Chances are that you know someone that has been affected by Alzheimer's Disease. This devastating illness is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. Someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer's every 71 seconds. Most of the time, the people dealing with the disease feel helpless in fighting it.
Well, now you CAN do something about it. You can join the over 200,000 people that will be participating in the Memory Walk this year. The walks are scheduled at different times this fall throughout the country. It's not a marathon, but rather a 2-3 mile walk held on a weekend morning. You can also help us promote the walk by taking the Opp in SocialSpark about this event.
My grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2002. Shortly after this diagnosis, it became apparent that one of us in the family would need to move into her house to help take care of her. I immediately volunteered because my Nana had always been there for me and I felt it was my duty to be there for her in her time of need.
We managed her care at home for another two years before we had to move her into an assisted living facility. During that time, I watched as my Nana slowly slipped away. That was the hardest two years of my life, but also the most rewarding. I feel privileged that I was able to be the one to help my Nana and to give back to the person who had taken care of me my entire life.
My grandmother is still alive today but my Nana is only with us every so often. She is well taken care of and I couldn't ask for much more. I know I will be participating in my local Memory Walk this fall and I hope you feel inspired to the same in your community.
Are you curious about how to further your career or start a new one?
Have you ever wondered how to get the IT Training that will help you stand out in a crowd?
The answer to these questions and many more can be found here!
One of our advertisers, Cisco, is now offering an Opportunity in SocialSpark for you to learn more about how to get a variety of different Cisco certifications. They offer network certification programs that cater to a wide range of IT people just like you; from experts and specialists to associates and beginners.
Now you can take part in these exciting careers too! The networking technology world has expanded exponentially in the last few years and continues to grow at a rapid pace.
Have you been thinking about breaking into the IT field but don't know how to start? Do you need that extra certification to help qualify for that big promotion?
SocialSpark is really catching on, so much so that IZEA had to hire another inside sales manager to help manage all the advertiser interest. So here I am! My name is Erin Fox and I was attracted to IZEA's unique marketing platform almost six months ago. Since then I began hanging around the office in hopes that they would break down and let me in already!!! Some might call it "stalking" but I think of it more like being tactfully aggressive :) Well it paid off and here I am. I truly love my position at the company since I get to help our advertisers maximize their social media exposure. What could be better for a UCF marketing major? Being at IZEA truly is a dream job, especially since I get to be a part of something that is creative, unique and cutting edge.
Now for the personal stuff. I worked in new home sales for the past three years and I really became interested in the green movement. The amount of waste that a newly constructed home produces is staggering ( 2 tons!) So that really inspired me to reduce my impact on the world. I have been doing my research and learning about all the new and old ways to reduce, reuse and .....(come on you know it).....recycle!!! I am hoping to get some more advertisers who are a part of that industry to become a part of Social Spark. We only have a few green bloggers right now, so I can't wait for more to join. My hope is that we get a whole channel dedicated to going green. Then all of us "tree-huggers" can find out about the latest and greatest green products and services.
I truly believe that the blogging community has so much insight to offer our advertisers and are becoming a major influence in the marketplace. My future at IZEA looks very bright and I can't wait to see what happens next. Look forward to future posts and your feedback.
Time for another riveting installment of, “All You Need to Know About Reserving Opportunities in SocialSpark!” Wait… it’s the first installment you say? Are you sure?
Regardless, I’m here, with the help of the rest of the Review team, to help educate everyone on the steps necessary to reserve an opportunity in SocialSpark. It’s a fairly simple process, and I’m confident that by the end of this post, you will be able to reserve an opportunity blindfolded.
Step one: Login to www.SocialSpark.com! I know that this may sound like a trivial step to add here, but if I didn’t start at the beginning, where would I start? To login to SocialSpark, simply click the login button at the top of any page within SocialSpark.
Immediately following Step one, we have the illustrious Step two. The second step is to make sure that your blog is verified. More information on getting your blog verified can be found here.
Our Third step is to enter the Marketplace. The Marketplace is located immediately below, and slightly to the left of the login button. Hovering over the Marketplace link will bring up a menu that has options to Browse Blogs, Browse Opportunities, Channels, and the Code of Ethics. Today, I will only be going over how to browse opportunities.
Once you have this dropdown menu in your sights, line up your crosshairs with “Browse Opportunities” and fire! It will bring you to a page that lists all of the Opportunities that are contained within the SocialSpark Marketplace. This includes the standard sponsored posts that you may be used to in PayPerPost, but it also has two new types of Opportunities, that I will take a few moments to go over with you.
