I found out where some of those people from 1994 ended up. You remember the ones that believed any commercial use of the Internet — like banner ads or putting your magazine online and charging money for people to read it — is a corruption of their pure medium? They have blogs now.
But what is “pure” online?
Is it wrong or deceitful for Mena Trott, DL Byron and Macromedia employees to tell their stories to customers using blogs? I don’t think it is.
Maybe if you’re promoting anything at all online (including yourself), then you are evil, but that would include just about anyone who is doing anything online. Let those whose blogs are without Google AdWords send the first flames.
How evil would you rate conferences on blogging, books on blogging and corporate blog-training?
Blogstakes is a derivative work. Without blogs and without incoming links there is no Blogstakes. It’s no different from BlogShares, Blogdex, Daypop, BlogRolling and dozens of other sites in that respect.
Blogstakes is both a social experiment and a learning experience. I’ve built a set of tools that tackles a long list of features: tracking referring sites, processing registrations, generating XML feeds, activity tracking, redirect tracking and detailed reporting.
Now I’m watching Blogstakes links make their way through the blogosphere and I’m meeting people I never would have heard of before they linked to Blogstakes. All but two of the messages I’ve received have been positive and several people have raised intelligent questions about the logistics of a Blogstakes contest.
Question: What happens when I link to the BrowserCam contest on my blog and someone goes and signs up for Free Panty Hose For Life instead?
Answer: Then you and that person might both win free panty hose for life. I’m considering solutions to this issue that still allow painless blog participation — ones where they don’t have to pre-register and opt-out of contests or contest categories. This is one reason why you haven’t seen any new contests yet.
Question: What if someone has cookies and “referer strings” turned off by their security software?
Answer: I don’t recommend disabling security software just so you can enter a Blogstakes contest.
Question: What if someone links to a contest from someone else’s comments section? Does the blog that sends entries win a prize or the person that posted the comment?
Answer: Only the blog’s author can link to a contest and qualify to win a prize. I call putting a contest link on someone else’s site using their comments forms “blogstakes slamming” and those entries are disqualified.
There are supposedly more than 900,000 blogs out there and I know now a few thousand more than I did two weeks ago.
I’d love to know what you think about blog marketing.