How to Make A Blog Post Go Viral with Social Media

This article talks about how social networks can make a post go viral – or spread like crazy. It focuses specifically on the biggest social networks – MySpace and Facebook. Facebook tends to be a bit more technical – allowing you to utilize apps to spread the word. They also attract different types of people.

Social networks and related sites can be an excellent way to drive traffic to your blog. Twitter alone has sent a lot of traffic my way and I think it’s the easiest to use. Once you build a network of friends, just craft a compelling headline and link to your post. It takes a bit of dedication (time) but it can build your trust, visibility, and reputation along with links to your blog.

China Comes Down on Video Online

You knew it had to happen sooner or later: China is cracking down on Internet video. Under the new regulations, Chinese web surfers will only be able to access video from state-controlled companies. It looks like these regulations will effectively kill user-generated and other video sharing sites.

However, as the AP reports, there is some uncertainty there:

It wasn’t immediately clear how the new rules would affect YouTube and other providers of Internet video that host Web sites available in China but are based in other countries.

While it sounds pretty clear cut, the AP says that the real question is whether YouTube has any servers located in China. I’m not exactly sure how that squares with the definition of the regulations, which state that “Web sites that provide video programming or allow users to upload video must obtain government permits and applicants must be either state-owned or state-controlled companies.” The policy will take effect at the end of this month.

Pilgrim’s Picks, January 3

I know what you’re thinking: it’s been two days of the new year, and we’ve yet to see any Linky Goodness.

And the truth is that I have usurped Pilgrim’s Picks! Mwahahaha.

But don’t tell Andy I took his gig, okay? Here are some nice, juicy links picks to make you forget all about this conversation.

Plaxo for Sale?

Rumors seem like more than just rumors when they’re printed by the New York Times, don’t they? Well here’s one that you can judge for yourself: Plaxo is for sale. The news comes from people who were “briefed on the [upcoming] auction.”

The company has yet to turn a profit, but seems to think it’s worth $100 million. With 15 million registered users, the company may be being a bit modest with its valuation. Facebook, after all, thinks it’s worth $10B (and that’s on the low side). With just under four times the registered members, a price tag of $2.5B would at least not be the most outlandish thing we’ve ever heard.

Analyst: WSJ.com Needs 12x Traffic to Break Even

The Wall Street Journal would have to increase traffic to their site by 12x to make up for the lost subscription revenue. WSJ.com is going from paid subscriptions to free online access. A report from Bear Stearns analyst Spencer Wang made the prediction based on advertising rates for banner ads.

The CPM rate they used as a comparison is $6. That is quite low, especially considering the demographics of the audience. as BusinessWeek says they are: “business-minded, college-educated professionals with significantly above-average wealth—the sort of audience that advertisers, particularly makers of luxury goods, want to reach.”

The site has an estimated 989,000 subscribers and subscriptions are $79/year (though not all paying that rate). Traffic to the site is about 122.4 million page views a month. It seems a far stretch to get 12x the traffic, but earlier estimates said that it would take much less than that.

Ask Gives Mobile Directions Without Typing

Ask.com, everybody’s favorite underdog search engine, has long made great efforts in local/mobile areas. Last May, for example, they launched Ask Mobile GPS with Sprint phones. Now they’re announcing the first search-engine–sponsored voice directions on mobile phones. Called Click to Speak, the service is designed to:

speak their location and desired destination to receive directions on their web-enabled mobile devices. Easy to use, it eliminates typing addresses, which can be slow, error-prone and, in some cases, unsafe. Available immediately, “Click to Speak” incorporates unique technology from Dial Directions, the leading provider of voice-activated location-based services.

The first question, of course, is “How much does it cost?” Good news for the frugal among us: it’s free (though carrier charges may apply).

Cheap Chocolate a Technical Glitch

Deal seekers were thrilled to find premium Sees chocolate at a special ‘after Christmas’ price.

Bargain sites all over the Internet (like GottaDeal) posted that a 3lb. box (or is it 1 lb.?) of Christmas chocolate was just $1.00. Plus free shipping. They were touting it as the best deal of the year.

It’s a testament to the frugality of the deal folks that they still only ordered 3 boxes, at most. My brother ordered twenty. We grew up with Sees. I would’ve ordered fifty.

The site was quickly bombarded and went down. People who got in touch with customer service were told that it was legitimate, even though it seemed too good to be true.