There's been a lot of screaming about John Reese's new "Blog Rush" service over the last few days. I finally got around to signing up ("finally"? The service just launched this morning!) and have some initial impressions for you.

On the plus side, it's falling-off-a-log easy to set up. You just enter your blog name, URL, and feed URL, copy a piece of JavaScript and paste it into your blog template, and you're done. Take a look at the right side of this page to see the results (you may need to scroll down just a bit).

Also on the plus side, the way you earn impressions for each time their widget is displayed on your site, as well as on the sites of people you refer is cool (so click that link above and sign up under my referral link please! ;-).

On the minus side, I really have to wonder how effective it will be at driving traffic. Will people actually read the headlines shown in the widget? Will they click them? Since it's a JavaScript based technology, you won't get any Google Juice from it, so all of the benefit has to come from humans reading and clicking.

Perhaps if the widget could be customized to look more like part of a site's content (the way AdSense optimizers try make AdSense ads look like site content), readership and, er, "clickership" will be high enough to make it really useful.

Time will tell.