Chitika Featured on MediaPost

I believe bloggers are powerful efluencers in the new web. Check out my article on efluencers that was featured on MediaPost this week:

Holiday Shopping Season 2007: All About The Blogs By Tessa Rudd

ONLINE SHOPPERS HAVE AN ENTIRE global marketplace only a few mouse clicks away. Lately, however, online shoppers and those advertiser and marketers who are trying to reach them see guided shopping, like what exists in the blogosphere, as compelling. The blogosphere offers an unbiased, third-party voice for consumers, while simultaneously empowering advertisers with the valuable opportunity to capitalize on the trust that has developed between bloggers and consumers. Numerous reports from the Internet advertising industry and market researchers suggest that advertising is working on blogs. This is creating a dynamic environment where branding meets direct marketing… Read more

Chitika’s Holiday Office Hours

Hope everyone is taking some time off from work to enjoy time with friends and loved ones this holiday season, I know we will be!

Monday, Dec. 24th our office will close at 12:00pm EST We will be back Wednesday, Dec. 26th-28th! Monday, Dec.31st we will also close at 12:00pm EST to get ready to ring in 2008!!

For any emergency issues with your Chitika ad’s please contact: Holiday911(at)chitika(dot)com During our normal business hours (M-F 9am-5pm EST) please call: (866) 441-7203 or email support. Have a safe holiday! -The Chitika Family

Happy 10th Blogiversary

Once a neologism, the blogosphere celebrates a 10th Birthday this week. Here at Chitika we are thrilled to commemorate a decade of blogging. Since its advent, the blogosphere has been loosely defined, which in itself is congruous to a blog’s open and casual nature as a communicative medium. The word blog was contrived by Jon Barger on December 17th, 1997. Barger created the word to describe his Robot Wisdom web page, and according to BBC News, “the word was an abbreviation of the “logging” of interesting “web” sites that Mr. Barger featured on his regularly updated journal.”

Although many web users already maintained regular journals online, 1997 marks the point at which these ‘web logged journals’ in theory became a particular online pursuit. It is estimated that in late 1998 the blogosphere encompassed only 23 sites. In 1999 the technology arose to make the writing and the maintaining of blogs more user-friendly. And of course a date we all hold dearly in our hearts, in 2003, Chitika was born, making advertising work on blogs and thereby supporting bloggers with advertising generated revenue.

Where are we today? It’s been decade since Barger coined the term and blog-monitoring company Technorati reports tracking more than 70 million blogs. Today common text book definitions of ‘blog‘ resemble, “a website where entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order.” Popular blogger Andrew Lark offers a more intricate and whole-hearted version as he describes, “It’s as if though the blog becomes the center point of your own little opt-in community. You get to fuel it with dialog and if folks like it, they come back and not only share in your views but participate in your little walk through life.” Today’s plethora of 70 million blogs include subject matter ranging from ‘personal blogs’ of diary-like expressive prose, to specialized industry news (at times referred to as ‘corporate blogs’), offering up-to-date information and commentary regarding developments or breakthroughs in that field. The Wall Street Journal describes this advancement in diversity of content, explaining blogs have evolved from being “once a smorgasbord of links, [blogs] have evolved into vehicles for fuller, more forceful and opinionated prose.” The Wall Street Journal further reflects that after ten years, there “are a dozen brief meditations on what the blog has come to mean and on the role blogs play in the usual tussles of any civilized society.

The appropriate question about blogs, 10 years into their first appearance, is not whether they are a form of exhibitionism, or journalism, or theater. It is, instead, this, and I pose it with a courteous apology to Tom Wolfe: What would we do without blogs?” Regardless of content, blogging offers the unique and powerful opportunity for direct and immediate communication with others who can respond to ideas on a democratic platform. Through this as well as the utility of technology, the blogosphere enables the formation of social communities, or public forums, in which democratic discourse can take place based on shared interest or opinion. Blogging has accomplished a lot over the past ten years. I contend that the impact of blogs exceeds just offering a platform for direct communication on a global level at best. The blogosphere initiates a new era of trust when it comes to public discourse. A transcendent quality of the internet in general, is that everyone with a computer has equal access, and with this, and particularly relative to the blogosphere, anyone can say anything.

