You may know Molly Erdman from those awesome Sonic commercials or her involvement in the Second City Comedy Troup, but it wasn’t until recently that I found out, thanks 100% to my mom (yes, I am unabashed about that), that Ms. Erdman is the mind behind CatalogLiving.net.
The site, an ode to the absurdity of mail-order catalog presentations, follows the lives of Gary and Elaine, their children and their friends, as they try to cope with why there are so many lemons in that bowl and Gary misunderstanding what Elaine meant by “putting the chairs anywhere.”
Get to know more about Molly Erdman… Continue Reading »
This past weekend, from Thursday, September 9th to Saturday September 11th Lijit was a sponsor, attendee and presenter at BlogPaws WEST 2010.
We had never attended a pet blogging conference before and it turned out to be an incredible experience. The pet blogging community is relatively *new* but I was thoroughly impressed with the level of interaction, engagement and interest in becoming a better blogger, giving back to causes, shelters and animal welfare groups (as part of their blogging initiative) and the amount of passion that goes into what they do.
As I blogged about last week, prior to the conference, the event was held at the Denver Grand Hyatt, a pet friendly hotel. We ran into dogs, cats (in their own strollers), parrots and ferrets that were along for the ride, with their owners. The event was very well-planned, I noticed no scheduling issue and everyone was so amicable. I felt relaxed the entire conference (if you go to conferences, you might realize this isn’t a common feeling).
During my session everyone had great questions! It was fun to interact with bloggers, learn about what is important to them and demo what Lijit does, the stats that help you understand your readers, our custom search and the advertising opportunities we provide for all our publishers. They were particularly excited because we do not have a page view cutoff and we’re extremely inclusive for publishers wanting to test our advertising (or the long tail, no pun intended)!
We wanted to take a moment to introduce our publishers to OpenSky, a new and free platform that allows you to sell products you choose directly to your audience. Like Lijit, OpenSky helps you deepen your relationship with your readers.
Here’s how the process works:
- Browse their catalog to discover products you’ve never seen or look for old favorites.
- Select which products you want to feature.
- Connect with suppliers to ask about discounts or free samples.
- Sell products on your site.
- (Or buy any product for yourself at a special insider’s price.)
For every sale you make, OpenSky splits the profits, 50/50. Plus, once a sale is made, you don’t have to do any work. OpenSky takes care of all the order processing, fulfillment and customer service.
OpenSky is free and easy to use. Take a test drive… join today and start selling in less than 5 minutes.
Kelly is one of our Sales Directors (we have Sales Directors across every major geographical area in the U.S.) and she resides in San Francisco. Besides bringing sweet advertising campaigns to our publishers and a varied taste in delicious vino, you might be surprised to know Kelly has dabbled in Opera! Read on to learn about Kelly…
What is your Lijit contribution?
I am the Pacific Northwest Sales Director; I try to get people to give us money.
What is your least favorite word and why?
Irregardless – but it’s actually not even a word, so I’m not sure if that counts.
What is your favorite sound and why?
The high pitched squeals, gibberish and cooing of our 8 month old son. It’s fairly obvious why, but I’ll articulate it by saying it makes me feel warm and fuzzy.
What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt and why?
Well, I’ve already given that whole “opera singer” thing a try when I lived in New York. This may sound boring, but I have toyed with the idea of re-purposing my voice degrees to become a speech therapist. I’m fascinated with how we learn to speak and how we manipulate the sounds we’re capable of producing. But, that would require 3-5 years of school. No thanks!!
Something you’re guilty of…
I’m definitely guilty of watching too much Rachel Zoe Project. It’s my embarrassing confession. But, to my credit, I don’t watch any of the bachelor/bachelorette, housewives or wherever, amazing races, or big brother shows. Rachel Zoe and anything on HGTV or DIY are pretty much the only reality shows I watch.
Things have been quiet on the Lijit product front for a while, but only because we’ve been working tirelessly to build new features and functionality that make Lijit Search even better. We are pretty excited about what we’re building and wanted to give everyone a sneak peek at what has been taking up our time and our coffee budget. Our latest features will help you better engage your readers by presenting your social content in exciting new ways (media thumbnails, real time status, tighter social network integrations…just look at the image below.). Stay tuned over the coming weeks as we start rolling out tools that will help you become a better publisher, and help your readers better engage with your content.
