CLIQ To Be Taken Down

Cliqin Logo

Well, if you haven’t taken down the CliqIN widget by now, you’ll be forced to. I received word today that on January 31st, Cliq will be taken down indefinitely. All members that have registered with the Cliq website will be notified this week. Personally, I thought CliqIN was a good idea. However, it never seemed to garner a lot of press and it never took off like BlogRush did. As for the reason why Cliq is shutting down?

As it turns out, CLIQ was a client of Offermatica, INC and was built as a way to extend their story into the social media space. Well, Offermatica has since been acquired by Omniture. Omniture already has a number of projects within the social media space and therefor, it makes no sense for them to continue development and funding for Cliq.

It was a decent ride I suppose. I’ll never understand why the bloggers who fell for BlogRush didn’t get smarter and move to something like CliqIN which gave the user full control over their blogging network. If you still have their widget published on your site, now would be a good time to remove it.

CliqIn Adds Features To Widget

CliqinLogo

As you may have noticed the other day, I temporarily disabled the CliqIn widget. This was in response to the widget misbehaving. For whatever reason, it was stretching out the entire page and doing all sorts of goofy things. Now that the widget is back to normal, not only is it behaving but I’ve noticed a new feature was added. The reason why I’m happy to post about this is because this is the feature I requested.

Join This Cliq Baby

If you look at the bottom of the widget, you should now see a button that says JOIN THIS CLIQ. Now you no longer need to navigate to a specific Cliq on their website in order to join. Of course, you still need to have an account on the CliqIn website in order to actually join the Cliq. Also, because I’ve elected to make mine private, you will need to request an invitation to join.

Other than that, I have no idea what has changed since they never sent out an email detailing the changes that occurred. I do know one thing though, I now have an annoying title within the widget that says POSTS YOU MIGHT LIKE. I figured out how to get rid of that before, but now I have no idea. It looks annoying and messes up the widget. I’ve already looked within the embed code for the widget and the title attribute is not there. Anyone else have any ideas?

Bloggerplay Releases iGoogle Gadget

BloggerLogo

Blogger has developed and released an iGoogle gadget for those that enjoy Blogger Play. Blogger Play is a real-time slideshow of photos Blogger users have recently uploaded to their blogs. Blogger has also added some additional functionality to Blogger Play. The keyboard can now be used to control the flow of images. The space bar plays and pauses while the left and right arrow keys move backwards and forwards.

Just sitting at the Blogger Play page watching all sorts of images go by is yet, another productivity killer to add to my list.

Why CLIQ May Kill BlogRush

When BlogRush was released to the masses, it became the next best thing for bloggers since Akismet. BlogRush claimed it would provide it’s users with a RUSH of traffic from relevant blogs through the use of a widget. This widget would display your blog posts via credits earned by displaying posts from other blogs through the widget on your own site. The truth is, neither I or many others witnessed the RUSH in traffic that was almost guaranteed to those who used the service. If you’d like to see my results that came along with BlogRush, please read an earlier post I made called Is The BlogRush Over With?

After reviewing CLIQ and what that service had to offer, it dawned on me that this service could potentially wipe BlogRush off the map. Here are the reasons why.

Full Control:

With BlogRush, you have no control over which posts are displayed on the widget. You can only control what DOESN’T show up. You also have no control over who displays your blog posts.

With CLIQ, you have full control over what will be displayed in the widget. You also have the ability to make your group private so that members can only join if you accept their request, or if you manually invite them.

Relevancy:

BlogRush does provide a FILTER list that allows you to create WORD or PHRASE based filters so that you can sort of control which posts are displayed or not but when you think of all the posts your going up against within a widget that only has 5 spaces, the filters become less of a factor. BlogRush maintains a category based organizational system. Without knowing how many blogs are actually within this category, it’s hard to judge how much competition you’re actually up against. BlogRush also uses an algorithm to detect relevancy between the blog, category and blog post title.

