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.

What happens in Vegas is often caught on video…

Oct
27

We love hearing what our users have to say. (Especially when it’s good stuff.) One of our favorite blog wranglers, Anne-Marie, was easily convinced at Blog World to tell us why she likes Lijit. Take a look…

If you like what Anne-Marie had to say, be sure to check out her delicious blog, This Mama Cooks, her review blog This Mama Cooks Reviews or the advice she dispenses at The Write Spot or Mom Central Blogger University.

These are just a few of the places she’s blogging. (It makes me tired just to think of all that!) Additionally, you can follow her on Twitter–she’s adding value over there as well.

Many thanks to Anne-Marie for her continued support. With users like this, how can we not be excited about what we’re doing?

We are the Blog World 09…A Pictorial

Oct
22

This was our third year having a booth at Blog World and it just keeps getting better for us. Instead of going on and on about what a great conference it was and how many times our company got mentioned in sessions or during keynotes, we thought pictures might do a better job of telling our story…

Our booth, along with the swag we were handing out, attracted quite the crowd. TheĀ  Purell was a big hit…either due to the fact that folks were shaking a lot of hands or that they agreed that Las Vegas was a dirty city.

But, one of the main reasons we go to Blog World is to be immersed in a world we love…that of blog publishers. Seeing their eyes light up when we explain and demo what we do is something that just can’t be described.

Not to mention all the opportunities we have for spreading our message to a larger audience…

However, probably our most favorite thing to do while at a show like Blog World is to thank our current users. Folks like the masterminds behind I Can Has Cheezburger, Neatorama, and WebUrbanist. And slapping a few stickers on cute mommybloggers doesn’t hurt the cause either. (Hi Extraordinary Mommy!)

A conference like Blog World takes a lot of energy. Not only is it a big show, but the fact that it takes place in Vegas makes it all the more tiring. To make sure we were up to the task, we made sure we had all of the essentials covered…

Thanks to everyone we met and to all those who told us how much they loved what we’re doing. Wear your Lijit shirts with pride and we hope to see you next year at Blog World 2010!

[Photo credits: Perry, Grace, Greg and http2007]

Lijit contributes analysis to Technorati State of the Blogosphere 2009

Oct
21

Every year, since 2004, Technorati has published the State of the Blogosphere report. The State of the Blogosphere report is considered the best up to date source of information about size, motivations, and practices of long tail publishers.

This year, Lijit helped Technorati by supplying some information from within the blogs that make up the Lijit Network. Lijit performed the analysis on the raw data and only supplied the aggregate insights documented in this post.

Analysis was centered on four distinct areas of interest including Search Engine Referrals, Blogroll Promotion, the Impact of Twitter, Advertising and Analytics.

Methodology

Data for this post was collected from two primary sources both directly collected by Lijit.

The first source of data was the ~11K active Lijit publishers that have the Lijit Search Widget installed on their publications. Lijit builds a unique search corpus for each publisher. This search corpus includes the publisher’s publication, his user-generated content, and the network of the publishers who influence the publisher (i.e., his Blogroll). This network of influencers results in a crawl footprint of over 2.5M publications that we actively index in order to maintain the search functionality on the 11K publisher sites. The second source of data used in this post comes from information gathered on those 2.5M sites in the extended network.

Data was reduced to something we refer to as the ‘typical publisher’. For some measurements, some publishers were omitted from the sample when in our opinion the specific publisher or publishers represented a singularity in the data that masked the typical publisher substantially. In addition, for some of the analysis points, we removed publications with less than 100 page views a day. Where lower page view publishers were removed we point it out. As page views drop into lower numbers some of the data begins to skew and it begins to get difficult to distinguish active and inactive publishers.

Search Engine Referrals

A typical site within the Lijit publisher network receives 27% of its page views from clicks on results in horizontal search engine result pages. As expected, the highest single source of referrals to the typical publisher site is Google at 23.5%. Yahoo and Bing were next, accounting for about 3.2% of referrals. Twitter and Facebook were nearly identical and total about 1.6% of traffic.

