Category Archives: Grand Effect

Grand Effect New Member: Regular Geek

There is nothing regular about geeks, but there is a great blog called Regular Geek, and I am very happy to see it join the ranks of the Grand Effect network.

From his entrant post:

Probably the main purpose of this post is to announce that I am now a member of the GrandEffect blog network! Woohoo! Thanks go out to Sarah Perez and the whole gang at GrandEffect. You will now see the GrandEffect bar at the top of the page listing all of the members of the network. I highly recommend reading all of them if you do not already.

With this, the network has ten members, and for now, I think that is more than enough. Sarah has been talking about “what’s next” as we go forward, and it seems like we will be working more on the Grand Effect network site, as well as working with PerformancingAds on bringing our network together in selling network wide ads, once they re-enable the bundled sale feature.

It is definitely an exciting time for the network as we continue to all build our brands, and pass traffic to each other.

Please help me in welcoming Rob, aka Regular Geek to the mix by checking out the site.

Originally posted on August 18, 2008 @ 2:12 pm

Blog Advertising Difficulties: Blog Network Doesn’t Mean Big Money

There is a great set of posts and videos going around right now talking about advertising and blogs, and I wanted to chime in with my two cents.

Aaron Brazell started me thinking about this thanks to a video on his blog Technosailor about blog consolidation.

Then I saw a post on Inquisitr talking about what Aaron said and Duncan added his own thoughts and opinions on bringing blogs together under one flag to sell advertising as a group.

These are both people that I highly respect, and who probably have more knowledge about the business of blogging than I do, but in this area, I don’t think they know what the heck they are talking about.

I am the co-founder of Grand Effect, a great blog network, with great blogs, written by great bloggers. We were all independent and came together for the purpose of passing traffic to each other, as well as a bit of link juice and of course banding together for network wide advertising sales.

I assumed because there would be a great deal of higher quality, focused blogs that we could get some high advertising rates, and when you bring our traffic together, we have a fair bit of page views, but still the advertisers aren’t running to our doors. I’ve shopped around the network a bit to some companies trying to gauge their response, and so far it has been a really lukewarm response.

We just don’t have the five or ten million page views that the big brands are looking for, or a tight enough demographic or the required star/networking power to make those big deals with friendly companies. We also aren’t high enough currently on the thought leader chain in the blogosphere for certain brands, making things even more frustrating as we work hard to show how powerful our brands have become.

While we have a lot to offer an advertiser that can come in with a three to five dollar CPM rate, we haven’t been able to secure that yet across the network of nine sites, and so bringing together a few blogs under a banner is definitely not enough to entice companies to sign up and tap into that combined traffic.

Also, I have found that the more page views that you bring together, the lower these companies want their overall CPM rates to be. So while a 50,000 page view blog might be able to sell some advertising space for a consistent $2 CPM, or $100 per advertising spot per month, a 500,000 page view blog, won’t instantly get $1000 for the same advertising positions.

Everyone also seems to be forgetting the time and effort that needs to go into selling these companies on buying advertising from you. This can take an immense amount of time depending on the company and it can also be difficult when the coalition is young and thus the brand everyone is flying is unknown. I always thought 9rules should have done something to help its membership make money through a network advertising service, but I realize now, in working with Grand Effect, that it just takes so much time.

You either have to develop an advertising platform, use one that already exists (thus giving them a cut) or do things manually. Development costs a fair bit of time and/or money. Using one that already exists can be frustrating because it might not have the features you want, and they’ll want their cut. Doing things manually can take huge amounts of time, and lends itself to mistakes.

How does everyone expect to manage network wide advertisements? Who will take the lead to create relationships with companies and sell them on advertising positions, and does this person get extra money? Who will handle the receiving and disbursement of advertising payments?

The information that the others have put up don’t really cover the important questions, instead lingering on about other less important things like freedom of creative control on your own blogs, and trying to quickly pull everyone under your wing in hopes of selling big advertising blocks.

Too many unanswered questions. I think people are going to jump in with both feet, only to find themselves disappointed. Doesn’t anyone plan things out properly in the blogosphere anymore?

Originally posted on July 26, 2008 @ 1:03 am

Grand Effect Round-up

I just wanted to give a shout out to the great articles being written by Grand Effect members. We are still looking to increase our membership a little more, so if you are interested in joining our little group, please head on over to Grand Effect’s main network site, and contact us.

Over on Sarah in Tampa, there is a great mention of the recent interview on BloggerTalks, where Sarah answered questions about herself and Grand Effect. It is a great read.

On Ghacks, you can find out more about online desktops, something that I believe is still a growing market, despite the numerous competitors.

Next, we have a great article about establishing your web identity over on SheGeeks. I have worked hard on my online identity, have you?

Over on ParisLemon, you can find out something very close to my heart as MG Siegler talks about the stresses of dealing with cable television and the hefty bill it creates.

