Bloggin’ Thru Category 5 Hurricane
While Miami, or should I say, all of South Florida prepares for Hurricane Irma, I went through my own whirlwind researching popular blogs Mashable, Terez Owens, and BuzzFeed. According to a recent Forbes article, the blog Mashable is worth an estimated $2 million per month. I felt like I was treading through flood waters in Hurricane Katrina or something as many blog sites sent me through category 5 hurricane winds pushing me through advertising purgatory.
In terms of competition; there’s McDonald’s vs Burger King, Nike vs Reebok, Ihop vs Denny’s, in the blogging world; there’s Perez Hilton vs Terez Owens. Terez Owens has a 1-page website and posted 11 times on September 7, 2017, but not one mention of the potential catastrophic damage of Hurricane Irma as Owens primary focus is on celebrity sports gossip. Well, maybe there was a storm mention as Owens mentioned that Nate Robinson dunked on Shaq on set of the “Uncle Drew” movie.
In hurricane terms, I was devastated, after clicking blog post on Owens page, I was sent to ads in which I had to click ‘proceed to site’ to continue on his site. Buzzfeed posted about the upcoming storm hourly as BuzzFeed is branded towards news and entertainment. Mashable’s Hurricane Irma post was related to tech applications.
Most web pages I visit allow me to scroll down to the bottom of the page, unless you’re waiting for flood waters to dissipate, forget about it with BuzzFeed, as finding the bottom of the web page was nearly impossible. I nearly gave up until I noticed a video aptly titled “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men with an arrow below it allowing me to return to the top of the website. Terez Owens and BuzzFeed have a red, white and blue theme, while Mashable lacks red.
Mashable, Terez Ownes, and BuzzFeed have many things in common. Neither site showed their tags nor allowed comments. All three sites are heavily involved in social media, make it extremely easy to share and like their blog posts via social media, and all sites were embedded with ads.
Mashable had Verizon and Citibank ads front and center throughout the site, BuzzFeed had several ads that looked like blog post, but when I noticed ‘promoted by,’ it was easy to spot the ad from blog post. Terez Owens wins the Saffir-Simpson “hurricane” category for blogger deception. As I scrolled to the bottom of his page on my iPhone, I noticed a red arrow that said next, upon clicking the arrow I was taken to pop-up Coca-Cola ad. S-N-E-A-K-Y!!
The entire right column of Owen’s sites is dedicated to ad space. The most dominant ad on Owens site was Draft Kings, but he too has ‘sponsored by’ ads. In addition, I noticed a ‘sponsored by’ ad for Dairy Good Cows, ‘powered by’ ad for Spoutable, and ads for Kelly Blue Book (kbb) on Owens site.
All sites were easy to navigate, content was extremely accessible, and embedded with YouTube video and Twitter post. Mashable had an 8–page site with a more button, on the other hand, Buzzfeed had a 5-page site with a similar more button. Mashable is catered to the tech and digital culture, Buzzfeed is branded towards those seeking news and entertainment, while Terez Owens is entirely sports based.
All 3 blogs blog daily. Jonah Peretti and Ben Smith of Mashable are big deals, if you are not familiar with them, definitely google them. In conclusion, I’m not a television guy, but I’d prefer to watch television and be bombarded with commercials than end up feeling like I’m in waist high water rafting through rising waters to avoid blog ads.