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Blogads 101: Keep Your Blog Safe… and Earning You Money!

by Mark Clayton
Monday, October 28th, 2013

You lock your doors when you park your car. You look both ways before crossing the street. You wash your hands before you eat (we hope). In everyday life, we try to be safe. Whether you publish a blog or not – are you doing enough to be equally as safe online?

In the wake of recent hackings at the Washington Post, Time, CNN and others, we wanted to share some very simple, yet critical, security measures with the Blogads community.

To recap, CNN Money reported that hackers attacked Outbrain, a service that the news outlets use to recommend links to readers. The affected links re-directed people to the Syrian Electronic Army website. A secondary hack at the Washington Post occurred through a sophisticated Phishing attack.

What is phishing?

Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

How can I avoid taking the bait?

  1. Guard against spam
  2. Communicate personal info only via phone or secure sites
  3. Don’t click, download or open files from unknown senders
  4. Never email personal or financial information
  5. Beware of links that ask for personal info
  6. Beware of pop-ups
  7. Protect your computer with a firewall, spam filter, anti-virus and anti-spyware software
  8. Check your online accounts regularly

For additional phishing prevention, read on!

Recognizing a phishing scam is just one fight, not the entire online war.  Follow these simple exposure recommendations and you will be on your way to a safer online experience:

  • Increase Password Strength. 15% of consumers use their first name in the password.  Don’t add to that problem, learn how to be password secure.
  • Notice Secure Sites.  A website starting with “Https” rather than “Http” means that there is an internet security protocol installed on that site, and any information you enter will be transmitted through encrypted code.
  • Beware of Public Networks. Use proper firewalls when browsing on open Wi-Fi, and never visit sites that you wouldn’t want others to see, such as online shopping or banking sites.

For all WordPress users, here are a few additional steps to keep your blog safe:

  • Delete the “Admin” Username… Create a new one
  • Use a Strong User Password
  • Update to the Latest WordPress Version
  • Back Up Your Blog Database
  • Limit Login Attempts With a Plugin

WordPress users can take a deeper dive into the tips here!

Got questions or comments? Email us for more safety tips!

Ever want to link to a specific sentence or paragraph?

by Henry Copeland
Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Sick of copy/pasting text, then going back to grab the URL? Tired of linking to articles, then hoping people read far enough to find the sentences that matter? Have you ever just wanted to link directly to a sentence or paragraph on a web page? If you’ve got these itches, we’d value your feedback on Pullquotes, a side project some colleagues have created. Apply for an invite to become a pullquote slinging, micro-bookmarking pioneer at the bottom of the site.

Durham restaurants… what do you think?

by Henry Copeland
Saturday, December 15th, 2012

Morning Coffee: May 2, 2012

by Nick Faber
Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

We hope you left room for a few more stories, videos and curiosities.

Cracked.com – 5 Ridiculous Origins of Famous Urban Legends
Was Natasha Henstridge the original Chupa Cabra?

The Curious Brain – Dead Star Wars
Hey, if George Lucas isn’t doing anything interesting to breathe life into his franchise, someone’s going to depict them as watercolor zombies. Right?

Cobyblogger – Traditional Advertising is Truly Dead
Speaking of things that are dead, have you seen AMC’s The Pitch?

Joe La Pompe – Sheep with wolf teeth
Our favorite copy-cat ad spotter finds a sheep with wolf’s teeth disguised as an original idea.

GOOD – Margaritas for Cinco de Mayo, Juleps for Derby Day, and Hats for Everyone
You have at least two excuses to make ridiculously fancy cocktails this weekend.


photo by flickr user ikkekietje

Does the Internet suck in Durham, NC?

by Henry Copeland
Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Recently we’ve noticed that sites load really slowly in our office at the center of Durham, NC.

Looking at the Google Analytics account for one of the sites we host, we discovered that the site takes 25.49 seconds to load in Durham, versus just 4.81 in Raleigh and 4.37 in Charlotte.

How can Durham claim to be a haven for start-ups and tech companies with download speeds this horrific? Screenshots from Google Analytics below.

Maybe Durham needs to learn from places like Chattanooga TN and Cleveland OH that now have municipally hosted 1GB Internet service.

Site load-times in North Carolina.

Map of North Carolina. The bigger the circle, the slower the site loading time.

Blogads.com makes buying online ads even easier — in three ways!

by Nick Faber
Thursday, March 22nd, 2012


For the last 10 years, we’ve worked tirelessly to make buying online ads as painless as possible for do-it-yourself advertisers. Today we announce three more updates to our DIY system that make buying and uploading your own ads even easier.

1. We now accept PNG images for ad creative! Previously, our system only accepted JPG and GIF images. Today we now accept PNG, which is the default image format for Apple screen grabs, and an increasingly popular format for web designers.


