend we’re seeing or playing in within our industry articulated in roughly a 5 minute window. These 5 minute ‘pitch-lettes’ were then discussed collaboratively with the audience.

I went through a subset of the data we gathered and contributed to the Technorati State of the Blogosphere 2009 survey. I plucked out the most outstanding trends we’d witnessed from analyzing our data and distilled 5 of those, each spoken about in a one minute diatribe! The audience participation was great and all the presenters had great lenses into and around our community. The presentation I used is below so have a view!

Many Thanks on Veteran’s Day

Nov
11

Whatever you do today, make sure you take a moment to think of all those who have put their lives in danger to protect our freedoms. All across the Lijit network, publishers were making their voices heard in posts commemorating Veteran’s Day. Here are just a few that I found…

  • Bargain Briana has a post up today with a list of national businesses that are showing their appreciation to all veterans by running special deals or offering free giveaways.
  • Like many people, the authors of Silicon Valley Moms Blog had family members that served in the military. Their Veteran’s Day post includes memories of those family members and a touching tribute to all those who have fought for our country.

  • Our favorite tax blog, Don’t Mess with Taxes, shares a helpful list of military tax tips featuring valuable information about special tax considerations for those currently serving in the armed forces.
  • The Moderate Voice, a hub for moderates, centrists and independents posted a very special cartoon in honor of our veterans today.

From all of us here at Lijit and our over 11,000 publishers, we’d like to thank all the veterans. We wouldn’t be where we are without you.

Announcing the Winners of the Lijit #CrushIt Contest With Gary Vaynerchuk

Nov
9

Our #CrushIt contest with Gary Vaynerchuk has come to an end. Before we announce the winners, we want to thank everyone who participated and signed up for Lijit. We like working with friends of Lijit, our community and giving back so if you have any feedback or additional ideas, send them our way. We’re all ears.

Without further ado. Drumroll please…

The five winners, picked at random are:

  1. Programming Language FAQ (http://programminglanguagefaqs.blogspot.com/)
  2. Over U (http://overu.typepad.com/overu/)
  3. I Heart PGH (http://iheartpgh.com/)
  4. E Books For You (http://www.freeebooks4you.co.cc/)
  5. John Allsopp (http://blog.tropicalismo360.com/)

Each of the five bloggers listed, will receive an autographed copy (by the man himself) of Gary Vaynerchuk’s, Crush It.

Note: We will personally e-mail each winner for addresses so we can send you your copy of the book.

Lijit Interview with Bloggers School

Nov
6

Last night, our CEO, Todd Vernon, and COO, Walter Knapp, were interviewed by Bloggers School on Blog Talk Radio. They discussed the history of Lijit, the business model behind our company and how our search adds value to both the publisher and the blog reader. The majority of the interview centered around questions about Lijit’s premium Ad Network and how we’re making it even easier for bloggers to make money on their blogs. Give it a listen if you want to hear more from the top dogs themselves.

Get to know Lijit: Erica

Nov
4

It’s been a while since we’ve profiled a Lijit employee. I’m blaming that on the fact that there only a precious few left that haven’t been interviewed yet AND it’s been a little crazy around these parts. But we’re back and very excited to introduce you to one of the feistiest** members of our Publisher Acquisition team…Erica Prather. Lijit is Erica’s first REAL job out of college (awwwww…how cute!) so she still has a lot of that school spirit that seems to wither the further from graduation you get. Here she is, showing off her Jayhawk pride…

Can you say Rock Chalk? She can…and loudly. But the thing about Erica is that she brings that same enthusiasm to everything else she does as well. See for yourself.

What is your Lijit contribution?

I work in business development, which means that I identify publishers that would benefit from the Lijit search. I maintain relationships with current publishers, help customize their widget and learn way too much about Heidi Montag Pratt while doing the aforementioned. I also act as Advertising Services Manager – meaning that I create ad tags, schedule ad campaigns and generally manage the affairs of our publishers when it comes to the ads served on their page.

What is your favorite word and why?

I appreciate the f*#% word for all of its versatile goodness – if you can name one emotion it doesn’t cover, let me know. But since my mom is reading this, I’ll have to say milquetoast, because it sounds like a cool Kellogg’s cereal, but it’s really describing a boring person.

What turns you off, emotionally, spiritually or creatively?

I’ll have to go with excessive materialism and a skewed perception of reality…I think that people tend to forget that they go to bed with a full belly and a roof over their heads every night. Even I struggle with it (don’t get me started on car troubles) – but realistically we deal with what I call ‘luxury’ problems on a daily basis. Losing your vacation home, your Porsche or your retirement because of a bad economy is really not a problem…I think we forget how truly blessed we are.

What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt and why?

I just want to travel and get paid for it or just survive doing it. I don’t care if it’s cliche – I love everything about it: the accents, new smells, interesting foods, weird things people wear, funky music, other people’s traditions, it’s awesome. Should I start looking for a trust fund baby to marry?

Something you’re guilty of…

I think we all know that I hate sharing my food when ASKED to. You can borrow my clothes, shoes, earrings, even sleep in my bed, but touch my food and you are dead to me. Maybe it’s because as a kid, if you didn’t make it downstairs in time, you’d miss out on the muffins/cinnamon rolls/treats because I had two siblings (one being a garbage disposal brother). But excuses and psychological reasoning aside – I hate sharing my food unwillingly.

As you can tell from the above pictures and her profile answers, we can all safely say that Erica is far from being a milquetoast. She is spunky, a quick learner and always prepared with a punchline. In other words, she fits in around Lijit perfectly.

Especially with her love of the f*%# word. (Sorry Erica’s mom!)

**Yes, it really is a word.