November 21, 2005

Studying blog advertising.

MIT management prof Starling Hunter has done a study of BlogAds. I'm interested in seeing more studies of the business of blogging, such as it is. Hunter says that leaning to the left has brought in more ad money than leaning to the right. I wonder why. I'll just theorize that the political left is more comfortable with the web and more likely to advertise there.

For example, I'm grouped with some conservative blogs for the purpose of selling ads at BlogAds. (Here's the corresponding group for liberal blogs.) Despite being in this group, I don't think I've ever had an ad for a political candidate or cause (and I've never refused an ad). It may be that right-leaning causes are managed by people who are put off by the language and nasty tone of some of the right-leaning blogs. Nasty, bloggy things may be more tolerable to those with left-leaning causes.

Really, there are a lot of reasons for advertisers to shun bloggers. They actually don't know what we'll say next. Do you think blogs will grow up and come under commercial umbrellas that will somehow discipline them into ad-friendliness? That would spoil much of the good of blogging, though, don't you think?

20 comments:

Hoots said...

I'm reminded of that great remark from Groucho that he wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have him as a member.

XWL said...

I looked at the report and nowhere does he mention the time frame of the study. If the study was during 2004 then it would be reasonable to assume that left of center blogs would be more attractive for the democratic primary opponents.

Also his results showed that (LOC) blogs did better at the extremes, the low volume and the highest volume blogs that were (LOC) got more ad revenue while the midrange (ROC) blogs in terms of page views out performed their (LOC) counterparts.

I think Soros money can explain the difference. He seeded money in smaller blogs which accounts for the low volume lead for liberal blogs and then there is DailyKos on the high volume end. I would imagine a large chunk of Soros money ended up being spent there.

Hope Soros is happy with what he got for his money.

XWL said...

And excuse the threadjack, but this is important.

If Simon Cowell really doesn't return for this season's American Idol, will Prof. Althouse take a sabbatical and fill in?

(she lacks the venom, but I'm sure she could generate enough snark to make up for that deficiency)

tefta said...

xwl - have to agree with you. The left have the big money boys (Soros and his merry band of billionaires) the media accuse the right of having.

Level playing field. Don't make me laugh.

BTW-Why does everyone accuse our hostess (sorry about that, but hosts are men in my lexicon) of being nasty and mean spirited. After several months of checking in here, I've seen no evidence of anything but speaking her mind and having facts to back up her assertions.

I think it's just an old fashioned reaction to an "uppity" woman. I know, I've had that hurled at me many times.

Ann Althouse said...

Tefta: Thanks for noticing that. People think they can require me to be ladylike, when in fact it would hurt this blog. I say sharp things in a certain way from time to time, and people keep acting like it's a weird departure for me, but what they are really expressing is a prejudice about women. They thought I was in the stereotype, which I wasn't, and then they scold me for deviations.

richard mcenroe said...

I'm sorry, but the boys in marketing insist that if blogging is going to make it in the ad biz, it has to be neat and uniform in tone, just like the networks and music companies. Perhaps we need some sort of guiding body, an open source, if you will, who can provide that uniformity advertisers so urgently seem to desire.

PS — All bloggers will now wear ties while typing. AT LEAST a tie...

Nick said...

You mean advertising and readership has to do with people's perceptions of blogging? Gee... Where have I heard that before?

rafinlay said...

Do you think blogs will grow up and come under commercial umbrellas that will somehow discipline them into ad-friendliness?

Fortunately, there is Open Medium Pajamas to provide this service.

Adam said...

I think Soros money can explain the difference. He seeded money in smaller blogs which accounts for the low volume lead for liberal blogs and then there is DailyKos on the high volume end. I would imagine a large chunk of Soros money ended up being spent there.

Huh? Is there any evidence of this happening at all?

Elizabeth said...

Adam, no, no evidence offered here. Just an "I imagine," and for some, imagination is evidence, especially of left-wing evil and derangment. Is there any reason to believe there are no big money (Scaife, anyone?) players on the right? No, just more fanciful speculation.

Howard said...

