Monthly Archives: December 2008

Blogging in 2009

There are many people talking about what the upcoming year will bring for bloggers, and while I see some great opportunities opening up for people, I also see that 2009 will be hard to monetize in any other way than affiliate programs and CPA advertising. If you are depending on CPC or CPM advertising, you’ll have a hard time making ends meet.

Also, I see 2009 being the year that the WordPress community fractures more, as Habari and Movable Type start to make strong movements in enticing some more big names in the WordPress community to their software. Of course there are millions of new people joining the WordPress world, but it won’t be the same.

Another major shift I see coming that might surprise people is the rebirth of the super-blog. One blog with dozens of authors on a wider topic. They will probably cover certain demographics and be the “go to” portal for everything that a person would be interested in. While these sites will still have a niche slant to them, their size alone will warrant attention.

Smaller niche blogs won’t be able to effectively compete, and will become oriented towards fandom, rather than money making.

The next interesting thing I see coming down the pipe are more jobs for action oriented people, and specialists. People that have multiple talents will continue to have trouble finding decent jobs, as even startups look for specialists that they can hire and use to their fullest. Businesses will continue to keep their numbers small, expecting specialists to not only do amazing things with their talents, but also pick up on a few other duties as time allows.

Some other things of note include more bloggers “faking it until they make it”, more blog networks probably shutting down as they stop being profitable enough, a new wave of advertisers looking for results, and a stronger push towards accurate statistics on all websites including blogs.

Next year will either be really great for bloggers, or really horrible, but in the end, it will be about adapting fast to changes, and working for companies that need your strengths in one topic, and then riding out the economic storm.

Would I suggest people get into problogging right now? If your expenses are under $1500 per month, I think that now is the best time ever for building out your own brand if you can find others to work with. Don’t go it alone, and don’t work for a blog network unless you have to. Your personal brand is what will be valuable.

If your expenses are over $1500 per month, then don’t become a problogger. Use whatever talent you have the most skills to back up, and get a job related to that. If you are a great server administrator, now is not the time to explore other options, like becoming a full time blogger. Stick to server administration for the time being.

That’s my thoughts on the coming year. Am I way off base? Let me know!

Kommein Launches: A New Community Manager Resource

Deb Ng, of the well known Freelance Writing Jobs and I have launched a new blog called Kommein. It will be used for both of us to talk about community management and becoming and succeeding as a Community Manager.

We have already published a dozen posts on the topic ranging from the definition of a Community Manager to our own personal insights. We hope to extend this blog out over the next year into the number one resource for Community Managers, and community development and management in general.

I am very excited to be working with Deb on this project, and hope that you will all take a look and let me know what you think.

College Crunch Progress

For the last few months, I have been working away on College Crunch, and one of the things that sticks out most so far in my time there is how much work there is to do. Every time we finish one section, on post, one page, or one idea, there are one thousand more that need to be done. Each new page leads to another that should be made and each new post leads to other posts that would support the initial one.

The project is never ending, and almost requires an exponentially growing amount of work to be dedicated to it.

Ryan and I have been working very hard on the site, and have seen a number of decent size social media successes on the site, but more importantly, we are starting to see a strong number of good search results leading people to the site, and that is the key to deciding if this project is going to be a success or a failure.

Three posts over the last little while that I really enjoyed include:
Free College Software Guide
Nursing Salaries List
Top Brands for College Students

If you haven’t checked out College Crunch, then you are missing a great example of how to build out a site that makes money.

WordPress’ “GPL” and Theme Mess

So if you follow WordPress news at all, you may have heard about a crazy thing happening right now where Automattic removed around two hundred themes from WordPress.org’s theme directory. Many of these themes were removed as they didn’t fit with Matt’s vision of the GPL. Some themes were released freely, under the GPL but were really a promotion and marketing effort for companies looking to sell themes. I didn’t have any problem with this, but it seems that Automattic does, and themes that linked back to companies that sell themes that aren’t under the GPL were removed to “protect” WordPress users.

I think this is ridiculous. I, for one, am glad that I use custom themes, and Thesis, a great premium theme. I wish that Thesis was able to be part of the WordPress theme directory to take advantage of the update and upgrade system now in WordPress core, but since Matt doesn’t agree with their business model, he punishes them directly.

Matt blames theme creators for not thinking creatively when it comes to building a business around theme development, but if he keeps cutting off their arms when they try to find ways to build a business, eventually, they will give up and move on to something that gives them a better return on investment regarding their time.

Maybe this issue will become the seed of a new mass exodus to another publishing platform? Do I hear Habari waiting in the wings? I’ve been told numerous times that Habari will let theme developers easily build a business around their themes for that platform.

This all wouldn’t bother me so much, except that Automattic is making huge boatloads of money off of WordPress and that is in large part thanks to all of the community support the platform gets.

More Reading:
Automattic putting the boot to premium theme developers
WordPress.org Pull 200 GPL Themes
200 Themes Removed From WordPress.org – Matt Explains Why
More Hypocrisy from Mullenweg and WordPress with new themes jihad

PicApp Launches WordPress Plugin

During my time working with PicApp, I mentioned how useful a WordPress plugin would be to quickly embed images from PicApp onto my blog posts, to which they responded, “we are already in the beginning stages of working on one.”

Their understanding of the niche they were trying to fill was part of the reason they didn’t need me sticking around as their Community Manager and I am happy today to announce that they have launched their WordPress plugin for PicApp.

Even better, it is in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory, so it will be easy to keep track of any updates and over one thousand people have already downloaded it.

Having hard time finding affordable, yet high end, images for your blog? problem solved. Access millions of updated images, of any topic (news, celebrity, sports, events, creative and more) directly from your WordPress environment and add any image easily to your post. The images, legal and free to use under the license terms, will enhance your blog content, improve its SEO and attract a significantly larger readership.

Moving PicApp from a destination site where you have to do everything, and bringing it inside the WordPress administration panel is genius, and PicApp deserves huge kudos for doing this.

If you haven’t given PicApp a try before because you felt it took too long to add the images you wanted to your blog, check out the new PicApp WordPress plugin.