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IDEA #25 – Blogroll Advertising Network

Is there an AdSense network for the blog post world? Meaning, I imagine a network that I add my RSS feed to — and in return, download a widget, which I put on my blog that displays random (?) blog post headlines (and 100 characters of the post). So instead of advertising companies — I’m advertising other blog posts to read across the web.

As the network expands — these wouldn’t be random any longer, they’d be much more focused. The widget would be able to tell what other blogs my readers visit (and I link out to) and start displaying links to blog posts that would be of relevance to my readers. The more clicks to other blogs, the more clicks I would expect to receive from other blogs. Thus, if I send out 500 clicks to other blogs — I would expect 500 incoming clicks from various blogs in the network.

This might all be free — maybe though there are ways to pay money to have a blog post featured on the network.

MyBlogLog could likely put something together like this kind of easily — since they already have the blogs with their widget installed (and thus aggregate data of the MyBlogLog readers that are surfing amongst the different MyBlogLog widget-ized websites).

To me — the web is huge, and there’s room for every one of us blogs. Someone is going to keep coming back to your blog if you offer interesting content — otherwise they won’t. If someone adds 5 more blogs to their daily reads — they’ll likely continue going to all of them, or it’ll be a battle of the best, for which is going to continue that readers’ interest.

Does this make sense? If my blog only gets 5 readers per day, but another gets 500 — will the 5 readers per day blog ever get proper publicity? How does this get monetized?

Another semi-related idea post of mine is here.

  • Adam Ostrow

    That’s a great idea. There are lots of media sites that offer 1:1 link exchanges (i.e. for every hit you send them, they sent you one – College Humor is an example), but I’m yet to find a network that does this for blogrolls, and definitely not one that utilizes widgets. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us!

  • Sean Ammirati

    Steve, At one point Rojo was doing somehting like this –

    However, I believe they’ve abandoned this post-acquisition. Interestingly, their business model was for every display on your blog you get 1/2 a display on another blog. Therefore, in the example in this post if your blog got 5 readers a day – then you would get 2.5 displays on another blog. The other 2.5 displays could then be used for advertising.

    I actually am more interested in seeing this done within an RSS feed than within a blog html page, but … Also, it seems like some action (I would argue subscribe) is more effective than simply displaying.

    However, its clear we are just in the first inning of a long game figuring out the most effective ways to monetize blogs.

    – Sean

  • James D Kirk

    Hey Guys and Dolls,
    Any one have gmail? They are doing this sort of thing (looking it up right now, bear with me… 😉 ), they call it “Web Clips”. For the two uninitiated out there besides me as of the other week, they stream, well display, a brief text ad in a pre-designed place within the gmail interface. I’m thinking there is some sort of rhyme or reason, however, who knows. I can’t say I’ve ever read a full one, nor clicked on one, unless you count the right click, copy and paste I just did for this example 😉
    BusinessWeek Online -- - Female Minority Entrepreneurs Take Off - 7 hours ago
    (Okay, yeah I actually read one, this one.

    Anyway, they are pretty cool at Google, and let you choose not to have them display as well as giving you some sort of control, over what sort of categories that YOU allow to be displayed. Advertising in your e-face with a bit of conscious, that’s always nice. (Wonder how long this will last???)

    Back to BAN, however! (“B.A.N. Your blog ONTO the best most effective sites and blogs out there”.)

    What if instead of thinking of this concept in terms of a one to many vehicle: one company that starts up and provides the widgets, plugins, addons, fill in the name your system uses, tools, explanations, etc, and collects the fees, what about this?

    What if the focus of this idea is the creation of a new Open Source standard using Open Source tools, and does it in a true networked community 2.0 sort of way? While not being too well versed in phpAdsNew, I’ve poked and prodded enough to know that for free OS software, it is an amazing ad serving program that you can set up on your own server, create and maintain pretty complicated campaigns for banner, badge, text and other sorts of advertising.

    Update Alert! Just checked on their actual name. I was wrong :O they have now become,, and you can bet I’m already downloading them to get their latest.

    The point here is that if perhaps there were centralized installs of this or similar/compatible ad tracking servers/services that we could all get an account on (using our I hope) then just how hard could it be to set up a community based interface that allowed me, after signing up and verifying to some degree who I am and the blog I own (again, I am faced with a series of questions and selections about what I am doing online, blog or site-wise. Hey, maybe this is powered by the ChoicEngine we started talking about earlier! (Nice tie in, eh Steve? Hey did you get my correct address for check mailing? Kidding, I kid, I really do 😉 )

    So, finally I’ve gotten the basis of a profile completed, and am given code that I can include into my pages or simple pre-affiliate number prepared/coded widgets that I can insert and I am off.

    I like the idea of trying to work this concept into the actual feeds themselves, but honestly only have the 5000 foot overview on how the technology itself works. I can explain it to my Mom and she gets it, but we are going to have to recruit a Feed expert to help us with the insertion part of the equation. Hey, anyone friends with anyone over at Might be worth seeing how philanthropic they are feeling now days!

    Just my thoughts after 20 hours of coding and trouble shooting and a day down in Napa helping a friend “research” (no, dude, really, I hardly had any…)


  • Steve Poland

    James – thanks for the input. My favorite line was “Advertising in your e-face!” I love that :)

  • Nick Wilson

    We had a really, really similar idea to this a few months back when thinking how to network ScribeFire users. We figured we could do this maybe using amazon’s EC2 service and have the SF users kickstart such a service.

    Its pretty weird just how close your idea is to ours, im afraid we never published our thoughts though…

    Would love to talk more about it so if interested do drop me an email, it’s s cracking idea!