WordPress 2007: Jeremy Wright, Im in ur blogz grabbin' ur kash! Blog Monetization [en]

*These are my notes of [Jeremy’s session](http://2007.wordcamp.org/schedule/blog-monetization/). They might be inaccurate. I did my best. Reminder: you’re invited to [tag my photos on Flickr](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/06/20/flickr-open-up-tagging-your-photos-to-the-community-please/) if you go off to explore them.*

WordCamp 2007 Jeremy Wright

[b5media](http://www.b5media.com/) is a large blog network. 250 blogs. Finds people who are really passionate about their stuff (gardening, football, cats…) and help them make money with it.

Plan, invite a few random people on stage for an impromptu panel. Open source presentation.

– one person who earns money blogging
– someone who’s earning a cup of coffee a day
– someone who’s thinking about making money with blogs, but just thinking

Quick historical look at blog advertising.

2003: blog advertising was evil. Selling your soul. (It does happen, but by and large bloggers are fairly opinionated, and readers fairly astute at outing fakers.) Before [pay-per-post](http://payperpost.com/), which is [obviously evil](http://www.calacanis.com/2006/06/30/payperpost-stupid-and-evil/), btw.

Now, anybody who wants to, can make a full-time living blogging. *steph-note: I must have misunderstood that.*

There’s a lot of money in blogging. AdSense, TLA, custom campaigns… You do need to put a few months in before you get to full-time pay. You make more money consulting/speaking etc. than actually writing.

3 people:

WordCamp 2007 Panelists Concentrating

– [Eric Nakagawa, Mr. ICanHasCheezburger](http://icanhascheezburger.com/)
– [Michelle Leder](http://footnoted.org/)
– [Julie](http://cottagedaily.com)

Q: picking a topic that will maximize monetization?

A E: we didn’t choose a topic to make money. just wanted to do funny stuff. And people came.

WordCamp 2007 Eric Nakagawa

A M: started four years ago, early blogger (*steph-note: and what am I, then? OMG! dinosaur!*), linked to book she wrote.

WordCamp 2007 Michelle Leder

A J: getting out of unemployment: program, needed an idea, chose to blog about her passion, cottaging.

WordCamp 2007 Julie

Q: ??

A E: wondering what the people who visit our site would be interested in? And match up with relevant advertisers, rather than use AdSense which just scrape your content.

A M: struggling with this question right now. Google ads are not a good match for my audience.

[Lorna Dietz](http://www.radiantview.com/blog/): Philippino community site => gets huge amounts of dating sites with AdSense, annoying!

E: being a full-time blogger is really full-time, so you better really love what you’re blogging about.

JW: reducing the number of ads on a page.

[Ben Metcalfe](http://benmetcalfe.com/blog/): seems the best way to monetize your blog, going down the long tail, is not advertising but adding value with your blog to some other thing you’re going to be able to earn money from.

A M: I make a fair amount of my money through speaking, clearly more than ads.

A E: could make money selling billions of T-shirts, but do you really want to do this? We’re just trying to do this and see how long we can push it.

A J: making videos of wakeboard stuff, hoping to attract a younger demographic. Problem now is: how can I get traffic?

JW: Average traffic, average money. 10-12’000 page views a month for a personal blog won’t bring you much more than a couple 100 $ a month.

JW: Would you read your blog?

Ten tips:

– lots of valuable content
– host your blog yourself, own your domain
– AdSense is the crack of blog advertising, but don’t get hooked
– do 2-3 things really well in blog advertising
– CPA/CPL don’t work well (repeat audience)
– content syndication
– partner
– be smart about TLA (you don’t want to be exited by Google)
– don’t sell out
– if your audience supports it, blogging about stuff your paid for can work

*steph-note: going too fast, fingers hurt too much. folding up for this session.*


– [Jeremy’s blog post](http://www.ensight.org/archives/2007/07/21/blog-monetization-session-wordcamp-2007/) and [powerpoint presentation](http://www.ensight.org/uploads/wordcamp.ppt)

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Supernova Open Space: The Economy of Free (Chris Heuer) [en]

[fr] Notes de conférence-discussion.

*Random, scattered notes. Not necessarily understandable. Might contain outright mistakes — I don’t always understand everything. No who-said-what either, sorry.*

Popcorn round: what is the issue?

