Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays from madKast!

The holidays are often a time to reflect on the importance of family and friends on one's life. (I, for one, know that I'm thrilled to be back home in Washington, DC spending Christmas and New Year's with my parents and sister.)

Now seems like a fitting time to take a moment to wish everyone in the madKast community Happy Holidays, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

We here at madKast are grateful to our mentors (who helped us conceive and improve madKast), our investors -- who helped us turn our ideas turn into reality -- and, of course, our dedicated users (bloggers and blog readers) who've allowed madKast to grow so impressively over the past few weeks and months. (If you missed a recent post on madKast's growth -- we've grown by 33% in the past two months!)

All of us here at madKast: Johann, Doug, Tony, myself and Jon would like to wish you and yours happy holidays and a fantastic and fruitful New Years.

Thanks for all your help in spreading the word about madKast! Rest assured we have lots of exciting new developments and features to wow you with in 2008.

Happy Holidays!

- The madKast Team

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Is madKast Slowing Down My Blog?
I Promise You the Answer is NO!

Unfortunately, the most frequently asked question I receive as madKast's evangelist is is madKast slowing down my blog?

The answer is a decisive NO.

The best way to respond to this fear is to explain to bloggers that any seeming slowing down of their blogs from madKast is not real but perceived. Why?

madKast does not load until ALL, of the content on the page has already loaded (after the "DOM," for the technically-inclined among you). madKast was specifically designed not to slow down the blogs we're on so our widget is actually the last thing on the page that loads.

I think the key issue that has some people confused is that often one may see several seconds of "loading" at the bottom left corner of a browser when a page loads, but all that means is that madKast is actually waiting for everything else to finish loading before it even begins loading.

Most of the time, it only takes 100 to 400 milliseconds (i.e., well less than one second) for madKast to load -- and that is only after everything on the page is already loaded.

Hope this helps to clarify things.

Friday, December 14, 2007

madKast's Recent Growth Spurt!

I'm psyched to let you know that madKast has seen some pretty astounding growth over the past couple of months! Thanks to all the recent bloggers who've given madKast a whirl on their sites.

Some highlights:
  • Over the past month, our share icon has been viewed 2.2 million times!
  • The number of blogs we're installed on has increased 25% over the past four weeks.
  • The rate of increase of new blog installs has increased by nearly 40% when comparing the number of installs over the past four weeks to the four weeks prior to that.
  • The blogs madKast is installed on represent over 10 separate languages
    • the biggest, behind English are French, Spanish and Italian
  • There have been 234 separate blog posts written about, or mentioning, madKast on the web.
We're thrilled with these numbers, but not about to rest on our laurels. Every day it's my job to get people excited about, and using, madKast. If any of your friends have blogs that do not have madKast installed on them, tell them about us! We hope to see these numbers increase even more in the coming months.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Reflections on Evangicamp!

Though it ended up being a bit more philosophical than I think Tara and I had expected it might be, I'm pretty sure everyone who attended last week's Evangicamp at Lijit found it successful and intellectually engaging. I certainly did.

We had a great group of people including: Tara, Kevin and Barney (Evangelists from Lijit), Emily Driscoll from Fuser, Dean from Me.dium, Karen Hersh, Micah Baldwin (now of Lijit), Andrew Hyde, Ari Newman (from Filtrbox), Rob Johnson (from EventVue), internet marketer Brett Borders, myself, and several other people from outside the Evangelism Community whom Tara had connected with previously. (My apologies if I've mistakenly left anyone off that long list!)

About two hours of discussion brought about some very interesting concepts -- a few of the more intriguing ones for me I'll note below:
  • the importance of evangelists knowing their demographic
  • the importance of end user happiness
  • the importance of properly differentiating your company from others out there
    • what's the explicit added value of your service?
  • the potential for those "wanters"/"believers" to discover your company on their own
  • the problem of "unfindable" startups due to poor SEO of their front pages
  • the relevance of a sense of humor in evangelism and connecting to users
  • the idea that there still is a time and place for "old school"/print media
    • but be sure to know your demographic before embarking on that path
  • the importance of user engagement as opposed to just page views
  • the need to break through the "noise" of Web 2.0 to reach your users
As I said, I thought the most of our discussion was from a more philosophical, global point of view. I do think that there's considerable potential -- at the next Evangicamp -- to get much more down and dirty in the more local, concrete issues. Such as specific evangelism and marketing strategies and leveraging our relationships with other evangelists/Boulder startups as well as with our investors to get the word out their about the companies we evangelize for.

All and all, though, I was very impressed with the participation, level of interest, and depth of the discourse that was Evangicamp 1.0. Let's try for Evangicamp 2.0 in January!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Evangicamp is Tomorrow!!

You'll recall from a past blog post that Tara -- Lijit's version of me -- and I talked last month about organizing an Evangelist brainstorming session with some of the local Boulder startups. Well, we're a day away from said "Evangicamp" -- Tara came up with the term, not me -- and I couldn't be more excited. Check out Tara's lovely post on her blog for all of the details.

I'm stealing her what/when/where seen below:


When? Thursday, December 6th at 5:30 p.m.

Where? The Lijit HQ...1050 Walnut St., Suite 340, Boulder

I'm quite sure that there's a lot to be learned from one another as we discuss our experiences with evangelism, AKA, promoting our respective companies. I will have a full wrap-up on the outcome of Evangicamp on Friday! Stay tuned...