Tuesday, 07 October 2008

Larry Dignan posted some interesting charts, graphs and figures today over at ZDNet looking at advertising revenue for the first half of 2008, compared to previous periods. He also asks what will happen to advertising revenue in the faltering economy. Good question.

What I know best is my experience, which is undoubtedly unique since this site is not exactly huge (about 750K pageviews/month). However, over the past few years I have watched my revenue trends from contextual advertising rise and fall. In these most recent "tough" times for the overall economy, my advertising numbers (meaning impressions, click-through rates, eCPM, daily revenue, etc.) have increased somewhat dramatically.

If you think about it, this could actually make some sense. Less discretionary, from-the-hip spending by various types of consumers means the market needs to find effective ways to reach out to buyers. In many cases, where consumers are looking to save a few bucks on a purchase, they will naturally turn to the Internet for better deals. So, maybe the Internet advertising world has a real opportunity.

My weblog and the few other site I have don't rely on financial services or automotive industry related advertising, granted. I could be way off base here. Yet I can't help but wonder what the second half will look like. I have at least some confidence it will weather this storm. Time will tell.


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AudioBlogging | Random Stuff
Tuesday, 07 October 2008 11:37:05 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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I've lately come to enjoy the relatively new video site, hulu.com, for catching up on television shows I've missed. Decent quality and easy access offered by the site are great. The other day they posted the Saturday Night Live spoof sketch poking fun at Joe Biden and Sarah Palin, and quite literally everyone I know must have gone there to view that specific clip in the past few days.

Tonight, Hulu takes it to the next level with the real candidates by introducing live streaming to their mix. The U.S. presidential debate is their initial undertaking (view here), and they will also live-stream the third debate next week. Tonight's debate airs on NBC and the last one on FOX, both of which are owners or hulu.com.

It will be interesting to see what else they decide to stream live in the future. One would think they might have to limit live streaming to non-advertising-supported content (like these debates) in order to avoid diluting their local advertisers. But I certainly wouldn't mind being able to watch certain shows live from the road, and ads focused based on geolocation or something similar would be just fine with me. Oh, and as a sidenote: We can always continue to hope against hope for a hulu iPhone app.

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Random Stuff
Tuesday, 07 October 2008 08:53:51 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 04 October 2008

It's been a fun and challenging week learning to fly. I found a couple good podcasts, and have posted a couple new detailed entries to my new flying blog, Coordinated Flight.

The podcasts I found are The Student Pilot Podcast, by Bill Williams in Arizona, and Uncontrolled Airspace, which Bill recommended. Good stuff.

I have four flight days scheduled next week. I hope the weather cooperates!

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Random Stuff
Saturday, 04 October 2008 16:49:48 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Thursday, 02 October 2008

Well, true to my own distracted form I realized about a month too late that this weblog turned five years old last month. I didn't get a chance to wish it "happy blogday," so I'll do so belatedly. Five years is quite a bit of time, yet it also seems as if it was all that long ago that I started this thing.

The site has gradually changed in terms of how I "use" it over time. Recently I've written less frequently than at times in the past, but when I do write I tend to write more in one sitting. I'm also writing (and speaking) elsewhere occasionally and splitting my time among a variety of other life activities these days.

Some of my favorite posts are from a few years ago (although some recent posts are on that list, too). My first post was decidedly non-technical (and reading it now I'm not even sure I'd write it today (but I'd probably say something on Twitter)). Well, okay - maybe I would write it. :)

I've gone through the server stress of being "slashdotted" and all sorts of other mega traffic deluges, and have been running dasBlog the entire time, thanks to the influence of my good friend Scott. I've written about some very personal topics as well as random technology tidbits that interest me. In five years I've authored 1,762 posts and people have commented on those posts more than 2,800 times. Somehow I've attracted a fairly large readership and Internet audience over the years (frequently over 600,000 page views a month), and for that I'm grateful and a bit humbled.

At any rate, it'll be interesting to see what's happening here (and on other weblogs, for that matter) in five more years.

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Thursday, 02 October 2008 19:39:16 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 27 September 2008

I speak English natively. My friend that I want to chat with in IM speaks German. A chat-helper service called MTBOT (Microsoft Translation Robot) allows me to type in English, yet my friend sees and reads what I wrote translated into his native German language. Likewise, when he types in German, what I see is his messages machine-translated into English.

If you use Windows Live Messenger, you too can add mtbot@hotmail.com to your buddy list. When you want to chat with someone who speaks another language, add them to a "conversation" with your TBot. You and the other person are asked to specify your native language, and after that you just start typing.

There are a number of commands you can issue to control TBot's behavior. To see a list of commands, just type "TBOT ?" in the IM window. You'll then be presented with the list of available commands:

Cool stuff. Check out the Translator information posted over at the Live Search blog.

Currently-supported languages:

  • English to/from:
    • Arabic
    • Chinese Simplified
    • Chinese Traditional
    • Dutch
    • French
    • German
    • Italian
    • Japanese
    • Korean
    • Portuguese
    • Russian (Russian to English only)
    • Spanish
  • Chinese Simplified to/from Chinese Traditional

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Saturday, 27 September 2008 20:08:44 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Call your Congressional rep now (202-225-3121) and ask them to support H.R. 7084, the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008. Pandora and other similar services need your help.

I called last night and left a message for my Congressman in Oregon, David Wu. If it's your first time, calling just know it's easy: The operator will answer the phone, you ask for your congressman by name, and they transfer you to the correct office.

I left a message for Wu last night stating that I wanted him to support the resolution because it was of a timely nature and it ensured fair ad reasonable competition, and that industry lobbyist attempts to defeat it or stall it were anticompetitive in motivation.

If you use online streaming music services like Pandora or other similar ones, their very existence may depend on this resolution, so make your voice known now. It really does make a difference.

If you don't know who your Congressperson is, you can look them up quickly here. All you need is your ZIP code.

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Saturday, 27 September 2008 07:13:48 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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