Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More tomorrow!!

So the ducks had managed to meander away from this blog for a little bit, but I'm working on corralling them and getting back to it. (Perhaps I'll never get them in a row, but hopefully I can keep them contained in my yard!)

The past couple of weeks have been an interesting ride. I've gone from completely losing my groove -- feeling quite aimless, actually -- to finding a new resolve and sense of purpose. I'm not sure exactly how or why my groove left -- well, it didn't leave a note -- but, at the risk of understating, that sucked.

On top of the lost groove, my wife had surgery and my water polo season started up (I coach...), so life had decided to pick up the pace on me, as sometimes it does.

Oh, and there's the day job. (Yeah, the one I hate.) (As previously mentioned, the company itself is absolutely fantastic and the job would be great for the right person, but that person certainly isn't me.)

The job had some definite contribution to my groove packing its little bag and heading for the shore.

But I'm not here to complain. That is not the point! The point is... Well, I'm not sure I really have one yet. (Pretty much, I wanted to get back into this and needed to just jump in.)


Maybe the point is that the Ducks are back. (Picture them rolling into town on motorcycles, clad in black leather jackets and wearing bad-ass sunglasses. Also, they are listening to Katy Perry's "California Girls," which is my current jam.)

More tomorrow!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Making up for Lost Time

After a bit of time off, what better way to jump back into things than with some random rambling?

(If you are listing off better ways... shush!)

A major metric for Internet sites is the amount of clicks a web page receives. This is an important number for generating ad revenue, or it can just be used to keep track of how many people are actually stopping by.

Now, we have an AdSense account here at the Ducks. (We also sometimes use the plural pronoun, even though this is a one-man operation.) If you notice on the sidebar off to the left, there are ads.

(Note: I know that I'm not supposed to tell people to click on them so I can get a couple of bucks, and I'm not, but I think it is okay if I mention their presence, since it's not like they are hidden and I'm only stating the obvious. If any AdSense police are out there and this is wrong, please let me know.)

When I first started blogging -- back in the early 1980's -- I put up the Google Ads with the misguided notion that it would bring me in some money.

("Show me the money!" is what I specifically said to Google.)

(Yes, that line was stolen from me and used in "Jerry Maguire.")

(I am now starting a formal boycott -- as opposed to my "casual" one -- of that movie. Alright, so who's in with me? *sound of crickets chirping*)

(Crickets are evidently quite passionate about boycotting "Jerry Maguire.")

To date, I haven't really made any money from it -- AdSense, not the Jerry Maguire boycott -- and that's okay with me.

So why keep the ads up?

Well, I use it to see how many people are reading -- or pretending to read. (The AdSense Analytics don't do a good job of establishing as to whether people actually read the words I've written, or if they just stop by to see my awesome profile picture. I consider this to be a design flaw and am commissioning super computer genius extraordinaire Bill Gates to fix it.) Somewhere a while back (probably the early 1990's, if I remember correctly), I had taken AdSense off of my blog -- well, it's not like I was making money with it -- but then I lost the ability to see if people were actually reading.

That annoyed me.

Consequentially, the Google ads have been back up since and will remain so forever. ("Forever? Forever, ever? Forever, ever?? Forever never seems that long until you're grown..." Sorry, that was a brief "Miss Jackson" interruption.)

Geez, that's a long-winded way of getting to where I need to go... even for me. (Fortunately, loyal Ducks readers know how I roll.)

So people want other, different people to click on their respective web pages. To accomplish this, they must capture an individual's attention. Admittedly, that is quite difficult to do in this A.D.D. Age, what with the whole Facebooking and Twittering and Ducks Out Of A Row-ing and all. (Note: If you read that in a Bill Cosby voice, it is considerably more enjoyable. Please feel free to go back and do so. I'll wait... but not all day. We've got things to do here!)

Well, I was on a site -- can't remember which one, though -- and one of the things they were trying to draw clicks from was "Celebrities Eating."

This got me thinking... Who really wants to see pictures of celebrities eating? Or, a better question, why? ("I always wondered what it looks like when people eat and I assumed celebrities do it better than anyone else.")

Are there people who think that celebrities don't eat? Do those people consider celebrities to be some kind of miraculous beings, like angels? I suppose I just don't get the whole "fame" thing. I am, as are many of the bloggers around these parts, a writer. To be completely honest, I would love to have my words be read by millions of people. If I made money from it -- unlike the whole AdSense fail I currently have going on -- that would be fantastic. But do I want people to know who I am because of it? No. I simply don't care.

(Heck, I've even wondered about how much true anonymity I would have by using a pseudonym...)

(Note: I understand that the odds are quite minimal, but people do become famous authors, so "quite minimal" means "there's still a chance." Why, yes, I AM an optimist. How could you tell?)

But I'm starting to think that I am not in the majority here in our society. There are so many people who want to be on tv "just to be famous." Why? That makes no sense to me. I mean, let's take a look at those Jersey Shore kids...

[Full disclaimer: I've never actually seen an episode of Jersey Shore and I never will. MTV is probably okay with this because I'm not in the target audience. The fact I have, and use, a brain excludes me from that particular demographic. I base all my JS opinions and whatnot off of articles I read. Is that fair? Eh, probably not. Do I care? No, because I think I get the gist of it. A bunch of "Italian" -- quotes needed because they aren't all of that particular ethnicity -- kids get drunk, hook-up, fight, do laundry, tan a lot, and go to the gym. I'm just not seeing much there worth seeing. "But it's dramatic." I don't care. Shakespeare was a master of drama. So why don't kids try reading MacBeth? "But it's easy drama." Nothing in life that is worth it is easy... except maybe being outside and enjoying a beautiful day. That doesn't take much effort, but is totally worth it. "But, but, but..." But nothing. The Jersey Shore boys and girls might be good people. I'm not saying they aren't. I'm saying that I will never care enough to find out one way or the other. The show is trash. Period. Take the half an hour or hour and do something to make yourself a better person. Get some exercise. Read. Volunteer. Or, if you need some relaxation, watch a tv show that was actually written and created and requires talent. Appreciate the efforts of others. Don't envy a bunch of losers who think they are important because they are on tv acting like idiots.]

[A second disclaimer: Monday was my 32nd birthday. Apparently it turned me into a 78 year old curmudgeon.] (Very appropriate that I mentioned Bill Cosby somewhere up there.)

Alright, that is enough rambling/venting for one day.

I’ll probably post again tomorrow. In the meantime, just know that this random dude living in Holland, Michigan is wishing you -- my loyal readers -- the very best!

Editor's note: The whole "Show me the money!" thing didn't happen. He may or may not be boycotting the movie -- it's tough to keep accurate tabs on him (If you hadn't noticed, he's quite strange.) -- but the line is definitely not his. We just felt that should be noted.