Of the two new Opportunities that we have, Sparks are my personal favorite. A Spark, is an opportunity that anybody can create, which will allow you to advertise your blog at no cost! It is a great way for a new blog to build traffic, without cost to the blogger.
Last, but not least of the two, are Blog Sponsorships. Imagine a non-obtrusive window that appears the first time someone views your blog (After the first time, it will not reappear for that reader for one week.), and then slides down to the bottom of your page, where it remains out of the way. Well, Blog Sponsorships provide just that.
Also, Blog Sponsorships have daily payouts, instead of having to wait 30 days.
I digress, however. On this page, around the top, there will be four tabs that read: “All Opportunities”, “Sponsored Post”, “Blog Sponsorship”, and “Spark”. Clicking on these tabs will sort by the type of Opportunity that you are looking for, listing them newest, to oldest.
And now, to my last bit of information, before passing it to John, our resident Izeologist, is that once you are at this page, which lists the Opportunities, simply look to the right of any Opportunity to see the type, and status of the Opp. which will be two small ‘lights’ that indicate if it is open, and if you qualify for the Opportunity. A red light means either that your blog does not qualify for the opportunity, or that there are no open reservation spots. A green light means that you either do qualify, or that there are open reservation slots.
I hope that I have not lost you in the sea of Opportunities that is our Marketplace, and only hope that the Izeologist can help you with the next step…
Reserving an Opportunity!!! *Insert creepy organ music, and flashes of lightning here*
SocialSpark has been open to the public nearly a week and we can't tell you how wonderful it is to have so many users in the system excited about what we are doing and eager to learn how to get the most out of their SocialSpark experience. We have gotten a lot of feedback on what you like and don't like and a lot of great suggestions for making future efficiencies and improvements. We certainly hope you'll keep the feedback coming!
As this is a brand new site, there is a lot out there for all of us to learn and several features that are unique to SocialSpark. One of these is dynamic pricing. I know that there have been a lot of questions and confusion about this system through tickets and out on the Izea Boards, so we thought it was about time to shed some light on how the dynamic pricing system works.
When an Advertiser creates an Opp. in SocialSpark, they are now able to set a maximum and minimum price that they are willing to pay for each Sponsored Post. Please note that this price range will not be visible to the public, only the current offer price. Once an Opportunity goes live, the fun begins!
The dynamic pricing script runs each hour and adjusts the price offered for posts up or down based on Marketplace demand. It is important to note that the price that you will be paid for a Sponsored Post is the price of the offer when you RESERVE the Opp., NOT the current price at submission. As a user, you are encouraged to watch the Marketplace to ensure that you are getting the best price for each Opp. before reserving. Of course the flip side of this is that if you wait too long, the Opp. may no longer be available!
However, because SocialSpark Opportunities run on a daily spend rather than a set account balance, we have been able to give SocialSpark users the ability to add themselves to an Opportunity queue to receive a reservation for the next available spot in that Opp.
Queuing for an Opp. is a great way to exponentially increase your chances of being able to take that Opp. But, please understand that you are not locked into the price of any queued Opp. until your reservation for that Opp. is created; a request to add yourself to a queue is not a reservation.
All reservations for the coming day's posts will be created during each midnight system update. This means that for the bloggers in queue, the offer for the Opp. will always be the starting (lowest) price of that Opp. for the day. The reasoning behind this is again simple supply and demand. If there are bloggers waiting to take this Opp., it is in demand and there is therefor no need to offer a premium to entice bloggers to take it. However, as the day progresses and demand for an Opp. is low, the price will be adjusted upward to garner more interest.
So, while you may see the same Opp. live in the Marketplace with a higher current offer, your offer price will be from when your reservation was created. You can always view the price at which you accepted an Opp by clicking on 'Taken Opps' from the 'Manage Blogger Account' section under the 'Account' dropdown at the top right of your SocialSpark account.
So, there you have it! Dynamic Pricing in a nutshell. I know that it's new and that new can be scary, but once users become more familiar in the system, you'll be able to utilize it and customize it to best suit your lifestyle and your needs.
One last reminder: Should you ever have any questions, you can always reach out to us here in Customer Love by clicking on the 'Help' tab at the top right of your SocialSpark account and choosing 'Submit a Ticket'.
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:
We told you SocialSpark was going to be awesome! And, here's an example.
IZEA is now accepting video clips for consideration in the soon to be launched Community Section of SocialSpark. This interactive page will serve up user videos and provide viewers with a deeper understanding of the people fueling the growth of the blogosphere. That's you!
Think of it as a commercial for you and your blog. Explain who reads your blog, and what type of content you focus on. Show potential advertisers how they'd benefit from working with you. You know, put on your marketing hat and have fun with hit... make it stand out. Who knows, you might just turn out to be a SocialSpark rock star!
