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>

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.

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.

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]

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.

A day without labor…is Labor Day?

Sep
4

In the United States, we have a three-day weekend coming up in which we celebrate the struggles we’ve endured in our labor. We’ve been observing Labor Day in the U.S. since 1882 and it was something we borrowed from Canada–only to make it our own. Some view Labor Day as the end of summer, while for others, it means the beginning of the school year.

In case you don’t already have plans, may we suggest a few options gathered from our wide range of publishers?

You could try out a new hobby. Perhaps this is the weekend that you finally get around to pursuing that birding dream you’ve always had. If you need help, be sure to check out the Little Brown Job and use it as your blogging birding bible.

You could go shopping. Whether it’s for back-to-school or some of the newest fall fashions, a three-day weekend is the time to take advantage of the sales which will be all over. Two of our publishers, Bargain Hunting Moms and Vintage Indie, have the inside track on some special sales going on. Who doesn’t love a deal? Especially combined with a day off work?

You could cook something yummy. There are many people who celebrate this holiday with a backyard BBQ, and for those folks, La Jolla Mom provides a recipe for gourmet sliders, Cupcakes Take the Cake offers a recipe for sweet corn cupcakes, and The Perfect Pantry serves up ideas for everything in between. Whether in the kitchen or manning the grill, there is no excuse not to eat well this weekend.

You could go outside. (Crazy, I know.) A three-day weekend presents an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and spend some quality time with nature. If your preferred method of getting away from it all includes four wheels, then the German Car Blog might hold some interest for you. Like biking? Check out VeloNews for everything going on in the cycling world. And if you’re one of the crazy few that actually packs everything on your back, then the Backpacker blogs are more your bag.

You could use the holiday to challenge yourself. The Happiness Project shares twelve ways to create a happier workplace, if you’re looking to get a heads-up on the rest of your week. The Simple Dollar suggests trying new ways of doing things that will result in saving money. And Duct Tape Marketing is helping with a contest that asks online workers to redefine what it means to work in today’s workforce. The grand prize? Healthcare coverage for 2010. Whether you’re looking to be happier, richer or simply to have health care, Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to start on these goals.

Whatever you end up doing this three-day weekend, be sure to have fun and be safe. We’ll be back to laboring next week, making search an even better experience for everyone.

Third Times The Charm

Aug
27

When I first got to know Stan James (Lijit’s Founder), we had a great conversation about a conference called Gnomdex in Seattle. I thought I had heard of such a conference in my startup days out in San Francisco, and sure enough I had.

In the late 1990s, I worked at a startup in Emeryville, CA. While there, several of the developers received an email from a guy named Chris Pirillo, and wished they could attend a conference in the corn fields of Iowa. It was called Gnomedex.

Lijit was a sponsor of the conference in 2007, and last year I attended. It was an amazing conference. Probably one of my favorite of the year because of Chris’ curation of speakers (including the guy that drove the Mars Rover!) and the community interaction of the attendees.

As I laid out my wishlist for conferences to speak at in 2009, Gnomedex was high on the list. Over the course of the year, Chris and I became better friends, and I was honored to be asked to speak at Gnomedex 2009. Talking about the impact blogging and community have had on my life (The presentation was entitled “How to be Awesome…er”) I really enjoyed speaking in front of the Gnomedex attendees, both in there and virtually.

Here are my presentation slides:

As always, it was great to connect with current and future Lijit publishers. Gnomedex has been a great measure of Lijit’s growth. In 2007 and 2008, we were the new kids, and most of the conversations I had about Lijit were filled with explanations of what we do, and why its interesting. Now, with our strong feature set and new monetization options, the conversations are much more focused on how to work together.

If you have a short list of conferences, please put Gnomedex on the list. Its an amazing conference, on par with SXSW (except without the size and craziness), and is the only conference that I lament missing sessions.

Cant wait for Gnomedex 2010!

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.