Can you imagine a conference, devoted to animal and pet lovers who also blog? Everyone has their dear pet in tow (on a leash, in their arms, by their side, etc.). This devoted and niche community is larger than you might think and will be coming to Denver, this weekend, September 9-11th: BlogPaws 2010 West – “the gathering place for pet bloggers for networking, learning, and fun!” And yes, you better believe that the Denver Hyatt is a pet-friendly hotel where BlogPaws is hosted. Pets are encouraged!
Not only is Lijit a proud sponsor of BlogPaws WEST, but I will be speaking in our own breakout session during the conference called–> Hands-on Blogging Tools Workshop: Using Lijit for Search and Monetization.
The lovely BlogPaws team is comprised of three passionate and dedicated pet lovers and bloggers – Caroline Golon of Romeothecat.com and Yvonne Divita and Tom Collins of Scratchings and Sniffings and Windsor Media Enterprises.
Thy have built their educational community as:
An online resource for pet bloggers to help you be a better blogger, whatever “being a better blogger” means to YOU. So whether you are blogging for fun, to raise money or on behalf of a company or organization, BlogPaws is your go-to place.
BlogPaws WEST is the second event for the BlogPaws team (their inaugural was in April of this year, BlogPaws (Columbus) with 200+ pet bloggers) and they only see the community and events growing each year.
If you’re interested in the event (quick, there’s still time to sign-up) it’s chalk full of sessions on: branding, SEO, social media strategies, book publishing in a digital world, product reviews, writing essentials and much more. You can check out the conference schedule and sessions here.
The community at large, of BlogPaws is one that you can always follow through Twitter (@blogpaws), Facebook or their blog for educational tips to navigate the pet blogging world and leverage other friends in the same space.
As Yvonne (co-founder) has said to me when she signs off in her e-mails I will leave you with with some pet lingo:
“WOOF, WOOF,” and “BOL” (barking out loud)
*Stay tuned for a post-conference event blog post.
Here at Lijit we get asked all the time whether we have a referral program that rewards our publishers for helping us grow the Lijit Network. Well, we finally have one and we would love to tell you more about it!
In a nutshell, the Lijit referral program provides monetary compensation, marketing support, cool Lijit schwag and other incentives for letting us tap into your network of peers. You’ve already seen the benefits of Lijit’s free site search and content discovery tools so why not get paid for spreading the word?
Publishers interested in the program should contact their Lijit Publisher Services Manager or Sonya Caprio, Director of Marketing: email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Seems like every day I see another article talking about the “Future of Search”. In every article “Search” refers almost exclusively to the Reader (you and me) and how we use Search. Nearly everything anyone has to say about Search seems to always relate back to the reader:
- What am I looking for?
- Did I find it or not?
- Was it presented to me in a unique and compelling way?
- Is my location taken into account?
- My social network taken into account?
- Images? Video? Audio? Were they also available?
- How about maps? Or discount coupons?
- Did the Search learn from my prior searches or click behavior?
- Is anything going to unseat Google as the dominant search engine?
The problem is that this Reader-centric equation is only half of what Search really is. In a literal sea of websites that are NOT Google, Bing, Yahoo!, eBay, or YouTube there is incredible value in Search that appeals to the Publishers of those millions of websites.
Think about it from a Publisher point of view. Search is a powerful insight into the intent of an audience of readers. In fact, site search on all of these millions of websites is largely an afterthought. That’s crazy when you think that a little search box on your site is the place where your readers assert direct and explicit intent against your content. Search is perhaps the most interactive and data-rich portion of your site and it’s also one of the most overlooked.
- What are my Readers looking for?
- What are they finding? What are they not finding?
- Are they clicking on my site content, my Twitter content? My other sites?
- Do they engage with intent on my site? Or simply read and exit?
- Do they see and interact with results from my social media?
- Do they gravitate to other media content like photos, videos, audio?
- Do I show them related content from my network of sites? And if so, how often do they click through to those sites?
The points above illustrate incredible Publisher-centric information captured from the intent of your audience. The amazing part? Lijit is the only company tackling this Publisher-side value equation with Search. We do it for free, with easy customization, with no restrictive obligations, and no exclusive contracts. We focus 100% on Publisher-side value that helps these Publishers engage and better understand their audience of readers. We feed this data back to our Publishers through real-time actionable analytics. Oh… and if our Publishers want us to make them more money, we do that too; with no restrictive obligations, and no exclusive contracts. Does it get any better than that?