IZEA is utilizing Brightcove Studio to manage the submission and distribution of content in the Community Section video player. As a result, you'll need to create an account as part of uploading your videos. It's simple and easy. So upload your video now! Ideally videos should be no longer than 60 seconds and no larger than 100MB. Click here for technical specs.
Upload your video now! You will be notified by email when your video is approved for inclusion. We look forward to reviewing your submission.
I have seen a few questions (Tim from Bloggerista.net) floating out there in regards to the importance and scoring of links in RealRank. We have committed to being open about the system and how it works, so I want to take some time to explain. We assign link scores based on ACTIVE links. We define an active link as a link that has been clicked that day. Google (as far as anyone knows) treats all links as active, regardless of whether they have been clicked or not. I call these dead links.
Why don't we count dead links? We all know that link building is a common practice in the blogoshpere and the web in general. Bloggers and companies alike can build up links over time, regardless of whether or not they have quality content and an actual reader base. You can wind up with hundreds or thousands of links to a site buried in directories, infinitely long blog rolls, comment streams and so on. The bottom line is links without clicks don't really mean much - "dead to me".
I know what you all are saying. "Great, I got on all these blog rolls to pump up my PR and now you are telling me that they don't matter". No, that's not what I am saying. If people are actually clicking on those links then they will be counted. However, I will tell you that most people reading blogs don't click on blog rolls as much as they used to. Remember, RealRank is trying to determine reach and influence, not amount of inbound links. That is the beauty of having real stats.
"Ok, so how do I get active links?" Funny you should ask. I have a thought I'll share:
The Remora Effect
While putting a link in a sidebar may generate a few clicks here and there, the most active links in the blogoshpere are found in the body of a blog post itself. The biggest bloggers ("Whales") have known about the value of active links for quite some time and use this principle to generate blog traffic. The Whales create content so compelling that other bloggers write about it and link back to them ("Remoras"). The post from the Remora is then posted in a trackback, comment or within an update of the post itself. This creates what is called The Remora Effect, a symbiotic relationship creating active links for both the Whale and the Remora. This helps bolster each participant's reputation as an influencer and active participant in the conversation around a topic.
As Colleen proved with her post about the IZEA name change, anyone can be the Whale and anyone can be the Remora. In that case Colleen was the Whale and Robert Scoble was the Remora. The key is content. Great content usually equals great influence.
There are plenty of other ways of getting active links, some more effective than others. I invite you all to share your thoughts in the comments.
Do you pride yourself on the quality of your posts? Are you one of those Posties that believes you could lay the smack down on all those other bloggers out there? Do you think you could take on the best of the best in a no holds barred Blog Battle Royale? It's time to put on your tights, find a ridonkculous mask and a folding chair and step into the steel cage. It's the first ever PPP Blog Battle Royale.
Here is how it works:
Each month we will be holding a Blog Battle Royale. I will pick a topic for all participants to blog about. Each participant will write their post and either use a trackback or post the URL in the comments of the blog post announcing that months match (we love trackbacks!).
Once all posts are in we will create another post linking back to all the posts and provide a mechanism for people to vote on their favorite. The top five will be selected and sent a special Postie Pack with a physical item to review (which they get to keep). The Postie Pack will also contain a special PPP Blog Battle Royale t-shirt. We will then take those five posts and have another vote to select the winner. The winner will hold the title of PPP Blog Battle Royale Champion for one month and will automatically receive the next special Postie Pack. The Champion from the previous month and the five new participants from that month will then do battle again and a new champion will be crowned.
In addition to bragging rights and a free product the winner from each month will receive a special limited edition PPP Blog Battle Royale Champion t-shirt signed by members of the PPP Team. We will also provide you with a special champion badge for your blog and place a badge on our blog linking to your blog for that entire month (or longer if you keep winning).Whew...I hope that all makes sense. Let's get onto this months competition...
Topic : If you were creating a new robot for the company iRobot what would it do? What would it look like? What would you call it? How would it make your life easier? How would you market it? What makes your robot so special?
Remember, write this like this was an Opp. Provide as much value as you possibly can.
First Posts Due By : 8.15.07 Midnight EST
Voting Begins : 8.17.07 Noon EST
Voting Ends : 8.20.07 Noon EST
The five people with the most votes will each receive an iRobot Roomba robot vacuum cleaner which they get to keep (I am jealous). Good luck people. Be creative, I want to see someone create an alter ego and a costume for these matches ; )
This is open to all bloggers in all countries. For those of you outside of the US who have been jumping up and down saying your quality matches those of American bloggers here is your chance to prove it. Step into the steel cage and throw down.