Lijit At the Races!


At Lijit Networks, we like to live by the phrase work hard, play hard.  This has been a year of milestones for our company, and no efforts have gone unnoticed.

Our most recent accomplishment as a company was demolishing our goal of 750M daily ad calls by clocking in a current average at 900M. Everyone was amped and the adrenaline was running. As a reward for everyone’s awesome work, we took a company field trip to Unser Racing, the local go-kart race track.

Who new we had so many professional racecar drivers! The competition was fierce, we had a blast, and needless to say all who competed were pretty legit!

Lijit Publisher Insight-Survey Round up


Lijit recently conducted a survey of our publishers to determine the kind of information and education that helps them better engage their audience and monetize their website. We received almost 400 survey responses – 50% of respondents said they wrote as their full-time job, and 50% said they wrote for fun. A special thanks to all of the publishers who participated!

Do you agree with the findings outlined below?

How do you gather your information? There is an abundance of information in the market to help online publishers learn how to do their job better.  When asked how they gather the most relevant information, Lijit publishers stated that blog posts were most beneficial, followed by social media outlets like Twitter and word of mouth (e.g. recommendations from a friend).

What information is most relevant to you? As an online publisher, there is always more to learn, as well as knowledge to be shared. When we asked Lijit Publishers what information is most relevant to them, learning how to create better, more engaging content was ranked number one, followed by information on how to best monetize their site.

What stats are most beneficial to you? Lijit’s free audience analytics tools provide publishers with an array of data to help them grow their site – everything from audience analytics, to reader engagement statistics to advertiser insights. Of all the statistics we have available, publishers are most interested in audience analytics, which provides them with a better understanding of the demographics of their readers, page views, referring sites, referring search terms, and sites that are linking to their website.

Do you attend any industry events? It turns out that Lijit publishers find most of their information online and rarely attend industry events.  While 78.5% of Lijit publishers stated that they do not attend industry events, for those that do BlogWorld and ad:tech are most highly attended with 16% and 7.1% attendance respectively.

Lijit celebrates the holidays with an all-out bash


Last night Lijit held our annual holiday party at Lucky Pie Pizza in Louisville, CO.  With the recent acquisition of Lijit by Federated Media Publishing, it was an honor to have Founder and Executive Chairman John Battelle, as well CEO Deanna Brown in town for the festivities.

Thank you to all the members of the Lijit band that rocked the house last night as well as John Battelle for making a cameo appearance on the drums. Check out his award winning performance here!

Shout out to Lijit rock-stars Manny Puentes, Mike Meredith, Zach Conger, Janessa Ho, Meaghan Kelly, and Zach Miller for keeping us dancing all night long. Rock on.

The holiday party was a great success and a wonderful way to reflect on and celebrate our accomplishments. Check out the photo above of our CEO Todd Vernon going down the long list of Lijit milestones in 2011.

ad:tech and The Unofficial User Generated Music Party


Last week a group of us here at Lijit ventured to New York City for the annual ad:tech New York event. ad:tech is always one of the industry’s biggest events of the year and this year proved to be no different. The event brings together industry professionals from all aspects of the digital space – from the extensive amount of publishers present, to technology providers, and everyone in between, the opportunities for networking and idea sharing were endless!

To kick-off ad:tech, Lijit co-hosted the Unofficial User Generated Music party along with M6D, AdSafe, Audience Science, and Pubmatic. With more than 1,000 people in attendance, the evening was definitely one to be remembered!

The amazing night of entertainment began with an industry band—Something Heavy—and was followed up by rock star live band Karaoke. Lijit’s very own Manny Puentes graced the stage and proved that CTO’s can sing too! Check out pictures from the event below…

A big thank you to all Lijit publishers who came and supported this event as well as our new FMP team members in the New York office!

Lijit Gets (Even More) Green Thanks to R.E.I.


We like to promote green and sustainable behavior, after all, we’re in the heart of Boulder, Colorado one of the country’s greenest cities.