– Money taboo (seen as hurting open source)
– Zero times anything is always zero, whereas a small something times something big ends up being something
– Rival goods vs. non-rival goods. How do you make money out of non-rival goods? Need to introduce a kind of exclusion mechanism (ex. Movies).
– Free building materials
– Discrimination that patronage causes (*steph-note: seems to me we’re aware of this in EU*)

Supernova Open Space 8 Chris’s core point is precisely that. Hidden patron model. Independants don’t have the ability to go to some of the events employees go to. Everybody does it “for free” — actually their company is paying for it.

Age of abundance.

Patronage: potentially disturbing effects. Women. There’s money behind this for some people but not others.

*(steph-note: ew. I need to work on my US accent parser.)*

Most of the programmers of “free stuff” are youngsters or people who have a day job — so who are supported in some way to do that.

Popular: The End of Free.

Trying to find patronage for a project involving chemists doing spectroscropy — get them to communicate/have compatible software.

Beginning of the century: huge numbers of mini-newspapers in Chicago.

In an economy of abundance, where do people make money? Make money out of being to apply knowledge/information, rather than the knowledge/information itself. (Debate: “knowledge” or “information”? Data.)

Problem: denial/taboo about patronage. We need to talk about it, and about how it works. We’re not teaching companies/individuals how to be good patrons or how not to be.

Perception: money = manipulation.

Free vs. non-measurable. Air isn’t free, we just don’t know how to measure how much it costs (keep it clean, etc).

Funding medical research for profit. Exploiting profit vs. “reasonable profit”.

Gift economy is different. Property. Money: when you fall out of relationship.


Organisation has been vilified by the abuse of power for personal benefit and bad behaviour of a few.

At some point, if you want to produce/achieve something, you need some kind of organisation.

Chris: conference model. Exploiting profit from the knowledge of the speakers, session participants and participants. Just organised a conference co-produced by the speakers. Need to continue to think about new ways for cocreating value.
*Feel free to add notes about this session in the comments. I really didn’t capture everything that was said, and probably missed the most interesting bits.*

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BlogCamp: Multilingual Blogging Session [en]

[fr] Mise par écrit des notes de préparation pour ma présentation hier au sujet des blogs multilingues, lors du BlogCamp à Zürich. En deux mots: il faut des gens pour faire le pont entre les îles linguistiques sur internet, et la façon dont sont conçus nos outils n'encourage pas les gens à être multingues sur leurs blogs. C'est pourtant à mon avis la formule la plus viable pour avoir de bons ponts.

I presented a session about multilingual blogging at [BlogCamp](http://blogcamp.ch) yesterday in Zürich. Thanks to all of you who attended (particularly as I was [competing](http://flickr.com/photos/bunny/432373547/) with [Xing’s Nicolas Berg](https://www.xing.com/profile/Nicolas_Berg/)!) and wrote about the session ([Bruno](http://www.lunchoverip.com/2007/03/a_day_at_the_bl.html) of course, [Sarah](http://politikblogs.wordpress.com/2007/03/24/live-blogging-from-blogcampswitzerland/), [Sandra](http://www.chiperoni.org/wordpress/archives/2007/03/24/blogcampswitzerland/), [Maira](http://vitaminab.org/cms/en/multilingual-blog), [Jens-Rainer](http://www.blogwiese.ch/archives/556), [Waltraut](http://siebensachen.twoday.net/stories/3478815/), [Jokerine](http://www.hdreioplus.de/wordpress/?p=150), [Antoine](http://gedankenblitze.ch/?p=13)*…let me know if I need to add you here*), and to [Greg](http://cascades2alps.blogspot.com/) in particular for [filming the session](http://youtu.be/gLf_EquogUc).

Although I’m rather used to [giving talks](http://stephanie-booth.com/conferences), this was the first time my audience was a bloggy-geek crowd, so it was particularly exciting for me. I prepared my talk on the train between Lausanne and Bern, and unfortunately prepared way too many notes (I’m used to talking with next to no notes), so I got a bit confused at times during my presentation — and, of course, left stuff out. Here’s a rough transcript of [what I prepared](http://flickr.com/photos/bunny/433344448/). Oh, and don’t forget to look at this [photo of my cat Bagha](http://flickr.com/photos/bunny/349150808/) from time to time to get the whole “experience”.

