Pimping My Ride

I figure if our commander-in-chief can rise to the occasion, I could at least pimp my ride. As a resident of the state of Texas, I should fit right in with our president with my hopefully forthcoming awesome license plate (I submitted the application; we’ll see if it’s approved). I have the honor of being the first, but since BOTW is stretching its legs geographically, it’s only a matter of time before you see BOTW plates for other states. Perhaps some day, at a Search Engine Strategies conference near you, you’ll see our custom rides roll up, in full “Mitvzah Tank” style.

Once our rides are pimped, the loose plan is to take photos and post them somewhere, like a page of cool BOTW stuff. But nothing blows my hair back then letting the cat out of the bag, so feast your eyes on my photoshopped mockup:

Apparently there are several different meanings for the hand gesture. I, of course, want the one that means BOTW ROCKS! Obviously, the license plate is intended to support the deaf and hard of hearing since the gesture means “I love you” in American Sign Language. In fact, a portion of my application fee goes to support the texas commission for the deaf. So there you have it: Best of the Web has now established itself as a philanthropic organization, though we have a while to go before we can match contributions made by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

So those of you who pass me on the road, honk if you love BOTW, and don’t forget to Submit Sites to the Best of the Web Directory!

All Your Blog Are Belong To Us

All Your Blog Are Belong To UsOne of the primary criterions for blog approval at Best of the Web is that the blog must have a history of six months or longer. About 50 to 60 percent of the blogs submitted are rejected because they do not meet this standard.

At Caslyn Analytics Profile, statistics and studies are presented which seem to support BOTW in this criterion: “Several studies indicate that most blogs are abandoned soon after creation.” Technorati presents many up-to-date statistics on the blogosphere. Dave Sifry in an article titled, “State of the Blogosphere, April 2006 Part 1: On Blogosphere Growth” discusses several statistics that relate to our six month rule. He states “19.4 million bloggers (55%) are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created.” (This is out of the 35.3 million blogs tracked by Technorati at the time of that posting.)

Blogging requires one of the most precious commodities in a person’s life: their time. As with any activity that requires time, people often start out very excited about an idea, but the excitement tapers off after the initial action. Since we realize this aspect of human nature and statistics back us up, we firmly stand by our six month standard. This rule also benefits our users, because when utilizing the BOTW Blog Directory, you know you will find active blogs in our directory.

If you receive a reject notice for lack of a six month history, please let us know when you reach the six month mark so we can review your blog again. Since only 55% are maintaining their blogs after 3 months, if you can hold out for six months you will have certainly earned your blog a second look.


My Lords… My Ladies…

Today you find yourselves equals – for you are all equally blessed; For I have the pride, the privilege, nay, the pleasure, of introducing you to the BOTW API!

What I’m about to tell you is subject to change, since it’s still early in the game. There is nothing to see yet on botw.org, but methinks that once all the legal mumbo jumbo has been taken care of, and all the T’s crossed and I’s dotted, you can expect a more formal overview in the BOTW Help Center of what the API is and all the inherent benefits of becoming an API partner.

In the meanwhile, however, I’d like to briefly explain it to you and share with you why it will be a fairly exciting time in terms of our B2B relationships. Simply put, the API allows your web site to talk to the BOTW Directory Submit Service on our web site. The BOTW Directory Submit Service, of course, is our product which allows a web site owner to submit their site(s) for review for possible inclusion into the Best of the Web Directory. The API (which stands for Application Programming Interface), is just that; an interface for remote access. In other words, you don’t need to be surfing around On botw.org to submit your site – you can be surfing around on the site of an API partner and they will “do the needful” on your behalf.

OK, so why is this important and exciting? For one, it enables the API partner to bundle our submission process into their own product offering, and two, depending on volume, we can negotiate custom pricing with the partner. The partner gets billed separately and thus has the flexibility to charge what they want for the product, depending on what their bundle/package/promotion happens to be.

Well, I do enjoy letting the cat out of the bag, and this is quite the bag containing quite the kitty. If you’re quite the guinea pig, er, I mean, if you feel like being among the first to get started with this service, please Contact Us and we will consider granting you access. If you’re feeling shy, that’s cool. Kick back, let some of the other lemmings go over first, and we’ll be hitting you up more formally later on.

Mac Winner

After our first botched attempt at selecting a winner for the May promotion, we were able to have better luck at our second attempt. When we did not receive any reply to our original drawing, and upon receiving some responses from participants, we decided that we needed to draw another winner.

It was a tough decision, one that we knew may ruffle some feathers. On Friday, we drew a new winner, and sent out notice. Luckily, this time we heard back rather quickly. The lucky winner of the BOTW Apple MacBook Pro is Sean Odom, for his submission of the site Audience Central

Sean chose the 17″ MacBook, which was promptly ordered from the Apple store. We expect delivery within the next 7-10 days, at which point we will include some BOTW goodies, and forward the package off to Sean. Congratulations Sean, and happy computing.

Once again, thank you to all those that participated in the promotion. It was a great offering, and we learned a lot from doing it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a repeat offering at some point in the future.

Win a Mac Update

Thank you to everyone who took part in our Win a Mac promotion. As expected, it turned out to be our best promotion ever. We had hundreds of submissions using the WINMAC code, and received very positive feedback from our users.

On Thursday, June 1st, we randomly drew the winner from a pool of all submissions using the WINMAC code. An email was sent to the winner, informing him of the good news. Unfortunately, we have not yet heard back. The winner used a third-party email, and I fear that our correspondence may be lost in the nether regions of the internet. We have tried various methods of contact, but all attempts have been in vain.

As a final attempt at contact, we will list the winner’s first name and last initial here. If we do not hear back from the initial winner within the next 24 hours (by 1PM EST, June 8 2006), we will select a new winner. The winner drawn on June 1 is Andy P. from Philadelphia, PA. If you are Andy P., please contact us via email, or by calling our offices at 516.522.2501 to claim your new laptop. Once again, if we do not hear back from Andy P. in 24 hours, we will draw again and select a new winner.

We apologize to everybody for the drama. Stay tuned…