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April 2010

Blogads continues to innovate

Henry Copeland at Blogads continues to look for way to better serve his advertisers and bloggers. He's now pilot-testing a program to give 14% of an ad's revenues to any Blogads member who secures a sale through a Blogads "hive". (The Door is founder and administrator of the Economics hive.) Why?

Amid a Gobi-sized desert of generic media mediocrity, blogs have something special to offer both readers and advertisers: an oasis of human quality, a strong sense of connection with and among readers. For advertisers looking to elevate their brand and really connect with influential readers — as opposed to just getting clicks from random consumers — there’s nothing better.

We think that some niche bloggers will bring their passion for their niche and investment in its success to selling ads. Since nobody knows niche blogs better than the bloggers themselves, a self-organized group of bloggers seems like an ideal platform for selling those ads. Bloggers are often uniquely well-connected in their own communities of interest, whether in a given locale or a niche. In a sense, the blogger sales commissions is a continuation of the ideas — niche-focus, self-organization, DIY, bottom-up — that we started chewing on clear back in 2002, when we launched Blogads.

So, publishers, politicians, pundits: advertise with the econ hive! Econ bloggers: solicit advertisers!

If you don't . . . the terrorists wil have won.

"Mickey D's McMakeover"

The plastic look is out. "Clean and simple" is in.

But at $300 to $400K to remodel an outlet, the franchisees will take some convincing.

In a recent letter to management at the company's headquarters in Oak Brook, about 160 franchisees from North Carolina spelled out why they oppose the new plan. They say the roof change erases 40 years of brand building and that "there has been no business case presented which justifies the change." Says Frederick Huebner, who owns 11 McDonald's in North Carolina: "We don't want to lose the iconic look of what we've got." If franchisees balk, McDonald's can refuse to renew their contract.

"In L.A., pizza goes global"

Los Angeles Times, 4/15:

Just as certain city blocks contain the cuisines of a half-dozen different countries, pizza in Los Angeles doesn't conform to one nationality — it practically circumnavigates the globe.

There are South American pizzas shaped by decades of Italian immigration and Croatian pizzas forged along the shores of the Mediterranean. Korean and Japanese corporations have taken to testing their unique interpretations of pizza on L.A.'s international appetite. And some foreign pies defy classification altogether, labeled as pizzas by restaurants and diners searching for a simple descriptor. It's all part of the naturalization process.

A purist's definition of pizza might not apply among such diversity. Take for instance Guelaguetza's clayuda, which some refer to as Oaxacan pizza: a parchment-thin tortilla smeared with asiento (rendered pork fat) and black beans and topped with cheese, lettuce and slabs of meat spread across the tortilla like continents cast off into separate hemispheres.

"10 Foods You Should Always Splurge On"


We spend a lot of time talking about cheap food on this blog, and for good reason: oftentimes, it’s just as tasty as the pricey stuff – especially when it comes to everyday meals. See, most dishes can be prepared with inexpensive ingredients without a massive dip in quality, and family and friends will never be the wiser. Because, really? NOBODY knows you’re using generic butter to make an omelet, and only Thomas Keller could identify Brand X sugar in a batch of Christmas cookies.

Yet, there are some foods where it pays to go a little more upscale. Either their bargain-basement brands aren’t up to snuff, or a lesser-quality version would:

A) ruin a dish,
B) make someone sick, or
C) anger the four-headed demon god of culinary aptitude, Anthalice Batalicchio.