We’re in the middle of a re-vamp here!

Thanks for your patience, I finally found time yesterday to finish my new blog-template. To me, this is much more than just some graphical brush-up: my aim was to closely integrate my “non-datadirt” social web activities, to unclutter the design and to build a lean, xhmtl-valid and fast-loading template suitable for videos as well as for longer essays. The result you’re browsing now is far from finished, there are still some details which await tweaking.

For now I just wanna thank all coders, geeks and programmers out there: since I’m using wordpress (and that would be a couple years by now), browsing the plugin repository for new add-ons is like shopping in a free gadget story. I really admire those folks who turn a brilliant idea into a great and easy-to-use plugin! datadirt is not just the result of my own work, and I’m well aware that I’m standing on the shoulders of web 2.0 giants. I’ll try to give something back by reviewing some of these great plug-ins. And I wanna send out a very special THANK YOU SO MUCH! to Matt Mullenweg and the whole WordPress Crew and to all fellow bloggers from whom I learned so much – especially Jeremy Shoemaker for his great and inspiring postings and his insights on the web.

btw: This was really a hard one for me: I’m not a designer, and usually I’d simply hire a specialist for this delicate task, but since this is my own blog, I wanted ultimated control over the code (that’s a real time-saver when you constantly add some bells and whistles) which meant that I had to do this myself. Frankly, I’m quite happy with the (temporary) results, and of course I’m very eager on your opinions. So pls let me know what you think about datenschmutz 3.0.

Microblogging-Ad-Time: Magpie sells tweet attention

mplogoAs social media services grow, they become more and more interesting for advertisers. Magpie, a brand-new “twitter advertising network” (and in no way affiliated with the RSS-parser library bearing the same name) is offering tweepers money to embed spam ads in their timeline. This sure was unavoidable, but at first glance, the European-based network is doing a pretty nice job.

Since I’m an online entrepreneur, I’m naturally very interested in new ways of monetizing my social media activities – but I would never recommend any service which I’m not a fan of, which ultimately leads to the one requirement that any ad network *must* take serious: I want control over the messages I’m sending out – whether to my followers on twitter or as banners on my blog. And Magpie takes this factor into consideration: every paid tweet can be pre-approved before it is sent out.

Psychologically, Magpie is doing quite a great job: new twitterers are encouraged to enter their username, based on which Magpie displays the amount which “could be earned” – I guess that this is a pretty rough and very optimistic approximation, since the systems tells me that I could make nearly 2.000 Euros a month. The tutorial video explains how the exchange of attentions actually works:

And how does it *really* work?

The sign-up process is really simple – advertisers need to apply for a dedicated log-in, twitterers have to deal with the ol’ trust problem: Magpie requires them to enter their passwords; I hope that an authentication-token is on twitter’s top priority list.

  1. You define a tweet frequency at which you will accept magpie-tweets for your Twitter account. Given your current tweet rate permits it, our service will try to find a matching magpie-tweet and twitter it. For maximum control, you’ll be asked to pre-approve magpie-tweets.
  2. To help your followers recognize magpie-tweets, you can define a custom disclaimer which we’ll happily append or prepend to all your magpie-tweets.
  3. Depending on the compensation model of each successfully delivered magpie-tweet you will be rewarded in cash.

That’s pretty much all there is – and since the publisher’s terms and conditions do not require you sell your soul to any kind of devil, I became curious and signed up, as it is possible to pause one’s account at any time. I’m really curious if Magpie will be able to turn tweets into bling-bling or if users will rejects ads at all. This is what the dashboard looks like:


You have to be aware though that Magpie is discussed quite controversially: While Marshall Kirkpatrick senses dark-side qualities and Dave Fleet feels abused, Studio Rizzn explains the truth about “evil Apple”.

What about the earnings?

Magpie is using PayPal, you have to earn at least 50 bucks to qualify for your first virtual paycheck. Besides from intercultural gaps (European users tend to be a lot pickier about commercial tweets and US citizens), I guess that Magpie’s success will largely depend on the advertiser pool: if they offer enough interesting contents and manage to successfully pitch their system to the right advertisers, this could be huge. I’ll try Magpie for the next two weeks and keep you updated, or you might want to start your own experiment: Sign up for Magpie

My 5.000th twitter follower: Archie!

The Easter bunny had a great present in store for me this year: a couple of days ago, I was about 100 followers short of 5k. So I announced that my 5.000th follower would receive a free review of a site of his choice – but instead of a text review I am going to show you some pictures, and I’m honored to announce that the said person is not a human being, but a famous internet dog. Welcome Archie! And Archie does not run a blog himself, but he stars in a large number of great pictures, so I decided to post a selection of my favorite Archie photos. All shots have been taken by Phreak 2.0, the other end of Archie’s leash.