Happy Christmas to you all!

“May the good luck / shine a light on you / may every song you sing / be ever with you!” Thanks a lot for constantly stopping by at my blog – I just started datadirt this year and I’m pretty amazed by all the feedback I got so far. I promise that I’ll keep things fresh and keep you folks updated about the latest in web 2.0 and online marketing. Thanks for your support, have great holidays! (And treat elks gently!)


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Weekly Blogistan Round-Up no. 52/2008

tangible interfacesReady from some good ole fun after the dreadful distress of buying all your X-Mas presents? Word your way through Dan’s list of Friday Funnies and meet the Tiddy bear! He’ll make you feel more comfortable than a pint of pure Christmas spirit or this weekly round-up. So sit back, relax and keep wondering about the miracles of modern web society.

Vote for your PPC, America

TechCrunch heard an interesting rumor: supposedly Digg is working on their own ad system by adding a social mechanism to determine the click price:

One experiment Digg is working on, says one source close to the company, is a self service advertising product that will be somewhat similar to Google AdWords, but with a twist. The product would insert advertisements into the Digg news stream (presumably clearly marked). Where those ads end up, and how much an advertiser pays per click, would be based on user feedback.

Sounds like a pretty smart plan – theoretically it might improve overall ad quality a lot. On the other hand I highly doubt that user are willing to cast their votes on ads. It’s much more likely that Digg-mobs embrace a more profitable kind of business model.

The key factors of success

If you want to become a millionaire, try to serve others first. If you offer them something of true value, the will appreciate your work and eventually pay your really good. Work through Crap:

C riticism
R ejection
A ssholes
P ressure


It’s all simple truths, cut down to a 3-minute TED presentation without any unnecessary bells and whistles. And there’s good news, too: try to have fun, will you? [via Blogpiloten]

In the mood for charity?

People usually are around this time of year and Seth has picked out some ideas like collecting money via twitter or getting peeps to sign up for some new service. That’s the true spirit of X-Mas: during other seasons you could never directly buy attention without looking like a complete loser, but hey, it’s Christmas: that seems to render any kind of begging and buying the G-love absolutely acceptable! Don’t worry though: I’ll just give some of my yearly income to charity, but I won’t ask you, my readers, to send me money or to sign up anywhere. If it was a successful year for you, pick some humanitarian cause that appeals to you. Give them some of money directly: finding a proper project is easier than ever before – there are literally millions of Facebook groups trying to improve the world, Africa, animal rights, human rights etc. I won’t and can’t tell you what good deed you should spend your hard-earned bucks on.

Video(s) of the week: tangible interaction

Tangible Interaction’s graffiti wall takes the illegal part out of spraying house-walls. The only problem is that these interfaces are probably far too expensive to be put up on every city wall. Still, using them looks like a lot of fun:

And there’s more greatness on Vimeo: Scott Beale of Laughing Squid test-drove his brand-new Canon 5D Mark II against mighty Doc Popular’s Yoyo tricks: the sequence is short, but watch it in HD on Vimeo and behold the incredible video quality:

So much for this week – one more round-up to go, and we’re done with 2008 or “the year of 140 letters” as some like to call it. So good luck with grabbing your last-minute X-mas presents, have a nice Sunday and great holidays, see you next week.


Input for weekly round-upGot any news you’d like to read about in my weekly round-up of current blogosphere events?
Don’t hesitate to contact me! Of course I’ll include a backlink to your original story.

So don’t hesitate – just click here for the contact form and give me an update on your issues: Give me input!.

My German blog ranks #44 in Twingly’s charts

Twingly ChartsThis week, Swedish Start-up Company Twingly launched its very own top-blog lists in twelve different languages. Their blog search is delivering really good results, so it seems that the near future might look rather bleak for Technorati – and the best part is that my main blog datenschmutz ranks #44 in the German-language list!

The overall winner of the new rating is – what a surprise – Technorati. And this is what Michael, or in this case Robin, thinks about the new charts:

Twingly, the social blog search engine that prides itself in being completely spam-free, has launched BlogRank as a way to identify the 100 most important blogs in 12 different languages based on a proprietary ranking system. Its very similar to what Technorati has been trying to achieve with their Authority ranking, i.e. creating a Google PageRank for blogs. […] They also stress that it shows the blogosphere according to their data, and that its not necessarily 100% accurate. Its a nice feature, but late in the game, and youve got to ask yourself how obsolete both Twingly’s and Technorati’s ranking would be if Google were actually the next to introduce the next ‘Google PageRank for blogs’.

The ratings are based on the so called Twingly blog-rank:

Twingly Top 100, is the listing of the 100 biggest blogs in 12 different languages based on our ranking system (which is mainly focusing on inlinks and likes among other things). BlogRank is a number between 1-10 that shows how big a blog is. Its similar to Google PageRank but only for blogs.

