Small Preface: If you are coming from a link posted that infers that Tino had other prerogatives when he started the 2000 bloggers project, please move on. There's an individual out there trying to portray this interview in that way and that is not why Tino did the project, please know that, that person is just taking things out of context before reading on.
Have you heard of Tino Buntic? Well if you haven't, come on out of that cave you've been hiding in the last week! Tino is the creator of the 2000 blogger project and this project has taken the blogosphere by storm in the last week.
Tino's interesting project, just started out as an neat collage, but it's blossomed into something much bigger. In about a week through word of mouth and viral phenonena, the project has over 1,000 bloggers within it. The project has even managed to gain some sales leads for participants at Trade-Pals, his B2B Directory for Professionals. There's even a 2000 Bloggers community on MyBlogLog, and a lot of people are finding it alluring to look at all the faces, trying to find their own or those of their fellow bloggers.
I got really interested in why Tino started this and what affects it was having. Tino was gracious enough to answer a few questions for me, which I'm happy to share!
Q: How long have you been blogging?
A: I think I've had my blog up for about two years. But, you know, I've never really put much work into it prior to the 2000 Bloggers project. It was just there. Nobody read it. I had one just because everybody else had one. Even still, my blog is not my first priority. It's really way down the list. My first priority is my website, TradePals which provides free sales leads to business professionals. 2000 Bloggers was just a side project that I thought up.
Q: What is your opinion of the term LinkBait?
A: Nothing wrong with linkbait. Isn't that everybody's real goal? Getting link backs means that people like what you do or what you create. Why would you be online if nobody links to you? If nobody links to you then you should probably just quit what you're doing because nobody but yourself is seeing it anyway. Link bait is just smart online marketing.
Q: How and why did you come up with the concept of 2000 bloggers?
A: I don't even know. Honestly. One day I just started doing it and then it started to look quite nice. 2000 was never the original target. I started added photos of bloggers to a blank page and there more I had, the nicer it looked. Then I came up with a number. 2000. 2000 looks nicer than 1000 and it even looks nicer than 3000. Think about it - "3000 Bloggers" just doesn't sound right, does it?
Q: In your own words what exactly is the goal of 2000 bloggers?
A: When I started putting it together and the collage began looking pretty, I knew people would like it. I knew people would link to it. When you first come across the page you it strikes you. Who are all these people? You look closer. If you are a blogger, chances are that you'll eventually recognize someone. What if you come across the page and see yourself? The first 300 people on the page didn't ask to be on. I found their blogs myself just by clicking though people's blogrolls. I linked to it on my blog. A few visitors saw it and clicked on a few of the links. Some of those people checked the referral stats and saw visitors coming through the 2000 Bloggers page; they checked out the page, maybe clicked on a few themselves, and some linked to it to show others. It kind of snowballs. As more people come, they click on the links, suddenly everybody's getting referrals from the page and linking to it. Everybody's happy.
Q: What are the benefits of 2000 bloggers - first for yourself, and 2nd for those Bloggers you feature?
A: 2000 Bloggers is hosted on my main website. That page is getting quite a few links. Getting the links has SEO benefits and hopefully will benefit the rest of the site. I don't exactly make any money from the 2000 Bloggers page. I got Google Adwords there but way at the bottom; it's bad positioning
to actually earn anything. And, I don't want to place any ads at the top because that would take away from the page. I'm just really hoping that the SEO benefits from the links has a positive effect on the rest of the site.
In terms of benefits to others, it's quite a bit. Absolutely every blog on that page is getting links. For example, Technorati is crediting every blog on 2000 bloggers with a link. In addition, that collage is constantly being re-published on other blogs and so people are now getting multiple links to their blogs. Everybody's Technorati ranking is increasing and having a good Technorati rank is quite important in terms of people being able to actually find your blog in a sea of 55 million blogs. Originally, I planned to make the code available for reprint when I finished but people have already
started reposting it. I'm fine with that. It's helping everybody.
Did you know that there are some blogs there that had no links prior to 2000 bloggers? Now they have dozens. I'm planning on elaborating on this and some other interesting stats a week or two after I finish.
A lot of people have been saying that they've been getting a lot of traffic from the 2000 Bloggers page. I guess that would probably depend on your positioning in the collage or how much your photo stands out.
Q: What have been some of the drawbacks to doing this project?
A: The only drawback is the time it takes to do. It is quite time consuming. However, I am now the world's fastest photo resizer. If there was ever a World Championship competition for resizing photos, I would win, hands down.
Q: What happens after you reach 2000?
A: When I reach 2000, I get to finally take a nap. And, I will have a personal bookmark page of all my favorite blogs, including yours, Li. Traffic to the page will eventually die down from the high it's on now. But there will always be some benefit. It already has a lot of links and there will be more. It's already getting traffic from Google and a little from StumbleUpon. It will die down, but it should continue to provide some traffic from a variety of sources for a while to come. And, it's all free!
Thanks Tino for answering this blogger's inquiries, I greatly appreciate the time you took to sit down and explain this to not only me, but to the rest of the audience.
If you'd like to be part of the 2000 blogger project, (I don't think he's reached 2000 just yet), drop a comment in Tino's blog.