New Web Directory Launches

Loren’s launching a new web directory named Umdum and is inviting readers to get a free listing.

Blog Comments Cannot Be Ignored

Price again, this time with details of a study (pdf) conducted by Buzzmetrics which offers some interesting data on blog comments. As suspected, you can’t accurately monitor blogs, without monitoring comments.

As the report concludes…

…according to our analysis, comments constitute a substantial part of the blogosphere, accounting for up to 30% of the volume of weblog posts themselves…we show that usage of comments improves weblog retrieval (in terms of number of results), and is beneficial for ranking weblog posts in new, potentially useful ways.

We discuss comments as an indicator of the popularity of weblog posts and weblogs themselves, and find —as expected— that a wealth of comments in a weblog is a good indication for the significance of the weblog.

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Yahoo to Offer Payment Processing?

Gary Price sends word that Yahoo has been awarded a patent for what looks like a PayPal and Google Payments competitor.

Two things of interest.

1. Yahoo looks set to compete in the payment processing space.
2. How the heck did Yahoo get awarded a patent for something that appears to be offered by countless other services. (MikeOK, can I get an “amen”?)

Alan Meckler and Jason Calacanis Face Off

The WSJ has Meckler and Calacanis discussing whether the typical blogger can make money from their blog.

Meckler says…”few people if any will ever make money from writing a blog.”

Calacanis says…If folks focus in on a niche and own it there is a good chance they could make half a living from blogging.”

John Battelle Chats to Ask’s Jim Lanzone

I can describe Ask’s Jim Lanzone with just two phrases:

1. He’s a “bloody nice chap”.
2. He’s passionate about Ask (real passionate).

That passion clearly comes across in a recent interview with John Battelle. It’s also nice to see Jim being honest about where Ask needs to catch-up.

We’re the underdog here, kind of like Firefox. Google does a good job of presenting themselves as the underdog, and MSN is helping them with the way they act publicly. But to me they are both giants. So back to your original statement, yes, we feel passionately that there is more to search [than] the Google paradigm. Nothing against them, but we are doing some things better, and those who experience it are coming back more often. That is why we’ve grown market share, and hopefully we can accelerate the curve.

Malcolm Gladwell at Pubcon

Lee Odden does a fine job keeping up with the wisdom offered forth by Malcolm Gladwell at the Boston Webmasterworld Pubcon.

If you’ve not read “The Tipping Point”, you should. It’s not a long book and Gladwell has some very interesting theories on how a small effort can lead to a big effect.

One interesting snippet. Asked whether he would rather have search engines in the world, or blogs, Gladwell’s response?

If you’re curious about information a search engine can help you find that. A blog can provide a new lens from which to understand things. Gives examples of a chemist blog, that reading about the world through the eyes of a chemist has influenced how he sees things. To pick search engines or blogs, he would lose the search engine.

We Told You Click Fraud Wasn’t That Bad

I’ve never believed click fraud was running in the +30% range and now Elinor Mills has details of a new report that suggests it’s actually less than 14%.

The Click Fraud Index shows that the overall, industry-wide average click fraud rate is 13.7 percent. The click fraud rate at top-tier search engines such as Google and Yahoo is even less, at 12.1 percent, the data show. The rate rises to 21.3 percent at so-called Tier 2 search providers and 29.8 percent at Tier 3 search companies, according to the Index.

With this report being carried out by Click Fraud Network, a company that offers click fraud monitoring services, the numbers may still be inflated. After all, they’re tracking the data of advertisers that believe they are victims of click fraud. If we included an equal sample of regular advertisers, the rate would likely be lower.