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IzeaFest is here (site maintenance tomorrow)

Well, after all the plotting, planning, designing, coding, organizing, promoting, deploying, tweaking, changing, updating, enhancing, polishing, rehearsing, and furniture moving, IZEAFEST is finally here.

If you're already booked to come along, then don't forget the cocktail party tonight at the Bohemian Hotel on Orange in Orlando. Originally we had planned for this to be outside by the pool enjoying the Florida weather, but the Florida weather had other plans. There's a small monsoon outside right now, complete with Hollywood-esque thunder and lightning and as a result the party is taking place inside.

If you're not booked to come along, then get your skates on and book. There's still time, still tickets and still a chance for you to see some of the awesome presentations and speakers we have lined up for the next two days. Head on over to IzeaFest.com and get yourself registered right now!

While we're on the subject of presentations, there is a special one from Ted tomorrow at 4:45 where he'll be unveiling some jaw dropping changes to SocialSpark as well as a wonderful addition to the Izea family of tools. We don't want to give the game away early so we'll be taking SocialSpark offline at 3:30 eastern to deploy things and test them out. The site will be back online as soon as Ted gets on stage.

Naturally, we apologize for the inconvenience but we're sure you are going to love the changes. For more info on just what those changes are, make sure you get to IzeaFest tomorrow! (We'll post an update here on the blog as well, of course, just in case you can't make it).

Update: We're actually taking the site down sooner rather than later, within the next 15 minutes in fact, to give us a little more time to walk through the features.

More information on the Blog Audit

As many of you know, we are currently in the midst of performing a blog audit, in which we are examining each and every blog within our system. We realize this might be a scary process for you to be experiencing and that you may be wondering what it is we will be looking for.

Actually, it really is quite simple. We want high quality bloggers who have the highest standards for their own blogs. We want bloggers who maintain their blogs on a regular basis and who write about things they are interested in, things they love and things that others want to know about. Basically we want bloggers who have blogs that others want to read.

We want you to please take a look at your blog and think about the reader who is viewing it. Would someone who doesn't know you want to read what you have to say?  Think about an advertiser and what they would think when they land on your blog. Would they want to advertise on your blog? Would the product they are promoting relate to the theme of your blog? Think about the balance between ads, sponsored posts and unique content. Does it feel like you are spending more time writing sponsored posts than original ones that relate to your blog? Does your blog feel more like a set of annoying commercials or more like an intriguing TV program? If we fast forwarded through all your ads, what would be left? Anything interesting that is actually worth reading? Honestly, if it feels like your blog is maintained solely for making money then we won't want to read it and an advertiser won't want to advertise on it.

We want to be a part of your lives just as much as we want you to be a part of ours. Therefore, we want to read about the egg carton caterpillar that your 3 year old made today, or about the website you found that allows you to find the best deals on toilet paper in all of Orange County, or even about the weekend trip you took to Ben & Jerry's in Vermont! And our advertisers want that too!!! We are asking that you please make your blog personal, meaningful and a reflection of yourself. The more pride you take in your blog the more likely you are to pass our quality standards.

Remember to keep yourself up to date on our Terms of Service.  Many of the details we're looking at now are already addressed there.  If your blog does not meet our standards your blog will most likely be rejected. Unfortunately once your blog is rejected, your blog will not be eligible for resubmitting. We will continue to review any outstanding posts you've submitted, and you will be paid on those that are approved.

The blog audit is something we must do to ensure that the best bloggers possible reside within our Network, and the audit is something that we'll likely continue to do in the future. Please keep these things in mind while we continue on with the audit process and we appreciate your understanding.

Please note**
If we receive any indication that you no longer want your blog to be associated with our Network, whether through board posts, tickets, blog posts, etc. we will take that as your permission to reject your blog.

Bring Your Crazy Hat to IZEAFest!

Anyone who knows me knows I love to wear hats.... and the crazier the better. On Friday night we will be having a blogger meet up at Waitiki in downtown Orlando. If you wear a crazy hat (not a standard baseball hat) you will be entered in a drawing to win a very cool door prize (yes, I also love surprises). Now the only question is what will I be wearing..... decisions, decisions.