Echoing my own problems, and I am sure many others, The Last Podcast talks about quitting Twitter. I have to admit, using anything that isn’t stable online makes me grind my teeth.

WinExtra covers the advantages bloggers with sidebars have if they use them correctly in a recent post entitled, “A blogger’s secret weapon – the sidebar”.

Second to last we have Webby’s World and a great article about being an experienced blogger. The article culminates in asking how people define experience level online.

Last, but certainly not least is Mark Evans’ blog where he talks about hiring the right people, something that more and more blogs are trying to do to reach out to the masses. I like to think of myself as fairly smart, but feel free to correct me if you think I am wrong.

So many great articles on so many great sites. It is definitely an honour to be in the same group as these fine blogs, and I highly recommend that everyone subscribe to all of the Grand Effect blogs as they are amazing writers, with valuable opinions.

Originally posted on June 2, 2008 @ 11:13 am

Grand Effect Grows Again with Three New Additions

Grand Effect has added three great members to the mix, bringing our total to the odd number of nine. We are likely only leaving one spot left open for the perfect addition to the network, so jump over to our contact page today if you are interested.

The big news though is the new members we have added which includes some brilliant, interesting, and powerful bloggers.

Joe Anderson of Webby’s World is a tech blogger from the U.K. His current site has been around since 2005. He is also a 9rules member, and thankfully neither network has a ban in place on being part of both, and I think that he has been selected by both is a credit to his blog and its quality.

Next, we have Steven Hodson of WinExtra. Steven is a self-described “cranky old fart” but his analysis of technology and the web is definitely not old. He will definitely be a fun addition to the team, and I have a feeling he and I will get along just fine.

Lastly, we have someone that I am a fan of, and it also helps that like Steven, he is Canadian, bringing Grand Effect to a membership that is one third Canadian: Mark Evans of Mark Evans Tech. Mark is one of the organizers of the Mesh Conference in Toronto, and the director of community with PlanetEye Inc.

I couldn’t be happier with the new additions, and I owe Sarah Perez a lot for organizing member submissions and whatnot, and the other members for their continued support and patience. I really believe we have one of the best groups of bloggers ever and I hope we can put that talent to good use.

Lastly, now that we have filled out our membership to a respectable level, I will be collecting statistics from the various bloggers, and working on advertising sales and helping support their various blogs. I have also set aside some time for members to come to me with blogging and WordPress related questions, as a service I am willing to give freely to them in hopes of making their blogs even better.

Originally posted on May 7, 2008 @ 4:24 pm

Grand Effect Member News Roundup #1

I wanted to try to start something new on this blog by highlighting the various things going on in other Grand Effect member blogs, especially now that our membership is pretty much complete at this point and time.

So here, for your enjoyment, is the first Grand Effect Member News Roundup.

The first good news is that both Sarah in Tampa and SheGeeks have been added to the very popular AllTop aggregation site. This, in my opinion is recognition of the hard work and great content that they have both produced.

gHacks lets everyone know that EA Games is going to add even more copyright protection to their upcoming titles in the form of a Securom protection program that requires internet access to validate your copy of the game, not only during install, but every ten days thereafter. This is a bit ridiculous and no doubt crackers will find a way around it just as they have with Windows genuine advantage and other such systems, but it is near and dear to my heart because Spore, a game I am very excited about will be protected in such a way.

It made me wonder what it would be like if blogs had the same type of protection systems, where not only did you have to log in to a site before reading it, but the site was so paranoid that you had to re-login every ten minutes. I doubt many of us would be able to make a business around those types of restrictions. Penny Arcade makes good fun of the security issue at EA’s expense.

ParisLemon asks for multiple account switching for Gmail and with the number of Gmail addresses I have for various things, I have to admit that his idea really appeals to me, though I doubt it would ever sit very high on their priority list. I mean, who needs more than one e-mail account with multiple gigs of storage space?

Over on The Last Podcast, I suggest you all check out episode seven of the Elite Tech News Podcast which includes two members of Grand Effect.

WinExtra makes a great comparison between Twitter and IRC, which makes me go “wow, so true” as I realize my youth was wasted on various IRC channels, and now Twitter has become the replacement for me as an adult. Scary, but true.

Joe Anderson of Webby’s World asks, how would you describe modern technology to someone from the 18th century? It really made me think, as even just describing my job to my parents has been complicated.

Mark Evans echoes my problems in a post dedicated to not having enough time on Mark Evans Tech. For me, time isn’t really the issue, but instead I suffer from lack of extended periods of focus. I know I can get a lot done, but it comes in spurts and short periods. On a bad day, I do ninety percent of my work in ten percent of the day. Maybe I just have too many time sinks in my life.

Originally posted on May 9, 2008 @ 3:57 pm