The question; how do we know who and what to trust? When it comes to the blogosphere, there seems to be an underlying notion that if an individual is taking the time to blog about a topic, this implies that they are resourcefully, correctly, and intelligently informed on the topic. Perhaps it is the emotional and almost compulsive persona that bloggers exhume, or the forum-like, and the professionally aesthetic structure of the blogs themselves. The growth and popularity of the blogosphere over the ten years serves as evidence in itself; people trust bloggers and in many cases assign to them expert status when it comes to information and commentary. Speaking of trustful sources and to add fuel to my fire, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, in his blog, “New Political Prosumers,” equates blogging to the social trend of the DIY movement, referring to customers who prefer to fix their homes themselves rather than rely on professional repairmen. Gingrich explains, “in our always intertwined media and political culture, blurring the lines between professional producers (news organizations and politicians) and amateur consumers (citizens), creating what Alvin Toffler called “prosumers,” characterized by their desire to play an active role in creating the products they consume and by their distrust of professionals who claim to know what’s best.” Through enabling a platform for democratic discourse between individuals, the blogosphere cultivates a climate of trust and shared-resourcefulness between engaged bloggers and blog readers. If all members of the blogosphere own equal stock in what they are allowed to say in a public-forum, said members share equal stock in what they are to believe. In this dynamic situation, bloggers also equally enjoy the opportunity of being experts in their relative fields.

The 10th Blogiversary not only marks a successful decade of growth for technology enabled ‘web logging’, but also a social movement of evolved trust and democratically-staged influence.

By Tessa Rudd -Account Executive – Advertising Media Division, Chitika Inc.

Treasures …: Showing ads to the right users [Part 2 of 3]

 

  

By: Mike Axiak

“There’s so much to do with our ads!”

On my quest to show you— the Chitika publisher —cool tricks with JavaScript, I’ve had to search for things that would be really useful to you. My hope is that you may have not have even thought of the things that you can do with our ads, and more importantly do not violate our Terms of Service. The following gem is one such JavaScript trick that could be useful to every blogger out there who’s thinking about monetizing their traffic.

Thus, part two in this series is: Using JavaScript to show ads to selected users.

Using the correct JavaScript code, you can select which of your users see Chitika Ads. How? Suppose you run a blog or forum, and you want to monetize your traffic (don’t we all). However, you have a group of loyal readers you do not want to upset. Truth is, you don’t have to; most revenue for our ads will come from people searching for what they want!

In this example, I will show you an RPU that only shows itself for traffic from Google, and for no other traffic.
Here’s the example code:

<script type="text/javascript">
  <!--
    ch_client = "demo";
    ch_type = "rpu";
    /* The rest of your code here... */

    if (document.referrer.toLowerCase().indexOf("google.com") != -1) {
        document.write("<" + "script type=\"text/javascript\""
              + " src=\"http://scripts.chitika.net/eminimalls/mm.js\"><"
              + "/script>");
    }
  //-->
</script>

By using the document.referrer JavaScript variable, we can ask all sorts of questions regarding where the user just came from. Using document.write, we can selectively activate or omit Chitika Ads. As you can see, the combination of the two becomes very powerful!

Do you have any ideas or questions of how to selectively show our ads based on anything besides Google traffic? Please share in the comments!

What You Care About The Most

  

By: Karla Escolas

“Need more features?”

The reason a lawyer dresses in a suit everyday is the same reason the average high school student doesn’t; it would be strange if it were not so. Appearance may mean more to someone than the next person. Some people prefer simplicity because it’s the only way they get things done. The same principle holds true for all our 18,000 publishers who need eMiniMalls to cater to their website needs in different ways. What we want to know is, what are the most important features your website or blog requires from your Chitika ad units?

  Matching the color scheme
  Choosing which products are displayed
  Having a selection of sizes
  Complete customization

Did we miss something? Let us know, comments are open!

Linx Puts its Money Where its Mouth Is

  

By: Karla Escolas

“How does Linx do for you?”

(Read: In Your Pocket!!!)

Chitika’s new stylish in-text ad unit Linx was released to the entire Chitika publisher network just one month ago. Many of our members took the code right away to test how Linx compared to their other in-text ad’s and were very happy with the results. Linx did quite well for Al Carlton over at Self Made Minds. He put together a nice comparison of the different in-text ad networks. See his comparison chart here. Linx is compatible with Adsense, it’s fast and it will not slow your page down. “With many in-text ads, the browser itself has to look around for the keyword. With our system— if you use HTML classes —our servers tell the client exactly where the keyword is on the page (or at least as close as it can).”

Mike Axiak, Chitika engineer. You can read his full post about Linx updates here. Got Linx?

Zune 80 vs. iPod – Deal or Designer?

  

By: Karla Escolas

“Are you a deal or designer buyer?”

Do you know what the price difference is when purchasing a designer bag vs. a replica? It can range anywhere from $20.00-$2,000. The difference between the bags is usually just the brand name, or is it better quality? To me it’s all the same material. Which is why I personally prefer the look over the label, and I guess that would make me a “deal” buyer, not a “designer.” But there are people, I know because I do know many, that would purchase a designer handbag simply because it’s made by Coach. Does the same hold true for gadgets?