Now hiring: Assistant Project Manager

by Henry Copeland
Thursday, November 17th, 2011

UPDATE 12/12: We’ve filled this position, but thank you for your interest. Please check to see if we’ve created any other job openings.

Yes, we’re looking to hire another person. Do you have what it takes… or know someone who does?

Assistant Project Manager

Location: Durham, NC
Start date: ASAP (1 position)

Love pop culture and making things happen? The Assistant Project Manager will work closely with our Senior Project Manager and team of designers and developers on custom advertising and web development for PerezHilton.com. Our Project Management team does more than just coordinate tasks and set schedules. They are responsible for juggling priorities in a changing competitive environment, identifying and solving problems, answering challenging questions independently, and anticipating customer needs and filling them proactively.

General Responsibilities:

– Independently manage advertising and web development projects from start to finish
– Analyze web traffic patterns using tools like Google Analytics and Quantcast to proactively identify patterns and experiment with improvements
– Analyze advertising performance with the goal of improving products
– Stay current on web and advertising trends and share findings with colleagues
– Help our team make business decisions by supporting them with data and analysis of the competitive landscape
– Maintain database of customer requests and help customers handle technical issues
– Work towards long-term goals while not letting smaller, everyday tasks fall through the cracks
– Participate actively in team meetings and brainstorms

You need to be:

– A 4-year college graduate with at least one year of work experience
– An expert multi-tasker able to give meticulous attention to detail across simultaneous projects
– Articulate via email and in-person with the ability to anticipate and respond to other’s needs
– Numbers-oriented and able to analyze and organize large amounts of information into clear, concise presentations and recommendations
– Highly motivated, self-starting, and curious
– Able to independently manage workload, adhere to deadlines, and prioritize effectively
– Able to identify pain points with the patience and diligence to get to the bottom of a question and revisit based on changing trends

We provide:

– A competitive salary commensurate with experience
– 100% employer paid health insurance premiums
– HRA for dental and vision
– Long-term and short-term disability insurance
– A 401(k) plan, with company matching
– Generous paid time off
– Opportunities for professional development

Don’t apply if you crave structure and monotony
Don’t apply if you dislike music or dogs
Don’t apply if you’ve been known to say “that’s not my job”
Do apply if you want to work with a collaborative, friendly team in downtown Durham
Do apply if you are fascinated by social media, the web, pop culture, and online advertising
Do send us your resume in PDF format and tell us why you want to work with us. Please send to analyst@blogads.com

Blogads Durham office progress update: Tear down this wall!

by Nick Faber
Monday, November 7th, 2011

As part of the “de-bank-ification” of our new Downtown Durham office space, which used to house a credit union, we’re replacing a concrete wall behind the old teller counter with windows.

On Saturday, we tore down this wall. (more…)

The Evolution of the Advertising Executive [infographic]

by Nick Faber
Monday, September 19th, 2011

Mad Men has certainly brought the world of advertising into living rooms around the world, but how different are today’s ad execs from the Don Drapers of the 1960s?

This beautiful infographic from BuySellAds.com takes a look a the evolution of the ad exec, from the iconic chain-smoking Mad Man of the 60s, to the big ideas-generating power player of the 80s, to the non sequitur-loving Apple-phile of today.

How Microsoft can make Atlas suck less

by Nick Faber
Friday, September 9th, 2011

Back in 2007, two tech giants stepped into the ad trafficking game. Microsoft scooped up Atlas with its aQuantive acquisition, and  Google bought NY-based DoubleClick. In the years since, Google has invested in DoubleClick, while Atlas has pretty much sat on the shelf, collecting dust. Now Microsoft promises to update Atlas and stay competitive with DoubleClick in the $12.3 billion display-ad market.

Here at Blogads, we use both systems to work with our advertisers. Based on our team’s experience, here’s where Microsoft can start:

A) Make it work on a Mac. Come on.

B) Update the design. Google has made DoubleClick clean and “Google-y.” Atlas still looks like 2005.

C) Single-page placement uploads. When filling out an RFP in Atlas, you have to upload each placement individually on its own page, then add flight dates individually per placement on different pages, and THEN add specs for each placement on yet more separate pages. DoubleClick allows this all to happen on one page. This is a major time-suck.

D) Disappearing “Value Adds.” When you lend someone a car, you have to warn them about the little quirks, like a sticky clutch, or a broken handle. The “Value Add” problem is kinda like that. “Hey, look out, when you’re uploading placements , whatever you enter in ‘Value Add’ disappears.” This is the sort of bug that should have been addressed a long time ago.

E) Do away with irrelevant required fields. We hate the “outside the box” metaphor, but the required fields in the RFP form are so restrictive, that it forces you to think inside a very out-dated box. There are no “other” fields. We’d like to be able to submit a tweet as an ad unit, or upload an approved plan for a flat fee, or not have to put an ‘x’ in a field that isn’t applicable. We cannot do this in Atlas.

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