I have to agree – but the question is if and when Google will launch such a specialized PageRank. Sooner or later they will be forced to do so, as the rapid dynamics of blogs calls for a different measurement, otherwise the main index will become too clogged over time. But until then, I’m very very happy about number 44, especially considering that I’m writing about a growing, yet still pretty small niche compared to e.g. tabloid or pop culture blogs.

Why the name datadirt?

I started datadirt only a couple of months ago, but I’ve been blogging in German for some years – that’s actually where the name of the blog comes from. My German blog is called datenschmutz, which is a wordplay, as the German term for privacy protection is “Datenschmutz”, while Schmutz literally means dirt. So datadirt is the literal translation of the name – I got so used to it that I decided to stick with the name. Of course I’m not translating every single posting, but I really like blogging in two languages; brushes up my written English and enables me to blog about topics which are hot in the US but not in Europe. Take affiliate marketing for example: some of the best and most lucrative networks out there only accept English sites, as the network owners want to keep track of their affiliate portfolio. Very understandable, but still a drag if you only operate German sites. So to cut a long story short: thanks for your support – and I hope datadirt will turn up in Twigly’s English list next year – so thanks a lot for you interest and your support!

Weekly Blogistan Round-Up no. 50/2008

wingsuitMain bloggerilla topic of the week: the new WordPress aka 2.7. Matt and his team change a lot in the backend – it’s like Obama said: “Change, we can do it!” What O did not mention though was the fact that change makes most folks rather uncomfortable. In that respect, it’s more like TLC sang-rapped: “Don’t go chasin’ waterfalls / listen to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to.” In other words, I’ve heard a lot of user complaining about a so-called uglification of the CMS. My five cents: so far I’ve only updated half of my blogs, and I really dig the new look and all the new features.

The new WordPress 2.7

A lot of hard programming work has gone into this release: every backend-screen is customizable, so it should be easier than ever to fit WP to your needs. Furthermore, this updating-round is the last manual one: from 2.7 or “Coltrane”, WP updates do happen on the fly without any ftp-uploads (just like the current plug-in update function). This new release is so full of features that you might want to take a look at the official WordPress Blog. This screencast sums up all the new blogging-goodness:

Jerry nails it again

I really dig this guy, not just because he’s funny and a good writer – I also learned a great deal from him. And I can only fully endorse this quote from an article about blogging and not selling out:

I get probably 10-20 solicitations a day to write about someones product or whatever If it’s something I am interested in then I write about it. But more than anything I try not to clutter the blog with crap. And when I say crap of course I mean what I think is crap.

Going local with your host

If you live in the US and you run an online business, you probably didn’t choose a European hosting provider – why would you? US Hosts offer cheaper contracts, and they’re just as reliable. And that’s the reason why many Europeans chose US hosters, but that might not be a good idea. NTT Europe just released a new study about the importance of local hosting. And the results are quite surprising: if your server is hosted in another country than the one you’re targeting with your business, you might lose up to 30% of potential visitors! So whether you’re a global player or more of a niche-fiend: don’t forget that your IP always tells Google where your server is located: paying a couple of bucks more might actually pay off, and that goes for bloggers, too.

Going digital this X-Max

Geeks need to pay for Bytes, says Crunchgear – we all got too much brick-and-mortar crap already, and it’s about time to switch from energy-consuming, poison-producing hardware to digital content streams – I fully agree:

I’m saying we dont need any more crap. We have too much, we bought too much on credit, and were destroying the environment and economy with our purchases. This year, vote with your wallet and say “We dont need a digital disk standard. We dont need DRM. We value your content and we will pay for it, but on our terms.” As I see it, buying digital ideally from non-DRM sources fulfills the promise of the digital life cycle.

Video of the week

Ever felt like jumping from a really high cliff without a parachute? Well, that’s what those guys do on a regular basis. Yes, they do survive their falls thanks to so-called wingsuits – and their adventures look a lot more spectacular than those of Superman:

That’s it for one of the last weeks of 2008 – I hope you have a great Sunday! Thanks for stopping by, see you next week.


Input for weekly round-upGot any news you’d like to read about in my weekly round-up of current blogosphere events?

Don’t hesitate to contact me! Of course I’ll include a backlink to your original story.

So don’t hesitate – just click here for the contact form and give me an update on your issues: Give me input!.

Leon, take that break at two

“I got one line on the Sopranos…that makes me more gangster than you!” So Leon take that freaking break. And can anybody please tell why it’s exactly two? This man did thorough research for his one-line appearance, and then he turned his hard work into one of the funniest videos I’ve seen in a long time:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCx8xjHMt_M[/youtube] Read more

Weekly Blogistan Round-Up no. 49/2008

the new AkiraIt’s been a week full of surprises: Pownce closed pretty unexpectedly, while Twitter is still growing at an amazing rate. And a new trend finally has been turned into an API, or rather two APIs: Google as well as Facebook try to decentralize social networking and at the same time establish their own platforms as the central social hub. I am really looking forward to buddypress – in my opinion, “hosted” services are fine as additional traffic streams, but no online professional should put his main assets into third-party hands.

