When I encountered John Chow's blog last year, I first found his writing annoying and juvenile.
His posts on outrageous restaurant tabs ($1300 for dinner for four at Vancouver’s Lumière), Cannon's 12X digital zoom (CES booth-babe cleavage), his quest to appear first on Google vanity searches ("dot com mogul"), favorite pyramid schemes (AGLOCO), big Vegas bathrooms (MGM Skylofts), his expensive sportscar wishlist (Pagani Zonda F) -- these give some sense of John Chow's interests and ego.
But over time unexpectedly John's blog grew on me.
First, John really understands marketing online via content. Evidence? Starting in December 2005, in 14 months he took www.johnchow.com from a standing start to 561st on Technorati, gaining 4,930 links from 1,634 blogs. John's goal is break into the Technorati 100 by year's end. I think he may get there. Certainly he's been helped by his topic -- which is primarily "how to receive large checks from Google and other ad networks" -- but he plays the link and traffic game like a grandmaster. Solid advice on WordPress plugins, Digg, MyBlogLog, widgets, etc.
Second, John really understands generating revenue through the content networks. If you're an online retailer running advertising on content networks (AdSense, Vibrant, Feedburner, ReviewMe, etc), John's blog offers an insider view of the other side of that equation. (Another worth-reading voice from that side: Jennifer Slegg of JenSense).
Third, despite the ego and froth, John seems like a decent fellow underneath. He's happy in his new marriage and delighted about the the recent birth of his baby daughter. He encourages readers to save for retirement and avoid credit card debt. Even his restaurant reviews grew on me. I find it funny to imagine John whipping out the digital camera and bouncing around the table shooting each plate as it is served.
If you or your firm are thinking about starting a blog, or if you or your firm want to increase traffic to your existing blog, or if you want to get a better sense of the other side of content advertising, keep an occasional eye on John Chow.