Google 23.52%
Yahoo 2.15%
Bing 1.07%
Twitter 0.83%
Facebook 0.80%
MSN 0.02%
Direct to Site 21.50%
Site Self-References + Other Sites 50.02%

Lijit categorizes publications into 23 topical/vertical subject areas. The Tech vertical saw the highest percent of page views from search engine referrals at 41%. The remaining topical areas were fairly consistent with regards to percent referrals.

The percent of page views that come from search engine referrals is fairly constant with the audience size of the publication. The exception to this are publications of less than 100 page views a day that receive a slightly larger percent of page views from search engine referrals at around 30%.

It’s unclear why smaller publications get a larger percent of page views from search engine referrals, but may be linked to the ever growing length of horizontal search engine queries. According to a Hitwise January 2009 Search report, over 50% of queries are now 3 terms or more on the major horizontal search engines. This suggests that as the length of the average query string gets longer, more referrals get passed to smaller publications due to the specificity of the queries. This is a positive trend for smaller publishers.

Blogroll Promotion

Based on the 2.5M publications crawled by Lijit, the number of blogs in the average blogroll is 47, a surprisingly high number. Although not always a prominent feature on a publisher’s site, cross promotion of bloggers by other bloggers is clearly a significant factor in publication readership growth.

The typical publication within the Lijit network of 2.5M sites appears in 6.4 other Blogrolls. In other words, the typical blog is pointed to by 6.4 other blogs. The difference between a blog appearing in 6.4 other Blogrolls and pointing to an average of 47 other blogs is largely due to blogs pointing outside of the Lijit crawl footprint. The Blogosphere is a very large place.

The Impact of Twitter

Publications with greater than 100 page views a day received on average 0.83% of their page views from Twitter referrals. This percent tracked very closely to Facebook referrals at 0.80%. Publications below 100 page views a day saw a higher percent of page views from Twitter referrals than Facebook referrals.

Besides horizontal search engines, Twitter is the largest driver of referrals to the typical publication.

Lijit Search aggregates user-generated content that a publisher generates, into search results that display on the publisher’s site. Aggregating this content around a publisher’s site creates a stronger brand association for the reader with that publisher and site.

The most common user-generated content source included within a Lijit Search profile is Twitter. About 50% of Lijit publishers include Twitter in their Lijit Search results. This is a change from prior years. In 2007, 26.6% of publishers included Twitter as a content source in their Lijit Search results. In 2008, 42% of Lijit accounts included Twitter as a content source within their Lijit Search results. In 2009, 50% of publishers included Twitter as a content source within their Lijit Search results.

Twitter was by far the fastest growing content source to be included by Lijit publishers. Clearly, publishers embrace the micro-blog format. Going forward, Lijit intends to track the percent of publishers that use Twitter for blog post promotion as we suspect this number is quite high.

Advertising and Analytics

As Lijit crawls the extended network of publications, we track the widgets and tags we find on those publications. For the first time, Quantcast overtook Google Analytics as the most frequent analytics tag found on publications. This is likely due to Quantcast tags being included in some publishing platform templates.

Comparing 2008 to 2009, there has been a 68% increase in the number of sites with Ad tags installed. This indicates to us that monetizing sites is high on the priority list of most publishers.

Last year, when we ran the analysis, Google Ad tags made up 67% of the Ad tags found. This year that percentage has dropped to 47%, indicating publishers are experimenting with other Ad networks. This is probably not an indication of publishers leaving Google but rather publishers trying other Ad networks and using Google at the end of the Ad rotation.

More Data to Come…

With Lijit’s install footprint of 11K active installed base and a crawl footprint of 2.5M publications, Lijit is becoming the defacto source of information from within publications. Starting in 2010 Lijit will publish a more comprehensive study of what’s happening inside the Blogosphere.

We’re Going To BlogWorld!

