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.
What an exciting day for the team! SocialSpark is now available to the general public as a beta site. This picture says it all! We seem to be missing some folks from our team picture; Ted, Randy, David and Travis from RockStartup are out in San Francisco releasing SocialSpark at ad:tech. How exciting for all those attending today and tomorrow. If you are lucky enough to be out there stop by the booth #6163.
ummm the champagne support team?
Here are some screen shots:
I would like to give everyone a heads up that the PayPerPost boards will be going down at 9am EST Friday and will be back up no later than 4pm EST Friday while we make some database migrations and system UPGRADES! Sorry for the inconvenience, we want to make sure all the data gets properly transferred and we don't loose anything.
When they come back up they will be housed at boards.izea.com.
Are you sick and tired of that boring job your currently at? Do you wish you could work at a fun company on challenging, game-changing projects? If so you might just be a fit for the IZEA development team. We are looking for talented developers of all walks of life.
If you are interested take a look at the developer jobs posted here. Keep in mind that you don't necessarily have to fit squarely into one of those descriptions. If you have what it takes drop us a line.
Many of us at IZEA have been focused on the development of SocialSpark, our new flagship product, and we can't wait to roll out all of the new features to you! One of the final steps of implementing SocialSpark is getting feedback from those of you who will use the system. So, we'd like to invite anyone that's interested to join us in our downtown Orlando office for a User Group Review.
The SocialSpark Review will take place on Saturday Feb 16th, from 10am to noon. We'll be reviewing some of the new community features of the site. If you'd like to participate in the the SocialSpark review, please RSVP to (ross) at (izea) dot com to let us know your availability.
Those of you who've participated in our User Group workshops before know that we love getting feedback from you, and that our review meetings are always fun. We promise, no limbo or food fights this time!
Thanks for your interest. We're excited to get your feedback.
I finally received a highly anticipated email this morning from Yahoo's Bulk Mail division. Yahoo has cleared us to send newsletters to their members and they will go through. The only stipulation at the moment is that these newsletters are being monitored for spam and may therefore go the bulk email box or the inbox. It's the great news like this that is the reason over the past few months we took some un-popular steps to really root out the deep rooted spam within Zookoda and to prove to Yahoo we are serious about not letting spam get through.
This announcement is just the first. We are currently working with or initiating contact to other companies in order to ensure the broadcasts from Zookoda are going through regularly. Same principles apply with here. Spam detection and elimination is still a high priority function and is continuously monitored. Work has begun to greatly improve the Zookoda service in both the front end site and the back end site. As an added benefit Zookoda becomes a better service for you as well!
Scott Krutsinger - Code Ninja
IZEA - Innovations in Social Media
In case you missed it, here is the SocialSpark announcement Ted and Pete gave at PostieCon in Vegas. Thanks again to all that attended.
Click here to watch the video.
A few of you have asked how you can get involved with RealRank. More to the point, how do you sign up to get one, what do you have to do to participate, how do you check it, and so on.
When is this all happening?
Tomorrow, fingers and toes crossed, we'll be calculating RealRanks for all PayPerPost users that have ITK (PPP Tools) installed. We'll be displaying your RealRanks to you inside PayPerPost.com.
At the same time, Advertisers will be able to start segmenting opps based on RealRank. They'll be able to choose to limit an opportunity to people in the top 10%, 20%, 30% and so on of the RealRank ranges.
Late next week we'll roll out a new site showing detailed analytics on blogs and also open up RealRank reporting to non PPP users.
January, SocialSpark will tie up the loose ends, with face based analytics and even more data reporting.
How to get a RealRank
If you already have ITK installed (PPPTools) then you don't need to do anything at all.
What does it do?
The new ITK (again, formerly known as PPPTools) simply monitors traffic on your blog. We track inbound referrers, unique visitors, page views, geographic location of your visitors, and also identify which PayPerPost and SocialSpark users visit your blog. We use the count of unique visitors, incoming links and page views in a mathematical equation to come up with a score for your site. The resulting score is also weighted in some areas. 70% of the score relates to unique visitors, 20% relates to inbound links and 10% to page views. The formula also takes into account gaming (repeatedly refreshing a site to boost traffic artificially and other such practices) and downplays those activities so that they don't have a big effect on the score.
Once all the blogs we are tracking have had a score calculated we rank them. The site with a rank of 1 is the top site in the network. If we are tracking 100,000 blogs, then the site with a rank of 100,000 is currently the weakest.
How do I see my RealRank?
As a PPP user just go to the PPP Tools page in PayPerPost.com and you'll see it there, right alongside the other ranks we currently use. We show you the rank for your blog and the size of the network that it's based on. That's after we roll the changes out, of course.
Once Thanksgiving is out of the way we'll be opening up a new site where you'll be able to see much more detailed data on your blog. You'll be able to see actual traffic figures, your RealRank's movement over time, and more. You'll also be able to compare your site's performance to that of others in the network.
When SocialSpark rolls out we'll expose face-based analytics. If we identify a visitor to your blog as someone we know (an IZEA network user), we'll show you a picture of them.
What if I don't want the world to see my vital statistics?
All this openness is not for everyone. From within PayPerPost.com, just go to the PPP Tools page, scroll down to the bottom, and hit the checkbox that says you don't want your data published. We'll still give you your RealRank score, but when the dedicated RealRanks site launches we won't let other people see all the nitty gritty detail about your site.
What if I don't want the world to see which sites I visited?
Same as above. If you don't want your face showing up on other people's blog stats in SocialSpark in January, just hit the checkbox that says to hide you.
Is this all part of an evil ploy by Izea that we don't know about?
Nope. We just think it's time Google PageRank died a quick and quiet death. We'll be exposing API's for all the world to get at RealRank data further down the road, and whenever we change the calculation that works out a site's score, and thus rank, we'll happily publish the changes for everyone to see.
I'm sorry, I just had to blog about this. I was looking at some of the screens for RealRank today and Daniel told me that the dev team has code named the project "Goo Gone". I couldn't think of a more appropriate name. I can't wait for PPP to be free from the unpredictable and inconsistent grasp of PR. I love Google Search, I love Google Maps, I love Google Earth, but Page Rank is a total dog. I have heard rumblings that they are going to do away with it completely and I think that would be a wonderful move.
The RealRank system spit out our first set of results yesterday based on real data from the people participating in the analytics program.... I know who number one is and I have to say I was surprised. Look for Real Rank integration into PPP next week barring any huge issues. Have a great weekend.