Because CLIQ provides you with an option to make your CLIQ invite only, you can essentially control how relevant the content will be within the widget. That is, if you only invite members that post similar or close to similar content, your going to have a relevant widget that contains blog postings that your visitors and the visitors of your member blogs will have a higher probability of clicking.

Creating Your Own Niche Network:

Users have no way of creating networks within BlogRush. Your essentially at the mercy of the BlogRush algorithm to determine when your blog post fits the right criteria to be displayed next to 4 other entries.

By creating your own CLIQ, you have the ability to invite high traffic blogs into your group. Each blog that joins your CLIQ is a referral. CLIQ administrators can set unofficial TRAFFIC requirements for CLIQ memberships meaning, you can determine what amount of traffic a blog has to gain and refer in order to maintain membership. This produces competition amongst the members to drive up their own traffic which in turn, benefits the group as a whole.

Conclusion:

If you haven’t picked up on the theme yet, as a user of BlogRush, your essentially at their mercy versus CLIQ which gives you total control. Why rely on BlogRush to provide you with a lackluster rush of relevant traffic based on algorithms when you can do it yourself and reap the benefits? Sure, the CLIQ method revolves a little more in the way of work, but hey, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Bloggers won’t be benefiting from BlogRush anytime soon unless your JohnChow. So do yourself a favor, ditch it and go for something you can control and manage yourself.

CLIQ is what BlogRush should of been and I’ll leave it at that.

Do you agree or disagree? Let me know by leaving a comment and contribute to this conversation.

Kontactr Adds Pop Up Feature

Kontactr.com Logo

Kontactr, the service that gives users an very easy way to provide a contact form on your site for readers to contact you and in which I covered here, Easy To Use Contact Forms Via Kontactr has added a new feature called Kontactr Pop Up or KPU. KPU trys to make it easier for your readers to contact you by opening up a contact form without having to load another page.

KPU comes in three flavors, text link, small button or a larger contact button. Whenever a user clicks on one of these new links, the background of the webpage turns dark and a contact form appears on your screen. This means that, users won’t be required to load a separate web page to view your contact form. This should decrease the load on your server as that is one less page that has to be processed.

New Contact Form From Kontactr

The popup contains everything that the original form has with the exception of the an additional command to close the popup window which can be initiated by pressing ESC on your keyboard.

What’s nice about this new option is that, bloggers that use Kontactr now have an option to provide a contact link directly within a post. This means that readers will be able to click on a link within an article to contact you without having to perform any extra steps, such as browsing to the static location of your form which in my case, is found at the top of this site.

As with the majority of things on the web these days, this popup will not work if you have Javascript disabled in your browser. So keep that in mind if it does not work.

Is The BlogRush Over With?

My BlogRush Stats

When I initially became aware of BlogRush and it’s associated claims of rushing traffic to blogs, I became extremely interested. As a blogger myself, I’m always looking into new ways to generate traffic. As we now know, BlogRush has itself experienced a rush, a rush that I believe is bigger than any smalltime blogger currently using their widget, has experienced. Their system is simple and at face value looks like it would work for everyone, but after reviewing my stats, it looks like it won’t work for me.

My BlogRush Impressions

Out of 2,401 impressions or appearances on various sites, only 4 people have clicked a headline attributed to my site. If you ask me, that’s not exactly a rush of traffic. Now I know it could be possible that the headlines to my articles suck, but is that really the case? My blog is currently competing within the Computers and Internet category and I myself have clicked on a few of the links within the widget on and have found some really cool sites. However, till this day, I have yet to see any of my posts appearing on anyone else’s widget. I even spent half an hour, clicking on various posts from one widget to the next, and I never saw one post from my site.

It’s also worth mentioning that I have checked both my Entry pages, and my Exit pages for the widget url. As we’ve seen earlier, at least 4 people have used the article headline on the widget as an entrance page to my site. However, there are 25 hits for the widget url being used as an exit page. Although I don’t know how many of those exits are attributed to myself, I really feel as if I’m doing everyone else a favor, by having this widget published on my site versus helping myself out.

