Daily Archives: August 19, 2006

The Mojito Show (Saturday at 2 p.m. is next taping)

 

OK, I discovered a new interviewing technique.

You take VIPs to the very swanky Half Moon Bay Ritz (walking distance from our new house) and buy them Peach Mojitos. Not cheap for the expense budget (they cost $14 each, but are worth every dollar in the top secret information you get from business leaders). Then you take them out onto the back lawn, let them soak up the real estate (it’s stunning) and then you turn the camera on.

I’m gonna call it the Mojito Show. We don’t really care how it comes out cause we’re having too much fun. ;-)

Anyway, Jeremy Wright, president and co-founder of B5 Media (pictured above), just spent the day here at the Ritz and then at the house (which is in total disarray, hopefully Valleywag won’t get a picture of the house when it’s so messy).

What was fun was Don MacAskill, CEO and Chief Geek (can I get a title like that?) of SmugMug was vacationing at the Ritz with his wife (it’s their sixth anniversary, congratulations!) and saw my Google hat and wandered over. Later she took a nap and he snuck out to talk geek with us. I got that part on tape for my new show, hopefully it’ll come out (the mojitos might have affected the quality too much, but like I said, who cares, it’s Saturday and the mojitos were good!)

Anyway, I was trying to get Jeremy to tell me a bit about the secrets behind his B5 Media network. He wasn’t giving up the good stuff (at least on camera), but the stuff he gave up after his mojito was pretty interesting. He has about 100 bloggers in his network. Everyone from a gold medal swimmer to a group of scientists to a celebrity blog about Lindsay Lohan to someone who writes about RSS (who would read THAT? Heheh.)

He’s proudest of a couple of blogs that write about autism and diabetes.

OK, notice they all link to each other (look at the blog roll on the right side)? That’s the advantage to joining a blogging network: that gets them all more traffic. They get better Google rank that way, and they also share traffic. Jeremy told me that a good percentage of people who’ll visit one blog will visit other blogs.

Anyway, I learned that the celebrity blogs that B5 does are the most popular and are easy ways to earn traffic. I remember meeting Adriana Foley, the blogger who keeps 17 blogs, including the one on Linday Lohan. She actually says she hates doing the Lohan blog, but that’s what pays the bills so she does that to fund her other blogging.

Other things Wright shared after having his mojito? That Google Adsense advertising doesn’t pay bloggers as well as other advertising networks do. He says that most of the time Google only pays about $.50 per CPM (thousand page views). He says that B5 network is getting paid somewhere between $10 and $15 per CPM on most blogs. Has sponsors like Speedo.

He says his top bloggers are just now starting to earn enough to quit their day jobs ($1,000 to $4,000 per month) but that he hopes to be able to pay them a lot more soon.

Another advantage to joining a blogging network like Jeremy’s? The private chat rooms (hey, do you get to get blogging help from both a scientist and a gold-medal swimmer? Didn’t think so). He says the community that comes along with such a network is what keeps him excited working on behalf of the network.

As to Smugmug, Don told us both about how he has about 150,000 subscribers paying $40 a year to host photos on Smugmug. He raved about a bunch of features that Smugmug has over the other photo sharing services, but what caught my ear is the Google Map support that Smugmug has. That alone might get me to pay $40 a year.

Anyway, next Saturday we’re getting together at 2 p.m. at the firering at the Ritz. Several people have already RSVP’d. Bring $7 for parking and bring a jacket (it gets chilly outside). Anyone is invited although I might get you to drink an alcoholic drink and then turn on the camera and see what I can learn.

Oh, and, yes, there’s wifi at the Ritz. Next Saturday I’ll be the geek drinking the Mojitos. Oh, and we found out tonight that there’s a guy who plays bagpipes an hour before the sunset.

Hope your weekend is filled with Mojitos. See ya next Saturday! Disclaimer, I can’t buy everyone Mojitos, sorry.

Who else will be there? Oh, and Nick Douglas, you’re invited, we won’t have any security trying to keep you out. Just beware, I might hand you a mojito and put you on camera! :-)

TechCrunched!

I’m still recovering from last night’s shindig. You know, what’s the deal with these parties? They are getting to be media events, that’s all. Be seen, and see. Take photos or videos, get videoed or photoed. Talk about tech? I tried. But it was just too noisy to have a decent conversation on video.

Don’t worry about missing these. They are just great ways to collect business cards and meet the hot geeks. The bubble is back!

Thanks to Scott Beale who was the official photographer and Thomas Hawk and Dan Farber and Gabe Rivera and the other people who put up photos. Here’s the photos that have been uploaded to Flickr with the TechCrunch7 tag.

Eddie says I have a cooler tripod than he does, mouse over this photo to see why.

First, stare into my lens and say hi!

This is me begging Nick Douglas, of Valleywag, to blog some dirt about my book co-author Shel Israel. Really, no. I was just asking him how he snuck into the party and what the story would be. He didn’t have a good answer to either. In between us is Gabe Rivera, founder of TechMeme. He explained a little bit about how TechMeme works. Lots of people think he does that site by hand I learned. Not true. It’s all algorithms baby!

Guy Kawasaki is always the life of the party. Whenever he’s around you feel good.

Thomas Hawk captures me with the man of the evening: Mike Arrington, founder of TechCrunch. Lots of people were asking me about the “Oakridge” Apple shirt. Oh, that’s from the Apple store opening at Oakridge Mall in Silicon Valley. It was my way of saying “I don’t go for the status stores like Palo Alto or San Francisco but go for the ghetto Valley Apple stores. Of course Oakridge isn’t too ghetto anymore (I once worked at a camera store in that mall and my dad lives a mile or so away). I wore the Apple shirt so my son, Patrick, would think I was “cool” cause he thinks everything from Apple is cool. I’m such a sell out. I can just hear Patrick saying “dad, a shirt won’t make you cool.”

And another one from Flickr:

Speaking of Mike, he was having a good time posing for pictures.

What happens when you open a laptop at a party like this? Funding event!

Hi boss! Damn you, use both hands like I showed you. Otherwise you get too much camera shake on those little Samsung Sanyo Xacti cameras. (They are fun, cause they record straight to SD cards which makes your workflow a lot nicer, just drag onto Blip.TV and you have a video blog).

The music was cool, thanks to Tom Conrad, this guy, of Pandora.

TechCrunch 7 food was better and more plentiful than earlier Crunch parties, but nothing spectacular so don’t feel jealous. The wine, though, was great and I got a poster designed by Hugh Macleod, marketing genius.