I don't read you all that much because you're a lawyer and frequently posting about stuff I don't care about, don't know about, and am not smart enough to figure you out---BUT advertising I know about and have friends at places like BBD&O, Erwin Wasey, etc. and I have a personal (non sexual) aquaintance with Mary Wells, former genius at Wells Rich Green, and I ran an inquiry by my brother in law who works in one of the above agencies. He told me that the "click through" rate with bloggers was next to zero, but even worse, they were not buyers of anything other than books. He said that only a blog with 100,000 visitors a month would even cause him to consider a "blog ad" and that aside from KOS he didn't know of any. Plus, he found many blogs had inflated their numbers. He also said that it is next to impossible to get a demographic on web traffic. His agency has run "a few ads" on Drudge and the response was awful considering the number of readers he has.

So there. One other thing: opinionated blogs like mine are an anathema for business. Kim DuToit lost all his investors once they saw his blog and what he stood for. As for KOS? It is said that liberals don't buy anything????

Buck Pennington said...

Good Lord. dKos gets 4,714,033 page views per week?

Excuse me, I have to go slash my wrists now...

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
XWL said...

I seem to have had words put in my mouth.

My observations were simply based on the fact that there was a contested Democratic primary last year, whereas the Republicans were electing an incumbent.

Most political advertising on the web is national in nature (that will change in 06 I suspect), either issue or candidate oriented, so if the Democrats were spending the majority of money spent for political ads it stands to reason that they would direct their money towards sites that would have the most Democratic eyeballs.

I didn't mention Soros as some demonic figure in the background, but McCain-Feingold redefined how political money could be spent and he spent more than anybody.

Of course he would spend a huge amount of money at DailyKos, they have the pageviews, I'm not suggesting he influenced their content with his money, I'm just stating the fact that his money would skew any analysis of ad revenue if the data was collected in 2004.

And as far as suggesting Prof. Althouse could replace Simon, it was a jest said lightly, and was more about her fondness for the show, not suggesting that she was mean (that's why I suggested she would be snarky rather than venomous, and you must admit, she is capable of snark, that's why she's so readable)

(and besides I think Simon is the kind one, he tells these delusional kids the truth, that is a greater kindness than letting them foolishly persue dreams they have no talent for)

And one last thing, when I wrote 'Hope Soros is happy with what he got for his money.' that was just a way of observing that with all the money that he spent ($15M by most estimates, plus $18M to help get McCain-Feingold passed in the first place) through 527s I can't believe he was very happy with the results of the election.

Too Many Jims said...

Sippicancottage,

You are right that there is not much bile blogging here. It is one of those bodily fluids that Ann has not blogged about, giver her time, she will get to it though.

Ann Althouse said...

Jim: That's just what I was thinking.

Venom, too. Another fluid I need to get to.

vbspurs said...

I'll just theorize that the political left is more comfortable with the web and more likely to advertise there.

Nah.

P.S.: It's because they are the current oppositional Party. It's no mystery why Fox News had the early success they did, when they did, either. It wouldn't have flown as well, and as precipitously, if Murdoch had launched it in 1980, like erm...CNN in the Reagan years.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

This weekend, I was looking for a BlogAd site to advertise Sundries.

Ann, you're too rich for my blood, with your Larger Being prices. ;)

So I chose Tim Worstall and Mudville Gazette -- both conservative blogs.

However, I am not the kind of person to pidgeonhole myself politically.

I find it boring, so I have been trying to look for a site which would tolerate my traditionalist "ethos", but aren't themselves that.

I was about to choose a feminist blog, when I saw the blogger ripped Althouse-OSM a new a-hole in their last blogpiece.

I demurred -- but not without leaving a post stating my reasons clearly.

Bad theory is one thing. Bad writing gets my goat.

Cheers,
Victoria

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xanzhao2006 said...

...then there are those pay-per-pixel websites like milliondollarhomepage.com. I'm SOOO jealous I didn't think of that!!!!

I did find a different kind of pay-per-pixel site called freeadspacelive.com. Different as in - FREE! I have no idea how they intend to make their "million dollars" from their free site, but for now it's free advertising. It uses AJAX too which is kinda interesting.