Justin Abbott is a vice president at Blogads.com the advertising network for blogs, he and I had a chance to talk about some of the issues surrounding blog ads and blogs.
John: What is your background in Internet marketing?
Justin: I used to be an investment analyst, before I joined Blogads back in its early days. I've been bushwhacking through the world of Internet advertising ever since.
John: Please describe how blogads works?
Justin: Blogads connects bloggers and advertisers, and automates the upload, payment, and tracking of the ads. It's a one-stop shop for DIY online advertising.
John: What's the economics of the blogads system? Is it a viable system for the participants, advertisers and bloggers?
Justin: Bloggers set their own prices, and advertisers choose blogs based on their target/topic and budget. Bloggers have low overhead and benefit directly from great writing - and advertisers get access to influential decision makers, at a fraction of the cost of traditional media. So yeah, it's highly viable - it's where the world is headed.
John: Blogging is about conversation, and two-way communication, advertising is one-way communication, and how do you reconcile the two?
Justin: Advertising doesn't have to be one-way communication. Advertising can take advantage of its medium - traditional advertising was mono directional, but blogs and the Internet open the world up to multiple connections. Great blog advertising takes advantage of this conversational aspect to create highly relevant and timely ads.
John: What makes an effective blog ad?
Justin: Just like an effective pickup line it really depends on the audience, place and time. Brian Clark (from indieWIRE.com) has a great ditty on how to make a killer blogad here:
John: What makes an effective blog?
Justin: The best blogs are written by bloggers with incredibly unique voices.
They put amazing spins and ideas on everything they touch. Think of bloggers like PerezHilton.com, Meg from CuteOverload.com, or Markos from DailyKos.com.
John: Why is advertising more effective when displayed on blogs?
Justin: Most advertising is just throwing a net into the sea. You might catch something, but a lot of it is going to be junk that has to be thrown back in. Blog advertising lets you target exactly those influentials you want to catch - those people who are intimately active in a community that you want to reach, who live and breath in the same mind-space that the advertiser inhabits..
John: New Journalism is about combining the objective approach of news reporting with the subjective approach of fictional writing. Tom Wolfe and other writers pushed the envelope when it came to journalism. I was thinking that blogging in many circumstances is new journalism in action. Here's an example of a blog that I think really illustrates new journalism at work. http://drgreiver.blogspot.com/ Dr. Greiver is a doctor who writes her blog about her practice implementing an electronic medical record system. Many bloggers attempt to be objective but also express their opinion, except with blogging instead of the journalist reflecting and reporting on subjects. The subject and writer are one and the same. Do you think I am accurate in characterizing some blogs as new journalism?
Justin: Blogging is a kind of New Journalism, using techniques that are unconventional in traditional media, and working in a sphere/with a method that supercedes traditional journalism. But I would hesitate to call it something-journalism, if just because of how hard a break it is with the journalistic past. Newspapers and even New Journalism operate on the top-bottom model. Journalists with editors with publishers with owners, passing everything up and down the chain, getting rubber stamped and revised. Blogging is the complete opposite, with bloggers responsible for the whole of their work, and connections that are as numerous as a neural network.
John: Thanks Justin for a great interview and answers.