Oct
13

It’s that time of year again for the geeks and bloggers to arrive in masses and congregate in Sin City for Blog World.

Lijit is gearing up for our third year at the BlogWorld New Media Expo held October 15-17th at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

We will be setting up shop at our Lijit booth (#330 to be exact) equipped of course with our soft, Lijit t-shirts. Our crew will be ready to meet and talk all things wijit. If you’re a Lijit user, want to use Lijit or want some Purell to help clean up your search, then be sure to stop by our booth and say hello!

Don’t forget to catch some Lijit speakers, too! Greg Keller, Lijit’s VP of Product Development will be speaking at WordCamp Las Vegas in coordination with Blog World. At 3:00 PM on Friday, October 16th Greg will be speaking on: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Our Readers – A Study of Reader Profile Data. Micah Baldwin (former VP of Business Development for Lijit) will be speaking on a panel with our CEO, Todd Vernon at 11:30 AM on Saturday, October 17th on Measuring and Building Online Influence.

We look forward to meeting you and please feel free to e-mail Tara (tara at lijit dot com) or Grace (gboyle at lijit dot com) if you would like to set up a specific time to meet. For the latest Lijit news fresh from Blog World, follow us on Twitter (@Lijit) as we hold it down on the expo floor.

Lijit’ees present: Todd Vernon, Walter Knapp, Tara Anderson, Perry Quinn, Grace Boyle and Gregory Keller.

Some Brands are more Lijit than others.

Sep
25

The last few days I was in New York at the OMMA Global Conference. The OMMA Conference gathers Ad Industry experts to discuss where online advertising has been and where it’s going. This year, the title was “The New Socialism” and talked about how social media is often the key to engagement between brands and audiences. Of course, we already knew that. Lijit is based on engaging your readers with your Brand through all the social connections you have. It was fun to see Madison Avenue coming to the same conclusion.

There were lots of good panels including one entitled “The Mommy Bloggers – What It’s Like When Marketers Really, Really Want You”. That panel featured a couple of Lijit publishers and many thought-provoking insights.

OMMA was very interesting to me because lately, we have been approached by some major brands to help them reach very specific audiences within our publisher base. When there’s a convergence between a publisher’s audience and a Brand, we offer the opportunity to the publisher. Sometimes these are specific Ads within a publisher’s search results page, sometimes these are display campaigns that we offer to our publishers for the content pages, and sometimes they are cool interactive applications that run on the publisher’s site.

Of course, we only offer these opportunities to our publishers if they have expressed an interest in monetizing their site with us. We respect that many publishers simply want to deliver a great experience for their readers and monetizing is not important. For those that are interested, major brands are looking for audiences like yours, and we talk with them every day.

If you’re a Lijit publisher and have not heard from us about a specific opportunity, it’s most likely that we haven’t found the right opportunity for you yet. If you are interested in hearing more, please send us a note. If not – no problem, we want to make sure we are the best solution in helping your readers effectively connect with your Brand!

Publisher Spotlight: Komen Denver

Sep
14

Next month is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and around the country, many chapters of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure will be raising funds through the Race for the Cure. Since we love a good cause (and we all love the ladies), it only seemed right that we feature a blog that is out to educate folks about breast cancer and is working hard towards finding a cure.

The Denver branch of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is one of only two branches in the nation that even have a blog and since Colorado has one of the highest rates of breast cancer cases, the Denver Komen blog is an amazing resource. In addition to providing information about the upcoming Race for the Cure, the blog also seeks to share educational materials with young women and provide information about how Colorado is doing in treating breast cancer cases.

We’re fortunate that Michele Ostrander, the Executive Director of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Denver Affiliate, was able to take time out of her schedule to answer a few questions we had about the Komen blog. Read on to see how blogging has helped her non-profit…

How long have you been blogging and what made you start?