Google friend connect is opening

Last week, Google started the public beta phase for its new service friend connect: Basically, we’re talking about a social API here: there’s a unified login via Big G and Open ID. The implementation is simple, there’s a couple of ready-made widgets, but actually it’s all about the community now, who is expected to build their own apps. Is this going to be a threat for Facebook? The future will show.

…and Facebook launches Connect

The new service is FB’s version of a portable single-sign on. While OpenID is great in theory, I totally agree with Dan:

Truth be told, Im a big fan of Facebook, and could easily see them getting this one just right. And apparently, Im not the only one. In a recent press release, Facebook states that,

“two out of three new registrations at participating sites were generated through Facebook Connect during the testing phase.”

66%! Wow! And the sticky sweet Facebook goodness doesnt stop at the registration page.

“users who logged in using Facebook Connect were 50 percent more likely to participate socially on a website than non-Facebook Connect users once logged in.”

Of course, a grand don’t come for free: he who bestows upon his website the powers of FB, grants them sole access to all the social data gathered. So the standard blog-commenting system without registration is here to stay for another while.

More Facebook news: embeddable videos

Embedding videos is not a big deal anymore – every major site offers this function. But Facebook takes the game to the next level by introducing friends-only embeddable videos, and the quality has improved as well:

The quality will be bumped up to 720p, which is technically the low end of HD. Coincidentally (or not), YouTube turned on an HD-quality option on Friday. […] The key change, though, is that the videos will now be embeddable on other sites. […] Just as on Facebook, you can determine exactly who can see any video you upload. Those privacy settings will be maintained across the Web.

Win tickets for Elite Retreat

There’s no doubt that Elite Retreat is a high-profile conference, and it’s always sold out quite quickly. And the tickets are not too cheap either, but here comes the good news: The friendly guys from Pepperjam are giving away not only free tickets, but also gives away hotel room and a free flight. To be eligible for the freebies, you’ll have to work hard though, as the rules are all about affiliate performance. [via Shoemoney]

Video of the week: A Chain Animation

1993 45 media artists did a chain-animation – most of them were using an Amiga. Max has uploaded this 21-minutes clip – looks pretty amazing:


Also recommended: Akira remodeled. Have you ever wondered, what the manga classic Akira would look life, if it had been produced for an American audience? Laughing Squid knows!

And that’s it for the week – have a great Sunday, enjoy your trips to the blogosphere. See you next week! And btw: don’t forget to clean your screen :mrgreen:

Input for weekly round-upGot any news you’d like to read about in my weekly round-up of current blogosphere events?
Don’t hesitate to contact me! Of course I’ll include a backlink to your original story.

So don’t hesitate – just click here for the contact form and give me an update on your issues: Give me input!.

Pownce shuts down – And the moral of the story?

pownce shuts downMicroblogging-platform Pownce announced its shutdown on 15th of December yesterday. The company was bought by Six Apart, the makers of Movable Type and TypePad. The team will continue to work for Six Apart on new projects – seems the company saw no light at the end of the infamous twitter-tunnel: while Pownce hat a couple of unique features to offer, the community never reached the critical size that turns microblogging-fun into a profitable business.

Pro-users who had to pay 20$ per year for premium features will be notified via e-mail, a new export features enables powncers to export their blog for future re-import into TypePad and/or WordPress, check the official pownce blog for details. My personal grief is strictly limited, as I wasn’t a regular user. Why would I? Contrary to blip.fm I didn’t see much value in maintaining a second microblogging account; Twitter is already consuming enough of my time. And I was not the only one to abandon ship:

Ive been a member of Pownce since day one and at one point, a devoted member and daily visitor. However, as time went on, recurring bugs werent fixed, feedback wasnt acted on, other services launched, original members abandoned ship and eventually, so did I.

TechCrunchIt even thinks that there’s little to no room for fresh microblogging services:

If FriendFeed is a parasite service of Twitter, then the only conceivable entry point now is as a parasite service of FriendFeed. What would that entail? It would have to be a service that thrived on being absorbed as it seeded new functionality into the expanding messaging subsystem.

So is this the beginning of web 2.0’s end? I don’t think so – copycats just don’t last that long. There’s one learning though that every web professional should take away from this episode: your own site, the central hub of your very web existence, must not depend on third party infra-structure providers! This means: go self-hosted, if you’re serious about your online presence. Make excessive use of web 2.0 services for generating incoming traffic, but always diversify! Don’t depend on one search engine, one community, one microblogging service: spread your assets! 100 traffic sources with 5 visitors each are a much better investment in your personal online future than 1 source with 1000 visitors.