Sphere Blog

January 23, 2008

Sphere is Always On!

Filed under: Awards — sphere @ 5:11 am


We received an email from Tony Perkins last Friday letting us know that AlwaysOn chose Sphere as one of the top 100 emerging media companies that are disrupting user behavior and creating new opportunities in marketing, advertising and branding. It’s our first award and I have to say it feels good to see our efforts recognized 🙂 It’s especially nice to be recognized alongside so many company’s that we gawk at for having developed really innovative technology. Congratulations to the entire Sphere team for this award.

January 19, 2008

Humanism Triumph’s Over HAL (yet again)

Filed under: Awards — sphere @ 6:03 pm


Congrats to the Automattic gang for being recognized last night at the Crunchies. Matt accepted the “Most likely to Succeed” reward for WordPress and Toni was named “Best CEO for a Start-up “. You can see the full list of winners over at TechCrunch.


Toni and Matt sporting their new hardware 🙂

As for the post title……………...

January 18, 2008

Who’s In The Sphere?

Filed under: Sphere Data — sphere @ 10:12 pm

Check out some interesting stats for Blogs that have added Sphere. WordPress is our largest partner, followed closely by Blogger. Technology blogs are the biggest topic followed closely by Politics, News and Business. The first chart shows the percentage of sites adding the Sphere Contextual Widget by blog platform:


This chart breaks down of the categories of blogs in our partner network:


January 12, 2008

2007 – that was fun!

Filed under: Sphere Wrap-up — sphere @ 12:15 am


What a difference a year makes – a year ago, we launched our Contextual Widget as a Web 2.0 Showcase Company. Since then, we’ve had a lot of fun building innovative, highly customizable contextual products, adding some very talented/ adaptive engineers to our team and then partnering with some A-list publishers and micro-publishers. Our products are scaleable and super light touch to deploy. Our business model is simple and working ahead of plan. We treat our partners, at all levels, with genuine admiration – anytime someone partners with you, it’s a compliment and we take that to heart. By year’s end, we solidified our spot as the #1 provider of contextually relevant content tools, achieving very high/ consistent growth that continues to accelerate.

While our posting on this blog is sporadic (at best), we’re going to try (really) to offer monthly updates on how we’re doing. Before doing so, let’s start by offering a recap of 2007. It was a pretty good year for us. Here’s some data – Sphere is…..

  • live on 2.0+ billion article pages every month (and growing weekly)
  • generating 100+ million page-views of available ad inventory (and growing weekly)
  • working with lots of leading publishers and micro-publisher brands like The Wall Street Journal, CNN, The Washington Post, MLB, CBS, AOL, TIME, US News, Reuters, ZDNet, TechCrunch, GigaOm, Captains Quarters, Cool Hunting, TMZ to name but a few (and the list will double soon)
  • generating over 1.0 billion related content links every month to blogs and publisher content (and growing weekly)
  • live on over 40,000+ blogs with our Contextual Widget (and growing weekly)
  • offering more products than ever: Contextual Widget, Contextual Embedded In-line, Contextual Buzz Clouds, Contextual RSS feeds, Contextual Video

…..despite a small team of 10 people and virtually no marketing, a really bad web-site and very little sleep for our team!

For 2008, we’d like to partner with a broader set of partners. We’d like to expand our product offering, integrate multi-media more widely into all of our products. We’re committed to make all of our products self service with self service customization. And most importantly, we want to continue to play a role in the convergence of mainstream and micro-publisher content – our mission is to help make connections that enable bloggers to join the conversation as well as help the individual voice reach a broader audience of readers.

Some exciting stuff coming up soon, stay tuned.

December 14, 2007

Sphere for AppExchange

Filed under: Sphere Enterprise Partners — sphere @ 10:28 pm


Jaime at KnowNow has a nice post on work we’re doing with them – you can see his post title “Sphere of Influence” here.

We’re big fans of extending (more…)

December 6, 2007

Symantec in the ‘Sphere

Filed under: Sphere Advertising Partners — sphere @ 7:54 pm


We recently kicked off our first sponsorship campaign with Symantec in partnership with Federated Media Publishing. We are very excited about having Symantec as our first Advertising partner – an “A” list brand that has pro-actively engaged with social media. We feel they’re a fantastic fit as our first sponsor. Our partner FMP did a great job making the connection happen with Symantec.


