Advertising and hiring

You might have read on TechCrunch that I’m going to soon have advertising here on my blog.

It is true.

Why do it when I haven’t liked advertising in the past?

Because it will let me hire people to produce more content.

I watched how Mike Arrington turned his blog into something that now employs more than 10 people.

Journalism is under attack because the business models for journalism are disappearing.

Fast Company told me that they have a great business model that can support more journalism. The magazine’s advertising sales were up 40% last year. They are investing in journalism. In editing. In content.

At PodTech one of the failures I had was not finding more ways to help hire more journalists around the world. This will be an experiment to see if we can hire even more journalists.

Will it affect the content? I hope it will! I expect that as we hire more people the content here and on FastCompany.tv (opening March 3) will improve.

Comments

  1. “Will it affect the content? I hope it will! I expect that as we hire more people”

    Pretty much sums it up. Web as commodity. More = $$$ = better.

    Woa up now, it’s you who writes in such stark terms. Maybe you’re that simplistic (I doubt it), or maybe you realize that’s the only way to dance along the fence (worse).
    In any case, I can assure you that those of us who spent long hours deliberating the effect of $$$ on the quality of volunteer engagement (circa ’75) salute you. I can’t assure you it’s a salute of respect.

    New millenium slogan: from those to whom much is given can be expected the most grave contempt.

    “Meh” hardly captures the sentiment.

    bdt

  2. “Will it affect the content? I hope it will! I expect that as we hire more people”

    Pretty much sums it up. Web as commodity. More = $$$ = better.

    Woa up now, it’s you who writes in such stark terms. Maybe you’re that simplistic (I doubt it), or maybe you realize that’s the only way to dance along the fence (worse).
    In any case, I can assure you that those of us who spent long hours deliberating the effect of $$$ on the quality of volunteer engagement (circa ’75) salute you. I can’t assure you it’s a salute of respect.

    New millenium slogan: from those to whom much is given can be expected the most grave contempt.

    “Meh” hardly captures the sentiment.

    bdt

  3. Hey you’ll also soon be able to afford a new site banner graphic!! :P On the serious side, best of luck expanding your brand Scoble! Interesting news, indeed.

  4. Hey you’ll also soon be able to afford a new site banner graphic!! :P On the serious side, best of luck expanding your brand Scoble! Interesting news, indeed.

  5. Robert,

    A few suggestions (and full disclosure here – I’m thinking a lot about advertising these days as I’m in the midst of launching an ad network – for brands inside of dynamic applications).

    Ads, sponsorships or other commercial relationships always run the risk of creating a perception of conflicts of interest – perhaps more so on the web than even in traditional media, though there too there have always been conflicts. Some form of “chinese wall” between content & ad sales helps a bit – but not all that much.

    If I were advising you (and Fast Company) I’d probably suggest going for non-obvious advertisers first. Not companies which you are likely to cover typically (so not the Microsofts, Suns, Yahoos, Asks, or even for that matter the Silicon Valley Banks etc).

    Rather I’d suggest thinking about who your audience(s) are, who outside of the obvious industry players might want to reach that audience, and, perhaps most importantly who would that audience want to hear from & about (even via “ads”). What specifically comes to mind are the many brands which years ago would have reached most people via newspapers & TV ads – but which if my own life is at all representative now face a major uphill battle in trying to reach us. (Car companies, banks, insurance companies, even soap companies all come to mind here)

    You will also want to think about whether or not to use a traditional network type of ad (i.e. something which will change either based on your content or based on the user’s past behaviors) OR and this is more what I would suggest, a more directly sold sponsorship specific to your blog and audience, likely sold on a more time basis than a pure “cpm” or “cpc” basis (i.e. “be one of X sponsors of scobleizer.com for the month of Jan”)

    You will then want to set up some specific design elements and practices to incorporate the ads/sponsors into the site. Not just some part of the website which will be for the ad(s) – but also how you might (if you will) incorporate them into your posts and feed. I’d suggest a post each period which clearly and succinctly thanks the sponsors and/or welcomes new ones – this helps embed the start & end points of sponsors into your archives. I’d also suggest having a page which lists current & past sponsors along with the time of those sponsorships – again to allow for association of sponsors w/past content (much as in the magazine business you can see all the ads in a past issue – though one failing of web archives is they usually neglect to also show who was advertising & where the ads were in a given back issue)

    Visually on the site you might also change the look of such posts (i.e. color code the sponsors messages) and in the feed make a standard way to identify such posts. And then of course continue to disclose the sponsors when/if you mention them in another post (or video).