Steph giving her talk.
Photo by Henning

**Talk notes**

In the beginning there was the Big Bang. Space, time and matter came to exist. (Physicists in the audience, please forgive me for this.) We know it might end with a Big Crunch. Internet looks a bit like this Big Crunch, because it gets rid of space. With the right link to click on, the right URI, anybody can be anywhere at any time.

However, we often perceive the internet as a kind of “space”, or at least as having some sort of organisation or structure that we tend to translate into spatial terms or sensations. One way in which the internet is organised (and if you’re a good 2.0 person you’re acutely aware of this) is **communities**.

Communities are like gravity wells: people tend to stay “in” them. It very easy to be completely oblivious to what is going on in other communities. Barrier to entry: culture. Language is part of a culture, and even worse, it’s the vehicle for communication.

What is going on in the other languageospheres? I know almost nothing of what’s going on in the German-speaking blogosphere. The borders on the internet are linguistic. How do we travel? There is no digital equivalent of walking around town in a foreign country without understanding a word people say. **Note: cultural divides are a general problem — I’m trying to focus here on one of the components of the cultural divide: language.**

Who speaks more than one language? In the audience, (almost) everyone. This is doubly not surprising:

– Switzerland is a multilingual country
– this is the “online” crowd (cosmopolitan, highly educated, English-speaking — though English is not a national language here)

Two episodes that made me aware of how strong language barriers can be online, and how important it is to encourage people to bridge the language barriers:

– [launching](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2001/03/21/faire-part/) [Pompage.net](http://pompage.net) because at the time of the [browser upgrade initiative](http://web.archive.org/web/20010223215147/http://www.webstandards.org/upgrade/) I [realised](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2001/02/24/tableaux-ou-non/ “Look at all those English language links I pointed my poor French readers to.”) that many French-speaking people didn’t have access to all the material that was available in Anglophonia, because they just didn’t understand English well enough;
– the very different feelings bloggers had about [Loïc Le Meur](http://loiclemeur.com/) when he first started being active in the blogosphere, depending on if they were French- or English-speaking, particularly around the time of the [Ublog story](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2004/07/21/u-blog-six-apart-and-their-angry-bloggers/).

A few questions I asked the audience (mini-survey):

– who reads blogs in more than one language? (nearly everyone)
– who blogs in more than one language?
– who has different blogs for different languages?
– who has one blog with translated content in both languages? (two courageous people)
– who has one blog with posts in various languages, mixed? (half a dozen people if my memory serves me right)
– who feels they act as a bridge between languages?

So, let’s have a look at a few multilingual blogging issues (from the perspective of a biased bilingual person). Despite the large number of people out there who are comfortable writing in more than one language (and the even larger number who are more or less comfortable reading in more than one language), and the importance of bridging cultural/linguistic gaps, blogging tools still assume you are going to be blogging in **one language** (even though it is now accepted that this language may not be English).

What strategies are there for using more than one language on a blog, or being a good bridge? Concentrate first on strategy and then worry about technical issues. Usage is our best hope to make tool development evolve, here.

*A. Two (or more) separate blogs*

– not truly “multilingual blogging”, it’s “monolingual blogging” twice
– caters well to monolingual audiences
– not so hot for multilingual audiences: must follow multiple blogs, with unpredictable duplication of content

*B. Total translation*

– a lot of work! goes against the “low activation energy for publiction” thing that makes blogging work (=> less blogging)
– good for multilingual and monolingual audiences
– technical issues with non-monolingual page (a web page is assumed to be in a single language…)

*C. Machine translation!*

– getting rid of the “effort” that makes B. fail as a large-scale solution, but retaining the benefiits!
– problem: machine translation sucks
– too imprecise, we don’t want *more* misunderstanding

*D. A single blog, more than one language (my solution)*

– easy for the blogger, who just chooses the language to blog in depending on mood, bridge requirements, etc.
– good for the right multilingual audience
– technical issues with non-monolingual pages
– how do you take care of monolingual audiences? provide a summary in the non-post language

“Monolingual” audiences are often not 100% monolingual. If the number of people who are perfectly comfortable writing in more than one language is indeed rather small, many people have some “understanding” skills in languages other than their mother tongue. Important to reach out to these skills.

