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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.

Six Apart Launches Vox Private Blogs

Six Apart, the same team that gave us TypePad and Movable Type, has finally launched their new service Vox. After being tested in beta by more than 50,000 users, the new platform brings bloggers a host of new features, including five different levels of privacy. Six Apart is betting that many users will like being able to decide who gets to see their blog post…

“Not everything has to be published for public consumption,” said Mena Trott, who with her husband Ben co-founded Six Apart in 2002. “Everyone has their own assumptions about blogs. We think it is about publishing the stuff you care about to the people you care about,” she said in an interview.

Goodbye Pluck RSS Reader

Sid has news that Pluck will be shutting down its RSS reader service after giving it a good effort over the past two years.

According to Pluck

You have until 1/5/2007 to export your data, after which our servers will be turned off and your data will be deleted. Note that the Pluck RSS readers are not supported for use on the new releases of IE (version 7) and FireFox (version 2).

I guess they just decided it wasn’t worth the effort to compete against the likes of Bloglines and the new Google Reader.

Blog Aggregator Blogniscient Acquired

Top10Media, owners of TopTenSources (a human edited blog aggregator), have decided they can’t fully rely on the human intervention model and have acquired blog aggregator Blogniscient.

Never heard of Blogniscient? Here’s what they have to say about themselves…

Blogniscient categorizes and ranks blogs and blog articles in real time, providing up-to-date information on the hottest blog entries in a user-friendly format. Blogniscient organizes blogs and blog articles by category, allowing you to easily navigate between categories of interest and see the most sought-after information within each category.

Hat-tip to the TC guys.

Blogging Scholarship for Students

Aaron points to a new blogging scholarship being offered to hard-up students that have a passion for blogging.