If you have a new product to showcase or want to reach an audience engaged in the conversation happening in both Mainstream Media and Blog sites, Sphere is potentially a great place to do it:

  • Sphere is the # 1 provider of related content online, reaching a highly influential audience of passionate readers w ho care about breaking news and online discourse.
  • Sphere engages with millions of unique visitors per month and generates over 100 million page views/ widget impressions available for sponsorship.
  • The Sphere user is more engaged than the typical online reader as they are seeking out additional content by engaging with the Sphere widget.
  • We partner with venerable Mainstream Media Sites (such as WSJ; TIME; Reuters; MLB; Washngton Post) and some of the most well regarded micro-publisher sites (such as TechCrunch; GigaOm; Captains Quarters; TMZ; The Science Creative Quarterly).
  • Sponsors are important to us, and we look for products and services that we feel would be relevant to our targeted and influential audience.

There are currently two ways to advertise with Sphere: permanent monthly sponsorships on Sphere pages and/ or traditional CPM-based advertising on partner sites including widgets and in-line display.

If you are interested in securing a premium sponsorship on Sphere, please contact us at conrad@sphere.com.

November 13, 2007

AOL Political’Sphere

Filed under: Sphere Publisher Partners — sphere @ 10:42 pm


With the election season in full swing, we’re delighted to partner with AOL’s recently introduced political blog called PoliticalMachine. Sphere Related Content links are included on each permalink page – you can see it in action HERE. If you’re interested in Politics, I think you’ll love this site. AOL Political Machine surfaces the latest political news while enabling you to engage with their bloggers. The Sphere Related Content widget displays blog viewpoints from the left, right and AOL News.

The site has a great voice for political content. It’s fun, it’s interactive, confident and progressive to let readers participate in the dialog.One of my favorite features of the widget is how the related blog posts are organized from the Left and Right. This is very novel.


November 8, 2007

US News & World Report

Filed under: Sphere Publisher Partners — sphere @ 10:24 pm


I’m excited to update you with Sphere’s most recent launch on a major news site. We recently added US News & World Report (“USNWR”) as a Sphere Related Content partner, joining a list of premier World News sites that include The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Reuters, The Washington Post, CNN, TIME, AOL News, CBS, Forbes and Market Watch.

This means that every article page on USNWR displays both related articles from the USNWR and high quality bloggers, resulting in more (more…)

October 23, 2007

Sphere Related Content Plug-in For MOVABLE TYPE (MT4)

Filed under: Sphere Movable Type — sphere @ 4:27 pm


Congratulations to Chris Alden and his team at Six Apart on the release of their new MT4 Plug-in Directory. Chris offered us an opportunity to participate in the Plug-in Directory release and we jumped on it. We spent the past month creating a custom MOVABLE TYPE MT4 Plug-in and we’re excited to enable MT4 bloggers to add our functionality to their blogs. If you’re interested to add Sphere Related Content to your MT4 blog, just download this file from the MOVABLE TYPE MT4 Plug-in Directory here.

Many MT bloggers have already added our plug-in via a Feedburner FeedFlare. This release enables you to (more…)

October 12, 2007

All in the ‘Sphere – Get It Now!

Filed under: Sphere Contextual Widget — sphere @ 3:03 am


You can now get the Sphere Related Content Widget for just about any platform. Go to Sphere.com and click on the big “Get it now” orange button, you can’t miss it. Once you tell us your blog platform and some other useful bits of info, we’ll tell you the best way to get the widget for your platform (for self-hosted WordPress blogs, and a few other platforms, we have plug-ins, for other platforms we have detailed instructions).

If you’ve requested the Sphere Related Content Widget in the past, we really appreciate your patience. We’ll be sending you an email in the next few days with a link to instructions where you can get the widget NOW, or you can go and request it again and you’ll get instant access.

For those of you using FeedFlare, we’ll continue to support the fine products from our friends at FeedBurner, but you can now install the widget directly without using the FeedFlare. The main difference evolution vs. the FeedFlare is that it includes the Sphere Related Content Icon link plus it gives you more control over icon placement.

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