With that being said, recently our friends at the Boulder REI donated water bottles for Lijit employees to use with our new water filtration system. With our stellar new water bottles, we’re planning on cutting down on all the waste, recycling and dishes in our offices. There are many reasons to stop drinking bottled water, all of which, help to save our environment and conserve.

Big shout out and thanks to the Boulder team at REI and store manager, Ali Bennett for providing the water bottles. See, look at how happy it makes us!

Scott, Elaine and Shelly posing for the camera with our new water bottles

Trust Me, I Speak Good


One of the aspects of my position at Lijit is that I get the opportunity to not only attend, but speak at various conferences. I have had the pleasure over the years to present Lijit and things we are working on or believe in at many various conferences.

Luckily, it is not just me. Todd Vernon our CEO, Walter Knapp our COO, as well as Tara Anderson, our Marketing Manager have all had the pleasure to speak at various conferences over the past year or so.

What I have learned is that one thing I really enjoy doing is speaking at conferences. I just spoke at WordCamp Las Vegas, and plan to speak at SXSW (in both cases about Filtering and Discovering Content and Online Influence). Here is a link to my WordCamp presentation.

I have also learned that its not easy to get speaking gigs. Not because people dont want me to speak, but mostly because I am unaware of the opportunities out there.

What I am hoping to do is ask our Lijit community for help:

1) What conferences do you think it would be interesting to have someone from Lijit speak? Recent topics include: Trusted Search, Social Search, Online Filtering and Content Discovery, Personal Branding, and my personal favorite Measuring Online Influence.

2) What conferences should we attend? I know we cant speak at every single one, but there are benefits to us attending various conferences and meeting Lijit users (both current and potential).

Of course, if you are interesting in having Lijit at your conference, drop me a line at micah [at] lijit [dot] com.

After all, trust me, I speak good.

Interviewed by Bloggers School


Last night I was interviewed by BloggerSchool on BlogTalkRadio.

It was great to talk all about Lijit. We covered a lot in 30 minutes, which I will summerize here:

  • Lijit’s history and Stan’s early concepts about trusted search and content discovery.
  • We discussed Lijit’s functionality: search, re-search, our stats and our ad network.
  • There was an interesting discussion around content discovery, influence and expertise.
  • Revenue was a hot topic and I outlined our ad platform, which unlike other ad platforms, allows publishers to price and sell their own inventory (rather than having no idea as to the revenue they could generate.)
  • The importance of having your blog be the center of your universe was another topic of discussion.

Rather than tell you what was said, take a listen!

WordCamp Las Vegas Gets Lijit


By gets, I mean made the unbelievable choice of asking me to speak. At a conference. In front of people.

The truth is, speaking on subjects that I am passionate about is something that I love to do, and I am excited that WordCamp Las Vegas has given me the opportunity to do that.

So what is WordCamp?

Well, as the name implies it is all about the WordPress blogging platform. At a WordCamp, you get to meet lots of WordPress developers and folks that use the platform for really interesting applications.

This year’s speaker line up is fantastic. There are some really heavyweights speaking, and my hope is that some of the bloggers that are currently at CES, will take the time to come visit WordCamp as CES winds down.

What am I speaking on?

Not Lijit. The beauty of WordCamp is that unlike trade shows, the focus is not on vendors or products, but rather users. This was never more clear than when I attended WordCamp SF last year and got to hear developers, theme designers and non-developers talk about all the awesome stuff they were doing. It really helped drive my blogging to a new level.

I decided to speak on a topic that has really been sitting in my brain for awhile. Expertise, Personal Branding and Influence. The title of the presentation (which I will put online) is called: You Are The Center of Your Universe.

Here is the concept (tell me if you think I’m an idiot):

As we create content online we develop our online identity, influence and expertise. Every Flickr photo, every blog post, every link on delicious is a small piece of a complete picture that other people are collecting to determine our influence and expertise. Therefore, it’s imperative that there is some central location where potential clients, friends, colleagues can discover one’s social content in order to truly understand one’s influence/expertise. This is the act of building a personal brand.

Make sense?

Obviously, the best place to create that location is one’s blog, and I will highlight some plugins and techniques to showcase one’s expertise and/or influence.