    I mostly read you via feedreader and keep in mind I’m likely far from alone in doing that.

    Anyway, good luck and I look forward to following FastCompany.tv and your continued experiments here!

    Shannon

  6. Robert,

    A few suggestions (and full disclosure here – I’m thinking a lot about advertising these days as I’m in the midst of launching an ad network – for brands inside of dynamic applications).

    Ads, sponsorships or other commercial relationships always run the risk of creating a perception of conflicts of interest – perhaps more so on the web than even in traditional media, though there too there have always been conflicts. Some form of “chinese wall” between content & ad sales helps a bit – but not all that much.

    If I were advising you (and Fast Company) I’d probably suggest going for non-obvious advertisers first. Not companies which you are likely to cover typically (so not the Microsofts, Suns, Yahoos, Asks, or even for that matter the Silicon Valley Banks etc).

    Rather I’d suggest thinking about who your audience(s) are, who outside of the obvious industry players might want to reach that audience, and, perhaps most importantly who would that audience want to hear from & about (even via “ads”). What specifically comes to mind are the many brands which years ago would have reached most people via newspapers & TV ads – but which if my own life is at all representative now face a major uphill battle in trying to reach us. (Car companies, banks, insurance companies, even soap companies all come to mind here)

    You will also want to think about whether or not to use a traditional network type of ad (i.e. something which will change either based on your content or based on the user’s past behaviors) OR and this is more what I would suggest, a more directly sold sponsorship specific to your blog and audience, likely sold on a more time basis than a pure “cpm” or “cpc” basis (i.e. “be one of X sponsors of scobleizer.com for the month of Jan”)

    You will then want to set up some specific design elements and practices to incorporate the ads/sponsors into the site. Not just some part of the website which will be for the ad(s) – but also how you might (if you will) incorporate them into your posts and feed. I’d suggest a post each period which clearly and succinctly thanks the sponsors and/or welcomes new ones – this helps embed the start & end points of sponsors into your archives. I’d also suggest having a page which lists current & past sponsors along with the time of those sponsorships – again to allow for association of sponsors w/past content (much as in the magazine business you can see all the ads in a past issue – though one failing of web archives is they usually neglect to also show who was advertising & where the ads were in a given back issue)

    Visually on the site you might also change the look of such posts (i.e. color code the sponsors messages) and in the feed make a standard way to identify such posts. And then of course continue to disclose the sponsors when/if you mention them in another post (or video).

    I mostly read you via feedreader and keep in mind I’m likely far from alone in doing that.

    Anyway, good luck and I look forward to following FastCompany.tv and your continued experiments here!

    Shannon

  7. Shannon: that’s great advice. One of the reasons I like Fast Company is they understand firewalls very well and have a professional journalism and sales team.

  8. Are you going to change your point of view about truncated rss feeds and about “steal my content as much as you want” ? Like shannon, I guess there will be ads on your feed too ?

  9. Are you going to change your point of view about truncated rss feeds and about “steal my content as much as you want” ? Like shannon, I guess there will be ads on your feed too ?

  10. As long as it’s not those mid article links with stupid popups that distract from reading the content…

  11. JL: absolutely not. Partial text feeds are lame and I don’t care how much money is on the table, I’m not going to allow those. I also won’t allow anti-user advertising like popups.

  12. JL: absolutely not. Partial text feeds are lame and I don’t care how much money is on the table, I’m not going to allow those. I also won’t allow anti-user advertising like popups.

