I got an email early in the morning ( 8:28 GMT+2 ) from John Reese, founder of BlogRush . The message was sent to all blogrush members and it explains some of the problems with the system and it also tries to explain other things like why there are no reports yet ( under development ) , why filters don't work and some other stuff.
Here's the message in case you haven't sign up up yet, if you got it too then just skip to the rest of the post:
Hi, I am sending you this urgent message to give you a special news "update" about several things happening with BlogRush. Firstly, I want to sincerely thank you for joining BlogRush and for your interest in our service. Please know that our primary focus is to continually improve the service to help you generate more targeted traffic. The first 60 hours since we launched the BlogRush public beta has been nothing short of EXPLOSIVE. We knew that we were developing an exciting tool that many bloggers could benefit from, but we had no idea how fast the 'word' would spread across the Web. With this explosive growth has come some challenges, and our entire team is working very hard to solve any potential bug and issue that we've been alerted to. We're improving things at a very rapid pace and we hope to have the entire network completely stabilized very soon. I would like to ask that you are patient with us during this time and know that we are doing our best to help YOU drive more traffic to your blog and we will soon have things running smoothly. I would like to address some of the questions and concerns that we have received: 1. "When Will My Dashboard Statistics Be Available?" We encountered some minor issues with the batch processing of our first cycle of member statistics (it's a lot of data to crunch) and we just about have it fixed. We hope to have your statistics up and running very soon as we know they are very important to you. We just need a little bit more time. Please know that we're working as fast as we can and the moment we can start displaying them you will see them. (Thanks in advance for your patience.) 2. "I Don't Understand The Syndication Credit System Formula" In our video we mentioned that you earn a 1:1 ratio of syndication credits on your own traffic, and any direct referral's traffic (such as "Bob" in the example video) and any direct referral's referral traffic (yes, that sounds confusing!) such as "Jen" in our example. We also mentioned that you'd also earn credits based on activity through 10 generation levels. Here's the breakdown of our formula: Your Traffic = 1:1 1st Generation Of Referrals (Directly From You) = 1:1 2nd Generation Of Referrals (i.e. Jen in the video) = 1:1 3rd - 6th Generation Of Referrals = 1:4 7th - 10th Generation Of Referrals = 1:8 1:1 means you earn 1 syndication credit for every 1 impression of the widget by your own traffic or by any users located on the 1st (direct) or 2nd generations. 1:4 means you earn 1 syndication credit for every 4 impressions of the widget by any user located on the 3rd to 6th generations. 1:8 means you earn 1 syndication credit for every 8 impressions of the widget by any user located on the 7th to 10th generations. When all of this math is added up, it leaves 1 headline space available out of every 10 that are served. This means that BlogRush uses 10% of the headline spots (5 headlines in each widget load) to monetize the service. We currently have plans to sell these extra credits to any user that would like to purchase additional credits -- this is one of the ways we will pay for the service. 3. "What happened To The FAQ?" We were trying to wait until we received more feedback from our users (actual questions). We'll be posting the FAQ very soon - many of the biggest concerns are being addressed in this message. 4. "I Didn't See Any Help Section Tutorials" It took us longer than expected to have the tutorials ready. You can view them now and see step-by-step how to install the BlogRush code on the following: WordPress, MovableType, TypePad, Blogger. They are available in the "Help" section that is accessible from the "Help" link at the bottom of our web site when not logged in, or the "Help" tab when you're logged in. 5. "I Keep Seeing The Same Blogs Appear In The Widget" While we've been busy optimizing our network, we were using some public RSS feeds to balance out activity so no widget would have any empty space. This will soon be completely replaced with our member feeds full-time; our member feeds were only being distributed part of the time as we were optimizing things. 6. "Some Of The Blog Titles I've Seen In The Widget Don't Appear Relevant" This will continue to improve as we work to optimize the network. 7. "I Noticed A Blog Was Using Two Widgets On The Same Page, Is This Allowed?" No. You can only have ONE widget per page. If you made a blog post about BlogRush and used the widget inside that post as an example, you will need to immediately remove it and replace it with a static screenshot of the widget. If it is not removed, we will have no choice but to terminate any account that fails to do so. 8. "How Will BlogRush Stop People From Abusing The Network?" We are putting many things in place (in addition to what we already have.) We are also in the process of activating a full "Review" process for all member blogs; using some automation and HUMAN REVIEW. Please know that BlogRush will do everything necessary to stop all fraud and abuse of our system. We have no choice but to protect the integrity of our network. BONUS CREDITS ON THE WAY! We have decided to take our entire surplus of syndication credits and give them to YOU the user. We will be randomly distributing all extra credits amongst our entire network for awhile to reward our early adopters. Many of you have asked for a copy of our video to post on your own blog. We are working on this and hope to have it for you -- it will be a version without the "click on the button below" ending since it will be on your blog. A sincere THANK YOU for your support of BlogRush and for your patience and understanding. Please know that we are in this for the LONG-TERM and this isn't just some FAD for generating a short burst of traffic. We will be continuously improving BlogRush for a very long time to come. Best Regards, John Reese
It seems they underestimated the buzz generated and they were hoping they would have time to fix them. It's good to know they are aware of the problems and are working to fix them. I see the system has a great potential if those problems get fixed and some other features will be added.
Immediate problems that need to be fixed:
I think it is very important that the widget would contain only highly targeted/relevant posts. The filter system didn't seem to be working when I first installed the widget on my blog and the posts seemed like spam mostly but today they seem to look more like blog posts.
The filter section in your blogrush account doesn't let you add a single keyword, you have to add a coma or a space after it.
It would be nice if the filter system would also allow you to specify which keywords to allow instead of just keywords to block. For example on my blog I would like to show only posts about Linux, Unix, web development and other related to open source software . It's hard to do this if I can only block keywords.
Another one would be to create something like communities ( like mybloglog ) or a way for you to add friends and have the option to display only feeds from your friends or community.
What do others think about it?
Some of the most well known bloggers think it can be a great way of driving traffic to your blog.
John chow seems to like the idea and has already started using it on his blog.
Andy Beal of marketing pilgrim thinks blogrush is something worth testing and has installed it on his blog.
Dosh dosh can't recommend it for lack of more data ( no stats about the traffic yet ) but says it deserves experimentation and he installed it on the blog, he also says that because of the referral system the early adopters will benefit more from this, so why be amoung the early adopters and sign up for it.
John Reese also promised to give bonus credits to early adopters ( see his email message above ) so there will be a lot more traffic for those that sign up now.
Darren Rowse of problogger thinks it has potential to help bloggers find new traffic and wrote a post with some tips using blogRush to generate more traffic. What's interesting is that Darren has not installed it on his blog but he has a widget somehow similar to this with links ( and small snapshots ) of other blogs in the b5media network ( see my suggested feature about communities and friends ).
What do you think about blog rush?