I’m excited, and I hope others find it interesting.

What do you think?

A Lijit Holiday Celebration


A few nights ago, the Lijit crew gathered to celebrate the season. We met in the back room of a local tavern, located just a few blocks from our office. There was food, merriment and poker chips dressed up as drink tickets but it’s safe to say that the highlight of the night was the Lijit band taking the stage. After practicing for weeks, their debut performance was impressive and they easily wowed the crowd with their talent. Thanks to Micah for all the pictures and to everyone at Lijit for the fun!

Derek getting ready to rock out

Manny on guitar

Bucks wailing

Mike on bass

Zach on drums

Tara on tambourine

Crowd shot

Party food

Todd toasting

Grace in antlers

Publisher Spotlight: Hey, that tastes good!


Jill writes a food blog about eating gluten-free, Hey, that tastes good!, and as soon as I saw that she had a recipe for making marshmallows from scratch, I was hooked. In addition to beautiful photography, Jill posts gluten-free product reviews, recommendations for gluten-free restaurants in both Europe and America, and instructions on how to make her favorite rice flour mix. And don’t even get me started on the recipes: jalapeno poppers, pizza, spring rolls, and, my favorite, chocolate overload cookies.

(Plus, she has a cupcake tattoo on her foot. Can you argue with that?)

When I saw her on the recent sign-up list, I wanted to know more about Jill and her passion for food blogging. She was kind enough to take time out from her cooking adventures to answer some questions I had for her.

How long have you been blogging and what got you started?

I started my food blog 2 years ago. Originally I started it because I was bored at work all day (although I couldn’t access the blogger page from my work computer, I could type posts at work and then post them when I got home) and because I was relatively new to being gluten-free. It was around then that I figured out how to bake/cook a lot of things that I’d had pre-gluten-free that I missed, and I had been calling my mom (who is also gluten-free) every day to tell her what I was eating because I was so excited. I stumbled upon a few other gluten-free blogs, and decided that was a good way to share with my mom what I ate, and anyone else who might be interested.

What’s the greatest thing you’ve received or the best lesson learned from blogging?

I think the greatest thing I’ve received are comments from people who say thank you for the recipes I post, that they never thought they would be able to taste whatever it was I was writing about again. Getting a comment like that makes me feel that I’m helping people realize that being gluten-free isn’t terrible, it’s just a different approach to thinking about your food. It’s a challenge!

I know it’s a hard question to answer, but do you have a favorite post?

I think maybe my Thanksgiving post from last year. It was the first year I hosted a Thanksgiving party, and my sister, my roommate and I did all the cooking ourselves. Everything was gluten-free, except for some bread that we got for cheese and pates. My sister did the photography, it has a number of recipes, and I think it really captured the spirit of the party.

What tips do you have for people looking to go gluten-free?

First, and most important, DON’T PANIC. Don’t spend a lot of time dwelling over the things you can’t eat anymore (I’ll never have pizza! I’ll never have cake! I’ll never have lasagna!) and instead think about the things you eat every day that you can still eat. Fruits, vegetables, meats, and many grains are naturally gluten-free.

Also, don’t settle for something you don’t like. If you buy a loaf of gluten-free bread that’s gross (and chances are you will), grind it up in the food processor and use it for bread crumbs, and don’t buy it again. Read gluten-free blogs (I have a big list on the side of my site) and get a good gluten-free cookbook or two. Read the introduction, most have a chapter or two about how to be gluten-free, and tips, and flour mixes and ideas. Also, read Shauna’s book. And, contact me or any other gf blogger, we’re (probably) happy to help.

How has Lijit helped you as a food blogger?

I’m new to Lijit, but hopefully it will give me a sense of what people are interested in so I can focus more on those topics (or ingredients!)

I appreciate all the hard work that Jill puts into her blog and the fact that she has chosen Lijit as her trusted search tool. Be sure to visit Jill’s blog to find out more about eating gluten-free and to read about her delicious kitchen experiences!

[All photos are from Jill's blog.]