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Mark Cuban, You Are Free to Leave the Blogosphere

I have a lot of respect for Mark Cuban as a businessman, but as a blogger, he’s nothing but a whining little kid. If becoming an overnight billionaire and owning an NBA team turns you into a Grinch, then I wish it never happens to me.

Mark’s chosen gripe of the week is to complain about blogs that simply point to other blog stories.

Far be it for me to be a cynic, but it sure seems like more blogs are being written with the goal of getting traffic than with the goal of saying something original. Its almost as if bloggers are the new rappers with Blog Pimpin and Blogwars becoming analogous to Rap Wars.

AdSense Now Offers Site Target Options for AdWords Advertisers

Jennifer Slegg informs us that Google has added new custom targeting channels for AdSense publishers. The new option allows AdSense users to label different ad units on their site, and allows AdWords advertisers to see this units and select them for their ads.

Publishers will need to turn the feature on for each relevant custom channel in their account, or set up brand new custom channels, breaking down the site or ad units in ways they feel advertisers will want to target them. Then advertisers can access the channel information for specific publishers in order to pick and chose what to target on the site.

Jen has more over her own blog.

Skype to Offer Bloggers Live Chat Rooms

CNET has details of Skype’s plans to offer bloggers the ability to host audio chats from their own web site.

The next version of Skype will enable people to post a link on a blog or Web site that will take people to a public chat room when clicked on.

There’s no timeline for the launch, but Skype execs say the feature is coming “soon”.

Skype is also in talks with many social networking sites about offering services that would allow members to share content with each other in conversations.

LoudLaunch.com Jumps on Paid Blogging Bandwagon

The blogging purists of the world will wince when they discover yet another launch of a service that pays bloggers to write about a certain company or product.

Steve Rubel has the barest of details on LoudLaunch.com which appears to take a slightly different post to the likes of PayPerPost.com.

There’s not much to be found on the LoudLaunch web site either…

Loud Launch is building a smart platform which connects savvy advertisers with influential web personalities (bloggers).

We are excited to tell you more soon, so please sign up to be notified when we launch. You’ll love whats coming…get paid for doing what you already do!

Turn.com Hopes to Challenge Google’s AdSense

A new ad network called Turn has launched, and it’s hoping to bring some sophisticated technology to the contextual advertising space.

With $18 million in VC backing and more than 1,000 advertisers and 30 publishers already in place, Turn offers a unique twist on a channel that is dominated by Google’s AdSense.

According to the Turn website, here’s what they believe sets them apart:

  • Automatic targeting. Whether you’re an advertiser or publisher, all you have to do is submit your ad or URL. Turn will automatically analyze it and select the most relevant and effective placement. Turn eliminates the complexity of manual targeting and managing keywords and bid prices with technology that automatically selects the best graphical or text ads for any placement.
  • Blended targeting. Turn uses sophisticated algorithms to blend more than 60 relevance variables rather than just one or two, the common practice of most networks.
  • Bidded CPA pricing model. Turn lets advertisers pay only for the actual performance they want.

Scoble Meets the Google Reader Team

Robert Scoble is settling in to his new role at PodTech and, as part of his ScobleShow, interviewed Nick Baum and Jason Shellen of the Googler Reader team. It’s a great interview with a valuable insight into Google Reader.

Not that I am copying Scoble, but I’ve also just made the switch from Newsgator to Google Reader. So far, I’m loving  Google Reader but would love to know if there is a way to re-size the left menu…anyone?

Performancing Helping this Blogger Succeed..Maybe Not

Update: Ok, so all of a sudden it stops working and keeps asking me for a password. It appears to be a bug for those using the FF master password. Next stop, Qumana.

Update 2:
And the winner is, brace yourself, Microsoft! Yep, their Windows Live Writer is an awesome tool with lots of functionality and a nifty Firefox plugin. I know it’s hard to think of Microsoft as being cutting-edge in the world of blogging, but hat’s off to them! If I break it, I’ll update here. :-)

Ok, so switching to WordPress is both exciting and a huge learning experience. Going from Blogger to WordPress is not that different from switching from a PC to a Mac. The experience has been made much more enjoyable with the help of Perfomancing’s great Firefox extension.