  13. I did small focus groups on one of my early web projects and while one site had advertising the other identical site had none.

    Much to my surprise, everyone said the website with advertising seemed to be more professional. :(

    Bill

  14. I did small focus groups on one of my early web projects and while one site had advertising the other identical site had none.

    Much to my surprise, everyone said the website with advertising seemed to be more professional. :(

    Bill

  15. I’m all for ads when they don’t get in the way.

    Robert, I think you are entitled to monetize better your blog and I am sure you will use good judgment so that it is not detrimental to your readers.

  16. I’m all for ads when they don’t get in the way.

    Robert, I think you are entitled to monetize better your blog and I am sure you will use good judgment so that it is not detrimental to your readers.

  17. Congrats for the move! I’m sure that the design and all that would allow for the placements of the advertisements to be not of an eye-sore, but yet gives the users a better user experience in your blog. :)

  18. Congrats for the move! I’m sure that the design and all that would allow for the placements of the advertisements to be not of an eye-sore, but yet gives the users a better user experience in your blog. :)

  19. Interesting news.

    I have no problem with ads on any blog as long as they’re related to content and don’t make reading difficult. I hate being bombed with pop-ups and shit like that while reading. Also as long as you keep full content RSS feed everything’s alright..

    I’m looking forward to Scobleizer 2.0 ;-)

  20. Interesting news.

    I have no problem with ads on any blog as long as they’re related to content and don’t make reading difficult. I hate being bombed with pop-ups and shit like that while reading. Also as long as you keep full content RSS feed everything’s alright..

    I’m looking forward to Scobleizer 2.0 ;-)

  21. More power to you Robert! People who want an ad free business model free Web are deceiving themselves. Journalist still need to eat and advertising has always been the thing that allowed them to.

  22. More power to you Robert! People who want an ad free business model free Web are deceiving themselves. Journalist still need to eat and advertising has always been the thing that allowed them to.

  23. @9″ absolutely not. Partial text feeds are lame and I don’t care how much money is on the table, I’m not going to allow those. I also won’t allow anti-user advertising like popups.”

    Me thinks that at the end of the day you won’t have much say in the matter. It appears what has happened is that Fast Company bought the “Scoble Brand”. So, when push comes to shove, they likely will have the final say. If they find partial feeds drives more traffic to a FastCompany owned web site, I doubt you will be able to overrule that.

  24. @9″ absolutely not. Partial text feeds are lame and I don’t care how much money is on the table, I’m not going to allow those. I also won’t allow anti-user advertising like popups.”

    Me thinks that at the end of the day you won’t have much say in the matter. It appears what has happened is that Fast Company bought the “Scoble Brand”. So, when push comes to shove, they likely will have the final say. If they find partial feeds drives more traffic to a FastCompany owned web site, I doubt you will be able to overrule that.

  25. I think it’s great for you to do whatever you want with your blog. I expect that like techcrunch no one will care. In fact, in some respects it will be interesting to see who wants to advertise with you.

    My question is if this means you’ll be leaving WordPress.com since they don’t allow advertising on their blogs. Or is this just another benefit of being a WordPress.com VIP blogger?

  26. I think it’s great for you to do whatever you want with your blog. I expect that like techcrunch no one will care. In fact, in some respects it will be interesting to see who wants to advertise with you.

    My question is if this means you’ll be leaving WordPress.com since they don’t allow advertising on their blogs. Or is this just another benefit of being a WordPress.com VIP blogger?

  27. I’ve gotta say, the idea of other people writing on your own blog doesn’t appeal to me and i’ll probably unsubscribe. I’m here to hear your thoughts, rather than anyone elses. In fact, i would rather even hear you less frequently than have anyone else writing on this particular space more frequently. This is your blog, your thoughts, your opinions, your experiences. Techcrunch admittedly was a personal blog of Arringtons on web startups, but it’s not quite as personal as a blog such as this on your experiences.