Let’s take for instance the the famous debate over the Zune 80 and the Apple iPod. Function-wise, the Zune 80 (80GB) has a screen that’s almost double the size of the iPod 80 LCD, it is highly scratch resistant, has brighter image settings, is commonly said to have a very sleek design and is priced at $249. Now how can I place the Zune 80 into the “deals” category even though the iPod also costs $249? It’s because people tend to take another approach when purchasing gadgets. Instead of the cost being the reason for a buyers decision, it’s about product/brand awareness. Unlike designer handbags, quality, (or features in this case) just aren’t enough. When the average person thinks of an MP3 player the first thing that comes to mind is iPod. Why do I say this? I decided to put this to the test and ask a friend of mine, who is not exactly up to date with the latest in gadgets, what they thought of using an MP3 player, the first thing she said was, “are you talking about one of those iPods?” She automatically categorized “MP3 player” as an iPod and I know that if she ever went and purchased one she wouldn’t even know what a Zune was.

But why would someone who’s aware of the different MP3 players go for the iPod over the Zune that has more features? Jason Chen from Gizmodo.com says “You really like the music/picture sharing: Zune. It’s a feature not found on the iPod, but will have limited use unless your friends all buy Zunes.” It’s the same thing as being a member of a social network that none of your friends are on, pointless. So according to iSuppli, the Zune 80 is all of a sudden hard to find. “The question is whether the Zune 80 shortage is the result of high demand, short supply or some combination of both,” says Chris Crotty, the senior analyst for consumer electronics at iSuppli Corp. Sure both are very likely, it happens. Or is it a way to shed some light on the struggling MP3 player? Bringing some unexpected attention to the Zune 80 would be a great way to bring about some brand awareness. You be the judge.

Chitika is on the move!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket It’s eight days before Christmas and the past week in New England has been nothing short of terrible snow storms, but that didn’t stop us from moving to a new office! We are growing fast and are very excited to be in a larger space, and we can’t wait to share it with you! There will be a video coming out shortly, but you will have to bear with us, since we are still unpacking. And not to worry, we haven’t missed a beat in keeping up with all of our publishers. Chitika customer support is hard at work & we are still chatting away in our forum 🙂 Stay tuned for the new office video right here on The Chitika Blog!

Funny Video Friday: Take 1

Please give a warm welcome to the newest addition to The Chitika Blog, Funny Video Fridays! Since we’re already in a good mood (since it’s Friday!), why not start the laughs before we leave the office by enjoying a video. We’ll choose a funny video & post it here for you, and you can tell us what you think (or if you have one that’s funnier). Deal? Funny Video Friday Video #1:

Treasures in the dark world of JavaScript [Part 1 of 3]

 

  

By: Mike Axiak

“JavaScript is fun!”

Recently I’ve been working through a lot of our JavaScript, so I am inspired to write a little about how to make the most out of our ads using this language. This is the first in a series. Please note, however, that these posts are not for the faint of heart!

In an earlier post, Karla mentioned that the order in the JavaScript code before the <script> tag does not affect our ads. This is true, but you can do a lot more than just adjust the order of this code! You can write pretty much any JavaScript you want. As long as you specify the parameters you want before the <script> tag, you’re ad will display the way you intended.

This is great, but what does this mean to me?

JavaScript has the wonderful ability to quickly determine what kind of person is visiting your site. To illustrate, I will give an example each post in this 3-part series.

Without further ado: Part I: Categories based on user’s system

Suppose, for instance, you run a laptop review site. You happen to know that, no matter what page the user is visiting, if they are running an Apple product (MacBook, iPhone, …), they will more likely click on an ad for an Apple laptop. If, however, the user is running anything else, they will more likely click on an ad for a PC laptop. To do this, one simply uses the navigator.appVersion window variable.

Here’s the example code:

<script type="text/javascript">
<!--
    ch_client = "demo";
    ch_send_title = 1;
    if (navigator.appVersion.indexOf("Mac") != -1) {
      ch_default_category = 460;
    } else {
      ch_default_category = 9007;
    }
//-->
</script>
<script type="text/javascript"
     src="http://scripts.chitika.net/eminimalls/mm.js">
</script>

You can see from the example that we were able to (very easily) check to see if the person is using a Mac operating system or not. Now, this is an example. I do not actually know if this will improve CTR, but I think it is certainly worth a test.

This is the first of three I am going to give. If you have any examples, please share in the comments!

Posted By: Mike Axiak, Web Developer A.K.A The Hacker King