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Boldly buy with booBox

Monetizing ‘blogs is a major point of interest recently. What with the likes of Guy Kawasaki letting the side down by passing up on better ways of monetizing his ‘blog, it’s now clear that it’s unlikely that any one revenue channel is strong enough to make the most of the traffic to your ‘blog. Right now, there’s a whole heap of ways of making money out of your ‘blog, most of which being contingent on you having the right amount plus the right sort of traffic.

Many has been the time where I’ve read of people hitting pay dirt on Digg only to get not a penny from the influx of visitors.

So leave it to the Brazilians to enter the fray with booBox, a new take of infusing ecommerce goodness into a ‘blog:

“It’s not clear at all how blogs will integrate booBox into their sites, and that will be a very important issue (I’ve asked the company for an explanation). However, sales occur with the blogger’s own affiliate code, and the images that appear are based on tags that the blogger associates with the image. The company says they will work with other etailers besides Amazon as well.”

The idea and the implementation seem to have the hallmarks of something sticky enough to pull people in. After all, the dreaded new window brought on by clicking on the external link is instead turned into a frame within the web page you’re viewing.

If I must be critical, the demo of the booBox service didn’t strike me as being a very good example of what can be done with the technology behind the idea.

As the working example shows, you’re transported to an Amazon web page containing the product of choice. Problem is, the size of the frame into which the Amazon web page is rendered isn’t optimal. And I’d hazard a guess and say that most other venues would look the same.

There’s also some doubt about how the guys behind booBox hope to get their cut:

“Since sites will be using their own affilate codes, booBox won’t be able to directly take a cut of transactions. It isn’t clear if they are launching this for free, or charging for the service. Pending their position on that, as well as details on how difficult this will be to integrate with websites,…”

I suspect booBox has the legs to keep going, and the guys themselves seem appropriately enthusiastic with their playful analogies:

“Imagine this: you will post about your weekend in the park enjoying your new iPod. In the middle of your text, you put a image of your gadget and, as soon as you tag it, the image become a boo-boxlink to a store where your reader can buy an iPod exactly like yours. And you can earn a good commission in this transaction.”

I’d say booBox is a very neat idea, simple enough to cut it, but ‘bloggers are a very capricious crowd at the best of times, so we’ll just have to wait & see what pops up…

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By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

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