Corn Hat

This is kinda a last minute thing. Help us spread the word!

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Help us help you!

As you know, we recently started a quality assessment on the blogs in our network. We're focussing on PayPerPost right now since that's where the majority of the blogs are registered.

We have a mass of blogs to work through so if you have a blog registered in the system that you no longer use it would be a great help if you could log in and delete it. Just log into the system in the usual way, click on My Blogs and then click the Delete link next to any defunct blogs you no longer use within the system.

Many thanks.

UPDATE: Scratch that - Some people very kindly pointed out to me the delete link only exists if the blog is not approved. The reason for this, I've found out, is that deleting blogs with pending payments/posts etc could cause some serious problems. I'll get a change in place to manage this on Monday.

IN the meantime if you have a blog you want removed drop an email to me (pete) at izea.com and I'll get them taken care of manually.

September Blogger with a Cause
September Blogger with a Cause

I discovered this month's "Blogger with a Cause" while cruising the Internet, waiting to board a plane. I can't recall where I was or even where I was heading, but I do remember this blog. It stuck with me for several reasons, most importantly being that "What's Up with Nick" is a blog authored by a mother, documenting her son's lifelong battle with Cystic Fibrosis.

It seems the blog was originally started by said mother as a means to communicate--as so many are--with friends and family and keep them informed of her son, Nick, and his progress. Of course we know blogs can reach many, many people and "What's Up with Nick" has grown to be much more than what was intended.

One of my favorite things about this blog is its use of being an education portal. Just look at the top of the right sidebar of any page and you'll see 10 links out to sites that provide information, insight, and advice on coping with Cystic Fibrosis.

Here's a screenshot of part of the "What's Up with Nick" homepage:

What’s Up with Nick (September "Blogger with a Cause")

Please visit the "What's Up with Nick" by clicking here, and "Help Fight Cystic Fibrosis." And don't forget you can share any "for cause" blogs you run across by e-mailing us at charity[at]izea[dot]com.

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Soccer v. Football

What is the deal with that, anyway?  Why do we know it as 'soccer,' when the sport is far older and globally accepted as 'football?'  Well, turns out that 'soccer' is short for 'association football,' weird right?  It was meant to be distinguished from 'rugby football.'  According to my internet sources, it was university slang written 'socca' in 1889 and then 'socker' in 1891.  It finally became 'soccer' in 1895.  Now you know.

Soccer is very strange because it seems that every little kid joins a soccer league when they're young- I know I played for years!  However, it's not very popular here, in the states.  When I visit my cousins in El Salvador, they wear soccer jerseys like they were Michael Jordan basketball jerseys.  Does anybody think it's become more popular now that David Beckham joined the LA Galaxy?  Does he even play?  Does anybody know?

Hmm...anyway, soccer is so fun to play, and really fun to watch, too.  If you get bored watching soccer, next time there is a goal, try to yell longer than the announcer.  That makes it fun.  And, if you're not too keen on going ouside, but still want to get your soccer on, you should check out a new opp in SocialSpark located here. It's the first virtual football world called Football Superstars, at CyberSportsWorld.

I love this part about Football Superstars,

As well as playing football, players can spend time pandering to the paparazzi to improve their celebrity rating, show off their unique sense of style in bars, clubs and restaurants or improve their fitness at any one of a number of gyms and sports centres to get the edge over their competition.

It's like The Sims meets Madden!  Basically, you as a player start off with limited playing skills and money, but then you gain ratings and form clubs.  The game looks so neat, and uses really awesome technology to enhance game play, such as the ability to talk to your team mates via 3D positional voice technology.  If only for the love of David Beckham, I would try to play this game.  You know what would be a fun match- IZEA v Posties.  What do you think?  Of course you're familiar with our killer flag football skills, it would be no contest!

Davidbeckhamjpg_jpeg_image_305x326_  

Join us on Facebook

Did you know that IZEA and I both have fan pages on Facebook? Well you do now! Please feel free to upload photos with your IZEA gear or leave a comment. Hope you are having a great labor day weekend!

IZEA on Facebook

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