    Anyway, just my opinion. I’m sure you’ll still have a good bunch of readers, make lots of money etc…I just dont think i’ll be sticking around i’m afraid. Hey, but great news on the blog redesign coming up!

  28. I’ve gotta say, the idea of other people writing on your own blog doesn’t appeal to me and i’ll probably unsubscribe. I’m here to hear your thoughts, rather than anyone elses. In fact, i would rather even hear you less frequently than have anyone else writing on this particular space more frequently. This is your blog, your thoughts, your opinions, your experiences. Techcrunch admittedly was a personal blog of Arringtons on web startups, but it’s not quite as personal as a blog such as this on your experiences.

    Anyway, just my opinion. I’m sure you’ll still have a good bunch of readers, make lots of money etc…I just dont think i’ll be sticking around i’m afraid. Hey, but great news on the blog redesign coming up!

  29. Cool. Ads are good, though, I’ve made none off the one I have on my site.

    So when does an official announcement come out about what kinds of people you’re looking for?

    -A

  30. Cool. Ads are good, though, I’ve made none off the one I have on my site.

    So when does an official announcement come out about what kinds of people you’re looking for?

    -A

  31. ok.. i apparently suck at English tonight…

    “I’ve made none off the one I have on my site.”

    Should say I’ve made nothing off the one I have on my site.

  32. ok.. i apparently suck at English tonight…

    “I’ve made none off the one I have on my site.”

    Should say I’ve made nothing off the one I have on my site.

  33. Good for you, Robert. FWIW, although I certainly enjoy reading your posts, I find that many of the group blogs I subscribe to are often the blogs I enjoy reading the most. I think it comes from the variety that’s inherent in a team effort. The team has enough in common with one another to make it a consistent reading experience while at the same time the different personalities really give it a more appealing flavor.

  34. Good for you, Robert. FWIW, although I certainly enjoy reading your posts, I find that many of the group blogs I subscribe to are often the blogs I enjoy reading the most. I think it comes from the variety that’s inherent in a team effort. The team has enough in common with one another to make it a consistent reading experience while at the same time the different personalities really give it a more appealing flavor.

  35. Congrats toyour new stint at FastCompany, Robert. And about the ads, as long as you have full RSS feeds, I don’t think anybody here would have a pickle about it.

  36. Congrats toyour new stint at FastCompany, Robert. And about the ads, as long as you have full RSS feeds, I don’t think anybody here would have a pickle about it.

  37. Scoble,

    More and more people block ads with Firefox and Opera, Maxthon, etc. You have a geek readership and geeks tend to block ads.

    Good luck raising the money you’ll need. I hope you do well, but I wouldn’t cross my fingers for the bankroll.

  38. Scoble,

    More and more people block ads with Firefox and Opera, Maxthon, etc. You have a geek readership and geeks tend to block ads.

    Good luck raising the money you’ll need. I hope you do well, but I wouldn’t cross my fingers for the bankroll.

  39. I don’t personally mind about the ads as long as they’re not blinking/popping.

    However… does this mean that Scobleizer will no longer be your “personal” blog, and that other people will be writing in it too?

    I personally think that would be a shame.

  40. I don’t personally mind about the ads as long as they’re not blinking/popping.

    However… does this mean that Scobleizer will no longer be your “personal” blog, and that other people will be writing in it too?

    I personally think that would be a shame.

  41. Great job, don’t let anyone tell you that your wrong to have advertising.

    If you believe that it will allow you to create more high quality content then your audience will ultimately be happy with the end result. Also, this will be a great place for advertisers to place highly targeted ads.

    Everyone wins…. I wish you be best of luck.

  42. Great job, don’t let anyone tell you that your wrong to have advertising.

    If you believe that it will allow you to create more high quality content then your audience will ultimately be happy with the end result. Also, this will be a great place for advertisers to place highly targeted ads.

    Everyone wins…. I wish you be best of luck.

  43. [...] by many people why I’m not running ads of any kind on my site. I remember the conversation on Robert Scoble’s blog. Lots of people have had this same conversation, and lots of them have reached different decisions. [...]