For example, I’ve studied German at school, but I’m not comfortable enough with it to read German-language blogs. However, if I know that a particular post is going to be really interesting to me, I might go through the trouble of reading it, maybe with the help of some machine translation, or by asking a German-speaking friend.

A summary of the post in the language it is not written in can help the reader decide if it’s worth the trouble. Writing in a simple language will help non-native speakers understand. Making sure the number of typos and grammar mistakes are minimal will help machine translation be helpful. And machine translation, though it is often comical, can help one get the gist of what the post is about.

Even if the reader is totally helpless with the language at hand, the summary will help him know what he’s missing. Less frustrating. And if it’s too frustrating, then might give motivation to hunt down a native speaker or do what’s required to understand what the post is about.

Other bridging ideas:

– translation networks (translate a post or two a month from other bloggers in the network, into your native language)
– translation portal (“news of the world” with editorial and translation work done) — check out [Blogamundo](http://blogamundo.net/dev/about)

Problem I see: bloggers aren’t translators. Bloggers like writing about their own ideas, they’re creative people. Translating is boring — and a difficult task.

Some more techy thoughts:

– use the lang= attribute, particularly when mixing languages on a web page (and maybe someday tools will start parsing that)
– CSS selectors to make different languages look different (FR=pink, EN=blue for example)
– language needs to be a post (or even post element) attribute in blogging tools
– WordPress plugins: language picker [Polyglot](http://fredfred.net/skriker/index.php/polyglot) and [Basic Bilingual](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2005/01/23/basic-bilingual-plugin/)
– excerpt in another language: what status in RSS/atom? Part of the post content or not? Can RSS/atom deal with more than one language in a feed, or do they assume “monolingualism”?
– [indicating the language of the destination page a link points to](http://daniel.glazman.free.fr/weblog/archived/2002_09_15_glazblogarc.html#81664011)

**Extra reading**

The nice thing about having a blog is that you can dive back into time and watch your thinking evolve or take place. Here is a collection of posts which gravitate around language issues (in a “multilingual” sense). The [Languages/Linguistics category](http://climbtothestars.org/categories/languages-linguistics) is a bit wider than that, however.

Blogging in more than one language:

– [Writing](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2000/08/18/writing/) — translation is just too much work; bilingual desires, but daunted by the workload
– [Bilingual?](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2000/11/24/bilingual/) — the day (four months after its birth) this weblog became officially bilingual
– [Multilingue!](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2002/09/17/multilingue/) — how to indicate the language of a link target using CSS
– [Life and Trials of a Multilingual Weblog](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2004/07/11/multilingual-weblog/) — written after some discussions on the topic at [BlogTalk 2.0](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2004/07/07/blogtalk-20-compte-rendu/)
– [Basic Bilingual Plugin](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2005/01/23/basic-bilingual-plugin/) for WordPress
– [Thinking About Tags](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2005/01/16/thinking-about-tags/) (and languages)
– [Requirements for a Multilingual WordPress Plugin](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2006/01/22/requirements-for-a-multilingual-wordpress-plugin/)
– [Multilingual Proposals (Reboot, BlogCamp)](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/03/18/multilingual-proposals-reboot-blogcamp/)

About the importance of language, etc.:

– [Multilingual Dragon](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2002/12/22/multilingual-dragon/)
– [SwissBlogs Needs Your Help](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2005/03/23/swissblogs-needs-your-help/) — [SwissBlogs](http://climbtothestars.org/?s=swissblogs), oldest Swiss blog directory (and multilingual already), call for help. *(I mentioned during my session that I would not comment on any ideas about Switzerland needing a “national blog directory” of any type… part of the story here if you want to dig.)*
– [SpiroLattic Resurrection](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2006/02/25/spirolattic-resurrection/) — some background on a short-lived multilingual wiki experiment
– [Vous parlez de blogosphère suisse?](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2006/03/07/vous-parlez-de-la-blogosphere-suisse/) — a tag proposal to try and give the fragmented “Swiss blogosphere” some cohesion
– [About the Swiss Blog Awards (SBAW)](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2006/04/30/about-the-swiss-blog-awards-sbaw/)
– [English Only: Barrier to Adoption](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/02/24/english-only-barrier-to-adoption/)
– [Not All Switzerland Speaks German, Dammit!](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/03/04/not-all-switzerland-speaks-german-dammit/)

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