We’re actually fairly new to blogging, as we just started about two months ago. But we’re only one of a handful of Affiliates to start blogging, and we are even blogging before National. We see this as an opportunity to reach a wider-range of women and keep in close touch with our breast cancer community. Comments give us instant feedback, and we’re excited to have this tool as another way to engage with our survivors, fundraisers, grantees and volunteers.

What has been the greatest benefit you’re received from blogging about the Komen cause?

We recently heard from one of our survivors who is in Stage IV, and the blog served as a great way for her to get in touch with us and give us needed feedback on the community. Now we’re going to feature her story and her feedback on the blog.

Can you tell us more about the Survivor Stories?

The women who have had breast cancer have incredible stories. Every time they gather at events, they have so many stories to tell and are so inspiring to each other. We hope that by hearing about each other’s triumphs and struggles, we’ll help everyone understand that they’re a little less alone than they thought they were previously. We’ve been able to feature a woman who creates jewelry in honor of her sister who passed away from breast cancer, a marathon runner, a mother of two and a mother of seven. Breast cancer affects one in seven women in Colorado, so it affects a lot of different women, each with a story to tell. Despite just blogging for a short time, we’ve already had people reaching out to get involved and tell their story.

As a non-profit, how does blogging fit in with your marketing and fundraising strategy?

The blog serves as a way to keep those already involved in the fight for cures for breast cancer, but also a way to get more people aware. Plus, with Komen Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure Denver, 75 percent of the money we raise each year stays local. The blog serves as an important way to feature and put a face to those that we’re helping. Plus, we love being able to spotlight the great grantees that are able to benefit from the money we raise each year.

We also hope to raise awareness for the Komen Denver Race for the Cure on October 4, 2009, and the Pink Tie Affair on November 7, 2009, which are our top two fundraisers for the year. We’re lucky to have an energetic and creative group of people helping us so we also have fundraisers to feature like Bat for the Cure, Cupcakes for the Cure, and Massage for the Cure throughout the year.

How has Lijit helped you to become a better blogger?

As we’re trying out new ways to keep in touch with our community, Lijit helps our members find what they’re looking for amongst all our new communication channels. Plus, it’s fun to see the top terms that people are searching for on our blog and knowing that Lijit helps our visitors find the information they need.

For more information about Komen Denver, check out their website for more information or follow them on Twitter. And by all means, use the Lijit search on their blog to find out how you can help raise money to find a cure for breast cancer.

Chicks Who Click San Jose: Lijit women in tech

Aug
27

This past weekend, Lijit was proud to be one of the sponsors for the ongoing Chicks Who Click conference series. San Jose, or to be more specific-downtown Palo Alto, was the setting for this installment of the (mostly) female gathering of those involved in social media and working in the tech industry.

There was a panel featuring Aubrey Sabala of Digg, Margaret Stewart of YouTube and Meagan Marks from Facebook. These three incredibly smart women talked about how they’ve trailblazed their way to fantastic careers by carving out roles for themselves that cater to their strengths. One of the key take-aways from this panel was the notion of “intelligent risk-taking” and that if an opportunity scares you, then it’s probably exactly what you need to be doing.

I spoke on a panel about being a woman involved with a tech startup. (There I am, in the middle, talking with my hands yet again.) Emily Olson of the delicious Foodzie and Suzanne Xie of the stylish Weardrobe joined me as we discussed the different challenges we’ve faced as being part of early-stage tech companies. Suzanne brought up the point that her background is in finance and coming from that kind of workplace, tech seems very open to women. Both Emily and I agreed that being female has helped with marketing our companies in both online and offline communities. A point that resonated with the audience is that if you’re going to have women users, it can be beneficial to have a female voice or face to assist with tech support or new customer outreach.

In case you haven’t experienced it, there really is a kind of magic that happens when you get a roomful of women (and a few men) together, talking about collaboration, connection and how tech can play an important part in building a business. Women of all ages shared stories of how they found jobs on Twitter, used Facebook to get the word out about their startup or formed relationships with major brands all because of their blog. It was an inspiring day, full of shared knowledge and newly-formed friendships. I’m grateful that Lijit was able to help make it happen.