We love bloggers. We love bloggers and our publishers even more.
Recently, TIME release Best Blogs of 2010 and we want to highlight and congratulate every blogger on the list, as well as the Lijit publishers who made the list, as well.
- Cake Wrecks: When professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong.
- Everything Everywhere: Around the world travel blog
FailBlog made the list (as an Overrated Blog) – but we collectively and strongly disagree. FailBlog is one of our favorite sites – they receive a daily visit from everyone in the Lijit office. You can always guarantee a laugh and the best part is that it’s all real – maybe it makes us feel better? Either way, we’re giving FailBlog a Best Blogs of 2010 list, right at the top. They’re worth featuring, without a doubt.
You can read the rest of the list here.
Congratulations and high-fives to all the winners!
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting sin city itself, Las Vegas, for the first time in my young life. However, I wasn’t there to blow through my life savings ala Clark Griswold in “National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation,” or to tie the knot with the, uh, “exotic dancer” I met just hours prior. No, my intentions were elsewhere. My eyes and ear and rental car were pointed about 25 miles north of the Vegas strip to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It was there, among the gloriously desolated desert I was to witness a one-of-a-kind car racing event: After Dark – Round 5 of the Formula Drift series of competition.
What’s drifting, you ask? Well if you haven’t seen the second installment of the Fast and the Furious, here’s a little background direct from Wikipedia:
Drifting refers to a driving technique and to a motorsport where the driver intentionally over steers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels through turns, while maintaining vehicle control and a high exit speed. A car is drifting when the rear slip angle is greater than the front slip angle prior to the corne apex, and the front wheels are pointing in the opposite direction to the turn (e.g. car is turning left, wheels are pointed right or vice versa), and the driver is controlling these factors. As a motor sport, professional drifting competitions are held worldwide.
Hope that clears things up. At any rate, my purpose was to watch these immensely beefed-up cars careen around cones at exponentially high speeds, shooting clouds of tire smoke into the 112 degree desert sky and showering spectators in bits of rubber. Aside from the tents of the various event sponsors, including MotorMavens.com, on of Lijit’s premier publishers, there was little I could do to escape the heat. Read: I was a sweaty mess close to 100% of the time. But what a perfect catalyst to help make said bits of tire stick to my skin, no?
The event was anything but lackluster. I had the chance to meet the drivers, including Rhys Millen (of the Rod Millen family), Chris Forsberg, Tyler McQuarrie, who took home the gold, and the riotous, Mad Mike Whiddett driving the beastly Mazda RX-8 sponsored by Team Need For Speed and closely tied to a personal favorite site of mine, Speedhunters.com. Further than the drives, I had the pleasure to actually meet, face-to-face, with the heads of Team Need for Speed/Speedhunters and their acclaimed videographer, Will Roegge and photographer, Linhbergh. And isn’t it always better to put a face to a name? I got to do just that, too, when I shook the hand of Antonio, one of the masterminds behind the aforementioned, Motor Mavens.
Hopping from tent to tent, checking out the latest products from leaders in the industry, pounding NOS energy drinks (probably downed close to 4 gallons in two days), handing out Lijit shirts, collecting loads of free swag, I didn’t stop moving from the times the gates opened at 4PM until they closed at around 1:30AM each of the two days. Although I only got to check out the casino in the Golden Nugget, the hotel I called home for the weekend, I am not a big gambler and that side of Vegas wasn’t alluring to me. I did pull the lever on one $1 slot machine. Then I called it a day.
A rollercoaster weekend of networking, burning rubber, 112 dry heat, over-air conditioned rooms, carnival-style food, meeting some of the best and brightest in the drifting world, rental car radio and my phone dying when I really, REALLY didn’t need it to saw me returning to Denver exhausted, slightly more broke, two lungs filled with tire smoke, and feeling accomplished. Will I be back next year? Heck yes! Will I be trying to attend more local Colorado-based automotive events? YOu better believe it. So, if you see me, feel free to say hey. I may even have a bag of shirts with me if you are lucky.