The only people that seem to be benefiting from this service are the big blogs who most likely have quite a few referrals. BlogRush has stated in their latest email that:

We’ll soon be adding a bonus credit system that gives certain bonuses only to our low traffic members since they need the help the most!

That may be enough to help us small timers out, but only time will tell. So far, I’m experiencing lack luster results with BlogRush and apparently, these people are too although I’m not sure why Darren is using Blogrush as his blog gets enough traffic as it is.

ProBlogger.Net

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BlogRush What Is This New BuzzWord

BlogRush.com LogoTheres a new buzzword in town that is sweeping across the blogosphere like wildfire, but what is it? That word is, BlogRush. A new way of generating traffic to your site or blog.

As I was monitoring my RSS feeds on a very early Saturday morning, I read a post that discussed BlogRush and what it was suppose to do. I saved it in my news bin as I was interested and wanted to give it a try. Here we are, two days later and this BlogRush widget is appearing on just about every site that can be considered a blog.

Background Info:

BlogRush in it’s simplest form is a content syndication network. If you add the widget to your blog, your own site will appear on other blogs with the widget installed. I know it may sound like one of those other blog advertising deals but this service dives into the equation a bit deeper.

BlogRush.com Widget

BlogRush works like this. Users signup and install the widget and display it somewhere on their site. If your site receives 100pageviews a day, your blog links will appear 100 times on other BlogRush widgets across the network. That’s great and all, but here comes the juicy part. If a user who is browsing your site clicks on the tab underneath the widget that reads ADD YOUR BLOG POSTS FOR FREE and they signup for an account, that user is added to your own BlogRush account as a referal. Now, when that user installs the widget to their site, your blog content will appear on that users widget 100 times in addition to the 100 times your site would appear across the network. As you add more referrals to your account and gain more traffic to your site, your traffic grows exponentially.

What I’ve Noticed:

Throughout the day on Saturday, I noticed that the same links would appear on my BlogRush widget, no matter how many times I refreshed the page. I think this was due to the lack of websites that were added to the same category as mine. However, the links have changed each time I have loaded my front page today, so that problem appears to be fixed. I also want to let you know that I myself, have clicked on a few of the links that appear on the widget that is published on this blog because they have been relevant and interesting. So in a sense, I have demonstrated to myself how this syndication network works.

Since displaying the widget, I can attest to seeing at least 5 people who were visiting this site who were referred by a BlogRush widget. The reason for this varies. Either the headlines to my articles suck or, it was early in the adoption phase. Considering this widget is gaining in popularity extremely fast, I expect to see the referral links increasing as time goes by.

Improvements Needed:

I’d like the ability to edit the width of the widget. The one on this site is just a pixel or 2 too big and it’s crunching the left sidebar. Right now, there is no way to edit the size of the widget. There are also no reports or stats as of yet. Apparently, that part of the service is still under construction. At first, I wanted to suggest a way for us to customize which sites appear on the widgets based on tags, but I have to admit, the BlogRush algorithm seems to be doing a pretty good job displaying related content.

At times, there are blog headlines that appear in my widget which seem screwed up. The headlines appear as all question marks as if I don’t have the language pack the headline was written in. It could also be the case that the blog entry was spam. Speaking of blog spam, it will be interesting to see if BlogRush actually syndicates blogspam which in my opinion would send this service back to where it came from.

Conclusion:

This service has come out of no where and is really taking the blogging world by storm. John Reese hit the nail on the head with this service although, I’m not sure what the revenue model is just yet. If you own a blog or a website and you need traffic, definitely give this service a try. It’s free, it’s easy to install, and so far, it seems to be working. If you would like to take part in this blogging phenomenon, be sure to visit BlogRush.com and sign up for your own free account.

If you are currently using BlogRush, I’d be very interested in hearing your experience with it thus far.