BlogHer 09: A Lijit experience

Aug
5

I love going to conferences and listening. There is always a lot of conversation going on, in sessions and hallways, and I enjoy just shutting up. With so many inspiring bloggers in one place, there is much to be learned. A big part of our culture at Lijit is to listen to what our users have to say and I was honored to do just that in Chicago at BlogHer.

On quite a few occasions at the conference, someone in a group would ask about Lijit and before I was able to answer, a blogger standing nearby would jump in to explain why they were using Lijit. It really is enough to make a girl’s heart flutter. To see the hard work and evangelism that everyone at our company does on a daily basis come to life? Totally awesome.

dancefloor

Here are just some of the Lijit publishers that I ran into, ran alongside, stalked silently, watched on panels, asked for feedback and perhaps even danced with:

A Simple Walk
Deb on the Rocks
Marketing Roadmaps
Surrender, Dorothy
This Mama Cooks!
Inherent Passion
PHAT Mommy
Roni’s Weigh
Crunchy Domestic Goddess
Craftastrophe
OutdoorDogs
Jessica Gottlieb
SecondHand Tryptophan
Queen of Spain
Immoral Matriarch
Average Jane
The Plus Size Mommy
temporarily me dot com
FunnyBusiness
Her Bad Mother
CityMama
Sparkplugging
Mindful Momma
Uncommon Misconception
Scheiss Weekly
Piper of Love
Adria Richards
Jory Des Jardins
Diary of a Crazed Mommy
Assertagirl
Suburban Turmoil
Green and Clean Mom
Blonde’s I-View
Gifted Travel
Cutie Booty Cakes
Velveteen Mind
Kaiser Mommy
califmom
Mommy Needs Coffee
A Mommy Story
Everyday Goddess
Send Chocolate
Big Green Purse
Adventures in Babywearing
motherbumper
the weirdgirl
5 Minutes for Mom
Mommy Bits
No Sense of Time
Twofer Mom
POP! PR Jots
Talk It Up!
Lip-Sticking
The Busy Dad Blog
Adrienne’s House
Whiskey In My Sippy Cup
Miss Britt
The Diaper Diaries
Condo Blues

It’s taken me a while to get to this post, but only because it’s taken me a while to fully process and recover from the conference. I apologize that this post has turned into a long list of links, but it is a long list of links that makes me happy. Some of these publishers are women that I met at BlogHer in 2007 and they’re still using Lijit. When I compare this list with the one I put together after last year’s conference, it’s amazing to see the growth. I can only imagine what next year’s post will look like.

Thanks to everyone at BlogHer and I’ll see you ladies (and gents) in New York next summer!

UPDATE: Just as soon as I hit publish, I remember some lovely publishers I left out. Sorry.

[Mandatory note: If I somehow forgot to link to you, please leave a comment and I'll rectify that situation.]

Giving is Living: Lijit sponsors 12for12k

Apr
17

Although we wish we could sponsor and support each event and charity that comes our way, unfortunately, as a startup, we can’t every time. However, we believe in giving back and sometimes it’s the little things that count the most. This is why we’re happy to be sponsoring 12for12k’s charity tweet-up in cities across the US, Canada and Australia, taking place on April 18th, in conjunction with Mom It Forward. Check here to see if one of the tweetups is in a city near you to join in!

What is 12for12k, you ask? Headed up by a loyal Lijit user and friend, Danny Brown, the 12for12k Challenge is “the combination of social media and fundraising.” The organization’s aim is to raise a minimum of $144,000 for 12 charities over the course of 2009, with a new charity being supported each month and the proceeds go directly to charity.

The concept:

  • 12 months of the year
  • 12 charities, a different charity each month
  • $12,000 per charity

For more information about 12for12k, you can check out their website.

To donate for the April Charity, pay it forward, here:

**Many thanks to Grace for taking the lead on this and writing a fantastic blog post!