I already enjoyed the music, but i never imagined she had such a acid-retro site. How cool is that 🙂

Mia Uk

Setting the stage for the release of the new album Kala in August, M.I.A. relaunched a site that is something between a souk and a indian market, blended with massive amounts of arcade games, surrounded by hallucinogenic animated gifs. But gosh, do i love this stuff. It’s almost as good as the 2012 London Olympic logo 🙂

As it should be, the myspace profile and the cover art also have the same retro-kashbah-tech look.

The real deal in first person (that being Alex Kinnier, Google’s Group Product Manager). Or the MUST READ article if you don’t have a clue about the online advertising industry.

“Why we’re buying DoubleClick” (Official Google Blog)

Google DoubleClick explained

Some favorite quotes:

By enabling our AdSense network to work with DoubleClickÂ’s delivery mechanisms, for example, advertisers can obtain more precise metrics in order to judge the effectiveness of their campaigns.

The value to the advertiser-agency of an ad-serving company such as DoubleClick is having a single place to measure and report on all online campaigns for ads that run on different sites across the web.

Why we’re buying DoubleClick In summary, we’re buying DoubleClick because:

1. DoubleClick’s products and technology are complementary to our search and and content-based text advertising business, and give us new opportunities to improve online advertising for consumers, advertisers and publishers. 2. Historically, we’ve not allowed third parties to serve into Google’s AdSense network, which has made it hard for advertisers to get performance metrics. Together, Google and DoubleClick can deliver a more open platform for advertisers, and provide the metrics they need to manage marketing campaigns. 3. By combining Google’s infrastructure with DoubleClick’s knowledge of agencies and publishers, we can create the next generation of more innovative ad serving technology, one that significantly improves the efficiency and effectiveness of online advertising. 4. To manage ad inventory, some of the largest publishers use DoubleClick DART for Publishers – but a good portion of it goes unsold. It’s our view that the combination of DoubleClick and Google will help these publishers succeed by monetizing their unsold inventory.

From a technical perspective, Google will also be able to get web pages to load faster by reducing latency from ad servers.

Highlights are mine. Think about them.

You probably have already visited some of the blogs at 9rules or Weblogs, Inc but have you ever stopped to think about what makes a blog network ? Let me answer that … well, I’m getting myself in trouble in trying to define a concept that even Wikipedia hasn’t answered, but at least I’ll give it a try.

Blog Networks

Basic Conditions

First thing first, the network members should write blogs, in the form of a daily journal with original content updated regularly. If we agree on this obvious premise, that immediately excludes networks such as MyBlogLog or social bookmark services such as Digg. Also excluded are multi-author blogs since these are themselves a author network.

My second premise is they should have some sort of quality control, with a human authority determining which blogs are included and assuring premium content, leaving out networks such as Blogger. Following the same line of thought, but with a more technical focus, the network should not enforce any platform or domain name, leaving out WordPress.com or Instablogs for example. Both power and identity should be distributed across the community, so it makes no sense to require members to adhere to a particular set of tools.

One thing I’m not considering is the quality of blog content as a determining factor, since it’s subjective and biased to each network.

Having focused on the blog side of things I’m moving now into the network aspects. One thing that arises above all aspects is the community building, the conversational network, the bonds that establish between the blog members, way besides link-baiting or SEO concerns. I truly believe that you can only become a blog network if the members are passionate about it, help each other and feel responsible for the future of the network. One example that stands out amongst all them is 9 rules, that has a devoted community, greatly supportive of the network initiatives.

Being a network also means that you are able to aggregate information or have a global overview of content stream, whether through aggregating portals or tools such as widgets or rss feeds, allowing readers to browse the blogs from a nuclear location. That alone leaves a big player such as Gawker out, that I’ll rather classify as a media network.

As Duncan puts it, these are my basic criteria for being considered a blog network:

  • network members are individual blog authors
  • admission isn’t automated but based of human judgment
  • network does not enforce publishing platform
  • encourages community building
  • nuclear aggregation of content

Classification

If a blog network complied with the previous conditions, then it could fit in one (or many) of these classifications:

  • Category Network: network members write mostly about a particular topic. Examples include SBNation, a blog network discussing sports;
  • Affiliated Network: that shares a common feature between bloggers: Example includes Prt.sc, where all authors are Portuguese;
  • Local Network: members write about local subjects, geographically determined. Example includes MetroBlogging;
  • Commercial Network:Network generating revenue to their members either through advertising revenues or paying their authors for published content. Examples include b5media.(1)

Advantages

  • For Blog authors: they apply or are invited to become part of a blog network with the perspective of increasing their audience and gain some additional advertising revenue;
  • For Blog network owners/promoters: with dimension comes personal visibility and advertising opportunities;
  • For Readers: they can find good blogs on a particular topic (by aggregation or hyperlinking between network members), a task increasingly difficult with today’s information overloa;.

One thing i must address here is that a blog network that doesn’t promote their own internal community (blog authors) has few chances of being successful, since no synergies or innovation occurs.

Ranking

Although some have tried to rank blog networks, there is much work to be done. Weblogs SL from Spain is in the right path by distributing metrics provided by third media parties (Nielsen Netratings), and it would be interesting if there was some way to judge blog network reach and frequency besides Technorati or Alexa.

List of Blog Networks

  • 451 Press, http://www.451press.com
  • 9 Rules, http://9rules.com
  • Corante, http://www.corante.com
  • Fodder Network, http://www.foddernetwork.com
  • MetroBlogging, http://www.metroblogging.com
  • Podcast Network, http://www.thepodcastnetwork.com
  • Prt.Sc (Portugal), http://www.prt.sc
  • SBNation, http://www.sbnation.com
  • ShinyMedia, http://www.shinymedia.com
  • Web2.0 Workgroup, http://www.web20workgroup.com
  • Weblogs Inc, http://www.weblogsinc.com
  • Weblogs SL (Spain), http://www.weblogssl.com
  • TC Magazines Network (Germany), http://www.tcmagnet.com/

(*) Note: the list above is incomplete, so feel free to suggest any other networks that meet the criteria.

References

  • http://tihane.wordpress.com/2006/12/24/3-blog-community-paradigms/

This is a work in progress and perhaps i’ll even submit it to Wikipedia, so let me know in what you think, and what other issues i should address.

(1) Deleted the Advertising Network (blog networks can exist without advertising, it’s not a common feature), and is now included in the Commercial Network, since by legal reasons no advertising revenue can be collected without a owner or company.

Jonathan Moore has just relaunched his personal portfolio.

New Ezra

In web 1.0 days, Eric Jordan was one of my most respected interactive professionals at the same level as Yugo Nakamura or Hillman Curtis. Eric created the new media agency 2advanced, with several website reincarnations (v3, v4) that caused quite a stir in webdesign world whenever they were launched.

2advanced v5

I’ve just got in touch with one of the 2advanced team members, art director Jonathan Moore, that launched his portfolio at newezra.com, with several well known works, the main one being the 2advanced v5 and Moto Pebl.

MotoPebl

Jonathan is in the interactive industry for 6 years, working with clients such as Disney, Ford, Chevrolet, Adobe, Motorola, Capcom, EA or Adidas. Has many in our industry he also defines himself as a “jack-of-all-trades approach that he has towards projects with a skill set ranging including art direction, flash motion, flash development, motion design, 3d production, web-standards build, and a working knowledge of development languages.”

Plat4m

He also reminded me of one studio lab i forgot to mention on my previous Interactive Playgrounds post, the plat4m blog, also developed and designed by him, and where Eric Jordan posts.

It’s always difficult to have the time to update a personal portfolio if you’re deeply involved in (great) client work, so my congratulations to Jonathan for the New Ezra relaunch.

Here they are, 3 ex aequo winners at Cannes Cyber Lions 2007:

First, from the wacky Swedish folks Far Far, the Diesel voyeuristic experience: 2 girls kidnapping a sales guy and reporting the whole thing live, with several cameras 24×5, showcasing the new Diesel Intimate collection.

Heidies

(check the demo site here)

Second, the work by R/GA for Nike+. It’s one of the most astonishing examples of integrated marketing you’ll see this year.

Nike Plus

Last, the pre-announced and most obvious choice, the Evolution video for Dove by Ogilvy Toronto. While the viral video is the tour-de-force for convincing clients of the power of online marketing, the Nike initiative is pointing the right direction, with their efforts of bringing closer consumers and brands.

I’m saving the other awards to waste time research this weekend.

Bronze Lion We just won the first Lion for Portugal at Cannes Advertising Festival. The Direct Marketing entry was posted here before, but the celebration deserves a repost:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aA-RD-UFL4&v3

Concept board Taxi Sign

Bring it home, Luis !

This morning i found a new playground from DraftFCB Paris, and thought that it would be interesting to share a list of my favorite personal labs and online playgrounds:

  1. Brandplay Studio BrandPlay
  2. Marumushi Marumushi
  3. Levitated Levitated
  4. Flight 404 Flight 404
  5. Mathieu Badimon Mathieu Badimon
  6. Santiago Ortiz’s Moebio.com Moebio
  7. Paul Neave Neave
  8. Yugop Yugop
  9. Grant Skinner’s Gallery Incomplet Gallery Incomplet
  10. John Iacoviello’s Self Titled Selft Titled

  11. Bit 101 Bit 101
  12. Joshua Davis Joshua Davis
  13. Monokai Monokai

While i can’t read Russian, that didn’t stopped me from painting the Brahma van at improvise.ru.

Brahma improvise

Links for 2007-06-15

By in Uncategorized

delicious links for 2007-06-15 © http://flickr.com/photos/pommecerise/464768608/

Torrent Raiders
Dynamic network visualization through arcade-style video games
De Pong Game
More arcade games, this time projected in buildings
Sonar 2007
Installations at the electronic Barcelona festival
Long Now
A Brian Eno inspired foundation, to promote “slower/better” thinking.
Imagining the Tenth Dimension
String theory explained through animation
Born Magazine
Art and literature together for 10 years.
The Minister of Information
Edward Tufte interview for NY Magazine
Flip Book Deluxe
Drawing game by Benetton, allowing simple people to create simple animations. Warning: serious time waster